The Best DIY and How-To Tutorials To Improve Your Home of November 2020

Brexit 2020: mortgage and house price predictions – Which? News

The Best DIY and How-To Tutorials To Improve Your Home of November 2020

Whether you’re a staunch remainer or avid leaver, there’s no denying that the uncertainty caused by Brexit has caused property market jitters over the past few years – but now the UK has left the EU, will house prices settle?

Brexit officially took place on 31 January 2020 and we are now in a transition period, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said will last until the end of 2020.

Negotiations will take place over the next few months to see whether the UK can reach a trade deal with the EU. We won’t know the true impact of Brexit on the UK economy and house prices until this has been decided, but a survey of more than 2,000 people by property-buying firm Good Move has found that three-quarters of Brits overestimate the impact Brexit has had on house prices so far.

So what’s really going on?

We’ve analysed market activity before and since the Brexit referendum and spoken to experts from the estate agency, building, mortgage and buy-to-let sectors to bring you the insider’s guide to what’s happened so far, plus predictions for the coming months.

What could a base rate cut mean for the property market?

The economic uncertainty caused by Brexit has undoubtedly affected the market, with house prices falling in some areas and a slowdown in sales through much of 2019.

However, December 2019 saw the highest number of property transactions since before the referendum, with sales up 6.8% year-on-year. Some have put this sign of renewed confidence down to the general election result, with the Conservatives’ victory enabling them to return to majority rule.

In terms of the wider economy, a base rate cut is looking increasingly ly following the most recent vote by the Monetary Policy Committee, in which two nine members voted for a decrease for the second month in a row.

Question marks over what this could mean for mortgage rates are making decisions even tougher for those weighing up whether to move house or remortgage.

  • Find out more: what will Brexit mean for interest rates?

What will a no-deal Brexit mean for house prices?

While many MPs are strongly opposed to it, a no-deal Brexit remains the default position if the government can’t agree a trade deal with the EU by the end of this year.

Many business leaders and financial experts have expressed concerns about the potential consequences of leaving without a deal.

Accountancy firm KPMG predicted in September that house prices would fall by around 6% following a no-deal Brexit, but that they could drop by as much as 20% in a worst-case scenario.

In July, the Office for Budget Responsibility said that a no-deal Brexit could lead to house prices falling by almost 10% by mid-2021.

Looking further back, Bank of England governor Mark Carney said in February 2019 that UK growth would be ‘guaranteed’ to fall in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

  • Find out more: the Which? Brexit Consumer Charter

What’s happened to house prices since the Brexit vote?

House prices did stagnate for a while following the referendum in June 2016, as you’ll see in the chart below. However, that was fairly normal for the time of year: prices generally grow in spring and plateau over the following few months, a pattern that was repeated in 2017.

But, with Brexit looming ever closer, house prices fell much more sharply than usual in the second half of 2018.

The good news, if you’re a homeowner, is that prices have generally recovered over the past few months. In fact, November 2019 – the most recent month available from the Land Registry – claimed the highest-ever average house price of £235,298.

Are UK house prices falling?

Looking at year-on-year house price change over the longer term can be another useful way of understanding what the market’s doing.

The chart below shows what the annual rate of change has been each June since 2014, plus November 2019 (the most recent data available at time of publishing):

Year-on-year house price change before and after the EU referendum (%)

As you can see, the rate of house price growth plummeted in the year after the referendum everywhere in the UK except Scotland, which remained flat.

Two years on, in June 2018, year-on-year price growth had improved in every UK nation except England.

By June 2019, with Brexit supposedly fast approaching, the rate of growth had slowed across the board to a UK average of 1.01%.

However, by November – by which time Brexit had been postponed yet again until 31 January (which ultimately turned out to be the real Brexit date) things had picked up across the board. Wales put in a particularly strong performance, with prices up 7.75%.

This complex picture shows how difficult it is to draw a direct link between Brexit and house price activity: it’s impossible to accurately state the extent to which Brexit has influenced the figures.

  • Find out more: how much is your house worth?

Transaction volumes since the referendum

Another way to judge the health of the housing market is to look at transaction volumes, meaning the number of property sales in any given month. A lower number of sales can indicate market uncertainty, which is often triggered by events such as an election or referendum.

Interestingly, the referendum itself didn’t seem to have much impact on transaction figures. In early 2019, however, transactions were quite sharply down compared to the same months in 2018.

