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Don’t Call Someone: 5 Home Improvement Jobs You Can Do Yourself

Don’t Call Someone: 5 Home Improvement Jobs You Can Do Yourself

Whenever something in the house needs fixing, fitting, or replacing, there is always a temptation to call in a professional, but many of these jobs are easy and quick to do, and you can save a lot of money by just doing them yourself. Here are five common tasks for the home that you can have a go at yourself.

1. Laying Wooden Flooring

It might be hard to make it look up to professional standards, but quality can be achieved by not cutting corners. It is a good idea to avoid trying to save on the materials as well as the installation costs; go with a decent quality laminate.

Make sure you have the following tools before you start the job: a good handsaw and a jigsaw for cutting and trimming materials, a hacksaw and spade drill bit for cutting out space for radiator pipes, a flat saw for cutting around door frames, and a laminate kit.

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Be sure to prepare the subfloor well before starting to lay the flooring, and read any instructions that come with it.

Read this guide on Wickes for detailed instructions on how to put wooden flooring.

2. Bleeding the Radiators

If your radiator is feeling cold at the top and warm at the bottom when the heating is on you, probably need to bleed it. It will allow air that has become trapped in the radiator to escape and should improve its efficiency.

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First of all, make sure that your central heating is turned off. Next, take a bleeding key (you can get one from most DIY shops if you don’t have one) and find the bleed valve on the radiator, which is usually at the top on the left-hand side. Turn the bleed key anti-clockwise until you hear the air escaping. When water starts to come out, turn the key clockwise to close the valve.

3. Replacing a Door Lock

People often turn to a locksmith when locks need replacing, and while it is one of the most complicated jobs on the list, there is no reason you can’t do it yourself. First, you need to identify which type of lock you have and make sure you buy the correct replacement. There is a handy guide to this on uPVC Door Locks. You will need either a flat head or Philips screwdriver to unscrew the lock and, if it is a wooden door, possibly a chisel and sandpaper to smooth down the wood.

Exactly how to replace the lock will depend on what type of lock it is the three primary types being a Night latch, a Mortice lock, and a Euro Lock cylinder. This guide from Homebase gives instructions on how to fit each type of lock.

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4. Fitting Loft Insulation

You can make some big savings on energy costs in the home by installing insulation of your attic. Not only can you save some money, you will also save on your fuel costs in the long term by trapping in more of the heat produced in your home. It is a lengthy one, so it’s probably best to carefully follow this guide on Think Insulation.

If your loft is not entirely boarded, take care not to step in between the joists, only on the joists themselves and you can use pieces of wood to kneel on. You will need; safety goggles, a good quality pair of scissors to cut the insulation, a breathing mask, measuring tape, and it is a good idea to wear protective clothing such as gloves and overalls.

5. Unblocking Sinks

It may seem like one of those jobs where you need to call a plumber, but there are a couple of things you can try first that often clear the problem up. If you have tried the go-to fixes, such as using a plunger and putting cleaning products down the plughole, and have been unsuccessful, it is time to try unscrewing the u-bend to remove any blockages.

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First put a bucket underneath the u-bend to catch any water, then unscrew the threads at the top and bottom of the U-bend threads and slowly and gently pull it free. You can now clean the u-bend using hot water, a brush, and a wire coat hanger to dislodge any blockages. Once the debris is out of the way, screw the u-bend back into place and run some water down the plug hole to see if the water drains away accurately. See an excellent guide to this on Plumbing Supply

Do some research, save some money, and get to work. Good luck with your home improvement endeavors.

Featured photo credit: Home Improvement Jobs You Can Do Yourself via money.usnews.com

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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