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Storing Things Safely In Your Garden

No matter what the size of your garden, it is handy to have a shed which gives you a place to store all manner of items, including tools, furniture, and maybe even bicycles. However, you will want to make sure that your shed is secure and you can find some excellent information on the safewise.com website on how you can secureyour shed properly. With just a little effort and investment, you can create a safe storage area for your garden and also deter any would-be burglars.

Purchase A Sturdy Shed

There are plenty of suppliers of garden sheds in the UK, so finding one will not be a problem. Whichever company you decide to purchase your shed from, make sure that you buy one that is sturdy with a strong frame around the door. The stronger your shed is, the less of an easy target it will be, and there are also other measures that you can take to keep your property safe.

Security Lights

An excellent addition to your garden’s security is to install a floodlight that has a motion sensor that will light up when movement is detected. The light does not have to be too bright as it will be a massive deterrent to any late night prowlers. The light is also handy for when you need to open the shed at night, and can be used as a source of light.

A Solid Lock

You should always keep your shed locked, and it is important to invest in a lock of high-quality. An average garden shed will come with one position where you can use a padlock, but you can also add some more if you wanted that extra piece of mind. If someone does steal from your shed and it was not locked, you may find that your house insurance may not cover your stolen items.

A Security Camera

Another excellent deterrent to stop thieves is to add CCTV to your home which can be done relatively cheaply. You can install one or two units that work using wireless technology, and with modern software and applications, you can check the stream using your computer or Smartphone. There are floodlight systems with motion detectors that also have built-in cameras, so you can purchase a complete system to keep your possessions safe and secure.

Do Not Advertise

Most thieves are opportunists, so if you present them with the possibility of stealing something of high value with ease, they will usually take it. If your garden shed has a window, install a net curtain, or even a non-transparent material, across it to prevent people from seeing what is inside when it is dark. Keep your shed door closed, and always keep it locked when you are not using it. Place stickers on the front of your property showing that a security system is being used, and also remain vigilant. By not presenting yourself as an easy target and investing a small amount in the safety and protection of your family, thieves may just pass you by and choose a much easier target.


Why You Can See Water Coming Out Of Your Boiler

If you are looking for a boiler for your home, you can get some excellent product reviews on the goodhousekeeping.com website to help you decide which model is best for your house. However, if you already have a boiler and you are experiencing problems with it leaking water, there are four main reasons as to why this may happen. Rather than going through the expense of a new boiler, you may be able to repair the problem which will cost a lot less than a whole new system.

Your Boiler

A Problem With The Pressure

It is very common for a boiler to have drips of water that come from the pressure outlet pipe which allows pressure to escape from it and prevent it from blowing up. Although it is common to have the occasional drip of water coming from this pipe, if you see water underneath the boiler on a daily basis, you may have a problem with the internal pressure of the boiler being too high. You will need to check the pressure gauge on the tank and take an accurate reading. If you are not qualified to work on your boiler, you will need to consult a specialist. You can type Worcester Bosch Boiler Repair in your internet browser, or whatever manufacturer your boiler is, and you will find some different companies that will be able to assist you with problems with your system.

Loose Joints

Another issue which can cause water to leak from your boiler and hot water system is loose joints. The biggest cause of loose joints is the climate, as the cooling down and warming up through the seasons can cause the metal to contract and expand, loosening the joints. Take a look at the blowdown valve making sure that it is not loose, and check all the other joints are secure. If you do find any issues, you will need to call your local service company to take a look at the problem for you.

Faulty Or Damaged Seals

Your boiler may also have worn or broken seals, which can also lead to water leaking out of it. As the water pump works, the water is pushed through the system, as well as also leaking out of the broken seals causing a puddle of water to build up. If you are experiencing this sort of issue, then you will have to replace the seals, as well as also potentially replacing the pump to solve the problem. Make sure that you fix the problem quickly as leaving it for a while could cause the problem to get bigger, causing more damage to your home and increasing the repair bill.

An Old Boiler

If your boiler has seen better days and is pretty old, you may find that the water tank can crack over time due to age and fatigue. The problem is the heating and cooling down of the system which over time can fatigue metals causing them to crack and allowing water to escape. When this problem occurs, you need to replace the whole unit, rather than attempt a repair, as it will be likely that it will fail again in the not too distant future.

