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Article shows off extravagant home improvements

Created: 29/06/2015

An article published by an online newspaper has highlighted some of the best home improvements that have been realised in homes across the world, showing what can be possible if money really is no object.

The article, which was published by the Daily Mail and can be read by clicking here, sees some of the most incredible additions to homes imaginable, and from spiral stairs with attaching slides to a putting green complete with slopes, there’s sure to be something for everyone. While these are slightly more complex than the handyman services in South London we can provide, it shows exactly what can be achieved by those willing to splash the cash on their homes.

Perhaps the most adventurous of all is the hidden underground garage, one which brings your car up to ground level through a hydraulic system so you can park two vehicles in a single space. There are many water-related home improvements, from a vast outdoor swimming pool with rock facades to an indoor pool complete with a waterfall – all of which offer the perfect inspiration for those dreaming about creating their dream house.  

Have a water slide from your bedroom

Other ingenious ideas include a raised section of panelled flooring which incorporates cupboards to offer added space, a water slide starting from the bedroom and finishing in a swimming pool below, and an outdoor shower at the end of a wooded rainforest trail so occupants can literally shower in the jungle. Finally if you’re looking to sit back and relax after a long day at work, the hammock which spans across the ceiling offers the perfect method to do exactly this.

If you are looking for your very own home improvements – albeit slightly smaller, contact the team at Handywork Solutions today. Offering carpentry, plumbing and electrical services in Dulwich, Bromley and other London boroughs, their expert skill attention to detail offers results that you will be more than happy with.



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DIY apps you need

Created: 24/06/2015

DIY apps you need

In this modern age, when looking to spruce up your home or tackle a bit of repair work in the garden, it is becoming increasingly common for people to give the task a go themselves. No longer do you have to get the books out, or even switch on your computer, everything you might need can easily be found on your phone.

While it is recommended that you contact your local handyman in London for larger jobs, so as not to end up like 12 percent of Britons who have DIY horror stories to tell, when it comes to odd jobs and planning you may want to do some research and attempt the initial work yourself.

Here we have rounded up a list of DIY apps you need to have.

Measuring up

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of DIY for the Average Joe is getting the maths right. For those who are not natural mathematicians, measurements may not come naturally but, thankfully, there is an app (or two!) for that.

Photo Measures is an app developed with home owners, architects and interior designers in mind, enabling you to quickly note down measurements on the go and keep them in your pocket. It saves you time and multiple trips back and forth when hunting for objects, materials and ideas. You can take a picture, write the measures and notations, and share the photo with co-workers, clients, contractors and family members.

The app is available both for Android and iOS and allows synching work between the two platforms through Dropbox.

Photo Measures app screenshot

If you are looking to do a complete home re-jig, the MagicPlan by app developers Sensopia makes it easy, or at least virtually easy. It works by allowing you to take pictures of your room’s corners, before editing the room’s layout. You can then assemble rooms with your fingers on the screen, leaving you with the final floor plan result that can be downloaded in JPEG, PDF, DXF and HTML formats.

Magicplan app screenshot

RoomScan Pro from Locometric also makes it possible to create a digital account of your rooms and manipulate them into an entirely new plan. With no need for sketching they make the process easy and it gives you a result that you can show to your architect so they can clearly understand what you want. It’s also easy to add doors, just touch the door frame without the need for dragging. Huffington Post even said, “It's incredibly simple, but seems to work really well.”

Roomscan app screenshot

Repair knowledge

When it comes to electrical repairs it is always recommended that you call a Bromley electrician phone number rather than trying to fix it yourself, but for smaller repairs such as the garden fence or replacing a tile in the bathroom, apps could help you make a professional job of the situation.

iFixit is the free repair guide that covers most elements of DIY and their app, available through the App Store, Google Play and for Windows Phone, offers all of this advice in the convenient format of your smartphone. The below video explains a bit more about how the app works, including its easy new feature for helping share your knowledge as well as learning something new from others’ guides.

