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Home Improvement and DIY

Build a Shed in Less Than a Week

grey shed with plants and hose on foreground

Shed Plans and Tips For Building a Wooden 16x10 Gable Shed in Less Than a Week

Weekend warriors and home improvement pros alike love a good challenge. Whether it's a new garden in the backyard or the renovation of an old room in your home, there is something to be done every season of the year.

Many people want to get more storage space and utility out of their homes, and this makes home improvement projects that help add space and functionality some of the most popular. There are several different ways to pursue a more efficient home in this regard, but one of the easiest is the addition of a new shed.

Some may feel overwhelmed by the challenge of building a brand-new storage facility or shed from scratch, but it is much easier than you think. Rest assured, you can build a new shed in your spare time in less than a week.

Continue reading to find out how you can break ground and finish the job in under seven days.

Gather Your Inventory/Supplies List

The first thing you'll need to build a shed quickly is an understanding of which supplies are necessary. From lumber to screws and joists, a complete inventory list is absolutely essential.  Many people are opting to purchase complete shed plans to make this part of the job easier, such as a 16x20 gable storage shed plan from

We can’t stress enough the importance of a good set of plans. They will tell you everything that you need to know so that there are no surprises when you go to buy supplies or join the pieces of wood together. Without a good plan, building a shed is much more difficult, but with one, it is very easy for people of all skill levels.

saw planer chisel and other tools

Once you have a complete list of supplies, you'll be able to quickly determine both the cost of the project and where you need to shop to get each item on the list. Ultimately, you'll want to make as few trips to the hardware store or home improvement centre as possible, so carefully review and double-check what you need before getting started. You’ve heard the old adage of “measure twice and cut once”. Think of this as “Check your list twice and shop once”.

Go to the Hardware Store

Once you're ready to head out shopping, be sure that you consider the policies and prices of each particular store. With a complete list of supplies on hand, you'll be able to easily get assistance from a store employee who can help procure all needed materials.

Another reason why it is so important to shop around is because of the lumber or wood that you'll need. Some major chains will cut your lumber down to size and provide you with all of the needed pieces if you already have measurements. This can save you hours of time on the project and will ensure that each piece is cut properly. Of course, you can also do all of the cutting yourself.  It’s up to you and what you feel comfortable with.

Prepare the Foundation

Ideally, any foundation or ground where the shed is to be built will have been levelled and prepared in advance. Because of probable inclement weather and other unseen challenges, you'll want to take care of this process in advance.

foundational support for building a shed

This matters because of the installation of deck piers: Most sheds are built with these foundational supports secured in the ground with concrete. Since it can take some time for the concrete to cure, you don't want to waste multiple days waiting for this to happen once you're ready to build.

Build Segments Concurrently

The basic segments of a garden shed consist of:

  • Your foundation and floor made of pressure treated timber

  • Wall structures (again, use pressure treated lumber); you can also use wall studs, headers, plates, cripple studs and L joints to assemble the parts.

  • The roof (consists of trusses, plywood sheathing, roof felt and shingles)

One easy way to save time and ensure you can build any basic shed within a week is to focus on each element of the process at once.

man building a wooden shed in the backyard

For example, the walls of your shed will require the same type of construction, materials and repetitive motions to construct. Rather than building one segment at a time and then subsequently installing each individually, focus on constructing all four walls back-to-back. Once completed, it'll be easier to raise each shed wall and install them quickly.

This ensures that you do not constantly get in and out of rhythm when it comes to building each portion of the shed, and will make the building process more efficient.

Ask for Help

For bigger shed projects, it may not be possible to construct an entire building in one week's time if you are only capable of working a few short hours per day. Instead of languishing on the project for weeks or months at a time by yourself, ask for a helping hand!

Whether you get help from family members or friends who may be willing to assist, it is not impossible to get your new shed built in just a few days. This can help shave many hours of time off of your project.

wooden backyard shed

There are many benefits to having a shed in the yard. You may be looking for a private work space or storage area, but either way, it doesn't have to cost a fortune or take forever to assemble a new shed in your back yard. By asking for help, building segments in an orderly fashion, planning your purchases carefully and being prepared when build time comes, you'll be able to wrap up most shed construction projects in a week or less.

The basic tools that you will need for this project are:

  • Safety Glasses

  • Tape Measure

  • Circular Saw

  • Speed Square

  • Hammer

  • 4' Level

  • A Few Sawhorses

  • Drill

  • 6' Ladder

  • Extension Ladder

  • Nail Punch


10 Ways to Make the Most Out of Any Tiny Kitchen

mom and daughter working in white kitchen with veggies on kitchen island

For anyone who loves to cook, a tiny kitchen can be their worst nightmare. It seems as though there is never enough counter space to cut, chop and mix foods and when it comes to reaching for just the right spice, somehow, it’s always tucked away just out of reach because of limited shelving.

