Home Improvements are always exciting – if often very stressful! It’s everyone’s dream to make their home entirely their own – in other words, to live in their very own dream home! Achieving this takes a lot of work and – unavoidably – a certain amount of money as well. Most people have to save for many years and do home improvements gradually – but careful shopping and a bit of DIYing can save a mint.
Home improvements tend to come into several categories:
- Major work to the frame of the house – i.e. structural repairs, or building an extension.
- Minor work to the frame of the house – i.e. having a conservatory put on, double glazing.
- Major internal work to the house – i.e. total refit of a kitchen or bathroom, removal or addition of internal walls.
- Minor internal work to the house – i.e. redecorating, putting up shelves, changing the doors etc.
There’s only so much money one can save on any kind of work to the frame of the house. Certainly one can shop around, but it’s best to go with a reputable company. There’s that much more chance they’ll do the work quickly, and you certainly don’t want cowboys messing with your load bearing joists! Big companies will also be able to get good deals and get the best price for bulk orders of conservatories and windows as well.
Internal work is another matter. A few DIY books, perhaps some tips from a friend, and most people can handle some basic redecorating, or even putting up the shelves. Kitchen and bathroom fitting require a higher level of DIY skills – but aren’t beyond the reach of a committed DIYer. You’ll probably have a pretty good idea if you’ll be up to it!
That’s savings in labour choices, what other options are there? Bathroom suites are something that don’t need changing unless they’re in very bad repair, or in a particularly hideously outdated style. Redoing all the tiling and decor will spruce a bathroom up no end. Kitchen units are another place to save a few pennies. Have a good look at the structural aspects of the cupboards. Are they solid and in good repair? Is the depth and the height about what you want? If so, you might want to think about having your doors and drawers replaced, much cheaper than having a whole new lot of cupboards fitted. A new worktop will also spruce up an old set of cupboards for a fraction of the cost of a new set.
Long term savings…
Some of the most exciting home improvements available today are the new energy saving and energy generating options, such as:
Double glazing – Saves tons on heating bills, keeps you toasty warm and even reduces noise from the street.
Solar panels – Buying solar panels used to be essentially an investment for the planet, not for yourself, but that’s all changing. Panels are coming down in price and going up in efficiency. Specialist fitters can buy solar panels wholesale from AVIC Solar or an equivalent supplier, passing the savings on to you, and once they’re fitted, they’re guaranteed for literally one or two decades, depending on your deal and supplier. Since you can now get panels that run on daylight rather than direct sunshine, they can make a sound contribution to your energy needs even in the cloudy UK.
Solar heating panels – These are taking off in the UK as well. Soaking up the heat from the sun all day, they provide totally environmentally friendly hot water.
Waterless toilets – The average UK household flushes gallons and gallons of water down toilets every day, and all that water has to be cleaned and purified both before and after passing through your house. It’s one of the most wasteful elements of our lives, but until recently, there’s been no practical alternative. Now 100% hygienic, highly efficient waterless toilets are on the market – and they scarcely look any different than the real thing!
Wind turbine – Only a real option for rural homes, though non-listed town properties might be able to fit a small yacht turbine to their roof – but it will only supplement the mains power, not replace it!
Evaporation beds – Another one for the countryside, and for the really committed. A series of evaporation beds, planted with special plants to soak up nasties from your waste water, allow it to soak away into the soil beyond clean and purified.
Energy efficient appliances – When buying new appliances, remember to look at the energy efficiency rating. High efficiency appliances may cost a bit more at the outset, but think of the money they’ll save you every single time you switch them on! One of the most major to think about is of course the electric or electric hybrid car.
So it’s a particularly exciting time for home improvements, especially among those who want to save money, and save the environment!
This article was written by Max Johnson on behalf of Avic International. There is a wide variety of wholesale solar panels for sale from AVIC Solar. Max is a keen writer who also works with disabled children and has a history working in agriculture. He also enjoys reading and cinema, and likes to think about and share ideas of interest.