IF A JOB’S WORTH DOING…

Yale May Day DIY imageWhat’s your favourite part of doing up your house? Is it the first lick of paint, or the finishing touches? Is it those big endeavours that span months, or the little projects you can get done during a rainy April afternoon…?

Whatever it is, I’d be willing to bet it’s nothing to do with the practicalities, like home security.

Yes, people tend to like the things that make a difference to the look and feel of the home, and once they’ve got a solid lock on the front door, they consider their home secured. But home security is so much more than that, and so much more important.

If the worst were to happen, those things you saved up for – like a big screen TV or a fancy computer – will obviously be covered by your home insurance policy. Some things, though, are irreplaceable…

The obvious things that spring to mind are family heirlooms, or jewellery with sentimental value, such as wedding rings. While you may be able to get the financial worth back on the home insurance, what you really found precious can never be recovered.

What’s more, home is the place where you’ve had your family dinners, where you’ve made a fort with the kids, and where you’ve had so many other good times. A break-in could irreversibly taint the place that holds all those memories for you.

A recent survey* on what people consider to be their most treasured possessions at home, had some enlightening results…

It’s not necessarily something that has cost a lot of money – in fact, 74% of respondents said that their most financially valuable possessions are not the most valuable to them. More likely, it’s just a piece of paper; things like photographs, certificates and childrens’ drawings.

So that’s what home security is about: protecting your memories. It’s about preventative action to protect those things that are irreplaceable.

Home security is especially pertinent when you put so much time and energy into making your house a home. Home security specialist, Yale, is encouraging people to ‘Yale It’ – that is to say, protect all those things that you’ve put so much hard work and energy into.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the more ‘glamorous’ side of DIY in the decorating and the upcycling projects, it’s important to pay some mind to protecting all of your hard work.

So for ideas on how you can protect your home, go to www.yale.co.uk. What’s more, ‘National Home Security May Day’, sponsored by Yale, is taking place on 4 May, the early May bank holiday, so what better time to take on some DIY projects to make your house more secure?!

 

*Confused.com


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.

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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.


Silver Saints – Not your Average Handyman Service.

Many people who use Silver Saints Handyman Service for the first time are pleasantly surprised when a well-spoken, polite and neatly turned out person turns up to tackle their ‘to do’ list.

Most of our handymen come from professional backgrounds and have life-times experience of DIY and property renovation. This means that when you book a Silver Saint’s handyman, you are getting someone who can communicate well, is used to working in high pressure environments, has excellent problem solving skills and have chosen to do this job because they understand the importance of customer service and love DIY. All our handymen have had successful professional careers but have left the confinement of the office behind to pursue a flexible, fun and rewarding career as a mobile professional London handyman.

Silver Saints are continually looking to add to their team of highly professional handymen and we know how to spot the best. In the past we have found that the most talented individuals find us through their own research about becoming a professional handyman.

Joining the team starts with an interview. We are looking for excellent communicators with outgoing and friendly personalities. The candidate will describe their practical experience and we will give then a few technical tests.

Following a positive interview the aspirant is invited to spend a day or two with one of our most experienced Saints. This is an opportunity for them to demonstrate their technical, practical and customer service skills.

We understand that no one can know everything about what we do from day one but what we are trying to spot are the individuals who have technical & practical skills, are excellent problem solvers, adopt a ‘can do’ attitude towards work and challenges, take pride in even the smallest of repairs and understand the importance of customer service.

An applicant who performs well on this ‘trial day’ will be invited to join our training and probation program. This 4-8 week period is an opportunity for the newest Saints to learn about what been a Saint is all about. They get a chance to shadow all our other Saints, fill any technical gaps in their knowledge and learn how our systems work. But mostly it is an opportunity for them to prove to us that they have all it takes to be a successful Silver Saints handyman.

Handymen are offered long term contracts based on how they performed during the probation period. In the end we only hire the best.

