Tag Archives: DIY

Quick and easy spring cleaning tips

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We’re willing to bet that you sometimes look at your house and wish there was a cleaning fairy – be honest! It’s easy for clutter to mount up, especially during the winter when all you really want to do is curl up under your duvet with a mug of hot chocolate. But now that it’s nearly spring, the time has come to clear out that clutter once and for all – or at least until next winter. Cleaning doesn’t have to take long – just follow our quick and easy spring cleaning tips and your house will be spick and span in no time.

 

Organise your shelves

If you’re anything like us, you’ll be itching to reorganise your shelves, particularly if you use them to store books or DVDs. It may sound like an arduous job, but tackling your shelves will give you a sense of satisfaction – plus it’ll be much easier to locate something. Housebeautiful.com recommends organising books by size and subject but if you’d rather sort them alphabetically, we totally understand.

 

Double up

While it makes sense to tackle one room at a time, styleathome.com suggests tackling two things at once to save time. For instance, you could be making your bed and ironing your clothes while another load is in the washing machine.

 

Clean as you work

Rather than letting your greasy pots mount up as you’re cooking, fill a bowl with hot soapy water and put any dirty dishes in there immediately. That way, the pots and pans can soak while you’re tea is in the oven, making washing up less of a daunting task afterwards. Womansday.com also suggests wiping up any spillages straightaway with a damp cloth to protect your surfaces.

 

Wash your windows

You’re forgiven for not wanting to wash your windows in the winter, but once spring is here, there’s really no excuse. So get a bucket of warm soapy water and a squeegee and scrub off all of that winter grime. Marthastewart.com recommends washing large windows in a “snake” motion, before touching up the sides – that way, there’ll be fewer streaks.

 

Which chore do you plan on tackling first this spring?

Here at Econoloft, we have over 40 years’ experience in the loft conversion industry. As such, we’re something of an expert when it comes to home improvements.

Check out our gallery for design inspiration and be sure to have a read of our client testimonials – they detail exactly why we’re the best firm to complete your loft conversion job for you.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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27.02.2014 No Comments

DIY Valentine’s Gifts For The Home

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It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow – we can’t wait! Earlier this week, we brought you the best ideas for a romantic night in. Today we’re focusing on gifts. If you find it hard to think of original gifts for your loved one, or you simply fancy a change from the usual flowers and chocolate, then read on, because this post will give you plenty of inspiration. Here are our favourite DIY Valentine’s gifts for the home.

Personalised soap
Sometimes telling someone in person how you feel about them can be difficult, so why not say it with homemade soap instead? We found this great tutorial on sonyanimri.blogspot.co.uk. All you need are some letter-shaped biscuit cutters and some soap. Feel free to write any message you like, though it’s probably wiser to stick to something romantic, as it is Valentine’s Day.

 

Personalised photo frame
We heart this photo frame idea, from realsimple.com. You can personalise it with a message or draw on a design of your choice. Paint a frame with chalkboard paint (preferably red) and then chalk away. We love the idea of framing a black and white photo – chic, classy and elegant, this gift is a true keeper.

 

Memory board
If you’ve been with your Valentine for a few years already, then this memory board idea from bhg.com will make the perfect gift. Take a look through your old photos, and try to find some memorabilia that reminds you of the fun times you’ve shared – it could be concert tickets, a copy of the key to your first flat, an old love letter – anything you can find that will bring a smile to your face. Then simply choose a canvas board in a colour which will match a room in your home, and pin on your memories. Be warned: this present may make your loved one cry, it’s that sweet.

What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever received on Valentine’s Day?

Here at Econoloft, we’re committed to transforming your home for the better. Our 40 years’ experience in the loft conversion industry has given us plenty of experience, but don’t worry, we won’t take over – we tailor all of our designs to suit your specifications.

Take a look at our gallery for design inspiration, while our impressive client testimonials prove just why we’re the best firm for the job.

For more information, or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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13.02.2014 No Comments

Fabulous fabric projects for your home

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Earlier this week, we brought you some ideas for how you can use fabric to enhance and freshen up your home. Today, we’re taking that one step further. We know that you all love to get a little creative every now and again, so we’ve found some of the best (and easiest) fabric DIY projects which you can recreate when redecorating your home. Enjoy!

