Posts with tag: home improvements

Top tips for tenants looking to furnish their rental homes

Published On: April 1, 2021 at 8:14 am


Categories: Tenant News

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Kate Faulkner, founder of, has provided tips for renters looking to make a rental property feel like home.

The golden rule for renters is to remember to leave their rental property the way they found it, unless the landlord has approved changes in writing. However, Kate Faulkner has given these suggestions for how tenants looking to furnish their rental homes can still make the space their own:

1. Speak openly about ideas with your landlord

If you have ideas on how to improve your home, let your landlord know and make sure you have approval in writing. Start conversations early when you’re looking at properties and ask how comfortable they are with you making changes.

2. Decorate with your own furniture

When you’re choosing where to live, consider renting an unfurnished property –this will give you a lot more freedom to decorate. If an unfurnished property isn’t a possibility, speak with the landlord about what furniture you’d like removed before you sign your tenancy agreement.

3. Go big on soft furnishings

Freshen up your space with colourful curtains, area rugs, throw pillows or frames. This is a great way to bring some personal flair to your home – and to add character to once boring spaces like bathrooms or kitchens. Remember that tenants are solely responsible for furniture, upholstery, electrical appliances and combustible materials that they own and have brought into the property, so ensure that your additions meet fire safety standards.

4. Consider keeping your utility bill costs down

It can be difficult when living in rented accommodation to reduce the carbon footprint of your home, but there are lots of small steps you can take to live more sustainably that don’t require your landlord’s permission. Consider replacing your bulbs with LEDs, purchasing an eco-kettle and requesting a smart meter from your energy supplier. Smart meters can be requested by the energy bill payer, are installed at no extra cost and help you see how much energy you’re using in near-real time. Remember to let your landlord know that you are going to have one installed in writing and keep a copy. 

5. Bring the outdoors in

If you don’t have a garden, or you’re missing the great outdoors, consider investing in some house plants to bring the outdoors in (just be careful when watering that you don’t mark any flooring). Houseplants have been proven to have numerous benefits, including better productivity and air quality. If you have a garden or outdoor space, things like tidying it up and of course adding your own furniture can make it feel more like home – all of which can be easily removed prior to leaving.

Five home improvements you can make for under £100

Published On: January 28, 2021 at 11:55 am


Categories: Property News

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With Google searches for DIY once again on the increase during the latest lockdown, Hitachi Personal Finance has looked at five home improvements you can make for under £100:

1. Painting a room

A fresh lick of paint can really brighten up a room and is something that can easily be done yourself. Rather than paying for a professional decorator, consider investing in some brushes and rollers.

According to research by Priceyourjob, painting all the main rooms, such as the lounge, kitchen, bedrooms, and bathroom, will cost an average of £71.

2. Kitchen spruce ups

Hitachi Personal Finance believes it can be simple and cheap to make just a couple of subtle changes to change the whole complexion of the room. 

The company highlights that adding or swapping a glass hob splashback can cost as little as £60, whilst tiling a wall could be just what you need to reinvigorate your kitchen area. The cost depends on the type of tile and size of your kitchen, but according to Checkatrade, the average kitchen tiling will set you back just £35 per square metre.

3. New curtains and blinds

Replacing old drapes with something more vibrant and colourful can really make a difference. Providing you have had them installed previously, just replacing curtains or roll-up blinds might not cost as much as you think. Home interior retailers such as Dunelm sell a range of curtains for between £50-£90 that can completely transform the feel of a room. 

4. Decluttering

A simple way to improve the feel of your entire home is organising and decluttering from top to bottom. Excess belongings are commonplace in a lot of households and can often be forgotten for long periods, leading to even the most spacious properties feeling cramped and messy.

Taking the time to go through each room, organising which items to keep and which you want to recycle or donate to charity, can free up storage space.

5. Sprucing up your front door

Don’t forget about the exterior of your home, as improvements on the outside can add value to your property.

Sanding down and re-painting your front door will help alleviate any looks of tiredness from the outside and add ‘kerb appeal’. Although this sounds like a big job, the average cost of the paint and tools required to take this project on can be attainable for around £80, based on suggestions from B&Q.

Vincent Reboul, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, commented: “The start of the year is often a time of reflection, and this applies to our homes as well as our careers and personal lives. The lockdown means even more of us will be looking to take on home improvements in the coming months. 