But activity has improved recently, and December – the most recent month transactions data is available for – saw the highest number of UK property sales since early 2016.

(The spike you can see in the graph below was caused by investors rushing to complete their purchases before the 3% buy-to-let stamp duty surcharge came into force in April 2016.)

What’s the market for sellers?

Two commonly used measures of how the market is performing for sellers are stock per branch – which is the average number of properties on each estate agency’s books – and time to sell.

The chart below, which uses data from the Rightmove house price index, shows that it’s taken people longer to sell their homes recently than in previous years. A year ago in January 2019, the average time for a property to go under offer shot up to 77 days, the highest on record.

It did fall again after that, following the usual seasonal trend, but you can see from the graph that selling time is still higher than it was in the past. We’ll update this page as soon as figures are available to show what’s going on now that Brexit has actually happened.

Stock per branch is only slightly up year-on-year, from 46 in December 2018 to 47 in December 2019.

This could be indicative of seller frustration, with data agency TwentyCi pointing to 798,000 homes having been withdrawn from the market over the course of 2019.

Brexit house price predictions: what do the experts think?

The charts above show us what’s already happened, but what lies ahead? We spoke to a range of industry experts to find out what they believe the future holds for the UK property market this year and once the transition period is over.

The mortgage broker: ‘Don’t just jump into a fixed rate’

David Blake, mortgage expert at On The Money, says: ‘The political situation may be in turmoil but it’s important that buyers and homeowners don’t panic or make any rash decisions.

‘I’m sure many people are waiting until we know more about whether the UK will leave with a deal, but it’s tough putting your life on hold for an unknown.

‘Recent price drops in some regions mean that it’s becoming more of a buyer’s market, so you might be able to get a good deal. Besides, buying a property should generally be regarded as a long-term investment and, even if there is a short-term price drop, house prices will probably stabilise in the future.

‘Mortgage rates are incredibly low right now and many will want to fix into a low rate to give themselves security during this period of uncertainty. But don’t just jump into a fixed rate without considering the alternatives – there are plenty of flexible products that would leave your options to remortgage open if rates did start to change.

‘Brexit is still a complete unknown, and while a professional mortgage adviser won’t have all the answers, they will be able to explain your mortgage options to help you navigate this period of uncertainty.’

  • Find out more: how to choose a mortgage broker

The property pundit: ‘There could be a Brexit bounce in early 2020’

Kate Faulkner, housing expert and founder of, says: ‘One of the things that has held the market back over the last 12 months is the uncertainty of Brexit and latterly the election.

‘Now both of these questions are settled and as people have hung on for some time, it is ly there will be a bit of a Brexit bounce in activity at the start of 2020. As a result I would expect more people to put properties up for sale and more buyers coming into the market.

‘In some areas this may result in a short-term rise in prices as people compete for quality properties in good locations, which are ly to remain in short supply.

‘Most are predicting small rises year-on-year in 2020, but I expect the rises will come at the start of the year and then fall back as pent-up demand subsides.

‘As always, buying a home is all about your own personal circumstances, and it is essential to seek advice from local agents about the market for an existing home and the one you are buying, rather than rely on averages in the media.

‘Getting good financial advice is also essential and as we are still in uncertain times, seeking help if prices do fall to protect the roof over your head is vital.’

  • Find out more: how to buy a house

The estate agent: ‘Brexit is undoubtedly causing uncertainty’

Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark says: ‘Brexit is undoubtedly causing uncertainty in the housing market, which in turn affects sentiment and decision-making.

Once there’s clarity on [whether we’ll end up with a trade deal], we hope there will be a degree of certainty which may trigger a flurry of activity.’

  • Find out more: how to find the best estate agent

The buy-to-let expert: ‘Portfolio landlords will fare well’

Chris Norris, director of policy and practice at the National Landlords Association (NLA), says: ‘The issues troubling most landlords are the status of non-UK, and in particular EU, citizens, given their responsibilities to police the Government’s Right to Rent policy, as well as the overall impact that [Brexit] will have on the stability of the housing market.

‘It is still too early to predict what impact Brexit will have on property values. A weakening of the appeal of UK investment could drive prices down or a lack of certainty could drive up interest in the relative stability of bricks and mortar.

‘wise, while Boris Johnson’s victory [in the general election] might have been music to the ears of those that wanted Brexit done and dusted, the uncertainty is not yet over. And aside from Brexit, landlords are concerned about what the government’s plans will be for the private rented sector more broadly.

