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4 Ways to Add Privacy to Your Garden

Created: 20/03/2017

“A man’s home is his castle” -- or so the old saying goes. A person’s domain is their place to relax, have fun, raise a family, and to just generally enjoy life. Homes do indeed come in all shapes and sizes, as do those that dwell inside them.

Garden gate

We all have different ideas of what the ideal home is, and we all have different styles as it pertains to our gardens. What we can all probably agree on however, is our pursuit of privacy, and how to make sure that when we are enjoying our properties, we are doing so in seclusion, in an environment that is ours and away from the outside world.

So with that being said, perhaps it’s prudent that we look at means to acquire this much desired privacy. It can be done in numerous ways – here are four of them.

Raised flower beds and growing your garden

Raised flower beds

A wonderful and organic way to provide privacy to your home and garden is through the raising of flower beds. You can really do wonders by just mounding the soil high enough which will therefore elevate your plants height. Through tactics like this, and planting new plants and even trees in applicable areas, one can really add that feeling of seclusion you are looking for.

We spoke to the gardening blog, The Middle-Sized Garden, about this very topic who also recommend the planting of trees among other tactics.

“Work out exactly where you want the privacy, especially if your garden is small. Very few gardens will ever be completely private in towns, or even villages. But you can always create a private seating area under a pergola or behind a low screen. Or you can plant one beautiful tree directly in line with an over-looking window. Keep trees well pruned, and choose one that suits your soil and position”.

This is fantastic advice from The Middle-Sized Garden and following this guidance should help to ensure that private space you’ve been wanting.

Fences and walls

Garden fence

“To make your garden a little bit cozier and relaxed, privacy is key. Although you are outside, you still do not want to have prying eyes scanning your personal space. Because let's face it, our garden, terrace, patio, and balcony are part of our home” – Camila Boschiero of Homify.com

Perhaps the most obvious option but no less effective; in appropriate gardens a simple fence can really provide that protection you need. These can be serious undertakings however, so just make sure to get your local handyman service involved to get the job done right. If you are worried about closing off your garden too much, using something like lattice is a great option, both financially and in their private but unobtrusive nature.

Camila Boschiero from Homify.com – an online platform for home improvement – spoke to us about using such manmade objects to create privacy, after suggesting first to “get to know your neighbour... this way, the next time you are faced with them looking in, you can wave back in a less awkward manner”. This is of course advised but sometimes, as Camila explains, extra methods are needed.

“Depending on your layout, something more drastic, time consuming and a tad more expensive might need doing, so our last solution is to block them out with man-made items, pergola, screen, fences, you name it, anything that will fit that space. It is always important to be able to relax at home and share that space with the people you love, so do what you can to enjoy that amazing outdoors/indoors space”.

Giant containers

giant container

The introduction of giant plant containers can be a truly marvellous and visually dynamic way of adding privacy to your garden. Big pots and containers dotted around certain spots in your property can not only serve a function of added privacy but also by providing home to some fantastic plant life. Constructing something of this nature can really provide a totally different look to your premises while serving your requested needs.

Fountains to mask noise

fountain

Of course providing added privacy to your garden doesn’t have to come in terms of the visual. In close communities, the comfort of knowing your private garden conversations stay as just that is important. This can be done with something like a fountain. By installing a beautiful and interesting piece of architecture you can not only add a new, dynamic feature to your garden, but provide privacy to you and your family with the tranquil sound of flowing water. An added bonus is insulating you and yours from any annoying traffic noises that might be permeating the premises. 



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Scotland Unveils Beautiful Restoration of Lews Castle

Created: 14/03/2017

A restoration of the iconic Lews castle has been unveiled by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Scotland Lews Castle Restoration

A £19.5 million restoration of the famous Lews Castle museum and hotel, located in Outer Hebridean, has now been restored back to its former glory – as presented by Scotland’s First Minister.

Sturgeon said about the undertaking, “The restoration has clearly been done lovingly and to the most incredible standard.

“The museum and archive is hugely impressive,” she added, going to say that it was “the first Gaelic-led museum anywhere”.

The castle which is home to six of the famous Lewis Chessman – the chess pieces used in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. They were found in 1831 and have since become the world’s most famous chess pieces.

