The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.


4 Pounds Lighter !

Well, I am hooked. Weight Watchers really is the best thing since a slice of Nimble (that's low calorie bread, in case you don't know). I was very proud on Monday night to have found out I was 4 pounds lighter!

I never thought I would be the type to high five with a complete stranger but the atmosphere at those meetings is kind of infectious. All these lovely ladies started telling me how well I had done and how I will have my first half stone before I know it. I really got into the spirit of the meeting as well and before I knew it I was sharing hints and tips like a pro. Got to hand out my business card to a few people as well, so I am looking at it like a networking meeting. Bonus!

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A Bit Hacked Off About The Builders Rubbish

Phew! The wife is back at last and my week of solitude is over. I was so excited when she got back that I spent the morning getting the house really tidy and even popped to the shops to make sure we had food in the house. I had been surviving on takeaways and ready meals...yes I know, typical bloke.

Some might say that this is the absolute minimum I should have done, but Claire knows me well enough to know that me doing these two things shows how much I missed her. Besides I did buy flowers as well.

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A Bit Sceptical

Would you believe work is actually going pretty well at the moment. Things in the middle flat are taking shape and my schedule is pretty much going to plan. Of course knowing me there is likely to be something which I have forgotten to order or something unexpected is likely to turn up. But right now I am being positive, if that is actually possible!

I have been spending a bit of time working on the fitted wardrobe this week. Of course it has been a little bit more complicated than I expected as the off the shelf version didn't quite fit the space. So I took the time to actually build a set of wooden sliding doors. You might think this is a real hassle, but actually it was quicker and cheaper than the boring DIY store option. The wood will need painting, but otherwise they fitted great and look pretty cool.

I ordered the top and bottom track system from an online supplier. It is pretty simple actually. The kit came with rollers which are fixed into the top and bottom of the doors and I bought a double track so the doors can pass behind each other. I used a bit of extra wood to build a frame around the whole lot so it fits perfectly into the space.

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A Bit Tight Money Wise

Things have improved somewhat since last weeks nightmare. My eye is on the mend and the patch has been consigned to the rubbish bin. The van is booked in to get new tail lights and a respray and we've been measured up for new carpet, which will be in before Christmas, or so I am told. But not holding my breath.

The issue with the woman and the money she owes me is still on-going though. She really is up the creek without a paddle and me being such a soft touch has told her not to worry until after Christmas. I got into serious trouble at home about that. I got the “how am I going to pay for Christmas?” speech to which I replied “Get a job?”. Seriously, that was the wrong thing to say because she offered to do just that and leave the kids at home with me. Many whispered apologies later, I was back in the good books.

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A Builder’s Home is Always Last on the List

Thank goodness we are home...that was one week of near hell, interspersed with pockets of fun. The park itself was pretty good when it came down to it. If you can get away from the crowds and avoid the mega-expensive food outlets, then the rest of it is actually OK. Of course I loved the rides and I could see that the kids were having a good time. Claire put the hard word on me and told me I had to pretend I was having a good time even if I wasn' the end of the day that wasn't too hard.

The hotel was another story altogether. Queues for the never-ending buffet, queues for the bar, queues for the sun-loungers and too much splashing and screaming in the pools. The weather was great and that is about all I can say which is positive about the hotel experience.

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A Busman's Holiday for Marty

As I mentioned last week, we have had a week of DIY around the house. Making the home presentable to all those friends, neighbours and relatives who descend on you at Christmas is very high on the priority list for my wife. I am a “take us as we are” type of person, but Claire is of the opinion that if you are married to someone who can do these types of jobs then you can't leave them undone. It just wouldn't look right apparently. No matter that I use up my weekends to reach her exacting standards.

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A Few DIY Repairs at Disney

Aargh!! The Marty family have descended on Euro-Disney, or to be more precise – Disney fever has taken over the Marty family.

Let me set the scene: Hours spent in the car, on the train and searching for the hotel. Some excited running about when we get to the room, checking out the swimming pool and the restaurant. This is followed by Claire reading the in-room food menu and insisting this was the best and cheapest option for dinner. I know this isn't true, but I go along with it anyway. Anything to avoid the queueing hoards downstairs.

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A Hectic Week and Running out of Space

Another interesting week. Strangely enough I am actually really enjoying our latest job. If you remember we are turning a large Victorian house into three flats. So far, everything is going to plan, but knowing my luck that is a situation which might not last.

We have ripped out the downstairs and nearly completed clearing the upstairs. While you might think the upstairs would be easier and quicker, I think it is actually going to be quite tricky. We have an old water heating system and unfortunately the loft will need complete stripping of all the insulation. Not a fun job at all.

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A Nasty Encounter with a Table Saw

All I am going to say is that this is being typed with one finger.....very slowly. Yes, you guessed it, I have a had a little bit of a mishap involving a table saw and a lump of wood and it was entirely my own fault.

You are probably thinking about sliced off fingers and hundreds of stitches, but thankfully it isn't quite that bad, but it could have been and that is why I am so annoyed at myself. I took a terrible risk and it very nearly did me some serious damage.

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A National Epidemic Called DIY

Believe it or not, it has been a good week. The snow has thawed, the weather has been warmer and I have been able to get quite a bit done. The downstairs cloakroom is pretty much complete. Just the flooring to go and a little bit of tiling around the sink. It will look pretty good once it is done.

The gazebo is also complete and Claire has even had the chance to give it a little bit of a paint. In fact, Claire has been working very hard getting all of the Christmas stuff done. This year she has managed to get all of the shopping without once asking me to go out with her. I can't thank her enough for that as I can tell that shopping centres are not the best place to be right now.

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A Waste of My Hard Earned Cash

Well, the country seems to be headed for election fever over the next few weeks and it has started already. The old leaflets are starting to come through the door and the rhetoric is coming across the TV and radio. But when it comes down to it, what we all want is to be able to get a mortgage, get paid for an honest days work and not get fleeced every which way.

Yep, you guessed it, I am talking banks today. Like all those other self employed people out there, I recently had to pay a nice big tax bill. Fair enough, but it is frightening how much of my hard earned cash goes into paying for hair brained Government schemes or worse still, bank bailouts...

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A Week of Ups and Downs

Well, this has certainly been a week of up's and down's. Claire has taken the kids to stay with her Mum and Dad for a few days and I am feeling very lonely.

For the first day or two it was brilliant. I stocked up on beers and junk food (yes, I know about the whole losing weight thing!) and played on the X-Box all night. It really released some of the tension which this current job has been storing up. I was able to work until silly o'clock at night without fear of getting the silent treatment and I didn't have to worry about being stinky and covered in dust when I finally got home.

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G L Smith and Sons