Car Repair: Know When Not To DIY

Cars require regular maintenance in order to run efficiently for a long time. Such maintenance usually includes ­­­basic checks, tune-ups and repairs which you can perform following specific guidance from your car maintenance manual. However, there are instances when you’re going to need expert help. Take a look at this short list for some insights.

1. Don’t DIY car repairs if you lack the right tools. Hammers and wrenches are not sufficient for fixing advanced car problems. They require repairs that involve the use of highly specialized tools. If you’re not planning to invest in such costly tools which you may not use again, just take your car to a trusted repair shop.

2. Never try to fix your car on your own unless you understand the specific damage or problem. Car engines can be tricky. Fixing the wrong part can waste money and time. If you’re keen to repair your vehicle on your own, run a diagnostic test first at the mechanic’s shop and have a pro explain to you the exact problem and the best way to resolve it.

3. If your car is 10 years old or younger, leave its maintenance to the experts. New car models have sophisticated systems integration. Wrong techniques used when changing the battery, fuse and brake pads can destroy other elements of the system and this can decrease your car’s value for  resale.

4. If the repair you’re considering is not in your car manual, have it done by a professional. Car manufacturers don’t incorporate repairs which require specialized services and tools in the manual. Continuing with a DIY repair without the proper instructions from the manufacturer puts your car at risk of damaging its integrity and safety.

5. Never resort to DIY car repair if you lack experience. Unless a repair job is very simple, you’re better off letting a professional mechanic fix it. There is a reason car mechanic apprenticeships take four years to complete – car repairs require a lot of hands-on knowledge in order to identify what is wrong and fix it appropriately.

For more helpful ideas on DIY and professional car repairs read through this detailed infographic from Touch Up Guys.

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Why Choose Custom Built Homes

Custom built homes are ones that you design and have built to your specifications and needs. For some, buying an already existing home is fine because it suits their needs. Others want to add their own special touches so they choose a home that is custom built. There are many benefits to choosing custom built homes; a few of them are listed below:

The home can be completely personalized, which is why many choose this type of home. The buyer can have a say in every phase of the building process so they can have a tailor-made home. You get to choose the layout of the rooms, the sizes of the rooms, how many bathrooms, and bedrooms you need, color of wall paint, countertops, appliances, and more. Although custom built homes are more expensive you will have the satisfaction of investing in a home that suits them and you do not have to deal with the choices a previous owner made. You also do not have to spend money on upgrading your home.

Source: UNSPLASH

If there is a new subdivision that is being built, choosing a home here will allow you to build as you want. You can also watch as other homes are built and more people move into the area. If you purchase acreage, you can build it as large or small as you want and it gives you a chance to live in a remote area with very few neighbors.

There are also lower maintenance costs as owners of brand new home generally spend fourteen dollars less per square foot that one that bought a ready-made home for routine maintenance. For example custom built homes with two-thousand five hundred square feet, they could save an extra three hundred twenty-six dollars a year.

Custom built homes are easier to build that are totally energy efficient than ones where you purchase energy efficient windows and appliances. There are even tax breaks you can receive when building energy efficient homes.

You need not worry about sharing a similar-looking home with your neighbors because custom built homes are one of a kind. No one else in the subdivision will have a home exactly like yours because it is built according to your choices and taste.

If there are any special needs such as planning to retire and live in your home until your death, you can have the home built on one level with minimum stairs. This will help when you are older and find climbing steps hard or you have someone in a wheel chair and need wider doorways and counters that they can work on, or lower sinks.

Lastly, the maintenance on custom built homes there is less required because you have a home with new everything, including appliances, heating and air conditioning systems, floors, etc.

Easy Home Improvement Projects to Do with Your Kids

Did you know that you could include your kids in your home maintenance projects? Yes, you read that right! It is a great way to spend time with them and tackle some items around the house. Below are five home improvement projects that specifically designed to be kid-friendly!

Painting – Painting is a great project for kids and can be on walls, furniture, or whatever project needs to be finished. Mistakes are easily fixed and the kids will like feeling like they are contributing to the overall decor of the house.