 

Chair covers
We found this fabulous chair cover on yourhomeonlybetter.com. Not only does it look great (not to mention original), it’s also super easy to make yourself. So forget all about buying expensive chairs and simply change the covers on your existing ones. You can use adhesive glue to stick the fabric to the chair – just make sure you measure out the fabric properly first. We really love the design of this fabric – it would work great for creating a monochrome look in your home.

 

 

Bay window blind
If you’ve got a bay window, it can be tricky to fit curtains. You can solve this problem by fitting a Roman blind. Choose some fabric in a pattern which complements the room like in this picture from housetohome.co.uk. We love how the green adds a pop of colour to the neutral room, making it look clean and fresh.

 

 

Soft quilt headboard
Are you fed up of banging your head on your solid headboard each morning? Well, we’ve got a great solution – hang a fabric quilt headboard instead. We found this simple idea on marthastewart.com. All you have to do is get your hands on a drapery rod and some brackets in the same shade as your wall. Install them at your preferred height and simply drape the quilt over the rod, straightening both sides out so they hang evenly. You could use your quilt to add colour to the room, or keep it neutral – it’s up to you.

 

Cabinet door panels
If you’re bored of your cabinets and fancy a change, why not simply replace the existing doors with some pretty patterned fabric? Stretch the fabric of your choice around a wooden frame and use a staple gun to hold it in place. If you want an easy clean version, sandwich the fabric between a wooden frame and a glass panel – that way you can simply wipe any dust off the glass. We’ve got bhg.com to thank for this great fabric idea.

Have you used fabric creatively in your home?

If you’re in need of more space in your home, you may be considering a loft conversion. At Econoloft, we’ve had over 40 years’ experience in the loft conversion industry, making us ideally qualified to complete the job for you.

We tailor our designs to suit your exact requirements – take a look at our gallery for inspiration and check our client testimonials for proof of why we’re the best firm for the job.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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30.01.2014 No Comments

Practical winter preparation tips for your home

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As winter approaches, you’ll need to start thinking about home maintenance. It seems as though each year the forecast for Britain is an even worse winter than the last. The threat of sub-zero temperatures lingers in the air. That’s why it is the perfect time to start prepping your home early, before the onslaught on winter begins. So today, we’re going to bring you some practical tips for preparing your home for winter.

 

Clean the gutters
ountrylife.co.uk recommends that you check that your gutters are not clogged up with leaves or debris. If the flow of water is blocked, you could be in for all sorts of problems, such as damp or subsidence. By cleaning your gutters and drains annually, you’ll prevent the likes of dry rot in your roof timbers, and therefore, you’ll save money in the long run.

 

Pre-set your thermostats
Program your thermostat so that the heating comes on as soon as the room reaches a certain temperature. You don’t have to put the heating on a high setting – simply by keeping it on a constant low temperature, you’ll ensure that the pipes don’t get too cold and burst from freezing. What’s more, programming your heating to come on only when it is necessary will help to reduce your energy bills in the long run. This useful tip came from womansday.com.

 

Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
The experts advise that smoke alarm batteries are replaced at least twice annually, and that a new device is fitted if the alarm is between five and ten years old. According to bhg.com, you should ensure that there is at least one smoke alarm per floor of your house and an extra one in or close to each bedroom. When fitting carbon monoxide detectors, it is important to place them high on the wall and again close to bedrooms. Don’t fit them near any gas appliances or fireplaces as this will trigger a false alarm.

Hopefully these tips have given you food for thought. Do you have any further recommendations for winter-proofing your home?

If you’re considering converting your loft, you can rely on Econoloft. Experts in the industry, we have over 40 years’ experience, making us more than qualified.

If you’re in need of design inspiration, check out our gallery of previous work, while our client testimonials detail exactly why we are the best firm to complete the job for you.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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04.11.2013 No Comments

T is for… tips and tricks

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We’re fast coming to the end of our A to Z guide to loft conversions. For the letter ‘t’ we have decided to focus on some tips and tricks, to help you through all stages of the conversion process without a hitch. So before you start to panic that a loft conversion project seems like too much hard work, read through this tips and tricks guide.

Ask an architect
It is really important to consult a professional architect before you make a start on any work. They will be able to draw up a floor plan of the existing space and how the newly converted room will look. They’ll also be able to advise you about how to make sure your loft complies with planning permission.