‘All factors together have caused landlord confidence to fall to an all-time low, and the government must take urgent action to deliver on its pre-election promise to strengthen landlords’ rights of possession by reforming the law courts if it is to stave off a crisis in the private rented sector.

‘On a day-to-day level, changes to immigration policy after [the transition period] could reduce demand from those coming to the UK, or drive up interest from those taking advantage of new arrangements with states outside the EU.

‘It is ly that landlords with established, well-capitalised portfolios will fare reasonably well. However, those heavily reliant on finance may find uncertain conditions more troubling.’

  • Find out more: buy-to-let advice

The housebuilder: ‘We need clarity about Help to Buy’

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, says: ”Un the wider housing market, where transactions have dropped considerably from the historical norm over recent years, the new-build market has remained relatively strong.

‘However, challenges have been starting to appear more recently at certain parts of the market and areas of the country.

‘The industry is reliant on consumer confidence, which requires a level of economic and political stability, and we must hope the government can address the political paralysis and uncertainties we have faced.

‘We urgently need to see confirmation on the terms of the new Help to Buy scheme running from 2021 to 2023. The scheme is ensuring demand for new-build homes remains strong [and]… the certainty of demand is enabling builders to plan ahead to increase output still further in the coming years, as is demonstrated by the record high number of planning permissions being granted.

‘To enable increases to be delivered, the industry needs certainty about future labour supply. It is essential that, post-Brexit, the industry continues to be able to access skilled labour from abroad if housing targets are to be met.’

  • Find out more: buying a new-build home

This article was first published on 1 November 2018. Copy, charts and quotes have been regularly updated since then to reflect newly released data and the latest Brexit news.


65 Easy Thanksgiving Decorations – Best Ideas for Thanksgiving Decorating

The Best DIY and How-To Tutorials To Improve Your Home of November 2020

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DIY Apple Candleholders

Whipping up one of your famous apple pies this year? Put the extra apples to good use in this cool and totally unexpected DIY.

Make the Candleholders: Use a paring knife to cut a 1-inch deep hole in the top of a few apples, slightly narrower than the candles, and wedge the candles in. Display alone or with stacked apples and seeded eucalyptus on a neutral cake stand.


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DIY Pine Cone Wreath

Let your guests in on all the festive fun happening just beyond the doorway with this pine cone wreath. You can even make it last-minute with a few pine cones gathered from your own yard.

Make the Wreath: Wrap a 16-inch wreath form with burlap ribbon and loop a piece around the wreath form for hanging. Paint the tips of 40 pine cones in fall colors such as orange, yellow, and beige with acrylic paint.

Brush the tips of 10 pine cones with matte Mod Podge and sprinkle with gold and copper glitter.

Once dry, wrap an 18-inch length of floral wire around the base of each pinecone and twist tie around the wreath form to secure, layering and overlapping them as you go.


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Simple Table Setting

Create a simple, yet chic, tablescape with pieces of seasonal fruit topping a linen napkin laid on each plate. Add vases of fresh wildflowers down the table too for an effortlessly undone fall look.


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Handwritten Menu Cards

Show off your calligraphy skills alongside your cooking skills. Menu cards are not only functional, but can be a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving dinner too.


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Hand-Embroidered Table Runner

Want to make everyone in the family feel loved? Create a table runner with each guest's name written right on it. Use disappearing ink pens to write the names before embroidering them on for homespun decoration. What a fun alternative to place cards!


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Decked-Out Pickup Truck

Take your Thanksgiving feast outside this year! Sure, not every area of the country will allow for an al fresco dinner, but if yours does, we suggest you take full advantage. Serve appetizers from the back of a pickup truck, and add freshly picked pumpkins, bold blooms, and plaid throws.


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Pumpkin Pie Place Cards

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DIY Concrete Pumpkins

“Charming concrete” might sound an oxymoron…until you've seen these adorable pumpkins, that is. Using silicone molds, you can create these modern beauties yourself and use them to decorate your Thanksgiving table. Better yet, paint them in a variety of fall colors!

Get the tutorial at Sugar and Charm.


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Thankful Wall Art

Here's a project that's perfect for beginner and expert level crafters a. Prop this DIY sign up on your mantel, use it to liven up a guest room, or frame it on your kitchen wall to inspire your cooking on Thanksgiving.

Get the tutorial at We Lived Happily Ever After.


