Enjoy sunny days at home this summer & save with our DIY ideas... Make the most of these warm summer months with a few simple changes at home. You don't have to invest in a new conservatory or expensive outdoor funiture to be able to enjoy upgrades at home and improvements to your health. We've pulled together a selection of ideas that could add a special touch to your space, enabling you to spruce up your garden, do more and save more this summer... Ideas with wood and glass: Putting up new fencing, painting a shed, using jars for tea lights or vases to create your own teranium, investing in a green house or creating a raised wooden planter area to grow your own flowers, fruit and veg are all simple and cost effective ways of adding a new feature and more sustainable areas to your outdoor area. Our Safe Traders can help with a wide range of outdoor jobs, offering quality assured services at a reasonable cost during these difficult times. Trying to save on sourcing supplies? Reclaimed or recycled wood can be a great way of creating new features at home, from tables to planters and benches. Click here for House Beautiful's recommendations on where to source reclaimed wood. Old wooden window frames and mirrors can also be used to add a sense of extra light and space, even in the smallest of spaces. Image source: Pinterest Raised planters not only look great but can make gardening easier by bringing the soil and plants to a higher level, making it easier to maintain your green friends for those with mobility issues or health problems. They are also ideal for those with smaller gardens, no grass or a lack of outdoor space, such as small balconies in flats or window sills. Wooden palettes can be a versatile feature for your home, creating a great statement on the wall and offering a much higher level planter for veg and herbs, just like this one below: Image source: Pinterest Grow your own food: Growing your own food at home is an eco friendly way of improving your diet whilst also saving money on your monthly food shops. Best of all, you can enjoy the fruits of your labour at home too - with homegrown, organic and healthy food that's perfect for those BBQs and summer meals! Feeling a little unsure of where to start, or not the green fingered type? The RHS has some simple to follow tips and guides on whether you want to grow fruit, vegetables or herbs. Click here to view their 'Grow Your Own' page or here for some great ideas of creating the perfect place to grow your produce both indoor and outdoors. You don't have to break the bank either to start growing your own food! Many vegetable and fruit scraps can be used to begin growing your own fruit and veg, such as strawberries... yummy! Image source: Pinterest Save on water: If you hapen to be on a water meter or would like to find more eco friendly ways of keeping your garden and plants sufficiently watered through the summer months, then installing a water butt may be just the thing for you! Collecting rainwater to water your green spaces and homegrown produce is a simple and efficient way of ensuring you have sufficient watering supplies throughout the year and avoids having to go anywhere near those taps! Rainwater is not only free, but it's also much better for your garden than hard mains water as it doesn't leave limescale deposits or increase the alkaline level of your soil. The rainwater you collect can also be used for various cleaning jobs within your garden as well as for watering the plants. Take a look at B&Qs tips for installing and using a water butt at home. You can chose to buy one or even source a large, clean plastic barrel or vessel to create one yourself! Creating leisure areas: There are a number of ways to create relaxing or shaded little nooks for those of you with some outdoor space. For a temporary or removable option, putting up a gazebo, canopy or parasol will give you a spot out of the sun or an option for sheltered fresh air whatever the weather! Creating or updating your patio is also an option - adding a little texture and colour to your space to be able to enjoy those summer al fresco treats. For something more permanent, you may want to consider an awning or pergola. Pergola's are a versatile option - creating space and shade outdoors, but also a unique way of growing plants and vines. Whether your garden or yard is a vast green paradise or calm concrete corner, creating a quiet outdoor area for you, your family and friends is a great way of making the most of your outdoor space this summer. Our Safe Traders will be able to advise and guide you on how best to add any of these features into your garden or yard in a cost effective, managable way. Welcome new visitors: Whether you have a lovely big lawn, a concrete yard, a balcony or window sill, you can do a number of creative and small things that will make a big impact for local wildlife. Planting bug friendly plants, creating little homes and installing water features are all wonderful ways to encourage more wildlife such as bees, butterflies, birds, hedgehogs and frogs into your garden or outdoor area. The Woodland Trust have pulled together their 5 Top Tips to make your garden or outside space a haven for wildlife this summer, perfect for bugs, birds and small mammals. Whether you try one or all of them, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature right from your very own home, knowing that you’re making a positive difference to your local wildlife! Time spent outdoors and around nature has been scientifically proven to significantly boost your health and wellbeing - meaning these little changes and additions are good for the environment, wildlife and you too! Image source: Pinterest Add a little solar energy: We see more of the sun during the summer months than at any other time of year, so why not harvest the power of solar whilst enjoying your garden or yard? There are a huge range of solar powered lights, water features and decorations available in shops these days - the ideal way of adding a touch of style to your outdoor space and improving darker ares for when the sun goes down. From string lights to hanging lamps and push in lanterns for flower beds and pathways - these eco friendly, cost effective additions not only add a little light and joy, but also help to keep you safe by illuminating steps, steeper areas, paths and potential trip hazards outdoors. If you'd like to add a water feature to your outdoor space but want to save on those energy bills this summer - why not consider opting for a solar powered feature? Adding a new element to your space whilst also doing your bit to protect the environment and saving money... Not to mention attracting birds and wildlife for their daily bath! Win win! Small garden or no garden, why not get in touch with Care Network to find out about our Safe Trader Scheme - helping you to source Handy People, Gardeners, Builders, Electricians, Painters and Decorators to put up brackets for hanging baskets, window boxes and troughs, update fencing, improve your paintwork or to help you to grow flowers, fruit and veg? Whatever your needs, our friendly team are here to help! Please contact us to find out more.