DIY home renovation hacks

Needing a bit of a change? Let's look at some DIY home renovation hacks you can take on yourself

DIY home renovation hacks

Making changes to your home doesn’t have to be a big costly project because sometimes the most noticeable difference comes from the smaller changes. By going at your own pace with some help along the way you can take your time, manage your finances better and really enjoy the DIY home renovation experience.

Top DIY home renovation tips

  • Be realistic – your budget will probably blow out because let’s face it, no renovation goes according to plan. It saves a lot of stress if you account for a financial buffer from the start.
  • Check with your council to ask if any special permission is required for your renovations. This will save you a lot of heartaches later.
  • Do your research – there are plenty of home improvement articles and videos but you just need to check a couple of different sources before you get stuck in.
  • Consider giving your house a fresh coat of paint; it will make a huge difference in ambience and it’s also a good time to rearrange the furniture as it will all need to move away from the walls too.
  • Got old carpet? Rip it up. It’s all about polished floorboards with a beautiful rug or polished concrete these days.

Bathroom

Measure up the bathroom size and then everything in it. Sit down and draw up a floor plan of your current bathroom and use that figure out how to create more room. If you have a small bathroom, you have to be a little more creative with the space, such as how you use the right shelving to make it look larger.

Use a pedestal sink or simply a sink with no vanity cupboards beneath it in a small bathroom for more floor space. This eliminates the home renovation costs of re-creating an entire plumbing system for your bathroom.

But if you’re still worried about storage, create some open shelving for bath products, towels and magazines. This is an elegant-looking yet simple and easy solution for bathroom clutter that only takes a few painted planks of wood and brackets.

Living room

 

Need more storage in your living room? DIY! Turn a big old wooden box into your coffee table, or simply add sides and a door to your existing coffee table. That way, you can store things in an easy to access place that is out of sight (e.g. Christmas decorations, linen, extra glassware, etc). This will also encourage you to keep your coffee table cleaner as you need to be able to access what’s underneath.

Another way to add more storage is with shelving. Consider attaching a flat-pack set of cupboards to your wall and painting them the same colour; this will then allow the shelving to melt into the wall behind and not look as much like shelving. Using open shelves on a blank wall (or even a feature wall) is a great way to store candles, tissues, lamps, books, etc.

Bedroom

If you don’t have enough room for bedside tables, you can attach shelving above your headboard – just make sure nothing will easily fall on you while you sleep.

Your current wardrobe set up might not be the best use of space. This is the time to ask the professionals about changing the inside of your current wardrobe system. Reducing or increasing your hanging space can make a real difference.

Paint a feature wall in a calming blue or green to mix up the room and also help you sleep easier.

Kitchen

Painting and replacing all the handles on your kitchen cabinet doors is the easiest way to make the most dramatic change. Picking a light colour will really freshen up the room and make it look larger.

These days you can paint just about anything. There’s even paint for tiles and laminate, which means you don’t need to knock out tiles and replace – you can just paint over it and it will get you by for a while.

Here are some more DIY kitchen hacks and tips to think about before you started.

Laundry

The laundry is a pretty neglected room but with some simple updates you can turn it into a functional space you may even want to spend more time in.

Some basics that you can add to spiff up your laundry are cupboards that have an integrated ironing unit with a space to hang freshly pressed shirts.

If you have a standalone sink, look at building a bench space around it to make it more usable when your handwashing your delicates.

We have plenty of Cheap Home Renovation Ideas for a bit of extra inspiration and if you need a helping hand, there are plenty of Airtaskers that can help you get your DIY home renovation task done.

This article was written by Airtasker – Zoe T.

Got any other home renovation hacks? Let us know in the comments below!

Top renovation mistakes to avoid

We all make mistakes, but don't make these ones when renovating

Top renovation mistakes to avoid

It doesn’t matter if you’re going down the DIY path or looking to get a building expert– no amount of experience is going to guarantee a completely seamless, stress-free renovation. If you’re considering renovating, whether be to ‘flip’ a place, or enjoy it for yourself, here’s a list of top renovation mistakes to avoid.

Renovating on impulse

Take for example a bathroom renovation and a split decision to remove a wall or the sink, but not having the expertise or budget to complete it. So you remain wall-less or sink-less for months… or worse, years! Key outtake here is to never start without a plan.

Design without intent

It’s important to design with intent. Do you want to renovate to increase your property value in preparation for sale, or do you intend on settling in and enjoying the place for a few years?

