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If you ‘get a man in’ to fix anything and everything around your home, embarking on a complicated home improvements project may not be the best idea you ever had. If, on the other hand, you are a keen DIYer, you will enjoy getting your teeth into a new project. It is so important to know what you want to achieve from your project, ask yourself what is the point to it, for instance, is it just to improve the house or is it to increase the value of the property. If it is to increase the value, then you need to choose a project that is actually going to do this. Many people think that whatever home improvements they make, they will automatically increase the value and this really is not the case. There are actually very few projects that will increase the value by more than the improvement costs, in fact, in many cases the job will cost more than the increase in value.
If you want to have a go at home improvements but don’t know where to start, choose something that is relatively small and easy to achieve. You could even begin by changing the door handles or doorknobs on all your interior doors. This is a very simple job to do and won’t take very long providing you have got all the parts you need before you start. If you have forgotten to buy the right size of screws, then you are scuppered before you even begin. There are lots of easy jobs that you can cut your teeth on.
Whatever DIY home improvements you decide to do, make sure that you have got the right tools for the job. It is vital that you know how to use the tools safely, a lot of injuries are inflicted unnecessarily when people use their tools incorrectly or carelessly. This is particularly the case when power tools are being used. Ventilation is another consideration that many do not have crossed your mind but when there is a lot of dust, particulates and chemicals in the air, your respiratory system needs to be protected. Common sense should be used at all times with any do it yourself project and so does knowing your own limits.
Television may make home renovations look like a 30-minute project, but taking on more than you can handle can turn your dream home into a nightmare.
Local homeowners and home improvement experts express a variety of opinions on when to do it yourself and when to call the pros.
Know your budget
The first step to any home improvement project is creating a budget — just make sure you include unexpected costs.
“Home renovations are like a wedding. You’re going to spend way more money than you think,” said Robbyn Wilks, who recently renovated the kitchen in her Paris home. “It’s one thing to get the tile half price, but you also need to factor in the cost of grout and other materials and tools, plus the labor if you’re hiring someone else to install it.”
Also consider wages you might lose taking time off work to complete the project, says Scott Pritchard, a general contractor of 35 years and owner of C&S Builders.
“Ask yourself if you’re willing to take off a week of work and lose that pay,” he said.
In some cases, it’s more cost-effective to hire someone else to do the work.
Know your limits
Next to budgeting dollars, budgeting the time it will take to complete a project is often overlooked and underestimated.
“I’ve seen it happen so many times where what started out as a weekend project turned into a six-month project,” Pritchard said. “Even something as minor as painting can take much longer than people expect.”
If time is of the essence, it may add another check under the “hire a pro” column. Knowing your expectations for the end result — and comfort level with the project — can also help you make that decision.
Over the years, Lief Dickinson of Kenosha has taught himself how to do just about every home improvement project, from tiling and cabinetry to insulation and drywall.
“One thing I’ve discovered is you can pretty much do anything you want to do depending on how bad you want to do it,” said Dickinson, who enjoys researching and learning how to do new projects. “If you have a project that interests you, I’ve found you take the time to research how to do it.”
But just because you can teach yourself a skill doesn’t mean you should do it. When Dickinson put an addition on his former residence, he hired a contractor to handle the initial work.
“I wasn’t comfortable doing the framing, so I hired a contractor to do the framework and foundation. Same thing when I did the driveway at my old house. I had a contractor do the concrete because it was easier,” he said. “Sometimes the jobs are pretty easy to do, but the physical part is hard. So I’ll let someone else do those things.”
When Wilks wanted a tile backsplash in her new kitchen, she knew she could probably teach herself how to do it.
“But something this much? I just didn’t want to tackle it myself,” she said.
The job would have required her to rent equipment, as well. Instead, she paid a handyman to install the backsplash.
Draught proofing is one of the cheapest methods that you can use at home to effectively save energy and money. It can also be used in any kind of building. Draughts and ventilation in your house let in fresh air from outside. Good installed ventilation will reduce damp and condensation. Draughts are relatively hard to control. They let too much cold air that will waste heat.
To draught-proof your home you should start by blocking all unwanted gaps that are letting in excessive cold air and letting warm air escape. By prevent the warm air from escaping you will serve a lot of energy trying to warm your home. This will also mean that you will use less money as well as make your home pleasant and snug.
Research that has been done shows that you can save around $70 a year if you draught-proof your windows and doors. Living in a home that is draught free is very comfortable even at low temperatures. This means that you will not have to use your thermostat. This will save you some more money of your heating bill.
There are specific places that you should look for this unwanted gaps in your home construction. You should also look for opening that are left uncovered. You can also check the gaps in the following areas:
2. Loft hatches
3. Ceiling to wall joints
4. Suspended floorboards
5. Doors- keyholes
You should try and block most of these gaps but be carefully not to interfere with the ventilation system. This should apply with areas that have open fires or places that produce a lot of moisture.
The cost of draught proofing may vary. For instance the cost of hiring a professional to do it may cost you double the amount it would have cost to do it yourself. If you are happy with doing it yourself there is no problem. But there are homes that require professional expertise. This are the old homes that have singe glazing. This means that draught proofing them is hard.
There are also cheap ways to stop draughts in your home. Drought that is brought by external doors come from keyholes, gap under the door and letterboxes. You can fill the gap under your door with a weather bar. This will act as a seal when the door is closed. You can purchase them from your local store and they are easy to fix.
There is also the option of using a draught excluder. This are special in that they can be used to seal gaps that are seen under the window. They are also available in your local stores and you can fix them yourself easily. You can also make them yourself by filling a fabric bag with old clothes or rice.
If the cold entering your home is coming from around the door, you can purchase a brush door seal. There are mostly sold in packs of 5 seals that are not very expensive. You can also install a letterbox plate that will stop the cold air getting in your home. There are also keyhole covers that will reduce the amount of warm air escaping through them.
