Tag Archives: DIY

A Familiar Problem: Don’t Make These Classic DIY Errors

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Having a DIY disaster might be something you can laugh about later when you look back at what happened, but it doesn’t seem that funny at the time when water is pouring everywhere or you have inflicted damage on something you intended to repair.

Here is a look at some of the regular rookie DIY errors that you might just be able to avoid once you know what to look out for and accept that your skills have limitations.

Water everywhere

Some of the worst DIY disasters involve water escaping into your property as a result of a plumbing job gone wrong or when you unintentionally damage a water pipe.

If you want to avoid this nightmare scenario always take a step back before you start drilling or banging nails into a wall or floor and consider whether there might be a water pipe lurking behind the surface.

Once you drill into that pipe it is going to be carnage, so invest in a wire and pipe detector so that you can get a clear idea of whether you can drill and make holes safely without damaging any pipework or electrical cables.

You can get tools like that here and for a modest investment in something like a detector you can save a whole lot of aggravation and money.

Fixture fails

Even the simplest of jobs can go wrong if you don’t use the right tools and fixings.

A good example would be when you decide to put up some shelves or hang something on the wall like a mirror. The act of fitting the item to the wall shouldn’t be too challenging in itself but a classic error is not using the right length or style of fitting.

Always consider your options carefully and work out the correct length of screw and fitting that you need to insert in the wall in order to hold your item in place and cope with the weight.

A cabinet or mirror falling off your wall can be frustrating as well as damaging and dangerous, so follow the manufacturer’s guidelines or check with someone who knows if you are not sure what fixtures you need to use to do the job properly and successfully.

A false economy

There are countless DIY jobs you can manage by yourself but it is always advisable to know your limits and accept when it might be time to call upon the services of a professional.

If you bite off more than you chew and end up making a mess of your DIY job it could end up costing you more than if you called for help in the first place. Think carefully and honestly about what your limitations are or you could be putting yourself and your home at risk if something goes wrong or isn’t done right.

Major plumbing and electrical work are definite examples of jobs that you might not be qualified to tackle yourself, but with minor repairs and decorating projects, you should be able to get the job done if you have the right tools and avoid some of the classic and avoidable DIY errors.

DIY: How To Determine Whether To Repair, Restore Or Replace Your Gutter

If you have gutters, sooner or later you will be faced with the tough decision of repairing, restoring or replacing them. In order to determine what the best course of action is, you will need to first assess the overall condition of your gutters. To do this you will need a ladder and a buddy to hold the ladder while you are on it.

Safe Use Of A Ladder

Climb the ladder up to the gutter carefully, ensuring that someone is holding the base of the ladder. One way to determine if your gutters need replacing is if you notice there are structural weaknesses in the gutter where water seeps out. While you could try to apply an epoxy filler to seal the crack, it is just a matter of time before the problem would resurface. The issue with climbing ladders is you could fall off and injure yourself so it may be more prudent to reach out to a firm that specializes in gutter assessment and replacement if you do not feel confident in scaling a ladder.

Importance Of Having Gutters

Something that we should touch on is the importance of having gutters on your roof. When it rains, water will roll off your roof onto the ground. If the ground surrounding your home does not have adequate drainage that water could pool which could damage your foundation leading to some real problems over the long-term. With a properly installed gutter system, all of the rain that hits the roof would roll off into a designated area away from your foundation. Now that you know why having a gutter system installed is so important, you really do need to make sure it is working properly.

Getting The Right Gutter Repair Support

While we touched on DIY when it comes to gutters, generally speaking this type of work should be left with the experts that have been doing this type of work for a considerable number of years. A gutter system may look very simple but there are finer nuances of the installation process that if not properly addressed, could lead to significant headaches for you down the road. The angle of the gutters is of particular importance.If it is not set up just right the water will not drain properly and will seep into the roof leading to a host of problems.

