All posts by nailscrew

Add Value to Your Home Build an Extension

Most  people make improvements to their homes to make them more comfortable. Of course, this is understandable, and a very good reason to make changes.

New kitchens and bathrooms add value to a home

However, did you realise that some improvements can add value to your home? Yes, I guess you did. After all, you would have to have been in a coma for years not to have read at least one article that explained that updating your bathroom or kitchen adds value to your home.

Extensions also add value to properties

If you live in an area that has a high house prices, often adding an extension will add value to your property. In some, places you can add tens of thousands to the price of your house.  However, the format of the extension is important. Some add more value than others do. For example, conservatories tend not to make properties much more valuable, whereas adding an office or extending the kitchen usually will.

Bedroom extensionIn some areas adding a new bedroom is the best way to make sure that the extension you build maximises how much value you add to your home. If you live in an areas where two bedroom homes are the norm there will be very strong demand for three bedroom properties. In that situation, adding an additional bedroom will make your home much more saleable. However, if you already have three or four bedrooms adding another may actually have the opposite effect, and make your home harder to sell should you want to.

Loft extensions add value to most homes

If you do not have enough space to build onto your property going up can be an option. In many homes you can easily turn the loft space into accommodation.

It is easy to add another bedroom, a playroom or office space in the loft. Many people opt to turn this space into a new master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom.

Costs vary, but usually it works out cheaper per square meter than building an extension does. However, there are a lot of building regulations to consider, and in many homes the fact that there is not enough landing space means that a safe staircase cannot be built.

Calculating the costs

Clearly building an extension or having a loft extension done is not cheap. Therefore, you need to take the time to sit down and work out whether it is worth your while getting this sort of work done.

You need to work out how much the extension will cost first. Then have a chat with a couple of local estate agents to find out how much value can be added to your home. Most are happy to advise you provided you do not take up much of their time. Local builders will also be able to help. You can double check their valuation estimates by comparing the prices of different size properties in your area.

Of course, if you just need the extra space, provided you can afford to do the building work and get the permissions there really is no reason not to go ahead and get the work done. You will create a nicer home, that your family can enjoy.


Bathroom TVs a Stylish Addition to any Home

Over the years people have come up with innovative ideas to give themselves the option to watch TV while in the bath. However, most of these early bathroom TV ideas did not work very well and where downright dangerous.

People have done everything for example risking electric shock by plugging their portable TV into a socket on the landing and putting it on a chair in the bathroom. Not only were they risking electrocution they also ruined their portable TV when condensation worked its way into the TV and broke it. Not to mention the lousy reception this solution gave.

Some people have even gone as far as cutting a hole in their bathroom wall and mounting a TV facing into the bathroom through the hole on the wall of the next door room. Many found switching channels next to impossible and that the screen misted up making the TV impossible to watch. On top of that when in the room next to the bathroom they found themselves having to stare at the back of a TV set.

Luckily, there is now a safe way to watch TV in your bathroom using a modern bathroom TV.

What A Modern Bathroom TV Is

Modern bathroom TVs look very much like any other TV. Except they have been specifically designed for use in the bathroom. They are waterproof, so that the condensation you find in a bathroom does not damage them. The screen does not mist up because it is heated. The remote control used to change channels is also designed for use in the bathroom they are waterproof too, so using them with damp hands is not a problem.

Your Choice of Bathroom TV

Which bathroom TV is right for you is dependant, in part, on the size of your bathroom.  They are available in many sizes, but the most common sizes are between 15 inches and 42 inches. You can even buy HD ready, widescreen TVs with built in Freeview. They can be mounted on the wall or be imbedded into a false wall to give a flush finish.

Wall Washer Lights

Wall washers are turning out to be a very popular form of lighting. They are a relatively new type of lighting, which, as the name suggests, is designed to bathe or wash a wall in light.

Wall washer lighting

Using LED wall washers, you can really change the look and feel of any room. They work especially well in living rooms, but they are increasingly being used in dining rooms and bedrooms.

Gallery lights for the home

For decades, this form of lighting has been used in galleries and museums to bring a little drama to a space. Hotels use them to add a touch of luxury to their best rooms and you can use them in a similar way in your home.

