I'm a home renovation expert – why winter is the best time to make changes to your house | The Sun

HOMEOWNERS may be strapped for cash when it comes to upgrading their furnishings – but certain tricks can save them.

Going down the recycling or second-hand furniture route is often a cheaper alternative.

According to 49-year-old home renovation expert Tim Wells, there are plenty of ways you can make your home look great, provided you know where to look for salvaged materials.

The owner of a small business called garagetransformed.com, which specialises in making your garage look great, runs his business between the West Midlands and Florida.

“Although the countries are very different in terms of their culture and climate, the industry is of the same school of thought,” Tim said.

“And that is the golden rule to cutting costs during home
renovations is — to refurbish, not replace.”

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Unless certain elements are damaged to the point repairing them would cost more than replacing them, Tim adds all you need is a fresh coat of paint and a good playlist to keep you company.

“This is a particularly useful tip for your kitchen cabinets, as with minimal costs and minimal effort, you can create a different experience for you and your family.”

However, if you feel certain elements should be replaced, Tim adds it is definitely worth looking for recycled and lightly used materials.

Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be doing something good for the environment.

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He has a word of warning though: “Just make sure to consult with your contractor, as some won’t work with salvaged materials because of the liability in case something goes wrong.”

The best time for home renovations

As for the best time to consider home renovations, now the weather is cold you may not feel it is feasible to open your doors to builders, but it could cut your costs a lot.

“If you want to save money, consider renovating your home during winter, even if the weather elements are off-putting,” Tim added.

“This is the time when contractors are least busy, and you’ll likely get a better price, but it goes without saying, once the weather brightens up, spring is probably your best bet that everything will go smoothly during your renovations.”

When it comes to building up working relationships with his clients, Tim believes the best way forward is to enable both parties to be involved in the renovation projects, every step of the way.

“In all the years I’ve been involved with home renovations, every customer wanted to know how long the renovations would take and the price.

"Ensuring we stick to budget is essential.

“I get asked so many questions related to permits, budgeting, planning, etc.

"Most of them like to be involved in the process, and I find it enjoyable to engage with the clients and consult them to make sure they’re happy with every aspect of the renovations.”

How home renovations are changing

The biggest change Tim has witnessed in his years as a home contractor is that people are looking for the most eco-friendly materials and ways of getting the job done.

“There has been a lot of movement in the past three years of steering towards sustainable materials,” he added.

“I’m very happy about this, as I consider myself an eco-conscious person as well, and I am always looking for better, more sustainable ways to get the job done.”

And he suggests Facebook marketplace is a great place to start, if you are sourcing products.

“Facebook marketplace is excellent. The nature of using second-hand and reclaimed materials is the inherent eco-friendly nature of upcycling.

"I am seeing a noticeable concern with people looking for
materials that are not imported to reduce their carbon footprint.

"And while important materials can often be cheaper, people will ask if materials can be sourced locally at an affordable price.

"We can do this with existing suppliers and from a myriad of websites that specialize in locally sourced building materials with low environmental impact.”

He said granite work surfaces have typically been popular for kitchen renovations, thanks to its quality and longevity.

However, due to the cost of living and increased costs for energy, households are now looking for cheaper options.

He added: "I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing – but there is a delicate balance between low-cost materials and quality materials that will last.

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"This is why upcycling and reclaimed materials can be so effective.

“Jumping into the Facebook marketplace or even searching on sites like the classified advertisement website Craiglist can often yield outstanding results for things like reclaimed granite or marble tops.”

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