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18 January 2017

Britain is back into DIY. According to figures revealed by Lloyds Bank last year, national spending on home maintenance rose to its highest level since 2008 and there was a consequential drop in the use in trade services. Great news for the owners and shareholders of the giant chain stores, if not the local plumber. In an age of necessary penny-pinching and online tutorials, many seem to try to save money by doing it themselves.

Google it

It’s certainly not advisable to have a go at fixing everything in the house without the appropriate safety precautions and insurance cover, or for a keen amateur to attempt the work of a highly-skilled specialist. However, the growth of the internet has made it far easier to at least work out if a task is achievable yourself. There are step-by-step guides to everything imaginable and some have proved wildly popular. Chez Rossi, a slightly monotonous-sounding fellow from Lancashire, turned a hobby into a sensation on his Youtube channel Ultimate Handyman. His matter-of-fact advice on how to install a shower tray, use a diamond core drill and remove broken bolts have each attracted more than a million views. Alongside accomplishing simpler challenges like grouting, it is amazing how many people have clearly decided to look into manually taking out a wash basin.

Work to be done

The dark days of a Cambridgeshire winter are a good time for a little home improvement. The East of England saw the largest growth in average house prices across the country during 2016 and even a painting spruce up inside or outside the home, having a general clear-up or rectifying any off-putting eyesores could make the difference in getting a sale once the place has gone on the market. Should you be staying put, and not fortunate enough to be escaping even briefly for the slopes or the beach, perhaps the tired-looking flooring or wallpaper could be addressed instead. A neglected room could easily be brought back into regular use with some attention. Out in the garden, shrubs and trees can be pruned in preparation for imminent spring growth and empty plant pots cleaned. There are always tasks to be found somewhere, even if replacing guttering and making a patio is sometimes better left to an expert, lest they should have to be brought in at great expense and even greater embarrassment to correct a botched job.

A handy help

Whether going for the DIY option or ‘getting a man in’, Morespace in St Neots can be an essential piece of the toolkit. The dry, insulated and secure units are perfect for storing items like furniture, toys and books that need to be cleared and kept safe when a room is being redecorated. For bigger redevelopment projects, there are units available to hold the contents of an entire house for as many months as required. Those bitten by the home improvement bug can store all those bulky new gadgets and knick-knacks. Even an old wash basin can be brought along, should anyone be brave enough to remove it.