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The world’s worst DIY disasters

Created: 13/07/2017

'Oops' sticker next to crack in wall

If you are a homeowner, the chances are that you will already know how even the most modern, supposedly low-maintenance properties do not always behave as we would like them to.

Unfortunately, having to deal with the occasional electrical or plumbing problem is part and parcel of having your own house, and the experts providing our handyman services in East London are regularly called upon to sort out all manner of home emergencies.

However, whilst broken boilers and leaky roofs are no laughing matter, it can be pretty amusing when we see examples of DIY disasters which so easily could have been avoided.

There are thousands of examples out there of people getting their home improvement projects horribly wrong, but below you’ll find a few of what we believe are the most memorable. Be sure to let us know if you have any shocking stories of your own!

Bathroom blunders

Rusty tap

This video takes us through 50 examples of unbelievably bad plumbing errors. Highlights include:

- 1 minute 14 seconds – A unique space-saving idea – suspending a washing machine above your toilet!

- 2 minutes 23 seconds – Privacy may be an issue for anyone who uses these conveniences…

- 2 minutes 29 seconds – The interesting tactic of installing two sockets directly in line with the flow of a tap.

The apprentices don’t become masters

Rusty nails in floor

In their defence, the people in this video probably didn’t want to do these DIY tasks, but some of their errors are still pretty shocking!

This is from a 2015 episode of the BBC One show The Apprentice, which featured the candidates offering their services as handymen and women. The results show why they should probably all stick to their day jobs.

Our favourite clip from this one is when Lord Sugar’s assistant, Baroness Karren Brady, despairingly utters the immortal lines: “Screwing a nail? I don’t think you screw a nail” whilst watching on.

The world’s laziest DIY-ers?

Wall with brick missing

Finally, here’s an article from MailOnline which showcases a selection of bizarre and – some would say – ingenious DIY innovations which don’t exactly follow the rulebook. 

Everything from clock repairs to car maintenance is covered, but here are a few of our favourites:

- A gaping hole in the wall with two wires poking out of it, accompanied by the helpful note: ‘To ring doorbell, connect wires’.

- A plumber’s plunger repurposed as a heavy-duty doorstop.

- A broken tap replaced by a huge amount of Sellotape and a bulldog clip.

So, if any of the above examples are at all reminiscent of your own efforts (although we hope they won’t be), it may be time to get the professionals in when planning your next home improvement!

Image Credits: Brandon SchauerRachel Towne, Adam Rosenberg, jasleen_kaur



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DIY Brits putting their home insurance at risk

Created: 11/07/2017

 

The comparison website GoCompare has released the results of a new piece of research into the DIY habits of Brits, and the findings suggest that many homeowners may be at risk of invalidating their insurance policies by not sharing the details of their improvements.

The news – which is explored in more detail by City A.M. – will be of some concern to anyone who has not told their home insurance provider of any major work that has recently been carried out on their property, such as the installation of a new bathroom or kitchen.

Despite this news, it should be noted that insurers only need to be informed when major jobs, such as the addition of a new room or the total re-fitting of an existing one, are undertaken. There is, for example, no need to contact your policy provider if you have just carried out some general internal decorating.

Always check your tradesmen’s insurance!

Whilst informing your insurers of any big improvements should be a fairly simple and quick task (it should also be inexpensive, although policyholders should check whether any administrative charges apply), GoCompare also mentioned something else which many homeowners may not have thought of: the status of their tradesmen’s insurance.

‘Another important thing to note is that most home insurance policies don’t cover tradesmen or their work’, commented Matt Sanders, GoCompare’s home insurance spokesperson, ‘so you should always check that they have their own insurance in place’.

According to the research, the most popular major home improvement projects carried out in Britain are the installation of new bathrooms, closely followed by new kitchens and, in third place, the replacement of boilers and heating systems.

