This summer, TV viewers were alternately gripped and horrified by the progress of a group of athletic young people abroad, following their joy and heartbreak, their victories and failures, and waiting with bated breath to see the drama unfold. No, not the football – we mean a popular reality show, where the contestants were seeking their soulmates… as well as £50,000.

But if there’s one thing on the island viewers truly fell in love with, it’s the stunning villa the couples got to call home. With perfectly manicured lawns, a luxurious infinity pool and changing rooms like the backstage area of a fashion show, it’s the kind of place you wouldn’t just want to spend a summer in, you’d want it all year round. So, we’ve come up with some ways you can incorporate a touch of villa magic into your home.

 

 

Outdoor kitchen

 

On the show, the tanned and toned competitors rarely seemed to eat, but there was an extensive outdoor kitchen complete with a double fridge freezer and dining table for them to use if the urge ever strikes. While an outdoor kitchen may not see much use in the UK – even during a heatwave – a pizza oven or brick barbecue will make entertaining easy, and give your garden a great focal point.

 

Swimming pool

 

There are more than 200,000 private pools in the UK, and when the weather is scorching, lots of people will be wishing there were a few more. You’ll need a big garden to accommodate the kind of dramatic pool overlooking the Mallorcan countryside that the couples enjoy, but if you scale back your ambitions, you could add an above-ground pool, plunge pool or even a simple hot-tub for less than you think, and get use out of it all year round.

 

 

Walk-in-wardrobe

 

If your clothes are crammed into tiny cupboards, or you find yourself getting ready by looking in your car’s rear-view mirror, then building a walk-in wardrobe might be the solution. It doesn’t need to have space for dozens of people – a simple small room, with good lighting and inbuilt storage could be all you need to help you organise your things and help you look your best.

 

Terrace

 

You can’t change your view very easily, but you can change the place you enjoy it from. Whether you have a first floor terrace, decking or a patio in the back garden, or are looking to create a space from scratch, you can effectively add another room to your house with some careful decisions. Adding flooring, such as tiling or decking, will separate the space, while seating and lighting will make it a place where you want to spend time.

 

 

Lawn

 

Most lawns in the UK have been through a lot this year, with rainfall at only 6% of what it normally was in some parts of the country. But even in the Spanish sun, the villa had a beautiful emerald lawn, which means it was being closely looked after by a dedicated team of night gardeners. If you don’t fancy that level of upkeep, then artificial grass could be a solution – many are making the switch, with the latest products being hard-wearing with a natural look. You’ll never have to mow it again – though you might need to sweep it from time to time.

 

Fire pit

 

If you want a dramatic garden feature where you can gather people to dramatically break their hearts, a fire pit is just the thing you need. Of course, you could also use it as a place to hang out with friend and family, and extend the use of your garden into the cooler months.

 

 

You don’t have to be looking to sell your home to think about adding value to your property. There are big and small ways to boost how much your home is worth, and also make it a nicer place to be.

 

 

Fix structural problems

 

If you are looking to sell, then taking care of major structural issues such as a sagging roofline or persistent damp issues is a necessary step to making it sale-worthy – but they’re not issues that you’ll want to live with for any length of time either. There are a variety of tradespeople available depending on the issue, from specialist roofers to structural engineers, bricklayers, and damp proofers.

 

Create a loft conversion

 

Building up is generally regarded as the single biggest boost you can give to your home’s value. It’s a major investment, but one that pays off with new living space that can completely change the feel of your home. Whether it’s a dormer, hip to gable, or mansard roof conversion, you will need to have plans drawn up and may need planning permission, before hiring an experienced loft conversion specialist to take on the project.

 

 

Build an extension

 

Similarly to loft conversions, adding more space to your home will add value and give you new ways to enjoy your property. Whether it’s creating a kitchen-diner or a dedicated space for an office or studio, there are firms that specialise in extensions and conversions and can help you realise your vision.

 

Update your kitchen

 

Many families value having a modern, usable kitchen, that can be used not just for cooking, but for eating, relaxing and entertaining. If you have the space and budget, updating your kitchen with all mod-cons can be a real boost for your home.

 

Refresh your bathroom

 

It’s difficult for anyone to feel like they can get clean in a tired and broken-down bathroom, with cracked tiles, mouldy grouting, and damaged units. While a bathroom fitter can completely revamp the room, you could refresh it with smaller changes – a tiler can add new tiles for cleaner look, while a plumber can swap in new taps and hardware.

