Category Archives: DIY news

20 things buyers hate about your home



Damp patches and odious odours are the most off-putting signs a potential buyer could find in your home, according to new research. Nevermind outdated artex or kitsch kitchens – signs of damp are feared by almost three quarters of house hunters!

A recent survey by Mortgages showed that concerns about damp outweighed worries of poky rooms, a lack of parking and botched DIY. More than 70% of Brits said damp patches on walls or ceilings would stop them buying a property, whilst signs of poor maintenance – such as rotten windows – came a close second.

But the good news is that help is at hand for would-be vendors, and that they can increase their chances of a sale by following a few simple tips involving quick repairs and decluttering.

According to the 2,000 adults quizzed, the top 20 property turn-offs are:

  1. Damp patches and/or stains on the walls or ceilings – 71%
  2. A poor state of repair, eg: rotten windows – 65%
  3. Unpleasant smells, such as pets, damp and cigarettes – 61%
  4. A lack of parking – 59%
  5. No garden – 57%
  6. Unfinished building work – 55%
  7. Poor natural light and/or dark rooms – 50%
  8. Outdated electrics – 50%
  9. Small, poky rooms – 48%
  10. Inefficient boiler or central heating system – 45%
  11. Poor DIY – 43%
  12. A small kitchen – 40%
  13. General untidiness and/or dirtiness – 28%
  14. Wooden windows – 27%
  15. Stone cladding, render or pebbledash – 27%
  16. An outdated kitchen – 25%
  17. An outdated bathroom – 25%
  18. An overgrown garden – 19%
  19. Artex or textured ceilings – 18%
  20. Cluttered rooms – 16%
Samsung Camera Pictures

Mortgages spokesman Matt Sanders says: “Moving home is a big undertaking for sellers who want to attract the best price for their property and buyers who, in the main, want well maintained properties. Our survey suggests that many homebuyers want a home that’s ready to move into and are put off by properties requiring repairs or maintenance work.

“Damp is a particular area of concern; a musty smell, black mould, stained ceilings or crumbling plasterwork are all warning signs of problems which, depending on the cause, can be costly to remedy. Interestingly, while many buyers are put off by poor maintenance and bad DIY, only a quarter would shy away from properties which have outdated kitchens or bathrooms – two of the most expensive rooms in a home to update.”

Matt suggests these top tips for easy and inexpensive ways to get your home ready to sell:

Spring clean your home from top to bottom, inside and out. Remember to air the rooms and clean windows to help increase natural light. Banish nasty smells by having the carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned and, if you have a cat, be sure to clean the litter tray before a viewing.

De-clutter to make your home appear more spacious and to make it easier for potential buyers to see past your belongings. Pack away rarely used or out-of-season items and store toys in baskets or boxes.

Carry out minor repairs to dripping taps, holes or dents in walls or woodwork or gaps in fences and gates. Complete any outstanding DIY jobs.

Tidy the garden by mowing the lawn, weeding flowerbeds, trimming hedges and removing any litter. A well-kept garden will increase your property’s kerb appeal and invite buyers inside.

Repaint tired or worn décor to give rooms a lift and, depending on the colour scheme, help make it look lighter or larger.

Families divide over decorating disagreements!

decorating-disagreementsDecorating your home is one of the most stressful tasks you can do as a family and a huge cause of arguments, according to new research!

Nearly nine of out 10 people have fallen out with relatives about redecorating and refurbishing. Money is the main reason behind arguments, whilst more than half of those quizzed have rowed about colour schemes and textiles. And another area of contention is whether or not to bring in the experts, with – perhaps surprisingly – more men wanting to pay a professional than their wives and girlfriends!

Interiors online retailer surveyed 1,000 Brits on their family home improvement feuds and found that:

  • Finances are the biggest cause of decorating disagreements, with 69% of respondents admitting to rows about money. One in three disagree over how much to spend, whilst one in 10 can’t agree about who pays for what
  • More than half (54%) of those surveyed have fallen out about colour schemes, wood finishes, textures or fabrics
  • The third most common squabble involves whether or not to bring in professional decorating services. One in three families disagree about it, with women proving more in favour of a spot of DIY than men. More than two thirds of women (67%) are prepared to roll up their sleeves and do the job themselves, compared to 44% of their husbands and partners

diy-bathroomOther hotly debated topics include where to put personal possessions, trinkets and family photos, and what to use rooms for, such as a study, ‘man cave’ or cinema room.

Furniture123 marketing manager Mark Kelly said: “The research has uncovered some interesting findings surrounding differences in opinion when re-decorating the home, such as the costs incurred or which colour scheme to go for.

