18 articles Tag DIY

3 Easy Home Improvement Projects To Do Without Leaving Your Home

home improvementLockdown so far has been a hard time, millions of us are now hidden away in our homes away from friends and family. So we have a lot of time on our hands and limited resources for what we can do.  To take our minds off everything that is going on, we’ll be going through some easy home improvement projects you can do without leaving your home.

Revamp Your Bathroom

Bathrooms are usually quite dull looking rooms, so why not add some flair to your own bathroom? The first move to make is giving it a nice big clean, slap on your rubber gloves and get cleaning, this gives you a good place to start with a nice and shiny bathroom. Having a proper clean in your bathroom can usually rejuvenate it nicely.

Next step, is to adding some colour,. Tthis can go a couple ways, for example, if you have some bright coloured towels, hang them up over your radiator in the bathroom to bring in some colour. The next option for colour, if you have a window in your bathroom, you can order a new set of bathroom blinds online from DotcomBlinds to bring some colour to your bathroom. Pop in your measurements on their website and they will make your blind and safely deliver it to your door, in line with full social distancing guidelines.

Arts and Crafts For Your Livingroom

At the moment, there are limited options for how you can add some flair to your living room, new furniture is out of the question and likely you won’t be able to get trinkets to place around the room, so it’s time to take things into your own hands. Arts and Crafts materials can easily be found on Amazon or maybe you have some bits lying around the house.

Maybe you can get some knitting supplies and make a new throw for your sofa or something similar, some painting supplies and you can make some art to hang on your walls. The opportunities are endless in what you can make, this will take up some time to keep you occupied and can help you keep your kids busy with fun tasks!

Declutter Your Kitchen

One thing that can make your kitchen look unappealing is having cluttered surfaces, if you just have the basics out like your toaster and kettle, you should be fine. But if you have the whole suite of kitchen appliances: Panini Press, George Foreman Grill, Blender etc, this can cause your kitchen to look messy.

So hide away all the un-needed appliances and you’ll have a much sharper looking kitchen, on the surface it’s not a massive change and won’t take much time out of your day, but it’s a little task to bring a room to life.

Obligatory DIY House Repairs Every Homeowner Must Learn

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I think no one will argue that keeping houses free from any trouble is challenging for any person. Whether you own the place or simply renting it, it becomes a huge and overwhelming responsibility to make sure that everything is in place and things are working well inside and out. 

Because maintaining a nice home is a serious commitment, there is a great need to learn basic skills to address occasional repairs, to resolve issues such as the humidity in your basement.  To save yourself from future troubles, there are a couple of effective hacks you can do by yourself in fixing household problems. 

Basic home problems can be solved without needing to spend lots of money. In this article, I have listed a few items that can be quickly repaired with a little persistence and patience: 

Toilet Lever

The usual home repair issue occurs in one of the essential sections of a home- the toilet. No one can stand a problematic toilet situation, and that is why there is a need to master repairing the common issues that you may encounter in your comfort room. 

Among these problems includes a broken toilet lever, which causes trouble in flushing the toilet. Replacing or fixing a toilet lever is considerably easy and cheap. 

Here are a few points to ponder when dealing with this trouble:

  • After popping the tank open, you have to re-attach the chain first. 
  • If it still does not work because the handle or the connector to the flapper is completely or partly broken, you are left without another option but to replace the lever itself.  
  • There are replacement toilet lever kits available in your local hardware stores and online that you can choose from.

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Toilet Bowl

A clogged toilet bowl is not a pleasing situation for anybody. Unclogging the toilet does not need a plumber immediately because there are several alternatives to remedy the situation. Two things may save you from spending too much: a plunger and an auger. 

A good first try is using a toilet plunger, preferably those with flanged or accordion styles. Take note that you should not confuse the sink plunger from a toilet plunger. 

If the toilet is the culprit of your household troubles, use a toilet plunger and not the other way around. To effectively use the plunger, you have to make at least eight downward thrusting motion in the bowl. 

If the plunger remedy does not work, it is the best time to use the toilet auger which is intentionally designed to solve massive clogs. Make a perfect grip on the auger to pull the unwanted clogs out of the bowl. While it costs relatively higher than plungers, it can still prevent you from paying someone to do the job.

