Category: Lifestyle

How to Maintain & Repair Old Timber Framed Garages

Buildings that are constructed with timber frames and internal timber beams are known for their beauty but if they are not maintained properly and repaired they can become very vulnerable to decay and damages. A list of common problems with timber framed garages is detailed below.

Repairing & Replacing Timber Joists
Repairing & Replacing Timber Joists. Image credit: DIY Doctor

Check for Decayed Timbers

Decay will happen because of moisture which in turn causes rot and beetle infestations. You will want to find the source of dampness and correct them. You can test timber by prodding it with a knife. Solid timber will resist. Find the source of moisture and fix it and deal directly with the cause of moisture rather than the symptoms.

Dealing with an Infestation

You will find symptoms of beetle damage in old timber and it is not always a big concern. Active beetle infestation is noticeable through fine dust where insects have vacated through exit holes. Exit holes that are dark and dirty are likely old whereas clean, light-coloured holes are a sign of recent damage. The look of fine dust can be a tell tale sign there is an active infestation.

Repairing Damaged Wood

When you are looking into repairs use caution and don’t assume the wood needs to be replaced. Some timber may need to be replaced from decay or infestation while others may still be able to support the load. Dampness can cause problems with timber so be aware of this. It is ideal to avoid replacing timber and to make repairs instead. An easy and cost-effective repair method is to use a metal strap. A strap can be crafted by a blacksmith and is designed to bolt decayed timber together.

When timber needs to be cut out and repaired a good carpenter will know how to do this and scarf new sections using traditional joint techniques. If there are problems caused by electricians or plumbers who ‘notch’ the top of joists for cable or pipe, you can strengthen the joist with metal straps or using additional joints.

Minimise Damage to Wooden Frames

When you have assessed damage to timber the simplest method for dealing with is drilling into the timber for accurate testing. Using chemical treatments will not remedy the underlying issues with damaged wooden frames. It is usually unnecessary if you have removed the source of moisture and the wood has dried out which will limit further damage.

Stripping Paint from Wooden Beams

Wooden beams are typically painted but you will want to be cautious while stripping them. It can be a destructive process and time consuming and may not even bring you the results you wish to achieve. Using abrasive techniques like wire brushes is not a good idea. When stripping paint you will want to protect surrounding areas, apply chemical paint removers, avoid digging into the wood, use peel away poultice systems to remove layers of paint. Some people may use hot air guns but be cautious of the risks associated with fires. Another thing you should never do is shot blast or sand beams because it will damage the surface of the wood. If your wood is dark you can use traditional casein distemper to remedy this issue.

Cleaning Timber Frames

You can improve the look of wood frames by removing dust with a damp cloth, soft brush or vacuum cleaner. You can also add a light sheen by applying a coating of beeswax polish. Something to avoid is using linseed oil because it stays sticky and will naturally attract dirt. Another option is to refrain from staining new timber and rather let it darken naturally.

How a kitchen renovation can improve your wellbeing

Improve Your Lifestyle with these Simple Kitchen Hacks & Upgrades

A detailed and planned out stylish kitchen makes any home look that much greater and greatly improves the quality of life for the people of the home and the food they eat.

When your kitchen is more open spaced and has a natural welcoming spirit you can be sure to entertain guests with plenty of sessions of both cooking and baking good foods in a remodelled kitchen.

A thing to remember is that altering your kitchen does not have to be a budget draining decision and it doesn’t necessarily put you in the hole.

It is actually possible to remodel your entire kitchen and we will share with you suggestions and ideas for kitchen updates for a home that is more inviting and open both to your own family, guests, and friends!

Always Get Your Kitchen Layout Designed in 3D Before Remodelling. Image credit: Pinterest

To begin with, you will want to analyse your kitchen remodelling plans.

You will have to use logical thinking on what you would like to add, remove or alter in your kitchen blueprint.

You will realise when your kitchen matches the way you wish it to be, you will be that much more comfortable and focused on perfecting your cooking, cleaning, and baking tasks.

An updated kitchen would not feel new and improved without new kitchen countertops.

When it comes to purchasing a new kitchen countertop it will only be up to your budget on what you can or cannot do.

You will want to focus on things like durability, heat and stain proofing, how easy the countertop is to maintain among other things.

This will make you feel that much more comfortable in your kitchen and will add resale value to your home there by improving your real estate investment.

Another under utilised method for making your kitchen usage that much better is by adding better lighting for overall kitchen enhancement and improvement.

Lights that are recessed and lights that are hidden under cabinets provide a very clear statement of bright white light and remove dark corners and shadowy areas.

When you change the lighting of your kitchen you will not have to strain your eyes and you will visually have a much improved experience.

