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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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