Repair guides are split by category, whether that be technology or sewing a button. Just remember, that when it comes to DIY, double check that you know what you’re doing before risking anything that might be damaging to your property, or yourself!

iFixit app screenshot

Design

When it comes to the design of your home it can be difficult to envision what your home improvements may look like once you’re done. Should they not turn out as you thought, this could be a costly mistake. Thankfully, with technology it has become increasingly easier to see what your home might look like should you change a few things, as 3D models get smarter and more realistic.

Autodesk Homestyler makes it possible for you to design your home in 3D, with applications for both your rooms and floor plans. Whether you plan on carrying out the adjustments yourself or are recruiting the help of a professional, their mobile app will make it easy to see what the finished result will look like. Just take a picture of a room to create a 3D home design playground where you can add light fixtures, real furniture products and see how rugs, paintings, mirrors and many other additions will look without actually moving anything around.

You can also receive feedback and get advice via the app as well as browse the Design Stream for ideas.

Homestyler app screenshot

Tips

For more tips for your home DIY the BrightNest app has everything you could need. BrightNest is the online homeowners tips and hints site that covers everything from how to never miss a package delivery to ways to separate a room. The app turns their regular content into the accessible and useful form of an app and is free to download on Android and iPhone. Including easy-to-follow instructions, a personal schedule and helpful reminders, your home will never have an excuse to look out of shape again.

Brightnest app screenshot

These are just a few of the great apps that can transform your DIY experience. Got a favourite, let us in on your DIY secrets on the Handywork Solutions Facebook and Twitter pages.

Image Credit: Japanexperterna.se (flickr.com), Big Blue Pixel – Photo Measures, Sensopia – MagicPlan, Locometric – RoomScan Pro, iFixit, Autodesk Homestyler, Brightnest



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Shoddy DIY leaving Britons considerably out of pocket

Created: 16/06/2015

Many Britons across the UK are being left thousands of pounds out of pocket because of substandard repair jobs; that’s the message coming from a study carried out by the Nationwide Building Society.

Although there are a host of jobs around the home that are easy enough to be taken on by the average-joe homeowner, it’s recommended that expert handyman services in South London are consulted for larger and more complicated tasks. 

According to the survey, 70 per cent of consumers who were asked admitted to giving tasks such as putting up wallpaper and painting a go themselves. A further 65 per cent said that they had attempted to bleed a radiator, along with the 62 per cent that claim that they attempted to improve the appearance of their garden.

Other popular jobs to be attempted around the home included insulating a loft (21 percent) and installing a new kitchen and bathroom, both covering 12 per cent of those questioned.

Another surprising statistic was that nine-in-ten who admitted to botching jobs covered the cost themselves rather than claiming on their home insurance.  

DIY Horror stories very common

The most alarming, perhaps, was the statistic that 12 per cent admitted to suffering DIY horror stories, where more than £200 worth of damage was caused, a figure that should certainly be a deterrent for anybody considering risky work on their homes.

When speaking about the revelation late last month, Martyn Dyson, a spokesman for Nationwide, warned homeowners to think about the jobs that need doing and to not rush into them as it could lead to more damage than good. He added: “stop and think about the job in hand, be realistic in your capabilities and make sure you are covered if things go wrong.”

If you are in dire need of some home improvement and don’t want to suffer the same fate as many of those that featured in the survey, the electrical, carpentry and plumbing services around Bromley and other London boroughs offered by Handywork Solutions offer an affordable and reliable solution. 



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How to make the ultimate kids’ room

Created: 22/05/2015

how to create the ultimate kids' room

Decorating a new baby or kids’ room may sound like a fun prospect, but it can be a bit daunting. In the current market of online shops and new technologies there is more choice now than ever before. So just where do you start?

Once you have enlisted the help of your local London Handyman to ensure the space is safe and the major works are complete, then you can have some fun. If your child is old enough, be sure to include them in the design process, their creativity might just surprise you, but in the meantime we have put together a list of some of the best options and features in order to make the ultimate kids’ room.

The bed

It may be the biggest challenge in the room but the bed is a space that can inspire the rest of the room’s design. They’re not going to be young forever and if they’re going to grow out of it you might as well go all out and get a kids’ bed they’re going to remember. The current market has a great range of beds for children of all ages and at a fraction of the cost as they once were. From a castle to suit your little princess to a spaceship for your little spaceman (or alien!) the options are endless.

