UK lockdowns present a golden opportunity to use time in the house to make improvements to your surroundings.
Recent research shows there are ten home improvements that you can make without any major renovations, all likely to take less time than you might think.
Silencing creaky floorboards – 30 minutes
Squeaky floorboards are often accepted as part of a property’s personality, but the issue can be rectified easily. Sprinkle talcum powder, soapstone powder or powdered graphite between the cracks of the offending boards for speedy results.
Modernising your furniture – 40 minutes per item
Furniture can make or break the look of your house but a lick of paint works wonders. All you need to do is rub-down the surface to prepare it, pick your preferred colour and get painting. It will take roughly 40 minutes for an average piece.
Fix squeaky hinges – 50 minutes
Like floorboards, a squeaky hinge can get on your nerves. Grabbing some WD-40 and taking on every hinge in the house will take no more than 50 minutes. Olive oil or vaseline also works.
Deep cleaning the bathroom – 60 minutes
Not a popular job but, with heavier footfall during lockdown, it’s a good call and should take no longer than an hour. A real deep clean costs very little but can make a dramatic difference. Go the extra mile and use a grout pen to give any tiled areas a showroom finish.
Perform a full safety check – 60 minutes
You should be staying on top of your property’s safety aspects throughout the year but when better than during lockdown? Create a list of devices in your home. These can include testing smoke, carbon monoxide, and burglar alarms and also checking that the locks on all doors and windows are functional.Make a list of anything that isn’t working, prioritise each task based on the level of danger it presents, and sort these jobs as soon as you can.
Paint a room – one hour 35 minutes
It’s one of the most clichéd home improvements but like your furniture, a fresh coat of paint can transform any room. We often say we’re going to repaint a room and then neglect the task due to it being labour intensive, But if you tackle one room at a time it should take no longer than 20 minutes prep time, 45 minutes for that first coat with a further half an hour to slap on a second.
Clean out your junk – two hours
Whether it’s old clothes, bric-a-brac, or old furniture, use this time to get rid. Not only will you have more space, in these tough times someone else might benefit from your cast-offs. Double win.
Tackle your garden – two hours 30 minutes
Make the most of daylight and clean the patio, mow the lawn, clean, paint and repair fence panels, trim bushes, clean up flower beds, tidy the shed and add winter plants.
Learn a new skill – eight to 16 hours
You could try re-tiling a room for a cheap transformation. It will take around eight minutes to take on a small area. Or try the wallpapering challenge. That will take longer.
James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, who conducted the research, said:“By setting yourself daily or weekly goals, forming a plan and tackling one job at once, you can use time for more than lounging around waiting for the world to reopen.
“If you’re currently selling now is the ideal time to get your house in order. These improvements could well make the difference when it comes to securing a sale.”