As a homeowner, you have probably already spent a fortune making your house into your home. As soon as you move in you start choosing new paints and wallpapers. The lighting fittings get changed, and you might add a few soft furnishings. But many people spend several years living in the home they own. There will come a time in the not so distant future that you need to consider refurbishing, refitting, and renovating your home.
The bathroom and the kitchen are the rooms that are most often changed. This is for hygiene as well as aesthetic reasons. Many of the fittings and fixtures in these rooms have a limited warranty of just a year. Sometimes they could last for ten years, but ideally, you will change them within that time. Carpets also tend to have a limited life. Other floors may be more hard wearing.
Don’t forget your exterior too. Garden wood might be treated and stained annually, but it won’t last forever. Decking, in particular, may need to be replaced every five to ten years. The roof of a wooden outbuilding may also perish after just a few years. And some proud homeowners even replace their lawn every ten years! There are many parts of your home that need a lot of maintenance to extend its lifespan. But ultimately, things will need replacing.
This doesn’t mean you need a permanent connection to a builder, plumber, and electrician. There are many things you can look after yourself with the right know-how and DIY skills. You can find a company like George Hill Timber and Building merchants that can supply the materials you need. Some projects in the garden, for example, can be managed by homeowners without the need for certification.
The kitchen and bathroom are a different matter. In the kitchen, you’re likely to have an oven and a hob. These need to be installed directly into the mains gas or electric supply. In the UK, this must be performed and certificated by someone qualified to do the job. But everything else in there could become your own personal project to take on. In the bathroom, the electrics need to be wired by a qualified electrician. This will include your shower, shaver point, lighting, extractor fan, and whirlpool units.
So how much are you prepared to do yourself? Many of the fixtures and fittings can be bought ready to install from your local DIY store. You may not need much more than a screwdriver, power drill, and spirit level. Some stores will cut your worktops or wood to length for you. Otherwise, a workbench and saw will be needed. Very precise measurements are essential for any DIY job. And a second pair of hands makes life a lot easier.
The kitchen and the bathroom are very big jobs, though. They would take qualified, experienced trades people days or even weeks to complete. There is tiling, flooring, painting, and fitting to consider. And you’ll need to rip out the old things first! You should consider where all that rubbish is going to go. You might choose to hire a skip from your local waste authority. This is an additional cost to budget into your project.
Of course, there are many different projects a homeowner may get involved with over the years. Replacement windows, doors, and roof, are commonly needed after a couple of decades. While you may not be thinking about these now, it’s worth having a savings account you can squirrel a few pounds into each month. None of these are cheap projects. And they can’t realistically be taken on without a professional installation.
Are there parts of your home that haven’t seen a paintbrush in a few years? If you own a large house, chances are you’ll just be finishing the last room when it comes time to start the first one again. Professional painter decorators can make light work of this on your behalf, but it can be expensive. However, if there are awkward areas you can’t safely reach, it’s worth asking for a quote for more work to see if that can save you some time and money.
Central heating has become very expensive. And when you consider the warranted lifetime of a boiler is rarely more than ten years, it can become quite worrying. Unfortunately, every boiler will need replacing eventually by a qualified plumber. If yours is getting on a bit, try to start saving now, and book it in for the summer months! Enjoy your beautiful home.