Handy Tips For Redecorating Your Home

2wLike our wardrobes, from time to time our homes need a new look and whilst this can be achieved by adding some art to the walls or a new rug in the lounge, there are other times when nothing but completely redecorating a room will do.

Along with adding a new look to your home, redecorating is also a great way to increase the value of your home, with it being estimated that a redecorated home can increase in value on average by nearly 3%.

So whether you’re looking to sell your home in the coming months, or you’ve decided it’s time to freshen up your walls, we’ve provided some handy tips to wallpapering and painting.


Stripping Wallpaper:

We’re not going to lie to you, stripping wallpaper is a tedious job and it’s one which can be hard work as well as time consuming. But it’s also a must if you want to ensure your new wallpaper sticks to the wall and looks good.

Thankfully there are two ways in which you can make the stripping of wallpaper easier and quicker.

Steam Stripper:

We’ve made no secret of the cleaning powers offered by steam, but it can also be utilised to great effect for stripping wallpaper, and using such a DIY tool is straightforward.

    1) Perforate the surface of your wallpaper with a Stanley knife, being careful not to damage the plasterwork.
    2) Work the steam stripper methodically across the wall, starting from the top and working your way down. Allow the steam to soak into the paper.
    3) Use a wallpaper scraper to remove the wallpaper as you go. If you’ve got any strands of wallpaper left after steaming and scraping, go over them again. Safety Warning: When using the steam stripper make sure you’re using it with an RCD adaptor, and never use it close to switches or sockets

Warm Water:

If you don’t have a steam stripper, the easiest way to remove your existing wallpaper is to use a bucket or warm water with alum, and apply this to your wall using a sponge. It’s recommended to use 2 tablespoons of alum – which can be purchased from the chemist – for every pint of warm water.

Simply apply the mixture to the wallpaper, allow it to soak in and then scrape off using the wallpaper scraper.

Whether you’re using a steam stripper or applying water manually, once the paper has been stripped we recommend you give your walls a scrub – using an abrasive pad and hot soapy water – to remove any glue residue.

Prepare The Wall:

Once the wallpaper has been stripped from the wall, more work needs to be carried out before you’re ready to hang your new paper – and the key is to prepare the wall. This can be done in a number of steps, including:

    • Using a flexible knife to remove any flaking paint or plaster which may be present
    • Smooth the wall by sanding it down, either with a sanding block or electric sander
    • If the wall is showing signs of any defects, from loose / cracked plaster and holes in the wall to signs of damp, these must be treated. To treat mould, we recommend you wash it away using household bleach before covering with a sealer coat of anti-damp paint.

If you’ve had to use filler on the wall, you’ll need to smooth it over again with your sanding block.

Hanging Wallpaper:

Hanging wallpaper is a DIY task which you need to take your time doing, particularly if you’re using a patterned paper. To help you hang your wallpaper to perfection, make sure you follow these handy tips…

    • Measure and cut the wallpaper correctly, key to this is to measure twice and cut once. We also suggest when measuring and cutting the wallpaper you leave an extra 2 inches at the top and bottom for final trimming.
    • Pasting the paper is key to it sticking correctly, and to get this right you’ll need to allow the paste to soak into the paper for the designated period of time (this can vary from paste to paste). To help make pasting cleaner, consider pouring the paste into a paint tray and applying using a paint roller.
    • To hang your paper, if you’re using a plain design start in the corner behind the door and work your way around the room, taking the time to measure and cut each piece of wallpaper as you go. For bold designs choose a focal point and start from the centre of this area, before cutting the next piece you’ll also need to make sure the pattern matches with the previous one.
    • When carrying the paper to the wall from the pasting table, it’s recommended to carefully fold it, once you’ve placed the top of the paper onto the wall you can allow the folds to drop and carefully stick the rest of the paper to the wall.
    • Make sure you use a wooden or rubber roller to press down the wallpaper as it dries, as this will help to remove any blisters – which if left can become unsightly and ruin the aesthetics of the room.


Painting your walls may sound like an easier option to wallpapering, but to achieve a stunning finish you’ll need to do more than purchase a pot of paint and slapping this onto the walls. Instead, to get a perfect painted finish on your walls, you’ll need to take the time to clean and prepare the walls.

Clean & Prepare:

As when wallpapering, if your walls show any signs of having a defect you’ll need to resolve this – whether it’s filling holes, removing damp patches or patching up plasterboard. In addition to fixing any defects, we also recommend you sand the wall down with a sanding block to achieve a smooth surface.

