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Rule Britannia: 4 Reasons A Staycation Beats Holidaying Abroad

Rule Britannia: 4 Reasons A Staycation Beats Holidaying AbroadPixabay – CC0 Licence

Are you annoyed because you can’t go abroad this year? Do you wish for things to return to normal so that you can get on with your life? The COVID-19 pandemic has been pretty brutal, and it’s hard to adapt to the “new normal” that people keep on harping on about.

However, as with every storm, there is a silver lining. You may not want to take the risk and book an international holiday, yet you can still experience a Great British breakaway. Before you reflexively answer, you should take a look below.

These are the reasons a staycation beats a holiday abroad.

The UK Is Varied

If you think you know the United Kingdom inside and out, you’re mistaken! Sure, there are some things that you don’t like, and some places you’re not keen on visiting because they don’t sound pleasant. On the flip side, many destinations will make you feel as if you’re vacationing in the Mediterranean or French Riviera. From Devon and Cornwall in the Southeast to the Lake District and Chesire in the Northwest, you shouldn’t be hard-pressed to find an affordable beauty spot that you have never experienced before. Just open your mind as well as a map of Britain!

You’re Helping Local Economies

The economic effect of your holiday isn’t an element that you focus on too hard. Sure, you realise that you spend more cash on a break than usual, but that’s about it. Of course, as the Coronavirus crisis has highlighted, the travel and tourism industries are vital to economies around the world. During a pandemic where thousands of small businesses are struggling to stay open, it’s nice to know that your money is giving them an opportunity to avoid filing for bankruptcy.

It’s Less Hassle

A staycation isn’t stress-free by any stretch of the imagination. However, it isn’t as hasslesome as packing for a two-week trip and heading to the airport at 3 am! For one thing, there’s no reason to fret about the beauty products and medicines in your suitcase. Premium CBD oil for every day wellness is 100% legal in the UK, as are your paracetamol and Ibuprofen tablets. Then, there’s the fact that you can move on if you’re unhappy. A foreign holiday is rigid – once you arrive, you have to stay until your return flight date. At home, you can get back in the car and head home. It’s that simple!

A Staycation Is All You Have

Yes, you may prefer the idea of an exotic holiday in a luxurious destination, yet it isn’t feasible. Currently, the best option is to stay at home where you know you can get home without dealing with an insurance provider and forking out a fortune on flights and accommodation. It’s not as if your hometown will end up on an international watchlist while you’re away! Remember that you need a break, especially when times are tough, so a staycation is an ideal way to unwind.

Where do you stand on the staycation debate?

Cutting Costs On Owning Your Home

If you’re someone who owns your own home, and you’ve recently been able to afford a mortgage and find the perfect place to settle into, now’s the time to ensure you’re cutting as much of the costs as you possibly can. Because home ownership and management is one of the most expensive things in life, and being able to save as much as you can is integral to living happily and healthy in your new home. So, without further ado, here are some of the most legitimate and effective ways to cut down the costs of owning your own home. 

Owning your own home

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Know Your Mortgage Rates

How much are you putting towards the mortgage, on a monthly basis? Because it might not be the best deal for you! Tracker rates are often much better than standard variable rates, and knowing the difference between the two, before you settle into a mortgage (and for switching afterwards) is key to saving money on your own home. 

So, your mortgage rates might be off the charts right now, and that’s not fair to you, and it’s not very productive for your household. Make sure you know about what you’re paying, whether it can change, and how much money you could save because of this change. 

Get the Right Insurance

Insurance is key to saving money on your home, especially if something breaks, goes missing, or there’s a security risk. And in the modern day and age, these are all big concerns, so you’re definitely going to need a good policy or two to keep you on track. 

Property insurance, car insurance, contents insurance, etc., are all viable types you’re going to want to look into. But, if you want to properly get to know the kinds of insurance you’re going to need, be sure to click here for more information. Maybe it’s time to change your policy, or get a better rate, or take out your first line of insurance before something goes wrong. 

Get to Grips with DIY

How do you feel about your DIY skills? Because you’re going to need them to save money on managing your new home! Overall, DIY is always going to be useful to a homeowner. You’ve got a lot of maintenance and repairs to keep up with, and when you’re paying upwards of £700 per year to keep your house in good shape, you should think about learning how to carry out basic skilled jobs yourself. Indeed, there are plenty of projects you could be getting on with right now, and each of them save a bit of money. At the end of the day, the pennies really do add up. 