New Kitchen Lighting Can Help Enhance the Space. Image credit: HGTV

Family members will typically bond and gather in the kitchen of the home.

It is a safe area where we bond and create delicious foods to show appreciation for one another.

It gives you and your family a chance to bond over a home cooked meal.

By transforming your kitchen to a new more modern look, you will change your kitchen to the small dream paradise you have always wanted.

When you decide to give your kitchen a makeover, you will improve the over all quality of your life.

And think of the alternatives!

You could decide to put up with that ugly, outdated kitchen and be unhappy, or just pack your bags and get a local moving home company to take you away from that old and outdated space.

Another great way to completely change your kitchen to something entirely different is by painting it.

You can give your cooking area a whole new look and feel by changing the colours of the walls.

You are not just limited to walls as you can also change the colours of kitchen cabinets as well.

This isn’t the only thing you can do to improve the look and over all appearance and comfort of a home kitchen.

When it comes to painting you are only limited by your imagination.

Remodelling your kitchen doesn’t mean that you have to buy everything brand new.

By speaking to a kitchen transformations firm, you can give your entire kitchen an upgrade without having to replace the major pieces of the kitchen.

Your kitchen might only need new appliances and updated features to improve the over all look and comfort levels of the kitchen.

There are plenty of different things you can do to improve and change your kitchen to make it that much more comfortable and easy going when it comes to the years ahead that you will be living in your home.

Another idea to improve the look and feel of your kitchen is replacing the vinyl flooring with something more modern.

It will make your kitchen that much more beautiful to look at if you were to replace old linoleum with wood flooring.

It does not have to break the bank either if you choose to use this method to improve the natural look and feel of your home kitchen.

Being able to cook and bake home made meals should be a comfortable process and the flooring of your kitchen is only limited to the option you allow yourself to perceive in your imagination.

Striving to make your kitchen comfortable and upgrading it to improve the value of your home is a great idea.

If you love to cook for your family remodelling your kitchen can be one of the greatest things you have ever done to improve the over all love and comfort of your home.

How to build a storage bench with MDF boards

Create an amazing furniture piece with MDF sheets

Storage benches come in very handy. Everybody seems to always need some extra room for storage. There never seems to be enough space to store everything, and the result is untidiness and stuff lying around! Be it a living room where there are countless books, magazines and remote controls lying here and there. Or in bedrooms where there are clothes and cushions, or even toys and books, in the case of kids’ bedrooms. Conversely, if you were to have a storage bench you would be able to store all that stuff within it.

If you were to think of it there are surely various spaces in your rooms where you could include a storage bench. Apart from being a practical way of adding a place where to sit, and an additional touch of décor to a room, a storage bench can manage to store up more stuff than you ever thought possible. The main problem may be finding a storage bench that is readymade and that will fit well in the space you have. And then there is the problem of trying to complement its style and colour with your current furnishings. So, why not build your very own storage bench? It is really easy to build, and you can make it tailor-made to your preferred size and color. All you need are some basic tools and MDF sheets cut to size. MDF boards are inexpensive and yet sturdy enough for the job. They are also manageable to build with, even if you are a beginner to DIY. So… here’s how you can do it!

MDF Storage Bench. Image credit: WNY Handyman
MDF Storage Bench. Image credit: WNY Handyman

First off, buy MDF boards! You are going to need a separate board for the top, and then you will need other panels to create the foundation of the storage bench. The dimensions will obviously depend on how big or small you are going to build your storage bench, which is mainly dependant on the space where you will be placing it.

So, once you have all the parts cut out in the required dimensions, you can start by building up the foundation, or the base of the bench. This is where you will be storing things, so the bigger it is the better. Simply attach the sides with the base, and then to the top panel. You can then use corner clamps so as to attach it securely. It is best to drill pilot holes in order to prevent the possibility of having it split, and then screw the parts together. At this point you have the main structure all done already.

The top MDF piece is ideally attached by a continuous hinge. This is often referred to as a piano or continuous hinge. This will need to open and close for convenience, as you will be opening it and closing it every time you want to store something, or whenever you need to take things out of the bench.

Now, you can attach the back part. When screwing this to it, make sure that it is flush with the top and the legs. Having someone hold it for you while you work is recommended. Next, you can attach the front.

It is best to see to establishing more support at the front area of your storage bench. So, you may wish to glue two pieces of MDF panels together so as to have a thicker one. Then use clamps to ensure that they are well bonded together, and screw it in place.

This is all it takes to build a storage bench. Anything more is purely aesthetic. You can paint it, as well as add decorative moldings. This will help to make it look more aesthetically pleasing. Decorative moldings will help to make the storage bench look more stylish, rather than remaining plain all over.