Saving Money On Gutter Repair And Replacement

To save money on gutter repair and replacement services, you have to reach out to firms that have the required experience and have been doing this for quite some time. As we mentioned earlier, installing and repairing gutters takes specialized skills to be performed properly. By having the gutters serviced, you will have peace of mind knowing your foundation is safe from water building up during rain storms. The sooner you deal with this gutter issue, the happier you are going to be over the long-term.

Trendy Garden Ideas Predicted for This Year

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With summer season drawing near, people are getting out of their shells to spend more time outdoors. This brings their notice to the garden. Decorative garden experts, Oeco Garden Rooms are here to help you with their trendy garden ideas predicted for this year, so it’s easier for you to beautify your lawn. Let’s discuss some of the ideas we expect to be in vogue this year.

Low-Maintenance Beautiful Landscapes

Mowing your lawn every so often can be tiresome, but in a conventional garden, there is no other way to get rid of the long grass stalks. However, if you opt for low-maintenance landscapes, plant shrubs and grow flowering perennials that require less care, your garden may demand less effort. Switching to low-maintenance gardening can save your time, while your garden gives the same fresh appeal to onlookers.

Potted Berry Bushes

Berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries) add a pop of colour in the greenness of a garden. The drawback is the extra space a berry bush requires. But who says a berry bush cannot be grown in pots! Potted berry bushes are much convenient in a sense that they can be moved indoors as well. Even a cherry tree can be grown in pots. You can enhance the look of your plant container for a more presentable garden by using a cachepot.

Home-Grown Herbs

Kitchen gardens are here to stay for a long time, but they take up a lot of space and require constant care. If you can’t handle this much responsibility, a mini kitchen garden with just home-grown herbs could be an excellent choice. Herb pots will look great on a window sill or lawn. The herbs can also be picked to add an extra flavour to your meals. Home-grown herbs give you the satisfaction of eating fresh and pesticide-free herbs.

Sunrooms

Sunrooms or garden rooms are a sophisticated and affordable way to extend the dimensions of your home. If you look to enjoy the surrounding landscape while being sheltered from adverse weather, the garden rooms are meant for you. These structures can be used as hobby rooms, home offices, home workshops, libraries and studios.

Gardening Gadgets

In this modern era where technology has replaced manpower to a great extent, we do not have to do much work in our garden. The latest gardening gadgets such as automatic self-watering plant globes, robotic lawn mower and electric bug zapper can take the burden of garden maintenance off your shoulders. The smartphone apps have reminders to keep you organised with your tasks, so that your garden blossoms in all its glory.

Stylish décor tips for a family-friendly home

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The arrival of children means that changes will inevitably happen in your home, but having a family does not mean that you have to compromise on style in your interior space.

For many parents, having a stylish and welcoming home is a point of pride that allows them to welcome in new family friends without ever feeling embarrassed by their surroundings.

While kids are well known for causing chaos in a home, following a few simple tips can help keep spaces looking current and contemporary while remaining practical for family life.

Choose family friendly floors

When there are 2.4 children and perhaps a pet dog running in and out all day, the floors of your home can really bear the brunt. So, families who want to stay stylish with little effort should consider their floor coverings very carefully. High-traffic areas such as hallways will benefit from the addition of hard flooring such a wood, tile or laminate, as muddy boot stains can be easily washed away at the end of the day. Adding rugs and runners that can be thrown in the wash provides colour as well as improves grip to help prevent toddler tumbles.

Stylish window safety

Windows are a key feature of an interior room, and they are also a factor that parents should consider carefully once the kids come along. Why not replace dangerous corded blinds with a set of stylish window shutters that will offer the family privacy as well as allow for the flow of natural light? Shutters also provide an additional barrier between little ones and glass panes, which not only can be a bonus in terms of safety but also means that there are less greasy fingerprints to wipe away!

Do use the dining room

The dining room is one of the most important areas that parents can create in the home, as family meals have been proven to be beneficial to relationships within a household. Make sure that this room is a space where everyone will want to be by creating a welcoming interior with energising colours and great lighting.

