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Painting, decorating and home improvement tips blog

10 ways to improve your property

Posted by admin
June 19th, 2019

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10 ways to improve your property

If you are thinking of selling your property or simply want to give it an update but wish to add value to your property also, the following 10 ways to improve your property is a good start. They are in no particular order of importance, cost or value adding potential.

As with all improvements you need to decide the reason behind them, if it is to add value to your house you should always research the local area to find out if doing a job will actually add value. If you just want to update your house for you then it is less of a consideration but be careful not to do things to devalue your property.

Garden – Do you have kerb appeal

Is your garden in need of some work, is the grass up to your knees or does it resemble a jungle? The first thing people see as they come to your property is your garden. Simply by keeping it neat and tidy will increase the kerb appeal. Simple things such as weeding the borders, cutting the grass and having well planned all year round plants is maybe all you need to do. If you wish to go a stage further you could use weed control membrane and coloured slate, some coloured pots and maybe even block pave the driveway, this is obviously more expensive but will improve the look and initial appearance of your home.

Environmentally friendly house

Is your property Environmentally friendly? Many people are looking to buy houses that are Environmentally friendly nowadays, for example short flush toilets, double glazed windows, water collection devices such water butts to recycle rain water or condensing boiler. All these things could not only benefit you, the home owner, but also the environment and are all good selling points.

New kitchen?

The kitchen for most homes is the hub of the house, it is where you make meals, maybe eat, and often meet other family members from the household passing through, it can be the organisational hub also with notes stuck on the fridge. A kitchen is also a great selling point of a property, does your kitchen look old and tired, is it 20 years old? There is nothing wrong with an old kitchen, they will often last for years it’s just the fashion and trends that change but the carcass or the kitchen maybe nearly as good as new.

Instead of ripping the entire kitchen out why not consider either having it painted or just replace the doors and worktops to give your kitchen a modern look and feel. There are lots of companies offering replacement doors and worktops online. And you can save yourself a small fortune at the same time.

Bathroom

Everyone likes a nice bathroom, a nice suite and well heated. So if your bathroom isn’t that welcoming you may consider doing it up, especially before selling. You don’t, unless you want to, need to install an entire new suite, replacing taps and getting rid of that old wooden toilet seat and replace it with a new one or a plastic one could be an idea.

Adding a few tiles could brighten up a bathroom and make it easy for mopping up splashes, especially around the bath or basin. Re-grouting your existing tiles could make the bathroom look cleaner and more appealing to potential buyers.

Another consideration is flooring, carpet may seem a good idea and feel nice on your feet in the morning but if your selling your house people may prefer a tiled floor or a vinyl flooring as it is more hygienic and easier to keep clean.

Flooring – carpets or hardwood flooring

Flooring is a large expense so you have to make to right decision, do you go for carpet or a laminate or hardwood floor? If you have cats or dogs a laminate or hardwood floor maybe a better choice than carpet. A dark carpet rather than a light coloured one would be best in a high traffic area, such as by a front or rear door. Hardwood and laminate floors are quick and easy to keep clean, simply brush them over with a broom.

The expense has to be a consideration also, especially if you are thinking of moving. Saving that worn out carpet will not help sell a house whereby a nice hardwood floor may do.

Storage

Storage is always a problem in most households, there is never enough space to keep everything we have nowadays. If you can build storage space it will certainly improve your properties look as all the clutter can be put away. For example, can you make a window seat with storage under the seat? Maybe you can build cupboards under the stairs, or build a toy box for the end of the kids bed.

Any space that can be utilised for storage will make your home run better and could add value to it also, as people always look for storage spaces when viewing a property.

Build

If you have the money you could always build, either an extension or convert the loft maybe, but you don’t have to go for a full on build, simply re-thinking a house and altering it may make the house work better and add value, for example adding an en-suit. A garden room or conservatory is another way of extending and would make a great play room for the kids, or a nice quiet place to relax in an evening.

You could also consider a garage conversion if you don’t use your garage for a car, but consider this carefully as it could affect the selling price later on.