Warm air is lighter than cold air. As it rises it may escape through gaps that may be in the loft hatch. You can fill this gaps using foam strips. They are used the same way as for doors and windows. You can further go ahead and insulate your loft. This will cut on your heating bill.
You should also protect your pipework from draught by sealing any gap that is leading to the pipes. You can use silicon filler in case you are sealing off small gaps. If the gaps are large, it is economical to use expanding polyurethane foam. All this material are available at your nearest decent DIY store.
However much your home is insulated you cannot attain perfect draught proofing. This is because air will still leak through holes and gaps that exist in the construction. Draught proofing is one of the best method you can use to reduce your energy cost. This method is also helpful if you are renting a place and you want to improve the comfort of the place without too much fuss.
Home improvements can prove very costly and if you don’t have a lot of spare cash it can be very hard to do even basic improvements. We often delay doing basic jobs like draft proofing and improving the insulation. These improvements are very worthwhile and you might be amazed at how much money you can save on your heating bills just by doing a small number of upgrades. It is so important that your home is energy efficient so that you do not waste money trying to heat your home when your doors don’t fit, your windows rattle in the wind and you have not got much loft insulation. You might be worried about the cost of doing even basic improvements and yes, some of them are very costly so take some time to research how you might be able to make your home more efficient without breaking the bank. There is government money available in the form of grants and you might find that you are eligible for some of this cash.
The UK government set up the Green Deal to help homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their homes by awarding grants for improvements such as double or triple glazing, wall insulation, loft insulation and better doors. The homeowner still has to pay a percentage of the total amount however, there is the opportunity to claim up to £5,600 per home. Find out for yourself whether you are entitled to claim any of this grant money, you never know, it might just be the difference between being able to afford to make improvements or not. This is a substantial amount of money that is there to be claimed, so don’t miss out!
Householders can now earn generous cashback on home improvements, such as new double-glazed windows or wall insulation, which could increase a property’s value as well as trim energy bills.
However, the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund has so far proven chaotic. The initial scheme, launched in June, closed within just six weeks after £120m was snapped up by households keen to earn cashback on energy-efficiency measures.
The latest cash injection came this week, with £24m set aside for solid wall insulation and £6m for other energy-efficency improvements such as new double-glazed windows or wall insulation.
But the main fund ran out within just 24 hours of the scheme’s relaunch on Wednesday morning. However, millions more will be available soon – here we explain how householders can act now.
What is the Green Deal?
The Green Deal is the Government’s way to tackle the upfront costs of making a home more energy-efficient.
In 2013 the Government offered loans to customers which are repaid over 10 to 25 years and are added to electricity bills. The repayments should always be less than the energy savings, so a household’s monthly costs should not increase.
Take-up has been low. Fewer than 2pc of households assessed for the Green Deal have signed up, according to figures released this month by the Department for Energy & Climate Change. The loan also incurs interest of between 7.9pc and 10.3pc, at a time when cheap personal loans of less than 4pc are on offer.
In June the grants became even more generous under the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, open to households in England and Wales. Crucially, you did not have to take out a Green Deal loan to claim cashback but the pot of money on offer was exhausted in weeks.
The rush for Green Deal Home Improvement Fund cash has so far proved chaotic. The scheme’s first launch in June closed within just six weeks after £120m was snapped up by households keen to earn cashback on energy-efficiency measures.
What is new?
The Green Deal has been resurrected with a few minor tweaks – notably with a staggered release of the cash on offer. Available from this week, the fund is a fraction of the £540m sum earmarked for the next three years.
The fresh release of funds is positive news for the thousands of households that paid for a Green Deal assessment in June – typically costing £120 – only for the cashback to be withdrawn without notice.
Mishaps involving ladders can trigger significant, even fatal, injuries. These often occur because the worker has actually not believed enough about how to utilize a ladder correctly.
Before you tackle any job which includes utilizing a ladder, look into these ten safety tips.
Is the Ladder Safe?
1) Get the proper ladder. You might have to overstretch if the ladder is too short. You might have to put it at a unsafe angle if it is too long. Avoid using a stepladder to gain access to your attic. Have a fold away ladder fitted to your attic, or use a leaning ladder.
2) Inspect your ladder thoroughly. Has it been saved outside? Wooden ladders expand when wet and contract when dry. In time, the rungs can loosen, triggering the ladder to become unsteady. In wooden ladders, thoroughly check for cracks or other damage to the rungs. Look for indications of rotting or other damage, if in any doubt, do not use the ladder. Check the screws or rivets that hold the rungs in place are not rusty, corroded or broken. Make all repairs or replacements quickly.
Rungs commonly have anti slip grooves formed into them. Make certain to eliminate any dirt that might have built up in the grooves. All ladders must have anti slip pads on the feet. Check that they are there and are not excessively worn.
3) Deliver ladders safely. On a vehicle, protect the ladder to a correct ladder rack, or secure it to a trailer on at least 2 points. A long ladder may hang out over the back of the automobile, so tie a caution flag on completion to make it easily noticeable to somebody following.
It is best if 2 people lug a long ladder. But if you have to bring one unassisted and you opt to carry it horizontally, hold it securely on your shoulder with one arm, making use of the other to preserve its balance. To avoid striking any individual, keep the front end above head height. Bear in mind, though, that you have the same length of ladder behind you as you have in front!
When you carry the ladder vertically, take the weight against your upper body, utilizing one hand to carry it and the other hand, held above shoulder height, to balance it. Keep an eye out for overhead wires, lights, and signs!
4) Position the ladder correctly. For safety, the ladder ought to not lean sideways and have to rest at an angle of 75 degrees from the floor.
5) Offer support on top and at the base. Be careful where you put the top of the ladder. Make certain that the top surface area against which the ladder rests is steady and nonslip. Never rest the ladder on glass or plastic. When possible, tie it securely to a component, with the top of the ladder increasing about 3 feet [1 m] beyond the leading point of landing.
If the ground slopes far from the building, place something heavy at the base of the ladder or tie a lower sounded to a fixture. If the ground is uneven but solid, use a wedge to obtain a level base. Supply a wooden board or something much like make a company base if the ground is soft or of loose material.