Whenever you have any issues with your water boiler, do not take any chances at attempting to fix it yourself if you are not qualified. Have a registered engineer inspect and assess your boiler, and carry out any necessary repairs.


Fight back against hackers during the smart home revolution

Engineers and innovators everywhere are building new ways to make our lives at home less demanding, more efficient, and more secure. Smart home devices have created a new market that is growing at a mind-bending pace. Today, the average household has 10 connected smart devices. By 2022, experts believe the average household will eclipse 50 connected smart devices.

There are obvious benefits to this growth. Advancements in data bandwidth and technology now allow homeowners to manage their house from anywhere on the planet.By using a video doorbell camera and smartdoor lock, users can open, lock, and answer their front door all from a remote device, wherever they may be.
However, this also opens the door for unwanted intruders. More (digital) doors and locks for a homeowner create more (digital) opportunities for hackers to enter a home. Each smart home gadget in a household essentially functions as another door or window that can be broken into. Growth in the market of smart home devices has outpaced growth in the market of home security, creating a gap that thieves and intruders will happily exploit.
The threat can come from anywhere. Security specialists showed during a demonstration at an exhibit that they could take control of the lights of an entire office complex by hacking into a smart lightbulb in a single room of the building. That video doorbell and smart lock used to let in guests in? It can also be used by hackers to monitor activity in the house and break in while you’re away. 

In the meantime, there are simple ways to protect your home. While the security industry catches up with the advancements in smart home devices, you can use basic yet effectives methods to secure your home, family, and gadgets. Check out the accompanying infographic to see how you can protect yourself.

This is a guest post and infographic is by Joseph Mack from smart homeSAGE, a blog that analyzes the impact that smart home technology has on home life.


A Pluming DIY: How to Fix a Clogged Toilet

Clogged toilets can be a scary inconvenience, but in most cases, it’s an easy problem to fix. This process is less complex than replacing a toilet altogether or even fixing the components inside the tank. Clogs can happen suddenly when a user attempts to flush an object that’s too large, or they can build up over time and happen unexpectedly. Learn how to unclog a toilet with this quick tutorial.

Step 1: Shut off the water supply by turning the knob at the base of the tank where the plumbing connects to the wall. You should hear the water stop running; if you still hear it, tighten the knob. This will prevent the toilet from overflowing.

Step 2: Gently position the plunger at the base of the toilet bowl with the plunger centered over the opening. Press in gently to begin as the air in the plunger can cause the contents of the bowl to spray if you push in too vigorously.

Tip: Use a bell-shaped rubber plunger with an extension flange at the base. These may be a bit more expensive than the basic rubber domed shaped plungers, but they work better and are worth the cost.

Step 3: Maintain a constant position with the plunger to avoid breaking the seal over the toilet bowl opening. Press the plunger up and down quite vigorously for about 30 seconds.

Step 4: Check to see if the clog has cleared by taking the lid off the toilet tank and lifting the flapper valve. The water should flow down from the bowl into the pipes easily. If it does not, your toilet is still clogged. DO NOT FLUSH until you are certain the clog has cleared. Use the flapper valve until then.

Tip: If repeated plunging forces all the water out of the bowl and your toilet tank is empty, open up the water supply valve long enough to let the tank refill, then close it again. It’s important to keep water in the bowl to maintain pressure and indicate whether the clog has cleared.

Step 5: Continue plunging and testing (alternating between steps 3 and 4) until the clog is clear. You’ll know the clog is clear either when the blocked material in the bowl drains easily and rapidly. A slow-emptying bowl indicates that some blockage is likely still intact.

Step 6: Your toilet bowl should be empty when the clog is clear. You can turn the water supply back on and push the handle to refill the bowl, then flush again to test. Turn off the water supply to the tank after this test flush just in case the blockage hasn’t actually cleared. This will help prevent overflowing. If flushing does not proceed as normal, your toilet is still blocked.

Step 7: When plunging doesn’t work, you may need to use a plumbing snake or toilet auger to get the job done. You can also call a qualified local emergency plumbing company to diagnose the issue and fix your clogged toilet.

Author Bio:

Leo is the owner of Northridge-based plumbing company Rooters On-Time of Northridge. On his free time, he enjoys writing how-to articles and tutorials to help others.

Key Driveway Renovation Tips to Preparing Your New Driveway Makeover

Curb appeal is something all homeowners strive for, but achieving that look can be time-consuming, confusing, and just plain expensive if you don’t have an effective plan. One of the best places you can spend money where curb appeal is concerned is giving your driveway a makeover. By freshening it up, you’ll completely transform how your house looks. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few key driveway renovation tips that you can use for your driveway makeover. Let’s take a look. 

