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

Space Images on a Budget

A Leeds man has put his DIY knowledge to the test and built a camera which he sent to the edge of the Earth.

Robert Harrison spent just £500 and used a standard digital camera, some duct tape and a polystyrene box to build the contraption which he sent into the atmosphere attached to a large balloon.

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Spending Cuts Affecting Building Work

Spending Cuts Affecting Building Work

Builders merchant Travis Perkins has warned this week that the government spending cuts have slowed recovery in the construction sector. This is despite the company posting a 7.2% increase in like for like sales for the first six months of 2011. This improvement has been attributed to poor figures from 2010 due to snow and an increase in the amount of public sector construction.

However Geoff Cooper the chief executive of Travis Perkins, which also owns Wickes, has commented that the government cutbacks, tax increases and a drop in consumer confidence did affect their trading during the second quarter and in addition public sector work is starting to tail off.

So far in the second half of the year, the company has seen an increase in sales of just 4% and it is likely to continue at this reduced rate for the remainder of the year, according to Cooper.

Cooper goes on to suggest that there will be further casualties of the harsh economic times such as Focus DIY and that this will lead to consolidation in the sector as larger companies buy out smaller ones. In fact he expects that a further £600 million could be gained for his company from buying other stores when they fail. Travis Perkins bought 13 former Focus stores following the collapse earlier this year.

Squatters Rights under Review

Squatters Rights under Review

A new report released by the government has admitted that future plans to criminalise squatting could have a detrimental effect on homelessness and unfairly target those with mental health and drug addiction problems. In many cases squatters enter a home when it is being renovated and is left empty.

Despite this assessment the government has also pointed out that there are other avenues open to people who are in a genuine state of homelessness and that this would not mean occupying someone else's home.

The consultation paper which was released by the Ministry of Justice last week has suggested that it become a criminal offence to squat in buildings and would allow the courts to jail those who are most persistent and to repeal the so-called “squatters rights” law. This prevents the legal owner of the building from re-entering if it is occupied by squatters.

It has been estimated that as many as 20,000 people in the UK are squatting at any one time and the government have said that it is wrong that legitimate occupants should not be able to have access to their own building.

However Leslie Morphy from the homeless charity Crisis has pointed out that criminalising the problem does not deal with the underlying issues involved. There are also fears that any change to the law will simply work in favour of unscrupulous landlords and property developers who keep buildings empty for their own profits.

State of the Art Eco Homes

It is hoped that work will begin in July on two state of the art eco-homes in Coventry on a currently derelict site. Local firms will be given the opportunity to lead the project which will offer experience and skills ahead of the zero-carbon target of 2016.

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Stereotypical View of White Van Man Outdated

A study by one of the UK's leading insurers has discovered that white van drivers are actually smarter than people may have thought. Of the 3000 van drivers questioned, 70% liked to keep up with politics and 50% love to read and always have a book on the go.

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Stocked Up With Rock Salt and Winter Fuel

With cold snowy weather set to continue for the next few days; retailers have been ensuring they have extra stocks of winter essentials.

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Stocking Filler Ideas From Gorilla Glue

This year, why not surprise the DIY’er in you life with something really useful for their Christmas stocking?

Gorilla Glue has some great gift ideas for the DIY Dad, home handyman or hobbyist. A must-have for every household, Gorilla Glue is one of the toughest and most versatile all-purpose adhesives available and is ideal for almost any domestic fixes, building repairs and creative projects.

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Structural Home Improvements

Recent research from Swinton Insurance has indicated that 51% of the 1200 people questioned are considering structural home improvements this year in a bid to add to the value of their home.

The five most popular home improvements were adding a conservatory, building a garage extension, turning the loft into a usable room, turning the spare bedroom into an additional bathroom and building a roof terrace.

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Students Building an Eco House

Students Building an Eco House

Students at Sussex Coast College in Hastings are making the most of their lessons by building an entire Eco-friendly house on their campus.

The project is European funded and is part of a collaboration with a school in Normandy, France. It is hoped that the scheme will help the students to learn new skills from each other as well as putting into practise the construction methods they have been learning about in their lessons.

The house will be built over two years, with each stage coinciding with what the students are being taught at the time. Other pupils doing courses such as plumbing and electrics will also be able to work on the house at the appropriate times.

Mark Jackson, one of the lecturers at the Sussex College has commented that the hands-on experience is making the lessons come alive and that there are very few places like this which will give the students real life experience using sustainable techniques.

Local businesses have also got involved in the project by supplying some of the sustainable materials.

When complete, the house will measure 100 square metres and will have been worked on by dozens of different students.

Students Complete DIY Projects on School Buildings

Pupils at a Staffordshire school are putting what they have learned in the classroom to good use by carrying out some much needed DIY work on the school buildings. Clough Hall Technology School in Kidsgrove have seen a transformation to their school after pupils painted a teaching block and a toilet block and even built a pedestrian entrance to improve access to the site. They have also installed planters and created a seating area.

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Sun Dangers When Working Outdoors

UK homeowners who are planning on doing some work in the garden over the next few months are being warned that they may be putting themselves at risk of skin cancer due to the high levels of sun radiation.

In the last 30 years the rates of skin cancer in the UK have increased more rapidly than any other of the top ten types of cancer.

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Super Savings with Focus DIY

To celebrate the arrival of the Spring season, Focus DIY has launched a fantastic new Spring Discount Card.

Between 14th and 27th March, Focus DIY is giving you a fabulous 15% off all purchases* when you spend £50. Shoppers will then qualify for the Spring Discount Card, offering 10% off all further purchases made in-store until 30th April**.

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