Aluminium (aluminium) is the number one most abundant metal found in the Earth’s crust. With that being said, it’s no wonder that with our propensity for exploiting everything we can get our hands on, you will find something made from this metal in pretty much every home you see. Under most circumstances it is mixed with other metals like copper, zinc, magnesium, or manganese to create an alloy with greater strength and durability. Even with other metals thrown in there, aluminium alloys are still quite malleable and can be used for an absolutely ridiculous number of things. ). Some of the methods used back in the day were simply unsafe. Other people will tell you that using chlorine bleach or muriatic acid is the best way to clean aluminium. You wouldn’t use Vapour Degreasing For Precision Cleaning at home so best to stay away from the harsh stuff! Cleaning aluminium takes some steps so in this guide we are going to walk you through it!
- Give it a thorough scrubbing. More than likely, your piece of aluminium has acquired a nice layer of dust. The first step to aluminium cleaning is to wash it. There’s no special trick to this. Fill your sink with hot water and soap and wash away. If you’re washing a pot or pan, make sure to remove all of the grease or you won’t be able to penetrate it later to get rid of the aluminium oxide underneath. You may need to use a scratchy pad. Make sure to get in the edges really well. The final product should be bare aluminium
- Clean off any burnt-on food. Again, the plan is to completely uncover the aluminium underneath. If the pan has food burned onto the bottom, you’ll need to get that off. Put a couple inches of water in the pan and bring it to a boil. Let it go for about five minutes and then, using a flat-edge wooden spatula, scrape as much of it off as possible. You may need to repeat this process a couple times.
- Break out the acid. Sometimes getting rid of the oxidation on an aluminium pot is as simple as cooking something acidic in it like tomato, apple, lemon, or rhubarb. If you don’t feel up to that, fill your pot or pan with water and add two tablespoons of vinegar cream of tartar, or lemon juice for each quart of water. Bring this aluminium cleaner to a boil, and let it roll for at least fifteen minutes. Feel free to throw in any aluminium utensils you might have. After the fifteen minutes are up, dump the pot out and check the results. This works very well, but it may need to be done several times. If the thing being cleaned isn’t a pot at all but will fit in one, this is a great way to clean smaller aluminium items.
- Try to avoid any harsh abrasives. It is frequently suggested that if there are really stubborn bits of baked-on nastiness or heavy oxidation you can remove them using either plain steel wool or Brillo Pads. The problem with this is these have a tendency to leave your aluminium riddled with little scratches that make it harder to clean in the future. If you feel you must use steel wool, use the finest grade you can find, use it as sparingly as possible, and apply as little pressure as possible. Go with the grain of the metal and don’t use circular patterns.
- Cleaning aluminium surfaces. Whether it’s the outside of the aluminium pot you just cleaned or a different hunk of aluminium altogether, the method is the same. More acid. Grab a lemon from the fridge, cut it in half, dip the cut side in some salt, and start rubbing. Don’t rub too hard, as the salt is slightly abrasive. If you don’t have an actual lemon, bottled lemon juice and a rag will work, too. Wet the rag, sprinkle it with salt, and start rubbing (gently).
The cost of getting a new kitchen can escalate easily, running into thousands depending on what materials you go for and which company you use. But choosing carefully and using a few money-saving tricks could cut your final bill considerably. Map out your current kitchen layout (or empty kitchen if you plan to start from scratch) on graph paper using metric measurements, as this is what kitchen manufacturers use.
Central to the design of your kitchen are your storage requirements. Assess your needs – what do you need to store and how much storage space will you therefore need? What do you use regularly and what do you use less often? Of the things you use regularly, where would make most sense for them to be stored? For example, if you like to try new recipes and experiment with spices, having cookbooks and a spice rack to hand near the hob would be useful. Or if you’re a seasoned baker, storage for baking utensils and ingredients might be best placed by the area where you’ll do most preparation. Once you’ve thought about what you want to store and where it makes most sense to place things, have a think about the different types of storage available: kitchen islands, open shelves, pull-out units, corner storage racks, hooks, freestanding units such as dressers, floor-to-ceiling cupboards, plate racks and wine racks (built-in or freestanding).