Try to keep this at the forefront of your mind. As exciting as Pinterest boards and magazines clippings can be, you need to be realistic about the purpose of the reno and how much you should invest in it, i.e. don’t put your dream kitchen into a house that you plan to rent out.

Not enough planning

The easiest way to get yourself into a pickle is to go in with no idea what you’re doing, or what’s going on around you. You can help yourself by putting a bit of time and effort into understanding what it is you want to achieve and working out the end-to-end plan of how you’re going to get there. Think about sequencing, your timeline and budget.

It’s also wise to have an in-depth renovation checklist, which will help you stay focused on what exactly you need to get done, at what stage and also at what cost.

Tip: Don’t do the polished wooden floorboards first and then start work on the cabinets… sequencing is important.

Rules and regulations

Check regulations with your local council (including times you can get noisy) and check what tasks require a license. Local council planning approvals and application fees are required for certain things. You may need to use a council building inspector or independent building inspector.

Lack of competence

If you’re going DIY, make sure that you or the people helping you are competent at the task at hand – three mates and a carton of beer do not guarantee an immaculate paint job. Educate yourself: Google, YouTube and your local hardware store staff are your friends.

Also, check out our DIY home renovation hacks that we’ve put together to help get you started.

Tip: Bunnings have some great, free DIY advice and even run free ‘how to’ workshops (most importantly, you can grab a sausage sizzle while you’re there).

 

paint brush on floor

Unrealistic living arrangements

If you’re already living in the place you’re renovating, you may want to consider temporary accommodation while the work goes on. Renovating can be really stressful and really draining, and on top of that, having a messy, dirty place with little to no privacy might end up being the last straw.

Not enough wiggle room in the budget

One of the top renovation mistakes that almost everyone is going to make is blowing the budget. To avoid budget blow out, talk to professionals, tradespeople and people who have renovated before, prior to commencing work.

Research the work that you’re going to be doing and try to think of every possible expected and unexpected expense you might encounter. Put contingency funds aside that aren’t ‘part of your budget’ so when you find a termite nest, you’ve got some spare cash lying around to resolve the situation and move on.

Tradie arrangements

If you’re going to hire a contractor to do the work for you, it pays to shop around.

  • A golden rule is don’t go with the first tradie you meet – get three or more quotes for all trades
  • Review the quality of their previous work
  • Know who is doing the job – them, or do they contract it out?
  • Know who their suppliers are – some only use x brand or x store
  • Make sure they’re licensed as required
  • Ask what is and isn’t included in quotes
  • Sort the contract out properly – have stages upon which payment is made and negotiate time damages in the contract prior to commencing construction, and
  • Most importantly, go with your gut.

If you’re having trouble finding someone, there are a number of licensed tradies for hire on Airtasker.

 

Do you have any more tips you can share with us on renovation mistakes to avoid?

Your guide to house maintenance

If you want to keep your home in good condition, a diligent house maintenance routine is essential. Investing time, money "Your guide to house maintenance"

Your guide to house maintenance

If you want to keep your home in good condition, a diligent house maintenance routine is essential. Investing time, money and effort in regular maintenance and odd jobs is a much better option than having to deal with costly, unexpected repairs. To help you stay on track, we’ve put together a guide to house maintenance.

house maintenance gutterImage credit: Suzanne Tucker via Safe Bee

Regular house maintenance

Keeping up with regular cleaning and house maintenance will put you a step ahead.

Every week or fortnight:

  • Vacuum, sweep and mop floors
  • Clean and dust all surfaces
  • Scrub kitchen sink
  • Clean insinkerator
  • Clean microwave
  • Wipe down rangehood
  • Scrub bathrooms and toilets
  • Whipper snip and mow (you can do this less often in winter)
  • Clear dead leaves and branches
  • Remove debris from the pool and check the filter

At least once a month:

  • Clean dishwasher
  • Test smoke detectors
  • Clean oven
  • Scrub cooktop
  • Clean rangehood filter
  • Clean wheelie bins
  • Weed garden beds

house maintenance rangehood filter
The rangehood filter can get very greasy if left unattended. Use some baking soda and dish soap to clean it yourself, or hire an Airtasker house cleaner to help you out.
Source: one good thing BY JILLEE

Every few months

In addition to your regular house maintenance tasks, every few months you should:

