Home Insurance for Home Improvement

When you look at how much it costs to get a tradesman out just to look at a problem, you can be forgiven for deciding to embark upon your own DIY quest. But the cost of a professional is actually a very good reason to re-assess your home-insurance (in-case it all goes wrong).

In order for your insurance to pay-out on potential DIY disasters, you’ll need “accidental damages” cover. This could add up to 25% to your premium but it’s less than the thousands you might spend on setting the damages right with a decorator.

It’s easy to make a mistake. Maybe you’re putting up some new shelves so you decide to drill a hole in your wall? But you forget that on the other side of that wall is your bathroom and shower fixture. Suddenly a simple shelving addition has become a mess of electrics and water – what do you do?

You’re not going to let your wall fill up with water, that’s for sure. At this point you’re either covered or you’re not and if you don’t have the expertise to deal with the problem – it’s going to cost you a pretty penny!

Trying to contain the water and electrics, you could easily end up in a situation like this:


We’re pretty sure you don’t want that. So in the interests of health, finance and property-aesthetics here are some tips to make sure you’re DIY-covered:

  • Ensure you have cover for accidental damages.
  • Ensure that your cover for accidental damages covers all family members.
  • Check the level of your accidental damage cover. Some policies will cover a wine-stain but not much else.
  • Check the caveats of your cover for accidental damages. Some insurers may not see a ‘pre-meditated’ DIY attempt as an accident. Be clear on the terms.

As always be wary of contracts with too many caveats and conditions. All insurance contracts should be well-written, clear and concise.

John Lewis currently have some great deals on home insurance. Check them out and enquire about accidental damages cover; you won’t regret it.

Measure Twice, Cut Once – How to avoid DIY disaster

These days, many of us fancy ourselves as master craftsmen and will try our hand at DIY in a bid to save money. In fact, it is reported that DIY helped people make nationwide savings in the tens of millions of pounds.

However, for some, DIY can actually prove to be something of a false economy (as well as an embarrassment), because if something goes wrong, they are forced to bring in outside help to fix the issue.


According to AA home insurance, 1 in 10 projects end in disaster that cost £100 or more to fix. Common disasters include drilling through water pipes, spilling paint, electric shocks, smashed glass, falling from a ladder – the list goes on.

So how can we avoid being that unlucky statistic? What steps can we take to avoid disaster?

1) Safety first – besides buying your tools and materials, ensure you have things like safety goggles, gloves and perhaps even a hardhat. Remember, popping on a pair of goggles is a lot easier than removing wood shavings or other things from your unprotected eyes!

2) Don’t even think about starting your project until you’ve planned it down to the last detail. Make a rough design on paper; purchase more materials than you need so that you have spares; timetable each stage and stick to it. If things start to go off plan, you’ll know it’s a good idea to stop and re-evaluate the project.

3) Understand your house – you need to be familiar with where the plumbing and electrics of the house are laid, and whether or not your DIY project will affect them. Drilling through water pipes is one of the most common disasters that occur, and can result in serious damage to your property. And hitting the electrics can do serious damage to you!

4) Follow instructions to the letter. Most people (men especially) tend to think they are above the menial task of reading the instructions on highly important and useful products like Ronseal wood stain. If the tin says “Use only in a well-ventilated area”, then make sure you do it! Ronseal does exactly what it says on the tin, so why can’t YOU do what it says on the tin? Instructions are there for a reason!

5) Don’t skimp on the costs – being a Scrooge when it comes to DIY is a recipe for disaster. Remember the old adage “you get what you pay for”. And if there are stages of your project that you lack confidence in, then don’t be afraid to hire a contractor to help with those parts. Better it takes longer with better results than getting a rapid yet slapdash job done.

By following the above steps, coupled with a healthy dollop of common sense, you will easily avoid the road to disaster in your future DIY projects. In summary – don’t rush, be safe, and thoroughly prepare for every eventuality.

Alternative Uses for a Stairlift

If you have a stairlift installed in your home, chances are you have used it for other household chores. Although it is advised that stairlifts are not used for anything more than transporting people up and down a flight of stairs, there are certain perks to having a mobility aide at your disposal. We are not advocating allowing the grandkids to ride your stairlift like a rollercoaster, or encouraging stairlift races but we have scoured the internet to find alternative uses for your lift.

