Monthly Archives: September 2017

Need the Best Tools For the Job

Purchasing power tools is fast becoming a great pastime for DIY kings and queens around the country. However, not all power tools are created equal. Any serious DIY enthusiast should have some basic know-how regarding power tools before he goes out to shell good money to buy a piece or two.

Power tools are meant to be used incessantly. According to Donny Sheridan, a DIY expert and syndicated columnist:

“And don’t buy gear just because it is on offer or you think you might use it in the future – it will just end up gathering dust.”

Combi drill

The combi drill is a wonderful combination of a hammering action, drilling and driver. Most combi drills have alternating settings so you can drill through both wooden material and non-wooden material such as concrete and brick.

Combi drills are used to make the installation of screws easier. Since most wooden planks are too hard to simply drive a nail into, drills are used to speed up the process. The combi drill uses an 18 volt battery and good quality drills literally last decades.

On batteries and corded tools

If you’re looking for replacement or substitute batteries for your power tools, make sure that you get lithium ion batteries that have overload protection. This ensures that your power tool and your batteries will not explode or fizzle out in your hand.

Also, lithium ion batteries can rest in your garden shed for months and remain charged as these batteries tend to retain power even after intense use.

Now as for the use of corded or cordless tools, you have a choice. Cordless tools have generally been weaker than corded tools because of the power source. But with the advent of higher battery voltages (36 volts and above) the landscape of power tools has literally changed.

According to Harry Blackwell, a home contractor in the UK:

“The monopoly of the corded tools has ended. Large companies are investing heavily in R&D to make newer tools saleable to a large public.”


Saber saws or reciprocating saws are basically identical with jigsaws. The disparity, according to Sheridan is:

“The main difference is the blade sticks out at the front instead of downwards – as is the case with jigsaws. The beauty of a reciprocating saw is you can cut through wood, stone or metal by simply changing the blade. It also copes with curved or angular cutting.”

Circular saws on the other hand, are used to deal with raw timber- which is hard to cut with regular power saws. Circular saws are used also to adequately cut and shape plywood and joists.

Easy DIY Home Decor Tips

It’s a new year, and with it came the call for a little shake up in your home decor. I am personally big on DIY home design projects, and I have compiled a few of my favorites for 2017.

1. Floating Leaves

If you want a little piece of nature into your home, how about going for floating leaves?

This easy DIY home design project involves making use of old clear jars. Fill them up with water and lay the leaves in the jars to create unique displays of art.

2. Plant Drapes

Want something different as a window treatment choice? Go for ‘plant drapes.’

Creating ‘plant drapes’ involves getting rid of your good old drapes and filling up your window space with assortments of plants. Not only does this open up the room to natural light, but it is a creative way to purify rooms as well as dress up your windows.

3. Reclaimed Crate Furniture

Now you can make your furniture using items you already have at home. If you have old crates lying around, you can transform them into exquisitely tasteful pieces of furniture.

You have probably seen some home design furniture pieces made out of crates including coffee tables, seats, and beds as well. Create your furniture using crates depending on your particular needs.

4. Smart Clever Cover-Up Board

Who doesn’t have dishes piled up in the sink now and then? Worse still is trying to hide the mess in your oven when company drops by. You can creatively hide up the mess using a smart cover-up board.

Creating the board involves making use of an old cutting board or any sizeable plastic board that you no longer use. Personalize it as you please, and make sure it fits over your sink to offer timely rescue when needed.

5. Jungle in your Bathroom

Love the forest; then why not take it to your bathroom?

Most of us don’t often know how to dress up our bathrooms. If you love everything to do with plants like I am, you can create a jungle in your bathroom.

DIY Home Energy

I don’t know about you, but if someone mentioned “DIY Home Energy” or utilizing “renewable energy”, my mind instantly conjured up a picture of hippies living in a “green” commune, hugging trees and talking to the local flora and fauna (I dread to think what they do with the grass, probably smoke it or something…) Anyway, it turns out they may have the right idea with DIY power.

Although I’ve never hugged a tree, or had a conversation with the flowers in my garden, DIY home energy is something I have seriously looked into since moving to the Spanish countryside, (the public utilities not being as reliable as I’m used to, and still getting more expensive!).

Having discounted commercial systems as way out of our budget, I came across an advert for a “DIY Home Energy Course”. Although not being any sort of “handyman”, I was curious…

Gone are the days of expensive components and “trade only” suppliers (so tough economic times are good for something!), and with the Internet comes “personal tuition” through your computer! To cut a long story short you can now get hold of step-by-step text and video instructions to build your own Home Energy System.

Sounds good… but how much does it cost?

Well, our research indicates the best “all-in” (solar, wind, and battery storage) courses will cost you around $50-$80 dependent on any price promotion being offered at the time. Most of them suggest on the sales page that you can build your DIY home energy system for around $200-$500… But as I said before I’m no “Tree-Hugger” and I like my comforts, such as TV, computer, hot water etc, so I think to provide power for a “civilized” lifestyle in a small to medium sized house, your looking at about $1000-ish.

Having said that, our average electric bill is the equivalent of around $75 a month, so in about a year we will have almost got our money back, with no more electric bills to pay! Another potential bonus is that many States and European countries will actually pay you for any surplus power you have stored and supply to them (The UK is also planning to start this early next year).