The images on this page show examples of council homes before and after improvement work. Upgrades to a newer home probably won’t have the same impact that they would in an older home. In a 1950s home, an original kitchen will likely make buyers think: “I guess we’ll start with a kitchen remodel!” The same isn’t necessarily true of a house that’s just a few years old, which means you’re less likely to increase a newer home’s value significantly by remodeling.

At the time, Jensen’s family was living in a 1,300-square-foot, three-bedroom, 2½-bath home they owned in San Antonio, and they were looking to buy a new house so they could convert their existing dwelling into a rental property. This is what she told the show’s producers. Once they selected their new home, a house with 2,400 square feet, four bedrooms and 2½ baths, and had been chosen to appear on the show, they were told they needed a better storyline. So Jensen and her husband finally agreed to go with the angle that they were looking for a larger home to better accommodate their family. Producers also played up the fact that Jensen’s husband was a realtor, so their episode focused heavily on her being his toughest client.

A: The good news is that after years of sluggish performance, in many places the housing market has started picking up steam again. But that doesn’t mean you can expect every home improvement project to increase your home value when it comes time to sell. Remodeling magazine’s latest Cost vs. Value report shows that, on average, home improvements paid back 62% of their costs at resale in 2014. That’s up from a low of 58% in 2011, but still well below the 87% paybacks of 2005.

A sun room or conservatory can be easily added to a property, or built as a separate room in the garden – though you need to weigh up the value of the extra house space vs the loss of garden space. Such is the predicament many homeowners face when it comes to maintaining and improving their homes. And with spring approaching, chances are you’re daydreaming about all that you’d like to do around the house as soon as the days are longer and the weather is warmer.

Designer Liz Nilsson is offering several classes at her Print Block studio on Dublin’s Cork Street. One taking place on Saturday, September 15th from 10am to 4pm offers an introduction as to how to use print and texture on household textiles. This costs €95 but if you really fancy making something substantial for the home; say a pair of curtains or the fabric to upholster some chairs, then you may be better off signing up to her six-week course, which starts on Wednesday, September 8th from 6pm to 9pm. This covers the basics skills and techniques of printing onto fabric, teaching you about repetition and surface design, how to cut rubber blocks for block-printing and how to cut paper stencils for screen printing. You can also use the skills learnt to up-cycle cushions, napkins, table clothes, curtains and old duvet covers. This course costs €240 per person.