Category Archives: Home & Style

Build Your Own Timber Garden Office Yourself

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Run a Business From Your Very Own Home Office

Learning how to optimise space in your yard and building a garden office you can work from is an excellent idea that can help you to completely eliminate the rat-race of day to day working. If you are deciding on building a garden office from scratch this article will help you by showing you the essentials you will have to put into consideration before you attempt the project of building your ultimate garden office.

The very first thing you will need is solid foundations. Most people will just lay out a concrete slab as the most popular option. A new method is using plinth foundations that provide adjustable surfaces and very easy installation. Choose a foundation that uses little preparation and utilises a strong foundation for your building.

Prepare to have your lawn dug up if you want water and plumbing services in your garden office. Image credit: Garden Affairs

The next thing you will need is a professional electric system rigged up. You will need to hire an electrical contractor that has a solid reputation as you cannot do this part of the job on your own.

Garden offices are like mini living areas and with that comes the need for a good plumbing system. You can get more return on your investment by including such things as a toilet and sink. Just like the electrical aspect of your office, you will need to hire a professional plumbing contractor to set everything up correctly for you.

The interior of your garden office will be the very next task on your building agenda. You can let your creativity and imagination flow when you are choosing the layout and design. You can use low-priced MDF boards or solid wood for the interior fit out or you can always use a fully plastered design. You can really build the interior out of any material you choose. For flooring, you always have many options as well including hardwood, carpeted, vinyl, tile and other methods.

There are 6 separate phases that you will go through while you are building your garden office from scratch. We will outline the phases below that you can do on your own below.

The first phase of building your garden office is choosing the actual piece of land where you will build your office. You can dig holes in the ground as markers to put in footings for your foundation.

The next thing you can do is create the foundation and build the frame that shows the overall size of your garden office. You can lay down 4 concrete blocks that can be a support for the frame of the office. You can always add more blocks to create a stronger frame. You will want to set your building a few inches above the ground to provide air flow and you can also fill in the joists of the frame if wanted.

To build a garden office from scratch you will need to finish the foundation. All the connecting and supporting points including concrete blocks and joists of the frame are covered. You can build a central part that goes the entire length of the foundation that will allow you to hang the joists from. The central part creates strength for the base of your office and also provides good insulation.

A Solid Concrete Base is Your Best Option for Any Timber Outbuilding. Image credit: Ultimate Handyman

It is recommended that you create the walls of your office from reclaimed wood. There are plenty of choices available and softwood is typically the cheapest of options for those on a budget. You can also head to hardware stores to find out what type of wood will work for your home office. Above all else, you will want to choose a dry wood that guarantees quality insulation. You can measure the height of the office and build wooden frames for the walls. You can screw in cross beams and other pieces to create a stable and secure wall.

After you build the walls you can create the base of your office by laying down foundation then building a floor. After you have insulated your floor area you should also insulate your walls. Once you have completed this install the windows. Lastly, you will need to install the roof before you put the doors on.

The last phase of building is installing the door to your garden office. You can do it simply by building the frame of the wall to allow for you to screw the door into the frame. You can also choose other options such as a dual door that will lift into place. You then simply screw the hinges into the frame of your office. You will now have a door that will protect your office from the elements.

This concludes the possible options you have on building garden office buildngs from scratch. There are a lot of things you can do on your own and these are the main elements. You can maximise your budget and get the most from your office with these ideas.

Special Mentions

The author would like to personally thank the following amazing websites for their inspiration, knowledge and imagery in the creation of this article:

 

How to transform an old kitchen with new doors, worktops & appliances

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Kitchen looking tired? Here’s how to improve it

Being one of the most important rooms in your house, the kitchen deserves to be well decorated and maintained. The problem is that the cupboards and cabinets tend to end up looking a bit old, or worse for wear, and you cannot go changing your kitchen often. Besides the high cost involved there is also a great deal of hassle and work, and a big mess to clean up afterwards too!

However what many people fail to notice is that in reality there is no need to replace a kitchen from scratch in order to benefit from a newer and more modern looking one. There are relatively small and affordable renovation projects you could undertake to make your kitchen look fresh and new! You can transform an old kitchen by installing new doors instead of the old ones. You could also order new worktops so as to get rid of the stained and discoloured countertop that has been annoying you. You could also invest in new and more modern appliances. By doing this you will be able to attain more than you ever hoped for and at a fraction of the cost.

