Chocolate, A Royal Wedding and home improvements – it could only be Easter.

What a Bank Holiday! Hopefully, you were lucky enough to have a few days off and enjoy the Bank Holiday.

Did you spend it in endless queues of traffic or busy with paintbrush and tools?

If the thought of reaching for the tool box left you heading for the coast, then help is at hand.

Home improvement companies are currently offering some very competitive deals to earn your business. Everything from free fitting, tiling and appliances with new fitted kitchens to free blinds, flooring and furniture with conservatories.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to sort through what’s on offer though, before committing to one particular company or another. Weigh up how much real value an offer is to you and your individual circumstances – free flooring may sound nice but a glass roof for the cost of a polycarbonate one means you’ll be able to enjoy your conservatory more throughout the year.

And a-rated glass over free cane furniture will make your conservatory easier and cheaper to heat in the winter, as well as contributing to your home’s overall energy efficiency.

In the kitchen, free tiling could really finish your kitchen off but compare that with free appliances and compare the individual costings and value for money before making a snap decision.

The opportunity to compare offers continues outside your home. Driveways and solar panels in particular will often come with such tempting offers that you’ll have to put your own circumstances first. An energy usage review before installing solar panels will show you what you can slim your present energy usage down to, so you’ll know what size of solar installation you really need, rather than basing the system requirements on what you presently use.

And whilst driveway installers may be keen to offer discounts on one type or another of block, don’t settle for a colour merely because it’s on offer. With all home improvements, you’ll be living with the finished job for a very long time so it’s important to get it right first time.

Because paving samples don’t usually give you a good enough idea of what a whole driveway will look like, why not ask if the paving company has any computer type simulations or even addresses of previous installations in the block you prefer, near to you.

Finally, don’t forget to examine all your financing options when considering a major home improvement.

*This article first appeared in our weekly homeowner newsletter dated 4th May 2011. Click here to read the full newsletter.

photo credit: emily jones

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