It also helps to invest in durable and cost-saving bathroom fixtures that have a long, useful life or one that requires minimal maintenance. Look into upflush toilets for bathroom additions or renovations. These toilets are convenient to install, their macerating systems tested to last for 50,000 cycles, and their motor requires no maintenance.

Water Pipes

Pipe and faucet leaks can cause significant inconvenience at home. While this kind of problem is commonplace, the statistical data shows otherwise. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that at least 11,000 water gallons are wasted in every home each year due to leakages. The wasted resources cost great sums of money if left unfixed.

In fixing pipe leaks in kitchens or restrooms, the simplest thing to do first is to turn the water off. Usually, you can shut off the valve near the sink. In other houses, you can turn off the water system located in the basement. The next steps would involve placing a bucket underneath the pipe and twisting off the compression nuts. 

Conclusion

Most people devote time and effort in checking parts of their home regularly and allocate a good cost for the upkeep. Financial expert Eric Tyson once advised that at least a percentage of the total value of the home shall be set aside for purely home maintenance purposes as a matter of foresight and preparedness.

Unfortunate events are beyond any person’s control and may require immediate action. Homeowners are in a better position if they can address the issues quickly without having to wait for a technician or plumber to fix stuff at home. Aside from the ease and convenience of fixing things, it can save homeowners significant costs from paying repair and maintenance services. 

Learning these simple home repairs need no bachelor’s degree. By mastering these easy-to-do repairs, you can save money which you can use to buy other essential things for your home. There are several do-it-yourself repair tips you can find in your bookshelves and online.

If you can do things on your own, why still hire and pay someone? This handful of tips you have read helps you jumpstart your DIY home repair journey.

5 Important Things To Keep in Mind Before Renovating Your Home

Your house is more than just your home. It’s also an investment. It will look after your money for you as you get older, and potentially provide a fantastic nest egg for you when you choose to retire. When you own your own home, you always have collateral so you can finance anything from a new business startup to making the home of your dreams even dreamier. Renovating your home is a great way to help ensure that you’ll get a greater return on your investment if you eventually decide to sell. More than that, however, it can help you to breathe new life into the old place and ensure that you get more pleasure and enjoyment out of every moment you spend in your home.

5 Important Things To Keep in Mind Before Renovating Your Home

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However, a renovation is a major commitment, and it’s essential to go in with your eyes wide open. Here are 4 important things to keep in mind before embarking on a renovation project…

You can refinance to finance your project

When it comes to financing your project, be wary of spreading the cost across several credit cards or incurring the high interest rates of most loans. Instead, you may wish to consider refinancing your home to fund your renovation. You may benefit from a much better rate of interest and improved borrowing power.

Not everything needs planning permission

If you’re worried about the lengthy and confusing process of applying for planning permission for a major renovation, don’t let this put you off getting the most out of your home. The truth is that there are lots of renovations that can be carried out under your permitted development rights that do not require planning permission at all, from minor repairs to extensions and garden buildings. Get in touch with a local architect to advise on whether or not what you have in mine requires the granting of planning permission. However, you may well be pleasantly surprised.

Add a 10% margin onto your estimated costs

If you’ve ever watched a property show, any property show, you’ve likely seen how often even a modest renovation goes over budget. No matter how long you agonise over calculating the costs before breaking ground, there’s a chance you could go over budget. This is why it’s good practice to add a safety margin of around 10% to ensure that you don’t encounter any unpleasant surprises.

Never choose a contractor on the basis of cost

It’s not that there aren’t many, many reasonably priced and eminently capable contractors out there. It’s just that making these kinds of decisions on the basis of cost can set you up for a fall. Instead, you should choose someone who asks a lot of questions and gets excited about your project. Someone with a proven track record and reliable references who has lots of experience handling jobs just like yours. And if you hire an electrician, make sure they have the best multimeter on the market.

If you get cold feet, remember you don’t have to renovate

Finally, there are so many logistical and monetary considerations when it comes to renovations that it can make your head spin. Just remember, even if you get cold feet, there are still lots of great ways in which you can spruce up your home without the need for renovations.

