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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 August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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