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.

Hydraulic Jacks Have Many Uses

Hydraulic jacks are very useful pieces of equipment and have become very popular in a number of industries as well as in domestic situations. These devices have the capacity to lift very heavy loads, if you look at the bottle jack that you have in the boot of your car which you may use to change a wheel, the size of the jack is quite tiny compared to that of your car. However, great care should be taken when using them so that the load does not fall off as you could be seriously injured if it did.



The hydraulic jack has been adapted so that it can be utilized by delivery services. These floor jacks are lightweight and manoeuvrable which makes them particularly useful where mechanical lifting equipment cannot get access or when a single pallet needs to be moved. The floor jack has the capacity to lift and move pallets loaded with goods from one place to another or from the delivery lorry to the warehouse or vice versa. Making use of these jacks in the warehouse can speed up the collection of goods for orders. Most warehouses will have forklift trucks for moving large quantities of goods but for the smaller orders, floor jacks are the ideal tool.


As already mentioned, bottle jacks are commonly found in the boot of your car and are very useful not only for changing a wheel but also for doing routine maintenance jobs like changing the motor oil. Bottle jacks come in a variety of sizes and you should always ensure that you have one that is capable of lifting your car because if it fails and you are underneath, the consequences do not bear thinking about. Heavier vehicles such as trucks must have a suitable jack to lift them.


Garages and mechanic workshops will make use of trolley jacks. These hydraulic jacks are very portable and can lift surprisingly heavy weights. The mechanics will use them to lift vehicles so that they can look or work underneath them. Most garages will have 2 or 3 different sizes so that they can choose the right one for the vehicle they are working on.


Another use for hydraulic jacks is the construction industry. Other than being used to lift construction equipment, building materials and so on, there Hydraulic floor jackare types of jack that can be used to lift or support an entire building. This can be crucial where renovations on historical buildings is taking place and the walls require support. Buildings where the foundations have suffered from subsidence can also benefit a great deal from the support of hydraulic bottle jacks. The construction of structures such as bridges have benefitted from hydraulic jacks where large sections are lowered onto the structure slowly and carefully.


There are many other uses for hydraulic jacks and if they are used properly, they are incredible pieces of equipment. If your business needs to use them, make sure that you buy them beforehand and check them regularly for signs of wear and damage.


Electrically operated car scissor jacks are powered by 12 volt electricity supplied directly from the car’s cigarette lighter receptacle. The electrical energy is used to power these car jacks to raise and lower automatically. Electric jacks require less effort from the motorist for operation.[1]

House jack

A house jack, also called a screw jack, is a mechanical device primarily used to lift buildings from their foundations for repairs or relocation. A series of jacks is used and then wood cribbing temporarily supports the structure. This process is repeated until the desired height is reached. The house jack can be used for jacking carrying beams that have settled or for installing new structural beams. On the top of the jack is a cast iron circular pad that the jacking post rests on. This pad moves independently of the house jack so that it does not turn as the acme-threaded rod is turned with a metal rod. This piece tilts very slightly, but not enough to render the post dangerously out of plumb.

Hydraulic jack

Hydraulic jacks are typically used for shop work, rather than as an emergency jack to be carried with the vehicle. Use of jacks not designed for a specific vehicle requires more than the usual care in selecting ground conditions, the jacking point on the vehicle, and to ensure stability when the jack is extended. Hydraulic jacks are often used to lift elevators in low and medium rise buildings.

A hydraulic jack uses a fluid, which is incompressible, that is forced into a cylinder by a pump plunger. Oil is used since it is self lubricating and stable. When the plunger pulls back, it draws oil out of the reservoir through a suction check valve into the pump chamber. When the plunger moves forward, it pushes the oil through a discharge check valve into the cylinder. The suction valve ball is within the chamber and opens with each draw of the plunger. The discharge valve ball is outside the chamber and opens when the oil is pushed into the cylinder. At this point the suction ball within the chamber is forced shut and oil pressure builds in the cylinder.