What about a wet room?

If your bathroom looks like a war zone after wash time, then you might want to consider remodelling it with a more family-friendly style. One popular choice of bathroom for parents is the wet room, where there is a single floor covering and drain, meaning that splashes and spills are a lot less of a problem. A wet room simply allows excess water to flow away down the drain at the end of the day.

Use that utility and repurpose the porch

If your home benefits from a utility space at the back door or front porch, then this can easily be repurposed by parents to serve as a stylish and functional cloak room for the family. Adding coat hooks and boot racks will encourage family members to leave wet and muddy outer clothes here before heading on into your home. Labelling pegs and baskets can help children stow away their own accessories at the end of each day, making it much easier to locate all that is needed the next time you are looking to leave.

Space under the stairs

In many homes, the space under the main staircase is not used to its full advantage, so it is up to you how to best design and designate the space to suit your own family’s style. Some parents with older homes opt to turn this area into a second bathroom to prevent children from traipsing up and down stairs when they need to go. For others, it becomes an invaluable area for storing the necessities of all the activities that the offspring engage in, and adding custom storage can help hide away the detritus of daily life so that the hall area is uncluttered when guests arrive. Other parents find that this space is a great place to add a mini office, allowing children access to the Internet for homework tasks while they remain under the watchful eye of the rest of the household.

Think fresh and functional

Whatever changes you are looking to make, the key to creating a stylish and family-friendly home is to focus on function and keep maintenance in mind. Choosing surfaces that will wipe clean, looking at the ways that a space can work and making it easy to disguise any disorder will allow parents to have their home quickly looking its best again when it is time to welcome visitors.

6 Simple Tips for Improving Your Home’s Exterior in Winter

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No matter what climate you may live in, winter can leave your exterior looking a little drab. But the winter season doesn’t mean that the outside of your home should look barren or empty. The following are simple tips to brighten your curb appeal.

Remove Dead Plants and Leaves

Many homeowners find winter projects to do to give their home’s interior appearance a lift. When the leaves have fallen, and your yard appears barren, your exterior may also need some additional TLC to improve its look. You can begin by trimming back plants and flowers that are no longer blooming. Leaves that have fallen for the season should be raked or mulched. Trees and bushes should also be trimmed back. If you have planters on the porch, remove the dead flowers and replace with winter greens. Lovely displays filled with evergreens, holly berries and pine cones can bring a welcome burst of color to your exterior. You could also select a bouquet of faux flowers and greenery for your outdoor pots.

Home Maintenance

Chipping paint, missing shingles and old siding can make your home look unkempt, especially in the winter. You can improve the look of your structure by painting the trim a neutral color to match your home. If you’ve experienced blistered siding, hail damage or dry rot, new siding for your home can do wonders. You may also want to consider updating your siding if you’ve added a new addition or your siding color is outdated. Another way to boost your home’s aesthetics is by replacing missing roof shingles immediately after a storm.

Paint or Replace Front Door

If the sun is less visible in your region during the winter, you may need to find other ways to lighten up the look of your exterior. For a front door that has seen better days, you can replace it with a sturdy wood version. You could also repaint your current outside door in a bold color such as red.

Install a Memorable Mail Box

Your mailbox does more than play host to your cards, letters and advertisements. It can also add character to your home. Although old fashion post boxes are sturdy and serve its purpose, look for something to match your home. If you have a Victorian house, look for a design with ornate architecture. If your house is modern, a colorful box with sleek lines can liven up your outdoor curb appeal. You could also paint your mailbox in a color that complements your dwelling.

Increase Lighting

The days become shorter and darker during the winter months. If it’s difficult to see outside your home at night, you want to increase your exterior brightness with good lighting. If you have walkways and a driveway, add lights to the front porch and rear of your house. You can also install motion detector lighting on your garage that will activate when it senses movement. You could also install post lighting near the end of your driveway. When visitors or the pizza delivery driver is looking for your house, the post will act as a beacon to your guests.

