General

General home improvement and maintenance advice, along with interesting thought pieces.

A Look at the History of Modern Air Conditioning

Although the Romans used their aqueducts to run cool water through the walls of rich people's homes, and Emperor Elagabalus even had a hill of snow built in his garden during summer to help keep cool, modern air conditioning has only been with us since 1902. Willis Carrier is a fine example of American science and engineering - he only graduated from his engineering course at Cornell University in 1901, and the very next year he invented modern air conditioning.

Should You Redecorate Before or After You Move?

kitchen

Moving into a new home is a trying process, but decorating that new home can prove just as taxing. Because of the time and energy that accompanies both moving and decorating a new home, many people wonder should they redecorate their new home before or after they move in? Well, what works for one person may not always work for the other. However, I will give you my personal experience and hopefully you will be able to decide if you should redecorate your new home before or after you move.

DIY Hyundai Getz Key Battery Replacement

Hyundai Getz Key

A friend of mine in Australia recently found his Hyundai Getz key stopped working even though the light sill flickered on when he hit the button. After looking around the web and not finding any instructions on what to do, he figured it out himself and sent me some pictures and instructions detailing how he overcame the problem so it might help others.

Oak vs Pine for Furniture

Oak vs Pine for Furniture

The question of whether it's best to buy Oak furniture rather than pine comes up time and again. The standard response of many people is simply to say that Oak is better and that's the one you should chose - some people like Sally Stacey use oak everywhere around the home, but I don't think it's a simple as that so let's take a further look.

Beat the Heat: 15 Surprisingly Effective Ways to Cool Your Home

15 Surprisingly Effective Ways to Cool Your Home

When the hot sun’s beating down on you and the air’s humid and sticky, there’s nothing that appeals more than a long dip in the pool or staying indoors with your air conditioner set at the coolest possible temperature.

Storage Shed vs Self Storage Facility When Renovating

Shed vs Self Storage

A little while ago I received a question from Dave P. who lives in Ipswich, England and in the process of answering his question I realized this would make a good topic to talk about on Totally Home Improvement. The question was whether he and his wife should buy a storage shed or rent a self storage unit to store their belongings while they renovate their 50+ year old semi detached house.

Time Traveler Discounts and Other Wacky Ideas

Lowe's Hardware Store Robot

When you think about the folks who work in Home Improvements you probably conjure up images of people with safety goggles on, hammer in hand and a cordless drill lodged in a utility belt giving them the look of modern day Lone Ranger ready to bring those rusting gutters to justice!

Or perhaps you think about the millions of people who work in hardware stores who have to explain to customers the difference between a self-tapping screw and a nail, or maybe even all those folks who work for manufactures who make all the things that go into constructing, fixing and finishing the homes we live in.

Home Improvements in Remote Locations - Be Prepared

remote property

My brother Daniel lives in the countryside in Queensland, Australia. The picture on the left is now a bit out of date, but it gives you a good idea of the surroundings.

It's 40 acres of tree covered land. It starts at the top of the hill where the picture is taken from - goes down through a valley which turns into a river during the rainy season - and goes all the way up to the hill on the other side.

He's invited me to come and spend some time there this Christmas like I did last year - it's a long way to travel, but it's certainly a welcome change of pace, so I'll probably do it again this year.

The Versatility of Frameless Glass Sliding Doors

Frameless Glass Sliding Doors

I recently wrote a piece about fixing glass sliding doors, and while I was surfing the web looking for pictures I came across some wonderful photographs of the Frameless variety - I bookmarked some of the ones that impressed me so I could share them with you now.

I've never lived in a home which has had them, but after looking at some of these pictures I really grew to like them - I think I'm developing 'frameless' envy :)

How to Protect Your Double Pane Windows from Condensation

Everyone has been exposed to condensation at some time in their life. It refers to the accumulation of liquid on cooler surfaces, such as windows. It has to do with the molecules in warm air being different than the molecules of cooler air and the two of them meeting up with one another.

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