Redecorate -Interior

It may seem obvious but redecorating is a relatively cheap way of improving your property, all houses need to be decorated from time to time as the décor gets tired and may suffer from the knocks and scratches of everyday life. Buying a tin of paint and painting a room can transfer how it looks, bringing it up to date by using a fashionable colour perhaps.

Adding wallpaper, even a feature wall can make a room more sophisticated and doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Redecorate – Exterior

The exterior of your house is just as important if not more so to maintain. Keeping the exterior paintwork such as fascia’s and soffits, doors and windows painted will keep the weather out and reduce the risk of them rotting.

Masonry also needs to be kept in good condition to stop damp from getting in.

Having a well maintained house gives a property great kerb appeal and could help sell a house.

Insulation

Cavity and solid wall

Sounds boring doesn’t it? But a well insulated house will have smaller energy bills than those houses with minimal or no insulation. Cavity walls and loft insulation can be done at any time and you may even be able to get a grant to help with the costs. If you haven’t got cavity walls you could line the walls with a thermal liner to reduce heat loss.

Upvc windows and doors with special coated glass will keep the cold out, look for the highest rated glass when you have them fitted. Also adding Upvc windows and doors is nowadays a great selling point as not only does it reduce the energy bills but also noise and or course there is no maintenance except cleaning them.

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How to paint a bathroom

Posted by admin
February 12th, 2014

How to paint a bathroom

Bathrooms can be a retreat, a place where you can have a long bath a relax from the day to day stresses, so a beautiful tranquil bathroom is what you need with relaxing colours, candles, soft fluffy towels, but if however you do not spend too much time in the bathroom, you just have a quick shower and use the loo then a more practical ‘clinical’ type bathroom may suit your needs.

Bathroom paints

When you paint a bathroom there are a few things to consider, such as the type of paint to buy. Do you go for a special bathroom paint that inhibits mould growth and is moisture resistant, or do you save yourself a few pound and go for standard emulsions?

Well, the choice is yours really, circumstance will dictate a little as which one to choose. If you suffer from mould and dampness, such as you have teenages that spend half an hour in the shower or leave the bath running hot water until it’s nearly overflowing, then you may consider the bathroom paint. Ideally having an extractor fan fitted will also reduce condensation.

If you have a good extractor fan, or open the window to let the steam out so you don’t have a bathroom that looks like a fog from yesteryear you could simply go for a standard emulsion.

Preparing for painting

Before you jump straight in with the paint there are a few things you should do first, such as remove anything on the walls, such as toilet roll holder, towel rail, medicine cabinet, mirror etc, unless you want to either mask them up or paint around them. If you wish to remove them they are simple enough to do. Most toilet roll holders and towel rails have a small grub screw holding them on, these are typically an allen key or small screw, loosen these off to remove the item. You can then remove the fixing, or cut in around it.

If you are removing heavier items such as a mirror or medicine cabinet it is always a good idea to have an extra person give you a hand, you don’t want to be dropping a mirror on the floor!

You can then cover up with dust sheets, cover the toilet including the cistern, the bath or shower cubicle and the hand basin and anything else that isn’t removable, and don’t forget the floor.

Once everything has been removed and covered it is time to prepare the ceiling and walls, fill any holes and cracks with filler, sand level and smooth when dry. You should also wash down any splashes from walls and ceiling and make sure that any mould is washed down and removed, for this you can use a mould and mildew remover, or a little bleach. You should always follow the safety advice on these products to avoid accidents.

Painting the bathroom

Start off with the ceiling and coving, if you have any. Give this at least two coats allowing each coat to dry fully between each coat, once the ceiling is done you can paint the walls, cut into the ceiling and around the fixtures and fittings such as toilet, basin etc and fill in with a roller, you can use a small four inch roller to get into those hard to reach places, such as behind the toilet. Give the walls a minimum of two coats to get a good coverage.

Once the walls are done you can paint any woodwork, such as doors, doorframes, windows, skirting boards, and the floor if it is painted or varnished. Rub them down and if you are painting them give them an undercoat before a topcoat. If you are varnishing, rub down and give two coats, if the floor is varnished it may be advisable to give three or more coats to help protect the wood against the water.