If you make use of a stepladder, make certain that 4 feet are securely on the ground, with the two areas totally apart and any security captures locked in location.
Are You Safe?
6) Inspect your shoes. Before you climb a ladder, make sure that the soles of your shoes are dry. Get rid of anything, like mud, that might make you slip.
7) Carry things thoroughly. To leave both hands free for climbing up, if possible, lug tools in a holder that is connected to a belt. Search for alternative methods of lifting unpleasant objects, but if you must utilize a ladder, keep your freedom in contact with the ladder at all times by moving it along the side of the ladder as you climb up. Be purposeful and methodical, and do not rush.
If you utilize electric power tools, never make use of both hands to operate them. A drill, for instance, may all of a sudden jam or slip, causing you to lose your balance and fall. Never lock them into an on mode; they may fall while still running.
8) Be considerate of others. If you are working in a public place, make the ladder easily noticeable and, if possible, cordon it off. If you need to move the ladder around a corner, realize that others will not be anticipating this. Yell a friendly warning, and inspect to see if the method is clear.
When you have tools with you on a ladder, keep in mind that even a small screwdriver can cause injury when dropped from a height. If you need to go away for some reason and you have been not able to tie the ladder safely, get somebody to stand guard, or lay the ladder down safely up until you return. Do not leave it ignored.
9) Inspect your state of health. Because climbing is largely a matter of balance and rhythm, do not climb up if you feel sick or nauseated or if you experience vertigo.
10) Climb safely. At all times, be safety mindful. Never permit 2 or more individuals on a ladder at the same time. Never ever climb up in strong, blustery winds. Never ever stand on the top rung of a stepladder or above the 4th sounded from the top of a long ladder. Do not be tempted to exceed the limits of the extension ladder. Don’t try to stretch to reach whilst up a ladder, it is very easy to lose your balance and either fall off or have the ladder fall down. Instead of risking a fall, shift the ladder to a more suitable spot so that you remain safe.
It does not matter how many precautions you take, there will always be a level of danger involved when using a ladder however, you can significantly reduce them by using these tips.
Trolley jacks are very good additions to a vehicle especially if you travel a lot and spend a lot of time off road. Trolley jacks make it very easy to lift a vehicle or a light truck so that you can change a tire, or even need to change the oil in the sumps fitted below the vehicle.
It is sometimes necessary to keep cars off the road for some period of time, and this is when you can conveniently lift the car with the trolley jacks,
photo copyright of Tools Today
remove the tires and help the vehicle to settle down on wooden or metal supports. Trolley jacks can be operated by hydraulics or by screw arrangements that require them to be operated by hand. Trolley jacks are those that have a large area for lifting when compared to bottle jacks, which are the more commonly used jacks provided along with most vehicles. When you use a bottle jack for lifting a car when you need to replace a tire on the road, you have to be very careful to see that the jack has a firm base, as any unevenness can lead to vehicles sliding off jacks and can lead to serious accidents. Trolley jacks have wider bases and will make for very firm supports, both top and bottom, so that the vehicle is lifted easily. Trolley jacks will also have wheels which allow them to be easily positioned below a vehicle. In the case of bottle jacks this positioning has to be done by bending down to find the right spot to lift, and also ensuring that this is on a firm base. Most trolley jacks allow lifts between six inches to a foot, which is more than adequate for freeing wheels and replacing them.
Most trolley jacks come with safety features, like locking them in position when raised and also an indication of overload. This makes for safe working, as it will not allow you to raise a vehicle that is carrying a lot of load. Even though trolley jacks are better to use than the traditional bottle jacks, it is advisable that you still take a lot of care when you use them. Ensure that your car before lifting is positioned on a flat surface. See if you can use a surface that is tarred or paved, and not one that has only gravel or grass. Move your car to a better spot if you can find one, and definitely ensure that it is off the road, and you have taken all other precautions like posting safety barriers and signs. Put on the parking brake and jam the wheels that are not requiring replacement, with wooden blocks or even some stones or bricks. A good motorist will have such blocks in the trunk of the car along with the trolley jack. These blocks prevent the car from moving when it is lifted. This movement is likely because you are changing the centre of gravity of the car when you lift it, and this can cause it to move forward or backward.
Most cars give advice on where jacks should be placed, so that the actual frame of the car body takes the weight instead of some sheet metal which will be quite weak. Otherwise use your judgment to spot the frame and lift it at that point. Trolley jack use hydraulics or screws to lift vehicles, and turning the handle to move screws can be quite a strain, even with the mechanical advantage that screws do give. Once the car is lifted to the right height you need to free the wheel, you can take an additional precaution of using car stands to rest the vehicle firmly on them. This prevents any possibility of the trolley jack slipping or the hydraulics giving way. Car stands are simple pipe stands that can be obtained for a particular model of car and will have mostly triangular bases that make for firm foundations. You will of course have to lift the car higher to accommodate the stands and then lower it after the stands are in place.
Trolley jacks do require more space in car trunks to carry them and this can at times be a disadvantage. There is also a possibility that the weight of a car can cause hydraulics to leak and the trolley to come down. That is why car stands make for a very good safety device that precludes any mishaps. Even in the manual variety, loads on the jack can cause the trolley to come down. Safety devices like locks can prevent such occurrences.
One of the more popular pieces of equipment that people use for maintaining their gardens is a lawn mower. There are many different sorts to choose from but most people will go for either an electric or a petrol powered mower. Unless you have a large area of lawn, a sit-on mower is going to be an expensive accessory. Push mowers are useful but you do need to be fit to use one.
Electric mowers usually have cords which means that you need to connect to a power point to use it. Often the electrical cords are not particularly long so you might need an extension lead to be able to use it. It is very important to also make sure you use a safety plug so that if there is an accident or incident, the electricity will cut out immediately. You would be surprised at the number of people that will accidentally run over the electrical cable with the mower and as you can imagine, this can have dire consequences. These days, there are some electric lawn mowers that are cordless and as with all cordless power tools, they need to be charged up before use. The batteries will only last a certain time so it could be prudent to purchase an extra battery and have it fully charged so that you do not end up with three quarters of your lawn cut.