Secure planning permission
Not all loft conversions will require planning permission but you should contact your local authority first just to be on the safe side. In addition to securing planning permission for the build, you’ll have to ensure that the new space complies with building regulations – that means setting up the appropriate fire prevention measures too.

Work out the cost to value ratio
You may think that a loft conversion is expensive. However, it is actually the best home improvement you can make to get the most return for your money. Loft conversions have been proven to add significant value to a property, so if you’re in need of extra space and cannot afford to move house, consider using some of your budget to create more loft space. When you finally come to sell your house, you’ll get more money for it and you’ll likely find that the sum is higher than what you paid for the conversion, making it a win-win situation for you in both the short and long term.

Get the experts in
Of course, it is possible, depending on your roof type, to do some of the conversion work yourself. However, if you want to ensure that your loft conversion meets all regulations and is finished to a superb standard then it really is best to seek out a team of professionals.

At Econoloft, we’ve been in the loft conversion industry for over 40 years, so we’re more than qualified to complete the job for you. What’s more, we tailor all of our designs to suit you, no matter how conservative or how extraordinary your tastes – take a look at our gallery where you’ll find plenty of design inspiration.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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02.09.2013 No Comments

Instant updates for your home

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If the interior of your home has seen better days, you may well be considering redecorating. After all, it is always fun to give your home a modern touch. The problem for many is that redecorating can be costly, not to mention time-consuming – we can’t all be D.I.Y experts, you know.

That’s why today we’ve decided to bring you some quick D.I.Y fixes for your home so you can give it the instant makeover it requires without any of the usual worry.

 

Mirrored feature wall
Redecorating a whole room can be a bit much, especially if you’re not used to it. Instead, why not concentrate on one wall instead and create a feature wall?

Try this nifty idea from the huffingtonpost.co.uk – paint your chosen feature wall in a bright, eye popping shade and use mirrors to jazz it up. Hang varying sizes of mirrors to create an artwork effect.

 

Move furniture around
Sometimes all that is needed for an instantly fresh look is to move around the furniture. This works well in a bedroom.

Change the position of your bed (you may need two people for this job) and add small bedside cabinets to each side for symmetry. Myhomeideas.com suggests positioning furniture in the corner of a room to create the illusion of more space. And the best thing about this idea is that it is completely free.

 

Paint your kitchen cupboards
It can be expensive to completely replace kitchen cabinets, but years of cooking can leave them looking neglected. There is an easier way however to achieve a fresh new look – paint them!

A coat of high gloss paint will give tired cabinets a shiny new feel. Make a small kitchen seem larger with a coat of brilliant white gloss, while this bright shade of teal seen on freshome.com is ideal for creating a themed colour palette.

So there you have it – three easy D.I.Y fixes for your home. Which idea will you be copying?

Econoloft has been in the loft conversion industry for over 40 years, giving us a wealth of experience when it comes to home improvements.

If you’re considering the merits of a loft conversion for your home, take a look at our gallery for inspiration.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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22.08.2013 No Comments

Super Home Storage Solutions

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Do you ever take a look around your home and wonder how on earth it got to be so cluttered? With day-to-day life passing by so quickly, it is easy to neglect to tidy everything away all of the time, in favour of all of the other chores we get caught up in. So today, we thought we would help you put an end to your messy home woes – here are three super storage solutions to help you find a home for some of that clutter.

 

1. Dining Room Storage
You may not have a separate dining room – many homes come with a huge living room which can then be used as part living, part dining room. Now as you spend a lot of time relaxing in these rooms, clutter can build up all too easily. Here’s how to sort it.

Make your storage into a presentation feature like in this image from housetohome.co.uk. Choosing a bright colour to add accents will really complement a neutral wall colour scheme. You can alternate between displaying books and ornamental decorations to fool guests into thinking that your storage unit is for decorative reasons.

 

2. Hallway Storage
The hall is the first thing guests will notice when they come to your home, and first impressions count. Rather than having a myriad of shoes, handbags and coats strewn across the floor, store it tidily – it’ll give you lots more space too.

Hallways tend to err on the narrow side, so make good use of your wall space instead by installing wall hung shelving units with hooks attached for any coats, umbrellas or dog leads. We love the simplicity of this storage solution from lovehome.co.uk – the natural wood gives it a rustic, homely feel.

