Welcome to my blog which is all about home improvements and DIY. I started out when I was a boy, helping my Grandad in his shed and the best day was when I finished my first bookcase at the age of 12. I still have the bookcase and have made many more things since then. I want to help you with whatever do it yourself project you would like to do whether it is building a garden wall, making your own wood furniture or just clearing out the guttering.
Ceramic tiles can really enhance your home and in this post we will show you how to do it.
You will need a few basic tools before you begin and they include:
Grout mixer, drill, grout mixer, notched trowel, plastic bucket, dust pan, spirit level, measuring tape, grout sponge, ceramic tile nibblers and a pencil.
You can buy ceramic tiles in virtually any colour you want and they range in size from 1″ to 18″. Most people will choose tiles of around 4″ for walls and if you are choosing tiles for bathrooms or kitchens, you need to make sure that you buy the ones that are water impervious so that they are water resistant.
When you are installing tiles on a wall around a bath, where there is a bath/shower combo, I would suggest that you work out where the middle of the 2 tiles at the centre of the shower control will be. This means that you will be able to use more whole tiles and not have to do so much cutting and shaping.
Mark the wall with the pencil where you plan to place the tile, make horizontal and vertical lines. When you mark the horizontal line, do make sure that you measure properly and ensure that the tiles are level. When planning for the tiles directly above the bath, make sure that the tiles are not sitting on the edge of the bath, you should use a tile spacer in between. You do this because if the bath happens to move or shift, the tiles could loosen or crack – not a good look.
To begin installing the tiles, start at the centre point of the shower control, which you have already marked out and work to the right and left along the bottom line. Starting in the middle, being sure not to hide your lines, apply a coat of ready mixed tile adhesive on the wall and spread it with your notched trowel to create ridges. If you so wish, you can also add a layer of adhesive onto each tile before applying them to the adhesive on the wall.
Press the tile in place and give it a little twist so that the slight movement makes each tile stick better. As you work your way across your horizontal line, use tile spacers between each tile so that your grout lines will be equal. Do each tile one at a time placing spacers between so that your grout line is maintained. When you get to a corner, make sure you measure the size of the tile you will need and cut. This will ensure a snug fit and give the line of tiles a smooth flat look.
If you are unable to complete the whole job at once, do not leave the tile adhesive lying open or spread too much onto the wall as it may dry. Once it has dried, it will be very difficult to remove and will be almost impossible to install your tiles on this area. However, you can remove the excess adhesive from the wall with a flat edge putty knife before it dries.
Once you have installed your tiles, the adhesive will need at least 24 hours to dry and set. Make sure you read the instructions for the adhesive so that you know how long it will take. Once this time is up, you will be able to grout the tiles. You can choose sanded or unsanded grout depending on the width of the grout lines. If the spaces between the tiles is greater than an eighth of an inch, you should choose sanded grout which will make a stronger bond. Remember to remove all the spacers before you begin grouting.
Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when mixing the grout so that you do it right. It should be quite stiff in consistency and if you are grouting the bathroom or kitchen, make sure your grout contains waterproofing.
When you have applied the grout, wipe off all the excess with a damp sponge and make sure that you keep the sponge clean by rinsing regularly in clean water. It is a good idea to place a sheet or some newspaper on the floor to catch any grout that falls onto the floor. After about half an hour the grout should have set and you should repeat the wiping stage with the clean sponge. This might need to be repeated several times to make sure that all the grout is removed from the tile surface.
Leave the grout to dry for 24 hours and then wipe any haze away from the surface with a damp cloth. Again, it is important to keep the cloth clean so that it does not put more haze onto your tiles. In bathrooms and kitchens, it is quite important to us a mildew resistant silicone to seal the edges of the tiles along the top of the sink, bath, shower, countertop, etc.
One final note, you can apply a grout sealer a week or so later which will prevent stains or dirt from spoiling the grout.