We’ve heard of pampered pooches but this takes it to another level, if your dog struggles with the stairs or you simply don’t want Fido messing up the carpet, why not give them a lift? One company has actually created a canine stairlift, no word as yet as to whether it is bark operated but it is fully o-paw-rational (no prizes for that pun).stair2

It’s not just dogs that are getting in on the stairlift craze; their feline counterparts have also been spotted taking a lazy trip up and down the stairs. Although we’re bit sure why this cat would risk one it’s 9 lives trying to operate a stairlift, we can only assume that it’s doing so safely and following all of the guidelines.


Many people also find that stairlifts are ideal for transporting large loads of washing or other household items between floors, if you struggle carrying the laundry basket then why not utilise the technology? As long as the load does not exceed the maximum weight restrictions of the stairlift and is securely placed on the seat, it is a great time saver.

Of course stairlifts are not all fun and games, in fact for many people they are an essential part of day to day life when dealing with illness or disability. Modern technology has led to the creation of mobility options that are both practical and stylish, fitting in with home décor and compact enough to be pushed to the side when not in use.

To find out more about installing a stairlift in your home, head to http://www.idealstairlifts.co.uk

Gazebo replacement canopy brings new life to your canopy

Gazebo replacement canopy brings new life to your gazeboDo you enjoy the peace and enjoyment that you get when you are under your gazebo? Being under your gazebo is a different feeling that lounging around your pool. You get a sense of peace. You can go to your gazebo, take a book and read. Before you know it you have been reading for several hours. Time just passes away. It’s so nice to get away from the hectic work day at your gazebo.

A gazebo is often thought of a place of retreat, relation and even beginnings. A gazebo can mean many things to people. What do you think of when you hear ‘gazebo’? You would be surprised to know that it means more than just a shelter from the elements of the weather.

A new beginning

A gazebo is often used for weddings Wedding is a new start and beginning of life for a couple. The gazebo is normally round and decorated with beautiful white flowers. The flowers represent purity and innocence. The couple can say their vows in this circular gazebo. A circular gazebo mean there is no end as it continues around and around. This gazebo represents a new beginning and life.

A gazebo is used for mediation. When a gazebo is placed around the beauty of nature, then this makes an excellent place for those who mediate to do this in an area without distractions. It doesn’t have to be filled with a lot of furniture and objects. It just needs to be away from distractions. You can look out into the woods and let beauty of nature help you with mediation.

Bands use a gazebo to play in older towns. You can find a gazebo in the center of towns. The gazebo would be used for announcements, parties, celebration and for the band to play in. This was a tradition that many towns have passed down decade after decade.
Family gatherings

A family gathering is often down at the gazebo. You can enjoy a delightful dinner with the people you love. You are sheltered from the sun or rain. You are bringing the comfort from the indoors outdoors to your gazebo. Many gazebos are used for this purpose in the backyard or patio area.
Do you have a gazebo? If you do, then you know the covering lasts for years, but there comes a time when you have to think about a gazebo replacement canopy. The canopy just gets worn out and faded over years. No matter how often you clean it you still will have to replace it after years of use. The new canopy’s offers many options such as enclosure and lights. Whatever type of environment that you want to create with your gazebo you can do with your replacement canopy.
You can get a fantastic replacement at TheLAShop. The colors and styles are amazing. You know when the time is to replace your current canopy. Let your gazebo serve its purpose, but allow it to always look amazing.

Use a home alarm to improve the security of your home

siren on wallThe daily pressures of work and family life make it easy to overlook the importance of home security.  However, with summer here, the peak holiday season is now in full swing, making the security of your home something that should not be overlooked

Burglars are opportunistic, they look for easy ways to get in to a home that won’t take long or arouse attention.   Summer holidays mean families are often away from their property for a substantial duration of time, and therefore homeowners must be increasingly diligent at this time of year.

A home alarm system can be a highly effective deterrent; 60% of burglars say they would be discouraged from targeting a house if they knew it had a home alarm system.

With all this in mind, Yale has developed range of alarms for all properties.  The Yale Easy Fit Alarm can be fitted by anyone with a basic DIY competence and the SmartHome Alarm system must be fitted by a professional.

Here are some useful statistics that really highlight the benefits of installing a home alarm:

  • Burglars will tend to bypass houses that require effort
  • A house without an alarm is 2-3 times more likely to be burgled
  • 60% of burglaries on homes with alarm systems failed
  • 85% of police officials surveyed believe alarms deter burglars

The benefits of a home alarm are obvious, but what else can homeowners do to improve the security of their property:

Don’t leave valuables in easy view of passers by

78% of homeowners leave valuables in easy view of passers by.  This will attract potential burglars to your home as they know there it something valuable to be stolen.  The most commonly stolen goods in burglaries include money, electrical products, computers, jewellery and mobile phones.