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DIY Thanksgiving Balloons

It doesn't get much more whimsical than balloons in the shape of roasted turkey legs. Whether you choose to add in a few of the Thanksgiving phrase balloons as well or just go all in on on the legs themselves, you're setting yourself up for serious Thanksgiving success.

Get the tutorial at Studio DIY.


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Pumpkin Place Cards

These place cards aren't just good looking (and glittery!); they're meaningful too. Within each name banner is a hidden message of gratitude that you can customize depending on your relationship with the guest.

Get the tutorial at Woman's Day.


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Give Thanks Pumpkin

A white pumpkin accented with a faux magnolia leaf and a calligraphed message is the centerpiece of your most sophisticated Thanksgiving dreams.

Get the tutorial at Lolly Jane.


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Gratitude Tree With Acorn Favors

Your guests will be grateful for the acorn favors that hang from this arrangement. Each one contains lip balm for when that cold November weather hits.

Get the tutorial at The House That Lars Built.


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Pumpkin Ice Bucket

Transform a pumpkin into the cutest ice bucket with just a few supplies you probably already have at home.

Get the tutorial at Plaid.


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Give Thanks Banner

Save money on decorations with this free printable banner, which you can customize with flowers or greenery of your choice.

Get the tutorial at Homey Oh My.


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Candle Wreaths

It's easy to forget to decorate areas your coffee table, which is why we love this miniature wreath. You can make this craft in minutes and display with a candle just about anywhere.

Get the tutorial at Tonality Designs.


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Grateful Heart Printable Sign

Fill an empty photo frame with this free printable and you'll have a pretty, new decoration ready to go in no time.

Get the tutorial at Bird's Party.


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Colorful Walnut Garland

Make this garland feel just right for your abode by choosing a palette of paints that complement your decor.

Get the tutorial at Studio DIY.


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Chalkboard Pumpkins

Give your Halloween pumpkins new life by coating them with chalkboard paint and using them to highlight your Thanksgiving menu.

Get the tutorial at Better Recipes.


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Wheat Cloches

Make this harvest display by turning a cloche display upside down and inserting a bushel of wheat tied with twine. Once it's centered, turn it right side up. You can finish the look with pillar candles, gourds, or use leftover wheat to adorn candle holders.


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Fiery Florals

Get inspired by the fall foliage and create an autumnal display of beautiful blooms in shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple. Use an antique trophy (with a flower frog inside) to give flowers a loose, fanned out look.


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Spice Tin Arrangements

Decorate your dinner table, dessert display, or kitchen island with these inexpensive arrangements fashioned from wildflowers and spice tins. Feel free to use containers in various heights, sizes, and designs—just be sure they feature autumn's rich reds, bright oranges, and golden hues.


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Copper Thanksgiving Table Decor

A green and copper color palette makes for a warm, inviting Thanksgiving table setting, and kraft paper cards at each place encourage guests to jot down their blessings. Even better: Almost everything can be sourced from the dollar store and grocery store!

Get the tutorial at Bless'er House.


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DIY Basket Thanksgiving Wreath

Why should Easter get all the woven fun? This rustic wreath will have guests singing, “A-tisket, a-tasket, a Thanksgiving basket.”

Get the tutorial at Twelve on Main.


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Printable Give Thanks Sign

Download and print this free design and throw in a wooden frame for a Thanksgiving decoration that's as easy as can be.

Get the tutorial at Shanty 2 Chic.


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Corn Husk Wreath

Paint the tips for an elegant twist on this harvest staple.

Step 1: Wrap corn husks around an 18-inch diameter straw wreath, using a hot-glue gun to adhere the edges. You'll need about 35 husks to completely cover the wreath form.

Step 2: Using a foam brush, paint the tips of 48 additional corn husks with gold acrylic paint; let dry (about 15 minutes).

Step 3: Starting with the outer edge of the wreath, use hot-glue to adhere three concentric rings of 16 corn husks each. (Attach the second ring to the middle of the wreath and the third to its inner edge.) For the second and third rings, position the tip of each corn husk between two corn husks from the previous ring.



13 Home Improvement Tutorials – DIY How-To Ideas From Pinterest

The Best DIY and How-To Tutorials To Improve Your Home of November 2020

These tricks will make you feel a professional decorator and handyman.

1 of 13

Hang Draperies a Pro

Want your curtains to look fuller? Measure the space between the rod and the wall — this space is called the “drapery return” — so your curtains can wrap all the way around.