Bedtime Bedz is a family-run business that produces the most amazing themed children’s beds. Guaranteed to be safe, high quality, easy to assemble, fun and affordable, they can really help realise your dreams for your child’s room. The Digger Bed, pictured here, is just one example of what they can achieve. With number plates, front working lights and an orange beacon roof light all available as add-ons, what little worker wouldn’t want this to go to sleep in every night? Check out their gallery for more of their great designs.

The bedding

Once the bed is sorted you will want to make sure that the bedding doesn’t let it down. eatsleepdoodle is an innovative company that has just the answer for your little budding artist. Their range of draw on, wash off products means that the kids can run riot with the felt tips and not have to suffer the wrath of mum. The doodle duvet and doodle pillowcases make bedtime fun, where together you can doodle pictures to go with your bedtime stories and invite fun new games, without having to worry about the doodles coming off in the wash.

‘When I grow up I’m going to be…’ How often have you heard your child utter those words? Whether it’s made you burst with pride, or perhaps hope they might change their mind down the line, Children’s Rooms helps encourage their dreams with their fantastically creative kids bedding sets. Princess, ballerina, astronaut or fireman, no profession is out of bounds come bedtime.

The furniture

In addition to getting the kids involved with the design process, why not get them involved with the making process too? The Cardboard Guys make this possible, and most importantly safe, with their Kids Imagination Furniture. With a simple assembly method, kids can create and build their own desk and chair, and decorate however they please. Able to hold over 220 kg, they are hugely strong as well, so you don’t have to worry about it collapsing as they doodle away.

The walls

Gone are the days where a lick of paint and a couple of stencils can cut it on your child’s walls, instead there are now a whole host of ways of livening up your kid’s room both practically and aesthetically. Before you rush ahead with the wallpaper and paste, however, be sure to have an evaluation carried out by a trusted Beckenham electrician to ensure you are not accidentally covering up any potentially dangerous electrical faults. Once that is done you can start planning your child’s walls. Here we’ve rounded up a great selection of options to consider.

Vinyl Impressions is a fantastic creative company that design the most innovative wall stickers and decals. Producing products for both kids, the home and the office, their portfolio is certainly impressive. While the whiteboard vinyl sticker is suggested for an office space, we think it’s a great idea for your kids’ room where they can freely draw on the walls without seeing your temper soar. Similarly, many of the child’s stickers offer great inspiration for the rest of the room and its theme. The Peter Pan’s Shadow sticker is a particular favourite; place it on the wall or over the corner onto the ceiling and it will look as though Peter Pan’s shadow is right there with you at story time.

Want to encourage your child to learn to tell the time without sticking a clock that is less than child-friendly above their bed? Kids Wall Stickers has the perfect solution with their beautiful wall clock stickers. Bright and colourful, they making learning to tell the time fun and enjoyable. Choose from cats, dinosaurs or a pattern that helps them associate the time with their daily activities, such as tea time and nap time. They also bring the unsightly height chart into the 21st century with numerous designs for monitoring your child’s growth, so it really is a chart you will want to keep and cherish.

Continuing with the wall theme, children’s product company Becky and Lolo make storage beautiful with their themed shelves. From Princess Palace to Pirate Ship, even their bookshelf can be personally picked out to complement your newly designed room. They also have a great range of other kids’ room ideas to fuel both your imagination and theirs!

We would love to see what kids’ room ideas you come up with – share your photos on the Handywork Solutions Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you have any more ambitious plans for your child’s room, just give us a call: our experienced team can help with any makeover plans you might have in mind, no matter how big or how small!

Image Credit: Children’s Rooms, Designed and manufactured by Bedtime Bedz Chester Ltd, eatsleepdoodle, Children’s Rooms, The Cardboard Guys, Vinyl Impression, Becky and Lolo



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The home improvements NOT to make

Created: 20/05/2015

Green bathroom

A recent survey has found a list of top home improvements that home owners shouldn’t be making. According to a Barclays Mortgage survey, which took into account findings from 2,000 people, there are a number of so called ‘home improvements’ that could actually turn a buyer off of a property.

