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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 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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