Drawing on the Walls

Greener Living from Garden to Lighting

Posted by on 10:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Greener Living from Garden to Lighting

Removing harsh chemicals and utilising greener ways of living is a great way to contribute towards saving the environment. Whether that’s using solar hot water or replacing your cleaning products with homemade alternatives. In some instances you may find that you end up saving yourself money, whilst all the while helping to care for the world. These different green living ideas will educate you about the possibilities of cleaner living.  Garden  If you’re living in a country like Australia and you’ve got a garden, you’re a very lucky person. What could beat the sun, a few beers and that all-important barbecue? There are many things you can do to spruce up your garden and help to maintain it, making it more enjoyable for you and your family. Try creating your own organic compost, which is great for the vegetation in your garden. Pre-made bins are readily available from any good gardening store or online. Just place the bin in an area with good drainage and fill it with vegetable and fruit peels, eggshells, and healthy plant and grass cuttings. Make sure you aerate the compost every seven to ten days to allow air to penetrate and maintain the temperature, which will help the contents to rot faster. Finally, say hello to plenty of worms, the workforce behind good compost.  Homemade Cleaning Products Making your own cleaning spray for the home is one of the best ways to remove chemicals from the atmosphere indoors. Lots of cleaning spray and air fresheners contain a product called Limonene, which can turn into Formaldehyde after a given time; there are also plenty of other hidden toxins lurking in there too. If this concerns you, then perhaps try making your own all-purpose spray. In a litre of hot water mix the juice of half a lemon, two tablespoons (roughly 30 grams) of baking soda and about 60ml of white vinegar. This can be used along with a sponge to safely tackle all manner of household grime or can be poured into a spray bottle for easy application.  Solar Panels Using Solar panels will help to lower your carbon footprint and reduce your energy bills. You’ll be able to make use of solar hot water and solar lighting, and can still make use of a boiler or immersion heater to assist when things get a little cold and cloudy. On top of that you could also invest in some cheap solar lighting for the garden. They stick in the garden and charge up during the day, to create a great light show for the...

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How to ensure your kitchen renovation goes smoothly

Posted by on 12:39 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to ensure your kitchen renovation goes smoothly

The kitchen is one of the most frequently-used rooms in most homes, which is why having it renovated can be quite stressful; during this process, you’re usually left with little to no space in which to wash dishes, prepare and eat daily meals, do the laundry or even make a cup of tea or coffee. If you intend to have this part of your home renovated, here are a few ideas on how to make the experience as stress-free as possible. Create a portable kitchen Most renovation projects take at least a week, with many taking much longer than that to complete. If your upcoming project is expected to go on for quite a while, it may be worth investing in a few portable appliances and creating a makeshift ‘kitchen’ in another area of the house, so that you can prepare food and carry on with your usual household activities during this period. Placing your kettle, along with perhaps a plug-in hotplate, a mini-fridge and a microwave on a table in your living or dining room, should be enough to enable you to whip up some simple meals and hot drinks each day, instead of having to go out to a restaurant or interrupt the building work going on in your kitchen. Clean as you go Kitchen renovations tend to create a huge amount of mess; between the plethora of building supplies on the countertops and floors, and the thick layers of dust caused by plastering work and cabinetry fittings, a project of this nature can often leave the kitchen looking decidedly worse for wear, and make it quite an unpleasant place to spend any amount of time in. Whilst you might not be able to keep it in pristine condition throughout the process, it is a good idea to try to keep the mess to a minimum, where possible; doing so will not only make the space less stressful to use during the building project, but will also save you from having to deal with a major clean-up when the renovation is finished. You don’t need to devote hours to a daily cleaning routine however; simply going over the window sills, cabinets and countertops with a dust cloth and giving the floors a quick hoover at the end of the day should be enough to keep the room looking acceptable. It’s also a good idea to speak to your builders about this matter, as their behaviour will affect the amount of mess you have to cope with. If you’re concerned about them dragging dust and other debris from the kitchen through the rest of your house when they leave, or their leaving food wrappers and other rubbish on the kitchen surfaces, don’t be afraid to (politely) ask them to be more...