Look out for sales to grab a bargain kitchen – post-Christmas and pre-Easter are usually good times to buy. Websites like diyluxurykitchens.co.uk can help you find the design you want. Once you’ve found a company you like, if it can’t reduce the price any further, ask whether it will include the sink or certain appliances for no extra charge. Avoid giving a company more than 25% deposit before everything is delivered. If you’re able, pay at least £100 of the deposit on your credit card. This will give you extra rights, should you encounter problems later on. Check the payment schedule before signing any contracts for products and fitting. You can also buy a second-hand kitchen at a bargain price, but it’s vital to check it all fits well and that care has been taken to avoid damaging the kitchen when units are removed from another building. Whether you get a new kitchen or a second-hand one, if it’s from a big brand, it’s worth checking how highly its customers rate it.
If you decide to buy all new appliances, a typical list, including a washing machine, built-in oven, hob, cooker hood, dishwasher and fridge freezer, will cost from around £1,500, if you choose budget Best Buy-rated appliances. Installation is an extra expense on top of the kitchen itself and could be anything from £250 for pre-assembled units up to around £1,000, depending on the size of your kitchen and what’s being installed. Your kitchen’s plumbing, electrical wiring and waste water pipes also have a bearing on the overall cost. The more pipework and wiring you need to move, the higher the cost of your kitchen improvement will be. So if you can keep the layout of your old kitchen, the cheaper the installation will be. Many kitchen companies offer an installation service, at extra cost. We asked customers to rate the firm they used for installation, including the speed and quality of installation, the amount of mess made and the communication with their installer. Overall customer scores ranged from 84% to 56%, so it’s worth taking a look at our guide to kitchen brand installation to find out how your preferred company scored.
If you’ve been abroad on a fabulous holiday abroad at a great resort or on a cruise sailing across the Mediterranean, you’ll know the absolute joy and peace time away can bring. Choosing a holiday however, can actually be stressful! Booking a holiday is now something of a difficulty given the sheer choice available now so we’ve divided it down between the two most popular holiday choices, a cruise or a holiday resort.
Holiday resorts have a distinct advantage in that they give you the choice from self-catering to all-inclusive and everything is in one place. If you’re looking to stay in one place and explore one region then a holiday resort holiday can be easier. Travelling with small children is also a consideration as after a flight the last thing most want to do is then travel even further than their destination. Are you interested in a geographic range of choices? Then a cruise is likely the best option for you as it’s practically a floating holiday resort given the sheer size of the ship and what it has to offer. Travelling across different areas of the world full board and with many activities on board you get to have your entire holiday and everything you could want right at your fingertips.
The sheer design of holiday resorts today mean that hotels and apartments are far more attractive than they used to be. Being able to have the choice of a suite versus a room on a resort can mean the difference as to whether you have a balcony or not with your room. While wrought iron railings along balconies are a feature in old hotels and country manors, most holiday resorts have upgraded themselves to glass balconies and balustrades. Unparalleled when it comes to style and chicness, glass balconies offer an uninterrupted view. Companies like capitalinteriors.co.uk offer anti-scratch glass or decorative glass designs and planners who use these on hotel or cruise ship balconies can quite clearly see the market that they are designing for.
When sailing on a cruise ships, the outdoor cabins and suites generally have balconies with sheer glass to allow for an excellent view and is strong enough to resist impact and stresses and is highly aesthetic. A lot of older hotels and resorts are complimented by the standard wrought iron railing balconies but people tend to prefer the cleaner, more modern look of glass and the structural glass offers a frame-less look.
When choosing a holiday, people are attracted by the ‘packaging’ in the same way Marks and Spencer package differently to other supermarkets to be more aesthetically pleasing. Most holiday makers are looking for hotels or cruise ships that look attractive. No one wants to pay for a holiday with no decent windows or painted bright pink with purple spots. Companies online supply toughened glass and this is used and designed on things like frame-less balconies to withstand the weather and the play of toddlers.
