Affordable kitchen makeover ideas to change the look of your kitchen

befor and after kitchen pictures

Kitchens are considered to be the heart of your home and so it is very important that you give your kitchen a makeover so that it looks good. But you can also remodel your kitchen without great expense with the help of some affordable kitchen makeover ideas so that you will be within your budget.

It is also known as the most important home improvement project that you will attempt, but make sure that you do not spend more money for this project than you need to. Firstly you will need to start by assessing the needs of your kitchen which includes determining the positive and negative features of the kitchen.

When remodeling your kitchen you will need to make sure that you renovate the kitchen in accordance with the overall look and interior of your home so that it can complement the rest of your home.

This is a job that a homeowner with basic DIY skills can do and do well. It is not difficult. The main thing is to choose the type, style and colour of door that will transform your drab and dreary kitchen, and the next most important thing is to order the correct size of door! I know that sounds obvious, but a mistake here can scupper your best laid plans.

My recommedation is to make a call to your local kitchen renovation company. They will come to your house, show you designs, styles and colours, measure to get the perfect door for your cabinet, and order for you. This is the point at which you let them do the whole project, or if you just buy the doors from them and you fit them your self to save money. Either way, you still save a ton on a complete replacement and will have the kitchen you desire.

These makeover businesses can be found online, and to give you an idea of what to look for, here is a great example for you, quality kitchen doors nottingham. If required, these types of businesses can also supply and install worktops too, or even complete fitted kitchens. Just find a similar business in your area and you are in business, and there will be no mistakes.

Kitchen makeover ideasbudget kitchen makeover image

Get new cabinets-
it is considered as an excellent way of renovating your kitchen when you get new cabinets for the kitchen. Since cabinets can change the entire look of your kitchen, you will need to make sure that they are attractive as well as functional.

You can install the cabinets that will complement the look of your kitchen as there are different styles, designs and colors of kitchen cabinets. You could also look for affordable cabinets that are on sale in the furniture stores.

Change kitchen tiles-
new kitchen tiles can make your kitchen look visually appealing and attracting as you can give a major makeover  without spending a lot of money. You can also get glass tiles installed in your kitchen, which can change the look of your kitchen completely. You can also opt for porcelain tiles as it is an excellent option for you to make it look new again, but is more expensive.

Paint the walls-
if you are thinking of affordable ways of renovating your kitchen then painting the walls of the kitchen is probably the most popular way of changing its look. Paint also provides you an opportunity to spruce up your kitchen as painting the walls can make your kitchen look and smell refreshed and new. Laminate walls also look great as these are an affordable option for you as well.

Changing the countertops-
your kitchen renovation project is incomplete without changing the countertops, and you will need to look for a countertop that is durable, functional and affordable. You can either opt for marble or granite countertops as both of these look great and will last for years.

The selection of the right countertop can drastically change the appearance and look of your kitchen and so it is important that you should select the most appropriate counter top for the work that you normally do in the kitcnen, and to match your budget.

With the help of these kitchen makeover ideas, you can successful in changing the entire appearance of your kitchen in the most cost effective manner. You can renovate your kitchen with these ideas so that you will have a new kitchen but spending a fraction of the cost of a full replacement.

I always like to include a video… so here are some more makeover tips below.

Design For Beauty With Picture Frames

home made picture framesI had a thought today, and wanted to quickly put this onto the blog before I forgot. It was about picture frames. If there is one thing that makes a home look lived in, owned, tasteful, modern, elegant, personal, any of those things, it is the picture frame. Second only probably to the picture itself.

To most people a picture frame is something that they hardly give a thought to, would have no idea how to make, or what style they should use, but from a design point of view, it should be regarded as important and something that you can make a statement with.