Source: UNSPLASH

Gardening – Have you been thinking about putting in a garden in your backyard but just haven’t found the time? There is no time like the present and no helper like your kid. Gardening is the perfect activity for them – it is fun, educational, and long-term. You can plant many of your family’s favorite vegetables: tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers are all easy to grow. Your whole family will enjoy eating the literal fruits of your labor!

Install Outdoor Solar Lights – Putting solar lights in your yard is surprisingly simple. Solar walkway lights are sold online and at most home improvement stores. Your kids can place them along your walkway or around garden beds. They will enjoy seeing the lights turn on as the sun goes down. It’s good for the environment – and for about $50 for a pack of eight, they’re good for your wallet too!

Build a Playhouse – If the idea of building a playhouse yourself sounds a little overwhelming, you will be happy to know that there are plenty of kits available to help you in the project. Of course this is not an activity suited for young children, but older ones taking the proper safety precautions will enjoy this project a lot. Learning to use a hammer is a basic skill and there is no better way to learn it than with your parents.

Decorate Your Mailbox – Go a little wild and let your kids have their fun with your faded mailbox. Take them shopping for fun art supplies and let them turn this improvement project into a crafty one. Just make sure there is a visible house number and that nobody paints it shut!

Learn About the Home Design Trends in 2018

Source: UNSPLASH

Are you looking to renovate your house this 2018? Here are four top trends in home improvement that you’ll see everywhere if not in every all throughout the year.

Tankless Water Heaters – Unlike traditional water heaters, these heaters only provide water at the rate its needed, enabling homeowners to keep their costs in check.
They’re also significantly smaller than the current models on the market, making them the perfect option for UK homes, where space is at a premium.

Creating A Roof Deck – For those with minimal garden space, where a ‘windowsill garden’ doesn’t quite cut it, looking skyward offers the ideal solution. No, we’re not talking an observatory (although that would certainly be nice), we’re talking creating a mini roof deck space that you can relax and grow your plants in. Needless to say, for UK homes, space is always at a premium, and with allotments considerably costly as well, the trend for homeowners to take things into their own hands, and work with what they’ve got (ie. limited roof space) is a trend that seems set to continue.

Hunger For Natural Materials – With the ‘smarter homes’ trend looking to take centre stage in 2018, homeowners are likely to find themselves hankering after natural materials, such as wood, to bring a touch of the outdoors inside. From hand-carved bowls, to stunning wooden sculptures, such objects seem set to add a personal touch to properties, providing a complementary contrast to the more impersonal technology used within them. Remember the ‘buy local’ trend that had shoppers grilling grocers on the origins of their greens? This same principle is set to apply to home improvements as well, with a move towards making use of location specific materials (such as limestone), to provide focal features in houses.

Minimalistic Scandi-Design – Although this trend has remained on top for the past several years, it seems set for a renewal of interest in the coming months, as books such as ‘’Hygge: The Danish Art Of Living Well” and ‘’The Little Book Of Hygge” top the bestsellers’ list in time for Christmas. As part of the Scandi-design trend, we’re set to see greater attention to the little details that are often ignored, such as small candles to create a warm and welcoming ambience, and soft-focus lamps that simulate natural daylight, to tide us through the darkest depths of Winter.

Quick Ideas on Setting Up Your Man Cave

Source: PIXABAY

The man cave is a great place where relaxation and enjoyment for dads or for all men – married or single, with kids or no kids. It has TV, games, audio system, internet, food and other stuff that make every man happy.

Constructing a room of such epic description can be very challenging. This is especially true if you will be doing everything on your own. Keen to know how you can get your man cave project running? Read the rest of my post.

Basics – Make sure your floor and walls are designed to your specifications. It would be hard to convert walls that are already set even before you decide to make a man cave out of your chosen room. You will also need plenty of shelving and storing space. Clutter is not healthy for the ambience of any room.

Entertainment system – Apart from the TV, you will need a sound system, video game consoles, and all the other mod cons. A component switch box will be helpful if you’re going to setup an assortment of electronic devices. This prevents you from constantly swapping whatever is hooked to your main hub.