Silver Saints has broken the traditional handyman mould and instead of just your average ‘odd job’ man is offering highly skilled, efficient and customer focused individuals to tackle all your property repairs and installations.

For Press/Blog enquiries please contact: Andrea Britton: hello@onlinepruk.com T: 07957264576


A Statistical Guide to the UK’s DIY Habits

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What Makes A Squeaky Bed And How Can You Fix It?

Squeaky beds can be incredibly annoying, so much so that some people would probably prefer to buy a new bed frame rather than fixing the problem. However, you can easily repair a squeaky bed frame to ensure you’re finally able to get some peace and quiet!

 

Why do beds squeak?

A squeaky bed can arise for a number of reasons. Some of the most common issues can include:

–          The age of your bed – as your bed ages it will naturally weaken and could begin to squeak as a result.

–          The materials used in the bed’s construction – metal beds can be notorious for squeaking, as the intersecting pieces of the frame can scrape against one another. Wooden bed frames can still squeak though.

–          The floor – it isn’t always your bed that’s the culprit of those annoying squeaks. If you have wooden floor boards it may be them that are squeaking and not your bed.

–          Your mattress – it may actually be the springs in your mattress that are squeaking.

–          Loose joints – if the hooks keeping your bed frame together come loose they can begin to squeak.

 

How to locate the squeak

Finding out where the squeak in your bed is coming from will be the first step to fixing the problem.

 

To do this you should:

–          Sit on the edge of your bed and see whether it squeaks. Do this all along the edges of the mattress on both sides of the bed.

–          Move the headboard back and forth to see if it squeaks.

–          Check the legs of your bed frame to make sure they aren’t loose or crooked.

You may find that your bed squeaks from numerous locations, in which case you should consider combining some of the following solutions:

 

Metal beds

–          Tighten the screws, nuts and bolts on your bed.

–          Apply a lubricant to the nuts, bolts and joints in your bed – WD-40 should be ideal.

–          Remove all of the nuts and bolts. Then wrap the bolts in sealant tape and put them back into the bed frame. This time, use plastic washers on both sides of the bolt and use a metal nut to hold the bolt in place. This is one of the best ways to stop a squeaky metal bed as it removes metal-on-metal contact.

 

Wooden beds

–          Make sure that all of the joints are flush.

–          Tighten all of the hooks, screws, nuts and bolts used.

–          Apply a lubricant to the nuts, bolts and joints – you can use either a specialist wood lubricant or a general lubricant.

–          Consider replacing any nails with screws.

 

Wooden floorboards

If you have wooden floorboards, one of the best ways to stop them from squeaking is to place a thick rug beneath your bed. This can provide a barrier between the floor and your bed.

 

Mattresses

–          Rotate your mattress – this can change the weight distribution, which can relieve the pressure on the springs at fault.

–          Move around the mattress to find the area in which the squeaking is more prevalent. Then, place a flat object beneath this area to relieve pressure.

 

And if all else fails…

If you have tried all of the above solutions but haven’t had any joy, it might be time to replace your bed.

A squeaky bed can wake you numerous times in the night if you’re a light sleeper, and it can be a great source of annoyance. There are many ways to fix a squeaky bed though, so you can begin getting a good night’s sleep in no time.

 

This post was provided by Anglia Home Furnishings, a regional company specialising in furniture and carpeting.


Men & DIY – Learn to Cover Your Tracks, Literally

If you’re reading this, hopefully the title grabbed your attention because your feet are dirtier than your conscience, and not the other way around. We’re here to discuss cleaning up after yourself in your garage, man-cave, on the deck and patio, and other manly hangouts around your house. Mostly, we’re talking about the way we men make messes and then track the messes from one place to another, and leaving stains and marks where none should be.

