Archive for the ‘diy’ Category

The importance of wearing a hard hat

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

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Every now and again, we get involved in DIY. Nothing heavy you understand. Perhaps a friend needs a hand repainting a room, changing their kitchen doors or demolishing a wall.

Our work also takes us to homes that are being refurbished and it’s clear that some people are far more skilled and adventurous than us. People will turn their hands to all kinds of things as a way to turn a shell into a home.

A lack of money is driving more people to do things themselves. Often they will sell or donate their old furniture to us as a way to raise funds or simply to make space for new furniture.

For the most part, things turn out well for these people. It’s amazing to see what people manage to do when they decide to learn new skills and carry out all kinds of home improvements themselves.

Sadly, every once in a while, things go array and unfortunately accidents happen. One such accident is prompting me to write this post. A friend of ours was knocked out when he was hit with the end of a scaffolding pole. It wasn’t a hard blow, no bones broken just a nasty bruise and a bit of a bump, but he still ended up in A&E being checked for concussion.

When I heard about the accident, it struck me that it wouldn’t have been serious if my friend had been wearing a hard hat. Of course, the accident could still have happened, but the consequences would not have been so serious. A hard hat would have absorbed more of the blow and potentially my friend would not have been knocked out and have needed to attend the hospital.

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Use the right safety equipment

When we work on a project or piece of furniture, we’re usually quite careful. We use gloves, safety glasses and wear a mask when sanding down furniture.

Over the years, the cost of safety equipment has fallen and these days, sites like sell to the public as well as professionals. On sites like this, it’s possible to buy industrial-quality safety equipment for a low price.

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Keeping yourself safe while doing DIY

Staying safe while carrying out DIY is very much a matter of common sense, you just need to stop and think. It’s very important not to work with power tools when you’re tired, on medication, or after a night out when you’ve been drinking. Remember, it only takes a moment of inattention for an accident to occur and for someone to get seriously hurt.

It makes sense to wear gloves and safety glasses when using power tools. If you’re working in a confined space or somewhere where there are loose fixtures and fittings that could fall on your head, you need to wear a hard hat or helmet. Remember to protect your feet too. Wearing safety shoes is a wise precaution.

Next time you set out to do a DIY job in your home, stop and think about safety and take the necessary steps to keep you and your family safe.


10 ways to help your home sell faster

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

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You’ve made the decision to move on – and now the hard work begins. You may have great memories of the property where your children grew up or you progressed in your career, but to the home-buyer that means nothing; their memories are still to be created. Here are ten quick ways to help your home sell faster and boost your chances of moving to your next abode.

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De-clutter for visits

If you’ve made the decision to move, then your personal effects will need to be packed up at some point – so why not start now? Pack away the personal photographs and travel memorabilia, wall certificates, photographs and kids’ paintings, with the aim of creating a canvas onto which a visitor can mentally stamp their authority.

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Let other people love your home

Garish room colours such as dark reds, purples and blues might be perfect for your lifestyle, but for a potential buyer it represents redecoration at best, and rejection at worst. Regard it from the viewpoint of someone coming into the home fresh, with new ideas for rooms, which they’ll visualise more easily if they’re pastel colours.

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Get those jobs done

The niggly, nasty little jobs that you’ve been putting off for months or years need to be done if they’re a real barrier to the sale. Guttering upgrades, crack repairs, and broken windows might need professional help, but replacing doorknobs and skirting boards could be done in a day or so by the owner and could tip the balance in a buyer’s eyes.

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Update the kitchen

Alongside the bathroom, this is the one room where old age can’t be hidden easily by removing items for the photographs. Dirty units and old-fashioned trimmings will drag down the overall picture of the house; while a modern, clean kitchen might catch the eye. We’re not talking big money – just enough for it to become a positive talking point for the estate agent.

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Leaving behind?

Transporting some items is more hassle than benefit; sheds, integrated TVs, cookers and the like are the types of furniture that might not add value to your home, but might a) give a good impression, b) look nice and prevent disruption and c) enable the buyer to sell their own counterpart items.

