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Tag Archive: Home improvement

  1. Why Now is the Perfect Time for a Little DIY

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    Why Now is the Perfect Time for a Little DIY

    With spring cleaning and DIY going hand-in-hand, now is a great opportunity to tackle some home improvements. However, it can be hard to know where to begin, especially if you are trying to stick to a budget.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to cut costs when giving your home a makeover and we’ve rounded up a few of the best. Here are our DIY tips for spring and summer 2023.

    Erect new shelves

    Sounds simple but putting up a new shelf adds depth to a room and enables you to display anything you want on it, with photos, prints and seasonal decorations all inexpensive and easy to switch whenever you fancy a change.

    There are no end of shelving options available in hardware stores and online these days, with something for every budget. If you have any leftover pieces of wood from previous DIY projects, you could even have a go at making your own shelf to keep costs down further still!

    Create a feature wall

    By painting one wall in a room a different colour to the others, you’ll bring it to life, drawing attention to your feature wall and giving the whole room a vibrant refresh.

    All you need to do is decide what colour you want your feature wall to be, then get painting! You might not even need to buy new paint – if you’ve amassed a collection of paint sample pots over the years, you could go bold and colour block your wall by using two or three different colours that work together. 

    If you’re not sure which colours work well together, look at a colour wheel and either choose colours that are close together – like orange, red and pink – or that are directly across from each other – like blue and yellow – for contrast. 

    Upcycle your kitchen cabinets

    As the heart of the home, everyone wants their kitchen to look its best. A simple way of giving it a quick face lift is to paint your cabinets and change their handles. 

    Immediately improve dated, gloss-finish cabinets by first painting over them with primer, then painting them any colour you choose. By then adding brass handles, you’ll instantly transform your kitchen, giving it a high-end and trend-proof look at an affordable price.

    Regrout your bathroom tiles

    For the ultimate in budget renovations, nothing beats regrouting, so turn your attention to any cracked or discoloured bits of grout today!

    Ideally, you should remove at least 3mm of the old grout – using a grout rake which can be picked up inexpensively from any hardware store – before regrouting, but if you’re really pushed for time, new grout can be applied on top of old grout.

    In the time it takes the grout to dry, you’ll bring a bright outline to your tiles, highlighting their colour and instantly making the bathroom a more vibrant place to be.

    Give old garden furniture a new lease of life

    With summer just around the corner, many of us are looking forward to spending some time in our gardens. If you fall into that category, you’ll want to check your garden furniture to make sure it still looks its best after six months in the shed!

    Again, a simple lick of paint is all that’s required to get your tired garden furniture ready for summer. And because most sets aren’t especially big, you might have enough paint lying around your garage or shed to paint everything you need to without buying any new tins. You could even ask a neighbour if they have any pots of leftover paint you could take off their hands.

    How Leeds Credit Union can help

    Although the aim of this advice is to help homeowners keep costs down, we know that sometimes you might need to undertake a bigger project – or several little ones all at the same time – that makes sticking to a budget impossible.

    If you need a helping hand affording some home improvements this summer, we offer loans from as little as £250, all the way up to £25,000, and you can find out more about them here.

  2. How To Get Your Garden Ready For Summer

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    How To Get Your Garden Ready For Summer

    Unless you’re a professional gardener – or an extremely committed amateur – chances are you’ve only done the bare minimum to maintain your garden over the winter months.

    If that’s the case, now is the perfect time to head outside and give your garden some TLC in time for summer, so brush the cobwebs off your lawnmower and get your green space sorted out with our top gardening advice.

    General cleaning and maintenance

    There’s only one place to start and that’s with a little spring cleaning. After months of rain and frost, weeding, cleaning garden furniture, mending and repainting old fencing, sweeping and washing down decking and trimming hedges should all be high on your jobs list.

    Tidying up borders and any flower beds is a good idea too. Remove old blooms and prune any untidy shrubs while you’re at it – this will let you see exactly where the gaps are and allow you to plan what plants you need to fill them.

    Tend to the grass

    The lawn’s not going to cut itself, so it’s time to fire up the mower.

    If your lawn’s been badly neglected over winter, you may need to take some steps beyond simply cutting it. Rake any dead grass off the surface to allow new grass to grow freely, then sprinkle grass seed on any bare patches. Finally, treat the grass with lawn feed to make it thicker and greener.

    Check your gardening equipment

    Even if you remembered to clean and dry your tools before you put them away last winter, they’re probably going to need cleaning and sharpening before you use them again.

    Start off by cleaning everything with a firm brush, then sharpen as necessary – this guide from the RHS shows you how. You should also clean any old grass from the blades and underside of your lawnmower and make sure the cable is still in one piece. 

    Get planting

    Gardens are all about plants, flowers and colour so have a look on Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration and don’t be afraid to emulate what you see.  

    Go for a combination of colours and heights, with the taller plants at the back and smaller ones further forward. Alternatively, if you like to cook, why not create a herb garden? Not only do they look great, they smell nice too!

    Clean the barbecue

    What do we want? Barbecues!

    What don’t we want? To invite people round for a barbecue only to discover that it has bits of cooked-on sausage all over it and needs cleaning before you can use it!

    Save yourself the embarrassment by cleaning your grill racks and any equipment – like tongs – using one of these simple methods today.

    Don’t forget the shed!

    Take everything out of your shed and get rid of anything you don’t use or that’s broken beyond repair. While it’s still empty, give it a thorough sweep and check for any loose panels or roof damage, making repairs where necessary. Touch up any paintwork in need of some TLC while you’re at it. 

    Need some help with your garden?

    As well as improving the appearance of your property, gardening offers lots of additional benefits, such as improving your mental health and providing good exercise.

    At Leeds Credit Union, one of our loans can help you create the garden of your dreams. We have loans available from £250 to £25,000 – find out more here

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