In a floor jack (aka ‘trolley jack’) a horizontal piston pushes on the short end of a bellcrank, with the long arm providing the vertical motion to a lifting pad, kept horizontal with a horizontal linkage. Floor jacks usually include castors and wheels, allowing compensation for the arc taken by the lifting pad. This mechanism provide a low profile when collapsed, for easy maneuvering underneath the vehicle, while allowing considerable extension. Richard Dudgeon, Inc. was founded in New York City as a machine shop. In 1851, founder and inventor Richard Dudgeon was granted a patent for a “portable hydraulic press” – the hydraulic jack, a jack which proved to be vastly superior to the screw jacks in use at the time. In 1855, Richard Dudgeon astounded New Yorkers by driving from his home to his place of business in an innovative steam carriage. The noise and vibration generated by the “Red Devil Steamer” frightened horses so badly that city authorities confined it to one street. Although the inventor claimed the carriage could carry 10 people at 14 m.p.h. on one barrel of anthracite coal, it was too far ahead of its time and failed to gain popular favor. Other inventions attributed to Dudgeon include: roller boiler tube expanders, pulling jacks, filter press jacks, steam forging hammers, railroad lifting equipment, heavy plate hydraulic hole punches, and many types and sizes of lifting jacks.

Bottle jack

A bottle jack or whiskey jack[2] is a hydraulic jack which resembles a bottle in shape, having a cylindrical body and a neck, from which the hydraulic ram emerges. In a bottle jack the piston is vertical and directly supports a bearing pad that contacts the object being lifted. With a single action piston the lift is somewhat less than twice the collapsed height of the jack, making it suitable only for vehicles with a relatively high clearance. For lifting structures such as houses the hydraulic interconnection of multiple vertical jacks through valves enables the even distribution of forces while enabling close control of the lift.

They have a capacity of up to 50 tons and may be used to lift a variety of objects. Typical uses include the repair of automobiles and house foundations. Larger, heavy-duty models may be known as a barrel jack.[3]

This type of jack is best used for short vertical lifts.[4] Blocks may be used to repeat the operation when a greater amount of elevation is required.[5]

Pneumatic jack

A pneumatic jack is a hydraulic jack that is actuated by compressed air – for example, air from a compressor – instead of human work. This eliminates the need for the user to actuate the hydraulic mechanism, saving effort and potentially increasing speed. Sometimes, such jacks are also able to be operated by the normal hydraulic actuation method, thereby retaining functionality, even if a source of compressed air is not available.

Click here to continue reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_%28device%29

Copper: Where Is It Coming From And Why Do We Need It?

Did you know that copper was one of the very first metals humans extracted from the Earth and used for tools? Since then, it has been an irreplaceable part of the human story. It has helped cities survive, expand, and even defend themselves against others. It was used in currency as far

copyright Rapid Metals Ltd

copyright Rapid Metals Ltd

back as 8000 B.C. It then began taking part in tools later around 5500 B.C. This is when the humans left what is known as “the stone age”. Later, in 3000 B.C. Humans learned it could be alloyed with tin and we entered “the bronze age”.


Copper has many redeeming qualities that make it such a great metal. It is easy to mould, shape and stretch copper. It’s softer than other metals, yet it is very resistant to forms of corrosion. It is also an excellent conductor for both heat and electricity, which is why it’s used extensively in electronics and wiring. Copper is an important part of modern life and won’t be leaving us any time soon.



Uses For Copper In The Modern World.


Not a lot of tools or weapons are made from copper today. There are better alternatives that are stronger and less expensive, but that doesn’t mean copper has become outdated or useless. As a matter of fact, it has plenty far more important uses than hand tools and spear tips.


Copper is most common in electronics. It’s used to generate power, store power and transmit power. Most wires are made from copper because it’s one of the best conductors there is. It’s used for pins on electronic components that need to transmit sensitive signals.