Cutting costs on owning your own home doesn’t have to be hard. You just need to do a little research, make some preparations, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Switch when you need to, push for better rates, and make sure you’ve got a tool belt to make some good use of. 

First Time Parents: Keeping the Cleaning Simple

For first time parents, the first few months of your baby’s life is an absolutely wonderful time, but some of it can seem a little overwhelming and mysterious. In the lead up to the birth, your mind will be absolutely full of questions and worries, with preparations taking over the majority of your thoughts.

One of those pressing concerns is making sure that the house is clean and tidy enough to bring a newborn into, as well as being able to keep the place in order once your little one or ones are home, without sacrificing too much time with your precious new arrival. With this in mind, I thought I’d give you some tips on little things that you can do which will make things more simple for you:

Declutter in Advance

One thing on which most new parents will agree is that newborns require a lot of STUFF. Your usually minimalist space will suddenly contain dummies, muslins, toys, books, nappies, a million babygrows, teethers, wipes, changing bags, nappy bins…the list goes on! Something that can really help is having a serious declutter before baby comes along. This will ensure that your house isn’t full of unneccesary stuff that will just give you more to dust and tidy in the long run.

Keep it Simple

When you’re recovering from birth, looking after a baby and probably hosting a whole slew of family and friends, you want to make sure you get as much rest as possible. Grabbing 40 winks when the baby sleeps is one of the most important tips I can give first time parents, but once you feel rested enough to tackle the housework, just take care of the basics. No-one cares if your windows aren’t spotless or if your oven hasn’t been deep cleaned. Vacuuming, washing up, laundry, cleaning loos – that’s all fairy vital. Almost everything else can wait!

Use a Sling

When Sausage finally came home from the NICU, she did NOT like to be put down for very long, which made doing almost everything tricky. Then, I invested in a sling and suddenly, life was easier! Sauage was more than happy hanging around on my front while I did washing up, vacuuming, all sorts of stuff (although nothing involving chemicals or fumes, obvs!) and it was lovely to have that closeness. By the time BB came along, I was a pro and the sling was deployed straight away.

Accept Help

Everyone tells you to accept help if it’s offered, but so many first time parents are too proud or don’t want to be an inconvenience. But seriously, if someone is offering help, ACCEPT IT! Your parents, siblings and friends all want to feel like they’ve been able to help you, so you should let them. Something simple like chucking a wash in the machine, loading the dishwasher or pushing the hoover round will be a minor effort for them, but a big load off for you. It will also give you more precious time with baby.

Do you have any handy tips for first time parents? I’d love to hear your thoughts and advice!

Signs That Your Home Needs a Professional Deep Clean

We all want our homes to be our sanctuaries from the bustle of the outside world. As much as we might like to dedicate to a regular cleaning schedule, our busy modern lives often get in the way. With everything else on your plate, it can be hard to find the time to give your house the attention it deserves.

Thankfully there are professional cleaners who are able to provide a thorough deep clean, scrubbing away any residual dirt and leaving your home looking spotless. Here are just a few occasions that may warrant a deep clean for your house.

When you feel overwhelmed

It does not take much of a lapse in weekly cleaning for grime and dirt to begin to infiltrate every corner of your home. The longer you put off the less savoury cleaning tasks, the harder it becomes to face the idea of getting stuck in. Worse still, it can become hard to prioritise which rooms to clean first and how to fit everything into your busy schedule.

When there is a newborn on the way

While it is true that babies need to come into contact with dirt to develop their immune systems, they certainly don’t need to be surrounded by harmful household bacteria and germs. When you’re bringing a new life into the world, you will want to be sure that you home is clean, safe, and ready to give your baby the best start in life.

You are trying to sell your house 

Prospective buyers are going to see a lot of houses. If you want to stand out, you need to go the extra mile to show them your property at its very best. Every little edge you can gain will help to ensure that you not only sell your house, but sell it at a great price.   

Before a party

If your house isn’t spotless before your guests arrive, imagine the state it will be in by the time they leave. Whether you are trying to impress that special someone or you just want to show off the best your home has to offer, it is well worth arranging for a cleaner to give your home a thorough service.  

After a party   

Nobody has ever thrown a party because they love cleaning up after everyone. If you don’t want to personally handle the festivity’s aftermath, it may be time to call in a professional. Booking a service in advance will allow you to enjoy the evening without having to worry about all the mopping and scrubbing you will need to do tomorrow. Leave it to the pros.  

