If you are opting to build down rather than move you might like to take inspiration from these Top Ten Basement Conversions shown on The Telegraph’s property section.
We love the Kennington dining room for a very useful and stylish addition to a family home and the Hampstead swimming pool for its elegant and aspirational lifestyle amenities.
If you want to convert your basement we have advice for you in our basement conversion project with lots of advice from Basement Living. There are also projects on basements for newbuilds and digging out a basement .
Image: Basement Living
Image: Basement Living
We wrote about DIY’ers wasting money buying tools they don’t use or don’t know how to use in or blog earlier in the week.
Mike Edwards from DIY Doctor is regularly invited to speak at Home Improvement and self-build shows around the country, to give his tips and tricks on popular DIY Projects such as tiling, plumbing, and plastering.
He will be at the National Home Improvement Show at Olympia in London 28-30 September 2012, where you will be able to see him show you the right tools for the jobs. He also gives advice on when to hire equipment rather than buy it. Mike says “if someone is considering trying a job for the first time it may make sense to hire equipment, because that way they can afford to use better quality tools and they only pay for the time they use it. This avoids them tying up money on tools they may never use again.”
To get your hands on 2 free tickets to The National Home Improvement Show, just click on this banner
If you can’t make it to the show but you want to see some of his presentations click through to the DIY Doctor channel on YouTube.
You know how we like talking about the weather in this country? Well we have had a lot of it to talk about this year haven’t we?
We have had the wettest April since records began, the wettest June since records began, and the wettest second quarter since records began.
So with all this water coming from the sky we need to ensure that we make good use of it and that we allow it to nourish our gardens rather than disappearing down the drain. Gardeners should employ water butts so that they can water pots, crops and newly established plants in between the rainy spells.
A water butt will harvest rainwater from your roof. Butts should be positioned to siphon off water from one of the downpipes from your roof. Make sure you position it in a place that is going to be most useful to you – close to patio pots or vegetable garden. You can even install a water butt pump if you want to run a hosepipe form it. For more information on installing a water butt see our project page.
Another way to regulate between the drought and flood impact is to build a bog garden which can absorb the excess water while it is pouring and will keep plants watered while it is baking. A garden pond will also help with taking any runoff from the garden and gives relief from scorching conditions especially if you have a pump running a fountain – just the sound of water trickling seems to bring the temperature down a degree or two.
Recent regulation has addressed the problem of so many of us changing our gardens from grass to hard surfaces which do not absorb rain but allow it to run off the surface into drains, increasing the risk of flash floods.
Planning permission is now required to lay traditional impermeable driveways and paving that allow uninhibited runoff of rainwater onto roads. The best answer is to use materials that will allow water to soak into the ground. There are now cobbles and paving blocks that are porous but look like traditional materials. Of course you can use traditional gravel and if you don’t like the thought of constantly sweeping up, you can now get resin bound gravel surfaces that prevent the stones moving but have a porous surface.
For more information on how to lay driveways and paving visit our driveway project
If you’re willing to think outside of the box there are plenty more things you can do with hardwood floors than merely staining them. Have you considered painting your floors? If so, check out this guide first to ensure your hard work will really pay off.
Image by: tofutti break
Before you get started there are a few things you need to check off your list first; clean, sand and prime.
To make sure the paint goes on smoothly you first need to give your floor a good wash and vacuum. After cleaning your floor properly it needs to be sanded down and primed so that the paint will go on evenly.
If you have some experience working with hardwood floors then by all means, go ahead with this stage of the project yourself. If you don’t however there’s no shame in hiring someone to get the nitty gritty work out of the way before you start the fix up process.
Image by Scrap Pile
After you’ve decided what colours will work well with the scheme of your room, it’s time to pick up the paintbrush! When buying your paint look for Farrow and Ball floor paint, a great option as it won’t need a sealer and is incredibly durable.
Image by: misimisimos
When deciding what kind of designs you want on your floor you can really go as far as your imagination takes you. If the furniture in that room is quite neutral then why not go for a more intricate and unique design on the flooring?
Image by: artnoose
Many people are painting their floors with a checker-board print. To get this design you’ll just need painting tape; paint the background colour first (the lighter shade), then lay down the tape in the pattern you want once it’s completely dry and paint the highlights.
Other designs include painted-on rugs, broad or narrow stripes, zigzag stripes and large floral creations. If you’re not a very artsy person and your design requires more than some paint tape then you could paint the base colour first and use a stencil to help paint the design on top.
Any other ideas? Tell me below!
Estelle Page is an interior designer with a fondness for the homely quality of hardwood floors and wooden conservatories.
UK residents spend an average of £103 each on tools that are simply gathering dust, with only 21% saying they use DIY tools they have bought on a regular basis. Men are the worst offenders, spending an average of £116 on unused tools compared to just £87 spent by women.
These findings were released by Legal and General who commissioned a survey to find out how much money people are wasting on tools that they don’t use. It appears that people buy these tools with the best of intentions but 45% admit to never, or hardly ever using them.
Worryingly for DIY Doctor 35% said they have not bought any DIY tools during the last five years, and over two thirds admit that they cannot carry out the most basic home maintenance tasks. This is despite the fact that almost everyone (94%) views home maintenance as essential.
DIY Doctor is a free online resource committed to supply consumers with the skills, tools and information they need to carry out home improvement projects whether they are DIY’ing or employing tradespeople.
Mike Edwards, DIY Doctor’s CEO comments “we understand that some people find DIY tasks daunting, and that is why we started the website. Most schools no longer teach children how to use basic tools and unless their parents have DIY skills they are left in the dark, which is not only frustrating but also costly as we can see from these findings.”
He went on to explain that the current ease of access to the internet has made their project pages and “How To” videos more popular than ever. He said “our videos are the next best thing to someone showing you in person how to complete tasks, and we are now completing a series of product reviews to help people find the right tool for the job once they have decided on a project to tackle.”
To see product and tool reviews click here
To see our ‘How to’ project pages, search in our alphabetical list of projects
If you have specific problems or questions try our Forum which is used and monitored by experienced tradesmen.