“A family can be made up of many different personalities, so naturally people are going to have different tastes, but it’s important to have a bit of everybody in the home you live in. Anyone looking to re-decorate their home should take time when making decisions, perhaps creating a mood board of ideas that all of the family has fed in to.”

Make a date with DIY this spring!


Regular readers might remember our January round-up of home, garden and building show dates for your diary. With the show season now well underway, it’s time for Part II – so here are the must-visit events in April, May and June!

The Gadget Show Live, NEC, Birmingham

Now in its seventh year, the Gadget Show is the perfect way to round off the Easter holidays! With the chance to see, try and buy the latest in cutting edge technology, this event showcases the best of British innovation, as well as staging gaming tournaments and talks and shows in the Super Theatre.

April 7-12, adults £25, children (5-12) £20,

The RHS Flower Show, Cardiff

Spring will well and truly bloom at Wales’ premier flower show, with gardening tips from Royal Horticultural Society experts, exciting family activities and, of course, thousands of plants! Talks and demos will take place in the theatre, whilst the show will be split into three main themed areas – plants, people and places. The RHS Flower Show takes place in Bute Park, just outside the walls of Cardiff’s historic castle and with the largest number of ‘champion’ trees in any public park in the UK.

April 17-19, RHS members, £7.50, public £8.50 (two under-16s free with every paying adult),

The Cornwall Home & Lifestyle Show, Wadebridge

Cornwall’s only home, garden and living exhibition, at the Royal Cornwall Showground, brings together the best products and services in interiors, homeware, gardens and architecture. The 150+ exhibitors include renewable energy firms, letting agents and food and drinks vendors, and there’ll also be a health and wellbeing zone. And, if you book online in advance, it’s free!

May 2-3, free in advance or £3 per person or £5 per couple on the door (children free),

Grand Designs Live, ExCel Centre, London

The show of the year for fans of the long-running C4 series (not to mention presenter Kevin McCloud!), this huge event has it all. The interiors hall has inspiration from every room in the house, from essential kitchens and bathrooms to luxury games room. In the Grand Village, visitors can take in unique and innovative architecture and see the latest in eco-friendly design, whilst experts, celebrities and real life Grand Designs case studies will share their experiences in the Grand Theatre.

May 2-10, from £12 (under-15s free),

All Energy Exhibition & Conference, SECC, Glasgow

After 14 years in Aberdeen, the UK’s largest renewables show for professionals is moving to Glasgow during the city’s Green Year. Featuring more than 450 suppliers and with more than 400 high-profile speakers, the exhibition includes a Sustainable Cities Zone, a number of conference theatres, a Meet the Buyers ‘share fair’, where developers will explain what they look for during their tendering processes, and an Energy Storage Visitor Trail. And don’t miss the Low Carbon Transport Zone, where visitors looking for personal or company vehicles can take a ride in a number of display cars.

May 6-7, free to register in advance,

The Homebuilding & Renovating Show, SECC, Glasgow

The second of seven Homebuilding Shows throughout the UK in 2015, this Glasgow date comes hot on the heels of the All Energy Exhibition and in the same venue. It’s an essential date for anyone planning to create their dream home, either from scratch or by remodelling or extending an existing property. A one-stop shop of ideas and advice, this show includes inspiration for gardens and has experts from Homebuilding and Renovating magazine ready to answer your questions.

May 16-17, from £8 in advance,

RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Chelsea, London

garden-showThe RHS staged its first ‘Great Spring Show’ in Kensington in 1862, before moving to Chelsea in the early 20th century. Since then, this world-renowned show in the grounds of the Royal Hospital has become the place for horticulturalists to exhibit, with displays becoming increasingly inventive year on year. 2015 marks the return of award-winning designer Jo Thompson, who is creating a romantic retreat inspired by the writing room of author Vita Sackville-West. Prince Harry’s charity, Sentebale, will also create a garden, whilst the RHS Discovery Zone in the Great Pavilion is a great place to head to with children. They can even turn astro-biologists courtesy of ‘Rocket Science’, a project with the UK Space Agency encouraging youngsters to plant rocket seeds that have been to the International Space Station!

May 19-23, from £24 for non-RHS members,

Salvo Fair, Henley-on-Thames

This outdoor show at Fawley Hill is a mecca for homeowners with an eye for all things vintage. The UK’s largest architectural salvage fair, it’s a treasure trove of home and garden antiques, industrial products, upcycled goods, reclaimed material and retro items. New for 2015 is ‘Tiny Salvaged Spaces’, an exhibition of summerhouses, wagons and shepherds’ huts. Note that Friday, June 26 is trade day.

June 27-28, £8 in advance or £9 on the day, or £29/£32 for a family ticket,,_architectural_salvage_and_reclaimed_materials_fair_in_Henley_on_Thames.html

Main image courtesy of the Homebuilding & Renovation Show