DIY Home Improvement and Repairs – Do It Yourself and Save Money


Today's homeowner appreciates the import of learning how to carry out home improvement projects or simple household repairs. Times are not so great these days and we all need to find ways to reduce our home maintenance expenses as much as is possible.

If you don't have the extra money to pay for handyman services, it’s a wise idea to learn some do-it-yourself home improvement tasks that will save you loads of money; money you’ll need for much more important things; money you can save in the bank for the proverbial "rainy day".


Minor repairs around the home - There are things going faulty around the house every now and then. If it’s not a leaking pipe, it’s a loose nut and bolt; if it’s not a broken dining table leg, it’s a loose floorboard.

Have you ever had to unclog your sink’s drain because the water refuses to drain out? Don’t you feel so exasperated when a nuisance nail sticking out from a cabinet keeps snagging your clothes every time you brush against it?

Home improvement - There are also times when our homes need some improvement tasks. The bathroom floor tiles look drab and you want to brighten it up with a new colour; it is summer time and you wish to construct a simple rustic bench and side stool to serve as your patio furniture; you want to make some corner shelves for that little corner in your lobby.

You are changing your window treatment to something more modern and affordable; you can fix the sliding mechanism yourself with a simple power drill and screwdriver attachment.

You know, you can do a lot of these simple repairs and projects around the house all by yourself. DIY is the order of the day and many homeowners has wizened up to the fact that it’s best taking care of minor faults and simple projects around the home themselves

Remember, you’ll be saving so much money this way.

Tools You Need For Home DIY Tasks


Whether you are a first time homeowner or someone who’s joined the do-it-yourself club, having the proper tools is important. Sure there are so many home improvement tools available in the market, and it can be tough trying to decide which ones you really need, however, you don’t need a trunk full of tools. All you need for simple home improvement projects are a few basic tools . . . and these are must-haves.

  1. Hammer
  2. Orbital sanding machine (sander)
  3. Circular saw
  4. Table saw
  5. Set of pliers
  6. Power drill
  7. Jigsaw
  8. Mitre saw
  9. Set of paint brushes and paint tray
And don’t forget a nice toolkit to store and hold all your shiny new tools in place.

Where to Find Home Improvement Tips


If you seem "lost", confused, or need professional advice in anyway, you can research and learn. Many have taught themselves home improvement skills. It’ll probably take you only 15 minutes to watch a DIY video tutorial.

You will find these tools at your local home improvement store, but if you can’t be bothered to go looking for power tools or don’t have the time to spend at these stores, you can purchase all your tools online from stores of repute.


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You can also get help from your local home improvement store where they won’t hesitate to give you simple instructions on how to get a repair or refurbishment done, anything from how to use a hammer, to how to paint your ceiling.

And if you are lucky, you may get some tips from friends who are professionals in the field of whatever needs repairs.

Types of Patio Furniture - Which One Is Best for Your Outdoor Room?


When choosing patio furniture, the first consideration must be given to comfort and durability. Because outdoor furniture takes a 'beating' from adverse weather conditions, you will find that garden and patio furniture that’s been built to withstand the elements, though often expensive, works out to be much more economical in the long run.

Patio furniture is generally made from any of the following materials
  • Aluminium
  • Wrought iron and steel
  • Wood 
  • Wicker
  • PVC
Usually, we choose our patio furniture based on what we like; what we find attractive and desire to set up in our outdoor room. However, whilst shopping for furniture to use outdoors, it’s good to first consider the effects of weather on the pieces we like.


This is especially true if our patio is uncovered and exposed to the elements . . . rain, wind, snow, ice, Will it withstand any of these conditions and not fall apart before next year’s summer?

Aluminium

If you live in a damp or humid region for example, your best choice is painted or enamel coated aluminium framed patio/garden furniture. They are best for such climes because they will not rust, rain or shine.

Steel and Wrought Iron

These materials are quite popular for patio furniture. With wrought iron, you get ornate pieces with wonderful intricate detailing, something you can’t get from aluminium or steel furniture.

However, with iron or steel, expect to see some rusting IF the painting process is done poorly. To guard against rust, a high quality rust resistant coating must be generously applied to the furniture before the final finish is applied.