Loaned to the castle by the British Museum, these 12th century ivory figures have an unknown origin, only adding to the mystique around the castle which has been closed for 25 years.

Chairman of the British Museum, Sir Richard Lambert, spoke of the “magical qualities” of fascinating objects and that they were “a window into the medieval world”.

He then added, “We cannot say they are coming home – because we don’t know where that is – but they are coming to a place that’s taken them to its heart and that’s wonderful.”

Harry potter chess pieces

The impressive restoration was achieved through a joint venture by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, the Scottish government, European Regional Development Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Gaelic language organisation Bord na Gaidhlig.

The restored castle can now enjoy the state-of-the-art museum which also contains within it a restaurant, accommodation and other facilities.

Lews castle was initially constructed back in 1847 for James Matheson – an opium baron.

Undertakings such as this can be complicated, so it’s wonderful to see an old and historic building brought back to its former glory so smoothly.

When working on substantial projects of this nature it is vitally important to be prepared and considerate of existing structures. So when undergoing restorations of your own, make sure to first consult your local handyman service.

 

Image Credit: David Maclennan  Levan Ramishvili



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Top Alternatives to Kitchen Cabinets

Created: 17/02/2017

The home is open to a bevy of options as regards to work that can be done and changes that can be made. The kitchen is indeed no different. From new tops and counters, installing a breakfast island, to a simple lick of paint; the options are there and they can have drastic effects.

Alternatives to kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are a staple of any kitchen; we all need storage for our pots, pans and various accoutrements; these cabinets however can often look dated, bulky and sometimes just plain boring. The good news is that there are a plethora of ways to rework your kitchen storage. With a little creativity, your kitchen can have a completely new look.

With that being said, here are the top alternatives to kitchen cabinets.

Hanging storage

The simplest answer is often the correct one, and this old adage is more than applicable here. By simply placing a bar above your kitchen sink/counter, for which to hang utensils, pots and pans, you can provide the room with a fantastic, minimalist look.

Suspended shelves

A fantastic way to save space would be to go for something relatively simple but equally pleasing on the eye, such as suspended shelves. By simply having a series of shelves suspended above your cooking area – almost as if they were hanging from the sky – you at once have both the storage capacity desired and less visual weight on the eye.

Suspended shelves

Open shelves

A tried and tested method and an undeniably effective one. Allowing for ease of access by simply having a group of open shelves around your kitchen walls, you not only provide decoration where it otherwise would not have been, but save yourself much needed space on the ground.

Kerry Allen of the home improvement blog, kezzabeth.co.uk, is also a fan of open shelves, and really able to see the benefits they provide.

“A great alternative to kitchen cabinets is to have open shelves. This could be just cheap shelves from ikea, an upcycled spare floorboard or even reclaimed scaffold boards - as we're going for in our new kitchen! It's a great way to create a feature, make the space feel bigger, participate in the online #shelfies and it'll save you heaps by not paying for expensive kitchen cabinets”.

Kerry hits the nail on the head; the open shelf route really is a great and practical alternative, and one worth pursuing, as long as you don’t mind guests and visitors peaking at your kitchen attire. 

Kitchen Hutch

Open storage boxes

Putting a slightly new spin on the traditional kitchen cabinet; this tactic can work a treat. By stacking open storage boxes or cubes around the kitchen, or organising them in rows where the equipment is most needed, you can provide yourself with the same resources as your old cabinets but with a new, modern take on storage.

Whole wall cabinets

One of the biggest knocks against traditional kitchen cabinets is their protruding nature and bulky appearance; taking away much needed space in often spatially limited rooms. Well, by going in a modern, unique direction, and having your cabinets become the wall itself, there can arise an elegant way to tackle the problem. Building your cabinets into the wall, providing an entire surface with plentiful storage space, may be a large task – and absolutely requiring the services of a local handyman – but can be completely transformative for your kitchen.

Hutch

If you are more of the old fashioned sensibility, but still want to move on from bog standard kitchen cabinets, an antique hutch might be the perfect choice for you. Offering a central focal point for your cooking space, along with plenty of storage, this can also free up room above any appliances, providing a lighter look for your kitchen. These hutches can not only look great for display purposes but have great utility too.

