House & Gardening Ideas


1. Faulty Tubtrug

If you leave your tubtrug out in the garden the most likely outcome will be failure of one or both of the handles due to degradation of the body material from exposure to UV in sunlight. One solution is to create new handles as shown in the photo using 6mm polypropolene rope and supporting washers. Drill two 5/16 inch (8mm) diameter holes about three inches (75mm) apart and thread the rope through. The cut ends should be fused together using a lit match and then tied in a single knot.

If the material around the handles has split then silver coloured Gaffa tape is an ideal repair medium. Clean and dry the surface before applying one or more layers of the tape. Gaffa tape is also ideal for making temporary repairs to cracked glass panes in greenhouses (the last ‘temporary’ repair survived for some five years before the pane of glass was finally replaced with a plastic pane.

2. Leaky Hosepipe

One side of our garden is shielded from the rain by a very large tree in our neighbour’s garden and is therefore much drier than the rest of the garden. My solution to this problem was to lay a hosepipe along that area with 1/16inch (1.6mm) holes drilled every 2 feet (600mm) or so and feed the hose from a water butt or outside water tap. If the holes become blocked after a while then connect the hose to an external water tap for a short period of time - the water pressure will clear them. It is left running for an hour or two from the water butt after the sun has gone down to minimise evaporation in very dry periods.

3. Kitchen Stools

These started out with a natural wood finish seat which did not match our new kitchen colours so I removed the old varnish with a scraper and some sand-paper, painted them with two coats of bright coloured acrylic paints, rubbed them down to remove any brush marks and sprayed them with two coats of matt acrylic varnish.

To get a smooth edge between the black base and coloured top I used a ‘Lazy Susan’ rotateable spice tray to support and rotate each wooden base.

4. House Insulation

As our pre-WWII house has solid walls there was no cavity to fill so we have had those walls clad in external wall insulation approximately 67mm thick which was then covered in an acrylic render. The immediate result was a 25% reduction in our annual gas consumption.