Making your own DIY improvements can be a rewarding experience, but it is important that homeowners realise when things need to be left to the professionals! Local handyman, plumbing and electrical experts should always be the first port of call if you are ever unsure about safety or any technical aspects of your work.

Image Credit: Mayberry Health and Home



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Top Tips for Painting Furniture

Created: 19/06/2017

If you find yourself thinking your place could do with a bit of a makeover, but don’t want to embark on anything too colossal, a great place to start can be painting your furniture. It’s quite incredible what a difference it can make, depending on the colour chosen. It really has the potential to transform a room. You can take a table that has seen better days, or chest of drawers that was once a bit bland and boring and really make them come alive.

Just remember before you begin, as Mike Edwards of DIY Doctor told us, “the 12 P’s of decorating anything: preparation, preparation, preparation, preparation, preparation etc…”

If you are excited by the prospect, consider the below tips for painting furniture. However, if you don’t think you have the time, asking for help from a handyman service is always recommended. 

painting table

Move furniture into a safe place

When your’re painting, the last thing you want is to spill any materials onto the floor or stain beloved items, so therefore the first thing you should do is move your item to be painted into a safe place. Try taking the item outside, or somewhere that you can reach all sides of the piece easily, this way you will allow for a smooth paint job without making a mess in the wrong places.

It would also be a good idea to cover the floor below the piece of furniture. An unwanted blanket could do the job, or picking up a dust sheet from someone like Tool Station would certainly be a benefit. 

Paint stripper

DIY Doctor provided some great advice for those looking to paint their furniture, suggesting a particular product to help strip old paint and varnish from your pieces.

Having reviewed this Eco friendly home paint stripper, they informed us that not only does it do a great job, but because of its water base, it is also safe on the skin.

“Many people use solvent based strippers which stink the house out and are pretty hazardous on the skin and in the eyes. They also open the timber grain up too much making the paint blotchy when repainted. Home Strip does none of this and is guaranteed not to harm any surface it is applied to.”

Sand before painting

Sanding might not be what comes to mind but it’s a pretty essential element if you want to get the job done right, especially as stripping off the old colour will allow for the best coverage.

We spoke to Brewers, an independent decorator merchant, who told us to "make sure you sand the surface to ensure a key for the paint to adhere to, be sure to wipe down the surface before painting to remove any loose dust."  

It is recommended that you sand all surfaces with 150-grit sandpaper and use an orbital sander like this one from Axminster. Just be careful not to damage the surface. The idea here is to rough up the surface a little so you can add primer later in the process.

Also, once the painting has begun, you will want to sand again between coats should there be any drips or residue left on the piece.

painting furniture

Remove residue 

Speaking of residue, it’s very important that the surface of your piece is completely wiped down. Use a tack cloth, not a paper towel, and make sure to use a new cloth to wipe down the item in between each coat of paint, once it has dried of course. This step is important as you need to remove all signs of lint and dust before applying protection at the end.

Use primer

Once all residue has been removed, you will want to apply primer as if you don’t, there is a very good chance that paint will chip off and not last as long. Apply the primer with a roller and make sure to get into those hard to reach areas. Once the primer is dry, you can then sand away any drips, and wipe down again with your tact cloth.

Use roller first

When you start painting, try using a foam roller first, giving your item a nice even coverage -about three coats will do it. Brewers recommend: "When painting, always start at the top and work down, making sure you smooth out paint drips as you work downwards."

Leave six to eight hours between these coats and remember about sanding and wiping down between these coats.

painting

Brush for gaps

Also remember to use your traditional brush as you will want to make sure to cover and reach all those gaps that you might have missed. Complete coverage is very important as the last thing you want is to have put the piece back in place and realise that your coat is uneven or patches have appeared. Take your time, follow the steps above, and make sure all is well before moving on.

Add protection

The final tip and step in the process is to add a layer of protection to your painted piece of furniture. Here you will want to apply a thin coat of varnish or other clear sealer using a new foam roller. Once applied, go over again with the roller with a very light touch to ensure that no bubbles are occurring. After this has been achieved, leave the item to dry for as long as possible, otherwise the piece of furniture could get sticky.

