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If you’re leaving your house unattended for a little while, there are lots of ways to make sure your space is secured and least of a target as possible for potential break ins. In this post, we’ve collected all the best tips and precautions for you on how to keep safe and street wise.

  1. Alarm system

Having an alarm system in your home is a great investment. Not only can you go away in peace knowing that any unknown movement will be picked up on, but it can also provide a lot of reassurance. There are many type of systems available for whatever you may need, some of them including CCTV, outdoor sensored lighting, alarms on as many doors of the house as you like and even remote controlling so that you are able to check up on it whilst you are away. Always expect the unexpected!

2. Look lived in

Simple tasks like mowing the lawn really do make a difference to making sure your home doesn’t look neglected and vulnerable to break ins. Additionally, setting timers for the radio and lights in your house whilst you are away is a great way of deterring potential suspicions. Set timers for the usual time of day that you’d use these: for example if you use a radio to wake you up in the morning keep it on during your time away, making sure it can turn itself off. The same thing goes for lights: install a timer switch to set the light in your hallway to turn itself on when it gets dark for a few hours and people will think that you are living in the house as normal!

3. Warning signs

In order to be extra safe, it’s also worth making sure that anyone who may be potentially thinking of breaking and entering knows that you have security measures in place. Even if you don’t have a real alarm set up in your house or are yet to get one done, we would suggest getting an alarm bell box on the outside of your home, real or fake. This is a clear signal that you have taken precautions to secure your home.

4. A safe

If you are worried about any high value possessions you may have, using a safe will keep your mind at rest, in the knowledge that they wouldn’t be accessible to anyone who tries to find them. To take extra precaution, be sure to hide the safe away not in an open space where it could be easily found, perhaps at the back of a wardrobe or in a loft.

5. Help from your neighbourhood

If you are aware that your neighbours are around during your time away, it may be worth asking them to keep an eye out or check up on your home for anything unusual. This could be in the form of collecting your post, parking their car in your driveway or even coming in every day to feed a pet or open and close your curtains. Alternatively, if this isn’t an option for you it’s worth having at look at your local neighbourhood watch scheme to see how you could get involved and receive community alert messages.

6. Durable doors

In the majority of break ins, criminals break into the house or flat through the door either by forcing the lock or kicking it in. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your doors strong and secure. Which material is your door made out of? If you feel like this is a possible risk for you, consider fitting in a bar for extra strength and precaution. For advice on how best to install it, speak to your local locksmith who should be able to guide you through it.

In addition, glass doors are vulnerable as they are easy to break and then give access to the locks. Switching to laminated glass will mean that your glass is much more durable. Adding film will also give it that extra layer and make it more difficult to break.

7. Deliveries

Whilst it’s easier to prevent making deliveries to your address for when you’re away, trivial deliveries like letters and milk can be easily forgotten about. Luckily enough, postage services like The Royal Mail have in place a ‘Keepsafe’ service. This allows the post that you’d be receiving to be kept aside by them for up to 2 months, should you need it. As for milk deliveries, be sure to let them know the period of time that you’re going away for and they will be able to put deliveries on hold for you.

8. Home exchange

If you prefer to have someone living in your house keeping an eye on it all the times there are plenty of sites available should you wish to do a home exchange. Similarly to AirBnB, they include ratings, feedback and recommendations of other users for your safety. There is trust on both sides of care for one anothers spaces and best of all, you can go away and stay in another person’s accomodation for free! Not too shabby.

We hope you found some useful tips and tricks about how to keep your home secure if you’re going away. Remember, it’s always good to double check everything is safe and secure before you leave and try not to be too vocal about it: not everyone has to know that the house could be empty! We’ve thought of everything so that you don’t have to, 😉 have a great trip!

 

10 Clever Ways of Organising your Home

 

How to Secure Your Home During Winter

 

Christmas is over and the new year is fast approaching! All that’s left is a few extra pounds and what’s left over from Christmas day and its build up. We’ve recognised that it’s this time of year where waste rises considerably more, so we’ve put together some ways for you to spend the post-Christmas period sustainably and guilt free.