“Although a lot of DIY jobs can be quite large and costly projects, there are certainly tweaks and changes we can be making ourselves to have similar benefits without forking out huge sums of money.

“We hope this guide inspires homeowners looking to try their hand at a few upgrades to give their house a fresh feel for 2021.” 

6 tips to brighten up your home from sofa specialist ScS

Published On: May 20, 2020 at 8:19 am


Categories: Property News

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With the country still under lockdown, many have turned their attention to sprucing up their homes. This could also be worthwhile for any landlords with unoccupied properties.

Sofa and carpet specialist ScS has put together its top tips on how to add a splash of colour to your rooms, as well as which neutral shades to match them with:

brighten up your home

1. Match red with light blue and brown

Red is a powerful colour and used incorrectly, can make a room look overwhelming or intimidating. However, red can also create feelings of warmth and cosiness, depending on what it is matched with.

Consider adding touches of light blue or teal, relaxing, yet vibrant colours that perfectly complement deep reds. A wooden base and monochrome accessories will also frame the bright colours perfectly.

brighten up your home

2. Match blue with millennial pink and grey

Blue is an incredibly versatile shade that can be used to create all kinds of atmospheres in a home. This colour mainly offers a calming feel, which can be amplified by combining it with pinks and greys.

Millennial or dusty pinks add a spark of playfulness, without being garish, while grey notes offer timeless elegance.

3. Match green with burnt orange, light brown and grey

Old wives’ tales will tell you that red or blue with green should never be seen, but no-one said anything about burnt orange – the fashionable newcomer that adds a homely warmth to any room.

This shade of orange is a brilliant companion for green interiors and helps to enhance the natural, organic vibe that works so well in living rooms. Light wooden furniture and grey accessories complete the look and offer an effortless finish.

brighten up your home

4. Match yellow with baby blue, light brown and sage

Another colour that has the power to be overbearing if misused is yellow. This bright shade brings a flash of life and energy that, if controlled, can totally transform a faded room.

Try pairing yellow with baby blue and light wood to create a beach feel and transport the mind to sandy boardwalks.

5. Match orange with yellow, brown and black

Orange doesn’t just help to bring out the best in other colours – it can also stand out on its own.

A great way to accentuate the dazzling charm that orange brings is to match it with earthy colours like brown or black. Perhaps add a yellow accessory or two to further bring out those fiery tones.

brighten up your home

6. Match purple with light grey and white

Purple and grey is a classic pairing in interior design, and for good reason. The combination oozes class and creates a sense of effortless luxury.

Purple relaxes the room, while light shades of grey match perfectly to bring an edgy yet sophisticated style. Add splashes of white to brighten the space and highlight the other colours.

Dale Gillespie, Head of Acquisition at ScS, said: “With so many of us stuck at home during lockdown, it’s a great opportunity to tick off those DIY jobs that we’ve been meaning to get around to.

“Many will be getting their paintbrushes out to freshen up their homes, but it can be tricky to know what colours best go with your furniture. Hopefully, our tips will give Brits a little inspiration and help them achieve the look they want.”

For more advice on how to match bright colours to neutral shades, visit:

These are the Top Projects Currently on Brits’ DIY Lists

Published On: July 16, 2019 at 8:27 am


Categories: Property News

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Taking pride in our homes is something that a lot of Brits have in common, so we’re not surprised to hear from Anglian Home Improvements that young homeowners (18 to 34-year-olds) have gone DIY crazy.

Its latest research reveals that many are trying to tackle an ambitious average of seven DIY jobs at once. It found that despite 25 to 34-year-olds having several DIY jobs on at once, they struggle to get the small projects completed. 41% of those surveyed for the research responded that this was down to a lack of time. 36% put it down to a lack of enthusiasm and 29% said it’s due to a lack of money.

In contrast, those in older age groups prefer to undertake and focus on fewer tasks. 35 to 44-year-olds and 44 to 54-year-olds reportedly take on just three and four projects at once.

