Quick Fixes For The Home

DIY seems to have become something of a lost art, especially amongst younger people. It seems that the old skills are no longer being passed down from generation to generation as they once were, which is a major problem as people are not able to sort out issues in their own home.

While some problems like a pipe leak or boiler breakdown may be too tricky for the DIY novice, there are plenty of simple fixes for common problems around the home. Here are just a few for you to try your hand at if you are having any of these issues.

Squeaky Door Hinges

A door that is constantly squeaking every time you open or close it can get very annoying, very quickly. Try spraying a little WD-40 onto the hinges, while moving the door backwards and forwards so the lubricant gets worked in. If this doesn’t work, use a little bit of petroleum jelly. If you’re still not having any joy, lift the hinge pins up about halfway and use three-in-one oil to lubricate them. Remember to put down some sort of rag to cover the floor underneath so you don’t get any oil on the carpet.

Peeling Wallpaper

Peeling wallpaper is one of those things that seems to get more and more irritating every time you look at it! Use a knife to smear some wallpaper paste onto some writing paper. Next, rub the writing paper against the underside of the section that is peeling. Press the wallpaper against the wall and slide the writing paper out. Use a cloth to smooth away any bubbles.

Stuck Sliding Window

If you have a sliding window that keeps getting caught or has become very stiff, use some silicone spray lubricant to grease the skids. This should be readily available at all hardware stores and shouldn’t cost you a great deal either. Spray the lubricant onto a rag and wipe it along the tracks. This should work whatever material it is made of, whether wood, plastic or metal.

Slamming Door

We’ve all been there - there’s a through draught in the house and suddenly a door is blown shut causing you to jump out of your skin. You can soften the slam with some simple home repair by affixing some foam weather stripping around the doorstop. Otherwise, you can take a wide rubber band and wrap it around the doorknobs on both sides. Stretch it across the edge of the door without covering the latch.

Changing A Hard-to-Remove Light Bulb

Some light bulbs seem to be stuck in place with superglue when you try to remove them. Use some duct tape on the middle of the bulb, folding each end in half so it sticks to itself. Grip the ends between your thumb and index finger, turning the bulb in an anticlockwise direction which should help to loosen the bulb. This technique should help give you some added grip and will save you from trying to force the bulb out.   

Time For A Change? How To Choose Between Living Arrangements

Choosing what kind of property you are going to live in, and whereabouts, is one of the most important decisions you ever make. It doesn’t matter how many times you may have done it before, it is always important to ensure that you choose as well as possible. Of course, this is very often easier said than done, and you will probably find that it is a decision which takes you a long time to come to. However, knowing your main options is always going to help, and that’s why we have listed them here. When it comes to thinking about moving, these are your three main options.


First of all, and probably the most exciting of all, is to consider building your own new house. Now, this is a dream for many people all over the world, and when it is achieved it is one of the most pleasing feelings there are. Of course, building your own house is not easy, and it comes with its own unique set of challenges, but if you are able to take those in your stride, and you desperately want your own place, then this might be your best option of all. To build, you need to find a plot of land that you can afford to buy, make sure you have any planning permission that might be necessary, and hire the help of some professional house builders to ensure that it goes off without a hitch. Done right, this can be one of the most pleasing ways to move home - but be prepared to wait a while.


If you are not in the kind of position where you can wait to build your own place, then probably your next best option is to simply buy somewhere. In order to be able to do this, you need to be in a pretty good situation financially. Not only do you need enough money for the deposit (normally around 10% of the asking price), but you also need to make sure that your financial history is as clean as possible. This means absolutely no outstanding debt, for a start, but also that you have a decent credit rating. If you can be sure of all this, then it is time to start looking for a property that suits your needs. Remember that you have the option to haggle, and ideally you want to avoid a chain situation, if at all possible.


If you are keen for a quick move, then renting is arguably the best way to go. The good thing about renting is that it is fast, the deposit tends to be relatively small in comparison to buying a property, and you can move in quickly. This makes it ideal for someone looking to make a quick fresh start. Of course, you also need to bear in mind that renting is not the most financially sensible option in the long run, and if you can afford to either buy or build, then those options are much better. However, if you can’t afford to, then renting is often the best option, and it does have its own perks, such as the freedom to move away again after - usually - a six month term.

