How to unblock a sink

How to unblock a sink

Plumbing
Large bucket Adjustable wrench Auger Sink plunger Pump plunger A drain full of hair, soap scum and general household gunk can be smelly, unsanitary and downright annoying. The good news is that it only takes a few minutes to unblock it and get the water washing away freely. You don't have to use any corrosive drain cleaners either, so you won't be harming the environment or damaging your pipes. Grab a plunger and get ready to wash your drain troubles right down the sink. Expose your pipes Slide the sink pedestal away from the sink so your pipes are visible. If you have an old bathroom, you will probably have a u-bend trap under your sink. If your bathroom is less than ten years old, you will likely have a…
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Installing an Outside Tap

Installing an Outside Tap

Outside Tap
A supply of water outside the house is a great help to the serious gardener. By choosing a threaded tap you will be able to connect hosepipes, sprinklers and automatic watering systems as well as being able to clean off those muddy boots before stepping inside! Outside tap Pipe cutter or hacksaw T-connector and elbow connecters 15mm (0.6in) copper pipe 22mm (0.9in) copper pipe Stop valve Drain valve Heavy duty drill and bit Screws PTFE tape Expanding foam filler Positioning the tap The tap needs to be above the interior floor level, close to the rising main, and above the main stopcock. Ideally, it should be positioned over a drain grid or hardstanding and at a convenient height for filling cans and attaching hosepipes. Situate the tap and mark the…
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Emergency Repairs

Emergency Repairs

Repairs
Dealing with a crisis There are lots of situations where a problem can look catastrophic and the immediate reaction will be to pick up the phone for an emergency call-out, whatever the cost. But with a bit of rational thought and a calm approach you may be able to deal with it yourself, or at least limit the damage until help arrives. Leaking Pipe Turn off the water at the mains stopcock; this could be in a number of places, usually by your boiler or in a cellar. Make sure you know where the stopcock is in your property! The time you will save not having to search in an emergency could be the difference between a damp bit of plasterboard and a collapsed ceiling. Once the stopcock is turned…
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Finding the right man for the job

Finding the right man for the job

Professional
Not sure about the tradesmen that have been recommended by friends or neighbours? Want to make sure you get the best man for the job? Don’t we all, but it can prove a very tricky task, especially if you’ve little or no experience. It is very important you know exactly what you are paying for when you get a quotation for a building job. It is extremely common for an inexperienced employer to find themselves looking at a ‘finished’ job and thinking to themselves, ‘I thought he was going to sort this out’ or ‘why didn’t he just tidy that bit up for me?’ More often that not the answer is simply because you didn’t mention that you wanted certain things done; the worker has done what he was told…
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Guide To Boilers

Guide To Boilers

Boilers
The old, the unsuitable and the plain dodgy Many people just accept the shower going cold as your kitchen taps are turned on as one of life’s annoyances, along with inflated bills and the inability to simultaneously have a bath when the heating is on. The question is, why? Boilers do not have to be useless; it is perfectly feasible for a boiler to supply plenty of heating and hot water (simultaneously), economically and efficiently, exactly as they are supposed to do. Life expectancy If your boiler is over 15 years old then the likelihood is that it is operating at around 65% of its maximum efficiency. When put in a language that everyone understands, that means that it is costing you more money than it should, to do its…
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Extending Your Home

Extending Your Home

Extending Home
A good extension can make an immense difference to a property… Whether you are planning for bigger existing rooms, or brand new rooms, the extra space can dramatically increase the value and attractiveness of your property. Adding Value While extensions can be great and potentially very profitable there is no guarantee that an extension will add sufficient value to your property to make you a profit. By the same token, you cannot even guarantee that the value added to your property (as a consequence of your extension), will cover the costs of the project. If you are looking to make a tidy profit from some structural changes to your property then, as with anything this expensive, you need to do some research. Look into the current value of your property,…
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Home Security

Home Security

Home Security
A secure home not only allows peace of mind for you and your family but will also be attractive to potential buyers. The nature of burglaries in the UK is often opportunistic, with around 20% of ‘break-ins’ not involving any ‘breaking’ whatsoever. Thieves simply wonder through open doors or slip through open windows without breaking so much as a sweat, let alone your doors or locks. In recent years there has been a controversial television series which involves ex-burglars demonstrating how easy it is to break in to houses, and in fact, filming them doing just that. The reason behind this programme was not to show how clever the burglars are, or to give budding apprentice burglars some tips, but to convey the importance of thinking like a thief and…
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Look after your home plumbing

Look after your home plumbing

Plumbing
Preventing burst water pipes The damaged caused to your property from burst or leaking water pipes may include ruined carpets and furniture, damaged tarmac and lawns and the loss of expensive luxury items like TVs, computers and games machines. During the harsh winter months outside temperatures can drop below zero causing water to freeze in water pipes. As the water in the pipes freezes and turns to ice it can expand by up to 10%, the resulting pressure from the expansion can force the pipe to burst or force open pipe couplings. There are a number of things you could do to avoid damaged water pipes during winter, these include: Insulate all of your water supply pipes. Keep your central heating at a minimum 13C-16C, if it is forecast to…
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Professional Home Staging Services: What to Expect When You Hire a Home Stager

Professional Home Staging Services: What to Expect When You Hire a Home Stager

Home Staging
Home staging is an umbrella term for the process of making your home appeal to a broad range of buyers, while showing it in its best possible light. Services range from cleaning and decluttering to furniture rentals and arrangements. So why spend money on home staging if you're not even going to be there to enjoy the results? Home staging works! Staged homes sell faster and for a better price than non-staged homes. It's even more important in a depressed market. “The more successful agents are finding that home staging is the key to moving properties, especially for agents in the more competitive markets." said Karen Breen Elia of RE/MAX Exclusive Properties in Chicago. With these results and a growing acceptance of the staging industry, home stagers are cropping up…
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Moving Out of Home: Practical and Legal Resources for Young Australians in First Homes.

Moving Out of Home: Practical and Legal Resources for Young Australians in First Homes.

Moving Out of Home
Setting up a new home for the first time can be confusing and expensive. Here are some books and websites that can offer advice to young Australian people moving out. Moving out of home for the first time is a lot more involved than just throwing a few belongings into the back of a borrowed truck. There are several Australian books and websites specifically aimed at young people, helping to ensure a smooth transition from living at home with their parents. Finding Share Accommodation Online If living alone or with friends is not an option, young people can turn to the internet to find potential flatmates. Flatmates.com.au is Australia's biggest site for finding flatmates, room mates and shared accommodation. Free to use, it provides information for most major Australian cities.…
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