Our stylish and elegant uplights cast a soft light that spreads out across the wall softening the surface and creating a gentle yet dramatic effect. These lights are the ideal way to highlight specific features of a room and to draw focus to specific points of a room.

Use wall washing to make a room appear larger

Wall washing also makes a room look and feel larger. This is because you are emphasising the vertical surfaces and drawing the eye to the far points of the room, which makes the room appear bigger. Wall washers literally add another visual dimension to a room. It is fantastic mood lighting, which you can switch on in an instant to turn an ordinary room into a sophisticated cocoon of luxury.

Regardless of the type of wall washers lighting you are looking for we can help. Our stock of wall washers is updated and replenished on a regular basis. We make it easy for you to find the best kind for your home or property. Our experienced lighting technicians are here to advice you about the best way to use this kind of lighting, and help you to find and buy the right kind of LED washers for your home or business.

The Right Screws for the Job

When installing any form of wall lights it is important to use the right screws for the job. You need the lighting to be secure. This is especially the case for lights that are installed behind a sofa or chair. The last thing you need is for the fixture to fall off the wall and hit somebody on the head.

You should use raw plugs to make sure the fixture is as secure as possible. Usually you will find suitable screws included with the uplights. However, if when you open the packet you are not happy with the length of the screws provided by the manufacturer, it is always a good idea to go out and buy some longer ones. It really is a case of better safe than sorry.

DIY Home Security System

Want to install a new home security system, and you want to do it yourself (DIY). But where to start?

DIY Home Security SystemA security system usually starts with a control panel and end with an alarm but with new innovation in home automation that’s going toward smarthome, it has enables new functionalities to be added to a security system. It can do more than just detecting and then sounding off alarm.

Lighting, home appliances and many more can be assimilated into the security system and be controlled from just one place which is usually the computer. So many things can be changed or added and only if you do it yourself can you customize your home security system to your needs.

With a DIY system,you’ll have greater control over the components. The easiest type of home alarm systems, installation-wise, is wireless alarms. Wired alarm security systems involve drilling up the walls, running cable through them, and other noisy, tedious chores that the other family members might not appreciate.

Installing a wireless home security system

With wireless systems, it can be as simple as buying a kit and hooking everything up. However, if you are considering a monitored home security system, or a system that calls/pages you when something is amiss (requires hook up to the telephone system), installation will be more complicated, even with wireless.

The basic elements of a standard home security system include:

Home Security Alarm Control Panel

This is the location where the system wiring terminates, the backup battery is located, and where it is connected to the phone lines if it is a monitored system. More about control panel

Home Alarm Keypad

Home security keypadThis is where the system is armed and disarmed. Additional keypads can be installed. For example, a keypad can be installed next to the homeowner’s bed. If the alarm sounds in the middle of the night and the security system had the capability, the keypad display could indicate which door, window, or motion detector caused the alarm.

Home Alarm System Siren

A loud siren sounds when there’s been a break-in and it also lets an intruder know they’ve been detected.

Home Alarm Inside Motion Detector

Passive infrared, microwave, or photoelectric detectors sense changes in a room caused by human presence. Special motion detectors are available for people who have pets. More about motion detector.

Home Alarm System Door and Window Contacts

Magnetic contacts form a circuit between a door and door frame or a window and a sill; when the door or window is opened (and the system is on), the circuit is broken and sounds the alarm.

A Central Monitoring Station

If the system is monitored, in the event of an alarm, the control panel sends a message over a telephone line to a central monitoring station, which is manned 24 hours a day. After attempting to contact the homeowner, the central monitoring station will contact the police, fire department, or medics. There is usually a monthly fee for this service.

The heart of a decent DIY security system is the same popular X10 technology used for networking home computers, household appliances and other domestic gadgets. By plugging window and door sensors, motion detectors, inside and outside lighting and video cameras into the X10 network, you can control the operation of all these components from your computer (or via a stand-alone control console). The beauty of X10 security is that you can pick and choose the components you want.

You decide based on your needs and budget and if you choose to upgrade later on, you just add the components in. For example, if you choose to add a front cam to your current x10 security system, you can just add into your network easily.

The Eight Stages of Pool Construction

Swimming Pool ScrewsIf you are having a pool built it is important to realize that the process will take time. When it comes to the building of inground pools, each stage is important. Here is an overview to help you to understand the process and to know what to expect.