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Essential Tips On Caring For Your Boat Awning

Posted by on 12:08 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Essential Tips On Caring For Your Boat Awning

One really important item of equipment that you’ll have for your pleasure boat is a canvas awning, providing welcome shade and shelter for your sailing guests during summer days out on the water.  Although canvas awnings are pretty durable and hardwearing, they can take a fair amount of punishment from salt spray, the sun’s UV rays, and seabird droppings so it’s important that you clean your awning regularly to prolong its life and keep it looking good.  What you’ll need warm water soft bristle brush stiff brush paint brush boat canvas cleaner canvas re-proofing agent petroleum jelly You can buy canvas cleaner that is specifically formulated for the maintenance of boat awnings from good DIY stores or boat supplies outlets. How to do it Although you might be tempted to use a pressure washer on your grubby awning, it’s not recommended that you do, as the powerful water jet can damage the canvas by stretching the fibres. Your first job is to get rid of any dirt and dried bird droppings from the awning.  The easiest way to do this is to brush the surface with a stiff-bristle brush.    Now wet the seams of the awning with clean water.  This is important as it helps the canvas cleaner to penetrate the fabric more efficiently.   Dip your paint brush in the canvas cleaning solution and apply a generous covering to the whole awning.   Take a soft bristle brush and scrub the awning to work the cleaning solution well down into the fabric, paying particular attention to the seams.   Allow the product to penetrate the awning and activate for an hour or so.   Now wet the awning with clean water and scrub the whole thing with a soft bristle brush.   Finish off cleaning the awning by rinsing it thoroughly with clean water to get rid of any residual cleaning solution.   Allow the awning to air-dry thoroughly.   When the awning is dry, spread it out so that it is pulled taut.  Now use a clean paintbrush to apply a liberal coating of waterproofing agent to the awning.  Pay particular attention to the seams, as these are areas that are vulnerable to water penetration, which could rot the stitching over time.   Hang the awning up and leave it to dry overnight.   Your final job is to lubricate any poppers or zips with petroleum jelly to keep them operating smoothly.  You can use your fingers to do this or use a small paintbrush if you prefer. In conclusion You can keep your boat’s sun awning in tip-top order by cleaning and reproofing it at the end of each summer season.  It’s a simple job that’s worth the effort to keep your awning looking good and to extend its...

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Common Reasons You Might Experience Electrical Problems in Your Commercial Building

Posted by on 10:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Reasons You Might Experience Electrical Problems in Your Commercial Building

If you have a commercial building, you might occasionally experience outages or other signs of electrical issues. Some problems associated with electrical failures are serious, while others are minor and easily fixed. Here are some common reasons you may be having electrical problems so that you can figure out the best way to deal with them. The Circuits Are Overloaded This is very common and can lead to fuses going out in your building. With a commercial building, you probably have offices with a lot of computer and electronic equipment, all attempting to plug in to the same outlets. Even with surge protectors, it doesn’t prevent circuits from becoming overloaded. The circuits in your building can only handle a certain voltage, so if a business is renting out an office with a server room that is using a lot of the building’s circuit power, they might overload circuits in that area. If you believe you need a larger capacity for more electrical components, have an electrician come in to upgrade the system. There Are Extreme Weather Conditions Some issues that lead to electrical problems in your commercial building will have nothing to do with what you’re doing, and have everything to do with natural causes. Weather conditions do have a pretty large impact on the electrical system, often the cause of complete blackouts. Major storms like heavy winds, hurricanes, tornadoes, and even rain and snowstorms can do a number on electrical systems. Even things like having a lot of dust in the electrical system could cause a power failure. When the power goes out, the first thing you should do is contact the local power company and find out if there is an outage in your area, then call your electrician if not. Make sure, if there was a flood in the building to cause the power outage, you exit the building and don’t return until the electrician says it’s okay. There is Old and Outdated Wiring If you have an older commercial building that hasn’t had renovations or remodeling in a while, this might be why you are experience electrical failure. It might be in small signs, such as the lights being dimmer than they should be, having flickering lights, or outlets feeling warm at all times. These are signs of faulty wiring, which is often simply from needing to upgrade the wiring. If you notice any of these signs, call an electrical contractor to inspect the building and possibly rewire it. This is also important for safety purposes, so don’t put it...

