Archive for August, 2009
The modern way to watch TV nowadays is to hang it on the wall. The only problem with this is the unsightly cables that are visible below the TV. The solution to unsightly cables is simple – cable tidies. Cables tidies come in many different colours so it should be easy to disguise TV cables. Most cable tidies look like a thick flexible cable that allows other wires to be hidden inside to look like just one cable. They can also come in the form of a long tube that disguises wires in the same way.
You can also purchase a computer cable tidy to keep PC wires out of sight. There are a few desks that already have slots at the back of the computer to disguise wires. So if you are lucky to have this type of desk then a PC cable tidy is not needed.
There are also floor cable tidy available to purchase, they work in the same way but disguise wires on the floor leaving more room without tripping up.
As house sales increase, homebuyers are looking for cheap ways to decorate and make their homes look attractive to buyers or for themselves. With carpet going out of fashion, most people can’t afford real wooden floors or tiles so we look at the alternative.
Cheap flooring solution
I would consider vinyl flooring as it’s affordable and easy to lay and will last for a long time to come. Vinyl flooring can also come as tiles (medium sized squares) making them easier to lay and good for creating colour effects such as a black and white vinyl floor which is still very popular. Vinyl tiles have a self adhesive backing that will allow you to lay them effortlessly.
Vinyl flooring can also come on a long roll so if you are covering a large area such as the living room it’s possible to cover the joins without showing. The good thing about vinyl floor covering is you can get them in all different designs to suit all rooms in the house. If you want the wooden effect look, then you can also get vinyl laminate flooring that gives the illusion of wooden flooring.
By using bathroom vinyl flooring, the options are endless as you can get all different colours and designs to match the bathroom suite you have in your house. The added bonus of having vinyl flooring in the bathroom or kitchen is that it is waterproof.
Cleaning vinyl flooring is simple; all you need is water, a bucket and a mop. You can buy floor washing products or just use diluted bleach, house cleaning products or dishwashing liquid. You won’t need to get the vacuum cleaner out everyday as you can also sweep the floor using a long broom handle. You can also be sure that if anything falls on the floor it won’t stain as easily as falling onto carpet.
How to remove vinyl flooring?
Removing vinyl flooring is simple, it’s glued to the floor so all you have to do it lift it up but if you find that the glue used is extremely hard to remove, try using a wallpaper steamer as this has proved to work. The wallpaper steamer will help dissolve the glue so the vinyl floor is easier to remove.
I have just recently tiled my bathroom and needed to add a bathroom cabinet, mirror, toilet roll holder, towel rail etc. With gorgeous new tiles on the wall, the last thing I wanted to do is drill a hole and crack the surrounding tiles. I was very apprehensive about drilling into my new ceramic tiles until I found a tip that helped me.
What you will need to drill into tiles
- A drill
- A pencil
- Masking tape or surgical tape (available to purchase at your local chemist)
- Tile bit or masonry bit (to attach to drill)
- Vacuum cleaner (optional)
If you have all of the above, you’re ready to go!
How to drill effortlessly into tiles?
Follow these easy steps to drill into tiles and achieve a professional and clean finish.
- Mark out where the holes that need to be drilled i.e. for a towel rail
- Over the marked tile, place a piece of masking tape or surgical tape (I find these both work really well because they are not slippery when trying to drill)
- Then mark an X on the spot to be drilled into with a pencil
- Attach tile drill bit to drill (you can also use masonry bit to drill into ceramic tiles on a low setting)
- Slowly drill in the middle of the X mark
- If possible, it would be less messy if someone could hold the vacuum cleaner under the drill when drilling to avoid dust and mess.
Attach towel rail and you’re done with no cracked tiles and perfect smooth finish.
Most people already know how to change a light bulb, but for those of you who don’t, follow these easy steps below.
Preparing to change a light bulb
- First of all make sure the mains have been switched off to reduce the risk of electrocution.
- Then make sure the switch for the light you are about to change is also on the off position.
- Before you start, make sure you have the right kind of light bulb i.e. screw cap or bayonet cap and also the correct wattage for the bulb (eg 40W).
- If you have done all these steps, you’re ready to start.
Replacing the light bulb
- With the mains still off, hop on a sturdy chair, ladder, or stool and twist or unscrew existing light bulb.
- Discard faulty light bulb immediately so you don’t get confused.
- Remove new light bulb from package and screw in place or twist if it’s bayonet cap.
- Switch mains back on.
- Stand back from light and switch on using light switch.
You have now replaced the light bulb.
Having just recently given my kitchen and bathroom a makeover, I would like to share my tips to remove tiles quicker.
How to get rid of old tiles?
The first method I tried was by using a chisel and mallet. Some tiles came off quite easily whilst some others were stuck on inch by inch. It was much harder to remove the tile by using a mallet and chisel; you need a lot of strength in the arms. There are two ways to remove tiles with a chisel and mallet: – smash the centre of the tile and the rest is easy or place the chisel under the edge of the tile and hit with a mallet.
The most effective and easiest way is to buy or hire a hammer drill then attach a flat tip chisel; the tiles will come off easier along with the grout and adhesive too. It will also save a Iot of time.
Always wear goggles as small pieces of tiles fly off the wall and into the eyes. Be careful as I also cut my cheek through a piece of tiling that came off the wall.