The source of most roof leaks is hard to find because it originates away from where the leak shows up. In order to find the source of a leak, follow a roofer’s advice and “think like water.”
Water typically comes in through worn, broken, or missing shingles; where nails have worked loose; or through corroded or poorly sealed roof flashing around vents, skylights, or chimneys or along the intersections of roof planes. Once water passes the roofing, it flows along the sheathing, roof rafters, or topside of ceilings until it finds a place to drip down—inevitably onto your favorite piece of furniture. Look for a roof leak during the day. Go into the attic with a bright flashlight; step only on secure framing members and never on the insulation or topside of the ceiling below—neither of these will support you! Start above the place where the drip has occurred and work your way uproof, looking for wetness along the framing members.
If the weather has been dry for a while, look for water marks, stains, or discolorations on the wood made by moisture. Then switch off the light and try to find a hole where daylight shows through the roof. (With a wood-shingle roof, you’ll see many such places, but while the overlapped shingles let light show through they shed water.) If it’s still raining, put a bucket under the leak in an area with proper support. Let the bucket collect the drips and fix the leak when the weather clears. You can also use a company like roofbuildhomeimprovements.co.uk to sort the leak for you, if you don’t have the tools
When installing shingles, make sure the nails are embedded securely into the felt and sheathing. Over time, the sun’s heat will cause the roof and shingles to expand, making the nails pop out of place and thus increasing the risk of a leak. Because the roof is sloped, make sure you layer the shingles from bottom to top, overlapping the top set with the bottom. This will ensure your roof is protected from all the weather elements.
Rent a nail gun. Most can be rented for about $20 a day. The gun usually comes with a measurement guide that can save a lot of time. The standard width between each row of shingles is 5 inches.
After cleaning the debris and reframing the roof, lay down a base (sheathing). Eight-foot, 1/2-inch-thick plywood is standard sheathing material. Measure the opening of the section of roof to be shingled, cut the plywood to size and nail to roof rafters. Stagger the sheathing in a brick pattern for extra strength. Do not place an entire 8-foot section of plywood onto roof. Such a long piece is structurally unstable in the middle. Continue to install in brick pattern, staggering the plywood seams until the open area is covered. Start by stapling the 6-inch starter strip at the bottom section of roof leaving a 1-inch overhang on the eave to ensure drainage into the gutters. Going from bottom up, lay and nail the remaining felt layers with a 2-inch overlap. Be sure to nail the tar strip on each felt layer to ensure maximum hold. Companies like roofbuildhomeimprovements.co.uk will always be on hand for good advice when repairing a roof.
Lay the first row of shingles starting at a bottom corner of the roof. Place a base row of shingles following the chalk lines on the felt and move upward in a pyramid shape. Use six nails per shingle to ensure maximum hold, and be sure to always nail on the tar strip. Continue working your way across and up the roof, following your initial pyramid base. If repairing a section of damaged roof, be sure you layer the existing shingles on top of the new. This will ensure a uniform and seamless look.
Whether you are planning to release some money out of your home for upgrades or unlocking some of your property wealth to enjoy a cash boost, it makes sense to keep your house in the best condition you can. Regularly renovating and upgrading the home and garden can make such a difference to the value of the home and it’s a good way to invest some of your hard earned money. The higher the value of the home the greater the equity will be available to you and there are some very good ways of adding value to the property.
- Adding a bedroom. When you carry out either a loft conversion or build a bedroom over the garage, adding a bedroom can really create value to the home. Investing in a company like jpglass.co.uk means you can ensure your windows of the new bedrooms are done professionally as well as the doors you install.
- Build an extension. If you’re in a bungalow adding a whole floor to your home can really add some value. Obviously you have to have the right planning permission but this can be the most expensive way of adding value to your home. If it’s done well and in keeping with the rest of the property the return on your investments can be well worth it in the end.