Don’t hide a spare key in doorways

52% of homeowners make the common mistake of hiding keys by doorways.  Burglars will always think to check in places such as under plant pots or doormats, so make sure any spare keys are well hidden, or avoid this at all if possible.

Don’t post your whereabouts on social media

54% of homeowners will post their whereabouts on social media.  This can draw attention to the fact that your property will be empty, and this could make it a target for potential burglars.

These are all simple tips, but if you would like more information on keeping your property safe, visit the Yale website – the UK’s most trusted home security experts.

Four Budget DIY Tasks That Can Transform Your Kitchen

Undertaking a bout of DIY can be quite the rewarding and fulfilling experience – as long as you can get your project finished, anyway!

Equally, the economic satisfaction of saving money on hiring tradesmen to do the work for you can be another gratifying element of “Doing it Yourself”.

However, what often deters many from getting their hands dirty is the realisation that many DIY Kitchen projects can be too overwhelming and time consuming to ever seriously consider performing.

That assumption, though, couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of budget DIY projects applicable to the kitchen that even the most amateur of handymen (or women) can complete successfully. Here are four of those very projects which to consider.

1)      Replacing kitchen cabinet handles or knobs

Replacing your kitchen cabinet handles is a fantastic opportunity to transform the authentic feel of your kitchen without adding any significant cost to your budget. This also provides a chance to add some originality to the aesthetics of your kitchen. To perform, simply unscrew your existing handles and replace – easy peasy! Just take a look at these custom handles that depict well-renowned places on a map!



2)      Paint your kitchen cabinets

Ok, so you’ve got your new handles, how about a lick of paint? This is another low-cost and pain-free way to spruce up the feel of your kitchen environment without the hassle of employing tradesmen. Again, unscrew your door and paint with a colour of your choice and one that really captures the mood you’re trying to create.


3)      Consider a new lighting solution

If a lick of paint can be utilised to help define a new style and atmosphere within a kitchen then changing your lighting is a straight-forward way of altering the aesthetics of your surroundings without having to be a craft or DIY specialist.

It may seem like a small change, but with the variations of lighting options available on the market, it can certainly make a big difference. You can opt for a bright white light to accentuate the sense of cleanliness in the kitchen or go for something completely different like some tinted blue lighting to emit an ice cool effect.


4)      Change your kitchen faucet

Changing your existing kitchen faucet can make both an aesthetic and economical improvement to your kitchen. This is an excellent DIY Kitchen task for a beginner and can help to build up an individual’s confidence to attempt a more adventurous project. Remember, acquire a faucet that’s modern, stylish and offers greater functionality to that of your existing unit.


Should Old Age Stop You From Enjoying Your Home?

iStock_000011119400MediumOld age does not mean the end. Rather, it can mean that you now have time to do all those things you always wanted to. You have worked hard for years so now really is the best time to enjoy the home you have spent years making your own. So whether you intend to stay active or just relax, follow these ideas for a great retirement.


Enjoy long baths

Sometimes, bathing in old age can lose its appeal as relaxation is replaced by fear of slipping, particularly if you have suffered a stroke or a heart attack. You might be concerned about slipping when trying to get in the bath, or not being able to get out again. But with a bath for elderly people, you can once again enjoy a leisurely soak without fearing the worst.

Get a hobby

With retirement might well come much more spare time. You’ve worked hard all your life and now is the time to enjoy what you have earned. Whatever size or style of house you have, you can now fully enjoy it, and getting a hobby might help to do just that. Whether there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but never quite had the time or you want to test yourself in different ways, your home is the perfect environment to embark on a hobby. Be it writing short stories or still life painting, there are many things you can do in your own time and in the comfort of your own home.


DIY does not have to involve heavy work such as laying bricks or demolishing sheds. It can be a good thing to do now that you have more spare time. If you have had that new door sitting in the garage for some time or feel that the walls could do with a new coat of paint then these are things that are easily doable. Of course, you can always get help with bigger tasks if you still want to do them.



Your retirement offers you the chance to really take care of your home. One way in particular of doing this is by keeping your garden in tip-top shape. Of course, you have to be aware of your limitations but it is fully possible to keep your garden looking great even if age is against you. Try to keep pots and plants at ground level to prevent you needing to work at different heights and invest in lightweight tools wherever possible.