1. Gift wrapping

  • Re use your leftover gift wrapping for another present later on in the year. If your paper has been teared in awkward places or has rips, simply` trim them along the edges when it comes to re-wrapping and fold over the areas which may not look as neat. If you are left with a smaller piece than you originally had after first wrapping, use it for a future gift which is smaller, such as accessories or jewellery which don’t take up too much space.
  • One of the best ways to sustainably gift your presents is to present them in gift bags. They can be used over and over again and don’t require any additional effort like folding and sticking. The same can apply to bows and foils which may have also been used to decorate your gift. If you wish to dedicate 2019 to the year of recycling to the max then be sure to try out giving gifts in gift bags from now on – not only does it look as fabulous as gift wrapping paper, but also encourages other people to pass them on and re use them too!
  • Another reason to not throw away your leftover Christmas wrapping paper is to use them for crafts. Pretty patterned or coloured wrapping papers have many other uses. For example, say you have some pretty gold wrapping paper left over – use it to cut out stars which you could be used to decorate cards and more. You could even use your favourite patterned ones the following year and DIY your own baubles by placing it in a clear ball. However, if your wrapping paper is particularly christmassy (with snowmans or reindeers), there’s no harm in storing it neatly for next year to save you some cash – and it doesn’t take up much space!

2. Recycling your tree

The time has come to take your Christmas tree down – it has done its job of embellishing your home all season, witnessed family coming together and the joy that comes with it. Along with the responsibility taken on when buying your tree, recycling it is also an important part of keeping sustainable over the Christmas period.

  • If you have an artificial tree be sure to keep it for as long as possible as it’s made out of plastic PVC which is incredibly difficult to decompose. According to the Carbon Trust, “you would have to reuse your artificial tree for at least 10 Christmases to keep its environmental impact lower than that of a real tree”. In order to store it away for the following year, we would advise cleaning it branch by branch to remove accumulated dust before storing it in its box. When storing it, avoid places which are too wet to better preserve the tree and the colors of the branches.
  • If you have a natural fir tree this is definitely the more ecological option in comparison.

– If you have already bought and used a tree which has been  cut at the root then it would have already dried out and can not be replanted. Make sure it does not end up in a landfill as they can take up a lot of space and the tree produces methane gas as it decomposes, an incredibly potent greenhouse gas.

– The most ecological way to dispose of it would be to recycle it – this can be done in multiple ways. The most obvious would be to put it next to your recycling bin for it to be collected, however there are many local councils which have tree collection points to ensure that as many trees are recycled at possible. Make sure to check your local council’s website for more information.

– You can also reduce your carbon footprint by turning your tree into wood chip for your outdoor areas or drying it out completely and using it as wood for your winter fires.

  • The ideal way of loving the planet you live in is by growing your own tree. Buying a pot grown tree means that you’ll be able to re plant it’s roots in your garden for the following year. The only downside is that your tree must not be kept indoors for longer than 12 days as there is a risk of them dying. However, Fir trees are very resistant plants so once re planted their root systems will get back into action rapidly, allowing them to flourish again for the following year. They need very little attention over the year, just make sure to keep watering it well.

Alternatively, should you not want to buy an actual tree, there are lots of ideas of how to make your own tree out of fun materials here.

3. Food waste

Although it’s certain that we love to eat our hearts out over the Christmas period, a lot of it still goes to waste. According to WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), UK households throw away £15 billion worth of food over the entire year, generating tonnes of avoidable greenhouse emissions. 

Here are a few seasonal tips on the best way to try and prevent it:

  • With your leftover turkey (or chicken) carcass, boil it into a soup that will last you for weeks.
  • Leftover fruit can be blended together into smoothies. If you have grapes with your cheese board, they can be frozen to go with drinks or by themselves – they taste like sorbet!
  • If you use Stilton cheese it can also be frozen for future cooking.
  • Cooked turkey can be blended for turkey mince or frozen for a later date.
  • Whip any leftover cream and freeze it.
  • Christmas cake can also be frozen. Top tip – pre slice and wrap it in greaseproof paper to save you from de freezing the whole thing if you just want a slice. 😉
  • Get inventive with leftover sauces, meats and herbs and turn them into whichever pies, curries and sandwiches take your fancy!

4. Old toys

Whilst the kids are off playing with their new toys after Christmas, there is a chance that they could reject their old ones. Its normal for kids to like the latest trends as they come, so if you find that your child isn’t playing with a toy that father christmas got them a few christmases ago, don’t throw it away. Instead you could:

  • Give it a new life with another child by donating it to friends and family who may want them. If this isn’t an option, charity shops or giving them to your local council will most likely take them. You could even give them to a place of worship, sometimes churches and synagogues take in toys for their community – whether you’re religious or not! There’s always a way, you can be sure that another child will thank you 🙂
  • If possible, give old toys a makeover. For example, should you have an old toy shop which has become worn and torn, revamp it with a lick of new paint or some extra nuts and bolts. It’ll soon be as if it was brand new!
  • If you have a board game which has some pieces missing or even a pack of cards don’t have any aces… recycle them and get back that cupboard space.