- Upgrading the kitchen. Usually the kitchen is the hub of the home and as it’s where you do most of your entertaining keeping it updated is important. You can get the windows and doors done through jpglass.co.uk or a similar company and that way you can add a decent percentage to the value of your home.
- Upgrading the bathroom. Another way of adding value to your house is by bringing an outdated bathroom to life. A new suite, flooring and tiling will transform the room and adds a good bit of money to your home. You can even add in an en suite to your bedroom and this will drastically change the value of the home as a lot of families – especially new parents – appreciate what a second bathroom can add to the house.
- Companies such as jpglass.co.uk can install conservatories to the home to be enjoyed by everyone whatever the weather. If it’s under a certain size you won’t even need planning permission and even a small conservatory can add value.
You can have a chat with your mortgage provider as well as someone independent to come out and value your property for you and they should be able to tell you whether the changes you have made have been worth it for the house. Your home can be the most important asset you own and especially when you get to retirement. Your home could be the future inheritance for your children and adding value to it now will mean something amazing for your family in the future.
Our carbon footprint is so important these days, and this trend toward safe chemicals that do not harm the environment is great for families that include small children. Many safe regular cleaning products are being sold at supermarkets and used by professional carpet cleaners. Chemicals that were eco-friendly used to be hard to come by and now they’re far more readily available. Being able to buy environmentally friendly cleaning products means that you can now get top quality safe chemicals that will be good to both the earth and to your children, at a fraction of the cost of years gone by. You can fight dust mites and other allergens without draining your bank account every time you need to clean the house and companies such as magic-carpet.net are full of knowledge about which products are the best to use. Everyone knows that having children around can make housework difficult, especially if those children are under 5 or at the crawling baby stage. When you perform your regular cleaning routine in your home, you may be leaving behind all sorts of dust mites and other allergens that can have a negative effect on your children’s health, especially crawling babies.
Having children that crawl tends to go hand in hand with them putting their hands or toys in their mouths. You’ve got to use safe chemicals to deep clean your carpets and you will be increasing the cleanliness of your home while protecting the health of your little ones. There are many companies who clean carpets with safe chemicals. So many carpet cleaning chemicals get the job done right but they are not all child friendly and that can be a problem with little ones in the home. Generally children have sensitive body systems and are more vulnerable to harmful chemicals in their environments than are their parents.
Children are brand new and not used to the poisons in the air in the same way grown-ups are as they’re still relatively new with vulnerable immune systems. While deep cleaning is really important in order to keep your home free of the dust mites that can stir up allergies in your kids, it is important that you only use safe chemicals. Make an effort to only use products that will not cause harmful effects, even when used frequently. When you are hiring a carpet cleaning company, make sure that you discuss all of the products being used during the cleaning process. You need to know the names of the chemicals that you use so you can make sure there are no allergens in the bottles that your children wouldn’t breathe in. You’ve got to make sure that the chemicals used are correct.
Make sure you don’t stay quiet; ask any and all questions that pop into your head during the cleaning process and make sure children are not in the room while you clean.
It happens more often than you would think. You have a job that needs to get done, and you’re willing to pay for it. You get the info for some contractors, call them, and they don’t call you back. What’s the problem? It could just be bad timing. Maybe they are busy when you call and they figure you’ll find someone else by the time they are available. But there may be another factor. The reality is, a lot of potential customers actually turn out to be a waste of time. You could be one of them. Here’s what contractors like samkaramandsons.com are looking to avoid:
People who are just using them to get a bid. Perhaps you have found a contractor you really like, but you want double-check the price he gave you. Always get at least 3 estimates, right? Well a detailed estimate is time consuming to put together. Contractors don’t want to spend the time just to have their work used as a negotiating tool with someone else. Don’t be surprised if some contractors want to charge you for a proposal.
People who are not willing to spend the necessary amount to get what they desire. You have a wish list and a limited budget, and you want the two to meet. It seems like the cost of a job can vary greatly and you want the best quality for the lowest price. The cost includes hourly labor, overhead costs, materials, a markup on materials, and of course some money left over to make a reasonable profit on the job. Contractors have seen clients that look to cut costs at every corner, with unrealistic expectations of what you can get for your money. Keep in mind that the contractor should carry liability and worker’s compensation insurance, which is expensive. If you see one contractor stand out with a lower price make sure they have this insurance, because not all contractors carry it.