Are you plagued with this problem? If so, you might be interested to know that with some reorganisation, a few minor renovations, and a bit of creativity, you can turn your worst nightmare into a dream come true. Here are just 10 ways to make the most of any tiny kitchen you might want to consider.

kitchen counter sink and stove with brick splashback

1. Rid the Room of Wasted Space

If you start by taking an honest look at your kitchen, you will probably find that even your tiny kitchen has lots of wasted space. How can that be when your cupboards and drawers are packed beyond capacity?

Start with your walls and ceiling. Instead of those cutesy little pictures you have hanging, why not use hanging clips to keep your utensils and cutting boards on? And, as for the ceiling, why not suspend a hanging rack upon which you can easily keep your pots and pans? It’s amazing just how much space you can free up in that cabinet just by finding new homes for the overflow.

baby with dad and mom in white and wood kitchen

2. Drawer and Cabinet Organisers

Let’s move on now to your cupboards and cabinets. Do you often find that there simply isn’t enough room to stack all your dishes and food staples? Perhaps you should consider hanging wire cabinet organisers which would literally add another shelf upon which to stack other items. This is, perhaps, the easiest way to make the most out of every square cm of space available to you.

kitchen with white cabinets wood counter succulents pendant lights and sink window

3. Corner Shelves

Just take a look at your cupboards and you will see that those drawers and doors aren’t doing you much good when it comes to space. The traditional design leaves a lot of empty space not being used, so if you replace those corner doors and drawers with a rotating corner shelf, you’ve just gained more storage space than you knew was there waiting to be filled.

mom dad and daughter having fun in the kitchen with cabinets in background and red and yellow bell peppers on kitchen island in foreground

4. Multi-Purpose Kitchen Island

In an effort to plan an open-space living environment, many of the newer homes have simply left a tiny kitchen open to a living room area. There is no room for a conventional table and chairs and certainly no counter space as mentioned above, so why not transform that tiny kitchen area with a multi-purpose kitchen island? These can be used for prepping food and with the addition of a couple of stools, they also make for a lovely breakfast bar which does away with the need for that awkward table that just doesn’t fit – no matter where you place it.

woman wearing orange in front of fridge with fruits and veggies

5. Don’t Forget Your Fridge

Everyone has seen pictures of homes where there is everything taped to the fridge, from Johnnie’s first finger painting to this week’s calendar of family events. Those are always nice sentimental touches, but that space could be put to better use.

Perhaps one side could hold an adhesive paper towel holder and a few stick-on hooks for hot pads and dish cloths. By all means, keep those precious mementos of Johnnie’s junior years, but perhaps it would be better to scan them and use a digital picture frame you could easily sit on that kitchen island without taking up usable space for organising.

mother and daughter working on wood island counter in white kitchen

6. Carts and Moveable Islands

Whilst you may want to undergo a total home renovation to get the counter and storage space you need, there are other ways to make the most of what you have available to you. Many families with tiny kitchens use smaller rolling carts and/or movable butcher block islands they can tuck neatly into another area of the home. With so many homes being of an open-space design in recent times, simply roll it against a wall in the living area where it can also be used as a serving cart when entertaining.

kitchen with white brick tiles and cream cabinets

7. Shelves Above the Upper Cabinets

This idea may require a step ladder approach, but have you looked lately at how much wasted space there is above your upper cabinets in the kitchen? Typically, you will find that there is ample room above those cupboards to add a shelf or two upon which you can store those items you don’t use often enough to take up space below. Why store them in the garage when there is still plenty of space above the cabinets?

kitchen with black and white tiles black counter and white cabinets

8. Vertical Foil and Plastic Wrap Hangers

Lest we forget the inside of cabinet doors, what about all that space which is being wasted? Not only can you utilise vertical hangers for aluminum foil and plastic wrap, but you can add hanging shelves to hold your cleaning liquids and other items which never seem to find the right home. In fact, you can usually find some use for the inside of every door because most cabinetry is designed with plenty of space between the shelves and the inside of doors.

black kitchen sink with water flowing from black mixer tap

9. Expandable Rods Under the Sink

Speaking of cleaning liquids, an expandable rod is ideal for hanging all those sprays you use daily. Simply expand the rod with as much tension as you can muster and then hang the spray handles on the rod. This frees up more space on the bottom of the cabinet where other things can be neatly stacked.

kitchen in white and neutrals

10. Wall-Mounted Dish Drainers

This is an ideal way to keep the countertop free to use as a workspace. Have you thought of using a wall-mounted dish drainer instead of the traditional drainers with those unsightly draining boards? Of course, these wouldn’t work well for a family of six, but neither would a tiny kitchen unless you began your organisation from day one.