 

We hope you’ve picked out some useful top tips and inspiration, don’t forget to make sure to love the planet in the same way that you have shown love to your friends and family this holiday season!

 

More posts:

9 Trouble Saving Winter Car Hacks

Top 10 Tips Cutting Your Heating Bill by up to 40%

 

 

Bathroom Renovations – Mistakes to Avoid

Are you thinking about renovating your bathroom? If so, then you may want to try and avoid these mistakes which occur often with bathroom renovations. Such mistakes may appear mild at the beginning, but could cause a major disaster long term. Bathroom renovation mistakes can cost a fortune to correct, and also be very time consuming. Many people fail to realize that a bathroom is the only place in the house that is subjected to harsh environmental conditions. Bathrooms can become very humid, and experience a large range of temperatures. Warm temperatures and humid conditions create a breeding ground for mold, especially if the bathroom lacks ventilation. Bathrooms are in constant use, not only by you, but your guests too.
Spend your money wisely. Design your bathroom the correct way by avoiding these top 5 bathroom renovation mistakes:

1. Inefficient Bathroom Layouts

A bathroom should have enough space to ensure one is comfortable while using it. The items to be installed in the bathroom should not occupy the entire space. Sometimes there is not enough space left to comfortably access the shower. It is usually an uncomfortable experience to always squeeze yourself in the shower on daily basis. You should always be alert to avoid this bathroom renovation mistake by having a bathroom plan drawn to scale. It is usually a good idea to have your bathroom design drawn up by a professional designer. Many bathroom suppliers offer a free design service, which involves drawing a 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) model of your bathroom design. They will probably come up with ingenious ways to maximize on space that you had not thought of. It will sure help you avoid a lot of sizing mistakes which happen during bathroom renovations.

2. Poor Quality Bathroom Products/Furniture

When it comes to bathroom furniture and fittings, you normally get what you pay for. Although a cheap tap may look nice and shiny, it could have a poor-quality chrome coating. Some metallic coatings may not be durable enough over a long period of time. Some may even be more sensitive to harsh cleaning products such as bleach. It is worth investing money in known brands when it comes to taps and metallic fittings such as handles. If you want the best, then consider using stainless steel where possible, as it is very resistant to corrosion. Another important bathroom item is the shower. Invest money in a decent shower with excellent seals. Simple showers are likely to stay cleaner for longer then ones with lots of grooves and edges.  Frameless showers are very low maintenance as they are constructed from less parts.

3. Inefficient Ventilation

This is a probably one of the most common mistakes which occurs during bathroom renovations, and it is a complex one too. When a bathroom has an improper ventilation, problems will start arising. Inefficient ventilation can be a breeding ground for mold. Also, lack of ventilation may cause more condensation to form, resulting in damp patches on walls. Any materials within your bathroom that naturally absorb moisture such as wood could also become affected over a long period of time. We always recommend using extractor fans that vent directly to the outside, rather than recirculating ones. Although extractor fans are essential, they can be noisy. There are many types of extractor fan which are activated in different ways such as light switch, pull cord, motion sensor or even humidity sensor. Personally, we prefer light switch activated extractor fans because they can be switched off immediately when leaving the bathroom, rather than a 15-minute time delay.

4. Choosing the Wrong Bathroom Tiles

This is another issue that is common among those who are renovating their bathrooms. Did you know that some wall tiles require sealing? If this is not carried out, then mold is likely to grow within the pores of your tile material. Always ask the manufacturer is your wall tiles require sealing before installation. Another thing to consider if the tiling grout. Tile grout is the most likely things in your bathroom to become moldy first. Therefore, it may be a good idea to have less tile grout by installing very large tiles. Also, you should consider of tile grout colors such as dark grey. Not only do other colors look different and fantastic, it will help to hide mold that will grow in years to come.

4. Choosing the Wrong Bathroom Flooring

Bathroom floors get wet on a daily basis, which is why selecting a suitable floor is important. Most people underestimate the importance of bathroom flooring. If you are choosing tiles, then make sure they have a rough surface. Installing smooth tiles on the floor can be dangerous when wet. Non-slip flooring will help you prevent unnecessary injuries, especially when getting out of the bath or shower. Some people think they can use normal laminate wood flooring. However, they soon find out that water can penetrate the wood structure of this flooring, causing it to swell and break apart. If you are after a laminate wood look, then we recommend using Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT). They are similar to laminate flooring as they are tongue and groove. But the difference is the material, as they are 100% plastic and therefore waterproof, making it ideal for bathroom renovations!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Warton Woodworks
Enjoy this article about mistakes during bathroom renovations? Warton Woodworks is a Loft Conversion and Home Renovation Company based in Essex, UK. They have extensive experience in the fields of carpentry, loft conversions and home renovation. More articles like this can be found on their Home DIY Blog, which is part of the Warton Woodworks website. Articles are based on their real world projects and experience.

