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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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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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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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Prepare for winter

No matter where you live, or how long you’ve lived, in the UK; winter always seems to creep up and suddenly we have the cold, frost and rain (although wind and rain won’t just be in winter this year). So October is a good time to run through a few ‘pre winter’ checks on your house. Some won’t be appropriate for all properties, so read through and pick out those which are.
* Have a look at the guttering and down pipes for any damage – do you recall any problems (such as overflowing guttering) which you’ve put off sorting out ? Now’s the time to sort these thing out.
* From ground level, have a look at the roof for signs of problems, such as loose or missing tiles or slates. Do the TV/Satellite aerials look securely fixed.
* Have a look at the external walls, what’s the state of the pointing and any rendering, is it missing in any place or look about to drop out.
* If you have an outside water tap which you have finished using for this year, turn it off inside the house if possible, and/or lag the tap itself.
* Clear any leaves etc from drains and clean (pressure wash) patios and paths so that they won’t become slippery.
* If you use solid fuel, have chimneys and flues swept if they haven’t been recently.
* If you use solid fuel, oil, or non-mains gas; check your stocks, order some more if necessary and make sure you have contact numbers for suppliers for when you do want to have a re-supply.
* If you have a gas central heating, check it’s working before you need it and have any gas boiler serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
* Check that all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order – you tend to have less ventilation during the winter, so carbon monoxide can be a greater risk.
* Check that the loft insulation is up to spec with pipes and water tanks lagged – pay special attention to the loft hatch area if you’ve been up there during the summer. Check that any draught excluders are undamaged.
* Make sure you know where the external and internal water stop cocks are located and give them a twist to make sure they are not seized up. Also, know where to isolate the electricity and gas supplies. Make every adult and responsibly children in the property are aware of where and how to isolate the water, gas and electricity.
* If you had snow in the last few winters, remember what you needed then and make sure you are prepared. A shovel, stiff brush, boots, rock salt (but not for use on concrete, use builders sand for that) – if you get bad weather, local stocks may run out fast, so be prepared.
* If you live in an isolated location where you could be snowed in to any degree, start building up a stock of long shelf life foods just in case.
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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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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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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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Free, practical, on-line DIY and home improvement guidance and advice
Introduction
Going on-line in May 2000, diydata.com was the result of personal issues with the lack of readily available practical advice for the average DIYer and poor personal experience with, so called, professional builders.

Working on the principle, that if one human being (i.e. a builder) can do something, so can another (i.e. the DIYer) providing they have the information – or at least, they will be able to decide what’s involved and if they want to do it.
With the free information from diydata, anyone could save money or, at least, be able to talk with some degree of knowledge to tradesmen.

Having an interest in the principles of building, how things worked and were put together and with a background in technical authoring, has hopefully meant that from day one, the diydata articles have always been understandable to householders and been independent from advertiser influence.
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