Cheap Ways to Give Your Home a Makeover

Cheap Ways to Give Your Home a MakeoverPhoto by Jagoda Kondratiuk on Unsplash

With Christmas out of the way, many of us are starting to think about ways that we can give our home a makeover for the year ahead. However, the dent that the festive season left in our finances is probably still a factor for most of us, which means that any home improvements need to be done cheaply, or even better, for free. With this in mind I thought I would look at five ways that you can improve your home on a very tight budget.

Recycle

One way that you can improve your living situation is to go room to room and do a full inventory of all of the furniture and fixings that you have in each space. You may realise that one piece of furniture isn’t working for one room, but with a lick of paint or a rub down it might be perfect for a different space. Our TV unit doesn’t really go with the rest of our room, however we’ve been thinking lately that we might mount the TV on the wall, give the TV unit a makeover with a coat of chalk paint and use as a coffee table.

Freecycle

Freecycle is such an amazing place to get things that you need without spending any money at all. If you want to declutter, giving old items away on Freecycle is a great way to do this as more often than not people will come and collect them, meaning you have to make little or no effort to empty a space. Asking for things on Freecycle is also a great way to obtain the resources you need to transform your spaces. We once managed to get hold of enough laminate flooring to recover the floor of a whole bedroom and it didn’t cost us a penny!

Ebay

Finding things cheaply on eBay can be really easy, although sometimes you may need to spend a little extra time seeking out those bargains. However, one trick that I learned years ago is to search eBay with misspellings. This might sound weird, but sometimes you’ll find things with a low reserve and absolutely no bids because they haven’t shown up in anybody’s search results, thanks to a misspelling in the listing. If you can find these listings, these are the holy grail of eBay and often mean that people can get things for next to nothing if you’re willing to put in the time to find them.

Swaps

If you’ve got stuff to give away you might find that someone else has something that you want and is willing to swap with you. Facebook is a great place to find swaps for your items and you may even find that there is a local event where people take their items for swap seats. Hey, if there isn’t a local event maybe you could organise one, if you have the time!

Plants

If you haven’t got the money to do a full makeover of your home, sometimes adding little touches like house plants here and there can make a massive difference to your living spaces. As well as plants giving a burst of colour to a room they are great for your well-being, help to produce clean oxygen and will make your room look stylish and put together.

Plumbing Emergencies and Tips on How to Deal with Them

Plumbing problems are uncommon, especially when you live in an old house. While a good plumbing system can run with minimum maintenance, there are still many things that could go wrong. In a worst-case scenario, you may have to deal with a plumbing emergency in the middle of the night.

Knowing how to deal with the most common plumbing emergencies is something that everyone needs to know. Taking the right first steps helps to prevent those emergencies from becoming bigger problems that aren’t always so easy to deal with. To help you prepare for the next plumbing emergency, here are some of the things you need to know.

The Right Tools for the Job

Before you are forced to deal with plumbing-related issues, you want to make sure that the right tools are available in the house. Simple things such as a forced cup and plunger can be very handy; not having them, on the other hand, can make dealing with plumbing emergencies difficult.

You also want to have a big enough bucket and leak-sealing tapes. These let you deal with leaks before you can contact the best plumbers available for the job. At the very least, you can prevent water from spreading before the emergency plumber arrives.

Other tools are more common; you probably have them around the house already. Some Allen keys, wrenches, a set of screwdrivers, and a tool caddy for keeping them organised are all useful tools to own. Complete the set by adding blind caps and towels or rags.

Know Your System

Next, you want to equip yourself with some basic knowledge on how the plumbing system is set up. At the very least, you need to know where the main water shut-off valve is located. When there is a sudden leak, you can shut off the water immediately and prevent further damage. Leaks at home are one of the primary sources that contribute to wasted water yearly in the United States. This water conservation infographic provides useful information on the matter.

A good plumbing system also has a number of isolation valves. Their main purpose is so you can shut off the flow of water to certain areas around the house, making dealing with specific issues easier. For example, there is usually a shut-off valve below a sink, so you can isolate the taps without turning off the main’s water supply.

When working with the plumbers, it is also a good idea to have professionals inspect the system thoroughly.

Who to Contact

24/7 services are handy because the best service providers can be contacted at any time. That said, you want to find the best plumbers to contact so you don’t have to go through the hassle of searching for one when you have an emergency to deal with.