Picture frames can also be very expensive, very elaborate, but they can also be simple and easy to make at home. I intend to do a full blog on diy picture frames at a later date, but just thought I would put this seed of an idea out there to give you all something to think about. Watch this video…

The frame in the video is just made of simple wood, and looks nice, but change that boring wood for a nice moulding, that can be bought from most diy and craft stores, apply the same techniques and you have a beautiful frame of your choice to match your furnishings and picture.

You just need a few tools and some patience. Why not give it a try. You will save a lot of money and give your self something to be proud of in the process.

The Many Benefits of Choosing a Wood Burning Stove

wood burning stove benefitsThis will be the 3rd time that I have installed a wood burning stove in my house! We have a plan, which is to buy a house, then upgrade it, and sell. Then buy a better house and do the same, so that we can eventually get the house that we really want. It’s a long term plan, and we are enjoying the ride.

Wood burning stoves are good for the environment, cheap to run, heat the house efficiently, and most of all, they look great. I also think that when you come to sell your house, all of the above are excellent selling points. Just light the fire before your prospective buyers arrive, and it’s a done deal! Well almost. I did some research for this post, and I think the argument below shows just why you should install a log burner in your home.

Provision of carbon neutral energy

When derived from plantations and cultivated woodlands in particular, wood serves as a renewal energy and, therefore, sourcing wood locally not only brings benefits to the local economy but also provides an essential role in reducing the carbon footprint. Modern wood burning stoves burn much more efficiently and cleanly than older conventional stoves. The wood burning stoves unlike the traditional heating systems are more energy efficient. Burning wood produces CO2 but unlike the oil which also provides carbon to the atmosphere, new trees can be planted. With every new tree planted, more of the CO2 is then reabsorbed just approximately the same as the amount of the CO2 released into the environment when the wood is burned, making it carbon neutral.

Cost saving with wood burning stoves

Wood is relatively cheaper than other sources of energy and at the same time provides sufficient heating. The wood burning stove utilizes wood in return, and this translates into reduced cost and expenditures. Modern wood burning stoves are efficient heaters, and cost less than the conventional heating options. One of the advantages of having a wood burning stove is that it provides zone heating aspect in which, a person can heat an area he/she desires and at the same time keep the rest of the house relatively cooler. Unlike electricity which is expensive per unit, wood burning stoves are much cheaper compared to the use of electricity driven heating systems.

Wood stove provides comfort that hot air systems cannot

A wood stove provides a true warmth that hot air systems cannot, however, they are less easy to control because the firewood fire cannot be regulated, in the same way that you can with electricity systems, and unlike in the hot air systems where the thermostat controls the maximum temperature that these systems provide. Wood burning stoves are however durable, pretty much maintenance free, and are ecologically friendly unlike conventional heating systems.central heating diagram

Wood burning stoves provides a green heating solution

Burning wood gives a zero-sum impact in the overall carbon emission globally. When wood is burned, only CO2, water and heat are produced. However, one of the notable unique features about the wood burning stove is that heat can be provided even in situations where there is no power, something that is always a problem with conventional hot air or hot water heating systems.

A wood burning stove gives a wonderful ambience

Wood burning stoves are these days elegant in design, and when installed, serve as a focal point for your room. You will find that therea are many designs to choose from, enough to satisfy just about any room design ideas.

There is probably a showroom close to where you live where you can get ideas and advice, see the designs available, and discuss your requirements. You can also find a local HETAS regulated installer in your town, who will be happy to come to your home and advise you on the type of system and show you the wood burning stoves that would best meet your needs.

Multipurpose heating

Modern wood burners are able to not only heat the room that they are situated in, but can also be used for cooking, heating water, and to provide the hot water for your central heating system too.

I think that wood burners and multi-fuel stoves are only going to increase in popularity. Gas use of any kind is being phased out in the coming years, leaving just natural sources, oil and electricity, so now is the time to get ahead of the curve and look at replacing your outdated heating system with a wood burning stove.

The youtube video below will help to show you just what can be achieved by using your log burner as the heat source for a central heating system.

