One of the best television programmes of the 1990s was Home Improvement, which starred Tim Allen as an accident-prone home improvement guru, and it helped to spark off a wave of men and women who wanted to improve their homes without employing people to do it for them, and without making all of the mistakes that Tim made throughout the series.

Today, home improvements performed by the homeowners rather than builders and designers are still going strong. There are a huge amount of books, programmes and sources of advice on the internet from those who have been there, made the mistakes and blown up the house, but somehow people are still making the same old mistakes which then end up costing them more money than they’d been prepared to spend.

If you think that you might be better off hiring people to do these jobs for you then that’s fine, but it is possible to get the home you’ve always wanted for the minimum cost if you go about the process in the right way. This means budgeting for every part of the job and sticking to that budget – it’s a massive pain for all concerned if you start going over budget and you need to ensure that you don’t start making changes to your plan, which should be conceived after you know how much money you’ll have to play with and what kind of changes you want to make. These are the main points to remember, and as long as you do so then you should be OK for the most part.

A space that’s usually not so easy to renovate is an office – even if you’re lucky enough to be working in your own space instead of a building along with other companies, it’s difficult to make wholesale changes without causing widespread disruption to the business and workforce. To make a hugely positive change without having to knock through a wall, invest in some simple office plants and spread them throughout the office – it’s been proven that plants improve office morale and productivity, as well as reducing absenteeism.

They also generally brighten the place up and make it look a bit less dingy to any potential clients or visitors that might wander in and if you make sure you get some that don’t need much care then you’re on to a winner because they won’t die within a week if someone forgets to water them.