Five tips for finding contractors online

1. For starters, try the TrustMark website ( where you can search for the trade you need by postcode.

Indigo Tropical wallpaper, available from Gillian Arnold. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.

Clean living

Are you living the bathroom dream? The ultimate space for a wash-and-brush-up should also double up as a spoiling home-spa for relaxing - and your room is sadly lacking if it’s not offering both.

How do you find a reliable contractor? Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

Five tips for choosing a contractor

1. It’s no secret that one of the best ways to find someone who’ll do a good job is to get a recommendation from a friend, family member, neighbour or colleague. However, it doesn’t necessarily work well when it’s a recommendation from another tradesperson. While your plumber may know a good electrician they’ve worked with before, for example, if it’s a case of trying to get a mate some work, be cautious. It’s also the case that some tradespeople do a good job the first few times you use them and then become unreliable, perhaps because they have too much work - they’re only as good as their last job.

A bathroom with underfloor heating, available from The Underfloor Heating Store. Photo: PA Photo/Handout

Five tips about electric underfloor heating

1. An electric underfloor heating system (also known as a dry system) radiates heat through a series of wires in the floor.

Harper sofa and footstool, and Jocelyn armchair, both in Phoebe Print fabric, available from Marks and Spencer. Photo: PA Photo/Handout

Welcome home, petal!

Even the word ‘floral’ can strike decor dread into those who associate blooms, sprigs and sprays solely with chintzy country cottage settings, or fussy female boudoirs.

It's time to tackle that fence. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

Five tips for painting garden wood

1. Colours for garden wood have come a long way since you could get brown or green and little else.

LINA children's moon lounger, available from Amara. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.

Mini masters of the house

No pressure parents, but your children secretly have big dreams when it comes to their bedrooms. If they could wave a magic wand, they’d be kitted out with tree houses, Narnia-style wardrobes, a slide, swing and a stage - and that’s just for starters.

A derelict house, PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

Five renovation no-nos

1. It is unwise to take on a project unless you can really afford to do it properly and to the best of your ability.

Oslo four-seater dining set and parasol, available from Dunelm. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.

The Great Outdoor

Entertaining outdoors is part of the pleasure of lazy summer days and balmy evenings, and no matter what size your space - a grand terrace or a tiny balcony - it’s vital to make the most of the area.

Painting the ceiling. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

Five tips for a successful renovation

1. Ensure you do the basics first. With any renovation project, it pays to start with the essentials, such as rewiring, replacing the central heating system, repairing the roof and addressing any damp and structural problems.

Union flag lambswool blanket, available from the Royal Collection Trust. Photo: PA Photo/Handout

Pimp your palace

A birthday’s always a good excuse to celebrate, and decor’s awash with red, white and blue, crests and coronets to mark the Queen’s 90th.

Be safe when using ladders in the home. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

Five tips for DIY basics

1. Accurate measuring is vital for all sorts of DIY tasks, but it’s surprisingly easy to get wrong.

The Spaces Bruges Indoor Grey Tile available from Photo: PA Photo/Handout.

Absolutely floorless

Choosing new flooring can be daunting, especially when you consider the groundwork that goes into crafting the perfect floor plan.

If you are doing major renovation work you will probably need a skip. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

Five tips for an eco renovation

1. When renovating, it’s tempting to rip everything out and start again, but there may be things you can keep, upcycle or get a professional to restore.

Black Matt Chalkboard Paint 1L, �11.73, B&Q. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.

Make light work of that big spring clean

Amanda Lamb is at home, surrounded by a mop, dusters and boxes, as she enthusiastically prepares to tackle the job most of us dread - the big spring clean.

Amber and Rose gift box candle, large candle tin, large pillar candle, and reed diffuser, all available from Shearer Candles. Photo: PA Photo/Handout

Six simple spring solutions

Just as we shake up our wardrobe at this time of year, following the same approach indoors can brighten our homes for spring. It’s not difficult to shake off winter chills, and add instant cheer to rooms so they’re smart for spring: simply follow our six-step plan...

A man fixing parquet flooring. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

Five tips for eco flooring

1. The most eco option when it comes to flooring is using the flooring you already have.

A living room with white painted floorboards. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

Five tips for painting floorboards

1. Period floorboards often have modern boards mixed in where repairs have been done over the years, or you may need to patch in new boards to replace damaged ones if you’re uncovering the boards for the first time.

Why not get painting this Easter weekend? Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

Five DIY tips for Easter

1. Prep a room. A long weekend should be more than enough time to repaint a room, but when there’s prep involved, it can take much longer than you think.

Easter Bunny Egg Cups, Dobbies stores. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.

Easter decor delights

Easter - a time for fun and frolics with family and friends - and why not decorate for the occasion?

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