Removing wallpaper is not as hard as some might think. I take a look at the different ways to stripping off wallpaper.
How to remove wallpaper?
There are many ways to strip off wallpaper, here are just some of the ways:
- Dipping a wet sponge onto the wallpaper and leaving it for a few minutes will cause the glue to dissolve. By using a stripping knife, the wallpaper will come off easily. This method is time consuming and you will end up with very wet floors as the water will drip down to the floor.
- Another way to remove stubborn wallpaper is by using a wallpaper scorer but after using this tool, you will still need to remove wallpaper either by using a stripping knife or steamer.
- The fastest and simple way to remove wallpaper is a wallpaper steamer. It’s not really worth hiring one as you can get good wallpaper steamers for £15 and if you’re not really going to use it again you won’t need an expensive one. Wallpaper steamers are easy and the most effective way to remove wallpaper.
Wallpaper stripper solutions can also be sprayed onto walls to remove wallpaper but this can be time consuming and expensive especially if there is a large area to cover.
Having recently refurbished my house, I encountered a problem with my doors, I decided to change all the doors in the house to newer modern ones as those currently present were over 30 years old. At the time, I didn’t know that the doors in my house were not of standard size so when I came to buy new doors, I didn’t realise that they came in different sizes. When I checked my current doors, I then realised that for the doors’ size I would need, I had two options. I could either buy custom made doors or buy standard ones and cut them. I had no choice but to buy new doors as the original doors I had were now already thrown into a skip.
What are my door options?
Custom made doors can get quite expensive and I needed 10 of them. The average price for one was £70, so it would’ve cost me £700 for 10 new doors. Buying standard doors in bulk was cheaper (coming in at under £300). I decided to buy standard doors and cut them to fit my ‘non-standard’ door frames.
At first, I foolishly cut the sides off by hand using a saw. The finish was uneven and it had to be sanded down. I finally listened to my wife and bought a circular saw to cut wood. This has made my life much easier by providing a professional finish and saving me time as well. Cutting doors using a standard saw requires a lot of arm strength and takes a lot of time! The circular saw cost me £65 and was well worth it. I can use it again for other jobs around the house. I would highly recommend this method for door cutting.
Cladding in the home was fashionable in the 60’s unfortunately nowadays houses with interior wooden cladding are harder to sell. Many people choose not to remove the wooden planks for fear of what is underneath. If cladding has been present for a long time you may have damaged walls or ceilings which mean that when cladding is taken off, the walls and ceilings might need a lot of work on them including plastering.
Painting wood cladding
Having just recently redecorated, here are my tips and tricks to painting cladding panels.
You will need the following before you start: masking tape, different sized paint brushes, wood primer and paint.
- It is very common to paint the wall and ceiling cladding white, follow these easy steps to ensure a quick and professional finish.
- Mask off edges and walls to ensure a clean painted edge
- Start painting timber cladding with a primer painting in direction of the wood grains with a paint brush; leave this to dry for at least 24 hours
- When painting remember to brush paint between wooden grooves, also there may be holes which were not so noticeable before but are now, fill these with polyfilla (available at all diy stores)
- Finally paint cladding panels with desired colour, leave to dry; depending on cladding colour more than one coat of paint will need to be applied.
Now remove masking tape and enjoy your cheap cladding solutions.
Sometimes people can have too much rubbish that putting them in bin bags for the local council to take away is not practical. An example of this is when you are having a garden clearance and you have a lot of waste to throw away. Under such situations, you have 3 choices to get rid of the waste which are hiring a skip, using hippo bags or getting a waste removal company to come and take your rubbish.
Depending on how much waste you’ve got and what type of rubbish needs to be thrown away, hiring a skip can be good value for money. The advantage of using a skip is that you can put in heavy items like concrete, rocks, soil, metals and big chunks of wood along with other stuff. A builder’s skip will cost you £192 at the cheapest rate for 8 cubic yard of waste. A lot of rubbish can go into that but the only problem is that you have to fill in the skip yourself and it can be time consuming as well as tiring.
Hippo bags are an alternative to skips and the main advantage is that you can throw in large bulky items in them. However they do not hold a lot of waste as they only come in two sizes; the MidiBag and the MegaBag. The biggest bag which is the MegaBag can hold upto 1.5 cubic yard of waste. You will need to purchase the bag at Wickes, Homebase or B&Q and it costs £11.64 for the biggest bag. Once your hippobag is filled, you can request a collection and you will have to pay £69.50 for it. These bags are ideal if you do not have lots of waste but have heavy rubbish.
Waste removal company
Waste removal companies can come in handy if you do not want to dirty your hands and want your rubbish gone quickly. At least two men will come in a big van to help clear out your waste and things should be sorted the same day in most cases. The cheapest you can pay is £136 for 8 cubic yard of waste but they might charge you more for bulky items. So if you have general waste, then this is ideal as you pay a really good price to get rid of your rubbish quickly.
Choosing the best type of waste removal depends on what sort of rubbish you have. I’ve used all three methods described above and they all were good for the type of waste I wanted to throw away. Many companies will recycle your waste nowadays which is a good thing. You may want to dispose of your hazardous waste and electrical items at a waste recycling facility as these are charged separately from general rubbish clearance.