With the walls ready, you can begin thinking about painting, and along with selecting the colour(s) you’re after, you’ll also need to consider the tools you’ll need for the job.
We recommend you have the following:

    • Dust cover to protect your flooring and any other areas you don’t want painting
    • Masking tape to section and cover the area where two colours will meet.
    • Paintbrush, paint pad or roller – each have their own benefits and drawbacks, but if used correctly all can help you to achieve a professional looking finish to your walls, woodwork and ceiling.


With your walls prepared and tools to hand, you’re ready to paint. But this isn’t just about dipping your painting tool of choice into the paint and then applying it to the wall, instead for a professional finish without the price tag follow these steps…

    1) Paint in sequence – start with your ceiling before moving onto the walls and finishing with the woodwork.
    2) When painting, do all the cutting in and edges first, this will not only help the decorating go quicker but will also produce better results. You should also always make sure you start from the top of the wall when painting and work your way down as this will help reduce the risk of drip marks appearing.
    3) Start by the window first and work your way round, and although painting can be time consuming if you do need / want to take a break, wait until you’ve reached a corner as this will give you a great starting point when you come back to painting.
    4) If you’re painting an area where two colours meet (i.e. ceiling and wall), turn to your masking tape and cover the area where the two colours meet. Alternatively, if you’ve got a steady hand you can use a technique called beading.

Simply add a little paint to your brush, turn it edge on and press it flat against the wall, a short distance away so bristles are slightly splayed – this will create a bead of paint.

Taking your time when decorating your home and following the advice outlined above, will help you add a new look to your home, without having to splash the cash.


How to Effectively Install Your New Rainwater Drainage System

efThe good news is that installing a rainwater drainage system is a relatively easy project, especially if you have some DIY knowledge around the home. Ideally you will get someone to give you a hand, this will speed up the installation process and help you get the correct lines to ensure the water flows properly and eliminate the risk of leaks or overflowing in the future.

One of the biggest problems for homeowners these days is issues with their rainwater drainage systems. Once installed it is imperative that you get up on a ladder on a semi-regular basis, removing leaves and debris to allow the water to flow freely at all times.

Installation is a detailed process and the steps need to be followed to ensure the rainwater drainage system is installed correctly and effectively to provide years of use and eliminate the need of replacement in a short period of time.

The first step to the installation process is the positioning of the drain. This is probably the most complex part of the process, but once you have identified this, the rest is quick and easy and you can complete the project in one day with ease.

You will want to run the plumb line for the gutter outlet, this can be one once you have identified the positioning of the drain. Ensure the fascia is level before you continue, this will save you energy and time as you continue through the process. Carrying on at this point without confirming the fascia is level may result in you having to undo all your hard work and start from scratch, the last thing anyone wants to go through in any DIY project.

The next step is to start at the furthermost end and fit the support bracket for your rainwater drainage system. With the bracket secured in place, place the pipe in the bracket to ensure you have it at the correct level. From here you will need to remove the pipe and then fit the next bracket approximately one metre away. You will want to continue with this process until you reach the final bracket, where you need to fit a stop end.

You are half way to installation your new rainwater drainage system. Slip the pipe into the brackets. This is where two people come in handy to make this process a little easier. The good news is that rainwater drainage systems are often made of plastic, which is very lightweight and easy to lift and manoeuvre as needed.

Now you will want to fit a pipe clip to the bottom and then work two metres apart, working your way up to the drainage system. Once this is completed, you can insert the pipe and ensure it is held tightly and securely in place, reducing the risk of it coming loose or falling out when the first heavy rain of the season hits.

The final step of the installation process is that once all your adhesives have dried you will want to perform a test. The best way to achieve this is to stand at one end and open up the host pipe, allowing a strong volume of water to flow down the rainwater drainage system. You want to check for leaks and ensure a good water flow. If all is in order, then you have completed the project successfully. Leaks can be fixed with some silicone to seal the area and ensure that the leak is eliminated.

Where to Find Waste Pipe Products for DIYers

3xFor many DIY enthusiasts, carrying out maintenance in the home after a pipe has sprung a leak, or even renovating an entire room according to your specific needs and requirements, is a pleasure as much as it can be a great deal of hard work. Unlike professional tradesman, you do not necessarily have access to all the products and equipment that you need to do the job easily.

One of the biggest issues for many DIYers is not obtaining the support they need in carrying out a task, and also not knowing which products are the most suitable for them and where they can find them.

For those who are looking to find waste pipe products – whether they are looking for a push fit pipe or a solvent waste pipe – one of the best places to begin the search for information is online. There are many reputable sellers now operating on eBay as well as those who have independent online stores, all of whom offer a wide range of products that can meet your needs.

There is also the major advantage that there is a larger choice that there is likely to be in your small local hardware store, meaning that you can take your time to browse a much larger selection and choose exactly the right product to suit your particular requirements.