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Removing Bird Poo From Canvas Awnings: Three Methods To Consider

Posted by on 7:09 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Removing Bird Poo From Canvas Awnings: Three Methods To Consider

It’s not just you and your family who will appreciate the respite from the sun that awnings create. However, although perching birds may also appreciate these installations, they’re more likely to leave their excrement behind as a token of appreciation, which presents a cleaning dilemma. If you’ve got bird poo on your awnings, find out how to get rid of the problem with the following three methods. A brush Small areas of bird poo will often disappear with some vigorous brushing. Wait until the poo is dry, or you will simply spread the muck further around the canvas awning. Use an old toothbrush on small spots or a wire household brush to tackle larger deposits. Take care not to inhale the dust created, as bird droppings can carry more than 60 diseases. Household soap or laundry liquid You’ll often need some household soap or laundry liquid to get rid of stubborn or substantial stains. Brush any dry material off first, then apply warm water to the stain. Get a bar of household soap, dampen the end, and rub it over the stain, creating lather across the entire stain. Leave the rubbed in soap for around half an hour, then rinse with clean water. You may need to repeat the process a couple of times. Laundry liquid soap can tackle bad stains. Check the care instructions on the canvas before you use any type of detergent, as you’ll probably need to use only a mild soap. Again, brush away any dry poo, then dampen the canvas with warm water. Apply the laundry liquid with a trigger spray, and allow the liquid to soak for around 30 minutes. Again, you may need to reapply. You can only use a pressure washer on some types of canvas, especially thicker, more durable awnings. Check with the supplier before you use these devices to clean awnings or you may damage the material. Salt and lemon juice A paste of salt and lemon juice can also get rid of a bird poo stain. The acidity in the mixture will break down the bird droppings, allowing you to rinse them away. Brush away the loose droppings, then dampen the affected area with warm water. Create a paste with juice from a lemon and salt, and make enough to cover the entire bird poo stain. Leave the paste in the sunshine, and wait until the paste hardens. Finally, rinse away the dried paste, and the stain should also disappear. Bird poo will leave an unsightly (and sometimes smelly) stain on your canvas awnings. Talk to an awning supplier for more specialist advice about cleaning and...

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Home In The Hills: Why A Pre-Purchase Inspection Is Mandatory

Posted by on 7:18 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Home In The Hills: Why A Pre-Purchase Inspection Is Mandatory

Adelaide Hills is arguably one of the best places to live in Australia. However, a new house on the Hills may cost you an arm and a leg, and you’ve probably considered getting a pre-owned house. Prospective homeowners often choose to avoid the cost of a pre-purchase building inspection in a bid to save on the final cost of home ownership. This might turn out to be an expensive decision. Here are two reasons why. The Problem Of Pest Infestation Unlike many other areas, pest infestation might be a more serious problem in Adelaide Hills. The longer your preferred house has remained un-occupied, the higher the chances that there are pests in there. Mice and rats find Adelaide Hills attractive thanks to the abundant vegetation, water and food supply. Unoccupied homes in this area often serve as a cozy habitat for these rodents. Additionally, the area is home to several species of native bees that may have been minting their honey in the unoccupied house. Home buyers in other areas often get away with ignoring the pre-purchasing inspection. You might not be as lucky. Adelaide Hills Is Prone To Bush Fires Adelaide Hills is among the several Australian territories identified as being prone to bush fires. Homeowners in this area are required to take additional measures that will reduce the fire hazard in their homes. For this reason, you need to check the condition of fire suppression systems installed within the house during the initial inspection. Wet pipe fire sprinkler systems are a common fixture in many pre-owned homes. When temperatures are low, water contained in the system might freeze within the pipes and this can damage valve caps among other system components. The continuous presence of water in the sprinkler’s pipes also leaves the system’s components vulnerable to corrosion-related damage. Ideally, the owner of your preferred house should have no qualms about making repairs to a damaged fire suppression system before the property is sold. If you plan to store electrical appliances in the rooms fitted with fire suppression systems, ask the seller to replace a damaged wet pipe system with a waterless system. This will prevent water damage to your electronics in the event of a fire or in the event that the sprinkler system is activated by accident.  Failure to identify damaged fire suppression systems means that you’ll be responsible for the cost of repairs if such damage is discovered after you’ve bought the house. If there’s no fire suppression system, insist on having one installed before you complete the property...

