Giving something new a go can breathe fresh air into your daily routine, whether it’s learning to dance, trying a new sport, or even achieving zen through mindfulness. If you want to start simple, how about a spot of DIY? A home makeover can be a great way to flex your creativity and give your surroundings a new lease of life. Here’s some tips on making your money go further when you next spot some room for improvement and decide to ‘do it yourself’.
Repainting a drab wall isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but upcycling an old bit of furniture into something bright and beautiful can be an enjoyable creative challenge. Giovanna Fletcher did just that on day 19 of the Barclaycard 31 Day Challenge by transforming a boring dining chair into a turquoise and orange masterpiece.
The ways you can upcycle are only limited by your imagination.
For example, a lick of paint and some new handles can be a cheap way to revitalise dreary bedside tables. Search online to see what’s possible, and then hunt down some step-by-step video tutorials on how to turn that dated chest of drawers into a cabinet of curiosities.
With a little work, corks become place-card holders; painted wine bottles evolve into candle holders and Mason jars transform into bathroom organisers. Every pound you save through upcycling can go towards something else in your monthly budget. Here’s a few more upcycling ideas:
It’s amazing how lots of small individual touch-ups to your home décor can add up to a big transformation. Here’s a few simple examples which together could make a big difference.
A credit card could offer protection when making a series of smaller purchases, which could give you extra peace of mind when embarking on a DIY project that requires lots of purchases from a range of suppliers. As long as each transaction is between £100 and £3,000, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 may cover you if goods are faulty or not delivered. If you buy something for under £100 and there’s a problem, you won’t be covered by Section 75 but you might still be able to make a Chargeback claim now known as a Dispute.
Unless you’re a DIY fanatic, it could be cheaper to rent power tools from stores than buy them. If you rent by the hour, you’ll want to get up and running as soon as you get home, so make sure you pick up detailed instructions and ask questions before you leave the store. It could be a good idea to do all the prep work in the house, like marking out the drilling holes, before getting the drill. Better still, ask your neighbours if they have any tools you can borrow – just don't forget to give them back.
Section 75 can be particularly handy when buying tools online. For example, if you order a drill set costing £110 and it doesn’t arrive, you maybe protected for the whole amount.
DIY and decorating needn’t be time-intensive or expensive. You can transform a space just by using some soft furnishings. If the living room’s looking tired, a new throw or set of cushions could bring that old armchair up to date. You can even make your own cushion covers from old clothes or by using fabric from a haberdashery. Get inspiration by searching online for ‘the most beautiful fabrics in the world’.
Looking to spread the cost of smaller DIY projects? A credit card could be an option – find out more about Barclaycard’s range of cards. With all credit cards, it’s important to stick to your credit limit, make repayments on time and only borrow what you can afford to repay.
You could make big savings by taking on a DIY or decorating project instead of hiring a private contractor. However, if you’re planning a large project or any changes that could impact the structure of your building, the plumbing, gas, or any electrical work, it’s essential to get professional advice and check the qualifications of anyone you hire.
What materials and tools will you need? How long will it take? Do you have the required DIY or decorating skills? Sometimes it’s wise to get the builders in for part or all of the project. If you’ve got the confidence and time, a quick search online for ‘How to put up a shelf’ or ‘How to seal a bath’ will give you a number of step-by-step video guides.
If you decide to hire a tradesperson for your next project, you can always check their credentials on a trade comparison site. Type in their name or search for accredited members by postcode and you’ll be shown a score based on customer reviews. If they’re undertaking work that impacts your gas supply or appliances, check they’re licensed.
Home improvement projects are a great way to upgrade your DIY skills while upgrading your home. The only limits to your projects are your imagination and, of course, your budget.
Dipping into your savings to fund home improvements is a good way to avoid paying interest, but if you do want to spread the cost of smaller projects, we have a range of credit cards that could help. Do as much research as possible so you’re sure you know the total cost of borrowing will fit within your budget. Then let your creative juices flow.