Decorating, repairs and DIY
Keeping your home well maintained can sometimes be difficult, particularly if you have health problems or are short of money. But a well-maintained home can help you to stay in better health and to avoid accidents.
If you're struggling to keep up with jobs that need doing around the home and garden, you may be able to get help with small DIY jobs and decorating from local voluntary organisations.
Other organisations offer help to residents in both public and private housing with smaller home maintenance jobs, such as gardening or sorting paperwork. There is not usually a cost, but donations are always welcome. This type of assistance is offered on an occasional basis and is provided by volunteers.
Age UK operates handyperson services in over 80% of the country. These services offer older people extra help with small practical jobs to make their lives life easier and safer around the home.
Or you can contact your local Age UK service:
The handyperson service in Kensington and Chelsea is provided by Age UK. The criteria for using the service is detailed on the Age UK website.
Homes4Health supports residents of Kensington and Chelsea who live in homes where there are problems with cold, poor insulation or damp, dangerous electrical installations, broken steps or banisters, or other issues which could pose a risk to the health of residents.
They can offer information and advice, and in some cases may be able to access grants to help you to improve the condition of your home.
Westminster's Home Improvement Agency offer a handyman service to people over the age of 60, or those under 60 and on a disability benefit.
The handyman service can assist with tasks such as household repairs, replacing lightbulbs, putting up shelves, fitting locks and installing grab rails.
Have a look at their leaflet for more details.
Hammersmith & Fulham
Green Doctor is a partnership of London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham with Groundwork London to help make your home warmer, saving you money and improving your health. Green Doctor visits provide guidance on efficient energy usage in the home, understanding heating systems and installation of small energy measures.
Creighton House's Safer Homes Scheme can provide skilled tradesmen to carry out jobs such as putting up shelves, building flat pack furniture, fitting doors or draught proofing. A discount can be offered to people on means tested benefits.
If you want to arrange the work yourself there are many private companies out there. Once you know what you want to have done and roughly how much you are prepared to pay you can search online or use the Yellow Pages or Which? Trusted Trader websites to help you choose.
The Finding a trusty tradesperson page from Sainsbury's Bank Money Matters team has a handy guide on the key checks you should make before hiring a contractor and where to look for someone reliable. It also includes handy tips on how to resolve any issues if the tradesperson is at fault.
It's important to choose reliable tradespeople whose charges are reasonable. The following websites allow you to look for tradespeople near you and read reviews from previous customers, so that you can find out what other people think about the quality of the work and service:
If the tradesperson you want to use doesn't have reviews online, you can ask them to provide testimonials from previous customers so you know they will do a good job.
There are always a few tradespeople out there who try to take advantage of their customers or fail to provide an adequate service; before you make a final decision on whom to use you may want to look at our page on Scams, rogue traders and bogus callers.
Other information and advice
The British Heart Foundation will collect furniture and electrical items for free if they are in a good condition; these items will then be sold to raise funds for the charity.