It’s also used in plumbing, heating, and cooling. You’ll find copper in the walls of your home and under the hood of your car. It’s an essential part of motors, break connectors, and radiator. Your typical car has about 0.9 miles of copper wire and it usually weighs around 44 pounds in a light car and up to 99 pounds in a luxury vehicle. There’s no escaping the copper. It is everywhere.



What Is It About Copper That Is So Great?


So copper is great, but why? Aside from the fact that it’s great at carrying heat and electricity, it has many other useful qualities. Perhaps what’s even better than the copper itself is the possibilities it presents when combined with other metals. Other valuable metals, such as brass and bronze are only possible when combining copper with zinc, tin, or nickel. So you might be using copper even when you don’t think there’s any copper around. It’s a building block for other useful metals.


Brass and bronze are both important in the industrial world as well. Other copper alloys are used for their individual qualities. Take copper and nickel for example. An alloy of the two is used for ships on the hulls. They use this combination because the copper and nickel does not corrode, even when constantly barraged by saltwater. It also makes it harder for various marine animals and plants to stick to the ship. Pure copper alone wouldn’t be as efficient.


Brass is made by combining copper and zinc. It was discovered that this particular combination of metals retained a very unique acoustic effect. This is why there are so many brass music instruments used today, such as cymbals, bells, and trumpets. All of these rely on some component of copper to work properly.


Where Does It Come From?


Copper is used everywhere in the industrial world. It’s impossible to walk down a city street without passing hundreds of pounds of copper. Where is all of this miracle metal coming from and will we be running out of it in the near future?


Luckily, copper is readily available in several different forms and in several differing locations. Where and how the copper deposits varies highly from one place to the next. Copper can be found spread throughout many other naturally occurring minerals. Chalcopyrite is the common mineral found near copper veins.


A single deposit of copper may contain millions of tons of copper. The world’s supply of copper doesn’t seem to be slowing down. You can only expect to see this metal used more and more in modern industrial applications.

Tips For Getting Rid Of A Wasp Nest

There are two main types of wasps that bring mayhem on human beings. There is the German wasp and the common wasp. German wasps are mainly associated with bushes and the ground. The common wasp, unlike his counterpart is mainly found around structures made by human hands. Lately, these wasps have become quite a problem and cause serious risks to any passer-by in the vicinity.


Dealing with a nest of a wasp can turn out to be quite dangerous as they have the ability to sting you numerous times unlike bees which only have the pleasure of stinging once. They immediately attack anyone who comes near their home on instinct. There are wasp lookouts who are always close to the entrance of the nest and these look out wasps send signals to the other wasps once they sense danger.

Before you start action on a wasp nest, you should first stake out the nest. This will help you figure out whether the insects are wasps or even just bees. It will also help you determine the location of the nest. It might be hidden behind a log or at a corner in your house. The nest might not even be in your home but in a neighbouring house that looks just like yours. You will determine this if you find that the wasps are just hovering around your home area without settling.


There many ways through which you can get rid of wasps in your vicinity. The most common method is by use of insecticide spray. The natural ones are best as they cause minimal damage to the environment. Any certified spray will kill a wasp instantly. The chemicals in the spray are harmful to the health of the wasp and will lead to their death. After spraying a nest, you should wait for a couple of days just in case any of the wasps decides to come back to the nest.


You can also get rid of wasp by use of soap. By improvising soap water with a hose end spray, you can find an easy and very cheap way to be rid of any wasps living in your home. Soap water is harmful to wasps and will most definitely kill a nest of wasps though not instantly.


Drowning a nest will be effective if the nest is aerial. All you have to do is place a cloth bag over the entire nest and tie it off at the top to ensure that none of the wasps are able to get out in time. Then pull the nest free from anything holding it in place like a twig or branch.


