How to save money on home renovation projects

London skip hire company, Proskips looks at why decluttering could create the extra space you require for less than the cost of a family day out.

The rising value of property in London and south-east England has led to an increasing number of homeowners unable to afford to move home invest tens of thousands of pounds extending their living space.

But hiring just a single skip could eliminate the need to undertake expensive building projects. Here, we look at the three most popular features of a home that purchasers put on their wish list and why they might not be a wise investment.

The owners of homes in urban and suburban areas that lack residential parking spaces can make their properties more desirable to prospective purchasers by turning their front garden into a paved area for vehicles.

According to the London Assembly, the number of front gardens in London that have been paved over would cover the same area as more than 6,000 football pitches. But before you order a lorryload of tarmac, here are a few facts to consider.

  • Preserving front gardens does not just improve the aesthetics of residential road, it can…
  • Prevent flash flooding. Rainwater that would have seeped into the grassed area spreads over paving and floods into the land drains;
  • Lower local air quality. After the heat produced by the summer sun is absorbed by paved areas during the day, it is released at night and produces what is known as the ‘heat island effect’; and
  • Deny urban wildlife much-needed habitats.
    While parking and garage space tops the list of home buyers’ requests, research shows that a new kitchen comes second on the list of a purchaser’s most wanted list and is ranked the most worthwhile home improvement.

A kitchen is often the focal point of a home, which is why open-plan designs are the most popular. Countless walls have been knocked down as a result, and it’s increasingly rare to find newer houses that don’t have kitchens open to some kind of adjoining family room.

However, the kitchen is already the most expensive room in the house to remodel, and turning a closed kitchen into an open plan living space can add to the cost.

For homeowners who’d rather invest in high-value kitchen appliances, top-of-the-range worktops or cabinets, reworking the layout may not be worth it – especially as there are increasingly loud signals from kitchen design trendspotters that the closed kitchen may be about to make a comeback.

The creation of extra space be adding a loft conversion or a rear extension can certainly add value to your home. But estate agents warn a botched DIY job can actually make your property worth less.

And the expense involved in adding extra space to any part of a period property can take years to recoup.

One alternative is to declutter. If you have lived in your property for five years or more, there is a high chance you will have amassed a wealth of possessions you no longer use. Start by taking a long, hard look at the areas of your home where you require extra space, such as the living room, and decide whether more space could be created by removing some of its furniture.

Do you use every seat your bulky three-piece suite provides? What was the last time you looked at one of the many novels stored in that large bookcase? And do you still have CDs in storage units that haven’t been played since you ditched your personal CD player in favour of an iPod?

By placing all your unwanted and unused items in a skip, homeowners can gain up to 100 square feet of extra living space – the size of a small groundfloor extension – for less than the cost of a family day out.