Shelves with baskets

Shelves with baskets

A spin on the open shelve format, but with a little more privacy for your kitchen equipment. By simply lining up rows of baskets on your shelves to organise your items, can not only provide a storage solution that is easy on the eye, but can help to obscure any paraphernalia/food that you might want to keep hidden.

Lockers

Repurposing is a popular technique when undertaking home improvement projects, and doing this with regards to your kitchen cabinets can be a fantastic idea. Garnering some school type lockers and turning them into a solid, industrial like storage space will provide a thoroughly unique look to your kitchen while also providing some security against the sticky fingers of hungry children.

Sliding pantry door

If you find yourself working with a nice amount of space, installing an industrial like sliding pantry door can be a great avenue to go down. This sturdy alternative to kitchen cabinets will allow you to take advantage of open shelves while also hiding away any clutter, creating a secure area for all your cooking needs. This is a unique solution and one that is bound to impress aside from being wholly practical.

 

Image Credit: articad images



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$1 Million restoration now complete on historic Israeli Church

Created: 15/02/2017

A historic church in Israel has now reopened after a massive restoration project.

Israel Church Restoration

The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, located in Northern Israel, was burned down in an arson attack believed to be perpetrated by fervent operation to its practices. The 5th Century church is believed to be the site where Jesus infamously, and miraculously, fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. 

The good news is that the church has now reopened after eight months of extensive repairs and renovations which cost about $1 million. The Israeli government reportedly contributed around $400,000 towards the restoration, demonstrating just how precious the church is to the country.

Most of us may not be looking at restoring ancient and historical churches any time soon, your DIY skills might not help you there, but with the help of your local London Handyman service it’s really quite miraculous what can actually be done.

There have been some similarly inspirational and mammoth restoration projects undertaken right here at home. With an open mind and the right amount of desire, it’s quite amazing what can be done.

Check out the list below of a select few UK projects that have caught the eye.

3 biggest uk restoration projects

Biggest UK restoration projects

The Appleton Water Tower

The Appleton Water Tower, in Sandringham, Norfolk was a substantial effort. Erected in 1877 the tower was once the waterworks for the Sandringham estate until being taken over by the local water authority. After falling into disrepair, a team demolished the outbuildings, replaced the roof, and restored the intricate details of elaborate brickwork of the towers’ staircase.

Belmont Villa

This 18th Century villa in Lyme Regis, Dorset was an incredibly demanding project which cost a huge £1.8 million over 10 years. Having to tackle dissolving bricks to save the original building there was a lot of specialist work that had to be undertaken to restore the beautiful building to its former glory.

Fox Hall

Philippa and John Burness jumped headfirst into a substantial restoration of their home when they worked to bring back a Grade II listed Regency town house from the brink of ruin. The property, which was once replete with damp, has now been fully restored over the course of 15 months and is was on the market for £795,000.

 

Image Credit: Grauesel    Adrian S Pye



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Nick Knowles transforms the life of ill teenager for DIY SOS

Created: 07/02/2017

Nick Knowles and the team behind DIY SOS are being hailed after transforming the home of a sickly teenager.

Popular Wednesday night BBC One DIY show, DIY SOS, left fans in an emotional state after seeing what was achieved on behalf of Antonia Payne Chenye who is suffering with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

The disease, which causes her joints to dislocate on a frequent basis and therefore rendering her unable to eat normally, has restricted her to a hospital bed for the past few months.

But enter Nick Knowles, now being praised as a hero, and the DIY SOS team, who after hearing of Antonia’s plight, gathered together a group of builders and transformed her home.

Re-vamping the house’s entrance, bedroom and living spaces, the guys have provided a space for Antonia that now accommodates her wheelchair and made a sterile space for medication and oxygen points.

Knowles, who some are saying should receive an MBE for his working helping this young lady return to her family, enlisted the help of carpenter Mark Millar, builder Julian Perryman, plasterer Chris Frediani. electrician Billy Byrne and home style consultant Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, along with hundreds of volunteer builders from Worcester.

Antonia, after returning home from the hospital, was overjoyed by what she saw, saying that “You have given me a new chance at life” and that “It’s absolutely perfect”, telling Knowles and crew that they had changed her life.

The episode obviously resonated with viewers, with many clamouring to twitter in order to express their appreciation for the show and what was done for Antonia.

