Without any warning spring has burst upon the world. Daffodils vie with snowdrops and crocuses in a riotous carpet whilst soft apple and cherry blossom fill the skies. One of the benefits of a hard winter is that instead of creeping in one step at a time, spring arrives in a blaze of blossom and fills our hearts with joy.
Traditionally, this is the time for cupboards to be eviscerated and cushions to be shaken in an orgy of spring cleaning but when spring bursts on us as it has this year, for many the call goes deeper and we look to renovate our homes. Renovation can cover everything from a lick of paint to gutting the interior and starting again but traditionally renovation means rescuing your home from the shabbiness that has crept in through years of wear.
We'll start with a word of warning. Whilst it is easy to believe that the crack in the plaster or the slightly larger gap than expected beside an airbrick are as a result of materials breaking down with age, it is best to get a second opinion. Calling in a building surveyor doesn't cost the earth and they will swiftly be able to put your mind at rest or to suggest urgent repairs to prevent your home falling down. Either way you will then be able to get on with the renovation.
Starting with ceilings, they can crack and flake due to movement in upstairs rooms. Often a quick plaster skim will be all that is needed to restore a ceiling to its former glory. Occasionally your builder or surveyor may suggest replacing a particularly damaged section. Those with older homes should definitely take expert advice at this stage as some older ceilings contain asbestos.
Renovating walls could be as simple as redecorating but if plaster is flaking or separating then some remedial work may be required. An expert plasterer or builder will soon be able to advise on this. Tiled walls might benefit from a re-grout or a really good clean but here again if the tiles are separating from the wall then more drastic action is needed.
When it comes to floors, renovation might involve relaying wooden or tiled floors, adding underfloor heating or simply stripping off layers of grime and re-polishing. If you are taking up floors have a think about whether you want to rewire or change the route of any pipes before laying the new floor.
Taking the plunge and calling in a surveyor or interior decorator to help you to renovate can be daunting as you don't know what you might find when you start looking. Once done, your home will feel fresh and new just in time to face the lazy days of summer.