4 jobs to get done this year

The new year is the time when we traditionally make resolutions and promises to ourselves and each other. But how about making some to your home? After all, the start of the year is a great time for new beginnings in and around the home, as well as a fantastic time to get projects under way. You can start small or go all in. Here are four examples of resolutions that you may want to consider for 2017.

Extend your home

There has seldom been a better time to add an extension to your home, as property taxes bite and house prices continue to rise. Adding a new section to your home is an economical way to add space and will also add value to the property. The relaxing of rules on permitted development have also made it easier to build larger extensions on your home, so it’s a good idea to act now and bring in a builder before any of these changes are reversed, which is due to happen in 2019. Check with your builder and council for rules on permitted development before you begin any project.

Install patio doors

Bright living room with sliding patio doors

Having patio doors installed may seem old hat, or even less than glamorous. But they will guarantee to change the way that you use your home and your garden. For a start, the doors will bring more light into your room. But the main advantage is that they break down the barrier between indoors and outdoors. You will find you are out in the garden far more than when you have to go down a side entrance or even unlock the French windows. With the most modern patio doors, you can splash out on models that fold all the way back into themselves, opening up the entire back wall of your home and inviting the outside world in.

Redesign your garden

Landscaped garden

Without a plan, most of our gardens can end up looking like an unruly and uneven mess of plants, garden furniture, oddly-placed trees and that pond that the kids insisted you install. This is no surprise, as garden design is an art. Professional garden designers and landscapers know which plants thrive where, as well as what looks good where. The new year is a great time to have someone pull together what you have, or start over from scratch. Think about what you use your garden for, rather than what you think you should have or what you’ve seen in weekend newspaper supplements. Shade, sun traps and something to attract wildlife (while keeping the neighbour’s Tom at bay) can all be built into your garden. So why not start in January and have the rest of the year to enjoy it?

Read more ideas for small gardens with tips from a professional garden designer

Consider a loft conversion

Picture of a loft converted into a bathroom with a large window and wooden floors

Most of our lofts are used to store things we really don’t need and half the time we can’t recall what’s up there bar the Christmas decorations for 11 months of the year. Like a rear or side extension on our house, building up into the loft will add space and value to your home. For a clue as to how much, simply look to see how much more a home with an extra bedroom on your street costs, using online property apps or websites. Loans are still relatively cheap if you need to borrow to build. So take advantage of that while you can, before interest rates rise once again.

Iain Aitch

Iain is a London-based writer who works as a journalist for a number of newspapers and magazines. He has also written two books, one of which is a hilarious lexicon about Britishness – Iain is a Brit through and through!

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