What was achieved here, and for such a good cause, really shows what can be done given the right amount of imagination and the services of a professional handyman or two. It’s inspirational stuff and really gets across what a community can be capable of when coming together.

 

Image Credit: BBC



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Home Improvement Projects for 2017

Created: 27/01/2017

When a New Year comes many of us look at our lives, and our homes, and consider what we can do to improve them.

Home Improvement 2017

There are many ways to seek such improvement and directing that attention to your home is a great idea. So why not consider getting your house in tip top shape as your goal for 2017? This will not only improve your home life, but can be a fun task to undergo, distracting you from life’s headaches.

So we have created this guide to the top home improvement projects that you can get done in 2017, with a little help from your local handyman service.

Frame your pictures

Decorating your walls can help turn your house into a home. It is nice to show-off your favourite movie posters, children’s paintings and other mementos, but often these are put up on walls using paper tape or blue tac, which can ruin walls by stripping the paint off.

So if you live in London and have no time to do this, you can instead call out that local handyman to frame all of your art and to hang it up.

Replace your gates and fences

Handywork Solutions Fence

The outside of your home will need just as much love as the inside. So don’t neglect it when it comes to attempting this year’s new projects.

Why not try replacing those old gates and the rusty latches that keep your home safe? This is a relatively simple task, which will provide you peace of mind for the year ahead, and new trimmings such as these will help to project the positive image contained inside your home out to the world.

Clean out any clutter in your house

Handywork Solutions De-Clutter House

You know that big, old wardrobe in your room that is full to the brim with clothes that you just don’t wear anymore? Now is the time to do something about it by de-cluttering.

Clearing the clutter from your house not only offers you new space to store your belongings, but you have also ticked off a job that you probably have been meaning to do for a long-time.

Check out our decluttering guide to make sure you get off to a great start and don’t get overwhelmed by the clutter.

Overhaul those old kitchen cabinets 

Handywork Solutions Refurbish Kitchen Cabinets

Completely overhauling your kitchen -- while sometimes necessary -- can be a lot of work and can cost a lot, but you may have already read our blog post that showed a new kitchen adds 5.8% to the value of your property. By simply adding some TLC to your kitchen cabinets and drawers, your cooking space can receive a nice uplift.

Why not look at giving your storage spaces a nice new coat of paint or for the extra yard, replace the handles and add new pulls for the drawers. The last thing you want when attacking a new year is to come home and put up with a stiff or wonky cutlery draw.

Clear those drainpipes

Handywork Solutions Drainpipes

The weather is unpredictable, one can never know quite what is around the corner and therefore it is best to prepare for the worst. So to avoid any damage from such temperamental weather, check that your home’s drainpipes are fully functioning and are not blocked by leaves or moss.

When drain pipes or guttering becomes blocked, you run the risk of damp spreading throughout your home. This can quickly become a very tricky and time-consuming problem to correct, so avoid that and ensure your gutters are clear and flowing.

Insulate and enjoy

Handywork Solutions Home Insulation

This isn’t a particular fun one and you won’t be able to show off your work to your friends after dinner, but making sure you house is properly insulated for the remaining cold months and future winters is an important task to undertake.

Your attic, pipes and water tank could all use a good looking over and added insulation. So make sure to get a professional to survey what needs to be done, and then get going on any needed work. Insuring your house is warm and energy efficient will obviously provide great benefits both in terms of home enjoyment and protecting your wallet.

Re-paint your home

Handywork Solutions Painting Your Home

If your house needs a makeover or you feel that particular rooms have become a bit dull, then consider re-painting them.

Just as with your gates and fences, projecting a positive image to the world can not only make your nosey neighbours a little jealous – sparking improvement to the area – but will put a smile on your face every time you drive home. A lick of paint really can do wonders and to make it easier there are plenty of painters and decorators available in Dulwich and across the country that you can call in to paint your home.

Update the front of your home 

Handywork Solutions Front Door

As mentioned, replacing old gates and clearing out drainpipes can start to help the outside of your home looking as great as what is on the inside. But in 2017, why stop there? The front of your property is your home’s introduction to the world so giving it a little update is an excellent project to tackle this year.