In the past, push mowers were the only choice and to use these, you need to fit and strong as you are the power behind the mower! Push mowers are good on grass but not so good when having to go through stalky, weedy lawns as the speed of the blades is not fast enough to cleanly cut through the stems. These mowers do cut the grass shorter but the benefit is that the grass then grows thicker and lusher. The down side of this is that it needs cutting more frequently so this type of mower is not really suitable for the busy professional who only has limited time to look after their garden.
Petrol lawn mowers are very popular and they can be quite noisy, so probably best not to be using one of these at 7am on a Sunday morning. They can cope with uneven ground and slopes because the machine can be manoeuvred to get at such areas. Some of them now have throttle control which means that the user has quite a lot of control as well as easing the amount of pushing required to work it. By increasing and decreasing the speed, the user can adjust the control to mow the lawn with ease.
Ride-on mowers are a boon for anyone who has a large area of lawn to cut. Many are multi-purpose vehicles and there are a number of attachments that can be bought for them. However, here we are just interested in those that cut the grass. Be aware that ride-ons can be unstable on uneven or sloping ground and they can’t get close to trees, shrubs and fences so these areas will need to be cut separately.
With all these different types of lawn mower there are pros and cons. Those with cordless mowers need to make sure that their batteries are charged before commencing, so disappointing to start cutting the grass only to discover that the battery isn’t fully charged and runs out before you have even got half way through. The benefit of this type of mower is that there is no electric cable to accidentally run over. Petrol mowers have the same advantage but again, it is important to have a stock of fuel before you begin. Petrol mowers also need more maintenance as they have combustion engines. They also tend to be very robust and will take a lot more punishment that an electrical mower. This is why most serious gardeners have petrol powered mowers. Push mowers need to have their blades sharpened from time to time and there is no point in even attempting to cut the lawn if there has been rain or a heavy dew. However, they do not require power and are a great workout for the user. Ride-on mowers are usually petrol, diesel or gas powered and these do require regular mechanical maintenance.
Noise is an aspect that cannot be ignored and unless you live on your own country estate miles from any neighbours, choose the time you wish to cut your grass carefully so that you are considerate to your neighbours. Do not fire up your petrol mower at an uncivilised hour and be aware that there may be noise controls in your area so you may not be legally allowed to use noisy power tools at certain times of the day or night.
When choosing a lawn mower, consider how much lawn you have, what sort of terrain it is and which sort would serve you best. For those with a very small flat patch of grass, either an electrical or a push mower would probably be best. It will not only be quick and easy to do but buying one of these mowers will be cost effective as they are relatively cheap to buy. Larger gardens will be better served with either a larger electrical model or a petrol mower.
Many of us think we are DIY experts and some of us are, however, for the inexperienced or newbie, actually planning and executing a DIY project can prove to be a step too far and disaster ensues. Whatever home improvements job you want to undertake, spend some time actually considering what you will need to do – and you need to be completely honest and realistic here because many a job has been doomed before it has even begun. So, if you do not want to be yet another DIY disaster statistic, be prepared to put in sufficient time, money and effort into doing a really good job that will enhance and improve your home. Preparation is usually the key to any project and doing the often uninteresting ground work can make or break the whole job. So, read on to find out how to avoid those costly and hideous DIY disasters
It looks so easy, and the idea of saving hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of dollars is enticing. Surely you can repair those cracks in the wall, right? Or caulk around the bathtub. Or install a new toilet. Or change a light fixture. Or, emboldened by the seeming ease of repairs on home renovation TV shows, tear down a wall in your house.
Maybe you can handle all these do-it-yourself projects – but, then again, maybe you can’t.
“The road to the hardware store is paved with good intentions,” says David Pekel, president and CEO of Pekel Construction in Milwaukee and a master certified remodeler. He is often greeted at his office on Monday by frantic calls from homeowners who failed in their DIY weekend projects.
There are many projects that virtually any homeowner can accomplish, but others should be left to those with experience. Either way, it’s important to plan and understand a project before you launch into it.
Just know this: “It takes twice as long as you think it’s going to and generally costs twice as much,” Pekel says.
Kelly Whalen and her husband thought that redoing the carpet, painting the paneling and ripping out some built-ins in the outdated family room of their 1970s home near Philadelphia would be an easy project.
But once they got started, they discovered asbestos tile under the carpet, which required removing the tile. That, in turn, damaged the paneling and an unknown layer of paneling underneath. They ended up gutting the room, adding new insulation, putting up new drywall and adding some wiring. A project that looked simple at first glance ended up taking six months to finish.
“The moral of the story is never think paint and new flooring will fix a room in an aging house,” says Whalen, who shared the details of her project in several posts on TheCentsibleLife.com. “Be prepared for a full gut job.”
Even professionals run into unexpected problems once they open walls, including ductwork or plumbing they didn’t realize was there and substandard work done by previous renovators. If you’ve ever watched “Love It or List It” on HGTV – a show where homeowners are advised on whether to renovate or sell their homes – you know that every one of those home improvement projects runs into snags that mean extra costs and more time. And those are teams of professionals doing the work. Click here to continue
One common plumbing trouble that frequently occurs at the most troublesome of times is a clogged drain. Lots of property owner are lured to grab a bottle of their preferred drain cleaner – they are easy to use, expected to be fast, and you don’t have to get your hands dirty. The trouble with quick fixes – as with lots of things in life – is that the quick fix might not be the very best.
Most drain cleaners nowadays will certainly not damage your plumbing when correctly used. The key is to see to it that you utilize them properly. If your home has a septic tank, make sure that any cleaner specifies it is safe for use in septic tanks. Various kinds of drain obstruction removers could target different types of issues and have various guidelines, make certain you follow them to obtain the optimum effectiveness.
