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Ways To Make Money From: Household And Property Related Services

Household And Property Related Services

MORE THAN EVER, people are prepared to pay big money to get their homes looking just how they want them.

Here are some low-cost, easy start-up ideas to cash in on this demand:

  1. Kitchen and bathroom converting

People often become bored with their homes over the years. By revitalizing their kitchens, bathrooms and more you could add a whole new lease of life to the entire house.

Kitchen and bathroom facelifts needn’t involve splashing out on expensive materials like new cabinets, washing machines and baths. All you need is a modest knowledge of carpentry, plumbing and color schemes. By simply changing the hinges and handles on drawers and giving the walls a lick of paint you can give a room an entirely different feel. Install some stylish new taps, replace those boring curtains with a snazzy blind and your client will feel like they’ve moved house.

For some handy design tips just turn on the TV. Do-it-yourself decorating programmes are all the rage these days, but don’t get too ambitious – a subdued William Morris design’s on thing, but turning the kitchen into an aquatic theme park is something entirely different.

  1. Shed conversions

How many people do you know who have a dilapidated old hut at the bottom of their garden, which houses the lawn mower and insect menagerie? Most people would rather holiday in Iraq than risk an Indiana Jones-type encounter with giant spiders in their garden shed.

The potential for conversion, therefore, is huge. If you have the skills you could transform people’s sheds into cozy guest houses, pet rooms or even a children’s play area. Try your library for books containing ideas for shed conversions along with building and DIY tips.

Of course, it pays to know what you’re doing. There are rigorous health and safety laws to negotiate and you won’t get far by doing a second rate job. However, for those who can guarantee an inexpensive, professional service, the rewards could be massive.

Advertising in shop windows or the Yellow Pages will certainly attract customers, but better still, why not join and existing contractor? That way you can leave the paper work to them and get on with the important business of transforming that rusty old shed into a luxurious sauna.

  1. Greenhouse merchant

As far more people turn their backs on ‘Frankenstein foods’ there’s a growing demand for organic, home grown crops. After all, nobody wants to eat a carrot with eyes. By supplying prefabricated greenhouses you can offer people the chance to grow their own vegetables as nature intended and avoid the gene-spliced mayhem of the supermarket shelves.

As a greenhouse retailer you’ll be able to supply and fit the frames (find a supplier who’ll be able to supply and fit the frames (find a supplier who’ll supply them at trade prices). You can also advise people on which plants to grow and how to care for their greenhouse. Besides being a practical alternative to a garden shed, a greenhouse can really enhance a garden. Colorful plants attract butterflies in the summer and create a perfect environment to relax in.

  1. Create and sell outdoor furniture

Outdoor furniture, although always popular, is rarely cheap. If you have a talent for carpentry and design, producing your own unique pieces of garden furniture can bring in a healthy profit.

Patio tables, benches, chaises lounges, bird tables and ornaments can either be sold through adverts or to local garden centres. Hand crafted furniture is rare these days and commands premium prices, so you can expect a good return on all your hard work.

Your most likely supplier of materials will be a wholesale wood merchant. But to save money and add interest, why not collect driftwood and logs from fallen trees and create garden furniture from them?

  1. Fitting new letter boxes

Few things are as annoying as having to pick up your parcel from the sorting office because it was too small to fit through your letter box. The obvious solution is to increase its size, but few people have the time or inclination needed to make such an alteration. This is where you come in.

By providing and inexpensive post box enlarging service you’ll be offering your customers a practical solution to their delivery dilemmas. You could advertise your service door to door, or better still, leave ‘parcel adverts’ outside people’s homes, demonstrating the inadequacies of their existing letter box.

  1. Child proofing homes

For many parents the one place they feel their child is truly secure is in the home, but this is often not the case. Danger may be present in all manner of seemingly harmless guises. A piece of loose carpet, a glass coffee table, even a favorite toy, could, if not properly supervised, provide a nasty surprise both for parents and children.

Child proofing a home is a highly responsible task. You’ll need to be knowledge in all areas of concern, from bottles of bleach to poorly made teddy bears. You can acquire information on what to look out for from libraries and existing child safety institutions, but you’ll also need to be able to spot the hidden risks, overlooked by the most conscientious of guardians.

If you are thinking of starting this in-demand business, be aware of the legalities and health and safety implications involved. Further information can be obtained from the British Security Industry Association (Tel: 01905 21464) and the Health and Safety Executive’s public enquiry point (0114 289 2345). It’s also worth seeking advice from a solicitor regarding insurance and other legal matters.

  1. Renovating antiques

If your talents are better suited to indoor furniture you could be earning a fortune renovating cupboards, tables, desks – anything you can turn your hand to.