If you desperately need more space but don’t wish to endure the upheaval and expense of moving house or adding an extension to your property, a garden room may be the answer you are looking for. They can be constructed relatively cheaply and speedily and will provide an extra room or even rooms for you and your family to use.
A garden room is not just an inexpensive way of adding an extra room to your house. Building a garden room provides a separate space away from the main house which can be used for a wide range of purposes. If you are looking for a creative space, somewhere to concentrate or to write, paint, sculpt or even sew, then a garden studio could be just what you need.
Considering the Cost
Adding a garden studio has many advantages, and for many the main one is cost. They are a great deal cheaper than extensions, can take as little as a week to install and usually need no planning permission. Site preparation is minimal because foundations tend to be simple pads, although piled foundations can also be used. You’ll need to provide a flat and level site for your garden room, but most companies will be happy to do the work necessary to achieve this.
Definitely Not a Garden Shed
A garden studio is so much more than a glorified garden shed. For example, you can use them throughout the year, as they can provide a cosy space during the winter or a light, airy room for the summer. They can be well insulated against the frost and cold and water-proofed to withstand even the heaviest of downpours. It is a simple matter to connect them to your home’s electricity circuit, and you can even have a toilet, basin, shower or kitchenette fitted if you want to.
Whilst most brick-built extensions are designed to blend in with the original house, a garden studio allows you to be more daring. Many of the designs are very modern, with sliding glass doors, Scandinavian-style wood panels and spot lighting.
The Possibilities Are Endless
Garden rooms, just like any room within your house, can be used in whatever way you want. Because they are set away from the house, they make ideal offices or studios. For an artist, a garden studio can be the perfect place to create. But the possibilities don’t end there. They can be used as a therapy room, for example, a beautifully calm space, far away from the busy family life of your home, in which you can treat your clients. You might choose to use yours as a gym or a space for meditating. Families often use them as an extra room for entertaining guests. You can set yours up as a guest room or just use it for spending lazy summer afternoons with friends. They can also be the perfect space for children to play in. Kids love the feeling of independence a garden room gives them, and mum and dad will know they are completely safe while they play.
A Safe Haven for Teenagers
If you have teenagers who are craving their own space, a garden room can provide the best solution. Your teenager might not be able to leave home yet, but a garden room is an inexpensive way of giving them some of the independence they need without putting them at risk. It gives you the reassurance of knowing exactly where they are. And, of course, you won?t be disturbed by their music playing all hours of the day and night.
Working from Home
Working from home sounds ideal for many of us? no more hours spent commuting, and no more office politics or having to be in the office by a set time each morning. However, in practice working from home can be just as difficult. You may struggle to juggle your domestic world with the demands of your job. It is all too easy to find yourself distracted by other members of the family, pets, housework or other tasks that are just calling out for you to do. Write that report or tidy the kitchen? Answer your emails or turn on the radio and sort out the washing? You might find it hard to summon up the self-discipline needed if you are going to work from home efficiently. Even if you are someone who would always much rather work than do domestic chores, you will still find that there are many distractions to lure you away from your work. Other family members, pets, the postman, the window cleaner, calls on your land line ? they will all need attention if they know you are working at home.
A garden room offers the perfect solution, however. You are still working from home but in a defined and separate space, set apart from your house. Other family members are much less likely to put their heads around your door to distract you if they have to cross the garden to do so. The postman or window cleaner won’t know you are there, and you can happily ignore your landline when it rings because you won’t hear it. Similarly, the ironing, the cleaning and the washing can also be ignored until you have finished doing your paid work in your own private working space.
Because no garden is the same, garden rooms are nearly always bespoke, which allows you to really stamp your style upon them. You’ll be choosing the design, the shape, the size and the fittings. All you need is imagination!
You can prevent accidents from taking place at home by using these 10 safety measures every time you start a Do It Yourself task.