Where once homes were built to add tons of living space, there is a concerted effort going on in society now to make everything tiny. From tiny homes to tiny kitchens to tiny cars, in an effort to build an eco-friendly living environment, most designers are going small and even smaller. The point is, it is more energy-efficient to keep tiny spaces climate-controlled and this is why you may be faced with such a tiny kitchen. Nonetheless, with these 10 tips, you can make the most of even the tiniest of kitchens you never thought would be possible. Now then, isn’t that a dream come true?

Inexpensive Ideas: Delightful Fixtures to Freshen Up Your Bathroom

bathroom with large mirrors ceramic basins and artwork

Most bathroom renovations result in a total upgrade, ranging from replacing the fixtures to expanding the floor size of the bathroom. If you’re considering a bathroom renovation, what are the things that you’d probably improve?

bathroom with large mirrors ceramic basins and artwork

It’s better to upgrade your fixtures as well when renovating. Go for a wholesome new look for your bathroom by going for an overall makeover. If you bought the house from a former owner, the bathroom might be one of the rooms which you should prioritise.

Check the shower and sinks in your bathroom. Upgrading these specific fixtures will boost your bathroom’s appeal. Read on to get helpful ideas on new installations for your newly renovated bathroom.

Shower Fixtures

If the shower in your bathroom isn’t functional or if you want to change to another type, there are some suggestions you can consider. Whether it’s bathroom renovations in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, or Canberra, you have to be very specific when it comes to the companies that specialize in renovation services.


    • Wall Mount

This type is the one that you’ll commonly see in bathrooms which you can buy for as low as $99. Wall mount is the type of showerhead that’s fixed on the wall at a certain height. This showerhead is hard to use if you live with people who are taller or shorter than you. Since it’s fixed on the wall, this type leaves little room for adjustment.

    • Hand Held

This type is more flexible compared to the wall mount type, and you can buy this for $27.50. The showerhead comes with an attached hose to the wall attachment, which means that you can remove it from the holder and adjust it to your preferred height. Elderly or disabled people will benefit the most from this type, as well as your housemates who are taller or shorter than you.

    • Body Spray

If you’re not satisfied with one showerhead, there are other fixtures you can choose such as swivel heads. It can be installed at various heights and allows for a massage-like bath.

The body spray type comes with more than one water spray or showerhead. The swivel heads are placed at strategic locations so you can have an easier time while taking a bath, compared to a single showerhead which you have to move around for you to clean your body.


    • Rain

This showerhead is larger than the other types, which means that you also receive more water when showering. This type will help you feel as if you’re taking a bath in a downpour at the comforts of your bathroom.


Sinks might seem like a minor detail, but installing a new one during renovation will help you achieve a comfortable bathroom. Check out these types and choose the best one for you.

ceramic bathroom basin with chrome mixer tap

    • Self-rimming

This sink has rounded edges which are used to support the sink installed on the countertop, which is why it's called 'self-rimming.' It's also fastened to the countertop by a minimal amount of caulk. You can easily install this type. If you’re adding a new sink to a pre-existing counter, you can comfortably fit this type.

    • Vessel

This type adds a unique design to your bathroom. Unlike the typical sink, this sink looks like a bowl and is put on top of a counter. It requires a pop-up drain because it doesn’t need undermount installation.

aguzzo siena oval bathroom basin

    • Wall-mounted

If you’re aiming at saving space in the bathroom, go for this type. This sink doesn’t require a counter or floor space. Attach it directly to your wall at the most comfortable height for you.

    • Pedestal

This type is similar to the wall-mounted type. However, it differs in shape. It resembles a birdbath with its vast basin and narrow base.

    • Undermount

This type requires a solid surface countertop for installation. It’s easy to clean, and it lets you use your countertop to its full extent.

    • Console

This sink is similar to both the wall-mounted and pedestal types. It’s fixed on the wall, but it also has legs attached to it. You can use it as a sink or a counter, and you can even use the space beneath for shelf purposes.

white and grey bathroom mirror sink towel

Ideal Fixtures

Maximize the potential of your bathroom renovation by investing in inexpensive but quality fixtures. Choose the type that will add beauty and comfort to your home without draining your cash.