  1. Experiment with Different Materials

If you’re considering giving your driveway a makeover, it’s also recommended that you think about using different materials. Just because you have asphalt at the moment doesn’t mean you have to stick with it. Maybe you’re ready for a big change such as poured concrete or something even more intricate such as interlocking brick. Now is the time to check out the various materials and pick one that amps up your curb appeal and achieves the look you’re going for.

Additionally, it’s a good time to think about the layout and size of your driveway. Depending on where you live, regulations, and the by-laws, you may also be able to expand the size of your driveway. This could warrant a makeover right there! Perhaps, you’ve always dreamed of that circular driveway, or one that allows for more parking. Now is the time to think about the configuration and make your design changes before you begin any drive renovation.

  1. Sealing Your Driveway

If your driveway is still relatively new and isn't in really rough shape, then you're lucky because your options are less expensive as you can give it a pretty cheap and simple makeover. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you'll want to look into resealing the driveway. You can do this on your own or hire a professional to come in and do it for you. Keep in mind, that any cracks or holes must be fixed before you apply the sealant.

Why seal your driveway?

First of all, it will instantly improve the appearance of the asphalt. Because these sealants are a thick black material, it will bring it back to new condition as far as looks go. As an added bonus, it also helps to reduce cracking in the future, which will allow it to look good for a longer period of time. These sealants actually close the pores that are in driveways and prevent water from seeping in and causing damage.

  1. Keeping the Concrete?

If you happen to have a concrete driveway that has seen better days, but you’d really rather not change it, then there are ways you can get it back to new. One of the most unsightly things that can happen with concrete driveways is cracks. They can be quite small or rather large and deep. These cracks will age your entire exterior and give it a rundown feel.

While it would be great to avoid these cracks all together, unfortunately it's just not possible. Cracking occurs when the ground freezes then thaws. Obviously, if you are in a climate that experiences cold winters and hot summers, this will be extremely difficult on your driveway. The cracks usually start off small and just keep expanding from there.

One option to fix this is by placing a new layer of concrete on top of the old one. When doing this however you need to cover the entire driveway otherwise you’ll have patches of new concrete on old concrete. If you do want to just seal the holes with new concrete you could then work on painting over the driveway in one colour. This will help to even out the look and make it all one colour, hiding the new concrete and blending it in better.

  1. Resurfacing Asphalt

Another way in which you can give your driveway a makeover is to resurface the asphalt. During this process, a professional takes the top layer off your driveway and then replaces it with a brand-new layer. This is much faster, easier, and cheaper to do then ripping up the entire driveway and starting from scratch. What’s great is that you won’t see any patches and the driveway will be nice and level/even once again. It will look like a whole new driveway when the process is finished.

  1. Choosing to Re-Pave the Driveway
In the worst-case scenario, you’ll be looking at re-paving your driveway completely. Usually, this is reserved for driveways that are 20 years or older, have been sealed numerous times over the years, have large cracks, potholes, and are uneven. At this point, the driveway has basically reached its maximum lifespan. If you’re looking to repave your driveway, you need to start by:

Choose your new pavers and get them positioned and secured into place using a layer of concrete to push them into.


  • Pulling up the old pavers to make way for the new pavers.
  • Evening out the ground to ensure its level for the new pavers to be placed down.
  • Work out the square meterage you need to ensure you have enough pavers for the job.

It’s important to remember that you mustn’t drive on your driveway for a few days as this can create the pavers to become loose or move into awkward positions.

What If You Don’t Have Money For A Professional?

If you want to renovate your driveway but you don’t have the funds to bring in a professional here’s some things to think of:

  • Add flowerbeds beside the driveway to help give it colour and beauty throughout the year. The flowers should be those that are able to withstand different weather changes and be exposed to the elements. They should also be low to the ground growing (unlike roses) to ensure your car won’t get damaged if they get too big and rub against the car.
  • Depending on your driveway, you can also add a layer of smooth rocks or pebbles on top of the current driveway (if it’s dirt related) to give it more texture and appeal. Pebble driveways look great and are a cheaper alternative to hiring a professional.
  • Repaint the driveway if it’s a little outdated or if you want to upgrade the look and don’t have the money. Many people opt to repaint the driveway to help give it a more modern look without the expense attached.
Don’t Be Afraid to Step Outside the Box
When it comes to a driveway makeover the best advice is not to be afraid to step outside the box. Start by setting your budget, then think about what look you’re going for and the practicality. Before you know it, your new driveway will add the curb appeal and usefulness that you’ve long desired.

