• In praise of unrenovated kitchens and overgrown gardens | Johanna Leggatt
    Our enthusiasm for turning where we live into display homes is making them soulless - and us boringIf you want a picture of marital misery, or perhaps you are a sadomasochist and wish to test the limits of your relationship, then grab your partner by the hand and head to ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-24
  • Pot luck: the paint recyclers who put leftover litres to good use
    It’s all profit and gloss for the Brits who do exactly what it says on the tinRare is the DIY dilettante with the foresight to know they are never going to use the rest of that paint they stashed in the shed after doing up the living room. Who hasn’t ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2018-10-01
  • Can I trust a website for a reliable handyman?
    We are looking for someone to do some home repairs for my elderly parentsEvery week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.In search of a handyman ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2018-08-04
  • Homebase cuts 300 jobs as more store closures loom
    Third of head office roles axed as new owners reportedly consider closing up to 80 storesHomebase is cutting 300 jobs at its Milton Keynes head office amid speculation that up to 80 stores will close after its takeover by the restructuring specialist Hilco. The loss-making DIY chain was bought by ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2018-06-28
  • Want to avoid cowboy builders? Here’s how to find a reliable one
    We examine how the main websites that list tradespeople measure upForget sun, sand and sea. For many, this summer will be all about skips, cement and the builder’s drill. For those planning home improvements, the key question will be where they can find a reliable tradesperson.Some 45,000 people called Citizens Advice ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2018-06-04
  • Homebase sold to Hilco for £1 putting jobs and 60 stores at risk
    Acquisition of DIY chain ‘an unbelievable disaster’ for Australian group WesfarmersHomebase has been sold to the restructuring specialist Hilco, the owner of HMV, for £1 as the DIY chain’s Australian owner pulls the plug on its disastrous venture into the UK, putting thousands of jobs at risk.Wesfarmers, which bought the ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2018-05-25
  • ‘A pool in the basement is a clear marker of wealth’: how the super-rich are digging down
    In London’s richest boroughs vast subterranean enclaves are being carved out over several floors to house cars, wine, saunas and private nightclubs. How did underground living – once associated with poverty and disease – become an investment scheme for the uber-wealthy?With its eclectic fusion of Regency and mythological motifs, Havona ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2018-05-07
  • ‘Homebase is the most disastrous retail acquisition in the UK ever’
    Australia’s Bunnings caught out by ‘complexity’ of British home improvements marketIt’s an Aussie institution in crisis after aggressive management led to disgrace and embarrassment overseas. It also knows a thing or two about sandpaper.This is not the country’s cricket side, but Bunnings, the Australian DIY retailer, that set out to ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2018-03-30
  • Boring chore? Airtasker or TaskRabbit could help – at a price
    Two services that allow users to outsource everyday tasks are launching in the UK, but are they destroying workers’ rights?It’s like Uber, but for the household chores you can’t face doing yourself: from assembling flat-pack Ikea furniture, to cleaning your home, to sorting out problems with your computer. You go ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2018-03-10
  • Cold at home? Here’s how to beat the winter chill
    Britons’ homes are among the draughtiest in Europe. You can change that this weekendIf you’ve been struggling to keep your home warm this week, you are far from alone. UK homes are some of the least well insulated in Europe. But experts say a few simple DIY changes can dramatically ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2018-03-03
  • Is your wood stove choking you? How indoor fires are suffocating cities
    A wood stove emits more harmful air particulates than a diesel truck. Does their newfound popularity in cities threaten to wipe out progress in reducing air pollution?A modest proposal for solving the air pollution crisis: a worker smog bonusEmma Meaden loves to sit in her north-west London flat, her dogs ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2018-02-22
  • Personal debt: how you can shred your borrowing this year
    Left with a financial hangover after the festive period? Here’s how to cut your credit card payments, overdrafts and loansFriday was Twelfth Night (unless you subscribe to the idea it’s on 6 January), when we traditionally take down Christmas decorations. But while the baubles and lights may be back in ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2018-01-06
  • The daily grind could do us a power of good | Brief letters
    Chores and bones | Sallie Thornberry | Mating signals | Doorstep scamsFollowing this research (Pounding grain gave Neolithic women bones to beat athletes, it would be interesting to study the difference, if any, between the bones of women before, say, the 1970s and today. Before most households possessed automatic washing ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2017-11-30
  • New house DIY: are you ready for a fixer-upper?
    Properties in need of renovation can be an affordable choice, but quite how much will be based on your current skills and budget. What can you do yourself, and what should you leave to the pros?As first-time buyers, PR manager Robyn Morrison and her fiance had a choice to make. ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2017-10-26
  • I was not prepared for home ownership. Or country living | Brigid Delany’s diary
    In almost all matters to do with my first home in the country, I am shockingly ignorant. What are rates? What is that creature? The fence will cost how much?It’s been more than 12 months now since I’ve moved from an apartment in Sydney to a cottage in the country ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2017-10-26