Stage 1 – Design

The pool design stage is probably the most important. If this is done right, the pool should not only look good it will also function properly.

Stage 2 – Excavation

Perhaps the most drastic of the stages is the excavation of the site. At this stage, the hole for the pool is dug and any further landscaping is carried out. Trenches for the plumbing or any walls surrounding the site are normally also dug at this stage.

Stage 3 – Plumbing and Steel

Next, the plumbing is laid and the pump house is installed or built. At the same time, the pool hole is lined with a steel mesh, which reinforces the concrete the pool is made of. Sometimes the steel mesh for the decking or tiled area is also laid at this stage.

Stage 4 – Gunite

A special type of concrete, called gunite is sprayed over the steel mesh to form the sides and bottom of the pool.

Stage 5 – The Electrics

Once the gunite is dry, the electric to the pool can be turned on and any lights that have been installed can be tested.

Stage 6 – Tiling and Coping

If the pool has a coping edge that is installed at this stage. Usually the interior finish tiles are shown to the owner to double check that they are happy with the look before they are actually installed.

Stage 7 – The Deck and Landscaping

Pool landscaping, including the laying of the deck is normally completed next.

Stage 8 – Finishing off the interior

The last job is to tile the interior of the pool and fill it with water.

The entire process typically takes about two months, but some time can be saved if construction begins immediately the design stage is completed.

Preserving a Deck

Tips for Painting with Decking Preserver

If you are going to use decking preserver this article is for you. Here we explain how to find the right preserver for the job and the best way to use it to get the results that you really want.

Buying your preserver

DeckingDecking preserver comes in an array of colours. You need to bear in mind that the finished tone of any wood you paint will be dependent on how many coats you apply. The colour shown on the tin is usually the tone you would achieve if you apply two coats to fresh wood. If you are painting wood that has previously been stained or painted this will affect the overall look and colour. If you are not sure which colour preserver to buy, ask for advice from the retailer.

Always buy a good quality product. Buying cheap preservers is a false economy. The finish will not be as good and you will have to re-stain or paint far sooner than you would if you use a good quality product. Also, bear in mind that the point of painting your decking is to preserve it and protect it from the elements. If you buy a cheap preserver, it will not be very good at actually protecting your decking.

Prepare the surface well

With decking preserver, good preparation is vital. Take the time to clean the decking down properly. If you use a pressure washer, make sure it has enough time to dry out properly. Sanding the surface down will remove some of the old stain making it easier to achieve a similar colour to that on the tin. If you do this, remember to wash the decking down again after sanding it down and let it dry out.

Apply one coat of preserver and allow it to dry. If the result is patchy or it is too light, apply another coat.

Replacing the screws

A big issue with decking is the fact that the screws tend to rust and rot. When that happens the wood around the screws tends to rot as well. Water tends to pool in these places and sit between the screw and the wood. It is like a mini puddle, which is why the rot sets into these areas.

If you leave things as they are each plank will start to lift and become loose. What happens then is that the wood moves around when people walk on it. It also flexes more as it drys out in the sun and swells when it rains. Over time these actions cause the wood to warp more and is what starts the process of your decking breaking down.

Therefore, you need to pay attention to maintaining your decking screws. Periodically you may need to remove and replace some, or, on occasion all of your screws. When you do so use good quality fasteners that are designed for the job. If necessary remove any rotten wood and fill it, then re-drill the holes. You may have to use larger screws to bolt each plank down securely.

Before you put the screw in, drip some preserver into the hole. Doing so provides an additional layer of protection, and will slow down the degradation process.

Dewalt Cordless Tools

Dewalt cordless tools have a reputation for being durable, good quality and easy to use. Below we are going to take a brief look at the best models. Here you will find out what actual users think of these power tools.

We aim to tell you the pros and cons of each of them to help you to make informed purchasing decisions. Here we have looked at the most popular power tools, which the majority of people will want in their tool kit. Dewalt sell other kinds of cordless tools, but these are the key ones.