Customers who demand to know the itemized costs for every detail.
Contractors rarely want to give detailed, itemized proposals. One reason is that they are combining estimates that they have gotten from their sub-contractors, which are seldom broken out in detail. But they also know that if we see all of the numbers, we will then question every cost, and it will require more of their time in explanation and comparison-shopping than the contract is worth. You may think a price is negotiable, but it’s not. Clients that don’t actually know what they want, because there will be no way to please them.
Clients who think they know more about construction than they do. Many people take on DIY home projects and do a great job. Some hire contractors not because they think they can’t do it but because they don’t have the time to do it themselves. How hard can it be? But contractors that do the work have had years of training. They take pride in their skill and they probably do know more than you do. When a client criticizes their work they take it personally. They are looking to work with clients that respect their knowledge and their trade and will trust them to do it well.
One of the last jobs for most people moving into a new property is laying a new patio in the garden to enjoy on those long summer evenings. No matter what your project or materials, if you have decided to go against the game and not hire a company that deals with the construction of Expert Driveway layer Tonbridge or Home Patio Paving Services in Tonbridge, there are a number of factors you need to be aware of when doing it all yourself.
In this article, we are going to detail for you the things to do when deciding to lay your own patio and not call in Tonbridge groundwork builder. Before you start, you have to make sure you draw a plan – a simple one – of your house and garden. You need to know and sketch the areas you would like to be paved versus the rest of the garden. Once your plan is mapped out, use string to mark out the dimensions of the patio in position and once you’re happy with that, get digging!
Preparing the site is very important before you begin your work. Use pegs to mark corners of the patio area and this is also going to help you indicate the depth. Remember to allow for a gradual slope away from your property as this will help to avoid rainfall building up. Remove all topsoil, which is easily done using an edging iron and cutting the turf into manageable squares. All you have to do here is scoop with a spade and remove using a wheelbarrow and skip. The depth you have excavated should be 150mm or six inches from the finished patio and using pegs and string, you can measure the depth available. If you find soft spots in the soil, further excavation may be needed and these spots can then be filled with sub-base material. Make sure you check and double check all corners and depths thoroughly before putting down the material required.
Once you’ve tipped the sub-base material into the right area, rake it into position to a consistent four inch depth. Check the depth using a spirit level for evenness. Use a vibrating plate compactor to compact the whole area and make sure the area has been compressed twice at the very list and check again for any sinking areas. When you prepare the cement mix, avoid direct handling of the cement and keep your skin well covered. Starting in the corner, towel a bed of mortar to cover the area intended for the first paving flag.
Great care is needed when laying paving flags down and it is essential to use all the correct equipment for this operation. Check you are wearing the right clothing and mark the paving flag surface with the intended cutting line for guidance. Place the paving flag on a platform and carefully saw using a diamond disc cutter. You can either buy ready mix compound or using the shovel and trowel, prepare a jointing mix. Firm it into the joints using the trowel and finish with the pointing iron, compacting the mix.
Laying patio can be easy as long as all the steps are followed correctly.
We live in a technological world now and everything is monitored by Big Brother. You cannot walk down the high street without seeing cameras perched on top of buildings or lampposts and every shop and mode of public transport is covered in cameras ‘for our protection’. The thing is, it’s hard to know whether they actually work as a deterrent to violence or burglars. CCTV is cited whenever there is an assault, robbery, altercation that results in the police coming to the site of the crime. It’s there but it doesn’t seem to make a difference to stabbings in the night, shootings during the NottingHill Carnival or simple break ins to people’s homes during the night.
