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DIYdata
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Free, practical, on-line DIY and home improvement guidance and advice
Free, practical, on-line DIY and home improvement guidance and advice

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The Housebuilding and Renovating Show is coming South.
 
29 – 30 June 2013, Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey KT10 9AJ
 
Many exhibitors, seminars, advice and information – well worth a visit.
 
More information at http://surrey.homebuildingshow.co.uk/en/default.aspx
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THE GREEN DEAL
The Government has announced the Green Deal which allows householders and businesses to get energy saving improvements (including the addition of solar panels etc) carried out on their premises at, in theory, no cost.
In simple terms, the first step is to get an assessment carried out to identify what energy improvements can be made, and then, providing that the savings cover the cost of a loan, a Green Deal provider carries out the improvements and the householder or business pays back the loan via their energy bills – as the savings are more than the cost of the loan, there appears to be no cost.
Sounds good, but as The Guardian said today, there are caveats and controls in the current deal which means consumers should be cautious.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/blog/2013/jan/29/green-deal-consumers-beware-nasty-surprises
https://www.gov.uk/green-deal-energy-saving-measures/how-the-green-deal-works
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2013 - January, time for new resolutions and new projects ....
January is usually a good time of year to make life changing resolutions and decide what DIY projects need to be started or completed during the coming year.
If you're like me, by the end of January in previous years, some of the resolutions will have already fallen away, and I'll have forgotten half the projects I thought I wanted to complete.
This year, I've taken my own advice and actually written everything down - what I'm going to give or take up, what projects I have on-going and need to complete and what additional things around the house need to be sorted out - and the list is behind a fridge magnet so I see it every day.
Whether writing everything down will keep me to my intentions is another matter - but at least I've start January with the best of intentions !
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Seasonal greetings to all diydata.com visitors and remember, we'll be here in 2013 to help with your diy projects.
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Do you have a diy tool on your Christmas list ?

If so, look at our section giving the various features of each tool, http://www.diydata.com/tool/index.php , you can see what's available - so rather than just asking for or buying a basic item, you'll know what features to look for for a Christmas gift.

Also, check out the suppliers listed on each page, they all offer a choice of tools offering the different features at competitive prices and sell by mail order.
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Central Heating Blues

This time of year is when people tend to find problems with their central heating radiators.

One common problem is a hot radiator at the bottom but cold at the top, the usual symptom for air in the system. Bleeding the air via the valve on the radiator should overcome this – see http://diydata.com/problem/central_heating/bleed.php - just don’t forget to top up the pressure if you have a combi boiler.
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Time to renew your buildings insurance ? Do you know the rebuild cost ?

One thing you don’t want to do is under insure, any claim will be reduced - and over insuring is just plain wasting money.

The Association of British Insurers offers a free to use (up to 4 calculations per year), online Residential Rebuilding Costs calculator which you can use to work out the figures.

Make sure you read the comments on the results page and keep a copy of them; if you need to make a claim, this should help settle any question about under-insurance.
http://abi.bcis.co.uk/#calculation
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Energy Bills
With the big energy suppliers putting up their prices, it's worth considering if you are getting the best deal. The BBC podcast http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/consumer#playepisode3 covering Energy Bills is well worth a listen.
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Mould around the house

This time of year, with cold damp days, when you don’t want to open windows and can’t hang the washing outside to dry, is the best time for mould, but the worse time for your property and your health.

Look at our new article on what mould is, how mould is harmful to your property and your health and what you can do to overcome mould.
http://www.diydata.com/problem/mould-in-the-house/mould-house.php
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