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Home Insulation

As winter draws near and the cold begins to set in it is a good idea tyo consider checking your insulation and repairing or replacing to keep the warmth in.

Home insulation has a number of benefits including keeping the heat in and lowering your electricity/gas heating usage. Never underestimate the cost involved in leaking hot air through broken windows, poor insulation, gaps under your doors or windows/doors left open. read more

Solar heating for Pools

A swimming pool solar heating system allows you to enjoy your swimming pool all year round, providing beautifully warm water at almost zero cost after installation and without putting any strain on the electricity grid.

Solar heating system for pools are vary quite significantly and of course the most important aspect is the longevity of the pool solar water heating system. All to often the cheapest system is not the most effective in the long run but it is still important to do the calculations on a cost per year basis. It is very important to take a look at the solar system warranty and exactly what it covers.

Alternative to home mortgage finance

An alternative to Bond finance geared at small business owners. Small to medium business owners are finding it more and more difficult to qualify for bonds from South African banks who are desperately afraid of the high failure rate of new businesses in South Africa.

Banks are risk averse these days that if you are self employed, in a sales position without a fixed salary or any other employment where you have no guaranteed fixed amount of income, getting a bond is becoming almost impossible, even with large deposits and security, Crazy as it may seem, this is the reality of the home loan market.

How to decorate your plug and light switch plates

If you love to decorate and paint your rooms in your home, then this is the perfect project for you. Hardly anyone thinks about decorating the light switch covers or the plug covers to match the rest of the room or to add a little “this is my room”.

This project is so easy and cost effective, and will give your rooms that extra piece of character that it has never had before and don’t forget, with the holidays coming up, you can get the kids making the perfect home-made Christmas gifts. Just be sure to take a peek at their switches before you go about buying spares.

A new kitchen for the price of a few doors!

replace-kitchen-doorsAfter a few years in any home, there are few who would not like a brand new kitchen. All it takes is replacing doors and handles which are all standard sizes and you don’t have to be a professional to replace those out dated, lifeless and boring kitchen cupboard doors and handles. It is easy enough for anyone to do, and will only take a few hours of your time.  But what is a few hours of work compared to the totally new look that you will give your kitchen, not to mention the extra attention your better half will give you to say thank you.

You can effectively get a brand new kitchen without so much as making a phone call to a kitchen contractor. Providing the inside shell of your kitchen cupboards are in reasonably good shape, you are set to give your kitchen and the value of your home a boost at very little expense.

Let’s get started

The first logical step would be to plan your project ahead of time.  Make a list of how many cupboard doors need to be replaced, taking note if they are left hand or right hand opening doors and measure the size of the doors.  Next you need to decide what type of style would best suit your kitchen.  You also need to decide if you would prefer wooden, plastic or uPVC doors.  Obviously the wooden doors will be more costly, whereas the plastic or uPVC will be more cost effective if the budget is a bit low.

Clear away any mess or clutter.  You want things running smoothly and not be interrupted by having to clean things away.

Before rushing out to buy the cupboard doors first check to see if the existing hinges are still sturdy on the cupboard doors and drawers.  Replace any hinges that are not strong or secure.  It could be very frustrating if you are halfway through and the hinges give way, or a few months down the line the doors fall off.  Most cupboard doors are pre-drilled to accommodate industry standard 35mm diameter hinges, which can be purchased from most DIY shops or your local hardware.  Important to know is that hinges are inexpensive and yet they extend your cupboard life by a considerable length of time.

Next step would be to measure the cupboard doors.  The standard industry practice is to take the cabinet width as it stands (with the door open) and deduct 4mm (i.e. a 500mm cupboard would require a 496mm door).  You will also have to measure the height of the cupboard.  Please remember to keep track of what measurements belong to which cupboard (use a numerical or alphabetical system, they work the best).  By keeping track it will make things so much easier when you are ready to start the fitting.  Depending on which direction the cupboard doors open, you must make a note of left or right. Lucky for you you won’t even need to do that, in South Africa, kitchen cupboard doors are pretty much standard sizes from any manufacturer

If you will not be making a purchase of pre-drilled doors, you will have to drill new holes yourself that attach to the old hinges.

You also have to decide how far you want your cupboard doors to open.  You have a choice between a 110 degree angle for those compact spaces, or the 165 degree angle for easy access while taking groceries out or to pack groceries in.  You might need a few of each for different sections of the kitchen.  Once again it will be a good idea to make notes of which doors you want where.

Once you have purchased the required doors, you can now start to remove the old cupboard doors one by one, starting from one end of the kitchen and working your way to the other end.  You can remove the doors by using a drill or a screw driver, making sure not to damage the main wall attachment, hinges or the kitchen surfaces.

Next, once again starting from one end of the kitchen, replace the new cupboard doors one by one.  If the doors are too heavy or tricky to move ask a friend or family member to help you to hold the door steady while you fit them in place.  Attach the hinges to the doors through the pre-drilled holes, and remember to make sure you are fitting the correct door to the correct cupboard before you start.   Once you have fitted all the doors, test them by opening and closing them.  Make sure they are all sturdy, and that they open to the correct degree that you want them to.

Beautiful DIY Towel rack using old ceramic taps

diy-towel-rackNeed some more hanging space in your bathroom for extra towels or to hang your bath robe?  This is the perfect do it yourself project to get more hanging space.  The total time to make is about 1-2 hours.  And if you are worried about the skills required to do this project not to worry it is very easy to make. Give your bathroom an extra shelf, extra hanging space and add some character. These also make fantastic homemade Christmas gifts that every parent or grand parent will love.

What you will need

3 x porcelain handles
Scrap boards or weathered wood
2 x shelf brackets
3 x dummy spindles
2.5cm screws

The tools you will need

Tape measure
Combination square


Cut the wood to the size you would like your towel rack to be (about 40cm is perfect for a 3 tap rack).  Then using a measuring tape, divide the board into 5 including the edges and use markers 2,3 and 4 as your tap positions.

Next you must trace a line on the board where the top shelf will sit so that you can determine how high to position the supporting brackets on either side.

Now mark on the board where the bracket fasteners will go, remember to leave an inch from the side and to position the tops just below the pencil line you have made.

Fasten the bracket supports to the board with screws.

Place the posts (inards of the taps) on the marks and drill pilot holes for their screws.  Then secure the posts to the board.

Next mix two-part fast-drying epoxy formulated for bonding metal.  Spread the epoxy on the rims of the porcelain taps and place them over the spindles.

Fill the metal insides at the base of the handles with epoxy and then fit them on top of the spindles.  Wipe away any epoxy that might be seeping out, and wait 5 minutes for it to set (it will take about 1 hour for it to cure)

Next you must rest the shelf top on the brackets.  Drill pilot holes and use self tapping screws to screw through the back of the mounting board and into the edge of the shelf.

The only thing left to do is find the right spot in the bathroom for your new towel rack.