Author Bio

Phoebe Jones is a writer by passion. She writes articles on any topic, but more often focuses on home improvement. She shares helpful tips for her readers on how to make their homes a beautiful place. During her free time, Phoebe likes taking walks on the beach and snapping pictures of the sunset.

Above Ground Pools: Things to Consider in Choosing a Modular Swimming Pool

man and child swimming in a modular pool

Modular swimming pools are a fantastic way to enhance your home in an affordable way. Not only can they provide you and your family with a refreshing break from the scorching summer sun but they also offer a wonderful space to play and entertain that can be easily modified to fit your garden. Above ground pools can also look great to prospective buyers if you ever wish to sell your property.

But what factors should you consider before buying your above ground pool?

above ground pool with trees plants and wooden planks

WHEN: The best time to buy a modular pool

Even though the products themselves don’t change, prices tend to fluctuate depending on the season. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that modular pools are in higher demand during the summer and warmer months. So, if you’re thinking about getting one, start browsing during the winter to ensure you get the best possible price.

WHERE: The suitable site for your pool

The main advantage of modular pools is that they can be modified to fit the space you have. This doesn’t just mean physically fitting the pool into your property, it also refers to the layout you use to make the most of your pool in the most functional and aesthetically pleasing way possible.

Before buying your pool, think about where you’d like it. Think about how it will look and fit in the space. Take measurements and think about various shape and size options. Think about how it will function within that space and how you can make the most of the rest of your garden.

man and child swimming in a modular pool

WHAT: Reasons for getting an above-ground pool

Think about the purpose of your pool. This may sound like a simple question but consider when it will be used, how many people will be using it and for what purpose. This will help you identify what size and type of pool you need.

Drainage That Works

Above ground pools are popular because they are generally cheaper and easier to install. But they do still need proper drainage channels. When considering drainage options, make sure you think about functionality and durability as well as aesthetics.

pool drain channel

Budget That’s All-Inclusive

Modular pools vary in prices. Think about your budget and don’t forget to include all the related maintenance equipment in your calculations. Also, consider the installation costs. Remember, safety at all times so keep that in mind when budgeting your pool and ask the professionals as they will know what the regulations are.

Water Preference That’s Well-Suited

Above-ground modular pools can use salt or chlorinated water. Think about which type you would prefer. Each has its own pros and cons, from the chemicals used and their effects on users’ skin to the amount of maintenance each water type requires. Before making your decision, think about who will be using your pool, what conditions it will operate under and what your maintenance routine will be.

girl with goggles swimming in pool with blue water

Local Laws on Swimming Pools

Depending on your location and the depth of your pool, there may be some safety regulations you must adhere to. In most cases, Council approval may also be required. Make sure you do the necessary research based on your local area and the features of your pool. Your pool supplier should be able to point you in the right direction and provide you with the model specifications and engineering paperwork to submit with your application.


Above ground pools are a great addition to your home. Don’t rush into buying the first one you see. Think about the space you have and how your pool will look and operate within it. Seek professional advice before installing an above ground pool and remember to check in with your local council before making any purchases.


Author Bio

Treacy Koster is a passionate blogger who frequently writes about tips related to living and lifestyle. She is also a travel enthusiast.

Blocked Drains: How to Unclog Your Kitchen Sink

water flowing into kitchen sink drain

Fix that clogged kitchen sink fast before it becomes a real annoyance. We’ve gathered here several ways to unclog those blocked drains, which you could try in the order presented.

WORK SAFE: Before You Begin

These DIY tips may not work if your main sewer line is the problem (that is, all drains in your house are affected). In that case, you’ll need a plumber.

⚠ Warning: Do not proceed if you've just poured drain cleaners into the sink, as the chemicals they contain could cause serious burns to your skin.

protective gloves and goggles on wooden board construction

Otherwise, slip on those rubber gloves and wear your goggles for protection, then let’s get on with it. Ready?

detail of the plumbing system under a modern kitchen sink, with a plumbers tool tray and equipment

Drain Unblocker #1: GARBAGE DISPOSAL FIX

If the garbage disposal is clogged, follow the steps in the instruction manual that came with it. If the blockage remains, try these steps:

  1. Shut off the power switch of the garbage disposal.
  2. Shine a flashlight into the unit and use pliers to try pulling out any stuck object.
  3. If no object is removed, use a long dowel or wooden spoon to move the garbage disposal blades side to side.
  4. After removing an object or being able to move the blades, wait around 15 minutes for the disposal motor to cool.
  5. Turn the power back on then push the reset button.

blue hanger isolated on white background

Drain Unblocker #2: BENT HANGER TRICK

This could be your magic spell if you have a double-bowl kitchen sink.