Renovating and restoring furniture, especially antique, is a highly prized talent. You’ll need specialist training but, once qualified, you can expect a great deal of well-paid employment. Try contacting your local college for information on adult learning courses and training classes.

Restoring furniture is a time consuming business and you’ll need to really enjoy the process to be any good at it. Patience is essential, as is a steady hand and an eye for detail.

By advertising in specialist papers and flea markets you’ll build up a steady customer base. Alternatively you could purchase cheap secondhand furniture and, having renovated it, charge top rates, which those who can afford it will be only too happy to pay. The specialist body to consult for further information and professional membership is the British Antique Restorers’ Association (Tel: 01305 854822).

  1. Chandelier cleaning

We’ve all see that episode of Only Fools and Horses in which the Trotters embark on such a service, with suitably disastrous consequences. However, with the correct equipment and a delicate touch you could transform a dusty old chandelier into the dazzling focal point of any dining hall or foyer.

To avoid the catastrophic results of Del Boy’s efforts you’ll need to spend a little time familiarizing yourself with the subtleties of restoring a delicate eighteenth century masterpiece. Start small and work your way up to those Luis XVI- style behemoths.

Specialist cleaning fluids are required, as is a ladder or hoist, and the initial outlay may be quite large. However, once you can guarantee a professional service your client list will develop into a healthy enterprise. Just remember to leave Granddad at home.

  1. Renovating house exteriors

From mock Tudor to stone cladding, many home owners seek to personalize their property by altering its aesthetic appearance. Providing these kind of effects could be a profitable operation, especially if you have experience of the building trade.

The key to getting work is being able to show photographic examples of previous jobs and testimonials from satisfied customers. Those new to the business could start by doing jobs for relatives and neighbours to build up confidence, goodwill and referrals.

Membership of a professional body will serve to reassure customers. Contact the Federation of Master Builders (Tel: 0171 242 7583), National Federation of Builders (0171 608 5150), National Register of Warranted Builders (0171 404 4155) or the Scottish Building Contractors’ Association (0141 332 7144) for information.

Renovating house exteriors isn’t necessarily a job for an expert. Using stencils and color hardeners you could create convincing brickwork effects on concrete to really add life to a faceless home. Stamping tools can also be employed to give the impression of slates and cobblestone.

  1. Yard maintenance

Over time, many people’s back yards become weed ridden rubbish tips. You could make money transforming these desolate areas into an oasis of vegetation and beauty. If you enjoy working outside and have a basic knowledge of landscaping, yard maintenance and renovation could prove rewarding and financially viable. If you’re a budding Alan Titchmarsh, with a good knowledge of garden flowers, shrubs and trees, even better.

The main things you’ll need are some regular garden tools and a creative eye. Consultations with the owners will give you a basic idea of what they’ll be expecting and the rest is up to you. Once you’ve breathed life into your customer’s back yard, make regular visits to maintain all that hard work and effort.

As with any venture, it’s a good idea to get business cards printed to give to customers to pass to friends.

  1. Storage space consultant

No matter how organized most people are, you can guarantee that there will never be enough room to keep everything tidy and orderly. With a little knowledge of carpentry you can redesign household cupboards. And closet space in order to gain the greatest possible room.

No kind of structural alterations are necessary so you don’t have to concern yourself with planning permission. Simply have a chat with your customers to see what type of things will be kept in the area and then design new shelving appropriately.

Advertisements for your company could show a ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture of a cupboard – ‘before’ demonstrating untidiness and cluster, the later showing how you can help solve this problem.

There are an amazing number of ‘hoarders’ out there who can’t bear to throw anything away. This service will help those people live more comfortably with their roomfuls of useless junk.

  1. Varnishing service

Offering a door-to-door varnishing service is a great way to make money. Varnishing, like so many other household chores, is one of those annoying tasks that we all tend to put off for as long as possible. As such, unvarnished doors, sideboards, benches and fences are common in most properties up and down the country.

If you can provide a quality service that’s fairly cheap, you’re sure to find endless varnishing opportunities to generate some extra income.

  1. Energy conservation

Conserving energy can save the average homeowner thousands of pounds over a ten or 20 year period. It is, in fact, one the best and most commonly over looked ways of saving money. However, the initial expense often puts people off before they’ve calculated the huge savings they’ll make in the long run.

By convincing people that they will actually be making and investment by employing you to insulate their home, you could begin a highly profitable enterprise. Try including an outline of potential savings in your ads and other marketing materials.

Anyone with a basic affinity for DIY can operate this business. You don’t have to have a knowledge of installing double glazing or re-tilling a roof to help keep warmth in. By laying attic insulation and supplying simple draught excluders you could profit and your customers will actually be saving money in the process.

