17 November 2018

Easy DIY tips for first time buyers

5 min read



If you’re stuck for where to start when renovating a house or flat, or simply want to spruce up your home on a budget, here are a few things you can do to transform it.

Purple dolls house

How to make furniture reassembly easy

Make life easy when reassembling furniture after a move. When you take anything apart, keep all the loose screws and bolts organised in zip-lock sandwich bags and sellotape them to your dismantled furniture. You can even label them with a felt-tip pen so you know which piece of furniture they’re for. Always keep a set of allen keys handy, as well as flat-head, Phillips and Pozidriv screwdrivers. Make sure you learn the difference between them to avoid ruining screw heads.

Re-paint the front door

A fresh coat of paint is a cheap and easy way to make your mark and avoids the hassle and cost of fitting a whole new door. Start by removing the door furniture (locks and bolts) before sanding the door with sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block. Use a small wallpaper scraper to get into cracks and hard to reach areas. Remember, you’re only trying to remove paint that is loose or flaking and rough up the surface of the rest. Wash and dry the door to remove dust and debris before taping off any glass with masking tape. Next, apply a coat of primer or undercoat with a brush and a roller for flat sections, then finish with two coats of fabulous colour before reattaching your door furniture once dry.

Orange vintage boiler

Don’t replace tiles, just clean them

Tile grout easily picks up dirt and if the room is especially damp it can be a magnet for mould. If you’re renovating on a budget, cleaning the grout can leave a bathroom or kitchen looking like new in no time. Start by wiping down the grout with a cloth and some hot water to remove surface grime. Next fill a spray bottle or plant mister with a half-water, half-vinegar solution, spray it on to the grout and leave for five minutes. Then use an old toothbrush to scrub the grout before rinsing again with hot water.

How to put up some shelves easily

Putting up shelves is an easy way to organise your belongings and display the knick-knacks that make a house feel like home. Whether you buy pre-made shelves or upcycle old boards, the method installation is the same. For brick or concrete walls you’ll need to use heavy-duty wall plugs to screw the brackets into. For stud walls use an electronic joist finder to locate the wooden stud and screw directly into this if possible. Before drilling into any walls make sure to use a handheld live wire detector to make sure there are no hidden electrical cables near where you plan to drill- this is important! Use a spirit level to make sure your brackets are straight before marking and drilling holes in the wall and mounting your brackets with screws. To be extra safe, make sure to screw your shelves down into the brackets to prevent them moving.

Orange washing machine

How to get a new kitchen for half the cost

For an easy DIY hack guaranteed to spruce up a kitchen without breaking the bank, how about replacing the doors of your existing cabinets? Either strip back the existing doors to the bare wood and re-colour or varnish, or buy newer modern doors and simply reuse the old hinges. Try leaving a couple of wall-mounted cabinet doors off for stylish open storage units to display your favourite crockery or your fancy wine collection.

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