At the top of the list was an avocado coloured bathroom, where 62 percent of those polled said it would put them off. While findings suggest that enlisting the help of a handyman in London for home improvements could add as much as £31,000 to the value of your property, home owners are being warned to be cautious about the home improvements they choose to make.

“Simple is best”

“Simple is best”, that’s the view from TV property expert Phil Spencer, as reported here. Of such home improvements, Spencer said that while “It's fascinating to see such a large appetite for home improvements in the UK […] over the years, I've learnt that simple is best and to keep improvements as neutral as possible.”

He also said that “the UK's current view on home improvements and the most offensive styles, is something every home improver should be aware of.”

Also making the list of home improvement no-nos were woodchip wallpaper, where 60 percent of those asked said it was a property turn-off, stone cladding at 54 percent, flocked wallpaper at 49 percent, and artex ceilings at 47 percent.

In addition to superficial improvements, it is also vital to get a reputable Bromley electrician in to check all of your wiring if you are looking to sell your London property, as dodgy electrics will be more than a turn-off for a potential buyer.

When the amount of money you could achieve in property value with home improvements is considered, where a 30m² extension could add an extra £156,000 to a London property worth £464,000, it is certainly worth considering your options closely. Speak to a reputable handyman service prior to any improvements, as they will hold the experience and expertise that can help add value rather than see potential buyers turning away.

Image Credit: Edvvc (flickr.com)



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Survey finds one third of people never finish DIY projects

Created: 08/05/2015

A recent survey has revealed the real difficulty that comes with improvements around the home, finding that more than a third of Brits never actually get round to completing the task at hand.

With such negativity from the public towards common home improvement tasks, it’s no surprise that handyman services in South London prove so popular with those looking for a professional job.

According to a survey of 2,000 people, which was carried out by Halifax Home Insurance, 38 per cent of those asked have given up on the task at hand, while a further 10 per cent said that they had only got as far as purchasing the tools.

58 per cent didn’t know how to put up a shelf

In terms of the skillset of the general public, one in five people lacked the ability to change a lightbulb and a further 58 per cent wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to putting up a shelf. Adding to this was the incredible statistic that 27 per cent feel they don’t have the correct level of skill to paint their homes.

The survey also found that, on average, 29 per cent have botched up a DIY project. It uncovered that people from Wales are the handiest, with just 23 per cent making a mess of a DIY project, which is a stark comparison to West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber, where one third admitted to veering off course with a home improvement project.

If you are at a lost cause when it comes to DIY, the experts at Handywork Solutions are the perfect people to help you. Offering electrical, carpentry and plumbing services in Beckenham and other London boroughs, no job is too big or too small for their dedicated team.



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The Best Pinterest Pinners for DIY

Created: 01/05/2015

We’ve all been there: trying to think of a way to jazz up our homes, but not quite sure on the method or, more importantly, how it’s going to look afterwards. This can be a hugely frustrating situation and not reaching a decision could eventually result in wasting valuable time that you could be spending on your DIY. Thankfully, Pinterest has revolutionised the way we can plan DIY projects. Not only does it provide inspiration for what to do, in the majority of cases they also provide the method behind it and even how good it will look after you’ve finished.

If you’re new to the world of Pinterest, here’s our guide to some of the best pinners you should check out in your hunt for DIY ideas.

What is a Pinterest board?

If you are completely new to the exciting realm that is Pinterest and do not know what it is, it essentially acts as an online scrapbook where users can upload images and other media content. The content users upload are known as ‘pins’, and these can be collated by users into a collection of relatable pins; these collections are known as ‘boards’.

The Creek Line House: The BEST Dining Rooms

The dining room is among the most important rooms in the house. As it serves as the place where the family eats and shares stories about the day ahead or the one just gone, it’s integral that you have it looking perfect to ensure you can completely relax. This is where THE BEST: Dining Rooms board from The Creek Line House can be of perfect help, offering inspiration for every feature. It’s part of a series of ‘Best Boards’, looking to provide inspiration across the home – all of which you can see below.