The DC390Dewalt Cordless Circular Saw


  • 3,700 RPM for fast rip and cross cuts
  • 6-1/2-inch carbide tipped blade with the ability to cut at 45 and 90 degrees
  • Strong magnesium shoe with an upper guard for increased durability
  • A bevel of 0-50 degrees
  • The motor is fan-cooled motor with replaceable brushes

This is a professional duty tool, which will cope with practically any product. It comes with a three-year guarantee.

User Reviews

Overall, the user reviews for this product are very positive. The only negative seems to be that the trigger can be awkward to use.

Some people bought a skeleton product without realizing that they were doing so. This meant that they had to go out and buy a battery, so it is best to double check exactly what you are buying before you order. If you do plump for a product without its own battery you need to double check that your existing Dewalt battery is compatible with this cordless saw. Usually, it will be, but it is best not to assume that this will be the case.

Apart from that, there are no negatives for this product. Users particularly liked the way that the DC390 handled. Naturally, the fact that it runs on a battery means that it does not have as much torque as a circular saw that you plug into a socket.



The Dewalt DC720KA Cordless 18-Volt Compact Drill/Driver

Dewalt power drillFeatures

Very compact

Lightweight at just 4.8Ibs

½ inch ratcheting chuck

Dual speed for optimum performance

Frameless motor with a maximum power of 410 watts out

LED work light included for working in confined or dark spaces

This drill comes with a one-hour charger, as well as a strong kit box with space for extras. You have complete control because you can adjust the speed from 0 to 500 and 0 to 1/700 rpm.

Reviews for the Dewalt DC720KA

Again, the reviews for this product are overwhelmingly positive. Over 70% of users say that this drill is perfect for them.

The only negative comment of note will not bother most users. Some people found that the batteries did not last long when under heavy use. In most cases, the users had assumed that this drill would come with a XRP battery instead of a bulk standard 18V battery. For big projects this can be an issue, for normal day to day DIY it is not an issue.

A few people noted that the chuck started to wear after a while. However, again most people were happy and did not experience any issues with the chuck.

The feature people like the best was the adjustable torque, in particular the wide range, something that not every modern drill features. Many users also found the LED light a useful feature. It is bright enough to light up all of those awkward jobs.

DCD925 Dewalt Combi Hammer Drill


18v 3-speed combi

Torque control with a lock for when you switch modes

22 position torque control

13mm self tightening keyless chuck

Electronic brake

40-minute charger

Side handles with adjustable positions

Heavy-duty carrying case

User Reviews

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of user reviews for this drill. However, the few that are out there are all very positive. The battery is a good one, which is particularly important for long-term use.

At 2.9kg, it is quite a heavy drill, but again that is not unusual for a construction drill with such a powerful motor. However, on the plus side it is a very compact drill for one that is so powerful, it is great for using in tight spaces.

This drill is designed for professionals rather than DIYers.

Dewalt DCK955X 18-Volt XRP Cordless 9-Tool Combo Kit

This is the ultimate power tool kit for homeowners.

What is Included

DCD950 XRP 18-v cordless hammer drill


1/2-inch self-tightening chuck that delivers 450 units watts out


DC390 XRP18v circular saw

61/2-inch 16-tooth carbide blade

45-degree angle cuts are possible


DC385 XRP 18V reciprocating saw

keyless blade clamp for quick blade change

no need to touch the blade to change it


DC825 18-volt impact driver

1,330 in-lbs of maximum torque

compact light weight design


DC411 18-volt cut-off tool

6,500 rpm for high power cutting and grinding


DW919 18-volt flexible floodlight

Hands free usage


Reviews for the Dewalt DCK955X Power Tool Kit

The reviews for this product are all very good. Naturally, battery life is an issue on big projects. As a result, most users recommend that you buy an extra charger and battery. If you are planning to work on something over a weekend you will have one fully charged battery to hand, one on the tool and a third one that is charging. That way you can keep working. A few users pointed out that the light was not that bright, because it did not use LED bulbs.

Overall Dewalt cordless power tools perform exceptionally well. They are not especially cheap, but this is reflected in the build quality and they represent great value for money.

An Overview of Dewalt Batteries

If you are lucky enough to own Dewalt tools, you will know how good they are. However, they only stay good if you maintain them and use genuine Dewalt batteries. Doing so will ensure that you get the most out of your power tools and that they will not let you down when you need them.