The first effort was the devoted old plunger. A plunger deals with the principle of hydraulic pressure (simply put, you cannot compress a liquid) to move the obstruction. The trouble with this technique in a kitchen area or washroom sink is that the drain could not be the only outlet – there are frequently several drains and/or overflow connections making a plunger ineffective in these cases
The next step was to attempt and get rid of the sink trap. Once you get to this stage, you have to see to it you have a bucket and a few towels helpful. If you had actually formerly tried to clear the blockage using a chemical drain cleaner you need to be careful here as there could still be residue in the sink, pipelines, or trap. Before removing the trap, make certain to drain as much of the sink water as you can.
Position the bucket under the trap and loosen the connection to the section of the pipe leading below the sink to the trap. By opening the down facing section of the pipe first you ought to be able to confine the draining water to the container – if you eliminate the horizontal part initially you are most likely to make quite a mess as the water drains because direction. If the remainder of the water drains from the sink, you understand your blockage if further down the line. If the water does not drain, then you need to check the section in between the trap and the sink for blockage. Typically a screwdriver or length of bent clothing wall mount suffices to examine and clear any blockages discovered.
Next check to see if there are any obstructions in the removed trap. Either take it to another sink and see if water flows through it unblocked or use a length of clothes hanger to probe for (and eliminate) any clog. If you found something blocking the trap, you should be all set. Re-install the trap and run the water. If you found no blockage, it is time to browse additionally.
So the sink and the trap are clear, exactly what next?
This is where you could require devices that you might not have useful but it is definitely a task for the appropriate device. Do not attempt to check out the pipeline with anything that could cause even more problems because it gets stuck/breaks/damages the pipes or you could end up with even more problems. The right device for the job at this time is typically a plumbing snake. This is a long, versatile, spring like device that is “snaked” down into the piping. You can acquire a little, fundamental plumbing technicians snake at any house superstore or plumbing supply establishment and they are fairly economical (another example of a tool that spends for itself the first time you can utilize it instead of calling a plumber).
Push the auger into the pipeline till you run into a blockage. If you are utilizing a manual auger, you may have to twist it (they normally have actually set screw and deal with to help) to get around turns in the pipeline. Once it reaches the obstruction, you turn it to “auger into” the obstructing substance. If you have a fibrous blockage, you will pull the auger back together with a portion of the blockage – repeating as many times as needed to eliminate it. For softer blockages (like grease) you could just require the auger through the obstruction and rely on water pressure later to assist continue to get rid of the loosened obstruction.
If you are unsure that you have cleared the clog completely and you wish to check before you re-assemble everything utilize a hose to run some thin down the pipeline. Run the water SLOWLY – you do not wish to find out the hard way that the blockage is still there. Keep your container underneath the pipe while screening. If it is cleared, re-assemble your sink/trap and run your water for a while – see to it that your drain is working generally – if it is sluggish, you might still have a partial obstruction.
One other prospective solution is the “as seen on TV” water blaster range of drain cleaners. These gadgets are normally really low-cost and generally include a small rubber nozzle with a hose fitting on one end. The principle is simple, you stick the nozzle into the drain, hook it approximately a hose, and switch on the water. The water pressure initially makes the nozzle swell to fill the drain or pipe opening and seal/hold it in place. Then the nozzle forces water into the pipe ideally clearing the block by developing pressure behind it. If you listen, you will hear the obstruction clear and water flow rapidly down the piping.
Lastly, if none of the above have worked, it is time to hire the specialists. As I have actually noted in previous short articles, a great professional deserves every penny they charge you. Many will certainly not only help you out with your problem but will likewise recommend how you can avoid it in the future and if needed point out troubles that need to be attended to.
There are many reasons why you may need more room at home and this can include changes in your working or family life. The challenge at times is to be able to create the right space or environment within your house and you may feel that the ideal solution is to have something that is separate from your main property. This can be achieved by having a garden room built and here are some of the ways that this could be used to suit your lifestyle.
In recent years our working lives have been changed by technology and the fact that more people make career changes or decide to work for themselves. If this happens in your life, you may require the use of a home office and this has been made easier with the internet and the improvements in how we can communicate with people wherever they are based. If you need a home office, it may well be that you want this to be kept separate from your house. This is from a practical point of view in needing to be able to focus on your work or business and so that there is no impact on your family life. A garden room will achieve this and actually help your personal life as you will not spend so much time commuting everyday to work.
If you like to keep fit, you will know that one of the challenges you face if you join a gym is visiting it often enough to maintain an exercise regime, especially when other areas of your life are busy. An answer to this can be to work out at home but this can be restricted by space, particularly if you like the idea of having fitness equipment in the house. A garden room is an ideal environment for this as you will have the space for anything you need and it gives you the flexibility to schedule your exercising whenever you want. It can also be used by all your family and encourage everyone to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
There are changes within your family where a room in your garden can help. For instance, as your children become older, they may want their own space for gaming, seeing their friends or for school work. It can be good for them, as well as you, if they can go somewhere separate when required whether this be for studying or for something such as playing a musical instrument and spending time on a game console. In fact, the design can be adapted to suit a hobby such as music so that sound insulation is taken care of and to ensure that no one else needs to be disturbed. A music studio can be used by all the family as it is never too late to learn something new.
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It is not just children who may like a separate area to relax. It may be that you want somewhere that is a haven you can escape to and entertain others if you wish. For instance, if you like movies or watching sport, you may like to be able to go somewhere that allows you to really enjoy the experience with other members of your family or with friends. A garden room can become a cinema room or a place of entertainment where you can retire to away from the rest of your home. It is great at times just to be able to feel that there is somewhere that you associate with fun and can take you away from all the normal pressures of life.
A further reason to have a garden room constructed can be to create an annex that could be used by guests or for a permanent arrangement such as if you have an elderly parent who you want to look after. The design can create an independent living space that is ideal for this type of situation and if it is for an older relative who needs care, it can mean that you feel secure that they are looked after without it having a major impact on your own living arrangements. In other words, you can carry on living your life as you normally would but know that if any emergency or problem arises, you will be able to help quickly.
