How to refresh your out-dated home and be proud of it

How to refresh your out-dated home and be proud of it

When we’re proud of who we are, we reflect in the space we live in. When we’re proud of the home we’ve built for ourselves, we feel at home. Homes, however, require constant maintenance. It’s hard! When wear is starting to show in your home, it’s time to consider some easy DIY projects. When your windows or your doors are rotting and in disrepair, you need to reinvest in your home for more than just its kerb appeal. Your home means so much to you. Put a little love back into it (and maybe save some money in the long run).

Painting wood

Repainting

Nothing is a better instant fix than a fresh coat of paint. If your home has beautiful features like wood or brick that you absolutely do not want to paint over, a good power wash is the way to go. For wood, however, remember that unless you treat and take care of it, it will rot. Constant upkeep is an absolute must! In most cases, however, especially if your home or fence was already painted, a fresh, clean coat of paint will instantly brighten the look and feel of your exterior.

Tip: Ce sure to fill holes, fix cracks and other sources of disrepair before you paint!

Brass dolphin knocker on a bright blue door

Installing new fixtures

Rusting fixtures, or even just out-dated ones, can really bring down the look and feel of your home. Installing a uniform set of doorknobs, door knockers, and outside lights will really make your home look like new. Having a set of fixtures (meaning they all look similar, or are sold as a set) will make your home look like a professional did the job!

Cream room with light streaming through a window

Install new windows and doors

Single glazed windows and doors that let a draught in are often not only a bit old and sad looking, they can also cost you a lot. Updating them is an absolute must! This investment can save on heating bills in the long run, too, so over time, your investment will have paid for itself! Choose energy-efficient doors and windows, and find the right scaffolding equipment and installation team for you. Sourcing a lot of the materials yourself, instead of through a builder, is a great way to save money (if you have the time to find the best deals). Just make sure that everything is to the correct specifications!

Watering plants in a garden

Landscape your garden

Nothing will make you feel more relaxed and at home than having a perfect getaway in your back garden. Fixing the cracks and getting rid of the weeds between paving is a quick and easy way to make your garden look well cared for. Replace any dead or sad-looking plants with architectural or flowering plants for a new look!

Tip: Buy flowering plants that will bloom throughout the year, so you’ll always have colour and interest!

Being proud of your home is something for which to strive. It means coming home and loving the feel of it. Keeping your home fresh and updated is how you’ll continue to be proud of your home throughout your life.

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What should you do if you hit a gas main while digging?

What should you do if you hit a gas main while digging?credit

Modern life has made construction difficult. Digging on your own property used to be a simple task that just involved tools and some physical labour. These days, there’s an entire world of pipes, wires, lines and cables criss-crossing the land – all waiting to get in your way once you break ground.

The field of utility mapping has become very successful, helping people figure out just what is under their property, so that digging and construction can be done safely.

While cutting the cable line is an inconvenience, damaging a gas main is a serious hazard. Once there’s a gas leak, even the tiniest spark can cause an explosion. Keeping that in mind, what should you do if you hit a gas main?

garden spade in the ground

Start with prevention

The best first step is to avoid the whole problem to begin with by accurately determining what is underground at your dig site. You can either call your various utilities and get as much information from them as you can, or use your region’s “call before you dig” service (which is typically free). The service should cover all the utilities, so it’s a more efficient approach.

Most of these services will check with their records to determine precisely what is (or isn’t) under your property. Even though we’re talking solely about gas lines here, it’s good to get info on all possible obstacles. For a more direct view of what’s underground, to cover all the bases and to include things that may not be on record, hire a company to do a mapping with ground penetrating radar.

Be warned, that many places will hold you liable if you do dig and hit a utility without having called the service for guidance.

mini-digger clearing pile of bricks

You’ve hit the gas main

Even with all your planning, accidents can still happen. If you hit a gas line, you should immediately evacuate everyone out of the area. Clear out an area of at least 100 feet, and turn off all power equipment in the same range. That means electrical as well as any gas-powered machines. Battery-powered flash lights or task lights should also be off. Any slight spark can ignite the gas.

Don’t base your actions on whether you can smell any gas. Though natural gas should have an odour, a small leak may be undetectable outdoors, and will continue to seep gas as you work.

Once you’ve cleared the area, call the gas company. Be clear that you think you’ve hit a gas pipe and they’ll let you know what to do next. They can likely clarify that the pipe is indeed a gas main (if you aren’t positive), and they’ll send out a professional crew to deal with it.