Your Battery is the Heart of Your Power Tools

Your battery is perhaps the most important part of your power tool. Without a good quality battery, your drill will not work efficiently. It will run out of power quickly and let you down repeatedly.

Why Using Cheap Batteries is a False Economy

Dewalt BatteryThe other problem with not using a genuine Dewalt battery is that you can actually end up damaging your drill. You need clean power without spikes or fluctuations for your drill to run efficiently and smoothly.

Cheap batteries do not always deliver enough power to keep the motor of your power tool working properly. This means that some components overwork and are subjected to unnecessary wear and tear.

That cheap Dewalt 18v battery you bought from a market trader for $20 less than you would pay online or in a hardware store for a genuine one can end up costing you a new drill. Buying and using cheap batteries will often work out more expensive in the end.

Normally, they are made from cheap materials. That means that they cannot be recharged as many times as a genuine Dewalt 20v max that is made from high quality materials.

This means that even a battery that works well can still turn out to be a false economy. You could end up having to buy two batteries in five years instead of just one simply because the materials used are such low quality.

What You Get When You Buy a Genuine Dewalt Battery

When you buy a genuine Dewalt battery, you get far more than a power tool battery that you can rely on. Dewalt is a great company that has been making power tools since 1936. In many countries, they are the construction tools of choice.

As you would expect you get a good warranty when you buy a proper Dewalt battery. Usually it is three years.

In addition, you get support from the company’s customer support team. You can email them with your questions or use the help section of their website to find the answer to any battery related questions you may have.

On the Dewalt website, you can find out how to get the most out of your battery. Below we have summarised some of the information to provide you with a quick reference point.

How Can I get the Most Out of my Dewalt Battery?

If you buy a genuine Dewalt battery, you will get good run time. Most models come with the option of buying a charging unit that will hold a spare battery. However, it is still a good idea to know how to charge and use the battery to get maximum run time out of it.

  • Always keep some charge – You should never allow your Dewalt XRP battery, or any other type of battery to discharge completely. As soon as you notice, the power in your drill or other power tool waning plug it in and charge it.


  • Completely discharging battery can damage the battery.


  • Keep the battery in the charger – keeping your Dewalt batteries in the charger makes sense from several points of view. It means that the battery will always be fully charged. They are designed to be kept in the charger so that your power tool is always ready when you need it.


Can I Improve the Runtime of my Dewalt XRP Battery?

Provided your battery is in good condition and has been properly used, you can potentially improve the runtime. To do this, follow the instructions below:


  • Use your power tool for a normal job up until it reaches the point where it needs charging. Do not hold the trigger to discharge, just use the tool as normal.


  • Next, leave the battery out of the charger for at least 2 hours.


  • Now charge the battery overnight.


Provided your battery was in good condition, to start with you should find that the run time has improved.

Tips for Buying Dewalt Batteries

Even if you look after your power tool batteries they will eventually lose their ability to hold their charge, so at some point you will need to buy a new Dewalt 8 or 16v battery. Here are a few tips to help ensure that you buy a genuine Dewalt battery without having to pay more for it than is necessary.


  • Read the reviews – If you buy online you can find out about any known issues by reading the reviews. Most of the time there are no issues, but it is a good way of establishing whether you are buying genuine Dewalt batteries. On trader sites, bad reviews are a sign that fake Dewlat batteries are being passed off as genuine ones.


  • Buy online – If you buy your batteries online you get the opportunity to shop around and find the best value for money.


  • Buy from a trusted source – Unfortunately, you have to be careful when buying power tool batteries. There are fakers out there who sell batteries made from cheap materials and try to pass them off as genuine Dewalt batteries. For this reason, you should only buy power tool batteries from trusted sources.

Follow our tips and tricks to get the most out of your existing power tool battery and to ensure that when you replace it you get a good quality one that will see you through another few years of home projects.

Living with Food Sensitivity – Grow Your Own Project

build you own vegetable garden

I have been living with food sensitivity for several years now and gradually came to the conclusion that if I wanted to remain healthy I needed to take control and grow and cook more of my own food. This is something I started to do a couple of years ago and part of that process was putting together a vegetable garden.

The only problem was that I am getting on a bit and my garden is tough to dig. It is mainly clay, which is not great for growing most fruit and veg, and is extremely hard to dig.