So as you can see, a garden room is a very flexible way to create space when you need it due to changes in your lifestyle or just because you want to be able to do more things. It can suit your business and working needs or be designed to suit leisure activities and the requirements of your family. It is just a matter of deciding what you want to create for your lifestyle.
House owners across the world are looking for ways to increase the value of their homes through remodelling. Many of these house owners count on kitchen area and restroom renovations, developing an enticing space that will attract potential purchasers and also make their house life modern, practical and practical.
The decision to perform a restoration is an interesting one, but it does include a lot of imagination and choices. It’s really difficult to picture the area when completed, which is why it’s so essential to sit down with your designer or formulate your very own design, which you can use as reference when going to washroom display rooms and taking a look at the terrific products available.
Your design does not have to be anything fancy and it’s really easy to do. Using a notepad write down the measurements of the space, measure the length and width of the area, so as you buy items, you can ensure they leave you with adequate floor space. It’s constantly a good idea to determine from floor to window sill, particularly if you intend putting a bath or basin under the window.
Selecting a design can be a little harder to accomplish. You could wish to follow current trends and pick a luxury spa inspired area that oozes style and beauty or you might wish to go with an ultra-modern area with plenty of straight edges and fantastic whites. There is no right or wrong here, the choice is down to exactly what you like and exactly what you feel will certainly work best for you and your household.
When you check out a restroom display room you will certainly find yourself yanked in all directions. There are many products to look at and select. In order to ensure they work in your space, take your design along with you. In this manner you can measure the items and then examine to see that they will fit without jeopardizing your floor space.
While checking out the bathroom showroom, ensure that you keep the style the very same. If you are opting for a huge freestanding bath that is rectangular with straight edges, guarantee you pick straight edged basins to match it. It can get very untidy when you pick various designs throughout the space; you really want the items to interact enhancing the area.
Colours are very important when developing any space in your home, particularly the bathroom. You desire it to be light and bright, light natural tones on the walls, light wood furniture, white items and maybe include some color to your freestanding bath, if that is exactly what you have chosen, making it a centrepiece in the room.
Bear in mind the lighter and brighter the area, the larger it will certainly feel. If your space doesn’t benefit from an abundance of natural light, add added lighting through mirrors. Mirrors, when tactically placed, can bounce any natural light coming into the space throughout the space, immediately making it lighter and brighter.
Constantly make sure when you check out a bathroom display room that you are confident about exactly what will and will not fit in your area. Smaller restrooms will benefit with a shower or steam shower over a big bath. Whatever you do, ensure you don’t jeopardize your floor area.
Speak with the sales group at the store, let them know exactly what you need and the area that you have available and see what they advise. These teams have actually worked in the industry for several years and are the best people to make recommendations to fulfill your demands.
Don’t forget your accessories. They are such an important part of the restoration, guaranteeing your area is convenient, functional and useful.
Did you know that flooding was predictable? It is possible to assess your risks of having your home flooded by simply looking at a map of the area. Insurance companies have been using this method for decades to calculate premiums based on the flooding risks of clients. You can use this method to assess your risks and decide whether or not you should invest in home improvement to protect your home from floods.
Maps can show how likely a flood would be in your area since nearby rivers and bodies of water can be easily identified. However, in order to accurately assess your risks of being flooded, you are going to need a flooding map. The National Weather Service provides these maps for free if you are located in the U.S. These maps are created with data collected from satellites and updates on a regular basis.
The maps shared by the National Weather Service show Long Term Flood Related Warnings. These warnings are issued in areas where flooding is a common occurrence or if studies have shown that the ground level is low enough for flooding to occur even if there has not been a flood in a few decades. These warnings can make your homeowner’s insurance premiums go up and should be taken seriously. If you live in one of the areas where a Long Term Flood Related Warning is issued, it is best to invest in protecting your home from flooding. You should also avoid storing valuable items in your basement.
Many states have their own flood risk resources. Depending on where you live, you may be able to access detailed maps of your area thanks to state resources. State maps are usually more detailed than the ones shared by the National Weather Service. Don’t hesitate to compare flood maps from the National Weather Service to the ones made available by your state to better understand your risks.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has some useful resources you can use to assess your risks of being victim of a flood. You can find a database, reports and maps on the official FEMA website. You will also find helpful information on flood insurance and should be able to find some highly detailed maps for your area. The FEMA resources are very helpful if you are considering buying a property since you will be able to get flood reports for the past decades.
If you need an even more detailed assessment of your risks for flooding, you should call an engineer or surveyor who specializes in flood risk management. These professionals can conduct a thorough survey of your property to assess your flood risks. A good engineer or surveyor will measure the levels of your property and establish a detailed map of the area. Having your property surveyed for flood risks is a great investment if you are thinking about building a home in an area where floods are common. Your architect will be able to design foundations that will protect your home from major floods thanks to the data collected by a surveyor.
Living in a flood-prone area should not be a cause for alarm. Keep in mind that heavy precipitations are necessary to cause a flood. If you know your property is located in an area where floods are a common occurrence, check the weather regularly to assess flood risks. A certain volume of precipitation is needed to cause a river or a body of water to overflow and you should be able to calculate this amount thanks to the reports available through the FEMA. Check the weather data for the floods that occurred in the past few years to get an idea of the amount of precipitations needed for a flood to occur in your area.
Checking flood maps can help you prepare your home for floods or give you an idea of how much you will have to spend on your homeowner’s insurance. You should always check flood maps if you are considering moving to a new area and investing in a property. Don’t hesitate to ask for a lower price if you want to buy a property located in an area where floods are common. You might need the money you save to make a few modifications to the house or to purchase homeowner’s insurance.
There are several resources you can use to get accurate flood maps. Don’t hesitate to check more than one source to get a good idea of your risks. Make sure the maps you check are recent but don’t hesitate to look at older maps or reports if you want to find out how frequent floods are. You should also check weather reports for your area to get a more accurate idea of how likely floods are. Buying a property with a low level does not necessarily means you are more at risk for floods if the property is located in an area with low precipitations.