Use Your Water Twice and Save The Environment

grey water systemThis is just a quick post about grey water. I have been interested in implementing a grey water system for many years, but so far I have not had the chance to do it, but I think this year will be my chance.

Grey water is essentially the water that comes from your washing machine, kitchen sink, bath and shower, and downpipes from the roof. It is not clean enough to drink, but is perfect for watering the garden, flushing your toilet etc.

There are some sophisticated systems available these days to help with this, but I found this really simple to set up system on a youtube video, and I think I will start with this, and use the water for the garden. Later in the year I will research how to develop this into a more comprehensive grey water system with underground tanks and pumps, and will update this blog at that time.

In the meantime, look how inexpensive it is to set up a simple sytem for your home, and get using your water twice to save both your money and the environment.


Why to Use Concrete Posts for a New Fence

fence postsOne of my first priorities when moving in to a new house is to install or repair the back garden fence. We have animals, dogs and cats, and it is important to keep them in the garden and not running wild around the neighbourhood.

My garden was fenced, but over half was broken down. The damage part was made using wooden posts, and the part still standing was made using concrete posts.

I called my local builder / handyman, and he explained the benefits of both, and he helped me to add new concrete posts to my existing fence to complete the repair, and I am very happy with the job. I then researched the whole thing and wrote this blog for anyone having the same issues. Hopefully you will find it useful.

Your fence system is subject to a great deal of physical force during the day and emergency situations. Even a small amount of wind can make some sections of your fence posts get loose. Things like strong storms and accidental impacts might dislodge your fence posts from the ground. In addition, your fence posts are subject to motor vehicle accidents and damages from vandals.

Although most builders rely on traditional metal or wood fence posts, concrete fence posts provide much higher level of durability and strength. If you’re a handy home owner, you can construct these fence posts yourself to save money over pre-manufactured wooden or steel fence posts.

Concrete fence posts provide more strength per unit than wood fence posts. When subject to the same level of force, a concrete fence post has the ability to support larger load than a wood fence post of the same size. In addition, concrete fence posts are affordable and durable, especially when compared to wooden or steel fence posts.

While wooden and steel fence posts require nails, fasteners, and screws, concrete fence posts usually use a slot-based fastening system, which is easier to install.

_00These concrete fence posts usually comprise of grooves cut into each side, which can accommodate a standard fence rail. Most manufacturers utilize a special propriety installation system, which is designed to operate well with over-sized rails.

This is because those installation systems require no metal fasteners, and they aren’t subject to rust and corrosion. They also require very little maintenance, and they are easy and quick for even the novice installer. Once you’ve installed concrete fence posts, your maintenance cost will be minimal. Sounds good, right?

The 2 major disadvantages that I found was that the initial cost was higher, but that would be repaid in time, and that the posts were very heavy, and probably needs 2 people to handle properly. In my case, I asked my local building repairs guy to give me a hand, and I paid him by the hour for his muscle and experience. Well worth the investment.

One of the major advantages of utilizing concrete fence posts is their high degree of durability and quality. They naturally resist mold and rot, which can damage wood posts. In addition, they don’t rust like steel fence posts and can’t be damaged by termites or pests.

Watch the video below for an idea of how to erect a fence with concrete posts.

Even when subject to frequent strong wind or storms, this type of fence post will up hold for many years.

Although most people associate concrete with gray tones, concrete fence posts actually provide many finishing options to meet any design criteria required. Modern concrete fence posts can be etched or stamped to make intricate textures or patterns.

These fence posts can even be manufactured to resemble woods, bricks, or even natural stones. Several concrete fence posts come pre-finished, with different manufacturers providing a wide range of styles and colors.

So you can see that it’s obvious that concrete wood fence posts are better than wood or steel fence posts. They are of high quality, durable, affordable, and require minimal maintenance. Once they’re installed, be confident that your fence is robustly supported, and you won’t have to replace them anytime soon.