Fortunately, a friend came up with a solution and that was to build raised beds. Here is how we did it, step by step, so you can do the same.

Make the bases

The first job is to make the bases. Effectively you are building a big box (without the floor) that will contain the soil. How high you want the sides of the box to be will determine how deep your soil is.

We did not want really deep beds, so we ended up using railway sleepers turned on their edges to build our beds. This type of wood is ideal for a job like this.

The weight of the soil puts a lot of pressure on the sides of the beds. Once the soil gets wet, it becomes even heavier. As a result, the sides need to be strong, so railway sleepers are perfect. Gravel boards also work well.

Before building the bed dig over the soil. This sounds counter intuitive, but it is an important step, so do not skip it.

To make the sides you need to use posts. The posts sit just wide enough apart to hold the wood in place. It is very important that the bed is straight and the posts are evenly spaced. Do not scrimp on the posts if you do that the sides will bow and the soil will spill out. Ideally, you want to use pieces of wood that are long enough to make up the entire sides. This means there are no joins, so there are no weak points.

Preparing the bed

It is wise to line the sides with a thick plastic. This will help to slow down the rotting process allowing you to carry on enjoying the bed for decades to come.

Once you are sure that the bed has been securely built it is time to fill it with soil. The type of soil you plan to use depends on the kind of plants you want to grow. It is important to use good quality top soil with the right balance of acid and alkaline for the kind of plants you are planning to grow.

Let the soil settle for a couple of weeks, then plant your bed out and enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables.

It really is as simple as that. Growing your own food will really help you to stay in control of what you eat and help you to overcome your food sensitivities.

Don’t forget to Insure your Power Tools

Power tool collage isolated on a white background depicting carpentry and construction tools.

Most of us take out home insurance of some type and make sure that we have a reasonable amount of content coverage. However, despite this we still forget to buy enough coverage. We remember to add our expensive pieces of jewellery and tech to the policy to make sure that if we are burgled they are covered, but we often forget to insure basic, everyday items.

I was reading recently on www.thatsinsurance/travel-insurance that 6.8 million UK homes are underinsured. That equates to one in five households not having enough buildings or content insurance to cover their losses in the event of a fire, flood or burglary.
This article will help to ensure that you are not one of them. Here are some tips to help you to avoid this issue.

Three areas of the home we all forget

The three main areas we forget to factor in when calculating how much content insurance we need is the contents of our shed, garage and loft. Often these are big omissions because these areas of our home often contain some of the most expensive items in the house.

The contents of your garage is worth thousands


On average, a UK garage contains £2,000 worth of tools. Depending on the exchange rate, that equates to $3000+ and in the US the average value of what is in a home garage or workshop is even higher.

If you are a home hobbyist or very keen on DIY the chances are you have pieces of equipment that cost you hundreds to buy. Some of these items should be listed individually on your contents policy to ensure that they can be replaced if they are damaged or stolen.

The garden shed

shed contents

Some people’s sheds only contain a couple of shovels and maybe a broom, but the majority of people own lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and other expensive pieces of equipment. A keen gardener will have equipment in his or her shed that is worth hundreds of pounds. Kit that they have no coverage for.

Not only do they not have enough content insurance coverage if they have bought the wrong policy they may have zero coverage for what is in the shed. This is because in some areas some firms do not provide any coverage for the contents of a shed. If you live in such an area and cannot persuade your normal provider go to to find information about buying dedicated shed insurance.

Expensive loft junk

A good home contents policy should cover the entire contents of your home including what you have stored in the loft. Most people’s lofts are full of memorabilia old photos, the kid’s paintings and old fancy dress costumes, but not everyone’s is like that.
Some families have stuff in their loft that is actually quite valuable. For example, I had a friend who had two motorbikes and an airplane engine (all in bits) stored up there. When he eventually got them down and sold them, he got thousands for them. He certainly did not have enough insurance to cover those items and everything else in his home.

Think when applying for contents insurance

Next time you renew your buildings and content insurance policies there are two things you need to do.
1. Check your policy covers all of your contents and there are no exceptions e.g. items over a certain value, of a certain type or stored in a certain part of your home.
2. Make sure that you buy adequate coverage and you list out expensive items if you are required to do so.
Do this and you should not find yourself uninsured.