Kerry from kezzabeth.co.uk – a DIY blog featuring a myriad of home renovation tips and tricks -- made this her top project to tackle in 2017. Acknowledging that this doesn’t have to be an expensive undergoing, she said by “simply giving a front door a lick of paint and fitting new hardware, you can really help transform a tired looking door, even if it’s old and unstylish (like ours)!”

Kerry also puts emphasis on any garden area at the front of your home, knowing that it’s not just what is attached to your house that is important. “If you have any greenery that’s just becoming too much of a pain to handle, consider swapping it for some decorative gravel and some potted trees or plants instead. Evergreen plants are especially great as they look good all year and your front won’t be littered in leaves through the autumn either”.

Handywork Solutions Restoring Home

Making your home look the part, as well as assuring it’s easy enough to maintain all year round is very important, so these suggestions from Kerry are not just creative but sensible too. 

One last tip Kerry provided us with was to add some illumination to the front of your property. “If you want to add a bit more of a wow factor, some solar lights are super cheap, easy to install and even make the house look lovely even at night too!”.

There are truly many ways one can improve their home; inside and out. Hopefully these suggestions will start to inspire you with your next project. There is no time like the present after all. So take charge of 2017 and give your home the attention it deserves, but just make sure to garner the help of a professional for any larger projects.

 

Image Credit: Mike   CC0 License   pattynwalter   Annamos   Brett and Sue Coulstock   Mark Gstohl   Jason Dale    Petr Kratochvil    Timo Newton-Syms   kezzabeth



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Theatre Gets Restoration with Help of Trainee Carpenter

Created: 09/01/2017

The restoration of anything can be a task, even simple house hold jobs, so imagine how a young apprentice carpenter felt when helping undertake a multi-million pound restoration of a historic theatre.

Theater Restoration Project

This was what faced eighteen year old James Owen, an apprentice from Bury, who has been putting his skills to the test when involved with the restoration of The Met theatre -- a popular performing arts venue.

Undergoing a £4.6 million transformation, focusing on improving the theatre’s performing and backstage areas, young James really had to channel his training and knowledge of carpentry to help with fitting skirting boards, arches, flooring and parts of the kitchen.

It was quite the challenge for the former Castlebrook High School Student, who said to the Bury Times, that he really enjoyed learning some “hands on practical skills” while being a part of this exciting project. 

Like James, Handywork Solutions also provide a professional hand for any restoration projects, big or small. If you are looking at improving your family home, here are a few projects you can look at tackling.

The Kitchen

Kitchen Restoration Project

For most families, the kitchen is the key part of the home. From feeding the kids to putting a romantic meal together for your partner, a happy kitchen means a happy home.

So if you are looking at your tops and cabinets and are feeling they could use with a little work, perhaps it’s time to give them some love. You’ll be surprised at how much replacing those worn wood cabinets or fixing up that kitchen door will change your cooking and eating environment for the better.

The Bedroom

Bedroom Restoration Project

Home is where your bed is, and after a long day at work there is nothing better than heading off to bed to recoup, but that’s only if your bedroom is a place you want to spend time in.

Often the bedroom can be a person’s only refuge, so if restoring that old fire place or inserting that custom walk in wardrobe will help to improve the rooms allure, perhaps it’s time to call in a professional London handyman service to finally spruce things up a little.

Making space

Making Space In Your Home Restoration

Anyone with a growing family knows that space is at a premium. Rather than make that leap to a bigger home, why not convert that space in the garage you don’t use? Or get a professional handyman to come in and give you some space-saving advice.

If your child is expecting a new brother or sister perhaps, and their bedroom is going to be a little cramped for two, why not knock down that wall into the adjoining study and create a space big enough for both your little ones to live and grow together. It’s amazing what you can do with a little inspiration, so exploring all options before jumping ship is always a great idea.

Image Credit: CookieMonster755 JamesDeMers  Architecturist  Wjwalrus



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Company Builds Largest Doomsday Shelter

Created: 06/01/2017

There is always something to prepare for, and in uncertain times such as these with foreign wars, comets spotted hurtling towards the planet, and earth grown natural disasters, perhaps preparing for the worst might not be a bad idea – you know, in your head… But never mind that, a company in America has really gone above and beyond by creating the largest Doomsday shelter in the world.

