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DIY Projects

Free Tickets to the Homebuilding & Renovating Show!


free tickets to homebuilding & renovating show

So, you're renovating - pinning 100 images a day, searching endless hashtags on instagram #ihavethisthingwithfloors and googling the most unlikely of questions you thought you would ever be asking, "22mm copper pipe, or 15mm copper pipe?". It's fun, exciting, daunting and oh-so bloody stressful. 

Whether you're taking on a DIY renovation, a whole new-build project, a conversion or just remodelling the kitchen, the most invaluable aspect to renovating is being able to get advice and help along the way. And let's face it - sometimes looking through 50 odd google pages can just leave you more confused than you were before.
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A Cheaters Way to Plastering a Ceiling

Cheat Way to plastering a ceiling

In my last renovation update post, I shared our DIY plastering. But one thing we didn't plaster (did you catch it?) was the ceiling. Why? Well, because after my not-so-great attempt at the bathroom ceiling and some of Grants imperfect walls (although once painted looked fine!), we were somewhat worried. Unlike walls, there's something about ceilings that just shows up every imperfection. We spent some serious dollar on getting a roof window in this room, which we wanted to be the feature of the ceiling, not a bazillion plaster imperfections. In short, plastering a ceiling is so much harder than plastering walls and we just weren't sure we could pull it off to the standard we really wanted.

And of course, after spending money on a DIY plastering course, we obviously didn't want to fork out on a professional plasterer either. So the alternative was a cheats solution. To not plaster it. To totally cheat-out!

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Getting Plastered, DIY-Style

How to plaster your home yourself

Last year Grant went on a DIY-plastering course to learn all about how to plaster, DIY-style. With small budgets and trying to do everything ourselves, we knew this was an area that was vital we did ourselves to save some cash. That being said, plastering is still a skill and we wanted to get it right. I'd plastered the ceiling of our bathroom a couple of years back and the imperfections on it really really bug me. I mean REALLY bug me. This time around, we decided it was worth investing in a DIY course to get perfect. I've done a whole post of the course, which you can read here, but essentially it cost a whole lot less than what we would have paid a plasterer.

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Flymo's Mighti-Mo 300 Li Review

Flymo Mighti Mo 300 Li Review

Spring, Spring, Spring! Have I mentioned that word enough on the blog lately? I'm so bloody thankful Spring is here! For me, it means one main thing - gardening. I absolutely love gardening, more than I love painting walls (which if you don't know, is a freaking lot!). I'm not going to lie - I'm no professional gardener. I have a lot to learn, but my garden is my "happy place". Dust cannot accumulate, mess is easily hidden thanks to the alley at the back (much to our neighbours dismay, I'm sure!) and it's just a pretty place to sit and listen to birds and silence. Who am I kidding, it's mostly the dogs yapping and kids screaming in the background. But I don't mind any of that on a beautifully sunny day!

With the Sunday prior to the Easter weekend pinned as "First Cut Sunday", Flymo sent me their new lawnmower, the Mighti-Mo 300 Li to review for this years first garden trim! And just take a look at this grass - it was in a SERIOUS need of a mow!
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Are You Asbestos Aware?

are you asbestos aware?

We're always talking about DIY and renovating. How to make a home better, how to rip out walls, pull of tiles, smash up a kitchen, tear up the floor - you get the picture. But what often doesn't get talked about are the dangers behind a renovation. There's many, but the most hidden and potentially dangerous of them all, is Asbestos. It's a word you've probably heard of, but do you know what it is? What it does? What it looks like? Where you can find it? Well, if you're renovating a house - you really need to know this stuff.

1st-7th April is Asbestos Awareness Week and whilst it might be a dull topic, it's a really important one, particularly to DIYers and renovators - and I thought it was about time I created a post dedicated to it. So let's start at the beginning...
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March - What a Month!

DIY kitchen renovating

I simply cannot believe we are already in April. Say what? Seriously - where is the year going? How can we be already 1/4 of the way through? I am however eternally thankful for the miserable British winter to go away and sunnier spring days arrive. We've had some absolute fab ones so far and I'm really hoping for even more to come and perhaps even a BBQ too!
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Save Money & Insulate! | What We've Done & Our Future Plans

internal insulation

I'm so glad to see the back of Winter and welcome spring - owning an old home certainly brings about its challenges during the winter period and keeping it warm and toasty is often easier said than done. Older homes weren't exactly designed with modern day insulating regulations, in fact - they weren't really designed to be insulated at all! Over the last year we've made a few steps to make our house a warmer cosier place - so I thought I would share ways we've insulated so far, and what we also plan to do in the future too.
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10 Home and Garden Hacks for DIY this Spring!

I don't know about you, but there's just something about Spring that always makes me feel more productive and want to whip out my paint brushes, gardening tools and even cleaning products in a kick of energy to just get stuff done! But time is precious as they say, and money doesn't grow on trees, so for that reason I love a good hack. They can make life so much easier and/or cheaper... And with tons of plans for the next few months, I thought I'd share some of our home, DIY and garden hacks as part of the #MightiHacks Challenge, that we've used around the home (or intend to!) to make our life just that little bit easier (and cheaper too!).