Beautifully Finished White MDF Chest Bench. Image credit: RONA
Beautifully Finished White MDF Chest Bench. Image credit: RONA

Any screw heads should be filled up with wood filler, and then sanded down so as to make it as flush as possible. Once you achieve a smooth finish, you can paint it in the color of your choice. It may be best to apply two coatings for better results. Finally, you can also spruce it up with a cushion, which will also help to make it more comfortable, while complementing your other soft furnishings in the room. You could use the same fabric of any other cushions, or curtains, and voila! And you are done – you have a very nice and practical storage bench ready! You did not spend a fortune, and it is nice to have created it on your own as you got to choose the preferred style, color and size after all!

Weight Loss Protein: Why Use Whey?

Whey protein shakes have recently caught the attention of the general public as a method of losing excessive weight. It has been popular among bodybuilders for some time, but it has gained mainstream popularity due to several celebrity health trainers. Proteins shakes are useful in building muscles but are they good for losing excess body fat too?

According to research, whey protein is most thermogenic of all the protein shakes found commercially. That means, it burns most calories after its intake. Drinking whey protein shakes is one the most effective weight loss strategies for people who want slimmer hips and thighs. When you include whey protein within your diet, your metabolism will run high all day, and you will also feel full for a longer period of time. This will help in your weight loss as you will likely snack less.

Whey protein can be made into weight loss shakes and follow a two-shake-a-day diet. This type of diet will not only help you lose weight quickly, you won’t even have to starve yourself. You can use any type of protein to make a shake, but since whey protein is easy to digest and totally fat, lactose and carb free, it is the best choice for a protein shake. Add some fibre like psyllium husk or glucomannan as these will keep you hunger at bay and control blood sugar spikes. You must however, exercise at least 3 times a week to burn out the excess fat.

With this diet plan, you can be sure to lose weight drastically. Muscles are the first casualty in any weight loss process. But if you are on a diet of whey protein shakes, you will able to hold on the muscles you already have. This is important because the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns.

The Journal of Nutrition published a clinical trial in which 90 overweight men and women were kept on a 2 shakes a day diet for 23 weeks. The weight loss shakes were either whey, soy or carb shakes. The whey group lost 4 pound of body weight and 5 pound of excess fat on an average, while the soy group lost about 2 pound of body weight and 2.4 pound of excess fat. The carb group showed minimal changes.

Weight Loss Protein

Reading Glasses: What is Presbyopia?

So, why it is that sooner or later, everybody gets presbyopia and what’s going on? It’s all about how your eyes work and how they change over time.

When you look around the world, light goes through your cornea into your pupil, the hole in the coloured part of your eye. Then it passes through the lens which focuses the light into a point on your retina; the light sensitive lining at the back of your eye which acts in a similar way to film in an old fashioned camera. From there, the image is converted to electrical impulses which are quickly whisked off to your brain which converts it into an image.

This process allows us to see the world how everyone else does and enjoy books, magazines, art, television and movies… everything. But as we age that all changes.

When you focus your eye, tiny muscles actually pull on the lens, changing it’s shape as required. When you’re young, the lens is flexible so it’s easy for those micro-muscles to focus the lens on whatever you want at various ranges. But over time, the lens becomes stiffer and rigid, and thus, it becomes a struggle to pull it into shape, especially for seeing things up close.

As a result, light starts focusing behind your retina instead of directly on it, and as a consequence, the images sent to your brain are blurred and out of focus.

By your early forties, your lenses will lose enough elasticity, that you’ll probably notice a difference when reading material at normal distances. Eventually, they’ll barely flex at all! But that is perfectly normal, even if you’ve always had perfect vision! And that is why everybody at some stage, gets presbyopia.

So if the fine print is getting hard to read, your arms aren’t long enough anymore to focus on printed material, the headaches and eye strain has started to set in or things just don’t seem to be as clear as they used to be, visit an optician as soon as you can. Because it’s more than likely to be age-related presbyopia.

There’s a whole world of choices to deal with it. A lot of people like having both multifocal contact lenses and varifocal glasses for flexibility. This route can be rather expensive though, as you have to have a prescription made up and thus, order your contact lenses and varifocals and in most cases, just have one pair of each. So if you lose a pair or break them, replacements can be very expensive and inconvenient.

Some people much prefer to get a pair of reading glasses from a high street store or from one of the many online stores offering very affordable options. Your optician will know exactly how to help you because, everybody gets it so hey can point you in the right direction and tell you what strength lenses you need. Yes, even your eye care professional gets presbyopia so they will know what to do.

So don’t worry if things have started to get a bit out of focus. We’ll all get there eventually and with the help of a good set of reading glasses, you’ll be well on your way to a normal life again, reading and enjoying everything back in focus again, just like when your lenses were supple and young.

Affordable Reading Glasses