Jimmy Stanley
Jimmy Stanley founded PSI Paving in 2004. Their expert team of paving contractors are considered the best in the business. Honesty is a hallmark at PSI Paving, so you can rest assured that our team will take great care every step of the way to give you the outcome you want.


Advantages Of Using Engineered Oak Flooring

There are many advantages to using engineered oak flooring. For example, a walnut finish floor can be quite beautiful. A high gloss engineered oak floor can change the interior of the entire home. You are sure to receive many compliments on a high gloss engineered oak floor. 

Oak Flooring

Engineered wood flooring has a unique and feel. Anyone looking at your floor for the first time will certainly notice the beauty and elegance. An engineered wood floor looks absolutely authentic and it certainly will add great beauty to just about any home. If, in fact, you are seriously considering engineered oak wood flooring, it would be best to find one of the trusted suppliers of oak flooring in Melbourne like Market Timbers.

Another huge advantage of having an engineered wood floor is that the floor will never expand or contract. Hard wood floors will easily expand and contract depending upon the temperature within the home. For example, the cold winter months can cause real wood to actually expand. In addition, the warm summer temperatures can cause a wood floor to contact. Hard wood flooring actually can shift a bit due to changes in temperature and overall weather conditions. You should not run into any of these problems with an engineered oak wood floor.

Flooring made from different types of treated plywood offer much more durability than traditional wood flooring. Traditional wood is not very durable and it tends to become more of a problem if you spill something directly on the floor itself. Therefore, clean-up is so much easier with an engineered oak floor.

Another great advantage to having engineered oak flooring is that you can easily sand the floor and refinish quite easily. Wood floors can be sanded and re finished however, it may be more of a chore to refinish as opposed to an engineered wood floor.

If you plan to install the new floor yourself, you can count on the fact that an engineered floor is a great deal easier to install than a traditional wood floor. In addition, the fact that this type of floor is easier to install it will certainly be less time consuming to complete the job.

Cost Effective & Stylish

Possibly the most attractive feature of an engineered oak floor is that it is far less costly than wood. For anyone on a budget, an engineered wood floor is far less expensive and it will not drain your bank account.

If you plan on selling your home, a new engineered wood floor will certainly add value to your existing home. Therefore, you may find that replacing an existing floor with an engineered oak floor will increase the overall re sale value of your existing home.

Having engineered oak flooring installed within a home offers a number of advantages to the homeowner. There are so many styles of engineered wood flooring in which to choose from. Always remember, any improvements you make within the interior of the home will certainly be beneficial for a variety of reasons in the long run.


Interior design tips for first-time homeowners in London

Choosing your first home is one of the biggest decisions you can make, and it can be even tougher to decide how to decorate it because it is this process that will make it go from a house to a home. Decorating and furnishing a whole house from top to bottom is a tough task but these tips and some careful planning should make it easier.

Stick to a budget
The first thing you need to do when it comes to decorating is to know how much you intend to spend. As it’s your first home, it can be easy to get carried away with new furniture and decorations that you think will look good in your home but this can often mean you’ll end up spending more than you have. Always shop around for deals and discounts before you commit and if you have some spending money left over once you’ve got the essentials, you can always treat yourself with something on your wish list. 

Start with neutral tones
Sticking with neutral colours can be a good starting point for any first home design. Colours such as white, cream, black and grey are easily dressed up with splashes of colour here and there in things such as rugs, cushions, and throws. If you’re struggling for inspiration when it comes to neutral colours, asking help from a professional service such as Kia Designs, interior designers based in London, could help you create a starting point for each room.

Be frugal at first
This tip ties with the idea of sticking to a budget and can be another difficulty for first-time home buyers. You’ll probably have the overwhelming desire to buy everything all at once, but more often than not it’s better to start with very little and before you expand. If you know, you can do without a sofa for a while, wait until you’ve shopped around a little more to get the best deal. Sometimes it’s better to live in your house for a while to figure out exactly what you’re going to need.

