Beautiful DIY Towel rack using old ceramic taps

Beautiful DIY Towel rack using old ceramic taps

Need 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.

Over bath glass shower panel installation

Over bath glass shower panel installation

Luxurious as a bath is, a shower is always handy for those refreshing wake up morning showers, or if you are in a hurry and dont have the time to sink deep into a bath filled with bubbles.  Here we will show you step by step how to install a glass screen next to the bath.  This way you will have the benefit of both bath and shower without having to use extra space.

What you will need

All items are available at your larger building supply/plumbing supply stores.

Glass Screen

Adhesive (No more nails)

Wall plugs and screws

Wooden batten


You will need to fix a wooden batten to the wall if your tiles do not go up to the roof.  The batten must be the same thickness of the tiles, and the width must be the same as the glass screen.

Once you have determined where the batten must be fixed to the wall, mark on the wall where it must go.  You have to make sure that the batten is level.  Drill corresponding holes into the batten and in the wall. Insert plugs into the holes.  Now apply no more nails adhesive to the back of the batten.  Next fix the batten to the wall using wall screws.

Put the fitting against the wall next to the batten and determine where the holes must be drilled through the batten and into the wall.  Next drill the holes and put plugs into the holes.  Apply the adhesive to the back of the fitting.  Position the fitting and then screw it to the wall.

Lastly attach the glass screen to the fitting as per the products specifications.

Please note that you will need to install a shower head and fittings for the shower which you can call a local plumber to do.

What can a Second Bond be used for?

What can a Second Bond be used for?

second bondA second bond over your property can essentially be used for anything you wish to use it for but is most often used to add rooms, renovate, install paving or fencing. Typically people use their second bond to improve their homes but what we are seeing more and more of is people using the money from their second bond to settle existing debts and reduce their debt repayments. This is commonly known as debt consolidation

The reason people are able to use their second bond for anything or as a debt consolidation tool is that when you apply for a second bond, the bank values your property at current values and if there is an increase in value and the credit department is satisfied that you will be able to repay the increased bond amount, then they will give you the money.

If your application is turned turned down due to the amount of debt you currently have and your intention is to repay that debt with the money from the second bond and effectively reduce your monthly debt repayments, it makes sense that the bank should grant the second bond. In this case you need to prepare a file of all of the debt that want to settle with the second bond and do a spreadsheet showing the principle amount, monthly fees, interest rate and monthly interest charges and the capital repayment amount, giving you a total for each short term debt. Make an appointment with the bond originator or your bank and present the file and spreadsheet to them as a way of motivating the approval of the second bond.

When seeking loans from banks it is very important to show them that you are willing and able to repay the loan, are in control of your finances and are taking control of your financial destiny. Getting a second bond can give an indebted family a second chance and the money should be used very wisely.

If you have ever been given the opportunity to settle bedt and effectively been allowed to breathe again by using your second bond as a debt reduction tool, you will know the value of reducing the capital amount with every spare penny that you have, just in case you might need a cash injection in the future. We just never know what could occur, a family member might need help, you may be retrenched or want to start a new business or your child may need to go overseas to compete and chase their dreams. having access to cash at any time from your second bond could just be what makes it all possible.

Consolidating debt using your Bond account

Consolidating debt using your Bond account

If you are labouring under numerous different debt repayments that are high interest short term loans like clothing accounts, short term loans, vehicle finance or just owe someone you know money that you would really like to pay back as soon as possible then consolidating your debt using the equity in your home could be the right choice for you.

When you have many small accounts, each of them has a service fee/monthly fee (not interest), maybe a card fee and of course interest at a rate that is probably higher than prime plus 10 or 12%. When you add up all the fees and interest you will be shocked at what it actually costs to borrow such small amounts or how much it costs to buy on credit from stores. You may have a child on the way or inflation has just got the better of you, you may have a family member that needs help or a medical issue that is costing a lot more than anticipated.

debt consolidationIt is at times like these where we fear that we are not going to be able to service all the short term debt that we have which may end up with us being listed with a credit bureau, that we need to consider debt consolidation using our bonds.

What you are effectively doing when consolidating your debt, is taking all of the small amounts that you owe and paying them off with the money available to you in your home loan. Your home loan is a much lower interest bearing loan than any credit facility or short term loan and can very effectively reduce your repayments by as much as half or even more. What you do need to be aware of, is that you are now paying off a short term debt over a much longer period when you consolidate your debt using your home loan.

Debt consolidation is meant to get you over the hump, avoid getting a negative credit report and allow you to breathe while you plan your way forward. Once you are over the hump you are able to make additional payments into your bond without any penalties for early settlement and effectively free up capital again in case you need it.

Low Interest Personal Loans South Africa

Low Interest Personal Loans South Africa

Low interest personal loans are almost unheard of these days although if we consider the interest rate history in the last 20 years, any personal loan would seem like low interest in 2000 – 2001 where interest rates were around 20-23% and that was bond rates. Can you imagine what the credit card and personal loan interest rates were (around 35%).

This of course is of little concern to those needing short term loans to deal with an issue right now, I just wanted to put it into perspective and illustrate that interest rates move constantly.

Low Interest personal loan

personal loanThe best way to get a personal loan at a lower interest rate is to reduce the banks risk of getting repaid and how you do this is by offering some for of security for the loan. This could be in the for of a cession of a Life Insurance that has a cash value or something of value that the bank could easily convert to cash in the event of a default on your part. Kruger Rands, Gold coins or other similar investments would be an excellent way to insure that the interest rate you got on your personal loan was as low as possible.

What a lot of people neglect to do is to negotiate the rates. If you do not ask for a better interest rate the bank will not give you one, so ask for a better rate on the basis that their risk is reduced or almost nil if you secure it.

Banks and other financial institutions will not necessarily offer short term loans in that it is not their business. The banks and major financial institutions want to lend money over longer periods of time and the way they would likely approach a short term loan is to increase your overdraft for a period which reduces monthly.

Unsecured personal loan

An unsecured personal loan is best taken up with specialist short term lenders that offer loans ranging from a few hundred Rand to less than R10 000. If you wanted a R7000 loan over 6 months to settle something that is very important, then a specialist lender would offer you an unsecured personal loan for a few weeks/months but at a much higher interest rate.

These unsecured lenders all have websites where you can make your short term loan application online and get a very quick answer. Always remember to read the small print when entering into any loan agreement.