We know those stains that just won’t budge no matter how much you stare at them, wishing they’d disappear. Sometimes you just have to hand it to the experts, which is why we’re bringing you these quick and easy house cleaning tips to help you banish that grime and dirt for good!

Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips

1. Reach for the ceiling

 Manomano mano mano thehandymano the handy mano diy do it yourself Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips 10 Cleaning Solutions by Experts roller dust tall ceiling fan

Tired of reaching up on your tiptoes or attempting to balance on worryingly unstable chairs… surfaces, or whatever else you can use, just so you can dust? Instead of all that palaver, try wrapping a drying sheet around a clean painting roller and securing it with elastic bands. This should be able to find its way to all those hard to reach places!

2.  For the bin

Manomano mano mano thehandymano the handy mano diy do it yourself Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips bin cleaning toilet cleaner

Clean your empty bin with a toilet cleaner. This will stick to the sides as it slides down, disinfecting as it goes. Rinse well once finished.

3. Disposer exposed

Manomano mano mano thehandymano the handy mano diy do it yourself cleaning tips expert advice hacks Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips  citric peel sink disposer

Disposer starting to get a very prominent (horrible) smell? Run your tap, and then drop in the rinds of any citrus fruit down it. Run the disposer for five seconds, and then leave for fifteen. The citric acid will soften waste as well as helping kill bacteria. Next, drop ice cubes and run again for a few seconds. The flying shards will dislodge waste. Now all you need to do is fill up your sink to half way, and then turn on the disposer to flush away all the rubbish.

 

4. Cracking up

Manomano mano mano thehandymano the handy mano diy do it yourself cleaning tips expert advice hacks Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips clear pipe tubing gap counter fill

Gaps in your counter space that mean crumbs are always falling down the side? Grab a little clear tubing, and squeeze into the space. This will stop any unwanted crumbs falling to the floor!

 

5. Pain in the glass

Manomano mano mano thehandymano the handy mano diy do it yourself cleaning tips expert advice hacks Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips flashlight glass broken shards view

Shattered glass? We know how frustrating this can be, especially when the glass is.. well.. see through. Instead of looking from above, grab a flashlight and hold it level with the floor. By doing this, you should illuminate the smaller shards and make it easier to clean up.

 

6. Nailed it

Manomano mano mano thehandymano the handy mano diy do it yourself cleaning tips expert advice hacks Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips scratching soap

Sick of coming back from doing any sort of handy work to find your nails full of dirt and grime? Next time, before you begin work, scratch your fingernails down a bar of soap. The soap will lodge itself in the gaps, and will dissolve when you finally wash your hands (unlike grease and soil!)

7.  The great scrape

Manomano mano mano thehandymano the handy mano diy do it yourself cleaning tips expert advice hacks Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips putty scrape scum soap dirt

Layers of old soap clinging to your tiles? Grab a small putty knife and work to scrape it away. Anything remaining can be cleaned up with a little help from a magic sponge.

8.  Shining floors

Manomano mano mano thehandymano the handy mano diy do it yourself cleaning tips expert advice hacks Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips hardwood floor mop

If you spill anything on hardwood floors, first try cleaning it off with water and a microfibre cloth. If this doesn’t work, mix 40ml of vinegar with 1 litre of water, and use this to clean the spill. Tip: when you get gaps between your floor, fill these in by using wood filler, and then sand it down. It will keep your floors neat as well as reducing the number of spaces dust and dirt can collect in!

9. Don’t scuff

Manomano mano mano thehandymano the handy mano diy do it yourself cleaning tips expert advice hacks Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips ball marks floor

Shoe marks can be removed by simply rubbing a tennis ball over the mark. Magic!

 

10.  Electric wheel

Manomano mano mano thehandymano the handy mano diy do it yourself cleaning tips expert advice hacks Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips drill cleaning abrasive window glass

If you have large dirty areas of your window or glass that just won’t clean, put some mild abrasive onto your buffing wheel and use this to work away at the grime. Tip: Put on safety glasses – safety first!