    1. Get a coat hanger wire and bend a small hook on its end that will fit through the basket strainer.
    2. Push the bent hanger hook first into the drain.
    3. When you feel the clog, twist and pull the hanger wire until you have it out.
    4. If you are not able to remove the obstruction, try steps 2 and 3 one more time. If it still does not work, read on for other solutions below.

plunger in the hands of a plumber

Drain Unblocker #3: PLUNGE, PUMP, AND POP

Here's how to use a sink pump or plunger on your clogged sink drain:

  1. Clear the area over and around the drain, ensuring that nothing is blocking it.
  2. For those with a dishwasher, clamp the drain hose first. Fill the sink with up to 8cm to 10cm of water. Seal the other drain opening tightly with a wet rag.
  3. Plunge the sink pump vigorously over the drain for several times, forcing water (rather than air) into the drain. Make sure you’ve got the whole drain covered.
  4. On the last pump, pop the plunger off the drain for a sudden added pressure.
  5. If the water does not flow down or moves slowly, repeat the steps above. If the water still does not drain after a couple of tries, move on to the other solutions below.


Drain Unblocker #4: STUFF A SNAKE IN THE SINK

You can use a drain auger or plumber snake in this manner:

  1. Uncoil the auger and extend it down the drain.
  2. When you feel resistance, move the coil up and down to remove any blockage.
  3. Remove the drain auger.
  4. Turn on the tap to check if the drain has been unclogged.
  5. If the clog remains, repeat steps 1 to 4.
  6. When the blockage has been cleared, pull out the snake and rinse off with running water as you do so, then wipe with a rag.

p-trap and plumbing under a kitchen sink

Drain Unblocker #5: CLEAN UP THE P-TRAP

  1. Clear the area under the sink and place a bucket directly below the P-trap.
  2. Wear a pair of plastic or rubber gloves.
  3. Loosen the slip nuts and wiggle the trap free. If the nuts are hard to loosen try to gently use pliers.
  4. Remove the P-trap (the curved part). Your bucket should catch any flowing water.
  5. Thoroughly clean the interior of the trap using a straightened coat hanger wire or a large bottle brush.
  6. As you clean, check if the washers are still soft and supple. If not, you may need to replace them.
  7. If the trap was clear and did not have any clog to start with, insert a small drain snake into the pipe in the wall. Move the snake in and out with a clockwise twisting motion.
  8. Remove the snake.
  9. Reassemble the P-trap, making sure you don’t tighten the connections too much.

After all the DIY solutions are done and your sink drain is still clogged, it’s time to call in a plumber. But if you’ve succeeded with one of the fixes, we’ll be happy to hear about it. Got other ideas for blocked drains? Just send us a quick message below.

How to Install a Towel Rack on Ceramic Tile

Updating your bathroom involves new fixtures, lights, taps and rails. Now when most of us know, by common sense, that there are just some jobs that require a tradie. There are also some DIY tasks that we may do on our own, like installing a towel rack on ceramic tile. Just make sure to practice safety at all times.

two folded towels on towel rail

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1. Measure

Measure the wall where you wish to install the towel rail and place masking tape on the areas to be drilled. The tape will help the drill stay in place, keeping it from slipping on the tile glaze.

yellow measuring tape

2. Drill Bit

Selecting the drill bit is an important step.  You need to consider the hardness of the material you are drilling through. In many cases, a carbide drill bit will do the job.  Hardware stores usually have "glass and ceramic spade bits" and "diamond" drill bits too. Our testing on normal spade bits highlighted they get very hot and do not last long. The diamond drill bit is probably the best for very hard tiles - although it requires a bit of skill to use.

Ensure you use the correct size drill bit for the anchor plugs you are installing.  It is better to be half a millimetre less than more as you can always shave a bit off the anchor.

using a cordless drill on wall

3. Drill

Make a pencil mark on the tape where you wish to drill. Place the drill bit on this mark and drill slowly into the ceramic tile.  It is usually best to pick a point away from the edge of the tile or the grout line, as it is more likely you will shatter or chip a tile if drilling on its edge.

Do not drill too quickly, or you risk overheating the drill and removing too much of the tile from the drill site.  And do not use the "hammer" setting on your drill or you risk shattering the tile.  It can be helpful to spray a mist of water on the drill hole while drilling - this is essential for a diamond drill bit.  For a diamond drill it is also helpful to start the hole with the drill bit at 45 degrees until it pierces the outer layer, then straighten the drill.