Get the tutorial at Sengerson »

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Hang a No-Fail Gallery Wall

Don't go the trial-and-error route (that'll just leave your wall full of random holes). Use kraft paper to map out where each frame should go before you even pull out the hammer.

Get the tutorial at Momtastic »

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Paint a Door the Right Way

Betcha didn't know there was a wrong way to paint a door. Well worry not: This numbered guide could not be any easier to follow and will ensure your paint job comes out smooth and even.

Get the tutorial at The Idea Room »

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Seal the Gap Between Your Baseboard and the Wall

If you notice a crack starting to form at the seam between your wall and baseboard, you shouldn't just paint over the top — that won't fix anything. Instead, add a new layer of caulk to help fill in the gap.

Get the tutorial at Yay for Handmade »

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Hang a New Light Fixture

We get it: Electricity is scary. But as long as you turn off the power before starting this home improvement task, you're golden. Then it's only a matter of removing the existing fixture and feeding the wires through the new light before securing it to the ceiling with screws.

Get the tutorial at Sawdust & Embryos »

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Mount a Picture Without a Hanger

If you spot a frame you that's intended to rest on your tabletop instead of your wall, here's a nifty way to make it work for you: Just cut slits through the cardboard back and use a knotted piece of ribbon as your makeshift hanger.

Get the tutorial at Aunt Peaches »

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Caulk Your Bathtub Without a Gun

Don't want to invest in a caulk gun? Use this nifty tape trick instead (that you're probably familiar with if you paint). First, you should clean your tub, then dry it completely. Afterwards line up your tape, add the caulk, and voilà!

Get the tutorial at On Sutton Place »

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Hang a Curtain Rod

Instead of measuring up, out, using a level, and then repeating the process all over again, use a cardboard stencil to guarantee your rod hangs evenly. Even better: The high, wide placement makes the windows feel larger.

Get the tutorial at Miss Mustard Seed »

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Replace Your Faucet With Ease

Nothing dates your bathroom faster than an outdated faucet. If this step-by-step tutorial teaches you anything, it's that updating hardware is easier than you might think — just make sure you turn the water off before you start!

Get the tutorial at Young House Love »

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Paint Sharp Lines Every Time

If you're going to paint stripes on your wall, make sure you paint from the surface of your tape towards the other piece (instead of up and down). This will make your lines extra sharp when you pull the tape off.

Get the tutorial at DIY Fun Ideas »

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Restore Your Grimy Grout

You probably don't notice your grout getting dark and dirty until it's too late. Just use cotton balls to spread cleaner on the crevices and let sit over night. Wipe off in the morning and you'll wonder why you didn't clean between your tiles sooner.

Get the tutorial at On Sutton Place »

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Save Time While Painting Your Home

Artist brushes make painting around even the most difficult household items (doorknobs, outlets, you name it) a breeze. Use 'em to touch up knicks and marks on your walls, too.

Get the tutorial at Live Love DIY »

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Fix Dented Wall Corners

Don't just paint over your problems (that won't fix anything). Grab some spackle and a plastic knife to even out holes on your corner or dents in your wall — then add paint on top of your smooth-as-can-be wall.

Get the tutorial at Behind the Studio »

10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Home Look More Expensive

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10 Backyard DIY Projects for Homeowners in 2020

The Best DIY and How-To Tutorials To Improve Your Home of November 2020

Backyards are your opportunity to create a small oasis away from the rest of the world. A personalized getaway where you can relax, unwind and create new memories with your loved ones. Invest in your home with outdoor improvements! 

Here is our list of top backyard DIY projects to get the most your yard. 

1. Outdoor Kitchen

Any true outdoorsman loves to spend time outside grilling, but to perfect your BBQ routine you need to be fully equipped. Having your grill, sink, and utensils all within arms reach means you can focus on the cooking.

This DIY outdoor kitchen simplifies the BBQ process, so you can stop dashing inside for your cooking essentials and spend more time soaking up the sun.

Complete with an outdoor sink, counter space, and dish storage, you’ll be fully equipped to become known as the grill master.

2. Deck & Railings

A well-designed deck is essential is creating a backyard that is inviting and comfortable place to pass the time. A freestanding deck can be built anywhere that best fits the lay your yard. See these deck design plans to build your own freestanding deck that suits your backyard vision. Of course, you’ll want to ensure the safety of your deck by adding railings.