Invite Nature

Inviting nature to your home with an array of bird feeders can have a huge positive impact on your home’s curb appeal. Feeders are designed to attract a variety of species in various colors such as cardinals and blue jays.

With the onset of darkness early on during the winter months, your home may look less than appealing. But by using the above simple tips, you can spice up your curb appeal and make your home look inviting and unique.

Upgrading Your Bathroom from Drab To Fab!

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It seems in recent months many people have been thinking about doing up their houses – whether it’s kitchens, living spaces or bathrooms. Bathrooms are perhaps one of the most important rooms in the home, one which is often overlooked when it comes to sprucing things up. Depending on individual style and preference, bathrooms can either take on a homey, almost lived in feel with knick knacks and fun décor or they can be filled with beautiful, classy fixtures that provide and air of elegance and luxury. Read ahead for more information on creating the flashiest, most luxurious bathroom you can imagine.

Tiles

One of the best ways to introduce some class and style to a bathroom is to upgrade your tiles. Tiles these days come in not just a multitude of colours, patterns, sizes and styles but also in finishes as well as material. Some have marble finishes, some are specifically made to be uneven such as slate tile which is meant to have a “natural, just taken from nature” type look. The tiles you choose for your bathroom can add a huge amount of sophistication and classic luxury to the space. The plus side is you can use tiles like these finishes to upgrade your kitchen as well as other places in the home such as the bathroom. Check out these bathroom floor tiles from Gul Group for more tile options to consider.

Fixtures and Key Pieces

One of the best shower heads on the market these days are the large “rain shower” shower heads, which simulate a heavier rain shower over you. These not only are fantastic for general showering but are perfect to help you unwind after a long day at work. The rain shower effect helps relax you while providing a good water flow for showering, so you can have the best of both worlds. Additionally the style of the day seems to be styling these showers against a full wall in the bathroom, and tiling the entire area to create a huge showering area, without needing to purchase a separate whole shower unit. This gives the bathroom a classy, elegant look, and also allows you more space without needing big bulky shower units, as a simple glass wall will protect from the water seeping out.

Glass isn’t just for windows, and other finishing touches

As mentioned, glass partitions in bathrooms can add a huge amount of class to any bathroom, and also helps keep that pesky shower water in its place. Other finishing touches for bathrooms can also include getting things such as towel racks, hangers, mirrors and the like all lined with or made out of the same material – such as steel or silver coloured finishes, which keeps the classiness of the room together. If you have the space you can additionally add medicine cabinets, cabinets under stand alone sinks, or even add a potted palm type plant to give that tropical vibe.

However you decide to do up your bathroom, rest assured that with the huge amount of choice and selection out there these days that you won’t have to look far for the perfect pieces to suit your space, style and yourself.

DIY – The Dangers Of Asbestos Exposure

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Everyone knows that doing in home do-it-yourself is always the better option for people, especially for those people who want to do up their homes while saving money. The cost of labour can run hundreds of pounds per day – especially if multiple people are required for the job and so in recent years more and more people have started taking on the task of DIY themselves, regardless of the type of work needing to be done. Things such as Mesothelioma and the related mesothelioma compensation are becoming more and more commonplace as more people try to save money on their home projects.

Mesothelioma

The credit crunch and economic downturn of 2009 has meant that more people than ever are pinching pennies, but this can come with a whole host of its own problems relating to DIY – such as health issues that can lead to severe illnesses later in life. Mesothelioma is a big issue for people who have worked in buildings or live in homes that predate the banning of asbestos. Mesothelioma is a cancer that develops following the exposure of a person to asbestos material and forms on the outer side of many internal organs. A cancer which has a low rate of survival, many people who contract this particular cancer succumb to the disease within five to ten years from diagnosis, even with treatment.