And there you have it! Your piece is done, and you are ready to put it back into place. You will be surprised at how different the room will look with it, and thanks to a bit of hard work, you will have essentially given yourself a brand new piece of furniture. Enjoy!



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Top Tips to Consider When Moving House

Created: 16/05/2017

There is plenty to consider when moving home, and while you might think that you have all your bases covered, there is always a chance that you have forgotten a thing or two.

With that being said, we have put together this collection of top tips to consider when moving house, hopefully paving the way for a smooth and successful moving experience.

Electric meter

Find out where your meters are

One of the first things you will want to do is find out where your new home’s meters are. You might want to change water or electricity suppliers and in order to do so, you will need to locate the meters.

Or if you were to employ a handyman service to make changes to your home, they will also need to know this. So before you move in you should ask the estate agents or previous owners where the gas and electricity meters are, as well as asking them about where the main stopcocks are so you can shut off the water should you need to in an emergency.

Know when your rubbish is collected

This may seem like a trivial matter but the question of when your rubbish will be collected at your new property is one that is often forgotten about. Asking what days your bins are collected is a sensible question, especially when you are chucking out stuff you no longer need in your new home.

The last thing you want to do is find yourself with a whole host of items to chuck but have no idea when any of its allowed to be put out. Moving is stressful enough, so make life a little easier for yourself by finding out small details such as this.

post

Redirect the post

With all that will be going on it is very easy to forget to redirect your post. If you don’t, then you could be receiving bills and other important information to your old property, and not paying for outstanding debts could end up affecting your credit record.

While the new owners of your old home will hopefully be kind of enough to forward on anything that turns up, it’s always best to be proactive and make sure it’s taken care of. You can redirect via Royal Mail for as little as £5.25 a month, and for either a three, six, or 12 month period.

Who supplies the existing utilities?

Another really important question to ask is which company supplies the energy, broadband and phone line for your new home. You might find out that you are happy with the current suppliers but there is a good chance you will want to change at least one of these elements.

Once you find out, you can then shop around until you find the best deals. Like with the metres, the previous owners or estate agents will be able to tell you these details. So make sure to ask in good time and then it will be one less thing to worry about. Changing utilities can often be time consuming so it is always recommended to get on this as soon as possible.

painting

Paint before you move in

Another point to include on your moving home checklist is painting and overall decorating. A little tip is to try and do as much painting, either yourself or your Handyman, before you move everything in. This will save you having to move heavy objects around and will make painting rooms a much easier job.

If you are moving home, it is quite understandable that you will want to put your own stamp on your new home. Websites such as Paint Direct offer a vast selection of different paints to help you give your new home just the look you desire. And doing this before you move in will make moving day just that bit more special.

Moving boxes

When planning your move, deciding all the things that you want to take, and just which belongings will make the trip to the new house, you will eventually come to a point when you need something to pack everything into.

Obviously some larger objects like furniture can go pretty much as is, but all of your various possessions, the different accoutrements that you’ve acquired over the years, will need to be packed safely away. So getting hold of some secure packing boxes is an absolute must.

Sites such as Packingboxes.co.uk provide everything you need in this regard, such as extra strong double wall removal boxes to help protect your items during the move. With bubble wrap and removal blankets also available, you should be covered for every eventuality. 

house

Use a removal service

Once everything is packed up, and all other preparations have been made for the big day, you will now be faced with the task of actually moving yourself and your belongings out of your old house and into your new home.

These can often be stressful occasions, but by employing the services of a removal/moving company like Fantastic Removals, you can at least remove some of the burden from your shoulders.

We spoke to Fantastic Removals who kindly offered the following advice:

“Moving house is an experience that can send anyone into an emotional rollercoaster, but with the right preparation, the negativity can be brought to a minimum. To do this, planning early will be your best decision. An early plan gives you enough time to declutter, change the address, pack, organise transportation, and hire the right moving company.”