First, it is very crucial that you do your DIY job in a safe environment. This indicates clearing the location of debris if you are outside and moving cords, furniture and anything else that could get in the way. The most convenient method to do it is by working with a avoid to deposit any furniture you want to do away with or any particles.
If you are making use of paint or chemicals, the area you work in ought to be well ventilated so that you don’t breathe in unsafe fumes. Also utilize good sense when starting a task and use power devices and chemicals in open locations where they don’t position a hazard to your house or other people.
If your Do It Yourself project includes the plumbing or electrical system in your house, take necessary precautions. For most of these jobs, you will need to turn the water or power off prior to you begin to work. Understanding where your water shutoff valve and electrical panel are can help you prepare the area before you begin working and can assist you in case of an emergency.
Even if the project doesn’t seem unsafe, it is a good idea to wear a face mask and goggles. Doing projects like sanding or painting can be quite hazardous because sandings can get into your eyes and paint fumes can make you feel unwell. These things might appear to be small and unnecessary, but they can make a big difference if something goes wrong or if you experience something unforeseen while working.
It is very important to safeguard your hands and feet while working on tasks around the home. While doing a task, your hands can be in harmful scenarios if you are using power tools or lifting heavy products. Substantial injury could likewise occur if something were to fall on your feet.
Avoid these sort of accidents by putting on the correct gloves and footwear. Steel toe boots and suitable gloves will provide good protection.
Head injuries can be happen to anyone and are actually quite common, so if you are doing any jobs where you could bump your head or something could hit you on the head, make sure you wear a proper helmet. Headwear is particularly vital if you are lifting heavy objects above your head, are working at a height, or are making use of power saws to puncture wood, plastic or metal.
Hard hats offer the very best defence and you can find designs with headlights to make working in the dark much easier and much safer.
When people do DIY projects, they have the tendency to use worn out clothing as well as things like t-shirts and shorts. These type of clothes do not provide much, if any, defence from things like tools, chemicals and particles.
Rather, wear work wear that covers your arms and legs and is made of a tough material. If you are working outdoors or with spray paint or strong chemicals, you might consider using a waterproof rain match to secure you from the aspects and possibly dangerous chemicals.
If your job needs you to work from a ladder or other height, take correct precautions and remain conscious and alert while you are working. Stable the ladder on a stable surface area and do not work near power lines or other overhead things.
Be sure to read and follow the guidelines that used the ladder and do not stand on the leading step or sounded unless the maker specifically mentions that it is safe to do so. When you climb the ladder, see to it you always have three points of contact with it. That is, both of your feet and among your hands or both of your hands and one of your feet need to constantly be on the ladder.
You may understand the concrete in your yard is wet, however does everyone else? When you pour concrete it is wise to utilize obstacles to alert individuals to keep away from the area. This can also help you from accidentally walking through wet cement in a careless minute.
You can make use of standing barriers or tie the area off with barrier tape. This is specifically vital if you are doing a task in a high-traffic area.
Even if you believe you understand how to use a tool or chemical or the best ways to assemble something, constantly read the manufacturer’s guidelines. The directions are particularly written with security precautions to keep you safe and might consist of unique precautions that you have to know.
Despite your finest intentions and even when you have followed safety measures, accidents can take place. Before you start a task, know where your emergency treatment kit is so you will certainly have simple and immediate access to things like plasters, antiseptic wipes and cold compresses if you need them.
If possible, deal with another person or ensure somebody is nearby in case of an emergency situation. Having someone nearby who can call for help or drive you to the health centre in the unlikely event that you have a severe accident is very important.
Despite the fact that you are working from home, and even if your project seems little and safe, mishaps do happen. Follow these safety precautions whenever you start a Do It Yourself project to stay clear of possible risks and accidents.
The majority of house owners will understand that plumber costs can be a regular cost and in some cases, a pricey one. Wear and tear on your property in addition to the fixtures and fittings is a typical expenditure, nevertheless the majority of us do not consider it till there is a plumbing issue that needs to be repaired urgently. This usually lead to sounding the first plumber from the phone book and finishing the job.