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Questions You Might Have About Installing Plantation Shutters in Your Home

Posted by on 3:53 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Questions You Might Have About Installing Plantation Shutters in Your Home

Plantation shutters are a good choice for any home, as they offer a clean look that can fit with a modern d├ęcor or a more traditional style that makes a space homey and attractive, all without overwhelming the windows or the room. Shutters today come in a wide variety of materials, so you’re sure to find a wood material that matches your home’s style or a plastic material that will stay protected in a room with high humidity. If you’re thinking of getting shutters for your home, note a few questions you might have about their installation so you know what to expect and can discuss your needs with a contractor. Can shutters be moved from one home to another? Typically they cannot; shutters are often made to a certain size to fit your windows and are installed in the frames for a snug fit, or just outside the window frame for something larger and more eye-catching. This installation often involves the screws being attached to the wall studs behind the drywall, for the most security. While it may be possible to actually remove the shutters and take them with you, note that they then may not be the right size for windows in your new home and may leave unsightly marks in the drywall of your old home. It’s often best to consider shutters as being a permanent installation in your home, and not like simple curtain rods that can be taken down and reinstalled elsewhere. Are all shutters good for blackout? Blackout, meaning when you block out all light coming into a room, may be needed for those who suffer from migraines or other such health conditions, or for when you simply cannot sleep without the room being completely dark. Whatever your reasons for needing blackout, note that most shutters with slats or louvers typically cannot offer a completely dark room. While the slats will fit very snugly, there is still a gap between them that may let in light.  If you do want blackout conditions, opt for panel shutters. These are shutters made of large panels that close rather than individual slats that twist open. A shutter contractor, like one from Blind Inspiration, can often make custom panel shutters that are thick enough to block out all light and which fit snugly enough to remove any gaps between the panels. Having them fit inside the window frame can also mean less risk of a gap between the window and the shutters, so you have completely blacked out all light in the...

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Save Money on Your Air Conditioning Bill without ever Turning It Off

Posted by on 3:55 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Save Money on Your Air Conditioning Bill without ever Turning It Off

There are many suggestions that have been provided for improving energy consumption from AC units, among them turning it off for short periods of time. If you live in areas with temperate climates, however, turning off your air conditioner (AC) may not be a viable option. What’s more, switching your AC on and off will make temperature regulation more difficult, so that the unit works harder each time and hence degrades faster. Below are a few doable tips for reducing your AC bill if you live in temperate climates: 1. Get an energy-efficient model If you want to make some savings on your AC, you should start with installing an energy-efficient AC model as soon as you can afford it. This survey has shown that AC consumption accounts for about 24 percent of your total energy bill, which is why unit efficiency is the most important factor for making energy savings. There are many purchase options for air conditioners, and this guide can help you decipher different labels on AC units so that you buy the most efficient unit for your budget. 2. Get a programmable thermostat Programmable thermostats are the alternative to manual AC regulation. Depending on the model and your AC system, you can set different temperatures with timers for different zones of the house. This way, when you go to sleep at night, temperatures in the living room don’t have to be kept so low, and during family time when everybody is in the living room, the bedroom temperatures can be higher. Programmable thermostats allow you to program these settings to run automatically according to your schedules and habits e.g. turning the system on an hour before you come back home to ensure you find cool air without running bills by leaving the system on all day. Some more advanced models even allow you to program using your smartphone. 3. Change the temperature Did you know that changing the thermostat by a single degree would not make a big impact on your comfort, but could reduce your AC energy consumption significantly? Increase the temperature by one or two degrees, especially for rooms that are not frequently occupied. 4. Change filters regularly Air filters ensure you get clean air by blocking debris and particles from outside air. In time, therefore, they get clogged by these particles, which reduces the amount of air coming into your house. This in turn decreases the rate at which a room can be cooled to specific temperatures, stressing your AC unit. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations about changing or cleaning filters. 5. Close your blinds In cooler climates, the sun is a welcome entrant within the house. For you in warmer climates, however, it becomes an intruder that works against your AC. This is especially true if you have windows and doors facing south and/or west, since they receive plenty of scorching afternoon sun. There’s little you can do about where the windows are unless you’re building, but you can install opaque, reflective blinds to keep as much of the sun out. Don’t place your thermostat near directly-lit areas of the room, since the temperature there will be higher and hence cause your AC to run longer than it needs to. Aside from blinds, window films and solar screens can keep out much...