Easy Ways To Spruce Up Your Home Today

Something that all houseproud homeowners can admit is that the act of improving the home never ends. There is always something more that can be done - and truly, this is both a blessing and a curse. In one respect, it is good because it means that there is always improvement to be had, and the good times are up ahead. However, sometimes it can seem a little never-ending, and this is something that nobody wants to feel in regards to their own home, not if they can help it. Nonetheless, it is good to keep on top of what you can do for your home - and sometimes, all that is needed is a little spruce up. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the basic things you can do to spruce up a room in your home. Follow these tips, and your home will look like new.

De-Clutter & Sell

Chances are, after a decent amount of time left alone, your home seems to grow unwanted belongings all around the house. This happens to everyone, and it is impossible to stop, but what you can do is take a few moments every now and then to get rid of some of the unnecessary stuff. De-cluttering in this way is bound to make a huge difference to how your home feels, and you might even find that getting around at home is made considerably easier from there being less stuff lying around. What’s more, this is often a top opportunity to sell some belongings; if you find anything of value that you no longer want, either hold a sale or consider selling them online. This way, you are cleaning up your home, and making a little money at the same time.

New Furniture

The way that your home is furnished makes a huge difference to how the whole house feels, and if you are in the mood for something of a bigger change, then changing around your furniture is likely to be one of the best ways to do it. You have so many options for what kind of furniture to go for that it is impossible to list them all, but it might be worth considering going for custom made furniture, as this really makes a big difference to how the home feels. With custom made, you are much more likely to feel properly at home, and that is ultimately what you should be going for here. New furniture makes any room completely feel like new.

Fresh Paint Job

Of course, the decor is one of the most important elements of all, and if you want to really give a room a fresh look, then giving it a fresh lick of paint is probably the way to go. Here, your most important concern of all is probably the colours that you choose, so make sure that you spend your time on it and choose as wisely as possible. With any luck, you will end up with colours that you feel make it feel much more like home. That is what you are going for, and it is easily achieved with a little clever forward-thinking.


Hosting A Baby Shower, A Guide For Newbies

It feels like only five minutes ago that you were navigating the challenging waters of being a single gal out on the town – and now your girlfriends are starting to have babies! Many of us nowadays look forward to a baby shower as a fun part of the journey towards becoming a parent. However, what if you’re supposed to organise one, but your only experience of planning parties is getting loads of alcohol in and selecting some cool sounds? Don’t worry, help is at hand with our handy guide for beginners…

Decide who’s hosting. Are you going to plan the party by yourself, or will you enlist the help of the mother, sister or other friends of the expectant mum? It’s important to decide this at the start to avoid any confusion, and most importantly to make sure you don’t offend anybody who wants to contribute by leaving them out.

Plan your budget to make sure that costs don’t spiral out of control. If you are willing and able to fund the baby shower yourself, prioritise the most important elements of the party before you start. If you don’t have enough cash to pay for everything, it’s not unreasonable to ask other people to make a contribution. You don’t necessarily have to ask people for money – you could, for example, ask a creative type to make a diaper cake for your centrepiece.

Decide on where the party will be taking place. If you’re having it at home, do you need to get extra chairs to accommodate all the guests? If the shower is at a family member’s house, do they need your help with making enough space for everybody? If you’ve decided to go for a restaurant, hall or other outside location – make sure you leave plenty of time to find the perfect place, and to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

The date of your shower is important, and must be chosen with care to make sure that everyone who is invited can attend. Make the effort to contact potential guests to find out what suits best, especially if some of them have to travel from other towns or cities.

A theme isn’t essential, but a popular idea for making a baby shower more personal for the mum to be. If you know she’s having a boy, for example, you could go for cute blue bears as your theme – and ask your guests to contribute their interpretation of that.

Presents are obviously an essential ingredient for any baby shower, but it’s worth making a list of things for people to buy, like baby gifts and baby hampers – so that the mum to be doesn’t end up with lots of the same thing.

If you’d like some ideas on what to buy for the baby shower, check out this page. Finally, it’s a good idea to incorporate some fun games into your plans – this will help get everyone in the party mood, and make it more memorable for everyone who is taking part.

Viewing Properties: A Cheat Sheet

If there is one thing that all house hunters hate, it is dragging themselves around different properties. It can take up a considerable chunk of your spare time, and can be very disheartening when you turn up to find that the property isn’t anything like the advert suggested! And that’s not all - lots of potential buyers aren’t too sure what they should be looking out for when they do wander around a possible new home. Sure, it needs to be big enough and look good, but what else do you need on your new home checklist? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with this cheat sheet for viewing properties!


Can You See Any Damp?