Fantastic Removals can certainly help make the process easier by offering “full insurance, around-the-clock customer support, free quotes and a variety of customizable moving services. If you’re moving house, you can choose from the specialised man and van service, house removals and office removals service.”

Beyond simply moving your stuff, Fantastic Removals also have a packing and labelling service, and storage should you require it. They also offer end of tenancy cleaning as it’s never a bad idea to leave your old property in the best condition possible. This is performed by the tenancy department at Fantastic Cleaners

This is a great way to make moving a smoother process; letting someone else worry about the heavy lifting, allowing you to focus on other important details.

There are of course many things to contemplate when moving house, but by considering all of the above, and making sure you’ve given yourself plenty of time to accomplish your tasks, your next move should hopefully be a little more manageable.



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Rome’s tomb of emperors to be restored in £5 million project

Created: 10/05/2017

The final resting place of Rome’s emperors is to be restored in a multi-million pound project. 

Mausoleum of Augustus

The Mausoleum of Augustus, an immense stone building on the banks of the River Tiber, once served as the tomb of many of Rome’s emperors. Emperor Augustus – the first Roman emperor – had the structure built 2,000 years ago.

His cremated remains were later placed there along with other infamous emperors such as Tiberius, Claudius, Vespasian, and Caligula.

This bulky structure once consisted of a 140ft high circular chamber covered by a roof topped with pillars and statues before falling into disrepair. The roof, statues, and pillars are now gone, however what is left is still quite impressive.

These days the building is covered in dust, overgrown with vegetation, cluttered with broken marble inscriptions, and scattered masonry.

However, if all goes according to plan, Telecom Italia – an Italian telecommunications company – will see the ancient building restored and then opened up to the public.

Telecom Italia are forking out six million euros (£5 million) for the project which is set to be completed by April 2019. This ambitious restoration could include the rebuilding of the mausoleum’s roof.

Scaffolding is already in place around the structure, and we know that once open to the public, the history of Rome will be told via a multi-media presentation, and that new walkways and lighting will be installed for visitors. 

Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi, has said, “We’re going to bring back to life one of the great masterpieces of ancient Rome, which has lain abandoned in the middle of the city for years,”

And while this extravagant type of restoration might beyond the modest plans of homeowners around the UK – even with the help of your local handyman service – it’s great to see a city take pride in its cultural heritage.

Rome is full of many awe inspiring and history rich sites, many of which have also seen recent restorations in a concerted effort to restore much of Italy’s fascinating past.

The luxury shoe company Tod’s funded the cleaning of the famed Colosseum, and Fendi financed the restoration of the iconic Trevi fountain.

 

Image Credit: ryarwood



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New DIY App Will Help Your Handyman See Through Walls

Created: 05/05/2017

A new DIY app will give you and your handyman the ability to see through walls.

Phone app

WalabotDIY is a new X-ray vision DIY app that could completely change the way we go about home-remodelling and house improvements.

The app utilises technology previously used for spotting tumours in breast cancer patients, and now can help us see pipes, wiring, and stray nails behind walls.

In order to use the app, you need to attach the WalabotDIY power pack to the back of your phone and then hold it over the part of the wall you wish to scan. It can then tell you what is behind it for depths up to 10cm.

The WalabotDIY can see through cement, dry wall, and wood.

This will certainly improve home repair type jobs all over the country, allowing for tasks to be accomplished both more safely and simply.

But just because you can now spot the issue that was once obscured doesn’t mean you will have the technical know how to fix it. Luckily your London handyman service has all the requisite skills to help you accomplish your desired projects.

There are various other DIY apps available to help you in dealing with small tasks before contacting your local handyman service. We have listed a few of them below.

phone apps

Handy man DIY

Handy Man DIY has the aim of being a complete project manager during your various jobs. It helps you organise individual tasks, assign materials, and even costs for those materials. The app is also capable of calculating the size of your walls and floors in your home, helping you decipher just what it is that you require.

