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Pimp your static home on a budget

Is your static home looking a little tired and in need of a refresh? Then here are some ideas on how to spruce up your static home on a budget.

General principles

The static caravan that makes your home away from home is unlikely to be anything as large as the place in which you live. Therefore, you can forget about those major building works to create an extension or loft conversion and narrow your sights to more modest changes – by thinking small, you might be able to make the biggest and most eye-catching changes in creating a second home that looks brand new.

So, let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you might spruce up your static caravan.

See for yourself

Of course you want to put your own individual touches and character to any improvements and modifications to your caravan, but that doesn’t mean you are unable to take a leaf or two from other owners’ books.

Take a look around, therefore, and pay closer attention to what seems to work and what might be best avoided as far as your own project is concerned. If any lessons have already been learnt by your neighbours, there is no point in your repeating any of their costly mistakes.

Going it alone

Some modifications and improvements you might be able to take on yourself, but there may be other elements on which a more professional input might be helpful. In other words, don’t be afraid to ask for that help. It might be a question of knowing your own limits.

There are plenty of companies skilled in the maintenance and repair of static caravans. You can look online at directories to find someone near you.

Even for those jobs you may be taking on yourself, suppliers such as these may be useful sources for ideas, tips and suggestions.

First appearances

It is the exterior of your caravan of course which is the face presented for the world to see.

Across your holiday park you are likely to see identically built holiday homes of a similar appearance, largely down to the fact that the majority of them have an aluminium exterior.

It is relatively easy to reclad your static home in vinyl, however, to completely transform its general appearance – as well as increasing its insulation and weather-proofing.

Recladding might have served only to highlight the generally poor state of repair and dated look of your doors and windows. Although these might of course be replaced – to highlight the makeover – it is a job that you might want to leave to the professionals.

Remember, tackling the exterior may prove more difficult and needs to be handled with particular care, given the nature of a static caravan and its need to remain completely weather-proofed.

On the inside

It is inside your holiday home that some of the most exciting challenges might be faced and the biggest changes made to reviving the look and feel of the place.

It is in the very nature of a static caravan and the way that it was designed and built that it comes with mainly fitted equipment, furniture and units.

Replacing these need not prove too expensive a project, however, and new kitchen cupboards and work surfaces are likely to create an immediate change in the interior environment.

Because of the relatively smaller interior of a static caravan, the flooring and passageways tend to take heavier than normal traffic, with the result that they more quickly appear tired and worn

New flooring – using lino, carpets or modern laminates – may transform the appearance and give fresh life underfoot. It is a job that is unlikely to be beyond the means of a reasonably competent DIY enthusiast.

Soft furnishings – from curtains, to cushions, furniture and upholstery – provide probably the fertile ground for pimping your holiday home. New textures, fabrics and colours may be used imaginatively and creatively to produce an entirely new look inside the caravan. In many instances, quite dramatic makeovers may be made with very little effort or expenditure, yet create a brand new, eye-catching and homely feel to the whole of the interior.

Here are some tips …

Clean and repair

As a first step, make sure to thoroughly clean and repair the interior of your caravan to sort out just what needs replacing, what can be kept, and what can be spruced up. This provides your starting point and the likely budget you need to make the changes you want to achieve.

Walls

Check for evidence of damp and mould and make sure to tackle that before tackling anything else. When you are satisfied they are clear, a lick of paint in fresh new colours might transform the appearance and make your static home feel airy and fresh.

Strapped for space?

There are still options! For example, a significant amount of space in a static caravan is typically wasted, being empty air at or around shoulder and head height etc.

You may be able to create additional storage space and free up floor space by putting in some additional wall cabinets, removing items from floor level and thereby making space for additional seating or decorative items etc.

It might also be a good idea to think about purchasing furniture that doubles up as storage areas – i.e. seats that lift and have hollow spaces underneath. There are some great new storage solutions for ‘vans around that may help you maximise your space.