Cheap & Quick Garden Screening

When people think of screening ideas for privacy in the garden, they often think of hedges or fences. But hedges can cost a flamin' bomb and they take forever to grow and fences aren't exactly an easy option either. For affordability and super quick screening on the cheap, climbing plants and bamboo are a great hack alternative, both of which we've used in our garden. Or if you're feeling a bit more creative, you could create your own screening out of pallet wood. Simply cut to size, join together with rope and support! You can see a tutorial on how we did this ourselves here.

garden screening hack

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Enviromate: How to Reduce Your DIY & Renovation Waste

how to reduce diy and renovation waste

During a renovation project, we often have a tendency to throw away absolutely everything. From skirting boards to flooring to bathtubs, you name it - it all goes into a skip. Even if it's in perfectly good condition. Where does all this stuff go? Through a costly process of going through said waste, recycling anything that can be, and then chucking the rest deep underground, which is something that is most definitely not environmentally friendly. A teeny bit of irony for any renovation project on a mission to create an eco-friendly home!
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New Architrave & A Skinny French Door!

period style architrave

We're so fortunate to have the original doors (albeit it with some of them boarded up!) and architrave throughout almost all of the house. But, the exclusion is our kitchen. The room itself is an addition to the house, although a very very very old one and possibly still even Victorian. There's evidence of its age in the brickwork - the fact we can tell it once upon a time had lath and plaster ceilings and even the door frame for the back door has evidence of an old mortice lock. But other than these little hints to the past, there's no period features remaining.

We really want consistent features throughout the house - there's nothing worse than a different style of architrave and skirting in every other room! And since we've opened up the wall between the kitchen and dining room, it's even more important that they match in the same period style. It's a little too early for skirting board in this room, but tackling the very non-period window and door, was something we could get right on with... And more to the point, it really needed it.
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6 Ways to Bring More Light into the Home

feature roof window in lantern shape

There's no better home than one that's filled with heaps of natural light. Let's face it, no one really wants to live in something so dark and depressing as a prison cell. Natural light boosts positivity, makes you feel more awake and generally it just has an overall good effect on us. But, homes aren't always built to make the most of natural light. In fact, some homes (cottages and 'chocolate box' style homes in particular) have very very little light.
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Front-of-House Spring Makeover

front of house makeover

With Spring on the horizon, I'm more excited than ever to finally begin transforming the front of our house. The only thing we've changed since moving in over 2 and a half years ago(!!) is removing some grab bars either side of the front door which had been there to assist the elderly previous owner. Other than that, everything remains. Even the internal window blinds! (Yep, all front rooms still yet to be renovated!)
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Visiting the DIY-Kitchens Showroom (and Buying a Kitchen!)

DIY Kitchens Showroom

I couldn't contain my excitement and gave it all away in the title - but yes, we have finally bought a kitchen! A whole year without one and it's about freaking time - right? I have a backlog of blog posts I've been trying to get through, but to this current date (20th February) we are still very much without a kitchen and have literally only just purchased one!
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Installing Downlights & Feature Lighting!

diy installing downlights

After we'd finished over-boarding the kitchen ceiling, we could then begin to think about lighting. I'd always imagined having two single pendants in this room - the same as it had been before (one where the old kitchen had been and one where it'd been the old shower room) but after we'd boarded the ceiling, I really liked the streamlined, unobstructed view of the new roof window. It was actually a feature of its own and I didn't want anything to get in the way of that. Suddenly pendants in the middle of the room just didn't seem right for the space.
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DIY: Venting a Cooker Hood

DIY venting a cooker hood

Older kitchens and bathrooms never have extractor fans. I don't know why this is - I presume they just didn't exist back in the day? But you'll never find them. For modern day living; lengthy showers and multiple pans steaming away - not having one is pretty bad. You'll end up with all kinds of condensation/damp problems and for the small cost of putting one in, it's really very much worth it.
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Valentines Chalkboard Art with Chalkola

Chalkola review

Whilst we don't really celebrate Valentines, I can't help but lust over beautiful themed interiors, especially those on Instagram - where I spend most of my free time scrolling through squares and squares of homes I only wished I owned. If you're not on Instagram yet, where have you been?! It's quickly becoming the new Pinterest for home & DIY inspiration and I absolutely love the community on there.

One day we'll go all out on the decorating-front for a celebration; (any celebration - Easter, Christmas, Valentines - I'm not fussed!) there'll be bunting, flowers, food, music, it'll be so pinterest-worthy, all my dreams will have come true. But until then, I'll make-do with small corners of my home having a touch of festivity instead.
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DIY Electric Underfloor Heating

Pro Warm underfloor heating kit

Electric underfloor heating, oh the wonders! I've always dreamed of being able to have heated floors, such a luxury(!) and one that I thought would cost hundreds of pounds. But with some clever bargain hunting and doing-it-yourself, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.
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Chasing Cables the Easy Way

how to chase cables easily

Chasing cables - what a feaking nightmare. Have you ever had to do this by hand yourself? The drilling, the chiselling, the dust, the arm ache, oh it's a real pain in the butt. All for the sake of hidden cables in a wall. Don't get me wrong - it's totally worth it.. Surface trunking is gloriously dated, but it's still a damn hassle that takes way longer than it should and creates no end of chaotic mess.

BUT, there is an easier way. A way that creates almost no dust, a way that saves you all the arm ache and a way that takes absolutely no time at all. Let me introduce you to.... The wall chaser!
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Home Reno: What We Have Planned For 2017

renovation plans for 2017

Oh.My.Goodness I cannot believe we have reached the end of the year. It doesn't feel like that long ago since I was writing this post for the last year! Needless to say, it's been one hell of a year (erm, Brexit, Trump, WTF?). We've spent 9+ months without a kitchen AND STILL COUNTING and yes, we somehow had Christmas here without one too. It's been tougher than I can explain, we've spent a heck more than we had ever planned for, and quite frankly I'm quite glad to see the back of this year and look towards a new one, which will hopefully include a freaking kitchen at some point SOON!!
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