However, your choice of fence posts depends on your location and budget, but it’s wise to go for a long lasting solution, which won’t need a lot of your attention.

Central Heating Systems

I was doing some research before deciding on a heating system for my home and I came across this infographic. I like information in this format because it seems easier to digest for me.

One of the big surprises for me in this was that if you turn down the thermostat by just 1 degree, it can save your annual energy consumption by around 10%. Thats massive!

I had also forgotten about fitting individual valves to the radiators, something that is on my to do list now.

Anyway, I found it very useful, and I hope you do too, if you have anything to add, you know where to send it!

 Central Heating



When using local tradesmen always haggle the price

When using local tradesmen always haggle the price

Haggling is an accepted practice for determining prices for tradesmen. When when using local tradesmen always haggle the price. This implies that both you and the tradesmen should negotiate to reach a selling/buying price that is okay for either you or the seller. You should also understand that a seller will want the highest possible price while as a buyer, you are interested in the least possible price.

What to do before you haggle

Think about the cost of carrying or shipping the item that you are buying. Additional costs may be too high to limit the gains that you make by haggling a low price. Ask yourself whether you are comfortable with the cost.

Secondly, know the location of the tradesmen. If it is a busy large market, in a tourist town, think twice because merchants are notorious for over quoting prices so that the haggle price is actually still high than conventional prices. They take advantage of the lack of local knowledge by the tourist.

Boost your self-confidence and assurance that you are able to haggle. Being confident or appearing to be confident are essential qualities for bargaining prices. Tradesmen watch out for nervous buyers. They spot this as a weakness, take advantage to offer a high price, and pretend to cut a large chunk while still selling an item at a decent profit. Be confident even when quoting ridiculously low buying prices.

How to haggleworkers

Ask for the offer and then wait. After the first offer, assume interest and then ask for a second lower offer. Tell the merchant that the first offer is way to high for the item. After the second offer, make a claim for half or slightly above half of the offer.

Give all kinds of reasons that you can come up with for your offer. If nothing comes to mind, just stick to a price and keep saying that the tradesmen should lower their prices to your level. By this time, the seller will be hinting at an acceptable price of the item. If you think there is sufficient need and interest of the item from your part, slightly adjust your offer, very slightly, and ask the seller to go lower.

Ask for volume discounts. For example, tell the merchant that you might buy mor if the price is good. Normally, merchants may be interest in volume sales and can lower their prices under these conditions. Nevertheless, asking for a volume discount only helps you to understand additional pricing points of the seller.

Things to avoid doing

Do not push for a settlement; be flexible and willing to leave should the price not suit your pocket. Being pushy can cause a seller to ask you to go away. Just wait for a counter offer on your price and stick to it while using common sense to judge whether you have a good deal.
Do not haggle on everything. Consider what you want to buy and ask prices from different local tradesmen before settling on one, where you proceed to haggle. For more helpful tips watch the video below. It could save you a bundle!

Maximize Your Home’s Value Through Renovation

Maximize Your Home’s Value Through Renovation

Your home is possibly the most important asset you’ll ever own. Many of us would love to safeguard it by having it up to date and well-maintained. Still, many homeowners renovate their houses to feel more comfortable in their dwelling and boost their value. It’s certainly a smart thing to do to your property nowadays. To help you accomplish that, here are some great renovation ideas.

• Add more light and space

A dark and cramped house is an ultimate turn off. Neither you and your family nor a potential buyer will enjoy to have it. So if inside your house you have small rooms that hinder natural light, it will be best if you bring down some of the walls and expand your floor plan. An open floor plan might be something like a combination of your living room, dining room and kitchen. This will form into a larger space perfect for a casual lifestyle. Besides, your house will have enough light and an airy feel. You might as well widen your doorways.