You needn’t limit your services to private homes either. Schools, shops and nurseries could all benefit from insulation. Providing you maintain high standards you’ll benefit from word of mouth recommendations in your local area and will then be able to expand farther afield.

  1. Upholstery cleaning

By providing a professional cleaning service for upholstery you could greatly increase your income. Spillages can really detract from a stylish piece of furniture and most people want to remove them as soon as possible.

That’s where you could come in. You can charge various amounts, depending on the severity of the stain and the time and effort it will require to be removed.

It’s not only stains that can spoil attractive upholstery. Dog / cat fur and general dust can gradually accumulate, causing chairs and sofas to lose their original appeal, and it all provides extra work for you.

The startup costs for such a business are relatively cheap. As long as people continue to drink red wine you’ll be offering a popular and lucrative service. For further information it may be worth contacting the Association of Master Upholsterers and soft Furnishers on 01633 215454.

  1. Renovating houses

If you consider yourself a dab hand at DIY you could earn your fortune by renovating houses. You’ll need to invest in a property with potential, but in need of some serious work. When you’ve finished you’ll have somewhere which could fetch three or four times the price it cost to purchase and renovate it. By continuing with this process you could soon have multiple homes on the go and sales that will generate considerable wealth.

Instead of selling the property you could rent it out – the student market is especially lucrative. You’ll need to follow strict legal guidelines in areas of safety (emergency lighting and are fire doors for example), but general repair work need not be of the same standard a regular family would expect. Although you’ll be charging less rent than for a typical family residence, student houses are guaranteed to be constantly occupied, generating a constant income for the landlord.

  1. Renovating private property

Instead of renovating your own properties you could renovate other people’s.

If you have a particular skill (plumbing, carpentry, plastering, damp proofing, roofing or electrics for example) your services will almost certainly be in demand. However, if you can assemble a team of specialists you could make money simply by taking orders and organizing where your craftsmen will go next. Payment will arise in one of three ways: a flat fee, a percentage of the final sale. Or a slice of the rental income.

Renovating private property can be a long winded, but lucrative, business. To really succeed you’ll need to keep to deadlines and provide a high standard of work. The rewards can be impressive though and you could soon earn enough money to buy and renovate your own home.

Instead of operating on a purely independent basis you could contact your local estate agent for information regarding prospective employment. Alternatively, contact builders and enquire about sub-contracting work.

  1. Construct model homes

Here’s a novel idea for those who consider a real house a little too time consuming.

Model homes make ideal gifts to collect and display as attractive ornaments. If you’re the creative type and have the skill to render little homes from clay, you could generate and impressive second income.

While many pottery shops and garden centres would be happy to stock your products, you could advertise to a more lucrative market. By advertising in property magazines you could be commissioned to produce replicas of existing cottages, farms and other such property.

These would make ideal gifts for your house proud friends and relatives.

  1. Create and sell DIY plans

If you’re the type of person who’s always doodling and playing with ideas, why not put them to paper and sell them? By designing plans for do-it-yourself enthusiasts to follow, you could profit from your creativity.

Blueprints are needed for any kind of project whether it’s a guest room, patio or barbecue area. By making your designs easy to follow and simple to construct you’re sure to attract a large customer base.

Advertise your designs in specialist DIY magazines and local hardware stores. You could also offer a direct mailing service to reach customers nationwide.

  1. Be a chimney sweep

This might seem a little odd in these days where no home is complete without a gas or electric fireplace, but many rural residences still use coal fires and chimneys.

In an attempt to maintain the authenticity of a property there is a growing fashion for restoring the original fireplaces. This means there is increasing work for chimney sweeps, who must ensure chimneys and flues and clear, clean and safe.

There is an extremely lucrative market in older properties. Barn conversations are profitable too – authentic fireplaces tend to be high on the list of priorities when the plans are being drawn up.

This service can be publicized by placing regular ads in the house / home section of local papers. Again, encourage customers to refer you to friends and neighbours. While it requires specialist training (consult the National Association of Chimney Sweeps on 01785 811732) bear in mind that this is a trade that refuses to die out.

  1. Installing loft ladders

Without a ladder, trying to get up into the loft can be a risky business. Wobbly chairs and tables become impromptu climbing frames as you struggle to hoist yourself up into the attic.

A loft ladder installation service would thus be welcome in many areas. You needn’t spend a fortune buying the ladders in bulk either. Simply ask the client to select the desired ladder, which you’ll then pick up and install for them.

You can bet your service will soon be requested by all manner of clientele, from older people to parents wishing to convert their attic into a playroom.

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