 

3. Kids’ Bedroom Storage
If you’ve got small children then you will know just how fast their bedrooms become messy. Whether they insist on emptying their entire toy box every day, or leave crayons and small plastic figures all over the floor, it’s safe to say that tidying a kid’s room can be time-consuming.

Steal this nifty idea from channel4.com and affix shelving cubby holes to the walls. You can also get your hands on a child’s bed with in-built storage space underneath, allowing your child more floor space to play on. Keep everything brightly coloured and fun to make it more appealing to your children.

Of course, another room that works well for storing items is the loft. Maximise your loft potential by converting it into another room. That way, you’ll have more space for storage.

Take a look at our gallery for more loft design inspiration and have a read of our client testimonials – they will tell you exactly why we’re the best firm for the job.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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08.08.2013 No Comments

P is for… Plumbing

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Can you believe we’re well over half-way now with our A to Z series? Today we’re up to the letter ‘p’ and we thought it would give us a great opportunity to help you avoid and plumbing problems in your newly converted loft. You don’t have to be installing a bathroom for these issues to be relevant. So read on for our plumbing advice.

 

What are you using the space for?
Consider carefully what exactly you will be using the space for as this will determine which plumbing issues you should pay attention to. Bedrooms, home offices and children’s playrooms will require heating. Whether you choose to extend your central heating system or find another means of heating your loft is up to you.

That said, the majority of homeowners would love nothing more than an extra bathroom. Think how much faster it would make the morning routine. Plus you’d be able to luxuriate at the end of the day without having to worry about someone else needing the bathroom in the meantime. That doesn’t mean that the entire loft converted space should be used as an extra bathroom however, as you can always fit one in as an en-suite to a new bathroom. Of course, a bathroom does make plumbing more of an issue as you’ll also have to consider the water supply and the relevant pipework.

Making plans for en-suite bathroom plumbing
Your first consideration when planning your en-suite bathroom layout should be the position of the stairs with respect to the bathroom. There are regulations with regards to headroom and space required for stairs, but bathrooms should also be as close as possible to your waste pipe, usually at the back of your property.

A bathroom pipe that feeds into the main waste pipe is only permitted to be as much as two metres in length. The best place to install the bathroom is directly above the existing family bathroom, as the plumbing work will be much easier.

Remember that a bathroom requires ventilation – you can provide this by installing a small dormer window to the side of your home that the en-suite bathroom is installed.

Plumbing
– With an extra bathroom, you may be concerned about the amount of hot water available. With a power shower, you’ll have access to a limitless supply of hot water on demand, as it will heat water from the cold mains supply electronically.
– If you cannot for some reason install a window in your loft bathroom, an electric extractor fan can be used to remove the steam.
– Unfortunately walk-in showers are not possible in lofts as they require a concrete floor. Instead, you’ll have to install a shower tray.

If you are considering converting your loft, you’ll need to choose a firm that you can rely on. With 40 years’ experience in the industry, you can trust Econoloft to create the home of your dreams.

Check out our client testimonials for proof of why we’re the best company to convert your loft. Our gallery of previous work will give you plenty of design inspiration.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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05.08.2013 No Comments

DIY guide to painting walls

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One of the easiest ways to transform a room is to give the walls a lick of paint.

Today we’re bringing you a DIY guide to painting walls, so you can save money and create the look you’ve always desired.

Revamping your house should be fun, so grab a few of your mates, don your overalls, crank up the music and have a paint party!

 

Preparation is key to successful painting

– If you’re painting on dry plaster, regardless of how old it is, all you have to do is make sure you fill in any small cracks and dust the surface down beforehand.

– Use multi-purpose filler for small cracks and dents.

– Before painting onto new plaster, allow sufficient time for it to dry, usually between two and seven days.

– You must remove old wallpaper before you paint. The easiest way to do this is with a steam stripper. You should then wash the walls to remove all paste residues.

Nowadays there are many different types of paint available, so finding the right one for your wall surface is easy.

Often they are pre-mixed too, so you won’t even require a primer before you start to paint.

We like to keep things interesting, so we’ve come up with some tips for painting stripes and stencilling walls – you’ll be surprised how easy it is to create impressive looking walls.