A little research prior to the issue takes place can conserve you money in the long-lasting and will save you on expenses. In numerous circumstances, a little routine work and understanding will certainly stay clear of most small plumbing expenses. If you are still uncertain that plumbing expenses can be pricey, consider this: There are five times more claims made on home insurance coverage relating to water damage than related to fire, theft or vandalism.
1. Buy your very own plumbing components
Eventually your plumbing fixtures will need to be changed and this provides you the opportunity to conserve some cash in 2 ways. First, shop water conserving components for your shower, toilet and sink. This will lower your water consumption, which is not only great for the environment but will certainly minimize your water costs, conserving you money each month. Another reason for purchasing your own plumbing fixtures is that you will certainly get them less costly direct than get through a plumber. A lot of plumbing professionals or plumbing business will increase the rate so you can save right here too. If a plumbing professional pertains to inspect a job in your home, ask him what fixtures are required and afterwards buy them yourself Choose quality right here as bad quality components can cost you more in the long run as they will certainly require added maintenance and are more probable to cause troubles.
2. Repairing small issues yourself.
Many homeowners shirk away from Do It Yourself however lots of little plumbing issues can be fixed extremely easily and with minimum expense. At least, it is a good idea to have some idea how to do the easy tasks. A leaking faucet is one of the most typical plumbing problems and a plumber can charge a lot for something that can be fixed in 5 minutes. A blocked drain is also rather typical and can be repaired very quickly. There are many resources and videos on the Internet that can show you ways to do numerous of these small plumbing jobs.
4. Get quote details in writing
This might look like an apparent pointer but many individuals are at first delighted to accept a figure over the phone or during a conversation, leading to problems when the task is finished and the expense being different than expected. Many plumbing technicians will insist that it is not possible to provide you a concrete figure due to unexpected issues. In this scenario, ask exactly what their hourly rate is and keep a record of time spent on the job. If you have any doubts once the expense shows up, don’t hesitate to question it.
5. A little knowledge goes a long way
Although numerous homeowners will certainly stay clear of the Do It Yourself path as discussed formerly, this is the next best option. Understanding the standard principles of the plumbing in your house will certainly put you in a better position when dealing with a plumbing technician or when having to pick one to work in your home. There are lots of guides readily available that allow you to learn the basic principles quickly which is extremely beneficial if you are presented with some choices or choices by your plumber in addition to assisting you recognize a great plumbing technician from someone chancing their arm. This knowledge will certainly likewise be prevent you from becoming vulnerable to unscrupulous plumbing technicians throughout a crisis in your home.
6. Get a professional
So the time has actually pertained to call the plumber, you have actually examined everything and decided the task is needed to call in the specialists. Ask good friends, relative and next-door neighbors if they can advise someone with good experience. There are lots of plumbing technicians and plumbing business in many metropolitan area so deciding can be difficult however with plumbing, experience is crucial due to the many various issues that can present themselves. Keep in mind, inexpensive and unskilled plumbers could sound like a good idea at first but will certainly most likely expense you more cash long term.
7. Saving time = conserving money
You’ve called the plumbing professional and are waiting their arrival. This is the time to prepare your house for the work as the majority of plumbing technicians will certainly charge per hour so cut down on any challenges that can lead to one hour ending up being 2 hours. Examine that the pipes are simple to get to, move anything out of the way. Get rid of everything from under the sink if that’s where the problem is. If you have a basement and the plumbing professional will need to examine the pipes, see to it as much is moved out of the means as possible. You are paying the plumbing technician for plumbing work, not to move your stuff out of the way before doing the plumbing work. Inspect that the lights work in your basement which any trap doors can be accessed quickly.