  • Wash windows and screens
  • Clean drains (use a drain cleaner and be careful to follow the safety instructions)
  • Gerni driveways and patios
  • Trim hedges
  • Check and clear roof gutters
  • Check hot water system and drain any sediment
  • Test electricity box safety switch
  • Check and clean garage door (including the rolling mechanism)
  • Check water meter is working and clear it of roots and debris
  • Clean fireplace and chimney
  • Clean air conditioner filter
  • Clean washing machine and dryer
  • Completely clean out refrigerator and cupboards

house maintenance hot water system
Source: The Family Handyman

The big spring clean

Every six months is the perfect time to round the whole family up and do a big spring clean. As winter is coming in to spring, or summer is moving in to autumn, scrub the house top to bottom, rotate your wardrobe, and do a big clean out of things you don’t use or need anymore. If you have clothes, cooking utensils, and other household items in good, working condition, post them on gumtree, or donate them to your local charity.

 

house maintenance DIY blinds cleanerSource: one crazy house

Odd jobs

On top of all of the above-mentioned house maintenance tasks, there are a number of odd jobs you’ll need to take care of:

  • Clean blinds and curtains
  • Clean window and door runners
  • Fix leaking taps and shower heads
  • Re-grout shower and bathroom tiles
  • Replace fly screen
  • Fix blown light bulbs
  • Fix dodgy door knobs
  • Clean mailbox
  • Check and repair roof tiles

If you’re in to home improvement and making things more efficient, you could also add these tasks to your ‘to do’ list:

  • Install power saving LED bulbs
  • Set up water efficient irrigation system
  • Fit water saving taps and shower heads
  • Install mesh gutter guards

house maintenance water efficient faucet
Source: Pinterest

If you’re looking for any assistance with your house maintenance or home improvement jobs, check out Airtasker’s handyman services, available seven days a week.

Studio apartment inspiration

Studio apartments are no longer a trade-off of ‘space for city’.  Photography is a wonderful source of interior design inspiration "Studio apartment inspiration"

Studio apartment inspiration

Studio apartments are no longer a trade-off of ‘space for city’.  Photography is a wonderful source of interior design inspiration for a studio apartment.  Here’s some visual inspiration to lust over.

studio apartment inspiration
Source: Brit + Co

Industrial studio apartment inspiration

Exposed brick, concrete, pipes, tiles, or any kind of material that is structural or functional is begging you to do it justice with the industrial look.  Complement this style when furnishing your apartment by going for neutral colours, wooden pieces, exposed light bulbs and wiring. Add a high ceiling, and you’ve got a lofty, industrial style studio.

industrial studio apartment inspiration
Source: homedit

industrial studio apartment exposed brick
Source: onedio

Minimalism

Minimalism makes perfect sense if you have a studio apartment you’d like to decorate without making it less spacious.  Achieve minimalism by focussing on essential furniture items.  You can create an ‘accent’ of style with the addition of small ‘personality pieces.  Even when experimenting with minimalism, you can style your apartment to a theme or design that exposes character.

minimalist studio apartment
Source: ULTRALINX

minimalist studio apartment
Source: ULTRALINX

NYC chic

Enviable NYC style is within reach!  These studio apartments sprinkled with funky homewares and bright hues are functional and inspiring.  They convey the ‘Manhattan vibe’ without the ‘Manhattan price tag’.  Living in a chic, cooridinated space like this will put a spring in your step.

stylish studio apartment inspiration
Source: homedit

stylish studio apartment
Source: Brit + Co

Cosy and comfortable

Personalising your space with creature comforts will make it feel cosy. Decorative trinkets, sentimental items, inspirational art and the use of soft, neutral colours and textures will bring warmth to your studio apartment. Make ‘cosy and comfortable’ your number one goal.

cosy comfortable studio apartment
Source: Brit + Co

cosy and comfortable studio apartmentSource: LABLSTUDIO

Intelligent use of space

Your studio apartment doesn’t have to be a case of ‘eat where you sleep; sleep where you eat’. Clever organisation, the inventive use of furnishings and maybe even a little DIY will make you feel at home, with room to move.

small space studio apartment inspiration
Source: homedit
If you don’t have room for a cupboard, use racking and shelving to create storage on the walls, or in this case, above the bed.  If you’re not confident in installing shelving on your own, get some help from an Airtasker Handyman.

