Are you the sort of person who is always dreaming about that new extension, mulling over a new kitchen and generally tweaking and perfecting your home until it’s ‘just so’? The pursuit of your dream home is an addictive activity, and one that can be pretty hard on your wallet too. So next time you think of a new addition to your home that you just have to have, why not stop and think if you can do it yourself before heading straight to the professionals?
It’s amazing how much stuff we buy new when we can easily create equal or better alternatives from bits and bobs we have around the home. Need a new bookcase? Why not make your own ‘shabby chic’ version out of stacked bricks and wooden boards? Short on shelves in your home? Brackets can be easily made from scraps of old wood, while a long piece of driftwood, old log or other reclaimed wood attached on top makes for an eye-catching and practical feature. Similarly, you can create attractive seating out of old wooden pallets, use hollowed out books to disguise ugly electrical equipment and make attractive curtains from old duvet covers. For more ideas, try doing a Google search for ‘home hacks’ – you’ll find countless articles and how-tos that will help you transform your home for free.
Once you’ve perfected the inside of your home, let your creativity have free reign in the garden too. Don’t waste money getting a professional landscaper or gardener in – doing it yourself will save a fortune and be a lot more fun, too. Want a greenhouse for your dream garden? There are plenty of ways to build your own, from miniature versions made from clear plastic bins to bigger models constructed from PVC pipes and plastic sheeting. Always fancied a water feature? It’s easy to create your own pond with just tarpaulin, rocks, a few willing hands and a spare afternoon.
While all of these are great ways to create your dream home on a shoestring budget, nothing quite beats the fun and satisfaction of building your own home from scratch to your own design. Sound like a pipe dream? Not necessarily. With property prices soaring and concerns about energy efficiency and sustainability at a record high, more and more people are taking the plunge and building their own homes. The first step is to find the right location – check out land for sale from Homesales, Landwatch, Rightmove and other websites to see what’s on offer. You’ll need to make sure you have permission to build too, which is easier in some places than others. Check with the local authorities to find out more about what rules and regulations are applicable to your area. Once you’ve got land and the go-ahead to build, the world is your oyster. There are many websites offering full, free tutorials on how to build your home using ancient techniques like straw-bale building or cob walls, while even those who splash out on professional help could end up with their dream home at a fraction of the usual cost.
So next time you’re tempted to stock up on mass-produced decor at your local Ikea, think again – with a bit of creativity you can enjoy a unique and personalized home without breaking the bank.