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

Disappearing Gardens

Disappearing Gardens

A recent report into the state of London's gardens has revealed that garden space in the capital is being lost at a rate of two and a half Hyde Parks each year due to the prevalence of decking and paving.

The study was carried out by The London Wildlife Trust along with the Greater London Authority and Greenspace Information for Greater London. It was titled London: Garden City? and was conducted over a 100 month period. It discovered that decking and paving has increased by 25% in that period.

Housing was also shown to have had an effect as 500 gardens in London were lost to development each year during the study. In total this equated to 6 hectares of lost greenery each year.

The study also showed that London gardens now have less greenery. In 2008 a study revealed that 57% of London gardens contained vegetation. This figure has now dropped by 12%. In addition garden sheds and general garden buildings have increased the amount of land they cover by 55%.

The researchers used aerial photography to discover the use of London gardens alongside data they gathered from various sources.

DIY – An Endangered Species?

A new study has indicated that knowledge of DIY may be all but extinct as early as 2050 due to the rise in technology.

The AA Home Emergency Response study has revealed that just one third of men are confident enough at the moment to carry out simple DIY tasks such as repairs and maintenance.

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Diy Against the Law ?

Research by Readers Digest has suggested that old laws from the 19th century could be making DIY against the law.

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DIY and Gardening Sector Set to Grow

A report released by Verdict Research has indicated that that the DIY and Gardening sector is set to grow by 2.1% by 2014 to be worth £12.9 billion. It is expected that most of this growth will be due to increased sales of gardening products with sales increasing by 5.6%, while DIY products will increase in sales by just 0.4% over the same period of time.

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DIY and the Nesting Instinct

It seems that there is much more to the nesting instinct that meets eye, as pregnant women have been found to attempt much more challenging DIY jobs than anyone might have expected. A study of 1500 Mums by has found that 78% used flat pack or DIY built furniture to decorate their baby's room and 41% said that they built this furniture on their own.

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DIY App Gives On The Spot Advice

Novice DIYers can now use their mobile phones to get on the spot DIY advice from retailer B&Q. The B&Q DIY App was released last month and is proving a hit with DIY fans across the UK.B&Q have described the app as the hottest new tool to keep in your pocket rather than your tool box. It brings people together with a range of experts from B&Q to offer advice when required.

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DIY Artwork Becoming Increasingly Popular

Figures have shown that people in the UK are spending £45m a year on DIY artwork made from photographs. Rather than buying prints, paintings or other pieces of art, Brits are much more likely to turn their own photos and children's drawings into clothes, keyrings, mugs and even cakes, as well as large wall art.

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DIY Chain Commemorates Wedding

To celebrate the Royal Wedding, Focus DIY has introduced the ‘Catherine’ Rose - a stunning, pale pink rose - in honour of the royal bride-to-be, Kate Middleton.

With an average life span of 35 years, although they can last for far longer, the Catherine Rose is a fitting tribute to Kate that will continue to bloom year after year.

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DIY Chain Helps Bob-a-Job Week

DIY Chain Helps Bob-a-Job Week

The Scout Association has announced they will be holding their first Community Week in almost 20 years and are asking members of the public for ideas on how they can volunteer their services.

The Community Week which used to be known as Bob-a-job Week will take place from May14-20, 2012 and Scouts throughout the country will be offering their services to help out in their community.

In fact Scouts are more likely to volunteer in their community than other parts of society even during normal times of the year. Recent research found that 36% of former Scouts volunteer two hours a week and 38% of current Scouts also take part in volunteering activities.

It is hoped that the community week will encourage adults to become involved in the organisation.

The Scouts are receiving financial assistance from B&Q who will also be marketing the event, offering tools to be used by the Scouts and giving them practical training in basic DIY skills.

Members of the public are being asked to offer suggestions for community projects which might need help from the volunteers. Donations are also being requested.

DIY Chain in The Times Best Green Companies List

DIY Chain in The Times Best Green Companies List

B&Q has become one of only three retailers to make it on to The Times Best Green Companies List for this year. The DIY store came in at 18th place due to the significant changes the store has made to its operations. These changes allowed it to cut its carbon emissions by 20%, one year before they had scheduled to do so.

The changes B&Q have made have included adjusting the in-store lighting to reduce electricity usage, not using skips to ensure waste is recycled, reducing packaging and using larger lorries to reduce road miles.

The store has also been praised for the ways it helps their customers to live a greener lifestyle. They now source 100% of their wood from sustainable sources and they also took part in the START project which aimed to educate people on living green. In addition to this, the store has been collecting signatures to petition the government to reduce VAT on energy saving products.

Euan Sutherland, the CEO of Kingfisher (the owner of B&Q) has commented that getting on to the list was especially pleasing as they were the only DIY store to make the list and it was testament to their hard working staff.

DIY Chain Win Gold Award

DIY chain, B&Q have won the Gold Award from Human Resources Magazine. The award recognises employee engagement and learning and development. The fact that B&Q has made an appraisal of their progress via a “transforming B&Q” strategy and has managed to do so with clarity has meant they have picked up this award.

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DIY Chains Reducing Packaging

DIY Chains Reducing Packaging

The Chief Executive of recycling organisation WRAP has said this week, that DIY chains are making significant progress towards meeting their targets for the reduction of packaging which is sent to landfill.

DIY retailers and manufacturers signed an agreement in 2007 known as the Home Improvement Sector Commitment which stated that packaging would be reduced by 15% and landfill waste would be reduced by 50% by 2012. So far the drop in packaging has been 12% and the reduction in waste sent to landfill has been an impressive 64%.

A further commitment was also made to encourage homeowners to recycle more by improving packaging design, giving guidance and making recycling easier.

Liz Goodwin from WRAP has said that with one year still to go before the deadline, the signatories have made some positive changes. She points out that it is important to remain focused especially when it comes to packaging. She applauds the effort made so far in a relatively short period of time.

Those companies which are involved include Argos, B&Q, Crown Paints, Homebase, Wickes and more. More than half of all those in the home improvement sector have signed.