Almost like something from a far flung apocalypse movie or something that might come in handy during a zombie outbreak, this US firm is rather cleverly tapping into world ending fears with their series of private bunkers. And they aren’t half bad. Something of this importance absolutely needs a professional touch,

The company is called Vivos and their xPoint super bunker is no quaint affair -- it has enough room for 5,000 people.  There are 575 of these shelters spread over nine square miles and they are built to withstand a 500,000 pound explosion. These guys are not messing around. 

Doomsday Bunker

Made up of concrete and steel, the bunkers are 26 feet wide and 80 feet long. Not bad for the end of the world. The bunkers contain separate eating, living and sleeping quarters, and considering they fetch for $25,000 per person, only the serious survivor need apply.

Of course all you DIY lovers out there could just go it alone. Either gather up your favourite tools or perhaps for the bigger job of ensuring your future survival, employ the services of a handyman. Really, in the end, what do you really need? Well, quite a lot actually.

From carrying out plumbing maintenance, installing boilers for those cold nuclear winter months, to laying down some wood flooring or installing a cabinet or two, a professional is actually pretty essential in this regard.

You may be in your shelter for a while, and with help from Handywork Solutions, you can ensure that you will be able to withstand the end of the world in complete comfort.

Although, perhaps withstanding the apocalypse is a job for a professional, and if you’ve got a spare $25k lying around, maybe give Vivos a shout. These guys have the room.

 

Image Credit: Scott Wylie    Bill Clark

 



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5 New Year’s resolutions for homeowners

Created: 19/12/2016

Most of us are now winding down for the holidays, with the Christmas and New Year festivities allowing us all to enjoy a well-earned rest from the stresses of daily life and the chance to relax with friends and family at home.

Home

However, looking ahead to January and the year to come, ‘home’ is one of the things that should be upmost in your mind. All too often, we are so wrapped up in the daily routine of working life that we can neglect issues that really need attention in our houses. And, of course, by the time the weekend comes around, the last thing that most of us have on our minds is springing into doing all those outstanding little jobs!

Nevertheless, bitter experience will have taught anyone who has owned anything other than a new-build property that the maintenance does stack up if you don’t put aside the time to take care of things. So, if you are one of the millions who find it all too easy to put off until tomorrow what you should really do today, have a read of the below list. Here, we name the five household duties that can’t be delayed if you want to make sure your home continues to be a safe and affordable place to live.

1) Get your electrics checked

Wires

We’ve put this first because it’s simply the most important thing you can do. Whilst you should ideally do this before exchanging on your home, a recent This is Money article indicates that two-thirds of buyers currently fail to do this.

Getting an Electrical Installation Condition Report carried out by a qualified electrician can cost up to £200, but it is well worth the price when avoiding a devastating fire can be the reward.

You should also check that you have a modern consumer unit that includes Residual Current Devices (RCD) switches. These are of huge importance and no house should now be without them – the switches automatically disconnect electricity when dangerous conditions are detected, making them potential lifesavers.

2) Get your boiler serviced

Tap

This is another of those little tasks which (like getting extra keys cut and shopping around to switch your insurance) tends to be filed in the ‘I can look at that later’ category and shoved to the back of our minds!

You should really remember to get your boiler serviced by a Gas Safe Registered engineer annually. Like getting the state of your electrics checked, this is a relatively inexpensive service (you should expect to pay around £70), when you consider that it will probably save you a great deal of money – and keep you safe – in the long run. For more information on the benefits of making sure your central heating is in full working order, and how doing this can add up to £5,000 to the value of your property, read our previous blog post here.

Whilst it’s unlikely, there is a possibility that a faulty boiler can start to leak deadly carbon monoxide. Just because this doesn’t happen often, that’s no reason for you to be complacent. When arranging a call-out can be the difference between life and death, getting things like this sorted is really a no-brainer!

What is more common is for boilers which aren’t functioning 100% properly to start costing you money through the inefficient use of energy. To this end, you might also consider having a room thermostat installed if you don’t already own one. This simple measure could allow you to save hundreds of pounds a year compared to using a traditional heating system.

3) Get a chimney liner installed

Chimney

If you’re lucky enough to own a wood burning stove, the chances are you’ll already know that having a chimney liner installed is a recommended course of action. However, for whatever reason, many chimneys still do not have them fitted; as with the electric checking and boiler servicing examples above, people who do not arrange for this to be done are putting their lives at risk unnecessarily.