3. Anchor

Push plastic screw anchors into each drilled hole to firmly secure the screws inside the tile, and keep the towel rail from slipping out once installed.

4. Balance

Line up the rail and screw directly into the rail's escutcheons evenly on each side, if you're installing a one-piece towel rail. Do not tighten down the screws until all screws have been inserted at least part way and the rail is balanced.


5. Brackets

If installing a rail with brackets, screw each bracket into the wall, tightening them down securely. Look at the side of the towel rail's escutcheons for a small grub screw, and unscrew it until it clears the inside of the escutcheon.

Place the escutcheon over the bracket and use a screwdriver or supplied hex key to tighten down the small grub screw on the side. This will attach the escutcheons to the brackets. Leave the escutcheons slightly loose.

Insert the rail into one escutcheon at a time, tightening each one down completely once the rail is in place to hold it securely.


Happy Renovating!


(If you would like to know how to choose a heated towel rail that's just right for your bathroom, read these Tips For Choosing A Heated Towel Rail.)

Fix a Leaking Tap Easily in 4 Steps

Don’t let this day pass without repairing that leaking tap! A drip rate of 10 per minute means more than 20 litres of water wasted in a month, so now is the time to get that fixed.

dripping stainless steel tap

Why is your tap dripping?

The most likely cause of the leaking tap is foreign material that has lodged in the internal cartridge and could cause damage. Debris could come from the water supply, which is common where the water lines have not been properly flushed during installation or if the property does not have filtered water.

What can you do to fix the leaky tap?

In that case, it is merely a maintenance issue that can be done without a plumber. It can be resolved by simply cleaning the internal cartridge or replacing it if necessary. The Products Team at Renovator Store provided these steps to let you access, inspect, and clean the cartridge inside a mixer tap:

removing the lever handle of a mixer tap using a hex key

1. Remove the lever handle.

Start by turning off the water supply to your leaking tap. Then remove the lever handle using a provided hex key or similar tool. Sometimes the grub screw is located behind the small button/cap located underneath the handle. You can simply remove this using your nails to pull it out.

removing the metal collar of a mixer tap

2. Twist off the metal collar.

Beneath the lever handle is a metal collar that you can easily twist off with no tools required. You will see a second collar that's hex threaded. Get your shifting spanner to take this one out.

removing the hex-threaded collar of a mixer tap

3. Remove the cartridge.

The cartridge can now be removed, and you can rinse the exposed cavity with water. The flow restrictor (if present) can also be cleaned or removed to maximise flow. Inspect the cartridge for blockages or splits in the rubber rings and flush it with water.

the flow restrictor of a mixer tap

4. Replace the cartridge.

Check that no foreign material or debris remains in the cartridge or within the cavity. Fit the cartridge back in, then do steps 1 to 3 in reverse. Test your tap for leaks, and if there's none you’re finally done!

cartridge of a mixer tap

What if you need a new cartridge?

In case your ceramic cartridge has been damaged by debris or sediments, you can always get a new mixer tap or just purchase a replacement cartridge from wherever you bought your tapware, or from Renovator Store if you've got a brand we stock.


Other leaking tap issues

Maybe you’ve cleaned up your cartridge or replaced your tap and still experience dripping issues. The problem could be with the valve seat, or your water pressure is too high, or you may have some damaged pipes. In those cases, it’s time to call in a professional plumber.

If you have any further questions feel free to email us at and our friendly Customer Service team will gladly assist. You may also call (03) 9544 3003 or 1800 RENOSTORE from 10:00 am till 4:00 pm AEST on weekdays.

How to Turn Your Garage into an Awesome Man-Cave

With kids, pets and family, your house can sometimes feel surprisingly small. Many homeowners forget that one of the most under-utilised areas of their house is the garage. While normally being occupied by a car or unsorted storage, with a little planning it can be converted into the ultimate relaxation area.

suburban garage mess with boxes, tools and toys in disarray

Work With Your Garage

One of the most common mistakes to make when dreaming up the perfect man-cave is forgetting an important point: You need to work with your garage, not against it.

Your garage is unlike any other room in the house. Lighting, plumbing and electricity are all things that could be missing from its original design. Other choices like your type of garage door can also impact the security and insulation of your garage.

By staying aware of these limitations, you can use them in your favour to overcome the challenges of your garage in interesting and creative ways.

Maximise Space

When planning your man-cave, space is at a premium. The size of a typical garage is quite small and will only be able to fit the essentials, especially when considering space for a car.