Our Century Aluminium Railings are easy and quick to install for any DIY project. You can choose between scenic, glass, or pickets railings to find the style that aligns with your vision. Additionally, adding pipe railings along the stairs provides extra stability and safety.

Check out our website’s DIY installation resources and installation videos, so you can spend more time enjoying your deck rather than finishing it.

3. Wooden Pergola

Larger backyard DIY projects can transform the entire look and feel of your outdoor space, building a pergola. Pergolas are simple structures, but their architectural appeal has become a staple in modern landscape design. The bare-wood design is aesthetically pleasing and an ideal addition to frame any outdoor patio set.

If you’re seeking shade, then covering the pergola with vines will create for a cool, lush environment. To add an element of natural charm hang a bird feeder, outdoor decor, string lights, or flower planters from the wooden beams.

See HGTV’s step-by-step building instructions to create a beautiful wooden pergola for your next backyard DIY project.

4. Patio Sectional Couch

The key spending more time outside can be as simple as having snug outdoor seating to accommodate the whole family.

Cozy outdoor furniture means you are more ly to stay outside rather than abandoning that hard patio chair for your plush indoor couch. Instead of breaking the bank, make your backyard DIY project building your own outdoor sectional.

Check out this DIY guide from Gray House Studio to build a custom sectional, so there’s plenty of space for everyone to get comfortable.

5. Raised Garden Planters

Why bother buying vegetables, when you can walk outside and pick them fresh? With the rise of eco-friendly natural foods, backyard gardens have spiked in popularity. Join the movement without the hassle by building a self-watering planter.

Additionally, raised planters don’t require you to bend and strain your back, so you can spend your time appreciating the best part about gardening — the harvesting.

Impress dinner guests with fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables from your patio with this Family Handyman garden planter tutorial.

6. Outdoor Movie Theatre

Movie night is a relaxing way to spend an evening, but it can feel a waste to stay inside on those gorgeous summer nights. An outdoor theatre lets you enjoy the fresh air while watching your film on the big screen.

If you want to build an outdoor movie theatre as your backyard DIY project, you don’t need to settle for those ugly inflatable screens or hanging bed sheets. The Horticult has a comprehensive outdoor theatre guide to creating a movie screen that is functional and looks good.

With the sunset as your backdrop, you’ll create a movie night to remember.

7. Secret Garden Getaway 

After a long day, you want a quiet calm place where you can decompress. Whether you choose to bring a book or catch up with someone special, a leafy private space can make all the difference.

For your backyard DIY project, create your own private sanctuary with hedges and large lush plants. Consider adding an entryway to give you a sense of transformation as you enter the new space. You can also inspire relaxation with soft lighting and wind chimes.

To create a natural, yet charming ambience, see these secret garden tips from HGTV to help create your garden getaway.

8. Unique Water Features

There is something inherently calming about the faint trickle of a fountain. For a backyard DIY that brings zen to your outdoor space, build a water feature. Instructables’ DIY water fountain tutorial shows you how to create a water fountain anything.

If you’re seeking a larger project, consider designing a fish pond for your backyard. Here’s a step-by-step fish pond guide to get you one step closer to building a new home for your fish.

Whether you build a small or large water feature, any water addition will improve the ambience of your outdoor atmosphere.

9. Fire Pit

Feel the warmth of the fire and hear the crackle of flames after this backyard DIY project. A backyard fire pit allows you to stay warm on cool evenings and comfortably enjoy your yard well into the colder seasons.

Whether you’re looking to roast dinner over the fire or spend some quality time warming up, a backyard fire pit is multipurpose. The Family Handyman gives instructions to make any handyman build a fire pit a master stonemason.

10. Kids Tree House

Keep the kids occupied with an outdoor tree house. DIY networks proved that tree houses don’t need to be an eyesore with these tree house plans to build a modern play space for your kids. They’ll have hours of endless entertainment in their new tree house.

At Century Aluminium Railings we are passionate about backyard DIY projects! Let us know which projects you’re planning.

Century Aluminum Railings offers 4 different railings types:

  • Scenic Railings
  • Picket Railings
  • Glass Railings
  • Pipe Railings

Available throughout the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Midwest and coast to coast in Canada, try it for yourself and see how easy it is to make your project a reality.  Our team of experts is here to help if you need it.  We are always just a phone call away!

