Hiring a handyman to help out

It’s got to the stage now where I’m finding it increasingly difficult to complete my tasks solo. Funds for buying materials are fine and we are looking good in that department. But I just never seem to find the hours in a day to complete everything I want to. At this rate, my house project will be running till 2020.

I want to see if I can reduce this by hiring a builder as an extra pair of hands and eyes. They will be pretty much assisting me two days a week so hopefully this will speed up the process and I will be able to get more completed to share with my readers. Stay tuned for updates.

Fitting a new toilet and bathroom floor tiles

I have lived in this house for a good number of years now, I think it coming up to ten. Over that time, I haven’t really paid much attention to things that could be done to improve the bathroom. But after visiting a few home improvement centers near me, I saw some fantastic layouts for similar sized rooms as mine an it just feel right. Certainly more homely. So I have taken it upon myself to give the bathroom a complete overhaul, especially the toilet and tiles as they are quite outdated.

I got the white tiles delivered on Monday, and have been working hard on removing the old flooring. Back aching work I tell ya! However, with a bit of help from my friends I’ve been able to clear them all by the end of Monday. Never was there a time when a beer was more earned. I decided to take a day off on Tuesday and begin working on laying the new tiles on Wednesday.

Come the end of Wednesday, I had fitted them all, leaving room for the toilet installation. And from the few comments I’ve had on their design so far, I can see this will definitely spruce up how the bathroom looks. I mean, even I can see the difference it makes to the old duller colors we had on previous tiles.

Thursday was the final piece of the puzzle, all decoration tasks aside. And that was to install the brand new touchless toilet, originally I had no clue what to look for but The toilet throne website helped me out with that. Thanks to their reviews they helped me understand which were the best rated and specific features to look out for.

After looking through many of their buying guides, I settled on one of these hands free flush toilets that makes flushing simple, effective, and convenient. Technology these days can make life a whole lot easier, and more hygienic, and truth be told, that’s exactly what I was aiming for.

After installation, I have to admit, it looks fantastic. It now looks like a modern bathroom with the tile combo. The only thing I believe is missing, is some decent lighting to really bring all the fixtures to life and make it feel homely. This is something I will be focusing on in the near future.

At some point, I will also be needing to replace the shower heads and faucets, but that will be further down the line. I will keep you updated on that as I progress through the various building projects on the list.

Time to tile the kitchen

First on my list is the kitchen tiling job. I have picked out, or rather, my wife, a nice set of cream tiles that will be placed halfway up the wall and all across the floor for a bright, reflective effect on the room as a whole especially when the sun hits it.

The other half of the wall will be painted a slightly darker shade of cream but a color that compliments the look and feel as a whole. We went all out and got a good toilet that includes all the latest flushing technology as well as looking great. We also have a brand new walk in shower with some really cool rain style shower heads that modernize everything. So, once the decor is done, we’re looking at a bathroom that looks warm and inviting, and we can’t wait to get started.

Update: Tiles have been put into place, and today we are starting to stock up on the paint. The bathroom itself is larger than you would expect so we need the additional paint especially for all the undercoats and normal coating layers being done.

The tiles look fantastic next to the toilet and shower area and i’m quite proud as this is my first full on piece of D.I.Y that I’ve completed in our new home.

Warming up the house with a wood stove

We had some big decisions to make today that involved picking the right kind of space heater for our rooms. We really wanted something off the grid that didn’t rely on gas or electric outlets too much. After much research online, we found a site called Warm Home Guide who have reviewed several wood burning stoves in detail that helped us understand the positives and negatives of owning one.

After much discussion with my wife, we decided to purchase two of these. One will be set up in the lounge, and one will be set up in the dining area. Those rooms were chosen based on their central location in the house and ultimately how effectively heat will be distributed from those areas. Thats the basics of it, and those plans may change if it turns out it’s not effective as we hoped. But looking at the various BTU scores, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

We decided to go with a Vozelgang wood stove because they seem to have a great burn time thanks to it being able to store more fuel at one time. This is precisely what we need as it will allow us to set and forget it for a while rather than constantly going back to it for refueling purposes.

On the whole, it seems to be the most sensible options out of the many types of space heaters on the market. The only other thing we’re considering once these are installed is some kind of outdoor heater, maybe for the patio, maybe something larger for parties in the summer evenings where things can get a bit chilly once the sun disappears from the sky.

However, something will need to be done about our attic that’s been converted into a bedroom. We don’t think the heat will reach that area as well because the insulation in place is sub par and needs to be improved upon. That’s yet another thing on the checklist of things to be done in the near future.

Update: We have got the two wood stoves installed and they are working like a charm. However, as we suspected, the attic will definitely need re-insulating as we seem to be losing a lot of heat through the roof which is disappointing.

Yard work and a new pole saw!

I made an amateur mistake yesterday when maintaining my back yard. I have been cutting back branches with chainsaws, using ladders and various safety ropes which was very difficult and tiring. I was told by a close friend of mine that there was an easier way and just by coincidence he had been trimming back a tree in his own front yard. But instead of a chain saw, he used a pole saw!

Now I’ve been kicking myself at what should of been a relatively simple, straightforward job, that instead took four or so hours. I have what’s an apparently a highly rated pole saw according to my close friend. The brand name rings a bell and it’s certainly popular in most online stores we checked out. But what does that matter? All that matters in my view is how effectively it pruned the trees and bushes, and I’ve gotta say, I’m impressed. It cut through branches and twigs like cheese and finished what could of otherwise been a very time consuming job very quickly indeed. Definitely owe my friend a beer for that tip.

And with all the concentration on the Husqvarna pole saw I have, I totally forgot to take a step back and look at how the back yard was looking. I have the type of garden that is quite closed in so it’s hard to see everything unless you’re looking at it from a distance. So I cleared up my tools and went to the upstairs window to admire my handiwork. To my surprise the difference was very noticeable, and not just in how everything looked down there. It turns out we didn’t appreciate just how much the trees were blocking sunlight into the rooms on the first floor on my house.

And the best part of it all, we didn’t spend more than 500 bucks on power tools, so we have something hidden away in the garden shed to continually trim or prune whenever we fee like it.

There is still more tasks to be carried out back there, but they mainly fall to my wifes capable hands and it involves picking out some great plant life that will be lining the flower bed. My job will be building some flower boxes to house them all and make everything look neat and organized. Stay tuned for that!

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my blog. My name is John and i’m 47 years old. I have been living in the USA for the better part of a decade and have just got into this blogging lark. I love all things D.I.Y and have taken up my own projects in my spare time having now retired.

In fact, high up on my list of projects, is my own house with a lengthy list of things that need improving upon namely the kitchen, living area and most definitely the heating. The place is like a fridge, seriously.

So this blog will basically be my journey into these various projects and how I handle any problems I run into. You will see in due course tutorials about how I fit and install the heating systems along with yard maintenance and other hands on tasks.

I want to give special thanks to our supporters around the web who have made it possible for me to maintain this website. That includes my friends and family, love you all.