Photo Measures

Photo Measures is an app that helps you out during the course of painting and decorating your home. When shopping for paint, instead of having to rely on a bit of paper for the dimensions of your soon to be painted wall, Photo Measures allows you to annotate photographs with measurements helping you to figure out just what you require. 

Screwfix Toolbox

You might know Screwfix as a retailer of DIY supplies, but did you know that they have a handy app as well? Screwfix Toolbox combines the ability to purchase the tools you need with tutorials on how to tackle certain projects. The app includes a project cost calculator to help you keep on top of your budget. 



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Top Alternatives to Bookshelves

Created: 24/04/2017

For those of us who love to read, finding the most attractive and space conscious way to store our many books is important. Of course, the traditional bookcase/bookshelf can be an option, but you might be surprised at the myriad ways one can be inventive when trying to display these prized possessions. So let’s take a look at a few of the best alternatives to bookshelves. 

Piano

Piano Bookshelf

Why not start out with something a little whacky. Not many of us will have an old piano lying around, but if you should so happen to come across one, they can make truly unique and beautiful bookcases.

By hollowing out the insides, keeping the keys intact, and adding in some shelving, this can be a great way to repurpose an item that is no longer of use. Simply tilt it up right, secure it to the wall, sliding in your favourite reads, and you will have yourself a top bookshelf alternative!

Under the stairs book sanctuary

When working on your home, finding space, and creating more of it can be a top priority. So why not make good use of that space beneath the stairs and create yourself your own little under the stairs book sanctuary?

By excavating that area, adding in some shelving, and a nice comfy windowsill type seat below it, you will have created a wonderful little nook for reading, while saving a bunch of space as well. This one can be a bit of a mission however, so to get the job done right, make sure you acquire the skills of a top handyman service

Ladder bookshelf

Ladder shelf

If you want to go for something a little out there, and happen to have an old ladder hanging around, why not stack it, or throw it up on the wall and create yourself a great new bookshelf?

Try opening out an old wooden ladder and either pinning it flat against the wall or using its natural bend to fit nicely into the corner of a room. You can then use its steps and frame as a great space to place some of your books. You’ll be unlikely to find any of your friends sporting this one at home.

Stairs book case

Going back to those trusty stairs, there are plenty of other little variations one could use to utilise space while finding an attractive and minimalistic area to store your books.

If you extend the sides of your wooden staircase, protruding a little further out than normal, you will have suddenly fashioned yourself a staircase made of books! This can be a brilliant way to add a little flare and substance to a useful but boring feature of your home. 

Bookshelf

Book Hall

In the vein of maximising what little space you may have in your home, if you want to give your books pride of place but don’t want to use all the room in your living room, why not kit out your hallway/corridor with a hall of books!

Camila Boschiero of Homify.com, an inspirational resource for all things home improvement, spoke to us about this very set up, and we can’t help but agree.

“In need of space? Why not build an open shelf alongside a corridor that leads to the kitchen. The shelf doesn't take too much space as it only extends about 5-7 inches from the wall, allowing you to roam freely from one side to the other but at the same time creating a fantastic option for storage of all things. Plus it is stylish too!”

Camila and Homify are exactly right. By fitting traditional long shelves all along the wall of your hall or corridor, and stacking up those books you have lying around, you have not just spruced up that boring walking space, but saved room as well! This really is a great idea for all those who see space as a premium.

Floating bracket bookshelves

If you are keen to display your books but don’t want the bulk of a traditional bookcase or shelf, then opting for a floating bookshelf might be the perfect option for you.

In fixing some long metal brackets to the wall, side by side, and then piling up your reading material, one on top of the other, you will have created the look of floating books as they will be obscuring the brackets on which they lay. This an incredibly tidy and cost effective alternative.

