Chancellor George Osborne has announced a series of radical reforms to the UK's pensions industry. But will his changes really give our pensioners greater control over their retirement funds or will they just blow it all on Lamborghinis?
Boost your home’s value - without breaking the bank
Image © Channel 4
Renovating your home can be a win-win situation.
Not only does it mean your home is more pleasant to live in (once the works have finished), chances are it’ll also boost your home’s value if you ever decide to sell.
Get it wrong, however, and renovations can prove a costly nightmare.
10 tips to avoid disaster
To help ensure your renovations run smoothly, property expert Sarah Beeny has put together a list of 10 budget-friendly tips.
As the presenter of Double Your House For Half The Money, Beeny has extensive experience at getting renovations right the first time.
So before you pick up that hammer, have a look at what she has to say.
Tip 1: costing
Set out a careful budget before you begin, ideally you'd add a 20% contingency for anything unexpected.
Tip 2: technology
Think about how you can save money in the long run by installing gadgets such as solar panels but especially by adding extra insulation into the build itself.
Tip 3: recycling
Try ‘upcycling’ and recycling old building materials or pieces of furniture to make them work for your new property.
Tip 4: future-proofing
Think about how your extension will fit in with the neighbourhood. If the house doesn’t look in keeping with the street this could perhaps cause problems when selling at a later date.
Tip 5: get competitive tenders
Don’t be afraid to shop around for quotes. Building contractors in some areas are short of work and will offer competitive rates.
Tip 6: renegotiate labour costs
Lots of bricklayers are currently struggling for contracts, so may be happy to offer you a good deal. Although remember to be realistic.
Tip 7: use your own DIY skills
Try doing your own painting and decorating or, if you feel confident, try learning some basic plumbing or carpentry. But remember not to take on too much, or it may end up costing more money if you have to re-do at a later date.
Tip 8: pull in favours
Where possible use any friends and relatives who have time to lend a hand.
Tip 9: avoid making changes
Changes will cost money, so make sure you have a solid plan before you begin.
Tip 10: keep the neighbours happy
You may think dust and banging is fine, but to them it could be their worst nightmare!
The new series of ‘Double Your House For Half The Money’ airs on Channel 4 at 8pm tonight
related stories on msn
more on msn money
msn money poll
Do you support the new banking inquiry?
Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results
- Yes, I think the Big Four are too powerful and resistant to change
- 80 %No, I don’t believe it will result in real change that will benefit the consumer