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Best Online Brokers For Beginners In May 2020

The Best DIY and How-To Tutorials To Improve Your Home of November 2020

You’ve decided it’s time to take the plunge to get a brokerage account. But the task probably sounds just as daunting as answering other big questions, : What do you want to do with your life?

But, anything, it’s a matter of breaking down the task into more manageable bites. While options abound, you probably want an account that includes accessible educational resources, an easy-to-navigate app and website, zero commissions, low fees and attainable minimums — all attractive qualities if you are just getting started. Here are several options to consider.

TD Ameritrade: Best overall for beginners

TD Ameritrade launched its internet-based trading system in 1995.

Beyond its history, TD Ameritrade is good for beginners because of all of the information it makes available to guide you into the world of investment decisions. New investors can take advantage of all kinds of educational material the company offers, including more than 200 instructional videos, tutorials and more.

(As of November 2019, Charles Schwab has agreed to purchase TD Ameritrade, and plans to integrate the two companies once the deal is finalized.)

Competitive edge: It makes available a bot that you can ask whatever question you wish without worrying about whether you’re getting judged for asking something “too basic.” You can also interact with the brand on apps you already use, Messenger and Amazon Alexa devices.

Cost: TD Ameritrade’s commission on stock and ETF trades is zero, while options trades cost just $0.65 per contract.

It offers two mobile trading apps: TD Ameritrade Mobile and TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader.

  • Cost per trade: $0
  • Minimum balance to open an account: $0

E-Trade Financial: Best for mobile app

E-Trade is considered by many as an online brokerage pioneer.

Competitive edge: It has kept up with the times, too, offering two mobile apps. On the E-Trade mobile app, you can move money with mobile check deposit in addition to other tasks, such as track the market or trade stocks and ETFs.

Its other mobile app is called Power E-Trade, formerly known as OptionsHouse by E-Trade. This app allows you to enter orders, including complex options trades, on a single ticket. You’ll also get streaming news, quotes and a customizable options chain.

As of February 2020, Morgan Stanley has agreed to purchase E-Trade, and plans to operate the broker as a separate unit once the deal is finalized.

Cost:  much of the industry, E-Trade has gone to zero commissions on stock and ETF trades, and it charges no base commission for options trades, too. E-Trade charges $0.65 per options contract, in line with the industry standard, but also offers a discounted price of $0.50 if you make more than 30 trades per quarter.

Importantly, it also makes available all kinds of content to help you understand what you’re doing — videos, articles and live education sessions included. The educational materials and its consumer-friendly apps can be a big help to novices.

  • Cost per trade: $0
  • Minimum balance to open an account: $500

Ally Invest: Best for digital experience

What is now known as Ally started off as General Motors Acceptance Corp, or GMAC, and it served the auto industry.

In time, it started offering consumer-facing products, including mortgages. Then, it bought TradeKing and launched Ally Invest in 2017.

Competitive edge: In the past, the account was criticized for not offering commission-free ETFs. But Ally Invest addressed the shortcoming by adding more than 100 commission-free ETFs to its trading platform. Now it’s gone further by making all ETFs on its platform available at no commission.

You can also access your account on Ally’s mobile app to do tasks get quotes and make trades. The direct bank is also widely recognized for its excellent customer service and its progressive digital banking features.

It also offers a resource center with helpful content written in a more enjoyable way than most — think headlines : “What Mutual Funds and Pizza Have in Common,” for instance.

Cost: Ally has also moved to charge zero commissions for stock and ETF trades. On options, it also charges no base commission, while its standard per-contract fees are now $0.50.

  • Cost per trade: $0
  • Minimum balance to open an account: $0

Merrill Edge: Best for integrated experience

With no minimum investment, Bank of America’s Merrill Edge is another good option for beginning investors— particularly if you’re a Bank of America bank customer.

Competitive edge: Merrill Edge is applauded for its integrated mobile experience that lets you make a credit card payment and place trades — assuming you’re a bank customer and investor. However, the app has been getting some poor reviews for its slow loading time.

the others, Merrill Edge provides ample research to help you make decisions on your trades. It also offers you more than 2,000 locations to meet with financial advisers, should you wish to have a face-to-face conversation.

Cost: Along with the industry, Merrill has cut its pricing, and now offers clients stock and ETF trades for free, down from $2.95. The base commission for options is also set at $0, though you’ll pay $0.65 per contract.

  • Cost per trade: $0
  • Minimum balance to open an account: $0

Other options

If you want a hands-off approach, you may also consider something Betterment or Wealthfront.

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