A Typical Kitchen Door Factory Floor. Image credit: Crooked Oak

In many cases the kitchen carcass is still in an acceptable condition. Therefore the main problems tend to lie on the outer parts of the kitchen, that is, the doors and the countertop. If you come to think of it then, replacing these parts could do the trick.

Ordering new doors to be fitted instead of the current ones is simple as there is a kitchen company in Maidstone who specialise in this service. They will come to your house to measure the current doors, and offer you several options with regards to style and material, and of course the colour. The new doors will then be made to measure. In many cases new handles and knobs will be chosen so as to be fixed to the new doors and drawers, and voila, your kitchen is already looking like new once they install them for you!

The countertop is most probably suffering with stains here and there and a couple of scratches from knives and other sharp objects that you use to prepare your food. So installing a new countertop can rid you of these defects. Quartz countertop overlays are an ideal low cost option in many cases as these will be made to measure and installed right on top of the current worktop. So it is a mess free process. There are specialised companies who offer the cutting of the worktop overlays and the subsequent installation too. You can choose from different materials, but quartz is the most popular option since it is resistant to stains, very modern and sleek, and easy to clean and maintain.

Quartz Overlays Look Amazing & Cost a Fraction of a Granite Countertop. Image credit: Freeindex

Finally, ordering new appliances that will complement the new style of your renovated kitchen could further improve its fresh look! Nowadays there are countless styles and brands to choose from, so as to complement a vintage, contemporary, or modern kitchen.

You will be amazed at how affordable and hassle free these changes will be, and yet how effective in terms of the new look it will prove to be!

How to choose the best running shoes for flat feet

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Finding suitable running footwear for people with plantar fasciitis

Having a flat foot or plantar fasciitis means that one doesn’t have a distinct curve on the inside of the foot and the foot is likely to over-pronate hence causing injuries. The arch of a foot is formed by the metatarsal and tarsal bones and strengthened by ligaments and tendons and it is meant to act as a shock absorber when you put your weight on the feet. The shock is absorbed and alleviates the impact that will hit the ankles, knees and hips hence causing pain. The arch in a flat foot completely on the ground, i.e. it overpronates and this causes the ankle to twist inward and knees to overcompensate. The sole of their feet is much more on the inner edge and this increases the likelihood of getting injuries and long term foot problems.

For runners who have flat feet, they have problems with the running gait because the arch has to support them 3 times more than an average runner. That is why people with this kind of feet should be cautious when getting running shoes.

Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis. Image credit: Feet Remedies

Running shoes for people with flat feet are designed to specifically offer good support, stability and motion control and there are two types of shoes created for this:

Stability running shoes

They are best for this kind of feet because they have a hard coupon of foam right below the medial side of the arch and at times all the way to the heel. It also helps correct overpronation by restricting the excessive motion of the foot.

Motion controlling running shoes

They have the same technology as the stability shoes, but they have been added an upper construction so as to lock the runner’s feet while providing support. They have a bump that is made from hard material and it is placed where the arch is supposed to be which in turn counters overpronation.

When choosing the best running shoes for flat feet you should consider the following:

  • A shoe that offers good and high stability that will make you comfortable as you run. There are different high stability running shoes from different brands so make sure to get one that suits you best.
  • The shoes should be made from a hard material offer more stability and motion to shoes and support the arch and keep in proper position as well as good shock absorbing properties.
  • They should have a good grip that will not tend to slip all over the place as you run by having a good tread that will depend on the type of climate and terrain one is running.
  • Flat feet mean that they don’t have space to breathe hence the shoes should have a mesh that allows airflow and there is no retaining of moisture from sweat which may lead to bacterial problems.
  • The shoes should be flexible enough to allow the natural motion of the feet while at the same time providing stability. They should however not bend or twist in the middle rather at the toe because this will cause pain in the midfoot area and foot which in turn lead to discomfort as your run.
  • Flat feet people require more support at the center, adequate shock absorption and protection from impact as they run, hence get a shoe that has a lot of cushioning and the fallen arch of the for it well supported. There should be additional cushioning in the heel and forefront to act as shock absorbers hence preventing painful shin splints.
  • They should be durable by having a good construction and material. The outer sole and upper design should have a high abrasion rubber compound and the supportive overlays should be put together so that the shoe doesn’t wear out prematurely

The best running shoes for flat feet are the one that corrects the condition, are comfortable with an added arch and prevent further injuries when running. A great example brand in New Balance running shoes who have built a reputation as one of the world’s leading sports shoe manufacturers.

