Power tool decision

One of my most recent problems came when I broke my old DeWalt drill. I’ve been spending the last few days deciding which to go for next. I wasn’t sure what I was going to replace it with, because of the vast sea of choice. That itself presents itself with difficulties. The thing that’s getting to me is, spending money on a new one is a significant investment, and you have to get it right. Especially if you do this for a living.

So, I will be announcing shortly what my final decision is, what brand I’ve chosen, and why I think think that particular power tool is well suited for my needs.

Tree branches blocking sunlight to the window

A common problem some of my clients have is a large tree in the back yard that has become more of a nuisance than a beauty spot. And the biggest problem with such trees tends to be how much sunlight they block. The simple solution? Trim them back, or cut them down altogether. However, such a task isn’t easy, and will often be more than a one man job if you’re working with older style tools such as hand saws to cut branches. However, there are ways to make things a lot less complex, and that involves getting a power tool that performs most of the back breaking work for you.

There are numerous tools that can be used to achieve this, such as chainsaws, but my go to option has always been a pole saw. They are a fair bit safer, and cancels the needs for using a step ladder, or climbing to reach the highest branches. This is due to the long poles they come with that in most cases extend so users feet never have to leave the safety of the ground.

However, a lot of stress can be placed on joints with such a tool, so you will need to be in reasonably good shape, with a good amount of arm strength and endurance to continuously trim for minutes at a time. You have heavier pole saws like gas powered variants, and then the much lighter pruners that are both cordless and electric. Both have numerous ways in which they benefit the user, however, we always say gas powered are for the heavy duty tasks that require a bit more power.

Have a read of this pole saw buying guide. This is a fantastic resource that will ensure readers are well versed in what to expect from individual pole pruners, with numerous reviews, information surround their specs, and price. Hopefully, this will go a long way in saving you money, whilst helping you get your hands on a solid product that handles very well.

I have found that they work a dream for trimming back medium sized bushes and hedges too. So even if you’re looking for a versatile pruning tool, this will still perform the majority of generic garden tasks and hopefully bring that sunlight pouring through the house windows once more. A very sensible option for yard maintenance, that is simple to operate, but sometimes overlooked in favor of other tools. Definitely worth the investment in my books.

Finding a good toilet for your bathroom

A very common question clients ask me is what type of toilet would be a good fit for their own bathroom shape and size. Obviously this has multiple answers because no two clients bathrooms are the same. However, there are certain rules you can abide by to ensure you give yourself the best chance of finding a suitable match for your needs.

TOTO ToiletThe first thing I want you to ask yourself, is where about will the toilet be placed in the room? Some people will require something compact with an elongated bowl, other will require something that fits in a corner with a triangular tank. There are of course people who will be hanging theirs on the wall to save even more space. These are all factors to be considered, and not things to be taken lightly.

The next thing to think about is how much power do you need in the flushing system. This is where things get a bit more complex for multiple reasons. There are excessive amounts of choice between all the types of flush with just a few of those being dual, single, upflush, low flow, and hands free. All can be highly beneficial to my clients in the right environment. For example, the upflush unit would be ideal for a basement because it generally falls below the sewer line and needs the waste to be pushed upwards. Then you have the dual flush conundrum which means you have two separate powers of flush for both solid and liquids in the bowl.

Ideally, you will end up going for something with low water consumption too. These protect the environment and usually come with a WaterSense label on them. They only use up to 1.6 GPF which is significantly lower than traditional models.

The best toilets tend to be the ones that take all of the above into account and still produce and affordable price tag. thetoiletthrone.com has some excellent reviews and ratings that may give you a push in the right direction too. The guy who runs it is an old friend of mine and has plenty of experience in the plumbing industry. Up until recently I worked with him fitting bathroom accessories, until health issues caused him to retire. Respectable man though, and his toilet buying guides are well worth the read.

If you are planning on setting yourself a budget, I would say $400 is the upper limit if you’re not looking for fancy technological inclusions like touchless flushing, or bidet seats. Generally speaking, you can normally find a great option for less than $300 though. Stick with the more popular brands like TOTO and KOHLER, and you give yourself a much better chance of finding value for money.

Wood stove essentials

One of my favorite heating devices is certainly the wood stove. The power and area warmed up is unrivaled in my opinion. Unlike the olden days, where you had to keep collecting firewood to keep a fire going, you can simply stock up down your local hardware store. Usually that will last a good couple of months, but that will be dependent on usage.

The only downside of going for a wood burning stove is that you need to ensure your product is compliant with state efficiency requirements, which is usually 75%. Outside that, you have a lot of freedom in choice. Most modern units comes meeting that percentage anyway.

The BTU output gives you an indication of how powerful and how far the heat goes for the firebox. If you compare them to smaller, portable space heaters, the difference is huge. Which is one of the reasons they are fast becoming one of the favored ways of heating up your household.

However, with the extra power comes some extra considerations. First of all, the maintenance tens to be more extensive, and the additional wood that needs to be collected each month can often be seen as a hassle to many. Second of all, if it’s a indoor style stove, you will need to make sure the correct ventilation is installed within the room you’re planning to install it. Always read the instruction manual before you decide to buy, and make sure you have the requirements built in. This step is important as you are ensuring you are kept out of harmful gasses way. Then you will need to check state regulations with regards to pollution output.

Overall though, the best rated wood stoves tend to do their job very well. Reading reviews on warmhomeguide.com could be a great place to start if you’re new, as their buying guides tend to cover a whole lot more than the basics. They tend to tall you through various meanings and how each stove can be used effectively within the household.

Keep in mind, you can expect to pay quite a bit more than several other style heating appliances due to the heavier output. So, in some cases, they are not well suited for those with a lower than average budget.

Welcome to my blog

Hey all, thanks for popping by. My names is John and it’s been a long time since I begun working in the home improvement trade. I have spent countless hours helping friends, families and client perfect their homes, and show them how to make the most of the living space given to them through advanced construction techniques, and DIY guides.

This blog was started with a vision of becoming the go to resource online for simple, yet effective tips that almost anyone can follow providing they have the tools. I hope you find my write ups helpful. Speak soon. John.