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.

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.

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 The picture on the left is now a bit out of date, but it gives you a good idea of the surroundings.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 Store Timber

Storing Timber

When you are storing a natural material, such as timber, it is really important to make sure it is stored properly; otherwise you will find it quickly ruins and is no longer suitable for purpose.

How to Remove Difficult Stains From Your Furniture

How to get heat stains out of wood

Though spending hundreds, or sometimes thousands on a piece of furniture can be quite a nice feeling, when something unfortunate happens to the same piece, that feeling of happiness can quickly wash away.

So here are some of the most popular solutions for some of the most unpopular stains:

How to Purge Your Closet

messy closet

Depending on where you live, wardrobe-transitioning time happens one to four times per year. That's when you need to go through your closet, taking out items that are from last season and bringing in the clothing that you will wear over the next few months. While this is a great time to purge items that you no longer wear, many people simply pack clothing away without thinking about whether they want to keep it for another season. Over time, this can lead to a case of closet clutter.

Your Opportunity to be on a UK Home TV Show

The House That £100k Built: Tricks of the Trade

I received an email from Josi Allan at Remarkable Television who is working on a new TV show for BBC Two which is called "The House That £100k Built: Tricks of the Trade" - it's a spin-off from their popular show "The House That £100k Built".

If you live in the UK and are currently doing a self build, renovation or home improvement, then here's your opportunity to be part of the new show.

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