For this reason, many households put off installing cameras because they are of the opinion that they just don’t work. What’s the point if you’re woken in the night by an alarm ringing in your street and apparently no one is taking any notice? The thing is, the burglars DO take notice and it’s for this reason that contacting a company such as afass.co.uk is in your own best interests. Take a look at your street and see how many people have installed alarms or cameras. The obvious point here is that those who have an alarm will have an alarm box and maybe even an outside automatic light. The light will probably be triggered by motion. Both of these things can be deterrents, the noise the alarm makes is usually not. Of course, there are those who decide that a deterrent is enough and instead of having a complete alarm system installed, will simply pop a false box on the wall.
There are a number of problems with this approach, but the most obvious is that thieves have access to the internet too and they can see which alarms are fakes very easily. If an alarm does go off, it could be connected privately to the police as well as the homeowner, making the burglary not so attractive after all. Of course, the benefit of a professional alarm with multiple zones and protection comes into play when the thief has planned his deed. Although rare, some thieves have a particular reason for entering a house. Often they are found to have been ‘stealing to order’ and their goal will be to find and retrieve a certain item of value. Statistically, burglaries are shown to be mostly opportunistic, that is a burglar will see an open window or door, or a lack of basic security and decide to have a go. The chances of them having a go at robbing your house are increased when they see something of value like a television through the window. The chances are greatly reduced when they can see that by trying to gain access, an alarm is likely to go screaming at them.
A good alarm system won’t just act as a visible deterrent, but it will also provide protection for such items and give intelligence as to where the perpetrator is, and even stream video footage of the crime in progress. Should the burglar get away before the authorities turn up, you then have valuable evidence that can be used to prosecute.
In the mothering world, sleep training is a hot topic. There is the belief that children will eventually learn to sleep in their own time and shouldn’t be made to do anything that they do not want to and there is also the belief that children need to learn to sleep, just like any other skill we teach them. In the world of baby sleep, there are three very common sleep training methods: cry it out, controlled crying and pick up and put down. Crying it out is the least recommended and it’s the practice of putting a warm, full, dry baby down on its back in its room while sleepy to go to sleep. Once in the cot, if they cry, they cry and you don’t go in to see to them. The downside to this is that they learn that no one will come when they cry, so they learn to stop crying. Controlled crying starts in a similar way, but you go into the room every minute for the first night and gently sooth the baby without picking it up and gradually increase the timings until they understand sleeping without you is ok. The last is a combination of the two but each time you see the baby you pick up, calm it down and put them back into their bed.
Being a slave to the baby monitor is not the way to embrace or embark on parenthood. Don’t get us wrong, babies are cute and small and they make our hearts clench with the enormity of the importance of the little life just created. Once your new born baby has arrived you are then in a situation – if you are extremely unlucky – of being woken every 2-4 hours a night for an absolute minimum of six months. You are busy being focused on what’s best for your baby and sleepless nights seem a small price to pay for that focus. By week six however, getting up every two hours to nurse the baby gets really old, really fast.
The trouble is if you’re breastfeeding you could be trying to establish a feed supply and that is a hindrance to your beauty sleep. You could be very lucky and have a baby who sleeps right through the night save for a feed or two but for the normal baby, that doesn’t happen. Only in fairy tales does that happen! Many babies get their days and nights mixed up, napping for long periods in the afternoon and waking up to play at bedtime. Sleep training is all about getting your little one to sleep and there are companies out there like hatacademy.co.uk that offer actual sleep training courses. What I will say though, is that you can read every book and take every course out there, but that doesn’t mean there is a magic cure. Our babies are born without instruction manuals and rule books and what works for one baby will not work at all for another baby.
There is a reason there is a magic time of six months of age. This is that a baby is actually supposed to wake up. Their stomachs are tiny for a start so regular feeding is the only way they will grow; they don’t stay full for as long as an adult does. When babies are born they have emerged from a warm, dark safe place in a small space to a world that is loud, bright, cold and absolutely huge. That is scary! It’s like being stuck inside with a broken leg for weeks and being allowed outside; you’re disoriented and may feel overwhelmed and seeing as babies can only communicate by crying, that is exactly what they do. All they want is to be held those first few months and the development that they go through during those months is huge.