Asking the plumbers to inspect the system prior to dealing with an actual emergency is a good idea for this very reason. If you’re looking for a recommendation, you can start by contacting the Bristol plumbers at Plumbing Care Services. You can get a fast quote by filling in the contact form on their website or simply give them a call if you have an emergency. They strive for a 60 minute response time so are a good option to consider if you’re in an emergency.

Having the number of a reputable plumber to hand prior to an actual emergency also allows you to compare quotes and estimates better. By the time you need their services, you already have their day rate and know how much the job is likely to cost.

The Right First Steps

Shutting off the main valve or the isolation valve to a specific area is always a good first step to take when you have a plumbing emergency to deal with. However, it is far from a permanent fix. In fact, leaving the master valve closed for too long is inconvenient.

Remember that you have more tools to use, which means you can deal with many emergencies yourself. In the event of a leak, for instance, you can use Teflon tape to seal the leak temporarily. You can also use blind caps as a quick-fix for broken fixtures.

Wrenches are handy for when you have loose pipes, or when you need to replace some fixtures yourself. You can use a plunger to fix a clogged drain or toilet. Use a cup plunger for smaller drains, or a forced cup plunger for sinks and toilets.

Keep a bucket handy, especially when you need to open fixtures or drains. Even when there is no water visible from the top, the system may still have water inside. Opening pipes and drains could mean letting a lot of water out of the system, something you want to do with buckets and rags handy.

Here’s another reason why knowing who to call is a must: you can ask for first-aid advice over the phone. If you are not sure about what to do in the emergency, contact your local plumber and ask for a step-by-step direction.

With the main issue solved – even when it is only temporarily fixed – you don’t have to worry about the plumbing emergency turning into a bigger problem or damaging other parts of the house. You can then sit back and wait for the plumber of your choice to come and deal with the bigger repair.

Glazed or Not? Which internal doors are better

Door styles have come a long way over the years, and this versatility and variety have come as a result of the needs of homeowners across the world. Interior designs are different, and homes now have a lot of different themes as well. Keeping with this variety, two types of doors have taken the market by storm and are the most common choices for homeowners, especially for their internal doors. These are glazed and unglazed doors. Another factor to think about is whether or not you want the door to lock or not. Many people like to have locks on certain doors like bathrooms and get a company such as Fast keys to install it.

“Digital locks are a great addition to a home, from mechanical to digital and biometric fingerprint readers.” –  says spokesperson from QuickPick locksmiths a well established locksmith Newcastle company

The choice of door style that will work best for your home depends mainly on the interior design of the house, the architecture and style of the home, and what the owners want from the home design of course. A glazed door offers a lot of different qualities than an unglazed door and determining which one to buy depends on which qualities work best with your home. Here is a short and comprehensive guide on which door will work best for your home.

A glazed door is often considered to be a bit more modern in its design and style and is commonly used by those that want their internal doors to appear and feel light instead of traditional and heavy. They can be used in kitchens, living rooms, and all kinds of hallways to add in more light to the house and to ensure that the different parts of the house are not closed off from each other. They can, however, only be used in parts of the house that do not have issues with privacy. They can primarily be used in darker corners of the house to add more light to those areas without having to install extra artificial lighting sources such as bulbs. These doors are also customizable in terms of how much glazing is needed. You can have entirely internal glazed doors with large panes of glass or medium or half internal glazed doors that have smaller glass panes and offer a bit more privacy from shops like Online Door Store. Internal glazed doors are great for homes that need the extra light and for individuals that can afford to invest in internal doors that are slightly costly.

Unglazed doors, as the name suggests, are doors without the glazing. They do not have large glass panes to add and bring in extra light into the home. It is possible to use any cut-out space to add glass, but it is up to the homeowner to do so themselves. These doors are considerably cheaper than glazed doors, so these are great options for individuals on a budget. If glass panes must be added to these unglazed doors to turn them into internal glazed doors, then this can be done on a budget by reusing old glazing or finding affordable glass panes on your own. Unglazed doors, for that very reason, are great for homes that do not absolutely require a lot of extra light being brought in, and by individuals that may be on a tighter budget.

Dress up Your Outdoor Windows for Summer

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As we move into the warmer weather, you may want to give your home a fresh look to reflect the change of season. Not only can you make interior décor changes to fit the summer vibe, but the exterior of your home deserves some TLC too.