Flood maps and reports can be used to accurately calculate your risks of being the victim of a flood. Most homeowners do not like to think about this possibility but you should not avoid this issue since you can easily predict your risks thanks to the resources available. You can easily access flood maps on the Internet or order a more detailed map through the FEMA. Think about hiring an engineer or a surveyor if you need a more detailed map of your property.
In case you are interested in changing the appearance of your home or create more space so that you can make your home liveable, you need to carry out some of the home improvement job. You can choose to have a DIY home enhancement job that will be really practical for you. All that you need to do is to come up with a plan on exactly what you need to doing this that your house can look much better. Do it yourself home improvement task can be very effective and normally assist you to save a lot. You can create projects that will fit your requirements and desires.
This can be a really simple job specifically if you are dedicated to it. However, making some modifications in your house can be very challenging at times and you might need some professional guidance. You could also need to follow some treatments in order to succeed in attempting to enhance the condition of your home. This may make work simpler for you if you follow the directions thoroughly.
When selecting the task you want to carry out, you need to make some planning and preparation. They are different things that you should consider before starting DIY house improvement project. These may consist of the material you may require, the time invested on the project and the effort that is required. If you can discover the necessary materials you can prepare a schedule that you will follow to complete your task. If you’re preparing to remodel your kitchen area, safety should be your primary priority. Understand job site security fundamentals, consisting of safety clothes, having the right devices for the task, the importance of first aid kits and how keeping a clean task website implies keeping a safe one.
Doing house improvement on your own can be fun, but caution need to be taken to prevent the incident of any possible mishap. This will certainly assist you on improving your home condition, but your very own security need to precede. You have to keeping a first aid kit in our home so that you can use it in case of an accident. Every accountable house owner has a appropriately equipped first aid kit. Make sure it includes products such as: sterilized dressings, plasters, plasters, wound wash, tweezers, cool packs and clinical sticky tape. Keeping it well equipped at all times and change made use of or ended products.
When carrying out the job it is likewise crucial that you dress appropriately. You can dress comfortably however it is extremely required that you safeguard yourself from any possible injury. Consider putting on security goggles to protect your eyes and also wear closed shoes. In case you are working using the electrical power, it is very important that you notify others so that they can keep on inspecting the devices for any sign of danger. Before you begin working, ensure you have the right safety kit. This could include things like safety goggles, ear defenders, face mask (if you are going into a dusty atmosphere), steel toe-cap work boots and suitable gloves. Your goggles or safety glasses should have the necessary certifications, such as a valid kite mark so that your eyes are properly protected. Gloves need to be made from a suitable material and be heavy enough to protect your hands from splinters, hot metal or any other pieces of shrapnel that could damage your hands. Your ears must be safeguarded on loud work sites with top quality ear protection. High decibel sound levels can cause long-term damage to your hearing. If you prepare to do any demolition or work with harmful products, a mask or respirator is an outright must. Lastly, work boots will certainly secure your feet from falling products, nails and other work website dangers.
If the project you wish to carry out in your house includes using power tools, it is very important that you find out the best ways to run them first. Reading the handbook will help you understand the risk of using these devices so that you can be cautious. Making certain that you are familiar with all the tools will certainly assist you to prevent any possible mishaps. Guarantee you have the appropriate tools for the task BEFORE you begin. Never utilize whatever you have lying around, inaccurate use of devices can lead to an mishap.
If done well Do It Yourself house improvement project can be very successful and expense conserving. This task can help to give your house a brand-new huge appearance. The amount of effort and commitment together with appropriate planning will certainly result in better outcome. It is possible to make your house look good by executing DIY house enhancement projects properly.
A portable air compressor is one of the most versatile tool to own. There are many uses of portable air compressors than just inflating tires. This device is important to power spray guns, nail guns, wrenches and many other tools that plays an important part in our day to day lives. There are many people who own an air compressor for fun as well as work
Sealy Compressor from toolstoday.co.uk
purposes. The latest models of compressors function using electricity as a power source. Some of the main uses of air compressors are highlighted below.
Airbrush Painting – This is one of the most creative uses of owning an air compressor. A small air compressor would suffice to airbrush a car, motorbike, scooter or even a motorbike helmet. A creative artist will do a good job on your car with the use of a small air compressor.
Inflating Tires – This is one of the most common uses of an air compressor. Vehicle tires should be inflated on a regular basis to ensure the safety of the vehicle. Varying sizes of air compressors are used for this purpose with smaller types (pumps) to inflate bicycles.
Diving – Diving cylinders are filled with compressed gas for breathing purposes of divers under water. Low pressure compressors are used for surface supplied diving purposes while high pressure compressors are used for scuba diving cylinders.
Pressure Washers – Pressure washers are another instance where air compressors are being used extensively. Vehicles, driveways and many other cleaning projects could be accomplished successfully with a good pressure washer. Powerful air compressors are being used to pressurize the water in these pressure washers.
Paintball Guns – Some homemade guns as well as paintball guns use air compressors to power them. Paintball guns are operated with mild air compressors which has the power to hit a person with force. Usually paint is being used as the bullet in paintball guns.
Snow Machines – Snow machines that produce artificial snow uses air compressors to power them up. This is another use of the versatile air compressor.
Sandblasting – Sandblasting tools operate by using air compressors. They are essential to remove paint, rust and other impurities from wood and metal.
Nail Guns – Nail guns are produced using air pressure to speed up construction sites. An operator could nail more than 50 nails per minute with the use of a nail gun. The gas pressure in the nail gun pushes directly into the nail in order to drive it on to the timber. The nail gun was originated in the 1950’s.
Air Blow Gun – This is used to clean dust off machinery parts. It works with mild air pressure that would not damage the machine being cleaned. The tool is highly effective in blowing out dirt and dust from a surface.
