Welcome distractions: Exciting projects to engage in and plan for during lockdown.

  • News
  • April 7, 2020

Use the time you’re spending at home to assess how you and your family live in and interact with your home – and plan how you can make it better. These home improvements are well worth considering during the time that we are in lockdown.

While we’re all spending a lot more time at home, we can become more aware of things we would like to change about where we live and how we live. Having the whole family home at the same time for extended periods can exacerbate space pressure on our homes and whilst working from home can highlight the need to create multi-functional spaces.

Some home improvement tasks, such as decorating or light DIY, are still achievable during lockdown but many will undoubtedly require the assistance of a professional. Now is the time to start planning so that you’re ready to proceed when life returns to a resemblance of normality.

Instead of looking at social media for the hundredth time or watching the dreaded news stories, try directing your energy into something productive — like tackling projects around the house that you’ve been putting off forever.

Remodel Your Interiors

Being immersed in your home for extended periods of time, you can really notice where the layout of your home could be improved, and remodelling your own home is often cheaper than moving. You might want to knock down internal walls for a more open plan layout or add stud walls to change the flow around your home.

Try sketching out ideas for a new layout (try and do it to scale) – it can be useful in helping you to visualise the new space and imagine living in it. You’ll also need to consider furniture placement, the flow of natural light and, if you are keen on an open-plan layout, the options when it comes to extraction and soundproofing.

Convert Your Loft

A loft conversion can also be a cost-effective way to add extra space, providing your current roof pitch and structure lend themselves to conversion.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to converting your loft, so now is the time to plan how you might access, heat and insulate the new space, as well as researching the Building Regulation stipulations around such a project so that you are fully aware of what is required.

Add an Outbuilding for a Home Office

If you can, and enjoy, working from home during the lockdown, you may decide that you want to do it more in future. If that is the case, then finding a suitable place for a dedicated home office is a great idea.

Working from the corner of a spare room, kitchen or living room can be suitable in the short term, but is, in most cases, impractical in the long term. If a garage or loft conversion isn’t possible and you don’t want to go as far as building an extension, then look to your garden.

A garden room or outbuilding can make a great home office – as it’s separate from the rest of the home, you can avoid unnecessary distractions. You’ll need to make sure it has sufficient electricity supply and sockets, suitable lighting and heating options and reliable internet access.

Take control of your kitchen cabinets

If your kitchen cupboards are crammed full of redundant pots and pans, food you didn’t even know you had and gadgets that seemed a good idea at the time but haven’t seen the light of day since, then this is the job for you.

If you haven’t used something in a year, get rid of it. And don’t have endless spares.

For food, check all use-by dates.

Make your space work better for you. Add new shelves in cupboards where there are gaping spaces at the top, install dividers to separate baking trays from saucepans and mount things on the back of doors. And don’t decant food unless you have space.

Do some DIY

Get going with all those little tasks, whether it’s hanging a picture, bleeding the radiators, fixing a curtain rail, sorting the squeaky door or fitting a bathroom lock.

But don’t just do the dull stuff – get creative too. There are oodles of ideas online and much of it is dead simple.

Paint a room

A lick of paint can instantly transform the look and feel of a room and what’s more, the whole family can get a slice of the action.

Always begin with a clean wall and don’t forget to repair any holes or broken areas. Use masking tape to save floors and windows and prime the walls especially if you’re painting over a darker coloured wall with lighter paint.

With the current climate, many of us are opting to put extra love into our current space instead of moving home. If that sounds like you, imagine your fantasy home and plan a project that moves your space a bit closer to that level. Things to plan for: –

Kitchen makeover

Kitchens and bathrooms are always the best return on your money, but they are also a considerable expenditure. When you take out walls or add windows, you’re changing the structure of the house, and that notches up the price tag.

It sounds like a lot of money and in most cases, it is, but consider this: In modern homes, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. Picture an open-concept kitchen with a big island in the middle, bar seating all around for your friends and family. It’s perfect for anyone who loves to cook and entertain. We believe that pretty much whatever you do in the kitchen, you’re going to get your money back out of again.

If your budget is tight, instead of doing a full-blown kitchen remodel, sand down and repaint your cabinets. Remember 20 years ago, when wooden cabinets and black granite countertops were all the rage? Well, they’re not the rage anymore. A coat of white or light grey paint will give those dated cabinet fronts new life.

Bathroom makeover

It’s easy to close the door and try to forget about that ugly bathroom, but an upgrade is a good investment in your house — and your sanity. After all, it’s a place to have at-home spa days and practice relaxing self-care in this stressful time.

The hot look now is a modern twist on classic design — think 5-inch hex tiles and raw-edge cabinets — and everything light and bright.

Hopefully, you have some time to tackle these home improvement projects and make your home look as neat as possible. Now is the time to do so because then once the virus subsides, you will have an excuse to invite your family and friends over and show off all of your completed projects.

Thank us later and please share these home improvement tips with your friends, colleagues and relatives and keep yourself busy and safe during the lockdown.

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