Do you ever walk past a lovely-looking house and admire decorative features in the driveway, beautiful windows, or a brightly painted door? First impressions are everything, and what your home looks like from the outside can instantly boost a home’s curb appeal.

With so many styles to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to do a complete overhaul of your home’s exterior, so take it one step at a time, and begin with your windows.

Here are four ideas to dress up your outdoor windows for summer, using the classic English House for style inspiration.

Select Your Window Type

Don’t underestimate the power of your window frames as they make all the difference when preparing your home to “pop” from the outside. Sash windows are the perfect choice to achieve the English House look as the “sashes” form a frame to hold the panels of glass. They’re an elegant and timeless way to finish off a period-inspired home.

You can choose between uPVC Sash Windows or Timber Windows, each of which offers you a range of styles and configurations. From dual swing to tilt and slide to casement and sliding sash, you’ll be sure to find the right option to suit your home. For a classic English House style, a timber window with the sliding sash style would be ideal.

You can also choose any colour for timber windows if you treat the frames with several coatings of specialised paint. White window frames offer a classic English House style and look great against bricks or stone. View sash window inspiration here.

Add Window Flower Boxes

When properly arranged and placed, window boxes are a wonderful addition to your home’s exterior to add some colour and to make heads turn.

The best window boxes compliment the style of a house, so make sure that the size is correct (not too wide) and that the depth gives your flowers enough room to grow, without blocking the window’s view.

Pick your favourite summer flowers and you can look at them with pride every time you return home. View window flower box inspiration here.

Install Decorative Exterior Shutters

Typically, window shutters are used on the inside of the window frame to control the amount of light that comes through. However, you’ve likely seen them on the outside of people’s homes and wondered do people actually open and close them? Although window shutters were originally designed for privacy and security, they are now more commonly used for decoration and style.

Exterior window shutters add character and charm to your home’s appearance and require little in the way of maintenance. View exterior shutter inspiration here.

Consider Window Awnings

Window awnings are another great addition for aesthetic purposes as the overhang above the window adds an extra dimension to your home’s exterior. With so many, colours, patterns and designs available, it’s easy to choose an awning that will match the style and décor you are trying to create. View window awning inspiration here.

Awnings also prevent the sun from shining in through the windows and protect the window from above.

Not only are these window additions great for curb appeal and your own enjoyment, but they can also translate into a higher resale value of your home — in case you ever decide to move.

Now take a step back and admire your Pinterest worthy outdoor windows you’ll be amazed at how much they doll up the exterior of your home!

Tips to Refresh your Home at the Start of 2019

As we move into 2019 many people will be looking to refresh their homes with a new modern look. Here we cover several top interior design tips you could use in order to do so.

• New theme

Changing the style to your home is a very good way of giving it that new updated look. This could be done through simply changing the colours around your home. Using a selection of no more than 2-3 core colours is usually the best approach.

• Making a statement

Many people are now looking to make a statement with the style of their home, whether this be through a floor rug or a modern composite door such as the ones at Truedor. Rugs add comfort to almost any space, the right one can push forward a striking statement. It is important to look over the proportion of your room prior to selecting a rug.

• Artwork

Adding artwork to walls can completely change the overall look of the room as on many occasions these are neglected. There are an endless list of different ones to choose from, so you can give your home that preferred style you are looking for.

• Plants

Adding greenery to your home or workspace can really improve the space. It can be a ready compliment to the room, when added to a neutral colour scheme.

• Style right

Choosing the correct décor is very important. Simply keeping things arranged in groups of different heights, textures and tones instantly gives the room that greater visual interest.

• Lighting

Lighting is possibly the most important factor when it comes to creating a modern inviting home. This can be through allowing more natural light into your home through the correct windows in place. Or simply adding floor and table lamps around the living space to create a bright home. Creating a warm glow to a room, is a great and simply way to modernise the space.

• Minimalism

The final tip is being simple. Minimalism is continuing to grow in popularity and is a great way to not only give your home a modern look, but will enable you to enhance the space around the room and home in general.

Super Easy Ways to Update Your Bathroom

For every family, the bathroom is an important room. It is more than just somewhere to freshen up. A lot of people enjoy taking a long leisurely bath. It is a great way to relax. But, it is only a nice experience if your bathroom looks and feels nice. If yours is looking a little old and tired, do not worry because there are some really simple ways for you to freshen things up a bit.

