4 Trending home improvement projects you can start working on now

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As a homeowner, you may be looking to do some improvements while you’re spending more time at home but lack the cash to dedicate to materials. The cost of a home renovation in 2020 averages at around £55 or $60 per square foot, according to findings by HomeAdvisor. Luckily, there are some trending home improvements that cost very little. Just like designing a low-cost garden, all you need is some time, grit, and a little imagination..!

1 OVERHAULING WORKSTATIONS INTO DEDICATED HOME OFFICES

In the age of telecommuting and home-based working, the home office takes center stage. Even if you usually only make moderate use of a dedicated workplace at home, renovating that space now is well worth the investment. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either – with the right design, the modern home office can be affordable as well as space-efficient.

I DIY’d a dressing table inside a cupboard (which essentially could be an office space – it’s just shelves we made from offcuts and some boxes!) so have think about the unused spaces you might have in your home. You office could perhaps occupy the attic or garage if the space allows but, at the very least, it can be squeezed into any available nook in the house. You just need to use the space creatively, include solutions to use the vertical wallspace, and keep it organised. Make use of drawers that stack up high, wall braces for your cables, and hang storage baskets on wall hooks.

Designing your home office is less a question of space and more about your imagination. The best part about this redesign is that you can rely on your crafts skill to build your space out of recycled materials. I installed shelving in a tiny alcove in my office using off-cuts of wood rescued from a skip. This cuts down the cost even further.

2 LOW MAINTENANCE EXTERIOR FACELIFTS

A home’s exterior serves two primary purposes: first, it’s a big part of how a home appears on the outside and second, cladding can provide insulation. The power savings alone from good insulation is enough to make it a worthwhile investment. Not to mention, it gives valuable support to the home’s structure by shielding it from the elements. For a quick spruce-up you could use any leftover masonry paint to touch up a painted exterior, or at the very least you could scrub the brickwork. Updating the exterior with cladding may be something you’ll want to do later this year, so why not also start planning the project now so you’re ready to book a contractor in the future?

The cheapest siding material is vinyl or composite cladding. It’s low-maintenance since it never rots and its paint never fades. Its cost-effectiveness makes it the go-to choice for home remodeling contractors whose clients are on a tight budget. The biggest downside to it is that it is very badly affected by changes in temperature, which cause it to warp and crack. However, if you choose light-colored vinyl it will be more reflective to light, which decreases the chances of it warping.

3 UPGRADING TO DURABLE FLOORING

I wrote about ways of keeping your existing flooring in good condition last week, including how to deal with scuffs, stains and slime, but after many years of use vinyl and laminate will probably need to be replaced. In fact, if moisture sits on laminate flooring it can soak into the fibres and blow the laminate plank apart. And if this happens in the middle of the room, the whole floor will need to be replace because you can’t remove one plank from the centre.

Of course, a temporary solution is to cover the damaged flooring with a rug but, if you’ve got to replace the flooring, maybe now is the time to consider using a more durable option. In high traffic areas real wood or even engineered wood flooring is probably the best choice. It’s the lower-cost option and is moisture-resistant and long-lasting so it will be able to cope with all the family activities that go on in hallways or living areas. This is a DIY option you can install yourself, or you can call in samples and make plans for a builder to help at a future date.

4 MULTIFUNCTIONAL SPACES AND CONVERTIBLE ROOMS

As we’re spending more time in our homes than ever, space is becoming more of a premium each day, and this inevitably influences modern home renovation trends. A brilliant way to make the most of a space is to make it multifunctional. You can portion off larger rooms using foldaway screens, or even just curtains, which allows you to dedicate each space to separate tasks – such as using it as playroom or home office or dining area. When the time comes that you need to use the whole room, you can simply open the screening. For a more permanent division of a space, furniture can provide the feeling of a dividing wall.

Some rooms end up being a waste of space simply because of how rarely they’re used. So, as well as making rooms convertible, you can also make spaces like dining rooms and guest bedrooms multifunctional. The current trend is for rooms that have as many functions as possible tucked neatly within their walls, able to transform with the homeowner’s wishes. The way to achieve this in your home is to make use of furniture that fits into nooks and tables that fold away. Pull them out when you need them – for lessons at home or extra remote working space, for example. Plus, any room that can fit an inflatable bed, daybed or fold-out sofa bed can become a bedroom if you need an extra room for an unwell family member.

These home improvements are by no means grand in scale but, with enough simple low-cost DIYs, you can transform your humble abode into a multi-use space that looks lovely. Let me know your latest make-do DIYs in the comments below 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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