These are the top 15 jobs currently on Brits’ DIY lists:

  1. Marked walls 
  2. Stained carpet 
  3. Peeling paint 
  4. Un-hung picture 
  5. Worn away/missing grouting 
  6. Squeaky floorboards 
  7. Mould 
  8. Peeling wallpaper 
  9. Leaking/dripping taps 
  10. Blown light bulb 
  11. Cracked/missing tiles 
  12. Broken toilet flush 
  13. Hole in wall 
  14. Broken lock 
  15. Loose/exposed wires 

As well as undertaking more DIY tasks than those belonging to older age groups, younger homeowners have also spent over £200 more than the national average on home improvement projects in the last twelve months. They have spent £561.48, in comparison to the national average of £357.75.

Costas Kariolis, Head of Digital Marketing at Anglian Home Improvements, has said: “It’s really positive to see that so many homeowners are currently improving their homes and undertaking smaller DIY projects.

“With the good weather and upcoming bank holiday next month it’s an ideal time to be getting on top of the odd jobs around the home. Our advice for homeowners would be to not take on too much at once and try to focus on completing one project at a time.”

Landlords, Which Renovation Projects are Most Profitable?

Published On: July 26, 2017 at 8:07 am


Categories: Landlord News

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When it comes to renovation projects, sometimes it takes money to make money – that’s the finding of the latest research by Towergate Insurance.

Landlords are often looking at ways that they can increase the value of their properties, either to command a higher monthly rent and therefore earn stronger rental yields, or sell the asset for a better price, which will improve capital gains.

Towergate has analysed some common renovation projects to find out which will add the most value to your property, without breaking the bank in the first place.

However, its research has indicated that sometimes it is worth putting a larger sum behind a renovation project to reap the rewards.

We used the current average house price of £220,700 (taken from the latest Office for National Statistics/Land Registry index) to calculate how much some popular renovation projects would cost on this property, how much they would increase the value of the home and the estimated profit on each.

If you would like to put in the value of your own properties, simply use the tool here:

Landlords, Which Renovation Projects are Most Profitable?

Landlords, Which Renovation Projects are Most Profitable?

On the typical UK property, the cheapest renovation project is to transform a space into open plan living, which costs an average of £2,100. However, if you’re looking to opt for this feature (something that may appeal to many modern tenants), you’ll be pleased to know that it’s not bottom of the list for profit and increase in value.

It’s actually decking that will deliver the lowest increase in value to your property, at just 2% (or £4,414 on an average home). In addition, the profit on this renovation project is just £2,239, following a £2,175 initial outlay.

The most expensive project on the list is a single storey extension, which would cost a huge £20,000 on the average home. But is this worth it? It appears not, as you’ll only receive a £4,277 profit from this job.

So, what is the most lucrative investment? It turns out that adding a garage will deliver the highest estimated increase in value – a solid 20% (or £44,140)-  and the greatest estimated profit – an impressive £28,690.

Other ideas on the list include outside décor, a conservatory and a loft – find out which will be the most profitable on your property and happy renovating!


Younger property owners turning to social media for home improvements

Published On: July 20, 2017 at 11:44 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

Interesting new research from has revealed that more than half of young homeowners a looking to social media in order to carry out home improvements or running repairs.

The likes of YouTube and other social media platforms are now becoming invaluable to many youngsters who are looking to problem solve issues in their property.


34% of those surveyed by Plentific said that they look online for information in order to help them with any home repairs. Some prefer the old-fashioned method of phoning a friend (30%) or their parents (13%).

When work is carried out, 56% said that they entrust the help of a professional in order to get the job finished to a good standard. This figure rises to 68% in London.

27% said that they were more likely to call a tradesman to carry out any works, as opposed to carrying out work themselves. This suggests that many people are investing more into their properties in terms of appearance, rather than money-saving methods.

Younger property owners turning to social media for home improvements

Younger property owners turning to social media for home improvements

For DIY, younger property owners are more reliant on their parents to carry out these amendments. In addition, the research suggests one-fifth of homeowners rely on the bank of Mum and Dad to fund these improvements.


Stephen Jury, spokesperson for Plentific, observed: ‘With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, it’s not really surprising to see the modern way in which homeowners are trying to learn how to do small DIY jobs or repairs.’[1]

‘The ease of finding information on Google or viewing a ‘How To’ video on YouTube means these could be the first things people look to. But when it comes to actually getting the job done, our data shows the majority of homeowners call in the experts for top quality work,’ Mr Jury added.[1]