Recently, I was asked about the sort of tools you should have in order to do a home improvements or DIY project. This got me thinking and I thought I would create a list to share so that anyone else who is new to home improvements will have an idea of what they might need.
2. Locking pliers- These come in a range of types and can be quick release. Also, another very versatile tool. You can use vice grips to pinch together metal for a weld or grip a stripped out bolt, tight enough, to be able to usually remove it. Vice grips come in many different sizes and have different shaped tips.
3. Needle Nose Pliers- These are particularly useful for those more delicate jobs or for reaching into a tight place.
4. Allen Keys-a set of allen keys in a variety of sizes. They come in both metric and imperial sizes, so be aware of this when you are buying.
5. Socket set- a socket set is a mainstay of the home owner’s tool set. Again, these come in both metric and imperial sizes.
6. Power drill- a power drill that doubles up as an electric screw driver is very useful to have around the home. These are usually either corded or cordless. If choosing a cordless one and you do a lot of DIY, make sure you buy an extra battery pack.
7. Assorted Drill Bits- A lot of DIY jobs need holes drilled so having a really good set that has a lot of different sizes will benefit you for many years. You can also get screw driver heads for power drills and having a mixed set of these can be very useful too.
8. Set of screwdrivers- this is another essential component of the toolbox. Buy a set that has a variety of sizes and includes not only flat head but also Phillips head screwdrivers.
9. Hand Saw- Some jobs only need a small or delicate cut and breaking out the power tools isn’t always necessary or appropriate. A small handsaw with extra blades is perfect for many home improvements jobs.
10. Chisel Set- Chisels often come in handy for a variety of jobs around the house and come in a range of sizes.
11. Spirit Level- Whenever you are planning to build something or do any remodelling, you will need to ensure that your work is actually level. There is nothing worse than guessing only to find that whatever you have done is not straight or level, most disappointing.
12. Flat Bar-this is basically a tool for pulling out nails. It also makes a great lever when moving heavy objects as they are made from heavy duty steel.
13. Stanley knife- these are very strong and sharp so can be used to cut through a variety of materials such as linoleum, carpeting, cardboard and so on. Keep a spare set of blades in your tool box, there is nothing worse than a blunt knife.
14. 10m tape measure- an essential piece of kit for any remodelling or for making furniture from scratch. Even if you are just planning to furnish a room, you will need to know what size the room is before you start adding furniture.
15. Wire stripper- if you are planning to do any electrical work, you will need one of these so that you can strip the wire bare.
16. Wire cutters- again, if you are doing an electrical project, wire cutters are an essential.
17. Sets of nails and screws- these come in boxes and you can choose a variety of sizes and types depending on the job you are undertaking. It is always good to have a selection in your tool shed so that you can just go and get what you need in an emergency.
18. Safety glasses- you must protect your eyes when doing any DIY project, splinters, dust and other detritus can easily get into your eye which could require a visit to A & E. Make sure that you choose a set that have a kite mark and have been properly tested.
19. Dust mask- when doing any work where dust is going to be produced, a well fitting dust mask is a sensible precaution. Not wearing one can lead to coughs in the short term and lung problems long term.
20. First aid kit- it almost goes without saying that accidents happen regardless of how careful you are so make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit for those instances.
This is my top 20 essential tools that you need to have at home. I’m sure that you have items that you would not be without and can add plenty of things to this list. As you become more advanced with your home improvements, you will in all likelihood require a lot more tools, particularly power tools. One thing I would say, is to make sure you know how to use the tools before you use them. Ignorance is not a good excuse when you injure yourself because you have not bothered to read the instruction booklet! Whatever project you undertake, enjoy what you do and it will show in the results.
Home improvement and restoration is actually a huge task to carry out, others could call it as a task that needs sufficient cash and time to consume so that their wanted output would be better. Lack of systematic planning and proper inventory of materials that is needed in order to complete the job is the most obvious of all. Likewise, absence of time budgeting or management can cause undesirable extra expenditures both for the products required and for the workforce. Here are some guidelines that could assist homeowner reduce their cost expenditures and optimize their capacities in attaining their dream home improvement and remodelling strategy.