Damp is a big problem that affects properties that aren’t well heated or ventilated. If damp and mould are left for a long time, then they can both cause significant structure damage to a home, which could require urgent maintenance. So to make sure you don’t buy a house that is suffering from a lot of damp, be sure to keep an eye out for the tell-tale signs of it when you are looking around a property. These include flaky paint, a strong musty smell, and watermarked walls. Check ceilings and skirting boards carefully, as this is where you are most likely to notice it.

Is The Building’s Structure Sound?

When you are looking around the house, you need to see if it feels structurally sound. If you don’t really know what to look for, it is in your best interest to get a building survey done. As part of a survey, professional builders and residential architects will look around the property and grounds to ensure that there are no major problems with the structure and building work. Even though getting a survey done can be fairly expensive, it will save you a lot of money in the long run!


Are The Current Homeowners Using Staging Tricks?

There are various tricks that homeowners use to make their house seem better than what it actually is. For example, using mirrors can help a home seem a lot bigger than what is is. The positioning of furniture can also help a room feel a lot bigger. Homeowners might even light an open fire or place out bowls of fresh-smelling potpourri to help make the property feel extremely cosy. Make sure you don’t fall for these tricks. Try to view a property with eyes wide open so that you always see a house for what it really is.

What Do The Power Points Look Like?

Can you see plenty of plug sockets in each room? You will need to make sure that the house will provide you with enough power for all your appliances. It is also important to check the quality of these sockets. If they are in a bad condition, that could be a sign of dodgy wiring. And dodgy wiring could result in you having to completely rewire the home once you move in!

Happy house hunting!

It's Not Just What's On The Inside That Counts; The Outside Should Be Beautiful, Too!

Some people spend months and even years making the inside of their house look amazing. In fact, most people care a lot about the state of their home, on the inside. But, far too few people actually do anything about the outside of their home. And, this doesn’t make sense. The outside is what people see first, before entering your home. It’s also the part of your home that everyone else sees. People who live nearby could see your house everyday. If it looks bad, people don't like it. To help you out with the outside of your home, this post will go through some of the easiest bits to improve.

In a lot of places, houses are made entirely of wood. In fact, you probably live in a house like this. Wood isn’t as hardy as rock or brick, so it will degrade fairly quickly. This makes it very important to look after it properly. To avoid rotting, wood needs to be treated. Usually, treatment will just be a layer of paint on the wood. But, without paint or with poorly done work, a house can look terrible. So, it’s worth making sure that this job is done correctly. Having professional painters in on this work will make it much easier for you. They will be able to do the job much more effectively that most people. And, they can do it while you’re not even home. Work like this gives you a chance to choose a new colour for your home!

A lot of homes have front gardens. And, these little patches of land are very easy to have look bad. Have unkempt grass or unpainted fences will make a garden look like it’s never been treated well. To avoid issues like these, you can cut out the middleman entirely. In recent years, fake grass has gone very fair. Unlike in the past, nowadays it looks plenty realistic for any lawn. You don’t have to mow the stuff, and it’s cheap to buy. So, it’s great for anyone who can’t be bothered. Similarly, instead of wood, it can be better to have things made out of metal. Metal will keep it’s new-look for a lot longer than wood. And, it doesn’t need constant maintenance.

Dirty or unpainted windows can make a house look very sad indeed. Windows can get bad very quickly, so it’s important to make sure that you work on them all the time. Having window frames made out of plastic or metal instead of wood is a great way to limit the work that you have to do. But, you still need to be cleaning the windows. Unfortunately, this is something that you can’t get away from. Thankfully, though, you can always pay for someone to do the job for you. This will result in a much better-completed job, and won’t cost too much money.

This should give you the inspiration you need to start making a difference in your garden. For most people, getting rid of jobs is the best way of managing them. So, replacing some of the elements of your garden could be the best way for you to go. Just remember; you’re trying to make it look good, but it doesn’t have to be grand.

Important questions to ask before tackling a house repair on your own

When it comes to home repairs, some are fine to do by yourself. Things like painting or putting together some flat-pack furniture are simple enough to do with basic tools and equipment. But before you take on any home repairs, it is important to ask yourself a few questions before you start. You need to think of the potential job as a whole when you think about these questions. Otherwise, you could end up getting stuck and not finishing the project to a good quality. It is important to not get in over your head! So here are some questions that you need to ask yourself.


Do you have the time?