bookshelf room divider studio apartment
Source: homed
Do you want to create a semi-private escape to the bedroom, but have heaps of cookbooks that can’t live in a box?  Why not install a bookshelf as a room divider?  Furniture retailers like IKEA have plenty of designs, and Airtasker have plenty of IKEA flatpack assembly gurus available to help you out.

bed cube studio apartment
Source: Brit + Co
Now this is interesting!  Create privacy with a ‘bed cube’ (on rollers, no less).

reading nook studio apartment
Source: Est Living
This idea is ‘clever’ and ‘cosy and comfortable’!  Construct a reading nook by the window, on top of a horizontal bookshelf.  If you don’t have a built in bookshelf, there’s nothing stopping you from purchasing your own and doing a bit of DIY to make a safe and sturdy base.  Top with a comfortable mattress, a few cushions and a throw.  (Again, if you need help, hit up an Airtasker Handyman).

Modern European glass bedrooms

Using bold colours or unexpected materials is an exceptional way to modernise your studio apartment. European glass is a luxurious, modern feature when used to partition off a ‘bedroom’.

european glass studio apartmentSource: HusmanHagberg

european glass studio apartmentSource: Brit + Co

Do you love these studio apartment design ideas?  If you’ve got some more lust-worthy visual inspiration that you’d like to share, please copy a link in to the comment box below.

Laundry organisation and storage tips

The laundry is usually one of the smallest spaces in your home, so to optimise it’s functionality, it pays to "Laundry organisation and storage tips"

Laundry organisation and storage tips

The laundry is usually one of the smallest spaces in your home, so to optimise it’s functionality, it pays to be super smart with how you set it up. Here are some clever laundry organisation and storage tips.

laundry organisation and storage for small spaces

Source: Decorating Your Small Space

Floating shelves

DIY floating shelves are an easy and inexpensive way to create additional space for storing detergents and stacking towels. Snazz up the look of the boring old laundry room by choosing something simple and stylish, like these wooden shelves.

laundry organisation and storage tips floating shelves

Source: Thrifty Decor Chick

Pull out storage tower

You can either build pull out storage tower drawers in to your laundry design, or if you’re renting, you can purchase freestanding slim storage carts to achieve the same effect. These are a great way to store and easily access your laundry products as needed.

laundry organisation and tips pull out storage tower

Source: Listotic

Build yourself a benchtop

If you’re in to DIY and up for a challenge, you can create your own bench space building a floating bench top just above the height of your front loader washing machine.

laundry organisation and storage tips DIY bench top
Source: Notes from Wild Ink Press

Laundry organisation and storage shelves

Built in shelves that neatly fit your laundry hampers or baskets make laundry organisation and storage so much easier. If you don’t have built ins, you can do a DIY version. If you want to get really space-savvy, make one on wheels so it can be kept in the bathroom then rolled in to your laundry when the time comes to do the washing.

laundry organisation and storage tips mobile hamper storage

Source: Hoosier Homemade

Odd socks and small change

Where do you put all of the odd socks, random receipts, and unclaimed undies without making a mess? Hanging ‘junk drawers’ are a great way to keep all of the random bits and pieces in one spot. Buy one online, or use a large photo frame, pegs, string and chicken wire to make your own. Wall hooks are also great for hanging items and little jars or containers for collecting loose change, pegs and bobby pins.

laundry organisation and storage odd socks and small change

Source: Southern Belles Decorative Art

Hanging hampers

Save space and make laundry organisation and storage a piece of cake by hanging hampers from the wall. You can pop these away when not needed and easily move them in between rooms.

laundry organisation and storage tips hanging hampers

Source: The Pin Junkie

Drying space

You can purchase drying racks that are mountable, foldable, extendable and more. You can even repurpose almost anything to become a drying rack. How about hanging a ladder from the ceiling, or suspending an old bed frame with wire springs to hang coat hangers from?

laundry organisation and storage tips hanging ladder

Source: Little Lucy Lu

Lint is not for belly buttons!

You can wall mount little tidy bins for lint and disposing of other unwanted laundry items (tissues in pockets, anyone?). A Polished Habitat has a great DIY tutorial on how to make one.

laundry organisation and storage tips DIY lint bin
Image credit: Melissa George

Source: Polished Habitat

Dispensers and containers

Don’t you hate it when your kid has grass stains on his white cricket shirt and when you open the laundry cupboard to pull out the Vanish Preen, you’ve only got a dusting left? Fancy up the laundry room and make storing laundry products easy to keep stock of by using clear containers. Using dispenser taps is a great way to store liquid products too.

laundry organisation and storage tips dispensers and containers
Source: Container Store

Hang your ironing board

You can buy purpose-made wall mountable racks to hang your ironing board and iron. This will save you space and stop the ironing board from crashing down on you when your open the storage cupboard. Towel hooks are a really effective option too.

laundry organisation and storage tips hanging ironing board
Source: Right Up My Alley

If you’re not really the DIY type, you can post a Handyman task on Airtasker to have someone do the dirty work for you. Have you got any additional laundry organisation and storage tips that you’d like to share with us? Please comment below!