 

 

Add a parking space

 

If you live in a town or city where parking is at a premium and neighbours are battling over spaces on the street, then can it can be a worthwhile investment to replace your front garden with a driveway, giving you peace of mind that you’ll always have a safe place to keep your car. A driveway needs to be built to last, so only hire an expert with a good track record.

 

Boost your kerb appeal

 

No one wants to live in the most run-down home on the street, and for buyers as well, first impressions count. There is plenty you can do to smarten up your kerb appeal, from adding a porch, replacing your front door, upgrading your windows or repainting the exterior.

 

Take care of the little things

 

Sometimes the little things don’t feel that small when you have to deal with them everyday, so why not make them better? Give new life to a room with a lick of paint or roll of wallpaper; add new lighting to your hallway; finally sort out the toilet with the dodgy flush – if it adds value to you, sometimes that’s all the value you need to add.

 

 

When the weather outside is wild and unpredictable, heading inside and enjoying the calm and comfort of your own home is a simple pleasure. While storms are raging and the rain is coming down, there’s nothing better than unwinding in a relaxing space you’ve helped create yourself. If your interiors are feeling drab or dated, we’ve come up with some ideas to help bring your rooms back to life, and turn them into the perfect shelter from any storm.

 

 

Time to Redecorate

 

If the skies outside are grey and overcast, sometimes our rooms can feel the same way. If yours are in need of some rejuvenation, a lick of paint can be all they need to make them come alive again. While painting is something you can tackle yourself, an experienced decorator can ensure the job gets done properly and is finished to a high standard.

 

Add New floors

 

Floors take a beating when bad weather hits, as we run home with soaking shoes and muddy boots. Even the most hard-wearing carpets can begin to show signs of age in heavily-trafficked areas such as hallways, and wooden floors can be similarly damaged by damp and stains. A flooring fitter or carpet fitter can help advise you on how to update your flooring and keep it pristine.

 

 

Refresh Your Bathroom

 

If you’re caught in an unexpected downpour, taking a nice soothing shower can be just the thing to help you relax. However, if your bathroom has seen better days, you might want to upgrade your showering experience, with a new shower, bath, or entire bathroom suite – perhaps with a new colour scheme and accessories to go with it. A bathroom fitter will be able to complete the project and give you a whole new room to enjoy.

 

Update Your Kitchen

 

Summer storms may be dramatic and exciting, but they’re certainly not ideal for barbecues. If you’re stuck cooking inside your kitchen instead of grilling out in the garden, then you’d better make sure your kitchen is the kind of place you want to spend time. It’s one of the most-used and well-loved rooms in the house, so make sure yours is up to scratch – speak to a kitchen fitter about creating a room that is right for you and your family.

 

 

The leaves are changing colour, the evenings are drawing in, and before we know it, the clocks will be turning back. Autumn is here, and there are a host of things you can do to your home to get it ready for colder nights and wetter days.

 

Post a job!

 

 

Check your heating

 

Across offices and bars, the debate is already raging – have you turned your heating on yet? If you haven’t, then the chances are it hasn’t been on for a very long time. If that’s the case, then there’s no better time to make sure your boiler and your central heating system are all in full working order. Get yours checked over before all the engineers are busy with emergency callouts – or before you’re stuck with your own emergency breakdown.
Hire a heating engineer

Update your windows and doors

 

As temperatures drop, our cosy nights in can be rudely interrupted by cold drafts. Single-glazed windows and wooden doors can be the main culprits for these. Make sure yours are well-fitted and up to date to keep the cold out, and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Hire a window fitter / carpenter

Repair any broken fences or gates

 

Strong winds and falling branches can wreak havoc on fences and gates, while wet conditions can cause wood to swell, warp and rot. Before any more bad weather sets in, it’s worth checking for any damaged panels or posts. Fixing them early can save money and effort further down the line
Hire a fencer

 

 

 

Fix damaged roof tiles

 

One of the easiest ways to prevent major problems from occurring is to keep an eye on your roof for signs of damage. Even a few loose tiles can lead to nasty leaks. An experienced roofer can inspect everything and should be able to show you pictures of any damage you might need to have repaired.
Hire a roofer

Make sure your home is insulated

 

No one wants a chilly and unwelcoming home when autumn begins to bite, so making sure your home is properly insulated is essential to keeping things nice and toasty. It can be a big job depending on what you want done, but can benefit your home for years to come.
Hire an insulation installer

Add new lighting

 

If you want to turn your indoor spaces into a safe haven from autumn’s damp and drizzle, lighting is key to creating the perfect atmosphere. Adding spotlights, accent lighting, or even just dimmer switches, can help change the character of a room with immediate impact.
Hire an electrician

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE, FREE JOB FRENZY IS NOW CLOSED

 

With autumn rolling in and the evenings starting to get darker, we could all use a little more sunshine in our lives – and that’s why MyBuilder is giving away 10 free jobs to help families improve their homes.