If you haven’t called the dig safety line beforehand, don’t let that stop you from calling. Fear of litigation or fines shouldn’t prevent you from doing the right thing and reporting the damage. The risks of fire or explosion are too serious for that.

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Best kitchen renovation tips & ideas

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vintage industrial kitchen

Renovating your kitchen will add to the overall appeal, saleability and value of your home. And of course, it will add to your daily enjoyment of life. You’ll surely be more inspired to cook and prepare sumptuous meals for your family in an upgraded, more beautiful kitchen. You’ll feel much happier inviting guests and friends into the space. And, if you’re the type of person who loves spending time in the kitchen, what better undertaking than developing the perfect space to suit your needs?

Here are some helpful kitchen renovation tips & ideas:

built in kitchen pantry

Use high quality materials

A good foundation is essential, so it’s advisable to pick high quality materials for use in your renovation. There are lots of areas to consider – flooring, worktops, sinks, splash-backs and cabinets. Choose work surfaces that combine beauty with durability, floors that are practical and easy to clean and good quality drawers that slide smoothly.

open plan kitchen diner with bright yellow feature wall

Wall colour

The colour of the walls will dictate the overall atmosphere in the room. Choose a colour that will create the mood you’re seeking. Some people prefer white to make the room look clean and bright. But you may also want to use less stark neutrals such as creams or natural wood tones. Bold, bright colours can also work well – perhaps on a feature wall. Accessories such as kettles, pots & pans, textiles and storage jars can then pick up on these colours.

Kitchen countertop extension chopping board

Counter-tops

As mentioned, quality is very important. So when it comes to a large expanse of counter-top, consider your materials carefully. There are many options – granite, marble, limestone and natural woods will all add to the feel of quality and permanence.

Colour block kitchen cabinet doors

Kitchen cabinet design

Kitchen cabinets play a very important role in the overall appearance and functionality of the kitchen. It’s one of the first things that you will notice when you go to the kitchen so make sure you’ve chosen a good design and appropriate style. Install as many cabinets into the kitchen as space allows without feeling claustrophobic. You can never have too much storage space in a kitchen.

Fire engine red door leading out of a kitchen

Dress up the door

If you’re going to revamp your kitchen then you might as well go all the way and include its entrance in the makeover. Doors are often overlooked – and stand out as an incongruous and rather ugly expanse of wood or PVC in the corner. Perhaps move away from the standard off-the-shelf door. Add character by painting it with fun highlight colours that compliment the rest of the décor. Glass panels will allow light to pour in if darkness is an issue. Be creative – don’t be afraid to come up with unique ideas or solutions.

Vintage industrial kitchen

Don’t overdo it

Decorating is fun but avoid overdoing it. When your kitchen starts looking too busy or crowded, then you’ve probably gone too far. The kitchen needs to be practical as well as beautiful. Furnish and decorate according to the space available. Stick to the essentials in terms of appliances on view and provide yourself with plenty of storage. Remember, simplicity is beauty.

Grey open plan kitchen with island

Finishing touches

Complete the new look of your kitchen with fresh flowers, artwork and, of course, some elegant tableware. Shop for the most beautiful and unique dinner set from Harris Scarfe. They have a wide range of designs and styles to suit any kitchen or dining space. The perfect addition to your new and upgraded kitchen!

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Cupboard love

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detail of vintage contents of renovated 1960s wood & Formica kitchen cabinet
This vintage 1950s kitchen cupboard / kitchenette has been this week’s little renovation project.

vintage 1960s kitchen cabinet prior to renovation detail of 1960s kitchen cabinet prior to renovation

detail of top of 1960s kitchen cabinet prior to renovation

We collected it from a garage over in Wakefield and set about giving it a bit of TLC.

First of all, it got given a good wash inside & out with hot, soapy water. The original red Formica laminate was very faded and mottled, so we repainted it in a lovely vintage spearmint green colour. If you’re uncertain about what colour you want you can buy little tester pots. You can even get colours specially matched at many local DIY shops.

view of fully renovated 1960s wood & Formica kitchen cabinet when empty

We lined the shelves with a chintzy oil cloth that we bought online.

vintage 1960s wood & Formica kitchen fully renovated and stocked with vintage kitchen items and put for sale on the H is for Home pitch at Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

It’s now standing in our Picture House Antiques pitch waiting for someone to come along and give it a new home – in the meantime, it’s great for displaying our kitchenalia shop stock.