For many people, the main reason why they might call in a professional is because of lack of time. With full-time work, a busy home, and social life, it could be hard to schedule in a day or two to get everything done that you need to. So that is all about the time to do the physical project. But you also need to think about the time to learn how to do things or to get the right equipment. Take painting the home, for instance. It is a pretty straightforward job. But if you don’t have any dust sheets, brushes or rollers, how long will it take you to do it all? If it is going to be a while, then maybe getting someone else in, who already has the equipment, might be a good idea. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to look, though. There are lots of reviews and sites for tradespeople online. I have found an electrician through Google in the past, so you could try the same if you needed to.

Do you have the right equipment?

As has been briefly covered above, you need to have the right equipment in to do a job. Most homes will have a basic tool kit in. But more and more people will need specialised equipment for certain jobs and repairs. If you quite like doing it yourself, then it can be a bonus for you to start building up a supply of the right kind of tools. If you aren’t bothered about getting a certain drill and drill bit, then you could just leave it to someone else to do.

How much will the repair cost?

When you hire a professional, the biggest cost if paying for their time. Because with their time comes their expertise, knowledge, and equipment. So when you get a quote for a job, it will reflect in that. If it is way over your budget, then you’ll need to think about doing the job yourself. When you think about that, equipment will play a part into costs. Your time will also play a part. If you’re having to take time off paid work to do it, then is it going to be worth it?

All of these questions will help you to make an easy decision when it comes to facing home repairs. I hope it helps!

Don’t Let Repairs Keep You From Summer! Quick Tips For Household Maintenance

Flickr Photo At: Andrew Fysh

No matter what time of year there are certain tasks that’ll need doing order to keep your home looking clean, shiny and in good condition. Every weekend we say we’ll tackle the gutters, paint garden furniture or cut back overhanging trees and invasive shrubs but often repairs get shelved for another time.. Don’t let excuses such as ‘the weather’s too hot’ ‘the kids wanted to go x,y or z’ and ‘it’s the wrong time of year for that’ stop you as household maintenance is critical to keep your home looking just as lovely outside as it does indoors. If you ignore little jobs now, they can quickly snowball into larger, more expensive problems later that may need specialist equipment.

Flickr Photo At: Francis Storr
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Check Your Timber

Now’s the time to get outside and give your property a good, thorough inspection while the weather’s hot, fine and sunny plus any chances of thunderstorms are minimal. Start at your house and don’t forget to include any barns, outbuildings and even aviaries or dog kennels. Look at all the wood sections carefully, making a note of if any of the sections are cracked, the paint’s begun to peel or if joining nails are rusty or broken.

Be aware of any signs of wood rot, holes in the wood and a spongy texture,  or if there are any signs of damp, woodworm or termites. Even though it's not currently termite season, these little blighters can strike at any time, and it’s always good to be prepared if you’ve had an infestation in the past. Neighbourhood Commercial Pest Control firms will be able to give you more information on protecting your property and annual inspections. Next, go ahead and patch up, replacing any rotting wood with new timber and sealing up small gaps to completely weatherproof your house.

Flickr Photo At: Thomas & Dianna Jones

Jetwash Those Gutters

During the summer any leaves that have fallen into your gutters recently will be slowly turning to mulch and could easily block up your drains. Other debris that the wind or any animals may have blown onto your roof can fall into gutters; this can then loosen pipes from the wall and cause channels of water to form when it does rain. Grab a long hose or powerful jet washing machine and make sure all pipes, gutters and overflow tanks are clean, not forgetting that your down pipes are draining properly into storm water outlets. The last thing you want to be doing during a thunderstorm is unplugging your drain or worse waking up to find your driveway has turned into a lake overnight!

Flickr Photo At: EvanHahn

Have Your Radiators Looked At

While you won’t even want to think about heating right now, you do need to get radiators, vents and any underfloor heating tunnels looked at sooner rather than later. Ensuring that your gas heater and appliances are working correctly as well as knowing there are no heat leaks is well worth your time. Either investigate these yourself, or better still, go ahead and take a morning or afternoon off work while a heating engineer comes out to your house to clean the vents and advise you of weather-proof heat tape you can use to keep things cosy.

Get Luxurious! These Investments Could Turn Your Life Around

When it comes to making really big bucks in the world of investment, a lot of people understand that you’ve probably got to enter the realm of investing in luxury items. The sort of things that people are going to end up paying in the millions for. Of course, just like any other investment pursuit, it’s hardly a walk in the park. But some people seem to think that luxury investment is as easy as buying anything with a six-figure price tag and waiting for a couple of years.