The Garage

Ah, the garage: a man’s place to tinker on projects, fix things, drink beer, and do other manly things. It’s also where quite a few spills and messes are created. Between your handy oil changes, woodworking, furniture painting, and other projects, there’s a lot of different ways to make a mess on the garage floor. It happens. But don’t let that accidental spill become a permanent or more costly mess! Clean it up after yourself with a broom and dustpan, a mop, or for heavier messes, use a heavy-duty steam cleaner to blast the filth off the floor. Don’t let your mess get tracked into the house and cause more problem.

The Cars

Keeping cars clean is essential for keeping your home clean. We often track leaves, dirt, mud, and more into our car, and from there, we track it right into our homes and garages. If you notice some dirt on your floor mats, clean it up immediately. Either shake it outside (away from the garage or patio), or for more stubborn messes, you can take the steam cleaner to carpeted floor mats, or get as simple as a hose and soap for rubber floor mats.

Patios and Decks

As the gateway to the inside and the gateway to the outside, patios and decks can be particularly hard to keep clean. When it rains, you’ll have water spots on your deck, and probably track some mud up the steps. Avoid lazy-man syndrome, and get yourself outside to wash down those steps and outside floor surfaces whenever you get the chance. It makes your house have better curb appeal, and your family and visitors will certainly appreciate the cleanly look and feel the next time you bust out the grill for a BBQ.

It all comes down to having the right tools for the job.

And when it comes to keeping floor surfaces clean, the recent innovations of steam scrubbers and heavy-duty steam cleaners get the job done right the first time. For example, with a floor-scrubbing steamer, water passes through a machine-powered pump, enters and is heated by an SCR circuit heater and then is evenly dispersed through two sets of 10 steam jets.  This provides awesome cleaning power to make the job quick and painless, so you can get back to your projects and keep the wife happy- all in a day’s work.


Dealing With Rough Wall Surfaces

First off I would like to say that I am not recommending here a solution to major problems with walls suffering from cracks and damp – these really should be addressed as issues in their own rights and simply pasting over them will never address the problems.

However, if you have a room with older walls where the plaster is rough and showing signs of age – the surfaces are rough and there are places where some plaster has flaked away. In this instance there is an option to removing the plaster and having the room re-plastered (potentially by a specialist) which can add time and cost to a project, the alternative is to use lining paper which can be added to a wall before decorative wallpaper is added.

Tip: The thicker the paper the greater the ability to address roughness in the wall surface.

Lining paper is available in a range of grades, the higher the grade the thicker the lining paper. The 1700 and 2000 grades are at the “thicker end” of the spectrum while the 1000 and 1200 grades are great general use grades for homes.

Tip: As the thickness of the lining paper grade increases it can be more difficult to apply to the walls. For home DIY projects it can be advised to use an intermediate thickness.

Lining paper is used on walls of rough and varying surface texture to provide a smooth surface which can be wallpapered over. Lining paper needs to be soaked before application to the wall so if you have had experience putting up wallpaper then you should be ok with using lining paper.

Tip: For those with less DIY experience or if you’ve had a “wallpaper nightmare” in the past you can get paste-the-wall lining paper which is an easier way of applying the paper directly to a pre-pasted wall.

As well as providing the base to provide a smooth surface onto which you can lay decorative wallpaper, the lining paper can help improve the quality of your decorative finish as the lining paper helps reduce shrinkage in the laid wallpaper and prevent peeling – this is particularly beneficial if you have invested in expensive designer wallpaper, an instance when placing some interior design budget into lining paper can be advisable.

The equipment you’ll need for putting up lining paper will be very similar to those for wallpapering, so in addition to the rolls of paper and the adhesives you will also need a paste brush, scissors/Stanley knife and a wallpapering table will be a big help!

All home decoration projects have costs and if re-plastering is not an option and the wall is suffering from some bumps and irregularities then lining paper can be a great alternative and one which should be able to fit into a well-prepared budget.

This was a Guest Post by CoverYourWall. A UK based company selling thermal liners, lining paper and DIY soundproofing online.