While doing this all care should be taken to be sure that the bag is fully sealed. You should then set the bag in a puddle of water and use a rock to keep it submerged. This method can however be quite dangerous if the nest is situated on a wall or underground. In case of such a situation, calling a professional would be best.


wasp´s nestAnother common method of getting rid of wasps is by using fake wasp nests. There are a number of products that can be used in this procedure some of these looking like paper while others look almost like a real wasp nest. They have been tested and turned out to be very effective even if they did not work every time. Wasps are territorial creatures. Therefore, they will never want to build their nest near another one.


Traps are also common ways of getting rid of wasps. You can use a trap made of glass which is effective most of the times. The only catch with this method is that you will have to replace the bait in the trap every once in a while as wasps can’t get enough of fresh bait. You can choose to use savoury bait like tuna which will attract wasps and yellow jackets. Having sweet bait will only attract honeybees. These traps can be expensive but you can improvise by using a plastic bottle.


With the above tips, you will not have much trouble when it comes to getting rid of a wasp nest. It is quite easy once you get a hang of it. However, if you are unsure, it will not hurt to consult a professional.

Thinking About A Loft Conversion?

If you have one that is suitable, a loft conversion can actually make a big difference to your home. It can give you an extra room which you can use for virtually any purpose whether it is a hobby room, a spare bedroom, a home office or a kids playroom. There are so many uses for an extra room in your house. The first thing you need to do before you begin any alterations to your home, is to find out whether or not you will need planning permission. Planning permission varies from region to region so contacting your local planning office will keep you right. If you require planning permission and do not have it, you will be asked to take down whatever works you have done – could be both costly and inconvenient. There are no guarantees that you will be given planning permission for your project so it always pays to find out whether you need it or not first.

There are many aspects to be taken into consideration when looking at converting your loftspace. Look at the pitch of the roof and ask yourself if it is going to give you enough space to create a room. You will need to create walls as well as a ceiling and it will need to be insulated, so do an assessment on the dimensions of your attic to find out whether or not it will be suitable. Assuming it is, you will need to look at lighting. Most attics do not have windows and you may be able to fit Velux windows in the roof to increase natural light. Another aspect that requires very careful consideration is access. There are several ways of creating access to a converted attic but it needs to be both practical and safe.

Planning permission is not normally required. However, permission is required where you extend or alter the roof space and it exceeds specified limits and conditions.

A loft conversion for your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses*
A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses*
No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway
No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof
Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house
No verandas, balconies or raised platforms
Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor
Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas**
Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves
The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.

[NOTE: For an explanation of how to apply the 20cm set back condition please see pages 34-35 of ‘Permitted development for householders – Technical guidance’.]

Building Regulations

Building regulations approval is required to convert a loft or attic into a liveable space.

This section provides guidance for making alterations to the loft space of an existing house which is no more than two storeys high. Requirements for alterations to an apartment or other dwellings like maisonettes, or houses over three storeys, will be similar but may be more extensive and possibly extend to other parts of the building.

The regulations will be applied to ensure, for example:

the structural strength of the new floor is sufficient
the stability of the structure (including the existing roof) is not endangered
safe escape from fire
safely designed stairs to the new floor
reasonable sound insulation between the conversion and the rooms below.

You may wish to make these alterations to enhance the storage facilities available or to increase the living space of the home.  If you plan to make the loft space more accessible or more habitable by, for example, installing a stair to it and improving it by boarding it out and lining the walls / rafters etc, more extensive work is likely to be required and the Building Regulations are likely to apply.

It is recommended that you contact Building Control to discuss your proposal and for further advice and you must also find out whether work you intend to carry out falls within The Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

Boarding-out for storage

In most homes, the existing timber joists that form the “floor” of the loft space ( i.e. the ceiling of the rooms below) will not have been designed to support a significant weight (known as “load”). The joists tie the pitched members of the roof together to prevent them spreading and support the ceiling lining of the rooms below. Click link to continue reading http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/loftconversion/



Home Security Tips

The majority of thieves are opportunistic. They come into a area and look for houses that appear undefended and unoccupied. An vital part of home security is making your home look Privacy concept: Home Security with optical glassoccupied at all times.