You are about to move in

There will never be a better time to give your house a thorough deep clean than just before you move all your belongings and furniture in. Never again will your cleaner have such unprecedented access to every nook and cranny of your home. Moving is always stressful so why not take a load off your shoulders and take comfort in the knowledge that you won’t have to clean a thing when you arrive. 

Conclusion

Whatever the occasion, don’t be afraid to get some outside help to give your home the attention it deserves. Once you have seen the difference it can make to let a professional get to work on every inch of your property, you will wonder why you didn’t hire one sooner! If you’re in the London area, why not consider finding the perfect cleaner for you on TidyChoice?  

Author biography

David Reeson is a University of Leeds graduate currently working as a digital marketing intern at Tidychoice. He has years of experience working in digital marketing sales.

How to Choose the Best Home Theater Speakers

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Whether you like watching blockbuster movies in your free time, jamming to your favorite playlist, or playing video games; a quality home theater system is what will take the experience to the next level. Luckily, there are plenty of audio systems in the market for you to choose from.

But picking the best out of so many options is no walk in the park. There are different types, different layouts, and different features to look out for. We haven’t even considered the many brands selling these speakers. 

Not to worry, the guide below will explain to you how to choose the best home theater system!

Choosing the Best Home Theater System

The following factors need to be considered when shopping for the ideal home audio system:

Size of the Room

Before buying the speaker, you have to ensure that they’ll fit inside the room you want them installed. If you’re going for a powerful system, the room has to be large enough to prevent there being sound overkill. In the same way, a smaller room will be better suited to less powerful speakers.

Furthermore, the characteristics of the room will also influence the placement of speakers you’re going to get. For some living rooms, a soundbar is all you need to get the difference you need while others will be okay with shelf speakers or even floor standing speakers

Type of Speaker 

A home theater audio system comes with all the speakers that are needed to give your space a full surround set up. There are different speaker layouts you’ll have to choose from and this will mainly be guided by your preferences as a buyer.

A 5.1 speaker system comprises right and left front speakers, a center speaker, two surround speakers, as well as a subwoofer. On the other hand, a 7.1 speaker system features an extra pair of surround speakers that you can install at the back of the living room.

Depending on the size of your space and the amount of sound you see fit, this is an important choice that will affect the overall quality of sound. 

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Testing

When shopping for an audio system in stores, most people make the mistake of listening to new material, usually a demo DVD or CD that the store provides for customers. This robs you of the chance to scrutinize the sound quality effectively and tell whether it is the right product for you.

Ideally, you should bring along a CD from home that you’ve had an opportunity to listen to over and over. This way, you’ll be able to notice any difference between the speaker systems tested and choose the stand out for you!

Accessories and Aesthetics

Some speaker systems come with special features that are not common for all brands. For instance, things like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatibility are considered to be crucial features that will improve the overall functionality of the speaker. However, these can only be found in a select number of models.

Another thing you might be interested in is the general aesthetics of the audio system. This will include things like color, build, and even shape. If you are the one to care about the outlook of your space, you can get a speaker system that enhances the décor of your living room.

Brand

Before choosing a speaker to buy, remember to look at the brand you’re choosing from. There are numerous manufacturers in the market but not all offer the same kind of quality. If you’re not very sure about the best speaker features, you can look at the manufacturer’s brand for guidance.

Make sure that the company has a good reputation in the market and if possible, go to the internet and see what previous customers have to say about the brand. This will also be a nice time to check whether the manufacturer offers a warranty and the duration before it expires. 

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Conclusion

A good home theater system can greatly enhance the entertainment value of your home. It might just be the new reason why everyone in the family is always looking forward to “movie nights”.

However, you have to play your cards right to get the perfect device for your space. The above factors are just some of the essential considerations you should make when searching for the perfect home theater speaker system!

Keeping Your Family Safe from Rodents

At best, rodents are a real nuisance to have around, and if they manage to get into your home, they can be outright dangerous for both adults and children. Mice and rats can spread several different diseases, and it doesn’t take much to expose you or your family to them.

Hantavirus: Hantavirus includes a group of viruses that are most commonly transmitted through rodent droppings and urine. It can progress to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in time, which unfortunately can be deadly.

LCM: Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis is an infectious disease commonly carried by common house mice, and is transmitted through droppings, urine, or the bite of an infected rodent. This disease begins with flu-like symptoms and can progress to temporary or even permanent neurological damage. This infection can also spread to pets such as hamsters if they are exposed.

Salmonellosis: A bacterial infection that can cause illness in both humans and pets, spread through feces-contaminated food or water.

So if you don’t want any of that around you or your kids, and I’m sure you don’t, here are some things you can do to discourage rodents from seeking refuge in your home. Prevention is the first line of defense!