Wood

This is about the most popular and affordable of all patio furniture. Homeowners generally tend to prefer wood finished in white than wood in its natural form. This is possibly due to the fact that white has a profound effect visually when placed amongst nature’s colours . . . green, brown, tan, olive, and hues of flowers

Good thing about wood it that it stands up well against inclement weather, AS LONG AS the timber used has been well seasoned and kiln dried to a state of minimal water content. Some woods do splinter with age; redwood for instance.

PVC - Resin Based

Perhaps the cheapest of all is resin based furniture. They are not only affordable patio furniture; they are light weight, as they are made from materials of non-porous recycled plastic and environmentally friendly too.

As a home-owner, if you are conscious of the 'green revolution' movement, poly resin based outdoor furniture is best for you. They never deteriorate; can withstand snow, dew, sun, rain and wind. Con . . . ? They may not tolerate consistent harsh freezing temperatures after many years of use.

Outdoor furniture made with this material includes planters, lounge chairs, standard chairs, dining sets, centre tables and side tables.

‘Down-to-Earth’ Natural Outdoor/Patio Furniture

Many get really creative and opt for only natural forms as their own garden furniture. For instance, stumps of very dry timber, used in their natural form will create a rustic effect when used in patios surrounded with colourful plants. They can serve as seats, table legs, and surfaces. A slab of wood can serve as table top too.

Dry tree trunks can be dug out to create planters; tall, short, or stumpy. One important point though - it is good to use wood that is perfectly dry and treated with preservatives in order to avoid wood deterioration and rotting.

Fold-able, Stack-able & Collapsible Patio Furniture

If you don’t have much patio space, you can go for fold-able, stack-able, or collapsible chairs and tables and though they may not be as durable as regular indoor chairs and other furniture, they are good in the sense that they are easy to fold, stack, and neatly store away. They are particularly efficient, and come in handy when extra seating is required for partying or entertaining.

Wood and Canvas

The simple but classic wood framed fold-able chairs with one-piece canvas seats and backs used to be, and still are quite popular. They are light-scale, comfortable, come in a beautiful array of colours, and are very affordable. Even though the canvas fabric may wear out and deteriorate after many years of use, canvas can be easily replaced; canvas covers are quite cheap.

Built-In Furniture

If you are quite an entertainer and use your patio all year, (except when it’s freezing cold of course!), a combination of built-in and moveable furniture is a good choice.

Let’s say you have a size-able patio that extends to, or is part of the garden, you may want to demarcate areas in an aesthetically pleasing way; built-in furniture is very useful in defining areas within a large outdoor space. You can effectively create ‘two patios within a patio’.

For instance, you can create perimeter seating, benches of sorts that can serve for both seating and storage . . . maybe barbecue and outdoors cooking equipment, outdoors play equipment, or garden tool store if you don’t have a shed.

Fixed surfaces can made with hard wood or bricks, and used as platforms to hold potted plants, surfaces to serve as buffet tables and a form of divider if the patio is on two different floor levels.

And as long as there is a handy supply of comfortable cushions these platforms will provide 'overflow' seating when entertaining a number of guests for outdoor dinners.

Built-in patio furniture is also excellent for small gardens and tiny outdoor rooms because they will provide maximum seating for small outdoor spaces.

Patio Theme and Choice of Furniture

Before you venture out to pick your patio furniture, it is good to have a theme, something nice and pleasant enough to make you sit outdoors every possible time you have. Considering this from the onset will ensure you create the perfect patio.

Do you want the patio’s theme to reflect the theme of the interior or do you desire something totally different outdoors.

While some like their outdoor room all thick and lush with shrubberies, flowers, intertwined plants on a wood trellis and tree trunk seats, others prefer a patio that’s open and airy with a few potted plants, laying more emphasis on furniture and furnishings – a rocking chair, an outdoor sofa with a centre table and colourful cushions, a hammock, a bird cage, and nice lights.

The size of your patio also matters. The furniture scale must be just right. You don’t want bulky patio furniture in a small outdoor space; neither do you want short stumpy furnishing in an outdoor room with a high ceiling!

The right choice of furniture and furnishings will determine the overall success of a new patio.

Related article: 7 Patio Flooring Ideas


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