One big idea that you are out of town is if your mail or newspapers are piling up. Never ever permit newspapers to accumulate in the front backyard.


Interior lights are likewise crucial in making a house appearance occupied. Not just ought to some lights be on, however the variety of lights ought to alter just as it would if the house were occupied. The most convenient way to do this is with timers.


Another great tip is to make it look as if someone is at home. Leave the radio or television on with the volume loud enough to be heard outside but not so loud that it annoys your neighbours.


Leaving a vehicle on the drive or in the garage can also act as a deterrent. If you are going off on holiday and not leaving your car at home, see if you can get a neighbour to park one of their cars in your place whilst you are away.


Another important home security step includes making it difficult to obtain near the house. This is most frequently achieved by a high wall or fence.


In many parts of the world, this is the main home security method, however it does experience some imperfections. Usually, it is simpler to slip unnoticed over or under a wall or fence than it is to require entry into a house.


Yet perimeter defences frequently give residents of the home a incorrect sense of security that might lead them to get sloppy about locking windows and doors. For this reason, boundary defences are most effective when they are either really tough to penetrate or are augmented by electronic cameras and/or motion detectors.


For the majority of houses, border defences like walls and fences are of little use. Many people assume that the next line of defence is windows and doors, however there is something that precedes. It’s based upon the simple fact that thieves want to do their work where nobody can see them. This indicates you wish to make sure the outside of your home is well lit – especially at any potential points of entry. An efficient solution is movement detector lights. These economical gadgets can be set up to turn on whenever something moves near it.


The majority of home security steps are concentrated on doors. With doors, the two major concerns are structural stability and locks.


Advised for outside doors, deadbolt locks are significant locks that lock the door into the frame. Deadbolts come in keyed variations, which always require a secret, and levered versions that just require a key to open from the outside. If no glass is nearby, the lever version is best as it is more probable to obtain made use of.


There are lots of features to your ensuring your personal house security. Click this link if you want to use our free service to have any of our pre-screened house security service providers set up house security procedures.


Sliding glass doors present a special challenge. The majority of are prone to breakage. The simplest security improvement is to place a metal bar or broom manage in the inside floor track. Some moving doors can simply be lifted from their tracks. There are screws at the top and bottom of the within the door that manage how it sits in the track. Adjust these so that the door cannot be lifted so high that the bottom comes free from the track.

Every front door need to be geared up with a peephole. This is a very affordable, simple to install gadget that enables you to check out a visitor prior to you open the door. For the exact same reason, an intercom can enable you to interact with a caller before choosing whether to open the door or shut down an alarm system.


While your home may only have 2 or 3 doors, it could have a lots or more windows. Burglars understand that if you methodically inspect all the windows in a home, there is a good chance that a minimum of one will certainly remain opened.


Most standard window locks are very basic to jimmy or force. Heavier locks will certainly improve your home security a fair bit. Another simple, economical technique that works for double hung windows (those with 2 moving panels that go up and down or side to side) is window pins. There are specially made pins, or large nails can easily be utilized.


Outside windows and doors are not the only access indicate a lot of houses. Many thefts take place with garages. Besides having actually valuable products stolen from the garage, the door that goes from the garage to the house is typically unsecured or not significant adequate to stop a intruder.


In a neighbourhood with an effective police force, the alarm system significantly enhances the odds that the thief will get caught. Even in locations where cops response times are sluggish, the noise and attention of an alarm system may well discourage the burglar from finishing his objective.


There is a wide difference in the cost of alarm systems. An intruder can easily circumvent cheaper alarm systems so be aware of what the system consists of. More complicated and advanced devices are more likely to be a deterrent to burglars as they are unlikely to want to risk triggering the alarm.


Response times to alarm systems are driven by several aspects. First is the efficiency of the monitoring service you’re utilizing. When thinking about a tracking service, get the names of people who have had the chance to observe response times in the past.