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Get recording

You’ve got a mobile phone or a small video/DSLR camera, so make use of it. A walk through your lovely home is one thing, but why not go further by taking potential buyers on a leafy tour through the local amenities, pubs, shops, leisure facilities, parks and other attractions. If they’ll agree, enlist neighbours and friends as well.

'Easy Guide to Selling' web page

Go online

The quick house sale and online estate agency markets are booming, with much of the donkey work such as photography, floor plans and advertising on property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla done for you through sites such as It’s certainly worth a look if time is of the essence – for example, if one needs to move to start a new job.

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Utilise social media

That video should not only find its way to YouTube and Vimeo, but other social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Accompany it with lovely pictures, a PDF of particulars for downloading and contact details. The trick is to make something that’s interesting enough for friends & followers to share, encourage and positive comments.

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Don’t forget the exterior…

The external walls and the garden are part of your home, and a spot of weeding/raking to the latter and painting of the former – and therefore protecting it from sun, wind and rain for future owners – could be worth it. Keep a tin of the paint and the receipt if completed by a professional decorator, to prove the job has been done recently.

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…and additional space

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (as reported in The Independent) three times as many front gardens are now completely paved over compared to a decade ago, for reasons such as people can’t be bothered with gardens and need parking spaces. If your property boasts its own parking space make sure this is highlighted, and emphasise that it is near to any attractions (if true). A happy medium would be a combination of parking and grassed area, of course; shout from the rooftops if you possess this treasure.


House maintenance – 10 ways to maintain your biggest investment

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

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Your home is probably one of the most expensive things you’ve ever bought, so it’s important to keep it in tip-top shape. A little revamp here and there will ensure your property stays in great condition for a long time, so here are 10 useful maintenance tips:

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  1. Paint your garage doors

A fresh lick of paint is a well-known way of giving rooms a quick and relatively easy makeover. But don’t neglect the outside of your property. The look of your house contributes to what is called ‘curb appeal’ – how attractive it appears, which is particularly important when it comes to getting a valuation. Painting garage doors can instantly transform the appearance of a house. Just ensure you use a specialist paint supplier, like Rawlins.

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  1. Have the carpets deep cleaned

Your carpets might not look particularly dirty, but you’ll be amazed how much dirt and grime has been ground into the material over time. One of the best ways to remove all this is to have your carpets professionally cleaned – you’ll be surprised at the results.

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  1. Wash the windows

On the next warm, dry day, head outside with a bucket of bubbly water and clean the windows using a squeegee. Don’t want to do this yourself? Then there’s sure to be a local window cleaner who’ll do the job for you.

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  1. Get caulking

As a home-owner, it’s essential to check the caulking around showers and bathtubs and repair as needed to prevent leaks.

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  1. Clean sediment from shower heads

Shower heads can become blocked with all kinds of gunk, so if you’re in the mood for some maintenance, pull on your rubber gloves and clean out the sediment. One of the easiest ways to do this is to submerge the shower head in a bag of vinegar for a few hours.

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  1. Give your furniture a polish

There comes a time when furniture can start to look a bit dull and worn, but you can bring it back to life with a good polish. And you don’t even need to buy expensive products as olive oil is a great cleaning agent and ideal for polishing wood.

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  1. Tighten loose screws

Once in a while, go through the house with a screwdriver and tighten any screws that are a bit loose on cupboards, draws and such like.

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  1. Check all locks and deadbolts

The security of your home is of paramount importance, so check all locks and deadbolts. If something doesn’t work properly, replace it.

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  1. Clear out your guttering

Don’t forget to spruce up your outside space too by getting rid of all the leaves, mud and whatever else might have found its way into your guttering.

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  1. Give your patio a deep clean

There are many ways to improve your outside space, but cleaning your patio is definitely one of them. Use a pressure cleaner and you should find it makes a big difference without taking too much time.

So there you have it – ten simple, yet effective ways to maintain your home.