There are many important features to look at before purchasing a portable air compressor. In order to maximize productivity, you will need an air compressor that ignites quickly and function without any interruptions during the entire job. No one would like to stop working while they wait for the air compressor to catch up. Looking for the following air compressor features will help you to purchase one of the best air compressors from the market.
PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch of Air) – This is the speed that air is being delivered to the air washing or whipping tool. The more the PSI, the better for the job.
CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute of Air) – The volume of the air being delivered to the tool. More CFM is always better.
Receiver Tank – This is the holding tank for the air that is created by the pump. 20-30 gallon systems are most commonly used here. 60-80 gallon units are used in big truck systems.
Receiver Tank Certification – An ASME certified tank is of high quality. It has been tested and certified to meet pressure vessel safety standards.
There are three major portable systems of air compressors. The 1.5hp electric air compressor would generate 150 PSI and 6-8 CFM with a 9 gallon tank. The next portable compressor is a 5hp electric air compressor generating 175 PSI and 17 CFM with a 20 gallon tank. While the third model is a 9hp gas air compressor generating 175 PSI and 19 CFM with a 20 gallon tank.
The above mentioned is some of the most important uses and features of portable air compressors.
There is nothing to spoil a lovely afternoon in the garden like the buzz of wasps and if you are unfortunate enough to have a nest in the vicinity, much of your summer will be spoilt. For anyone who has an allergy to the venom in the stings, these insects are not only a nuisance but can be dangerous. It is often an unknown fact that in the spring, wasps are the gardener’s friend, they feed on other garden pests such as greenfly so they are not all bad. It is just towards the end of the summer when the queens are no longer breeding that the workers become such a pest as they search for sugary foods instead of protein. If you do discover a nest in or near your property, you must take great care before attempting to destroy it. If it is very small, it should be simple enough to deal with but if it is quite big, unless you already have some experience, it is probably best to contact a reputable pest control company to deal with it for you.
To rid your home or garden of wasps, you first need to understand the different type of wasps in the UK and their life cycle.
Types of wasps
There are 2 types of wasps that you are likely to come across: solitary wasps and social wasps. Solitary wasps, as their name suggests are loners but social wasps are the ones that cluster together at the height of summer, with their nest population reaching anything between 5,000 and 10,000 in number.
These wasps tend to build their nests in four main locations and normally, they don’t cause too much of a problem to humans, rarely being noticed:
In small nests they build themselves from mud or wood
In holes left by other insects such as beetles
Inside their prey such as a caterpillar; a solitary wasp paralyses their prey with their sting, killing it. The wasp then lays her eggs in the body and when hatched, the larvae feed off the body
They also nest underground in tunnels they create themselves which, of course, can be a hazard if you are walking barefoot in your garden
Social wasps tend to be the nests that cause people most concern. They build nests from wood scrapings, cardboard and paper which they mix with their saliva to form cellulose. These nests can commonly be found under eaves of houses, in attics, walls, roof spaces, trees, hedges and underground. These are the nests that bother people most as the wasp population can reach staggering proportions.
The good news, however, is that wasps do not use the same nest year after year; the colony will abandon the nest once the spring and summer cycle is complete. Essentially, wasp nests are a short term problem; you could simply wait until they have vacated their nest in late summer/early autumn, knocking the empty nest down with a broom handle. This will also give you chance to admire the intricate pattern of the wasp nest.
However if you have a young family, or are allergic to wasp stings or the nest is built in a place where there is a lot of human activity, the nest can be a problem.
Getting rid of a wasp nest
The likelihood is you are looking to get rid of a social wasp nest which means there may be a several wasps around. However, if you are unsure then please contact a reputable pest control company. They are the experts and experienced at dealing with wasps nest. If you’ve had a reaction to wasp stings in the past it would pay to get a pest control company to do the job for you. Click here to continue reading
Everyone should be interested in what’s in their water. I know it seems like a hard thing to think about, with all the other issues that could go wrong. But, if you’re not taking the time to be concerned about the quality of your wastewater, you could be hurting the environment, and possibly the people around you.
When you have the right wastewater monitoring service, you are not only insuring the safety of those around you, but you are also helping marine life. Believe it or not, the water we use does get tossed back into a body of water more often than not. I know you want to preserve the environment, as do most people who live in this modern age. Well, the only way to make sure your not part of the problem, and you are part of the solution is to have wastewater monitoring.
Sometimes, we just need to know what’s in the water due to health concerns. Did you know that there could be certain things in your water that could harm parrots but not humans? A lot of parrots have been dying off lately because the water in the system has been changed. A wastewater monitoring system could have prevented this.
Looking for the right company to do your wastewater monitoring? This might be a difficult thing to find if you expect it to just fall in your lap. I know you need the right people to help you with your wastewater monitoring issues. Here are several ways you can find the right professionals that are willing and ready to work for you.
If you’re not into using the internet, all hope isn’t lost. There are other ways to come across a wastewater monitoring team. You might want to try talking to your local water supplier and see who they use. I’m sure they would be happy to help you if they knew it would give you a little bit more piece of mind to know what’s in your water.
Of course, there is always the internet. Why not go with the first company that pops up for wastewater monitoring? If they pop up first, it probably means that their popular enough to pay Google. This is always a good sign. A rich company often means one that does a nice job at a reasonable price.
Remember to read the reviews of a company before you decide to go with. There are other people on this planet that have needed the exact same services that you now need. They will let you know what they thought. Don’t take all reviews seriously. There are companies out there that will cheat and leave their own reviews. These can be avoided if you make sure that you find ones that look like they are written by real people. Also, don’t take all negative reviews to seriously. People can sometimes be impossible to please. It could just be that the person reviewing that company had some personal problems that got into the way of his review.
You should never put something back into the environment without knowing exactly what’s in it. That’s why a wastewater monitoring company is so effective in helping you. They can make sure that you only put good things back into this world. They can also make sure that you get the water that’s going to keep the people around you safe.
I hope you find the right company that is well capable of helping you with whatever problem you have. I know you will get a lot done when you find the right professionals to do the job.