Cleaning up and decluttering your garage is the first step in finding space. This means throwing out or selling old and disused items and finding better ways of storing essentials.

tools, hammer, nails on floor

Once you’ve cleaned up, a little clever thinking can make more space. Ceilings, for example, can be fitted for hanging storage, which can be done between joists that are already installed. Putting up storage racks along the wall is another good idea and makes use of space above the floor.

One of the biggest decisions to make is whether you’ll still park in the garage. This decision is different for everyone and will depend on your type of car, availability of outside parking and need for weather protection.

Plan Your Man-Cave

Once you’ve found out the limits of what you can work with, it’s time to start making plans. Don’t go overboard, but make a list of all the essentials that you’re looking for, along with a rough estimate of costs.

Draw out a basic floor plan. If you’re planning to install a home theatre system, where will the TV go? How will it be wired? Following each step of the plan in your imagination will help you find problems and save you a lot of time and money before putting it into action.

Remember to leave some space behind for storage or other excess stuff in case your needs change in future. Depending on your home, the garage may be the only place for these things.

home theatre with wine tasting room, big screen, wood cabinets, photo on screen a shot from yosemite

Know Your Limits

Make sure you start with the right tools for smaller jobs in the garage such as drilling. Don’t try to do any work that you’re unsure of, because if anything goes wrong it will only slow things down and end up costing you more overall.

If you aren’t an experienced handyman, make sure to leave the dangerous stuff to an expert. There are many licensed contractors who are experienced in outfitting electrical work to garages and will have done similar projects. While it may be slightly more expensive, it means you’ll get the job done properly, legally and without any risk to your health.

pool game among friends in man-cave

Insulate Your Garage

Insulation is essential for turning your garage into a livable space and will protect you in both hot and cold weather. Insulating properly can also soundproof your garage, meaning you can play your music as loud as you want, or turn up the sound system when watching movies.

Carpets, rugs and rubber tiles all insulate your floor well and can add a certain style to the garage. Smaller, moveable options are generally better, as they can be shifted, replaced or removed if necessary. The garage door is a big culprit for letting in cold and should be properly insulated. Garage insulation can be retrofitted, but will only work on panel and not roller doors.

Have Fun

Converting your garage into a man-cave can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding projects you ever undertake. Enjoy the experience and celebrate with your friends when it’s done.


Author Bio

This piece was written by Daniel Defendi, who recommends Pinnacle Garage Doors in Perth. You can catch Daniel on Google+ to discuss this piece.

How to Upgrade to a Modern Outdoor Kitchen

The popularity of outdoor kitchens is continuing to rise. Over the years, there has been an increase in quality furnishings and appliances available for open-air eating, which has made it possible to create fully-functional outdoor kitchen spaces. Well-appointed outdoor kitchens can now provide the same practicality and convenience as their indoor counterparts. You can keep your modern outdoor kitchen design can be as simple or luxurious as you’d like. It all depends on your budget, the size of your section and of course your own personal taste. Here are some key ways to upgrade to a modern outdoor kitchen.

[caption id="attachment_14581" align="alignnone" width="1200"]outdoor kitchen in backyard patio Photo Credit: Pixabay under CC0 Public Domain License[/caption]

Update Outdoor Cooking Appliances

Outdoor cooking goes far beyond the classic charcoal barbecue. From wood-fired pizza ovens to stylish freestanding gas barbecues, the availability of quality outdoor cooking appliances is constantly growing. Purchasing a new high-quality cooking appliance is a worthy investment that transforms both your kitchen design and outdoor dining experience. Just make sure to do your research on the different types of grills before buying a new one.


Use the Right Materials for a Modern Outdoor Kitchen

The materials you use to design your outdoor kitchen play a critical role in its durability and style. In particular, the right type of flooring can really take the whole space to the next level. Tiles are a popular choice because they come in a variety of colours and so can be easily matched to the indoor flooring of your home. Porcelain is a good material choice for outdoor tiling, as it doesn’t absorb much moisture. No matter what type of surface material you use, you will need to ensure that it is specified for outdoor use.

Every modern outdoor kitchen needs a surface area for food prep, complete with a functional sink and faucet. The best materials for outdoor kitchen countertops include stone, tile and concrete. Concrete is fairly popular due to its clean, contemporary look. When you first install concrete, you must make sure that it is sealed properly – and subsequently reseal it regularly. If it’s not installed correctly, it runs the risk of cracking.


Sinks and faucets come in many different styles and are made from a range of materials. For an outdoor kitchen, high-grade stainless steel sinks and taps are ideal. Stainless steel is stylish, easy to clean and made to stand the test of time. The thickness of the steel is a key factor to consider. Thicker steel offers better resistance to heavy objects placed in the sink and will last longer in outdoor environments.