As with all online shopping experiences, however, take your time to find a reputable seller that not only has a range of products that you want but also has great customer feedback. This can be evident when looking on sites like eBay where reviews are provided by former clients, but search the net for the retailer in any case in order to carry out a background check on their credibility.

Once you have created a shortlist of a few reputable suppliers that seem to have a range of supplies that meet your needs, it is critical that you get in touch with their customer support team in order to benefit from the free advice that many of these companies give.

As you are a DIYer doing the project yourself, obtaining the advice of an expert can make the difference between failure and success. Checking with a number of suppliers to get a second, third and fourth opinion on your renovation intentions and how you want to install that solvent waste pipe is therefore critically important.

Another place to looking order to find the right products for you is in major outlets that specialise in plastic building supplies. Whereas generalist local DIY stores – or even some of the large national chains – will have products that are likely to meet your needs, choosing to go to a retailer that offers these products exclusively can give far more choice and a higher level of expert help.

This information can again be obtained by going online and searching for the names of companies that specialise in plastic building supplies. You can then travel to their nearest outlet in order to make your selection from a huge range of products and receive the face-to-face help you need in planning your project.

Finally, one last solution to finding the right push fit or solvent waste pipe product for you is going directly to the manufacturer of high quality pipe products. If you are a non-professional who has never carried out one of these types of project before, finding a reputable independent company that you know will provide high quality products can be difficult.

Choosing to contact a major brand name of plastic building supplies can therefore assure you of a level of quality that might otherwise be hit and miss with independent retailers. Furthermore, manufacturers overspecialization their own products and will be able to provide you with detailed advice on just what you need to do to install your new household piping system.

Designing Your Perfect Man Cave

27Guys, sometimes you just need an escape from everything! A sanctuary within a sanctuary where work, chores and, (ahem) your significant other is pushed to the wayside.

That place of paradise is commonly referred to as the man cave.

The man cave is a wondrous place, where relaxation and enjoying the finer things in life (TV, games and copious amounts of alcohol) take precedent over everything else. But constructing a room of such epic magnitude can be difficult to get your head around. That is, if you don’t have this very guide to accompany you on your journey.

From funky chairs to jukeboxes, here is the 5-step process you should follow to design and create an awesome man cave.

1. Get the basics done

This is a man cave. It is going to exude extravagance on a very manly scale.

However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the basic concepts of room design. First things first, make sure your floor and walls are designed to your specifications. Because once your room is complete, these are among the hardest things to convert for obvious reasons.

You will also need plenty of shelving and storing space. There’s going to be a lot of various belongings in the room, so you should aim to keep everything organized. Clutter is not healthy for the ambience of any room.

2. Set up your perfect entertainment system

No man-centric room is complete without a kickass entertainment system.

Now the TV is a given, but don’t overlook the sound system, video game consoles, and all the other mod cons that make life so sweet.

And to save any heartache in the future, organization – like in the previous step – is important. If you are setting up an assortment of electronic devices, you should aim for a convenient structure that prevents you having to constantly swap and change what is hooked up to your main hub (i.e. television). A component switch box is helpful in that regard.

3. Cool chairs for men: choose one!

Now that you have the main gadgets and gizmos configured, you are going to need somewhere comfortable to sit down.

Admittedly, your average piece of furniture would suffice. But this is your refuge – surely you want something that delivers in both comfort and eye-catching style? If so, funky chairs are the way to go.

Regardless if you want seating that is shaped like a car or has a fridge in the armrest, chances are there is going to be something out there that matches your requirements. And consequently, cool chairs for men – due to their individualistic features – can match your personality accurately.

Plus if this is a room for entertaining guests, a collection of funky chairs can make a big impact among your family and friends.

4. Stand out with a luxury item

Delving deeper into the area of decorating the room with your interests, you want to pick out one or more unique items that make it the ultimate space that is all about you.

If you love video games, get an arcade machine. If you are a music enthusiast, install a jukebox with all your beloved tunes. Or how about a pool table, pinball machine or poker table that can become the cornerstone for your man cave? Something along those lines will really elevate the room to the next level.

5. Adorn the walls with your favorite interests

Fixtures and fittings complete? Check.

Is that entertainment system in place? Check.

Made a funky chairs choice? Check.

Got an extravagant centerpiece? Check.

Well with all those steps complete, now is the time to apply those finishing touches to the room that make it say, without any doubt, ‘this is my space’.

Although we keep reiterating ourselves, your man cave should highlight your interests. This isn’t the place for humdrum paintings that will please your grandparents. So with that in mind, consider the following choices when it comes to decorating your walls:

  • Posters
  • Sport memorabilia
  • Artwork
  • Signs

If it represents you and what you’re passionate about, get it up on those walls.