Snazzy Stripes make a Room stand out

Painting is a much cheaper way of decorating than using wallpaper. Re-create your own version of this unique looking striped boy’s bedroom from myhomerocks.com

 

You will need:

Water-based acrylic emulsion paints in contrasting colours
White paint, if your wall already has a colour
Standard paint roller and tray
Small paint roller
Metal measuring tape
Soft pencil
Spirit level
Low tack masking tape

Step 1. Preparation

 

Paint the wall white first to cover up a previous bold wall colour and help prevent this from showing through. Once dry, paint the wall in the main colour using a standard paint roller and leave to dry. Mark out the stripes, using the measuring tape to divide the wall into horizontal bands, each a different width. Mark with a pencil line and use a spirit level to check they’re straight. Apply masking tape to the wall to mark out the area where you need to paint, like in this photo from iheartorganizing.blogspot.co.uk.

Step 2. Paint & Finish

 

 

Paint the contrasting colours using a smaller roller to fill in the stripes. It’s important not to put too much paint on the roller at once, to avoid the colour bleeding under the masking tape. If necessary, apply a second coat of colour and leave to dry. Only when the second coat is completely dry can you carefully peel off the masking tape. The result should be neatly striped walls.

Once you’ve finished painting the room, you can start to choose furniture. Striped walls call for more neutral and plain furniture to avoid the room looking too busy. Pick out one of the colours from the wall and choose accessories and furnishings to match. This will tie the room together and make it look complete.

Are you thinking about painting your own walls? If you have any questions, let us know and we will help you out!

 

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15.02.2013 No Comments

Decorate your loft on a budget

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At Econoloft, we’ve been creating masterpieces for clients for the last 40 years, so when it comes to loft conversion, people look upon us as the authority.

Our testimonials page is evidence for why we’re considered the best in the business for delivering outstanding customer service.

We also love to give our customers friendly and helpful advice on interior design and home décor, yet we understand that not everyone can afford to splash out on a designer interior, so we’ve come up with seven great ideas to help you decorate your loft on a budget!

1. Choose a fabulous Feature Wall

Save time and money by focusing on one wall. Use a bright stand-out shade of paint or cover it in fancy patterned wallpaper.

This exotic floral wall creates a pretty and elegant backdrop in this loft bedroom. Pick up on the bright colours with matching accessories and textiles to tie everything in.

2. Bright Textiles add Colour

Lofts tend to be fairly dark places so keep yours light and airy with neutral painted walls. Use brightly coloured textiles to add colour and extra warmth.

Painting your loft walls white will save you a great deal of money, not to mention make the room look bigger. Liven up your loft with brightly coloured accessories and patterned bed linen.

3. Let there be Space!

Mirrors are a low-cost way of adding extra light to a small and dark space, saving you money on installing lots of windows and giving the illusion of extra space.

Check out this money-saving idea from housetohome.co.uk. Hang lots of small mirrors on the wall to reflect as much light as possible – they look great as a substitute for wall art as well.

4. DIY Wall Art

Rather than splashing out on expensive artwork for your walls, get creative with household items to make your very own wall art.

Dip the bottom of an empty cola bottle into some paint to create your own blossomed artwork, like this savvy Pinterest user. It’s a cheap but eye-catching way of adorning your walls.

5. Negate the effects of a Low Ceiling

Make low ceilings a thing of the past by investing in low furniture no more than 3 feet tall.

Alcove lofts can seem problematic but you can make yours into a feature in its own right. Having a low bed means you’ll be able to avoid banging your head on the ceiling too! Beds like this are ultra modern too.

 

6. Beautiful Bookcases and Cute Cupboards

Rather than shelling out loads of money on fancy paper for the walls, line the back of a bookcase or a cupboard with patterned wallpaper – it’s a cheap and effective way to add colour.

This beautifully lined bookcase was the inspiration of Pillows and Paint Interiors blogger Mary. The patterned paper perfectly complements the colour scheme of the room and makes the bookcase the focal point.

7. Photo Frame your Furniture

Transform an old coffee table with lots of snapshots of you and your family. It’ll really help to lift your mood by reminding you of old times, plus it’ll extend the life of a table that’s on its last legs (if you’ll pardon the pun!).

Have a look at this quirky table-top from countryliving.com. Cut a piece of glass to the same size as the table and slip your photos or postcard memorabilia underneath.

 

We hope these ideas help to give you some inspiration for decorating your loft on a budget.

To book a FREE estimate contact us on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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01.02.2013 No Comments