Small Kitchen Design Ideas

We’re all envious of the people who have big spacious kitchen and dining rooms in their homes, but the reality "Small Kitchen Design Ideas"

Small Kitchen Design Ideas

We’re all envious of the people who have big spacious kitchen and dining rooms in their homes, but the reality is that it comes with a hefty price tag. While this might mean it’s out of the reach for most us, with some smart small kitchen design ideas you’ll be able to enjoy a kitchen you love.

With a bit of DIY and handyman help you’ll be able to increase your storage and have a lot better usability in your kitchen.

Adding a breakfast nook

When you live in a small home it’s unlikely that you have a big dining room, or even have one at all.

By placing a cute table and a couple of chairs can be the perfect spot for breakfast and dinner. You could even keep matching chairs in the bedroom or living room, that are ready to use whenever you have guests over.

small kitchen design in white
Source: GlitterInce http://glitterinc.com/2014/10/crisp-white-home-pops-foliage/

Paint it white

White makes spaces look bigger and cleaner, so it’s a no brainer to remove any dark tiling, splash backs and give a lick of paint for a refreshing crisp look.

But don’t worry that doesn’t mean you can’t add a splash of colour with home accessories. If you want to be on trend use a metallic such as copper, rose gold or gold. Then use timber to soften the room with chopping boards, seating and shelving.

Looking for some more painting and kitchen ideas, take a look at our kitchen home improvement ideas.

In-built seating

If there’s no room for a table and chairs, why not add seating into the kitchen design. Yes you will be sacrificing precious bench space, but if your apartment or tiny home isn’t an entertaining zone – do you really need a delegated area to eat.

It will also be useful for storage of pots/pans underneath and when you’re not sitting on it, you could use it to rest your heavy shopping, or recipe book holder.

inbuilt kitchen bench small kitchen design
Source: inspirationsdeco

Knock out a wall

Open planned homes are all the rage these days, so if you have a pokey kitchen consider knocking down some (or all) of the wall. This could make room for a desirable island bench or if it’s a structural wall see if you can knock out part of it to turn it into a breakfast bar.

knock out a wall to make a bigger kitchen
Source: inspirationsdeco

Kitchen tools

If you’re a bit of a chef in the kitchen and have more than one pot, pan and ladle – you’ll need space. Instead of storing them in draws and cabinets, which takes up valuable room, take some inspiration from the tool shed and use a pegboard.

Just like with your tools hang your kitchen utensils on underutilised wall space, such as behind the door or inside the pantry.

pot storage in small kitchen
Source: Style Caster

Crockery art

Just like pots and pans, your lovely crockery doesn’t need to take up space in cupboards. Use the sideboard table in the living room or a bit of extra room in the bookcase to keep them in until you need to use them.

Spacer saver

There’s always a bit of extra space by the fridge and cabinetry which can be used smartly as extra storage. Even if it’s just to hold small items such as herbs and chopping boards, every bit of space helps.

extra storage next to fridge in a small kitchen
Source: Style Caster

smart storage small kitchen designs
Source: Home depo

Retractable bench space

When you’re at home viewing opens, bench space in a kitchen is a big non-negotiable for the cooks in the family. Having adequate room to lay out ingredients, chop food and store microwaves/ toasters is important. However, just because there isn’t enough bench space, doesn’t mean you can’t create some.

We love this bench inspired draw which allows you to add some extra space when you need it.

draw added bench space in a small kitchen
Source: diycraftsu

Open shelving

There’s another way to store plates, cups, herbs, and pots, actually just about anything – open shelving. There are many options and styles that you can choose so that it fits within your current design.

When putting up the brackets and shelves make sure you use a spirit level so that it’s straight. If home DIY isn’t your strong point, you can post a handyman task to get it completed for you.

open shelving in small kitchen
Source: Decoholic

Got any other small kitchen design ideas and tips? Let us know in the comments below.