Over the next month, ten lucky job posters will be selected at random, with each one getting the cost of their job reimbursed, up to the value of £1,000.

Have a whole host of projects you want to get started? Don’t worry, there’s is no limit to the number of jobs you can submit, so you can post as many jobs as you like before 14th October and they will all be entered into the prize draw. Winners will be announced from 29th October.

Whether it’s as simple as a boiler inspection, or the start of an exciting decorating project, don’t miss this chance to win.

 

To be in with a chance of winning, simply click the button below and post your job.

 

Post a job!

 

Terms and conditions

  • Your entry to the prize draw in the form of a job post on the site is subject to approval by MyBuilder as with any regular job post on the site. All jobs posted on the site – and approved by the MyBuilder jobs team – between 00:01 on 17th September and 23:59 on 14th October 2018 will be entered into the prize draw. Jobs posted or approved after this will not be included in the prize draw, Free Job Frenzy. Work does not need to have commenced to be eligible for entry, but must be completed within 12 months.
  • Ten jobs will be selected by random draw – and will be paid for by MyBuilder (by reimbursement), up to a maximum value of £1,000 per job.
  • All selected winners will each need to show that their job has been completed by a MyBuilder tradesperson before payment is made.
  • Proof of payment for the work will need to be provided to MyBuilder before reimbursement of up to £1,000 are paid.
  • The prize of £1,000 will be paid to each winning entrant by bank transfer only.
  • By entering the competition you agree that if you are a winner that we may publish or share your Name and County as required under UK advertising code of practice.
  • Winners will be announced after the 29th October 2018.
  • The winner will be notified via email or phone and will have 7 days to respond. If MyBuilder does not receive a response from any selected winner within 7 days of the prize draw, that winner’s prize will be forfeited.
  • Any outstanding costs, in excess of the £1,000 maximum prize value, must be paid in full by the job poster.
  • No cash or other alternative prize is available.
  • There is no limit on the number of jobs a single homeowner can post.
  • All entrants must be at least 18 years of age and permanent UK residents.
  • We reserve the right to disqualify entries, without notice, and for any reason.
  • Employees of MyBuilder are not eligible to enter this competition.
  • MyBuilder reserves the right to withdraw or amend this competition in the event of any unforeseen circumstances outside its reasonable control without liability to entrants, the prize winner or any third party.

In addition, MyBuilder’s standard terms & conditions and privacy policy apply to this competition.

 

 

Being a tradesperson is hard work, filled with long hours and gruelling tasks. But we know there’s also a lighter side to the trades, and that Britain’s builders are some of the funniest people out there. We asked tradesmen to share some of their funniest stories of life on the tools, and they gave us plenty. Here are a few of our favourites…

 

Water water everywhere

 

I had a phone call from a man who was very concerned as he had water dripping down from the ceiling from his bathroom.

So I said I would go round to his house to see what was the cause of the leak.
When I arrived I knocked on the door and almost immediately the door was opened by a guy who, didn’t say hello, or anything, but just demanded that I take my boots off and insisted that I wore his slippers!

Then he asked me to follow him upstairs and into the bathroom.

I then started to ask him a question about his leak, to which he replied….. “you will see in a minute”….. Then he started to fill a baby bath, almost to the top, with water……..Then said “watch this “….. and threw it all over the floor…… Then said “now quickly follow me”. So I followed him downstairs with him now pointing to the ceiling saying “look… the water is leaking!

I honestly thought this guy was winding me up………but he was deadly serious.

The only advice I could give him was that as long as he NEVER does that again then he won’t have a leak.

He then just replied “OK”.

 

A cut above

 

We fitted a modern garden maintenance-free for a customer and he asked how often he should cut the artificial lawn.

Without batting an eyelid the apprentice said “I was wondering the same”.

Honestly, I couldn’t breathe.

 

A hole in the plan

 

We were working on a large project in Devon building one of our specialist wildlife ponds, it was quite big so it produced around 30 tonnes of spare earth which we included in the price to take away by grab lorry.

The lady of the house suddenly demanded ”why am I paying you to take away that soil in a big lorry?!”

I said “well, because there is nowhere else to spread it in your garden” to which she replied “pahhh, why can’t you DIG a hole and bury it!

 

Got your own hilarious story worth sharing? Let us know!

 

 


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