Visit The Creek Line House's profile on Pinterest.

We were able to speak to Courtenay Hartford, founder of The Creek Line House, to find out what the inspiration was behind her fantastic range of Pinterest boards.  

“My inspiration behind creating my Pinterest boards was to have a place to collect all of my favourite ideas for renovating and decorating my farmhouse. Once I discovered all the great ideas that Pinterest has to offer, I added more boards for other areas of my life as well!”

-          Courtenay Hartford, The Creek Line House

We also asked her what her top tip is for people looking to improve their homes:

“My one tip for people looking to improve their homes is to try to keep a clear vision of what you want your home to look and feel like and remove all of the excess clutter and junk that's not in keeping with that vision.”

-          Courtenay Hartford, The Creek Line House

Mimi Jung- Home Improvement

If you’re thinking of something slightly outside the box, the ideas available on Mimi Jung’s Home Improvement blog are sure to help your imagination run wild. An interior designer and founder of Brook and Lyn, she’s a master of minimalism and cutting-edge design, and this is also represented through her Pinterest boards. Offering ideas for everything from stunning staircases to beautiful bedrooms, most listed are bigger than your average job and you would probably want to call in an expert handyman in South London to carry out the work with minimal stress.

Visit Mimi Jung's profile on Pinterest.

Bre Thurston – Home Improvements

Another example of home improvement inspiration comes from Bre Thurston and her Home Improvements Board, one that’s already being followed by almost 1,000 active users. Although her day job is as a wedding photographer in sunny California, it’s clear that she also has a good eye for home improvement. As well as providing ideas on ways to spruce up your home, there’s also plenty of ideas to transform your garden into a sanctuary of peace and relaxation.

Visit Bre Thurston's profile on Pinterest.

Lauren – Bless’er House Projects

An expert in the art of DIY on a budget, Lauren from Bless’er House has more than enough ideas to suit all types of homeowner – all of which can be found through her Bless-er’s House Projects board. From tips on how to transform cabinets with just a lick of paint to making a mock fireplace, all of the ideas listed are done so with budget in mind. By looking at the Bless’er House profile, you can see plenty of other boards that offer inspiration for other areas in the home.

Visit Lauren @ Bless'er House's profile on Pinterest.

Christine at Where the Smiles Have Been

Budget has become so important in the world of DIY in recent years; why would you pay a fortune for home improvements when they can be done at just a fraction of the price? This standpoint is the inspiration behind Upcycling: Trash into Treasure. An ingenious board created by Christine from Where the Smiles Have Been, there’s everything from clever ways to paint furniture and transforming old drawers into shelving units to even making old picture frames into whiteboards. There’s more than just one board relating to DIY on her profile, so be sure to have a good look below.

Visit Christine at Where The Smiles Have Been's profile on Pinterest.

Lynda@ Gates of Crystal

A serial ‘Pinterester’ if ever there was one, Lynda from Gates of Crystal has 135 boards and just shy of 26,000 pins on her profile. Of all the rooms on her profile – which you can see below – our favourite in terms of inspiration is Beautiful Rooms, something that everyone wants from their home. With hundreds of images of perfect rooms in terms of balance and furnishings, it’s exactly the inspiration you need to create your dream home. As already mentioned, there are plenty of other boards for you to check out, including French Country Chic, An English Country Home and even one simply on Home Improvements.

Visit Lynda @ Gates of Crystal's profile on Pinterest.

We hope these boards could provide all the inspiration you need for DIY jobs across the home. While you can certainly try out many of the ideas featured yourself, others could require the services of a plumber based in Dulwich, Bromley or other London boroughs – if this is you then get in touch!



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How to spruce up your Kitchen for spring

Created: 14/04/2015

With the clocks springing forward and the hours of sunshine getting longer by the day, the frosty mornings of winter are nothing more than a distant memory. If you transform your home to reflect the change in seasons, a great place to start is in the kitchen; here’s some of our favourite ways to do just this. Whether you wish to do them yourself or call on the expertise of a professional handyman in London, all offer maximum effect.