The costs of having a liner installed can vary massively, but it is not unusual to spend upwards of £1,000 if you want the job done by a fully qualified HETAS engineer. Again, you will have to weigh up your options; if you have your chimney swept once a year and only use your fire sparingly, then you may not need a liner immediately. Bear in mind, however, the potential consequences of this decision – the chance of having a chimney fire or carbon monoxide leak will increase significantly if you do not have a liner installed.

4) Get a roof survey done

Roof

This most likely takes up even less space in our minds than any of the aforementioned tasks, but is of comparable importance. When you think about it, the roof is probably the most important part of our property, but it also one of the most commonly neglected.

A thorough roof survey will give you a whole load of information about the state of various aspects of your roof, including its coverings, guttering, chimney stacks and more. Blocked gutters and leaks are the kind of things which can develop into major problems if they are not dealt with quickly, and an annual check will probably save you lots of worry – and, of course, money – in future.

The good news is that a roof survey may not cost you anything; inspectors only need to charge if work has to be done. The truth is that most roofs do need some maintenance and repairs carried out at regular intervals, but – unless something is seriously wrong – this should only cost you a couple of hundred pounds at most.

5) Get the painters in 

Paintbrush

And finally – just to finish on a slightly lighter note - is something that isn’t safety critical, but is still important if you want your home to be the envy of all who enter (and who doesn’t want that?).

Most of us have at least one room in the house which we would like to redecorate but never seem to get around to. What’s more, when you do finally set aside some time to get the paintbrush out, you’ll usually find that there’s more to painting a room than first meets the eye. Skirting boards, ceilings, and all those little nooks and corners you never usually think about it will probably take a lot more time than you had expected and, unless you’re an expert, you’ll also have to learn to put up with occasionally leaving some paint where it’s not wanted!

Perhaps just as much as with the aforementioned jobs, repainting is something where it is always wisest to ‘get someone in’. There is little more frustrating activities than spending hours of your precious free time on decorating, only to find that the work you’ve done doesn’t come up to the standard or has left a mess. Err on the safe side – contact professionals like Handywork Solutions to do all the work for you at an affordable price.

As you can see, there may be more to get done at home next year than you’d thought. So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with your nearest local handyman today and get some of those pesky jobs booked in!

Image Credits: nick@ PhotoAteller Adrian Scottow Zabdiel Alan Cleaver



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New Men’s Sheds space opened by Alex Salmond

Created: 12/12/2016

The innovative Men’s Sheds movement is gaining momentum across the UK, and its success has just been highlighted by Scotland’s former First Minister.

Men’s Sheds is a unique project which provides men in communities around the length and breadth of the country with a place where they can get together to work on personal or collaborative DIY projects – whether they be woodwork, metalwork, electrical repairs or almost anything else - whilst enjoying the company of other likeminded individuals.

There are already over 350 Men’s Sheds in operation today, with more than 80 further facilities currently in development. The organisation’s website estimates that approximately 7,000 UK men are taking advantage of the tools, space and opportunities for forming friendships that the sheds provide.

The newest shed was opened on Friday 9 December by the previous head of the Scottish government and the current MP for the constituency of Gordon in Aberdeenshire, Alex Salmond. The facility, in the town of Inverurie, was allowed to be established through a funding pledge of £20,000 from the Postcode Lottery and National Lottery, and Salmond was full of praise for the building and the project as a whole.

Speaking to the Aberdeen Press and Journal, Salmond said: ‘The Men’s Shed movement is an important part of our vibrant, diverse and inclusive communities and plays a part in making the world a less lonely place for our elderly and vulnerable neighbours’. The MP, who confessed that he is not ‘handy’ at all, also jokingly added that ‘this facility is top notch; I don’t know what half the machines are!’

Anyone who has needed to make use of affordable handyman services in London will know that practical skills do not come naturally to everyone, and that it is usually best to leave most tricky tasks to the professionals! However, if you are a dab hand at any DIY jobs and fancy meeting some new people, why not find out where your nearest Men’s Shed is and pay them a visit?

Image Credit: summonedbyfells



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