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Taking The Stress Out Of The Perfect Kitchen

Posted by on 2:28 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Taking The Stress Out Of The Perfect Kitchen

If you’re someone who cooks a lot, planning your kitchen renovations can seem like a daunting task. Never fear, though–it’s easier than you might imagine to put together a kitchen that will give you a beautiful space to indulge yourself in. You just need to do a little advance planning! Think about who will be using the kitchen and what they’ll be using it for. If you’re a single person living alone who cooks for yourself daily and enjoys entertaining and preparing the occasional elaborate dinner party, you’re going to need the right kitchen for the job–but your needs will be very different if you have a family with several children and you all like to eat homecooked food together as often as you can. If you’re always getting enthused about the latest kitchen gadget, you’re going to need to concentrate on having as much counter space as possible and figure out where to install a few extra powerpoints. Anyone who has children living at home will have to put some thought into keeping knives and similarly dangerous utensils out of reach, as well as make sure there’s enough cupboard space for all the extra things necessary for family life. If someone living in your home has coeliac disease or another serious food intolerance, a kitchen renovation can be the perfect opportunity to create a ‘safe zone’ – an area of the kitchen that will never be used for anything containing gluten, for example.  Come up with new ways to get around your kitchen’s more “unique” features and maximise storage space. All homes have their own quirks and foibles. If your kitchen has a lot of inaccessible corners, you can maximise their utility by installing cupboards with rotating shelves. Pull-out drawers are a fantastic way to keep your cupboards under control; when you can see everything you’ve got, you’ll find that you end up with far fewer unused tins languishing at the backs of shelves! Open-plan kitchens can be re-imagined as perfect candidates for floating islands, while alcoves that might otherwise seem inconvenient are often the perfect place to have a romantic breakfast nook for two installed. Don’t feel limited by traditional, conservative colour schemes. There are a few colour schemes that seem to be remarkably popular in kitchens. Whites, taupes and beiges of all kinds come up time and again; warm earth tones like terracotta and mustard are also popular, as are bright minty greens and blues. There’s no need to stick to those shades if they don’t feel like a good match for you, though! Jewel toned kitchens are often gorgeous and go very well with wood tones. Bright, primary colours make a marvellous family kitchen. When used carefully, even black can be a wonderful choice for the right...

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Mistakes to Avoid When Removing Stains on Teak Furniture

Posted by on 6:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mistakes to Avoid When Removing Stains on Teak Furniture

Teak furniture has become a status symbol due to its hardy character and aesthetic appeal. Even though teak is resistant to the elements, all furniture get stains every now and then. If you bought that teak dining set with the hope of passing it down to future generations, you probably want it stainless at the handing over ceremony. Natural wood, by its very nature, is porous and therefore, while some stains can be easily removed, others penetrate into the wood, leaving unsightly marks. When you notice a stain, you are likely to rush and get rid of it by any means necessary. In your hurry, you may want to avoid the following mistakes: Excess Water For example, if you notice an oil stain, you should blot the stain using newsprint paper and then get a detergent solution for the next stage of cleaning. As you spread this solution, limit the area you cover to just the stain because excess water will end up damaging your teak furniture further. Precautions When handling old oil stains or alcohol stains, you may have to use mineral spirits. However, before applying the spirit on a rag which you will use to rub the wood surface, remember to put on rubber gloves. It is generally a good habit to use protective eyewear as well when working with chemicals, especially when it is more than one. In addition, open doors and windows if possible for enough airflow. Keep children and pets away from the work area to prevent accidental ingestion or inhalation of cleaning agents. Pretesting When working with mineral spirits or even paint thinner, ensure you conduct a pre-test before working on the furniture surface. Your teak furniture may have a finish that could dissolve in the presence of the spirits. A trick you could use is dabbing it on a finished but hidden part of the furniture such as the underside. If you see it dissolve, consider other remedies. Ironing Water can cause rings on your fine teak coffee table and leave you unsettled each time you see it. One of the hacks you could try is pressing a hot iron over a cloth placed on the stain for several seconds. It is important to remember to use a dry iron, not a steam one. Wiping Motion Cosmetic products and alcoholic beverages can leave some of the toughest stains on a wooden surface. Alcohol can potentially cause serious damage, especially if left to sit for long. Wiping promptly is therefore the best solution. To keep the stain small, avoid a wiping motion and blot instead using the newspaper, cloth or tissue. For more information about keeping your teak furniture in good shape, contact a company like The Teak...

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