Direct Line magazine

Plans for a home extension

Your guide to building a home extension

As moving house can be expensive, many of us opt to improve our existing homes rather than buying somewhere else. But extending your house to create extra space has its challenges. We've put together a few tips to help smooth the process.
A couple look over some bills

The true cost of running your home

Do you want to reduce the cost of running your home? Mortgage payments, energy costs, council tax, home insurance, water charges - the costs can seem never-ending. So, it's good to cut back where you can. Check out our handy tips to discover what you can do to lower your bills.
Friends relax with a cup of tea after moving into a shared home.

What to consider before buying or renting with someone

Whether it's your partner, a friend or even an acquaintance, buying or renting a property with someone else is increasingly common. It's worth understanding the financial and legal implications of sharing a home, as well some of the ground rules you'll need to set.

A child holding a soft toy looks out at a snow-covered garden.

Prepare your property for winter

During the autumn and winter months, property disasters like burst pipes, malfunctioning boilers, flooding and storm damage are more likely. Start the preparation and planning before the temperatures drop, and you'll protect your property.
A home with solar panels.

A guide to green homes

It's more important than ever to think about the environment. We can't just flick a switch and improve things overnight, but we can do our part at home to make things a little better.
Tags: Tips
Japanese knotweed

What's Japanese knotweed and how do you defeat it?

Japanese Knotweed can strike fear into the hearts of even the most experienced gardeners, as it's extremely difficult to control, can choke other plants and regenerates from the smallest fragment. If you spot it in your garden, don't panic - find out the best ways to tackle it.
Neighbours discuss the issues.

Resolving disputes and arguments with neighbours

Falling out with neighbours can be awkward, especially as there's nothing you can do to escape them other than moving house. Most arguments are caused by similar things and can be easily resolved. Find out how to amicably settle disputes and when it's best to seek further advice.
Tags: Tips
How to knock down a wall

How to knock down a wall

If you've never knocked down a wall before, it's important to know it can be quite a complex job and can require some heavy duty equipment. It's a skilled task, so before you get your sledge hammer out, find out what to take into consideration.
A smart security camera is controlled by a smartphone app.

Securing your home while you’re away

When you're away, your home is especially vulnerable to thieves. To help give you peace of mind, we explore some measures you can take before you leave the house.
scaffolding is seen around a home extension

Add value to your home with an extension

An extension or loft conversion could add to a property's value. If you're on the property ladder, it could be your way up to the next rung.
Keeping your shed and garden safe

Keeping your garden and shed safe

Whether it's equipment stored in your shed, expensive garden ornaments or even outdoor furniture, many of us fail to protect the valuables we have in our gardens and sheds. Read our suggestions on how to protect your garden valuables from theft.
a listed property

Top 5 things to know about buying a listed property

The house of your dreams is listed. Should that put you off? With around 500,000 listed buildings in the UK, it's worth getting informed. From permissions to insurance, we go through the things you need to know about buying a listed property.
a holiday home

Top tips if you're thinking about buying a holiday home abroad

Thinking of buying a holiday home abroad? Purchasing a home in the sun is something thousands of us do, but rushing into a foreign property purchase could end up costing you dear. Read our top tips to make the most of your investment.
A listed building in the countryside

Converting an old building into a home

Thinking about buying an old or unusual building and carrying out a conversion project? More and more people are buying unique properties like pubs, shops, churches and even public toilets. Here's what to consider when deciding to convert a building into a new home.
A thief attempts to break into a home.

Six common sense home protection tips

Thieves can pick up on signs to establish if a house is unoccupied - including overgrown front lawns or deliveries clogging the letterbox. Instead of just obliviously enjoying your holidays, discover our six common sense tips to help protect your empty home while you're away.
A pile of clothes are on the back of a sofa.

How to declutter your home

Are your possessions taking over your house? Do you trip over shoes in your hallway? It's time to declutter your home and reclaim valuable space by organising your stuff.
Condensation forms on a window.

Crack down on condensation

Day-to-day activities, such as cooking, drying washing, burning fuel, all produce water vapour. This vapour can condense back into water and excess condensation can cause damp, and even lead to structural problems. Find out how you can deal with it.
subsidence affecting a home's structure

What to do about subsidence

Subsidence might only affect a minority of people, but everyone has heard horror stories about the damage it can cause to people's homes. You can reduce the risk to your property by knowing what to look out for and taking some simple preventative measures.