The fact is that not every luxury investment is a smart one. Seems like pretty obvious advice, right? In many ways, the cautionary advice for luxury investments don’t stray too far away from the advice you’ll hear with regards to other types of investments. The stakes tend to be a lot higher, of course, but a bad asset to invest in is usually still a bad investment regardless of its luxury or expensive status.

This being said, things certainly become a bit stricter and quality standards definitely become more refined. So it’s worth taking extra measures to arm yourself with the right knowledge if you’re going to start looking into investing at the high end of the luxury scale. Here are some of the luxury investments you should definitely be looking into - and the ones that you should probably avoid!

Great luxury investments

The most reliable form of luxury investment probably comes in the form of luxury properties. Not exactly a shocker, right? Of course, you have to be careful that the property you’re looking at can actually be called a luxury property. Just because a property happens to be incredibly expensive, it doesn’t mean that it actually meets the quality criteria that luxury shoppers are going to be looking for a bit later down the road. This is why you should consider working with an agency that specializes in luxury property. Meriton is one example.

Other luxury items that have seen big profits in recent years include art, jewelry, and booze. That’s right - the right bottle of whiskey can make you some serious profit in the future. Entrepreneurial interest had waned in these items for a few years, but things have been picking up since around 2014. Look into it!

Not-so-great luxury investment

Again, a bad investment at the lower end of the luxury scale is usually a bad investment even when it’s a luxurious one. So perhaps it’s quite obvious that luxury cars would be a bad investment, right? After all, pretty much all cars begin to lose value pretty much as soon as anyone so much as touches them.

But a lot of people still fall for cars as an investment once the word ‘luxury’ is thrown in. That’s because people associate luxury cars with classic cars. Classic cars have certainly made a few people seriously rich, but even they’re usually an incredibly unwise investment. My advice to you is that you ignore cars as a form of luxury investment. If you want to look into big investments, look into property. If you want something smaller, avoid cars and go to paintings, whiskey, wine, or jewelry!

Make Do And Mend: Fix, Don’t Replace Problem Areas In Your Home

When something goes wrong in the home, the knee-jerk reaction is to replace it. Sometimes this is necessary. However, there are lots of fixes we can apply ourselves if we’re in the know.


Your heart sinks as you spill that glass of red wine, mug of coffee, or plate of curry. It never happens in the kitchen where you can wipe away the stain from the linoleum. It’s always on the lounge carpet or settee. Stains like these seem impossible to remove, and it’s understandable that you feel you have no option to replace the affected area, which can be costly. However, the problem can be resolved quickly and simply by enlisting the help of a carpet stain removal specialist, and at a fraction of the cost. Your carpet and upholstery will look as good as new in no time at all, and will smell clean and fresh.

Peeling Wallpaper

Wallpaper that starts to peel at the edges can look unsightly and gives the impression that your home needs some TLC. Before dashing out to the DIY store and gathering sample books, try the following. All you need is a small tub of wallpaper paste and a clean sheet of plain paper. Apply some paste to the paper and slide it under the peeling edge. The paper is thin and can be pushed up and underneath the area coming away from the wall without tearing it. Gently remove the sheet of paper and smooth down the wallpaper to remove any bubbles. This will save you the time and money you would need to invest to repaper the whole are. So you can spend your money on the little luxuries that will make your home more comfortable.

Cushions And Pillows

Cushions and pillows don’t last forever. They become stained and lose their shape over time. If you opt for machine-washable versions, they can last a little longer. Remove coverings and wash the cushion/pillow insert according to instructions. The washing and drying process can leave them looking a little lumpy. To counteract this, place them in the dryer with dryer balls. The action of the balls will gently tease the pads back into shape and avoid that lumpy, uneven look. Clean tennis balls will also do the trick.

For cushions that don’t need washing, try leaving them in the sun for a couple of hours. This will dry any moisture that has seeped into them over time and leave them plump and fluffy.

Pet Hair On Curtains

Pet owners are familiar with the constant battle of keeping their homes free from the build-up of pet hair. Most of this can be vacuumed, but it’s not so simple when it comes to curtains and fabric blinds. You end up with something that looks like a tide mark around the base. Many curtains can’t be placed in the washing machine, and even if they can, it’s a real hassle to take them down, launder them, iron them, and rehang them. Sticky lint rollers don’t always pick up all of the fur. Fortunately, a simple device is all it takes to pick up the hairs and clean the area. It’s cheap and easy to use. Just rub gently across the fur to lift it off.

Adopt the make do and mend mentality in your home and breathe new life into furnishings. The money you save can be put to good use and spent on things you enjoy.