  • Make sure to store food in airtight containers:
    This is the very first thing to consider. If the rodents can’t see or smell any food, they’re less likely to bother coming in. Avoid thin bags and cartons that can be chewed through, and keep those containers off the floor. Don’t keep food waste or other refuse in plain sight; keep them in sealed cans, stored away.

 

  • Keep up with the housework: Surfaces covered with crumbs, dirty containers or leftover pet food are a calling card for rodents. Clean up regularly, and encourage your children to do the same.

 

  • Lock it up: Aside from leaving food out, an open door is the simplest of mistakes, but one that can be very inviting for rodents, especially in the colder months when they seek warm refuge. Install bristle strips and patch up any holes in doors and gates, and keep them closed! Once again, let your children know why it’s important to keep the house secure.

 

  • Give them nowhere to hide: Trim back bushes, shrubs and trees that come near the house. Rodents will take any route they can find, and they’re excellent climbers. Giving them fewer options for hiding and/or climbing makes things harder for them.
  • Plug the gaps: Look for any potential openings, holes around where pipes and cables enter, vents, loose roof shingles, and even chimneys. You can plug any holes with a number of different materials, depending on where the hole is. Chimneys should be capped, and any open vents screened with wire mesh or vent covers. Find out more about preventing rats from getting into your home through these holes at atticnoises.com

 

  • Last resort: If prevention hasn’t worked and you believe you have an infestation, leave traps around the house near any suspected locations. Keep any toxic pest control substances well away from children.

Lastly, if all else fails, call a professional to eliminate the problem for you. Nobody wants rodents in their home, and the numbers can get out of control very quickly. Find professionals near you here at rat-control.com.  Be vigilant!

 

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.

Creating a Comfortable Home for Your Pets

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We all love our furry friends. They make a rather dull home cozy. You can always look forward to their cuddles each evening. And, with a little training, you can get your pets to do some basic chores around the house. But, are you reciprocating the love that your pets show you. Is your home comfortable for your pets? If not, here are some tips you can use to remodel your home to a pet-friendly environment:-

  1. Use Pet-Friendly Furnishings

If your kids like to cuddle the puppy in bed, ensure you have a water-resistant mattress cover. It will keep your mattress dry despite the accidental pee from the pet. Likewise, use sofa covers or pet-friendly fabrics in your living room. Other pet-friendly furnishings include low maintenance floors that will not strain you to clean. Avoid carpets that tend to pile up pet fur and other allergens. Instead, use replaceable rugs in heavy traffic areas. Then, opt for hardy fabrics around the house. Such materials can withstand the scratches and jumps from your playful pets. Keep off from silk, velvet, or any other delicate materials.

  1. Study Your Pet’s Behavior

Now, our cats, dogs, rabbits, or birds love the outdoors. Yet, they may not know how to communicate that they need to step out. A good pet owner will study the pet’s behavior to understand how it interacts. That way, he will allow the pet to flourish and be happy. For example, we train our pets to pee outside. Yet, if you do not have a door opening for your pet, it may never practice this good habit. Hence, ensure your doors have an opening at the bottom with a self-shutting valve to keep out other animals. If your pet is always uneasy, it could be having fleas or ticks.

  1. Conduct Regular Grooming

Grooming is a crucial part of keeping pets. For a pet full of pests will always be itching and feeling uneasy. Plus, excessive pet hair can make the dog or cut not able to play, run, or have fun as much as it would want to. Hence, ensure you take your pet for regular checkups. During these checkups, the pet will get its routine shots and deworming. It will also have a thorough bath, shave, and disinfection where needed. Note, the grooming is also about maintaining a pest-free environment for your pet. Hence, consultants like Pest Control Delray Beach can assist you further to prevent any outbreak of pests in your home.

  1. Maintain a Stable Outdoor Shelter

Now, not all pets sleep in the house. If your dog or cat has its shelter outside, ensure it is as comfortable as possible. Do this by weatherproofing the enclosure. This way, you know your pets are safe from the harsh weather. Plus confirm that this area is free from rodents and other pests. Or, you can incorporate the kennel onto a section of the house. Make it appear like it is part of the house extension. Then, install ample pet furniture for comfort.

Pets can tell when they are treated well or not. Hence, they reciprocate the excellent treatment by being loyal to their owners. Then, plan to make your pet as comfortable as possible. If you are still not sure how to go about it, consult your vet for further advice. They can study the pet and let you know what routine is best for them.

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.