• Enhance curb appeal

In real estate, the first impression is everything. If your house appears less attractive from outside, not even you and your family will enjoy living there. Even the potential buyers will skip it. To begin with, if the exterior is a little bit faded, make an effort to apply another paint. Select paint colors plus decorations that complement the style of your house. Besides, you can include a striking front as well as backyard landscape. You could as well top it up with a patio or deck. All of these will add great value to your property.

• Remodel your kitchen and bathroomkerb appeal

Both of these have the potential to make a huge difference in your property’s value and comfort. A kitchen is the heart of the home and so it deserves to be strikingly wonderful. You could begin by replacing your old appliances with new ones that are energy efficient as well. Also, consider a new tiled backsplash, updated handles on your cupboards, new sinks and faucets, repainting and a couple of other few things that might elevate it to great standards.

As for your bathrooms, you might consider adding a second one. Your family might grow soon or there could be days you might get an extra visitor and it might come handy. Not forgetting the high-end finishes and quality sinks. Ensure they are fixed well to avoid any leakages or unnecessary repairs.

All of these might elevate the value of your home greatly.

• A home office

As of late, more and more people seem to work from home which has made a home office a necessity rather than a luxury. So include a room in your house where you can sit and work comfortably as well store your paperwork and other related materials. This may entail having enough cabinets. As part of the office, you can also add data ports and telephone lines as all of them combined will give your house an added value.

Besides these, there are plenty of other ideas you might want to incorporate into your home renovation project. Some of them include:

• Finished basement plus attic
• Replacing your windows
• Decluttering your househome office
• Replacing or remodelling the roofs
• Inspecting and maintaining your air conditioner, water heater, ductwork and other appliances
• And many others

Owning and maintaining your own home is a formidable task; something breaks, you fix it, something wears out, you replace it, you paint and repair until everything is done, but then you have to start over again. The weather and wear and tear from family life takes it’s toll on a property, but at the end of the day, for most people it is their single most important investment. So it needs to be looked after, and it will repay you in the end.

In conclusion, redesigning your home will certainly give it that much-needed comfort and added value you always wish for. It’s always great to think about the value of each project. Those we’ve highlighted have time and again proved very worthful to many homeowners. So give thought to renovating your home today, and if you have any ideas or feedback, please send them to us, we may even include your story in this blog.

DIY Nightmares

DIY Nightmares

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. I wanted to kick things off in a positive way, but the only ideas that come to mind are the problems that we have had over the last few months with our old and draughty house. Don’t get me wrong, I am not disheartened, and it is all starting to come together nicely. So if I get the negative stuff out of the way, the rest can only get better. ( I hope! )

The Flooded Bathroom

So Derek and I decided to renovate the bathroom. We stripped and dismantled, hammered and cursed. Getting the old cast iron bath out of the upstairs bathroom was an experience I never want to go through again, but that was just the start.

We did get the old bath etc out, repaired the floor, had the walls plastered, and the new modern suite plumbed in and working. There was just the hand basin that wasnt working. We wanted to put it in place to check the location, then remove it to fit the new laminate flooring. Then put it back in it’s rightful place, however, we installed the floor and put the basin back, pushing the plastic fittings together. All good, but…

We forgot to glue the water pipe connections to the sink, just pushed them together. Amazingly, everything worked fine. We used the taps and washed in the sink, no problem. That is until we went out for the day, during which time those unglued connections blew apart, allowing water to burst into the room, down the stairs, and even running down the inside of the front door.

We came home probably minutes after the event, to find my designer shoes washing down the stairs. Panic! We turned off the water and cried. So we glued the pipes, dried everything out, including my shoes, re fitted the bathroom floor, hallway ceiling, and stairs carpet.

So that was a lesson learned. We will call a professional plumber next time! There are other instances of madness, which I will recall later, but to be honest there have been more triumphs than defeats.

With my next blog I hope to be more upbeat, and we will be discussing various topics in the hope that they will advise and inspire you in your home renovation journey.

Cynthia xx