Causes

There are a number of causes of Mesothelioma, many of which include being exposed to it through the environment, through your occupation or through no fault of your own if you happen to be in the vicinity where work is being carried out that kicks it up into the air. These such possibilities for exposure can be controlled, such as by avoiding areas where roadworks in asbestos carrying rock are being carried out, where mining operations occur, or where houses/buildings with known asbestos are being renovated. Asbestos exposure can also occur when people who work with or around it come home with dusty asbestos laden clothing – so having a locker at work to keep your clothes in and changing into something clean to come and go from home can help mitigate the risk for your family. The correct use of specialised masks and protective equipment is likewise a huge priority for those who are working with asbestos, and it’s in both yours and your family’s best interests to follow regulations accordingly. If doing DIY at home and your home is full of asbestos, it may be useful to live elsewhere while the work is being carried out to keep you and your family away from exposure as much as possible.

Options

Of course, early detection is key with any cancer but with Mesothelioma it’s especially important in order to begin necessary treatment as soon as possible. Once diagnosis is given the patient can usually help trace where the exposure occurred which can help in pinning down compensation which can be huge amounts, especially where quality and length of life are compromised. Hiring a qualified and experienced lawyer who has knowledge of compensation claims for Mesothelioma can help attain the highest possible claim for you and your family, so you know they will be taken care of through your treatment and beyond.

So in all, Mesothelioma is a horrible, incurable disease which affects thousands of people annually and can develop through exposure to asbestos. Mitigating the risk though can help ensure that you and your family remain healthy for years to come, long after any DIY has been completed.

How To Build An Outdoor Slatted Love Seat

If you want to give your garden a bit of livening up this year then furniture is the way forward, get rid of any tired looking plastic tableware and replace it with handmade items. There is something very rewarding about building something yourself, especially something that you can enjoy using after you’ve finished making it, such as a seat or in this case, a loveseat. These cool 2-person seats look great in the garden, they are simple in their design, super comfortable and straight forward to put together. If you want to make yourself a love seat for the garden then read on and follow our guide.

Things You’ll Need

  • Sanding Block
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Safety Glasses
  • Hearing Protection
  • Pine 2×4 Wood
  • Varnish or All-Weather treatment

For the wood, I like to use pine, it’s robust, inexpensive and has excellent durability, the sizings will all depend on how large you would like your loveseat to be based on how big your garden is, the dimensions given are just for the seat that I have built but feel free to alter them as you wish.

The Build

Once you have all materials ready, it is time to start, first with the seating area, I used 2 lengths of 2×4 at 50″ and for the width of the sofa I used 3, 25″ lengths, 2 for the outer seat and one for added strength in the centre using glue and nails to put each joint together. Once the seating area was finished, move onto the arms of the chair, you will be building 2 identical structures here so make sure your measurements are exact, the last thing you need is a wonky chair. The heights of the arms should sit around 15″ higher than the seat, so bear this in mind when measuring. Simply take 3 lengths and screw the armrest length onto the two pieces of wood that will be supporting the arm of the chair, once you have done this add a smaller length of ridged wood around halfway down, this is where the slats of the seat will be once finished.

Once you have these 3 frames completed it is time to attach them, using nails and glue attach both arms to the sides of the seating frame, constantly use your spirit level to make sure that you are keeping things straight. Allow the frame to set for a while before adding the slats to your loveseat, the slats should be slightly longer than the seat itself as they need to go under the arms and onto the ridges below. Once the frame has set you can start adding your slats, these can be easily nailed or screwed down. Finally you need some back support for your loveseat which can be done by using the same lengths of wood that you have used for the slats, place 3 of them across the back of the seat and you are all done. Last but not least, add some cushions and relax on your new home-built loveseat.

How To Build A Kick-Ass BBQ Pit In Your Backyard

When the sun is shining and you want to host a BBQ party, imagine that when the guests arrive they witness you, tending to your self-built flame throwing BBQ pit as you cook up some ribs for the masses. That dream can be a reality with just a little hard work, effort and with this quick guide for how to build a kick ass BBQ pit in your own backyard. Even if you don’t have construction experience, you can still complete this straight forward project with great results.

