Home Improvements on the Cheap

Here are a few home improvement tips I have picked up over the years:

Be Flexible with Timing
When I get a contractor round to quote for some work in the house I always ask if there is a chance the price will be lowered if I don't need the work done now. This often gets a reply such as “if you want to wait until winter when I may be less busy I can offer you around 10% off the quote”.

Any kind of outdoor work is likely to get a similar response as these contractors are not so busy in winter. But I have also had one or two interior contractors say they can offer a discount if they can set the date. Worth trying!

Restore, don't replace
Last summer I was all set to get a new patio when something came up and I had to postpone. Thankfully the paving contractor was understanding and even put me in touch with his son who he said could do me a cleaning job rather than replacement. I had my patio grouting touched up, then cleaned with a jet washer and then he applied a sealant to protect it, and all for about a tenth of the cost of a new patio.

To be honest it looks almost like new and I have been assured the sealant with keep it looking this way for many years to come. So the moral of this one is don't always assume you need to replace something, there could be someone out there who can restore it to it's former glory.

Buy secondhand
eBay has really become a great resource for buying things on the cheap. In fact it has now become so commonly used that it isn't as cheap as it once was. But there are still great bargains to be had. Last week I bought a lava lamp which cost £12, in the high street it is £25. I've had countless buys like this over the years, both used and new items. You don't always get great quality, but the savings have on the whole been worth it.

Sometimes I have a look in the local classifieds too which is where you can get real bargains. We got lucky a few years ago when a rich family was selling a 3 piece sofa. It was in great condition (still is) and they really just wanted to get rid of it and at least get some cash for it. We got a great bargain which was much less than half the price of s similarly priced sofa new.

For those in and around Co Durham we would like to recommend Taurus Property Listings as a great place to buy property of all types.

Roof Cleaning Service in Manchester

Generally I advise using the 3 quote system by filling in the widgets but I wanted to share with you all about a company I used recently for gutter cleaning in Manchester.

I am now "in my 60's" and have always taken pride in doing DIY myself at home, but climbing up a ladder once a year to clean out the gutters is feeling more and more dangerous. My eyesight isn't what it used to be, so I recently use Sale Exterior Cleaning.

They quoted a surprisingly reasonable price and had a big vacuum machine. It soon sucked up all the gunk in my gutters and the whole job was over surprisingly quick.

I couldn't resist taking a peek myself afterwards and was happy to see that had done a better job than I ever did. So from now on that is one job I will be leaving to the experts. It is not worth the risk or effort when there are good firms around like this who can take care of gutter cleaning for a reasonable rate.

House Extension Costs, get a free quote now

House Extensions Costs

This is a free service for everyone in the UK. If you need a home extension quote simply fill in the form on the left of this page. It is a simple and fast way to get some prices for any size job.We will then pass your details to upto 3 local contractors. They will give you extension costs for your home. It is the easiest way to get a price online. It is also a great way to compare prices with other contractors even if you think you have found a good builder already.

This service is completely free, your privacy is protected. All companies are vetted so you know that the quotes will be top quality as well as good value. Some companies will be able to give you an idea of the money involved immediately. All will still need to visit your house though to measure everything up and asses the specifications involved.

Other factors like access can also play a role when it comes to working out a quote. For example loft conversions will always involve more work that a garage conversion, because it is much more difficult to get access to the area.

If you are thinking of getting an extension for your home, consider converting a loft or even garage. If you have unused spare space it could save you money. This is the perfect way to live in a large house without having to actually move. The current state of the economy in the UK means that many people will benefit from improving their own home as opposed to actually selling up and moving.

It is always a good idea to get around 3 quotes for any home improvements. This way you can compare the different services and prices. Ask friends and family for recommendations too. A company with a good reputation is really worth seeking out.

Once you find a quotation you are happy with seek assurances on time scale and disruption. You want the job to be carried out efficiently so make sure you company will stay on the job once they start. Some firms try and juggle multiple jobs at once which is annoying and a big inconvenience. Find out what time the workers start and end their day as you might not want them there too early or starting the day too late. Also be sure to get assurances about mess. Get the firm to guarantee that they will leave the work area clean and tidy at the end of every day. There is nothing worse than coming home to a dusty house with power tools left around.

Popular reasons for a house extension include a larger kitchen, extra bedroom and extra bathroom. Some companies will do the whole job, but many will just do the building work. You can also use our service to find someone to fit a specific room, just click on the appropriate button to get quotes from the different specialists.

Planning is crucial if you are extending your home. make sure that you know exactly what you want and when you would like it done. Be open minded when you speak to building contractors, they will usually have some excellent advice to get the best job done. Remember they have usually been in the game for many years so there could be some practical advice which will help to keep costs down and improve the finished result.


Once you have extended your home we can recommend using the following online stores to furnish the new room/s: 

John Lewis - This is my go-to shop when I want to buy anything household related or gifts. They have a great range of items which are usually high quality. They seem to be rather picky about which items they sell. This means selections which are condensed. Their pricing is very reasonable too for items which I would regard as above average. You my find something similar elsewhere for less, but with John Lewis you get piece of mind that you are buying well.

Fabulous Furniture - Excellent online furniture store which offers unique pieces not found elsewhere. Prices range from very cheap to "luxury". They sell most types of furniture such as dining room chairs and tables, plus extras such as wall art. They have some funky Italian high back chairs and Mactan stone pieces from the Philippines.