Funky chairs – Look for chairs that look good and are comfortable to sit in. You can go for chairs which look like car seats if you want. Or, you can go for chairs with cool arm rests. Funky chairs can match your personality and provide a great impact on the guests you’re entertaining in your man room.

Include a luxury item – A luxury item will make your man cave look cooler than ever.  Do you love music? Why don’t you invest on a jukebox holding all your favorite songs? If you love gaming, you can position an arcade machine in one of its corners.

Make your interests  – Are you a fan of Star Wars? Display all your Star Wars memorabilia in a shelf. You can also pin to your wall the posters of the Star Wars movies you might have. Perhaps, you’re an athlete. Decorate your man cave with memorabilia from your sport.

5 Home Improvement Projects You Can’t DIY

Most of us do DIY  repairs and improvements in our houses to save money. Some do  them for the thrill of doing and accomplishing things on their own. While there’s nothing wrong with this, you must keep in mind that there a number of tasks or projects which must be left in the hands of professionals. They are as follows.

1. Major plumbing work – Any problem bigger than a leaky faucet is no problem should fixed by a professional. Attempting to fix your plumbing on your own could make the problem worse, or create new ones in your bathroom or kitchen.

Source: PIXABAY

2. Any electrical work – Messing up electrical repairs can cause major problems for you and your home. For example, replacing a circuit board must be done wit caution and excellent planning.

3. Structural changes -Don’t just knock any wall in your property. You will never know its purpose especially if you don’t understand your property’s floor plan. That wall could be load-bearing. A contractor will be able to determine which walls are safe to remove, and will be able to remove them without damaging other parts of your home.

4. Window replacements – Windows that aren’t properly sealed will make your heating and cooling work much harder than they need to. If you want them to increase your home’s appeal and increase the energy efficiency of your home, have them done by professionals.

5. Roof repairs and replacement – Your roof provides protection and enhances the look of your home. While problems with your roof can be very expensive, never be tempted to do it yourself. Most homeowners don’t have the roofing equipment that professionals do. This means the result of your DIY repair won’t be as high quality as a professional’s. Also, it is dangerous to climb up on your roof without the correct safety equipment.

 

All You Need to Know About Tree Removal

Source: PIXABAY

Removing a small tree in your backyard by yourself can be doable and safe.  However, removing a big one can be very dangerous and even life-threatening. It is best for you to leave the job in the hands of professionals.

Let’s go back to the  small trees in your property which you can handle. First of all, you must be ready with the right tools, knowledge, and planning. Check out these tree removal tips which I have outlined for you.

The Preparation

Comprehensive inspection of the tree – Check if the tree leans one way or the other. Plan an escape route in case it does not fall the way you expect it to fall. Examine whether or not there are any obstacles in any direction of the tree such as vehicles, structures, and other trees.

Prepare your equipment and tools – These include utility gloves, goggles, hard hat, steel toe boots, chainsaw, ax or hacksaw, ladder, rope, wedges and first aid kit.

The Process

  1. Using your ax, knock on the bark a few times, and in a few different places, to learn how solid or hollow the tree is. Next, plan which side of the tree you want to make your cut. Look to see where the tree naturally leans; it is better to cut a tree in the direction in which it wants to naturally fall. Be sure the area where the tree drops is level so the tree does not roll or bounce after it falls.
  2. Make a horizontal cut at hip-height, and about 1/3rd into the tree. Do this on the side of the tree where you want it to fall. If you want the tree to fall to the right, you must make you cut on the same side so it falls inward, towards the cut. The tree will fall perpendicular to your horizontal cut. Your second cut should create a wedge into the tree. So make the second cut at an angle from the initial cut. It should look like a lemon wedge.
  3. Your third cut is called a back cut will make the tree fall over on the side of your wedge cut. It should be made on the opposite side of your wedge cut. Make it about 1.5 inches above the wedge cut, and as thick as possible. You can also use a wedge to prevent the tree from settling onto the chainsaw. Add more wedges as necessary until the tree begins to fall. Then, run away as quickly as you can!