Whether you're in need of a project to keep you busy during the lockdown, or feel that your home could do with a refreshing spring boost, try our suggestions for DIY tasks.
Spending more time at home makes it tempting to start on the DIY projects that you've been meaning to do for months. With the lockdown extended for three more weeks, you might even have time to tackle several.
You're not alone: a fifth (19%) of people have started decorating their home, or are doing more, since the start of the lockdown, according to a poll by Ipsos Mori (1,069 British adults, 10-13 April 2020).
Before you dive in, check you're confident that you can complete the project safely. Avoid jobs involving tall ladders, power tools or other elements that could risk injury. With the NHS under pressure, now is not the time to take on tasks that put you in danger.
Need to buy the materials? Most DIY stores are currently closed, although many are offering click and collect or home delivery, and a few have started reopening their doors this week.
Whether you're looking for inspiration to touch-up your living space or a project to refresh a room, here are our suggestions:
Repainting will give any room an instant lift, whether it's refreshing tired walls or transforming your space with a completely different colour. Tiled bathrooms with relatively few painted surfaces are quicker to do (but more fiddly) than rooms with large expanses of wall space.
Consider the paint you choose depending on the room. For example, you can buy special mould-resistant emulsions for bathrooms, or harder-wearing emulsions for heavily used rooms, such as hallways.
Allow enough time to prep your room before you start painting. Ensuring any holes are filled, and walls sanded and washed-down will make a big difference to how neat the completed job looks.
Follow expert tips from Which? Trusted Traders to get started with decorating:
While it might not sound like the most exciting task to tackle, getting to the bottom of problem damp or condensation in your home should be satisfying - and might help save you money in the long term.
The worse the situation gets, the more time, effort and money it is likely to take to resolve in future.
There are several types of damp:
Condensation is the most common type of damp. It occurs when warm moist air condenses on cool walls or windows. It's common in rooms where lots of moisture is produced, usually bathrooms and kitchens, and tends to be more of a problem in winter.
If you notice water droplets on your windows or walls, dark mould near windows and a mouldy smell, this is probably what you are dealing with.
While the days are getting warmer and sunnier, early mornings and evenings are still feeling the chill.
Draught-proofing doors and windows is a quick, cheap way to make your home feel cosier and cut your heating bills - by around £20 per year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Start by looking for the source of the draughts. The culprits will be uncovered gaps and openings to the outside, such as windows, doors, keyholes, letterboxes, chimneys, fireplaces and loft hatches.
Once you've found them, draught-proofing is fairly straightforward if you're happy to tackle simple DIY jobs. Single-glazed windows are trickier, however.
Depending on where your draughts are coming from, you have various options including:
Products are available from most DIY shops (although stock may be limited, or delivery times longer, owing to coronavirus).
Limescale, grime and mould building up over time will make any bathroom look tired. Fixing these will give it an instant lift.
You can buy specialist limescale-shifting and mould-cleaning products from supermarkets and DIY stores.
If those don't do the trick, try an anti-mould grout-reviving pen. They come in different colours to match the colour of your grout (or the colour you'd like it to be).
If you have more time on your hands, you could redo the grouting entirely. Look for a product that will help prevent staining and mould growth in future, so your bathroom looks its best for longer.
Follow our tips to spruce up your old sofa or keep your new one in top condition. One in 10 of us admitted to never having cleaned their sofa* - if that's you, now is the time to give it a go!
*Online survey of 5,715 Which? Connect members in March 2019.
Few of us are fortunate enough to own a carpet cleaner, and hiring one isn't an option for many people at the moment.
To avoid a stain ruining your carpet, act fast. The sooner you tackle it, the better the chance of removing it:
It's hard not to compile a mental list of 'what you want to do when this is over'. You can use any extra time you have now to plan and prepare for future projects.
Upgrading your kitchen or bathroom, getting new double glazing or planning a loft extension or conservatory are big projects that require planning and time to make a decision. There's plenty you can do in advance to prepare.
Start looking for inspiration online, including on retailers' websites, to get an idea of styles and prices. If you're considering double glazing, new doors or building work, take a look at nearby properties when you're taking your daily exercise, for inspiration or to see how a similar project looks.
Check our handy guides for ideas and practical tips to get you started:
Although many traders are currently only doing essential and emergency work, some are able to give quotes for future work online or over the phone, or even offer video consultations to plan projects for when the lockdown is lifted.