New Balance 860 V7 are a great running shoe for flat feet. Image credit: New Balance

If you have difficulty getting running shoes for flat feet, you can choose to add orthotic inserts or insoles as they help distribute weight and pressure by offering a natural arch while providing support and comfort at the same time.

Before buying a running shoe you may visit a podiatrist who will check on the severity of the condition and get to recommend the best-running shoe for your feet. You may also read flat shoe reviews that have been written by actual users and get to know which is the best but make a comparison between them before buying. People with flat feet may also help and guide you in buying the best type of running shoe.

How to make a custom fitted wardrobe with MDF boards

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Build your dream closet easily with MDF sheets

It seems that we never have enough space to store all the clothes we buy. This is even more of a problem in the case of women, who also need to store countless handbags and accessories. It is also a common problem for families with kids who need to buy clothes on a regular basis as kids outgrow their clothes. So it may come a time when you feel that your wardrobe is simply too small and you might want a bigger and more spacious one so as to avoid these problems. Have you ever thought that you could build your own custom wardrobe? This is the best possible option as you can make it just as big as you want, and design it with as many doors and drawers as you like. Actually, building a custom wardrobe is fairly simple, and you can get it done with MDF boards, which are very affordable.

Start by measuring the space you have available. Consider how high you want to make it. Obviously the higher it is, the more storage space you have. The depth is an important consideration. Many readymade wardrobes tend to be rather lacking when it comes to the width. When you try to hang a coat or jacket, the doors may not be able to close properly, simply because of the size of these large clothes. So, keep this in mind and decide on a proper width for your new wardrobe. Having said that, make sure you take into account the other furniture in the room. You do not want to end up not being able to fully open the wardrobe’s doors because they are too wide and strike nearby furniture. Ideally doors should not be wider than 50cm.

Basic MDF Wardrobe Shell. Image credit: Lancaster Carpentry

Basic MDF Wardrobe Shell. Image credit: Lancaster Carpentry

A wardrobe is probably the biggest piece of furniture you’ll ever build. So naturally you will need to divide it up into separate sections. So, to facilitate the design and the building, make sure to consider each cabinet separately.

Once you buy all the sheets you need, it is recommended that you cut MDF with a circular saw with a very fine toothed blade. You could use a jigsaw, but it might be too rough and so the cutting process may take more time and require much more attention. Make sure to position the MDF panel very accurately and see to it that it is well supported so as to cut as accurately as possible.

Another important tip when using MDF is that if you intend to paint them, make sure to seal the board edges, as otherwise they will look rather rough. You could either cover the edges with shellac, or else keep painting and sanding for at least three or four times until you achieve a smooth finish.

MDF boards come in different sizes and thicknesses. Generally you will find that most are between 12mm and 15mm thick. Ideally purchase at least 18mm thick boards.

While cutting it will be helpful to mark each part so that you will know which part it is, and with which other parts it shall be connected. This is very helpful considering that there are going to be dozens of parts in the case of a wardrobe. Once all the panels have been cut you can start assembling each part bit by bit. Start with the top panel, and connect the two sides to it by screwing and gluing them. Then you should have cut the borders which will need to be attached to the lower part of the cabinet. This will create a lower frame upon which the base will be attached. Place the upper border onto the front and back connections and screw them securely to the base foundation. The back of the cabinet will need to be reinforced, since there is a considerable height involved for a wardrobe. So attach bordered reinforcements at the top, and in the middle, or at a third of the height.

Finished MDF Wardrobe. Image credit: VisualGram

Finished MDF Wardrobe. Image credit: VisualGram

This process will need to be repeated for each part of the wardrobe. If there are going to be shelves of drawers you will need to see to the rails that will need to be fastened in the proper part of the cabinet. Once each part has been individually completed, all that remains is attaching each part to another until the whole wardrobe has been assembled. For the doors you will need to install the hinges. Make sure they are well adjusted so as to prevent wonky looking doors. A wide opening is generally preferred and so take this into account when choosing and installing the hinges. A 120 degree opening is standard, but you can go for a wider opening, such as 170 degrees with some hinges. You may also wish to consider if you prefer them to be slow closing, or the push to open variety.