[caption id="attachment_14582" align="alignnone" width="1200"]outdoor dining setup Photo Credit: Pxhere under CC0 Public Domain License[/caption]

Create an Outdoor Dining Area

You can create a fantastic outdoor dining area perfect for BBQs and parties by adding some simple furnishings to your kitchen space. Keep in mind that any outdoor seating you use needs to be heavy and durable enough to withstand changing weather environments. Fortunately, today’s outdoor furniture offers a great variety of stylish, weather-tolerant fabrics.

When you create your outdoor dining area, take ambience and lighting into account. Most outdoor lights are easy to install – and a few well-placed outdoor lights will let you and your guests see better at night and also illuminate your outdoor kitchen with a romantic glow. To save money on your electricity bill, opt for LED lights instead of incandescent lights. They last longer and require much less energy to operate. However, if your outdoor kitchen space has no electrical source, solar power lights are a good alternative. The combination of tasty cooking, landscape lighting, and a comfortable dining area will offer the perfect balance of function and ambience.


About the Author

Johanna Cider is a New Zealand-based writer who loves discussing travel, home and lifestyle topics. She enjoys spending her free time working on her DIY home improvement projects or hosting backyard BBQ parties for her friends. Find more of her work

Teaching an Old House New Tricks (or, Tips for Staying Safe While Renovating Old Houses)

Whether you’re buying a fixer-upper or revamping the home you’ve lived in for the last 25 years, there are some things you should take into consideration when kicking off any renovation project. Renovating a house into a home is an incredibly rewarding feeling, but older homes naturally require more attention to detail. To help make the process easier, we’ve come up with four important tips for staying safe while renovating properly.

removing plaster during a home renovation

Be on the Lookout for Lead Paint

Repainting a few rooms around your home is a fairly easy and common renovation that can drastically change the look, feel and atmosphere of an entire house. Using light colours can create the illusion of more space in a room, and a good tip is to paint the trim and mouldings a lighter colour than the walls.

lead paint

While painting may not seem overly hazardous at first, it’s important to keep in mind that houses built before 1970 have a high probability of containing lead paint. Scraping or sanding down old paint without having a professional test it first may create dust and lead paint chips, which can linger and eventually cause lead poisoning. Houses built between 1970 and 1997 were allowed to contain lead paint toxins up to one percent,  so it’s not a bad idea to have those homes tested as well. In Australia, the recommended amount of lead in domestic paint has declined from 50% before 1965, to 1% in 1965, 0.25% in 1992, and 0.1% in 1997. (Read more about lead in house paint in Australia.)

closeup of asbestos roof pattern in background

Check for Asbestos

Due to its high durability and fire resistant “miracle” properties, asbestos was commonly used in domestic buildings well into the 1980s. Before starting your renovation project, it would be a wonderful idea to hire a professional to test for asbestos. The toxin may be lurking in your home’s insulation, popcorn ceilings, walls, and flooring. Exposure to asbestos can lead to a rare type of cancer called mesothelioma, which has the potential to develop in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. (Read more about the Australian government's guide on asbestos.)

3d rendering of an empty room with open window

Know the Importance of Ventilation

Proper ventilation is key to a healthy DIY home renovation, and the more fresh air the better! It’s a good idea to have your windows open at all times and to be cautious of indoor air quality. Working long periods of time without a break can be especially dangerous when working with paint. Any room lacking windows should have a standing fan set up to increase air circulation. If you start feeling lightheaded or dizzy, stop immediately and take a break. Wearing a face mask when working with paint, dust or any other types of particles can save you from potential breathing difficulties.

old pipe outdated plumbing

Fix Outdated Plumbing

Plumbing problems are also typically common in older homes, and ones built before the 1960s often used galvanised piping. Houses with this type of piping often have a slower drain system and pipes tend to clog more frequently. The lifespan of galvanised pipes is said to be around 40 years, so if they haven’t been replaced already the time has already come! If you are going to replace old pipes, it is recommended you use PVC or copper piping. For a bunch of fun ways to improve the bathroom check out the bathroom, tapware and accessories page. You’ll find the best basins, tapware, floor wastes and more!

Renovating a home is a very special time no matter what stage of life you’re in, and following these simple tips will help you create the home you've always wanted. No one ever said you can’t make an old home feel new again, it just may take some extra time and care to do so.


About the Author

This article was contributed by the team at Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, which aims to raise awareness about "mesothelioma, a rare but preventable cancer, and advocate about the dangers of asbestos exposure in hopes of one day seeing a ban on this carcinogenic material worldwide."