Vintage TV

Copper pipes and reclaimed wood

If you are looking for something unique and are willing to put in a little to work to get just what you want, then you can really fashion just about anything into your ideal bookshelf. Take this suggestion from Kerry Allen of the home improvement blog Kezzabeth as an example.

“Using copper pipes and reclaimed wood to create a bookshelf is a great interior design feature for anyone looking to add a bit of industrialism to their home! It's inexpensive, really easy to do and certainly very quirky!”

It certainly sounds good to us, and another example of using a little ingenuity to accomplish the look you desire.

Hollowed out TV

If you are in the business of repurposing old items, or know your parents are clearing out some ancient artefacts, then hollowing out one of those old television sets with their dials and antennas might be a great way for storing books.

By removing the screen section of the TV, and replacing any innards with some reading material, you will have for yourself a particularly retro looking bookshelf that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. It’s pretty amazing what can be done with old items and a little imagination.

Hanging cieling shelves

Putting that imagination to further use, but in perhaps a different way, why not take inspiration from the storage of other household items. The hanging of pots and pans from the ceiling of our kitchens has long been a favoured style, so why not try out something similar but with books!

Camila at Homify really likes this idea, appreciating its coming together of styles and room saving potential.

“This is all to do with a mix of styles, where the country home and the industrial design meets. Let us make some storage where it won't interfere with our moseying around, why not the ceiling? And not only does it create space, it looks distinctive and modern.”

Inspiration can truly be found anywhere we look, and the possibilities for your perfect alternative bookshelf might just be endless.



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3 Incredibly Expensive Home Improvements

Created: 19/04/2017

Home improvements come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small, and can be done without breaking the bank; some on the other hand are of such a size and extravagance, that you’d have to be on par with Scrooge McDuck to stay above the red.

Take the below for example; three of the world’s most expensive home improvements and renovations.

Medina mansion

Expensive home improvements

Back in 2010, the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, renovated his already beautiful property on Lake Washington from 13,200 square feet to a gigantic 29,000 square feet. Taking a period of two years to complete, this endeavour of sheer affluence cost Bezos a cool $28 million. On the plus side, he does now have a party house and caretaker’s cottage.

Spelling Manor

Spelling Manor

James and Petra Stunt, two billionaires from the UK -- he a gaming and mining businessman, and she the heiress of Bernie Ecclestone’s fortune – purchased Spelling Manor in LA for $85 million. But apparently it wasn’t quite right upon purchase as they then forked out another $20 million to renovate their new home. Getting rid of rooms meant for a doll collection, the two fitted a spa, beauty salon, and massage parlour in its place. The whole thing only took three months! But they did have 500 workers to hand – no match for a London handyman service mind you.

Howard Stern’s Palm Beach Mansion

Palm Beach

In 2014, radio star Howard Stern decided to improve upon his Palm Beach mansion to the tune of $10 million dollars. And while this doesn’t match the fees of the other efforts above, the fact that this was all spent on creating a bigger closet for his wife, and that a whole new staircase was built just to reach it, makes this home improvement project worthy of note.

 

Image Credit: Curbed Seattle  Atwater Village Newbie   



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DIY SOS Reduces Family to Tears after Home Transformation

Created: 12/04/2017

The Pollard family was brought to tears after seeing their home’s transformation by DIY SOS for their hospital bound son. 

The project, which took nine days to complete, will finally allow Ryan Pollard to return home from hospital after five years.

Ryan, who is 24 years old, had been hospital bound ever since he was diagnosed with a brain condition back in 2012. Because of the special attention he needed, moving back home permanently was out of the question.

But now, thanks to a £180k makeover of their family home by the programme DIY SOS, the Pollards are now able to welcome their son home.

Acquiring the help and services of hundreds of suppliers, neighbours, and workman, the transformation was able to be completed in just nine days, even though the actual work put in was equivalent to more than six months.