Replacing the flooring

If the floor needs renewing to the discount flooring depot and take a look at what is available. They sell an incredibly wide range of product and are one of the few online firms that are happy to send you samples. This is a great way of working out if the colour and quality are right.

If you do decide to opt to lay engineered wood flooring just be careful to order the type that is designed for use in a damp environment. This type of flooring can be laid in about 2 hours, looks good and is hard-wearing, all of which makes it a great option for a family bathroom.

You don’t necessarily have to re-tile

When it comes to updating a bathroom, the worst job has to be re-tiling. If you can avoid doing it, you really should. Fortunately, there are lots of other ways to update and spruce up your existing tiling. Simply cleaning it and using specialist grout paint can have a transformative effect.

Cracked tiles can be replaced individually using different, but complementary, tiles. Or you can use decals to cover them up or give your bathroom a fresh new look. Mirrors are great for covering issues up too and freshening things up. They do not take long to hang and you can buy them in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Mirrors help to reflect the light, which means that they help to make the bathroom feel more modern, brighter and, in some cases, bigger.

Create more storage space

A cluttered bathroom will never look nice. Get everybody into the habit of putting their toiletries away. To encourage them to do this provide everyone with a basket to stow their toiletries and other personal hygiene items in. This can be slotted into a rack that is set up in the corner of the bathroom. Better still, when each member of the family is finished in the bathroom, they can take their little storage basket with them and slide it under their bed. You can find plenty of attractive, easy and innovative bathroom storage ideas, online.

Update your towels and bath mats

Swapping your thin, worn towels for some nice new fluffy ones will also have a positive effect. If you use a bath mat update that at the same time.

Add a couple of plants

A plant with big green leaves will look fantastic in any bathroom. Aloe Vera looks especially nice and will thrive in the warmth and moisture. But, the fact that there is a sharp point on the end of each leaf means they may not be a good idea if you have children. Instead, opt for bromeliads, ferns or aspidistra.

Easy Home Improvements That Can Make Your Life Better

We all want to live in a nice home, which is why we spend so much time decorating and updating them. Some jobs take forever and do not really make a big difference to how comfortable we are. While, others, like the ones I am going to talk about below, really do make our life easier and more comfortable.

Install a heated towel rail

Heated towel rails, like this, are great. They look good, will not rust and ensure that you always have a nice, warm, dry towel to use. Often, you can use the pipes that are already in place for your existing radiator. So, installing one need not be too disruptive.

Update your shower

If you want to enjoy a more powerful shower, try updating the showerhead. Sometimes this is all that is needed.

It is also worth checking that the connection between your mains and home supply has been fully opened. Occasionally, this connection can get turned off during construction work and not get turned on properly again. If you suffer from low water pressure throughout your home, this could be why.

Enhance your lighting

Updating your lighting is a great way to improve the ambience of your home. This in-depth article explains what you need to consider when tackling this project. It also outlines the easiest approach.

Draught-proof your home

Draught proofing your home need not take long and it will make a huge difference to how comfortable you feel. Plus, it should also reduce your fuel and power bills.

Refresh your walls

Re-painting or wallpapering a room is a hassle. Fortunately, you can usually get away with taking an easier approach. Sometimes just hanging new artwork or wall hangings can be all you need to do.

Other times, touching up the paintwork will be enough. Just wallpapering one wall can also work. Or, if you could use stencils or wall stickers to change things up a bit.

Paint your front door

Painting your front door will make a huge difference to how nice your home looks from outside. It also worth power washing the path cutting the grass and spraying the weeds.

Renew your door furnishings

If your internal door handles are looking worn, just replace them. It is easy to do.

Sort out your flooring

If your floors or carpets have seen better days, cover them up or replace them. For some rooms, rugs will be all you need. If you do need to renew your flooring, use the easy to lay options. Lino or laminate flooring are too particularly good options. You do not need any special equipment to be able to lay them.

Renew your kitchen cabinet doors

Instead of ripping out your old kitchen and installing a new one, just replace the doors instead. This is far cheaper. Plus, this is the kind of job that you can do gradually, which makes it manageable for most DIYers.

Many of the suggestions I have made, above, are not expensive. So, if you want to make your home more comfortable why not try one or two of them.