Floors

Whatever the layout of the interior of your static caravan, one of the first impressions is likely to be given by the state of the floor.  A static caravan is likely to have far less floor area than your own home, so the area that needs to be covered is unlikely to be huge, so your budget might even extend to completely renewing your floor coverings

Where areas have become scuffed or worn, an inexpensive way of sprucing them up is to lay second-hand carpet tiles in the living areas or self-adhesive vinyl tiles in the kitchen and bathroom.

The really good news here is that things such as lino floor tiles (and similar) are now really very affordable and they’re typically far better quality than those available just a few years ago. It’s perhaps worth spending a little more than the absolute minimum here in order to get more durable flooring if you can afford to do so but even if you do, the costs are not likely to be prohibitive.

Fashions

If you are interested in producing a look that reflects current trends, some online research is likely to pay dividends – so look through the caravan club websites, Pinterest and Instagram for some illustrated ideas.

Careful research is also likely to pay off if you want to retrofit your static caravan to achieve a more classic look – charity shops and car boot sales offer ideal place to rummage in search of old pictures, their frames and classic, retro fabrics.

Don’t forget that it is sometimes possible to obtain nearly new items at a very low cost by purchasing them at public auctions etc.

You may also be amazed at how things can be improved by simply a light sanding down and a coat of new paint or varnish.

Keep an eye open also for liquidations and stock clearances – they are often good sources for new furnishings at knockdown prices.

New cushions and upholstery

You don’t need to rush to a designer boutique in order to secure some very good quality and highly attractive slip-on upholstery. The same is true for cushions, both in terms of upholstery and their internals.

Changing your colour scheme and replacing those tired furnishings can make an immediate and major positive impact on your surroundings.

A fresh, new look may be created by making your own curtains and scattering around a few handmade cushions to give the interior more comfort and interest. Yes, curtain fabric can be breathtakingly expensive at times but you may wish to check on the internet for off-cuts. Remember that today you may be able to bring fabric in from overseas for a fraction of the cost it may be available for in UK retail outlets – and that includes taking into account the shipping costs!

You can make your own cushions by buying inexpensive foam and fillings from a local trader and sewing together fabric remnants and material to make the coverings.

Decorative items

Tastes and fashions in decorative items change over time. True, most of us probably can’t afford to follow fashion to the extent that we change all our decorative possessions every other season but even so, it might be time for a new look.

Whatever your tastes are, modest decorative items are usually available for relatively small amounts of money from retailers and perhaps even less from boot sales etc. They can make a huge difference to how your room looks. Don’t forget, you may be able to sell the old ones to contribute towards the cost of replacement.

Lighting

Modern LED systems are not only highly energy-efficient but today are also often set in mountings in stunningly attractive styles.

Replacing those old lights and suspensions and replacing them with more up-to-date versions will make an immediate positive impact on your décor.

In passing, some of those old annoying features of LED lighting, such as waiting for several minutes after switching on for them to “warm up” and deliver light, are now the stuff of history. The modern ones are superb and it’s worth checking them out.

Bathrooms

It’s possible for shower rooms and bathrooms to also start to suddenly look very dated.

In reality, completely ripping out your existing shower and replacing it with state-of-the-art systems is likely to be expensive.

Give these areas a thorough clean – clean the grout and remove any mould. Replace the showerhead (you can buy more eco-friendly shower heads for around £20).

Then by simply adding in a few extras such as towel racks, dispensers and stylish WC seats, you can transform the look and feel of this area for relatively small sums.

Pimping your static home on a budget

The realisation that the internals of your static home are looking rather “yesterday” can be painful. However, as this article has hopefully shown, with a little effort, some ingenuity and not a lot of money, you may be able to do something about that – and relatively quickly.

Finally, although the changes you have made might seem relatively small and generally inexpensive when taken one at a time, the overall expenditure and effect may be to significantly increase the value of your static caravan. So, when the pimping is done, don’t forget contact us here at Cover4Caravans to consider a re-valuation of the sum insured amount for your static home if required.