The second factor is the procedure you request that the monitoring service use. Who do you have them call in what order? In many cases, you might do better to inform a helpful neighbour than to inform an unresponsive police.


The third element is the emergency situation services in your location. Many work well and a couple of do not. While you have no direct control over the 911 services, you could be able to accentuate the problem and seek a option with the political process.


Many area cops departments encourage homeowners to engrave their social security number on the metal surfaces of belongings that are prone to theft. When police find marked taken merchandise, they can easily discover the true owner and return it. Photographs of specifically valuable items like artwork and antiques can assist police recover goods.

Tips For Choosing A Set Of Screwdrivers

When you look at screwdriver sets you may be overwhelmed by the number of choices. If you find the idea of choosing a set of screwdrivers daunting then you should consider a few tips to choosing the right set. The right set of screwdrivers will depend on a number of factors that you have to carefully consider.


Price Is Not Everything


There are a lot of people who assume that the most expensive screwdriver set is going to be the best one. This is not actually always the case because the most expensive set might be for a different hobby or type of work. You need to look past the price of the set and look at what the screwdrivers in the set are actually offering you compared to what you need from the set.

Do You Need Interchangeable Bits?


Screwdriver sets can often be paced into one of two categories. These categories are the sets that have interchangeable bits and the set that do not. Many people consider the interchangeable bits sets to be the better, but this depends on what you are going to be doing with the screwdrivers. There are times when having interchangeable bits is not a good idea because the size and length of the screwdriver may not work for you.


You should also consider whether or not you need all the different bits that are offered. Screwdriver sets with higher numbers of bits will cost more, but there may be bits in the set that you will never end up using making the set inappropriate for you.


The Screwdriver Length


The length of the screwdrivers in the set should be considered very carefully before you buy them. Certain activities require screwdrivers that are long while other activities need shorter screwdrivers. If you are going to be working with cars then you should consider a set that offers you both long and short screwdrivers. This is due to the location of the screws that you are going to work with.


To determine the length of the screwdrivers that you need you have to critically evaluate what you are going to be doing. Are the screws going to be far from you or will they be in a tight spot? The answers to these questions can help you determine which length you need and find the set that offers you these lengths.


The Handles


Tool BoxA lot of people focus on the length and head of a screwdriver, but not on the handle. This is a mistake as the handle is very important when you look for the right screwdriver set. The common materials used for handles include wood, plastic, rubber and metal. Some of these materials are needed for certain activities.


With this aspect of the screwdriver set you have to consider what you are going to be doing with the screwdrivers. If you are going to complete electrical work then you do not want a set with metal handles as this could be very dangerous. You should also consider how durable the material in the handle is because once a handle breaks the screwdriver will be useless.


Having A Torque Driver


A torque driver is a star-shaped screwdriver which you find in certain screwdriver sets. If you are going to be faced with torque screws or bolts in your activities then you need to have a screwdriver set that offers this head. Of course, if you are not going to be faced with torque screws then there is no reason to look for a set with this.


There are a number of points that you have to consider when you choose a set of screwdrivers. You need to look at the heads on offer, the screwdriver lengths and the material of the handles. These should all be evaluated in relation to the activity you will be using the screwdriver for.

How To Do: Ceramic Wall Tiles

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.


Home improvement - handywoman measuring tileWhen 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.

Add Style, Personality and Value to Your Home with a Unique Garden Studio

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 usedfuture rooms Outside-Studio-Lawn 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!

Safety Is An Important Factor In Any DIY Project

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.


Home improvement - handyman drilling woodDespite 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.

Understanding Home Plumbing

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 A variety of plumbing accessoriescan 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.

Toolbox Essentials That Every Homeowner Should Have

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.


1. Claw hammer- Seems pretty obvious but you will need one of these for hammering and pulling nails and staples. It is also useful for tapping things into place in tight spots.Hammers background


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.

Guidelines For Home Improvement Projects

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?


roof repairsThis 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.