Upgrade your home in an eco-friendly way

The key to making wise changes to your home is to assess and plan and then do everything in the most eco-friendly, energy efficient way

Steel window refurbishment

Tired or shabby doors and windows should be refurbished as they will give an instant uplift to your home

It's inevitable a time will come when you find your tastes have changed and you start finding your home dated. You get to feel your place needs a design rethink so it's more functional, more modern; and, of course, given skyrocketing energy prices, more energy efficient. You could move  or tear down your house and build a new one..but you'll find it's far less expensive to upgrade or renovate. And these days it's easier to do up your place in an eco-friendly way, with products and materials produced with less impact on the environment and intended for long life.

Plan before tearing down anything

Take a good look at the space you have and determine what you want to achieve before doing anything draastic like knocking down walls or closing off doors. You might think open plan living is the way to go, but consider who you're living with - isn't it better to have separate rooms so people don't feel on top of each other? Planning everything in detail has to be the starting point and if your budget is tight, avoid structural work. Rooms can look very different just by re-arranging furniture, using screens, decluttering and having more shelving.

Consider reclaimed materials

Reclaimed construction materials are salvaged from buildings - houses, offices and other structures - and sold for reuse. An example is reclaimed wood. It can be cheaper than brand new timber planks, and products, especially old railway sleepers, are known for their durability and beauty. Other widely used reclaimed materials are bricks, metal and glass panels.

Refurbish windows and doors

Worn doors and windows can make a property look shabby so it's well worth getting them restored/refurbished to their former beauty. Metal windows should be worked on by experts, so use a metal window refurbishment company that knows exactly how to protect and perfect these windows, which, being made from steel, are fundamentally extremely durable.

Use second-hand stores

If you need furniture or decorative pieces, check out second-hand shops, thrift or vintage stores, as you can find fantastic pre-loved products here at a  fraction of the cost of new ones, often in very good nick! And car boot sales are coming back post-pandemic, so if there's one held on a Sunday near you, get there early so can choose the best of the crop.

Choose energy-efficient products

When it comes to appliances, it's best to use your existing ones until they no longer work and only then buy new. And when you do buy new, choose the most energy efficient ones you can, which will have an A+++ rating. Your old appliances need to go to your nearest recycling centre, which will send them off to be disassembled and parts removed for refurbishment and reused. Consider installing solar panels if you are looking for a long-term investment in your home, with storage such as the Tesla powerwall 2.  Upfront cost may not be cheap, but you will greatly benefit in the long run because your electricity bills will be significantly reduced.

Fix plumbing problems

When you're in refurb mode, it's the best time to thoroughly check any plumbing issues in your property. If taps/loos are leaking, or drains blocked, invest in a plumber and get problems resolved. Many properties are now on water meters, so you need to reduce your water use and ensuring nothing is leaking is a good place to start.