Speaking to the Bristol Post, Ryan’s dad Dave said, “Every room is absolutely amazing. We are amazed what they have managed to do in just nine days with the house.”

The house’s transformation included the installation of a chair-lift, wet room, social space, and physio area. As well as a downstairs extension to allow Ryan access to the entire ground floor.

DIY SOS chose the Pollard family after they had spent five years commuting 100 miles a day to see their son.

Nick Knowles, the show’s presenter, had this to say: “The Pollards weren’t a family, that’s the point. They couldn’t be a family because they couldn’t bring their son home.”

Knowles, who earlier in the year received praise for a similar transformation effort, also added:

“We’ve all got families but the idea that suddenly your son can’t come home is horrific. Two hours in each direction, Rachel used to get a bus, a train, a bus and then walk several miles each end. She did that there and back single day.”

It’s quite a remarkable story, and another amazing reminder of what a passionate community can do for each other when they decide to bind together.

This was a pretty massive undertaking, and inspirational to see just what they were able to achieve. And while you may not be able to crank out six months of worth of work in just nine days, with the help of a local handyman service, you’ll be shocked at just what is possible. 

For other recent and impressive transformations, check out the following:

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Recently, the site of Jesus’ tomb in Israel was restored and presented to the masses who come from all over the world to see this holy Christian site.

Lews castle

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently unveiled the £19.5 million restoration of the famous Lews Castle, which includes an impressive museum.

The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes

This historic Israeli church was burned down in an arson attack but thanks to a massive restoration project, the 5th century site has seen extensive repairs and renovations to the amount of $1 million.

 

 

Image Credit: Really Channel - UKTV    David Maclennan



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Jesus’ Tomb Unveiled to the Public after Restoration

Created: 27/03/2017

The public has received its first look of Jesus’ tomb for the first time since its restoration.

Jesus tomb

The holy site, which is known as the Edicule, is the spot where Christians’ believe Jesus was laid to rest and then resurrected.

The Edicule is located within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The church has its origins as a temple built in the 2nd century AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian who constructed a temple to bury the cave in which Jesus had been buried. Later on, around 325 AD, Rome’s first Christian Emperor, Constantine, had a Church built to replace the temple.

This is where Jesus’ tomb was rediscovered and is also the traditional site of Golgotha – where Jesus was crucified.

The restoration is the first attempted in more than 200 years -- which is when a fire took place. The refurbishment project was led by the National Technical University of Athens.

Funds towards the work were contributed by the custodians of the site: the trio of Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian churches, who all provided £2.3 million to restoring this most holy of locations.

The tomb itself is a fascinating area, containing the very limestone shelf that Jesus is believed to have been laid to rest upon.

One of the partners of the project, Archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert of National Geographic, has said the following about this truly incredible site.

“The shrine has been destroyed many times by fire, earthquakes, and invasions over the centuries. We didn’t really know if they had built it in exactly the same place every time.

But this seems to be visible proof that the spot the pilgrims worship today really is the same tomb the Roman Emperor Constantine found in the 4th century and the Crusaders revered. It’s amazing”.

Jesus Crucified

It’s not all good news however, as during the restoration it has been discovered that the foundations of the Edicule are quite unstable, being located over a plethora of caves and tunnels which are believed to be the remains of a 2000 year old limestone quarry that served as the tombs of the Jewish elite.

So there is some worry about the future of the site, but this is only making the NTUA more determined to preserve this sacred place of pilgrimage. They are now recommending a further ten month restoration project to replace the unstable foundations.

The church, and the Edicule itself, are truly remarkable locations, not just for their historical and religious importance, but on an architectural scale as well.

The passion to protect and conserve the area is admirable; we all have our treasured spots, and projects that means something to us, and whether you are restoring holy sites, or just looking for a local London handyman to help you with your own labour of love, it’s great to see the determination to preserve the things we cherish.

 

Image Credit: Marc Israel Sellem   Almonroth



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