Change your appliances

Spring should be all about sunshine and brightness, and this certainly won’t be shown by the bland shades of your kettle, toaster and microwave. If you’ve had your appliances for a number of years you may be inclined to replace them anyway. With small appliances today available in a plethora of different colours, why not choose some which offer vibrancy? However, be mindful that the colours you choose should co-ordinate; it will be hard to find something to go with that pink kettle and toaster.

Paint your units

Because your units have an unprecedented effect on your kitchen, it’s an easy place to look if you want to change the appearance of the whole room and just a lick of paint will do the trick. If you are going from a dark shade to a lighter shade, you may need to use a few more coats for the perfect coverage. Why not check out our painting guide for more information?

Add more lighting

While this is a job you may wish one of our trained electricians in Bromley, Beckenham or other London regions, it will offer a huge difference on your kitchen when the sun finally sets in the evening. Among the most effective options to consider include under cabinet lighting or a spotlight in the ceiling over the sink. The best way to work it out is to wait until it’s dark and see which areas are restricted with light.

Image Credit: Alan Cleaver (Flickr.com)



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Survey finds that UK public lack basic DIY Skills

Created: 10/04/2015

A recent poll has found that significant numbers of Britons are losing the ability to carry out simple DIY tasks, with some even saying they possess absolutely no DIY skills whatsoever.

It would seem that people would prefer to call on the services of a handyman in London and other regions rather than doing it themselves and risk getting it wrong.

The news comes after a survey was carried out by YouGov and questioned 1,900 people on their confidence and ability to carry out tasks around the home, finding that half of those wouldn’t be comfortable with wallpapering a room. Even the simple skill of changing a plug proved difficult for one in four of those asked. One in seven included in the survey also said that they would have issues building flat pack furniture. 

The Automobile Association also highlighted the lack of confidence of the DIY sector, after finding that a larger percentage of people were planning to visit garden centres (17 per cent) than compared to those visiting DIY stores (11 per cent).

UK public lacks confidence

It comes after Kingfisher, the owner of home improvement giant B&Q, announced the closure of 60 stores across the UK over the next two years. Its rival Homebase has also said that 80 of its stores will close by 2019, a staggering statement which shows the lack of DIY experience or interest shown by members of the UK public.

When speaking about the issue, Kingfisher Chief Executive Véronique Laury said that while the current generation has less knowledge than their parents, they have a willingness to learn. She added that help needs to be offered for those people to ensure their skills are brought up to speed.

While you may buck the trend and possess some basic DIY skills of your own, we would recommend calling in expert tradesman for larger jobs – such as our electricians and plumbers in Dulwich, Bromley and other London boroughs.

Image Credit: Samuel.M.Livingston (Flickr.com)



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Poundland unveils range of budget DIY products

Created: 19/03/2015

Poundland has made a bold move into the realm of home improvements, unveiling a host of DIY products all available for just £1. While most will certainly call on handyman services in South London for more complex jobs, the low cost of the tools means that people are more likely to get their hands dirty on smaller jobs.

Showing that home improvement doesn’t always have to cost as much as you think, the budget retail chain with stores nationwide has teamed up with celebrity builder Tommy Walsh to create a range of 200 essential DIY items, all of which cost just a single pound each. From hammers and screwdrivers to packs of paint and brushes, this new range will help fill your toolbox for less.

Some of the other tools include a 7.5m tape measure, a tube of superglue, a one metre spirit level, a five-pack of screwdrivers and tubes of all-purpose filler. The range has been trialled and tested by tradesman and claim that it is robust and easy to use.

Walsh, who became famous for his appearances in programmes such as Ground Force and Changing Rooms, claims that the products are five or six times more expensive in the leading DIY stores, an example being the paintbrush set, which could cost as much as £6 at a renowned DIY retailer.

The move from Poundland comes shortly after the home improvement chain Homebase announced the closure of 80 stores across the country.

Although our electrical, plumbing, carpentry and electrical work in Beckenham and other London boroughs are perfect for big jobs around the home, the range of tools from Poundland mean that simple home improvement doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Image Credit: Martin Pettit (Flickr.com)



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