One room at a time
By treating your home as a large project and working on the design of one room at a time, you’ll be able to have a clearer idea of exactly what you want to achieve without the stress of thinking about other rooms. Break tasks down into smaller, more manageable parts and this way you’ll be a lot less overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do.

Stay focused on your ideas
Creating mood boards can have advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage is something that we’ve already covered, the fact that you’ll probably want to buy everything all at once, but an advantage is that it will keep you focused on what you have in mind for each room in your new home. Compile photos, paint colours and fabric samples that you can take with you when you’re finally buying your furniture.

8 Top Tips to creating a luxurious living room

Want to know how to create a luxurious living room? Then read on to discover our top tips for creating a sumptuous haven for your family. Whether you want to revamp the whole room or simply add a few luxurious accents, there are lots of options available to you.     
  1. A touch of velvet
Create luxury in your living room by introducing a range of textures and fabrics. Velvet strikes a particularly luxurious note, and velvet sofas in jewel-like colours have been cited as a top style trend for 2017. If you don’t want to replace your sofa, then think about adding a plush throw, or a few scatter cushions to your interior design scheme.      

  1. A chandelier
For an opulent feel add a chandelier to your decorating scheme. You’ll find examples aplenty from affordable versions on your local high street to vintage examples in antique shops and at your local auction house. Lighting fixtures are often the element of a decorating scheme that gets forgotten, but with a chic chandelier, you’ll achieve an opulent look in your living room.     
  1. Art deco
Art deco style abounds in interior design at the moment, and it lends itself well to creating a luxurious feel, from angular mirrors to occasional tables with marble tops. Strong colour contrasts are evident too, as in the dining room of the Courtauld House at Eltham Palace, where black and gold reign supreme. Add key design motifs of the Deco style from the stepped profile to the Egyptian-inspired key design, sunrises, zig zags and stylised flowers. Here too shiny decadent fabrics are evident, just right for the luxurious feel you’re trying to create.  
  1. Fireplace
Fireplaces create a striking focal point in a living and can add a luxurious note depending on the material and style employed. Look to Victorian or Georgian styles in carrara marble, limestone or granite to help create your luxurious living room. If you don’t have an open fireplace, there are plenty of gas or electric alternatives which echo vintage styles.     
  1. Furniture that’s a cut above
Quality tells, and it’s worth splashing out on well-crafted furniture for your living room to help create that luxurious look. Oak has long been associated with quality when it comes to furniture and French oak strikes just the right note for a luxury feel, so seek out some stylish examples for your home. Whether you want a cabinet to hold your TV, to create a dining area or to add some valuable storage to your home, there are a plethora of pieces from which to choose.     

  1. A rug
Nothing speaks of luxury like a rug, whether you choose a jewel-like colour to complement your sofa or a striking geometric pattern to echo the Art deco influence we’ve mentioned. There’s sure to be an example to suit every style and budget, with a plethora of options available online, on the high street or in your local antique shop. The texture, style, size and colour of a rug can transform a room, and there are some things you should consider before buying one. Firstly, consider what you want the rug to do; draw attention to the main focal point of your living room or become the focal point of a room. Size is also an important consideration; go for a small size to highlight a bijou but exquisite piece of furniture or larger size to pull together your whole interior design scheme. A rich colour, deep texture or ornate pattern is most likely to create a luxurious feel. If your living room is currently, plain, pale and smooth, it will break up the monotony and add some warmth to your interior.            
  1. Crystal
Though the cut glass vase and punch bowl might not have the best reputation and have been out of favour for some time, an element of crystal in your living room can help create the luxurious feel you’re seeking. Look a little deeper, and you’ll see that the designs can be  much more cutting edge than you might at first anticipate. From the wow factor of a chandelier to a pair of candlesticks to top your fireplace or a mere door knob to put the finishing touch to your interior design scheme – there is bound to be something to suit you. From a piece of vintage Lalique to a contemporary design by the likes of John Rocha or Jasper Conran, the options available are many and varied.       
  1. Window dressing
A crucial factor to consider when creating a luxurious interior design scheme is the treatment of the windows in your living room. Choose a heavy fabric such as a damask or velvet to add to that opulent feel and consider the added extras such as coordinating pelmets and tie backs.
So there you have our eight top tips for creating a luxurious living room, from quality keynote furniture to opulent fabrics, vintage elements and crystal accents. We hope you’ve found it helpful and that you’re well on the way to creating the opulent living room you desire.