Setting up certain goals and attempting to conceive and envision a map of your remodelling and enhancement plan may assist you accomplish your objectives in the most financial and prompt ways. Possibly asking a few of these questions might assist you virtually or halfway of your desired output.
a.) When conducting a home renovation and improvement strategy what do you wish to accomplish?
From this question be specific of exactly what to improve or remodel is it just certain part of the house or including the whole house itself. You ought to likewise discover to distinguish and focus on the most necessary materials from the others. This includes your requirements- the really raw materials that involve in enhancement and remodelling and your desires- likewise called the materials needed for more beautification or the so called devices. You need to have a different correct list of all the products that will be involved. If you really want beautification then so is it. If you wish to enhance or enhance your area then follow it. Never intersect or criss-cross your other plans from the basic ones. Be unbiased but try and be clear-minded as possible.
b.) I have so many concepts but does it fit to my spending plan?
This is the time where you get in touch with a building specialist or expert concerning your visions and expectations about your plans before any drawings and structure plans are to be created. This can help avoid too much costs and the error of paying too much for unneeded things in the future. This will trigger a abrupt drift of budget that will concentrate or concentrate on the other part of the plan, which could trigger scarcity and loss on other essential aspect. This is the cause why most homeowners never ever accomplish the desired result of their strategies.
c.) Which is preferable a draftsman or an architect?
Be informed that the two jobs have their own distinction and both needs to be thought about in a case to case basis. Draftsman is just required when small or straight-forward services or minor renovations or improvements are included. Architect is required when a huge restoration or improvement is involved and it needs to be specific. Distinction between the two needs to be highlighted due to the fact that each of them has its own cost. Designers are more costly than draftsman because they are specially trained in design with much abilities and competence on certain fields. This is the reason most property owners spend the wrong spending plan on the wrong person to be needed.
d.) Do I need both plans and permits?
Registered structure managers are the ones who can provide summaries and discussions about these matters. Often matters like this even before constructing plans are produced cannot be addressed. Professionals about these matters can be gotten in touch with and validated so that all processes will be in smooth condition.
e.) Does house restoration and enhancement a good financial investment and can it add a good value to my home?
Home values are figured out by lots of aspects and due to the fact that house enhancement is a various story from the others, a property expert is the best person to be spoken with relating to these matters.
f.) Where do I go for my fitting products and fixtures?
This question can be resolved to the joint group endeavours of a lot of designers and house planners wherein they can offered you some of their suppliers trusted names when it concerns house restoration and enhancement. You can likewise get in touch with a few of the workplaces around your area so that they can try to find one and organize some recommendation. Canvassing of some other materials that can be gotten in cheaper costs as compared to the existing ones would be better, however make sure it passed the building demands of the structure experts.
g.) Where do I go to get permits and how long do I wait for it?
If the structure proposal you’re going to make could cause effect to other home owners or neighbours and it surrounding neighbourhood, planning permits need to be acquired. A detailed entry of papers that contains technical drawings and an expert understanding of local planning laws are needed. An architect might be employed, for doing it yourself is not a good idea when it pertains to this matter. For “fast track” services it would take a few weeks and for ” disagreement allows” might require some even more months in order to process.
House renovation and enhancement is undoubtedly a extremely laborious work to do particularly if you are still brand-new to a specific location. But if you’re geared up with vital ideas and you planned out everything prior to starting, there is no have to stress over. By making these basic concerns as your guide in making home restoration and enhancement, you can save time, additional undesirable costs and you can also conserve your priceless efforts. It’s not how much you’ve spent for your house restoration and enhancement tasks that makes the output extremely fantastic, but it’s how much time you have actually spend planning and getting ready for things required in it.