Bringing your home to life.

Homebase announced plans to shut 80 of its 323 stores at the end of last year, with the chain’s parent, Home Retail Group; claiming that the rise of a generation with minimal interest in DIY projects was partly to blame.

A major study made by IronmongeryDirect based on a survey of over 10,000 tradespeople, also confirmed this. Hectic lifestyles and a dearth of basic DIY skills are to blame for homeowners’ lack of enthusiasm for DIY. Tradesmen are also reporting an increase in work, with 93% saying that business is positive, and 16% claiming that business is ‘booming’. Just 7% of tradespeople said they’re struggling right now.

There’s also more competition out there, due to the growth of non-traditional digital and multi-channel competitors.

So, it seems as if Britons are increasingly putting down their tools and turning to professionals to help them carry out work on their home improvement projects. With spring finally arriving (hello sunshine) Lawsons & Daughters, estate agent in Hammersmith have decided to highlight three areas of home improvement that trades professionals can help you with…

Patio

A brand new patio is just perfect for family barbeques and socialising with friends. However, the costs can get out of control, so before ordering make sure it’s in your budget. The price varies from place to place depending on the kind of material you choose (you could go for stone flagging, paving or wooden planks) and how you want it installed in your garden.

It’s a good idea to have initial design plans ready to be inspected and to compromise, depending on the service that they can offer. A fully qualified tradesmen with experience laying paving and patios can dig-out the existing garden, lay the new turf and topsoil, compact the foundations according to area specificiation and align hedges and shrubbery.

Of course you could always lay it yourself if you have the energy…

Bathroom renovation

They say that homes sell due to the kitchen and the bathroom, so it’s worth making sure your bathroom looks sleek. If you’re unsure where to start, have a look at installing a brand new bathroom suite? Although it may sound like a lot of work, you can keep the heavy manual labour to a minimum by hiring the right plumber or contractor. Over the last few years, costs have been falling to keep in line with demand and even the cheapest bathroom supplies the essential fittings and fixtures you need for an upscale bathroom.

Paint job

You’d be surprised at how good a simple paint job can make your home look. If you’re looking to do it yourself, you simply have to find the right paints, decorating supplies and tools and accessories necessary. However, doing it yourself can be a lot of hassle unless you have a structured plan in place. You even need a budget for something as simple as painting your home would you believe! The cost of hiring someone to do it depends on two main factors, firstly the kind of paint you choose as this will affect the final cost – basic matt emulsion for example is often cheaper than silk emulsion or gloss. Plain and popular colours such as white and magnolia are often a third of the price of more personalised, bolder shades you could find in small independent shops.

Painter and decorator rates vary according to different factors, the size of your home and the different rooms, the technical skill required to complete your design, the size of the ceilings etc. To keep your house painting costs to a minimum, get in contact with different contractors to get the best deal possible.

If you’re too lazy for DIY, tradespeople can assist you when it comes to making your home look fabulous. Just do the research and make sure in all cases that you check references and portfolio work!

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