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.