A recent completed bathroom

Below is a picture of a recent completed bathroom I painted, I painted this bathroom in 1999 after it had a complete overhaul and modernisation. I recently painted it using Dulux Soft Sheen Violet White on the walls, Vinyl matt brilliant white on the ceiling down to the picture rail and White satinwood on the woodwork and finished off by re-varnishing the floor with six coats of Ronseal Diamond Hard clear satin floor varnish.

Bathroom

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How to sand a floor

Posted by admin
November 23rd, 2013

How to sand a floor

You may want to have an alternative floor coving to carpet, but don’t want the expense of a hardwood or laminate floor. Well, if you have wooden floorboards you can sand them down and either paint them a colour or use a clear floor varnish to show off the beautiful wood, or stain them.

To sand the floor well you will need to hire a floor and an edging sander. Hiring these is relatively inexpensive at around £50 for the two sanders for a day, and you typically get 24 hours hire which should be enough time for an average sized room.

Before you start sanding

As you sand the floor you will make a lot of dust, so remove as much as you can from a room, cover wall and ceiling lights (as long as they are not in use) with black bags, put masking tape over wardrobe doors and cupboards to prevent dust getting in, you can also seal around any doors to try and contain the dust in the one room.

Safety first

You should wear a suitable dust mask, goggles and ear defenders whilst sanding. These can be bought from the hire shop when you pick up the sanders.

Preparation for sanding the floor

Before you start sanding you should fix any loose floorboards, replace any damaged or rotten boards, and nail punch raised nails as they can catch the sandpaper and rip it, and maybe even cause damage to the sander which could result in paying a charge for repair at the hire centre.

Start sanding

To start sanding decide on the coarse of sandpaper to use, you should of got three types when you hired the sander, a coarse, medium and fine. Depending on the condition of the floor will depend on what sandpaper to use, if the floor is in good condition and has not been previously painted or stained you can use the medium, otherwise start with the coarse.

You should keep the sander moving at all times whilst it is switched on to prevent making dips and low spots.

Sand diagonally across the boards, this will help level them off and remove a good amount of the surface to reveal the wood lower down. Once you have completed one diagonal sanding, go the other way, and them sand in the direction of the boards.

Once you are happy with the boards you can change to the medium grit, working in the direction of the boards go up and down overlapping each strip, once you have done this a couple of times, repeat the process with the fine sandpaper until the floor is smooth.

Finishing of the edges

To finish off the edges, use the edging sander, again use the coarse, medium and fine sandpaper. A word of warning, be careful around heating pipes as the sander could damage or even cut the copper pipe. You can use a scraper or chisel to get right into the corners and around pipework.

Varnished floor

Staining, painting or varnishing a floor

Once you have sanded the floor and you are happy with it, it is time to clean up all the dust, vacuum the floor in both directions, and around and under the skirting boards, to remove any fine dust left on the floor, use a soft cloth and white spirit to wipe over the boards, this has the added benefit of removing and grease that may be left on the boards.

At this stage you need to be aware that the floor is vulnerable to stains so be careful walking across it and don’t spill your tea or coffee over it as you stand back and admire your hard work.

Painting the floor

If you are varnishing, painting or staining the floor the principle is the same, use a roller to apply the paint, I prefer to use a small roller but you may find it easier with a 9 inch roller to cover the area quicker. You will also need a brush to paint around the edges of the skirting boards.

Make sure the paint you are applying is a good quality floor paint, start with painting around the edge and then rollering up to it, apply one coat and leave to dry. If it is a quick drying paint / varnish you can apply more coats the same day otherwise leave overnight to dry.

Lightly rub the floor down between each coat and remove the dust before apply a second coat.

For high foot traffic areas apply three good coats to the floor. Once you have applied all the coats leave to fully dry before putting back furniture etc into the room. You may consider adding felt pads to the bottom of furniture such as dining table and chairs to help protect the floor.

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