What You Will Need

Here’s the equipment you will need to have before you start;

  • Shovel
  • Spirit Level
  • 48 Bricks, same size (depending on space used and height)
  • Stainless Steel Grill, to measure
  • Concrete
  • Mallet
  • Sand
  • Large Metal Tray

Level of Difficulty

The build itself is not a highly difficult build, it is straight forward and as long as you keep measuring the level of your brickwork then anyone can do this. The job is pretty labor intensive, a lot of moving and carrying bricks can put strain on the back and on the legs so bear that in mind before starting and ask someone to help you if you are worried about the heavy lifting.

The Build

To start with we are going to build the outer walls of our BBQ pit, prepare the ground first by digging around 8 inches into the earth around your marked pit area, use some sand to put in the crevice and place your first bricks for your 3-sided outer. Continue to build the bricks up using your cement and ensuring to criss-cross the joining of the bricks for stability. Each time you have completed a layer, use your spirit level to check if it is straight, if it isn’t then concrete will still be wet enough to alter it a little. Once your wall has reached the sufficient level, usually just above your waistline then it is time to start on the inner part of our pit.

Follow the same process for the inner walls as you did for the outer area of our pit and slowly start to build up the brickwork of the interior. When you get around halfway up the outer wall it is time to place your metal tray, this will be where the fire will sit for your BBQ, there should be a greater distance between the floor and the fire than the BBQ grill itself and the fire so bear that in mind. To place the metal tray simply push it into the wet concrete on either side of the brick work. If you wish to be able to remove the tray for cleaning purposes then use 6 nails, 3 either side, and push them into the wet cement, once the cement dries you can simply move the metal tray as you like.

After this continue to build up the brickwork before placing the stainless steel grill, there should only be one layer of bricks above the grill to hold it in position and you should follow the same steps that you did with the metal tray to place the grill into the BBQ.

This of course is just the quickest and simplest way of creating a cool BBQ pit in your backyard, you can get far more creative or create bigger and better BBQ’s if you so wish, don’t be daunted, anyone can do it.

How To Get Your Children Interested In DIY

Getting children interested in DIY can give both you and your children endless hours of fun as you start new projects and create things from scratch for the home. Your job when it comes to DIY is to make it exciting for the kids and to stop them from thinking that it is some form of chore. There are several ways that you can get your children to show an interest in DIY and here are some tips on how to spark their imagination.

Start a Project

The best way to get your kids involved in DIY is to simply get started and get them involved, the key here is that they choose the project, give them four or five options and let them decide what they would like to create. Make sure the project is to make something that will benefit them, something for their room, a toy or even a figure of their favorite princess or action hero. By choosing something that will benefit your child then they are more likely to buy into the project and feel excited about it.

Toy Replacement

If there is a particular toy or toy series that they are interested in right now then instead of heading out to the shops to buy what they want, consider making them. I can remember years ago when there was a huge demand for Tracey Island, the headquarters of the Thunderbirds, stock was limited and then all of a sudden a TV program showed every one how they could make their own and before we knew it every had made their very own Tracey Island. Such is the way of the internet these days you can find a guide for almost anything so once you’ve decided on the toy that you’re going to make, check online to see if there is a step-by-step guide to help you.

Treat

Whilst you are trying to get your child involved with DIY, it is important that you still offer them treats every now and again for their hard work, this will encourage them to continue doing it before deciding whether they like it or not. Remember that when you do DIY projects at home, you are saving money by not having to pay someone to do work for you so you can spend a little of the money that you’ve saved on your budding DIY expert.

Excitement

It is absolutely vital that when teaching your child DIY skills that you keep it exciting, the last thing you or your child needs is to be arguing or fighting as a result of doing a boring part of the job. It is up to you to keep the fun going, be silly, tell jokes or whatever it takes to keep things light hearted and fun, naturally there will be times when you need to be serious, when it comes to safety advice and so on but in general you need to keep the fun going whilst teaching your kids.