 

We hope these quick and easy house cleaning tips come in handy with cleaning those tough spots. Something we haven’t covered? Luckily for you we have another article – how to clean the uncleanable. Things keep getting dirty simply because you have no space? Why not check out our article giving you 15 useful small space solutions.

 

Source: https://www.familyhandyman.com/cleaning/secret-cleaning-tips-from-the-pros/

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano styled side table

Do you need a side table for the living room? Are you looking for an original piece and do you like Nordic style? If so, do not miss this tutorial to make your own scandi style table with copper pipes.

This small DIY table brings together three keys of the Nordic style: geometry, combination of materials (wood, metal and marble) as well as metallic colours (copper). In addition, its peculiar geometric structure is based on the himmeli technique. This typical technique of Sweden and Finland consists of forming different geometric shapes with thin tubes.

They are usually used as pendant ornaments, but for this project, copper pipes will be used to make an icosahedron that will serve as the base of a side table.

What you’ll need

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano tools materials

To do this DIY project you will need the following tools:

In addition, these materials will be needed:

  • 30 copper tubes 30 cm long and 12 mm thick. Optionally, aluminium or PVC tubes can be used, as long as they are rigid and resistant
  • Pine board (minimum of 40cmx40cm). You can also use a melanin tablet
  • Vinyl adhesive marble effect
  • Copper spray paint
  • Satin spray varnish
  • Polypropylene rope
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic clips for pipes. Mounting brackets can also be used
  • Flanges
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Sandpaper. You will need medium grain (120) and very fine grain (300 or more)

How To Make A Table With Copper Pipes Step By Step

To make this small table you follow these 5 simple steps.

Step 1: Cut The Copper Pipes

First, we will need 30 copper tubes of 30 cm length each. These tubes will be used to make the icosahedron that will make the base of the table. To do this, the tube is measured and cut with the tube cutters.

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano measure piping

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano cut piping

Step 2: Make An Icosahedron With Tubes

Start by joining the tubes with the polypropylene rope. This material is quite sturdy, which means it will not break or fray.

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomanoScandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano string piping

Work on a surface that is large enough to join all the tubes together (e.g. the floor), so that they form the following shape:

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano shape piping

Then tie the each rope to the points marked in the diagram below. That is, the vertex “1” must be joined with the vertex “1”, the “2” to the “2”, and so on.

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano how to fold piping

To reinforce the vertices joints, place flanges around the cords. This step requires a little patience, but when completed you will achieve the following result:

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano isohedron complete

Step 3: Cut The Board Into A Hexagon

The next step is to cut the pine board into a hexagon. To do this, measure out 6 sides of 22 cm and mark them out with a pencil and ruler.

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano measure wood and tape

The shape is then cut out using the saw. One trick to avoid splintering the edges of wood is to place tape over the lines you are cutting.

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano cut wood

With medium-grain sandpaper, sand the edges until smooth.

Finally, sand the entire surface with a fine-grained sandpaper to smooth it and prepare the wood before painting.

Step 4: Decorating The Board

To begin decorating the board, partially cover the wooden hexagon so that only a triangle is visible. That triangle is then painted with copper spray.

Once the paint has dried, the adhesive vinyl marble is placed along a diagonal that goes from the first vertex to the fourth.

Finally, the wood is protected on both sides by applying two varnish layers, except on the area that has been covered with the vinyl.

As a result you will get a tabletop that showcases the union of the different materials: wood, metal and marble.

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano decorate table

Step 5: Screw The Tabletop Onto The Base

The last step is to attach the wooden tabletop to the icosahedron. To do this, begin by screwing the plastic clips onto the back of the board.

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano drill

Finally, one of the triangles that form the icosahedron can be attached to the clips.

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano attach copper piping

After following all the above steps, you will have managed to create your own DIY table with copper tubes!

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano complete side table

Now the only thing lest to do is place in our favorite corner to give it a practical, at the same time decorative use.

Scandi style table with copper pipes tubing Scandinavian nordic The handy mano manomano styled side table

What did you think of this idea? Do you dare to to try creating your own scandi style table with copper pipes? If you follow these simple steps, you’re sure to create your own beautiful side table. If you want more DIY ideas have a read of How To Make A Terrarium.

 

This article was written by: Bricoydeco and translated. Mari Luz authors the blog ‘Bricoydeco’, she is a DIY fanatic, lover of recycling and customising furniture. Her passion is giving a second chance to turn once forgotten things into unique pieces!