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Home Improve E-zine, Issue #007 -- Monthly Newsletter - invest in your nest in 2005
September 15, 2005
Home Improve E-zine

Home Improvement Quandary?   lets nail down the Options

It's not worth spending any time or money on a project unless it comes up to code

Invest in your Nest in 2005


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IN THIS MONTHS ISSUE: September 2005

Welcome back if you have been on holiday and well done if you have completed or nearly completed your very own home improvement project.

Is the weather cooling down where you live, It was as hot for us over the last couple of weeks as it was in New Orleans, but at last September has brought with it a fresh gentle cool breeze.

We were devastated to see the on-going tradegy unfolding along the Gulf Coast and we felt driven to write an article to highlight the very long term plight of those affected...

We don't know for sure if "Habitat for Humanity" will be building new homes for these people but certainly they are an organisation with the capabilities, who are now actively involved with the recovery process... read more Hurricane Katrina

If you are looking for ideas, new products and services, don't miss the great home improvement show list for October to make sure you get to attend any event near you.

Enjoy this issue of Home Improve E-zine and as always, it's safety first - see our article on Home Renovation Safety - and give yourself plenty of time for all the planning, measuring you need to work well.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: ------------------

  • Questions & Answers
  • Planing for your Pergola Construction...
  • Arbor Facts
  • Home Improvement Show Calender for October 2005...
  • In Next Months Issue...
  • Welcome New Subscribers
  • Copyright, Subscription info


Home Improve Q & A

We had a lovely letter from a lady who wanted to paint her kitchen cabinets. The reason she wrote to us is because the cabinets are not made of wood and she wanted advice on products that are available and how to do it.

We researched the style, type and make of cabinets she had and wrote to the manufacturer for advice, they were unable to help but we were able to determine that this lady had white melamine kitchen cabinets.

We can't guarantee results, but we believe that the quality of the products now available has increased.

However, one of the main reasons for failure after using specialized paints for melamine surfaces seems to be the lack of preparation before applying the product...

So we prepared a new article to explain our prefered method - which you can find here at Painting Melamine Cabinet Tips

Please keep the questions coming in so that we can answer them next month or even sooner on the Web site - E-zine Contribution Page



  • Always measure - mark and pre-drill wood with a drill bit smaller than the size of the screws you are going to use - this help prevent the wood, especially soft timbers like pine, from spliting when you drive in screws to connect the pieces.

  • Read everything you can about a proposed project before you start, including information from your local building office, books and "how to" videos!


Your Home Improvement Calender
(For clarity we are working on June = Summer and December = winter )

September - October 2005

Preparing for the winter while the weather is still good

Preparing your home now for the coming winter could help prevent damage and deteriation which could effect the value of your home.

Taking care of the Outside

Before the wind really starts to lift and while it is cooler than August, this is an ideal time to install covers for your gutters before they get clogged up with leaves and debris.

Why not take a cuppa with you and slowly review the outside of your home - will the paintwork withstand the coming gales and winter rain - this is a great time to make sure the exterior of your home is weatherproof.

Taking care of the Inside

It is also an ideal time to review the insulation of your home and insulate supply and return pipes - see if you can lower the cost of winter heating bills.

Areas to look out for are the whole main structure of your home - foundation, walls, attic and roof - plus fittings like doors and windows.

How these areas are prepared will determine how much heat loss your house sustained throughout the winter.

You could be paying for 30% - 40% of heat that is continously leaking out of your home.


Improving insulation and sealing your home together with the installion of double glazed windows could bring real long term benefits to your family and your home.

If your hot water pipes pass through cold areas you heater has to work overtime to keep the temperature of the water up. Insulating the piping to prevent heat loss is the best solution - get local advise on which type of insulation would be best for your home - foam or fiberglass insulation.

Share Your Home Improvement Experiences here: E-zine Contribution Page


Planning for your Pergola

No amount of work or money spent is worthwhile unless your home improvement project comes up to your local building code.

This also applies to a structure as simple to build as a pergola. You will need to make sure that the size and style of your pergola is in keeping with your home and your neighborhood.

Some local building codes do not allow you to build an attached pergola - but do permit such a structure that is mere inches away from the outside wall of your home!.

Rules like this will determine the design of your pergola construction, whether it can be attached with a beam to the wall of your home and rest on two posts - or if you have to prepare for a free standing traditional four post pergola.

Amongst other things, your local code will also advise you on how your soil type and how climate conditions affect the way you should prepare the concrete footings for your pergola posts and also how deep the frost level is for your area, as well as what type of timber to use... read more on Planning Pergola building plan...

Related Information
Gazebos and Pergolas...


Our Small Project for September

Arbor Facts

If you don't feel quite up to building a pergola - why not start with an arbor. People often interchange these two names to describe the same construction, but for us an arbor is a much smaller build which can have many uses.

Originally an arbor (UK - arbour) was just a shady green alcove with the sides and roof formed by the trunk and branches of trees and climbing plants, of course we don't always have such a tree where we want it!.

Modern day arbors are build with posts, crossbeams, rafters, lattice or trellis and often include a seat, we cover them with climbing plants for beauty and shade.

Lets look at some arbor facts to help you decide...

  • You can buy an arbor kit or make your own.
  • An arbor with a gate can create a beautiful entrance to your garden.
  • An Arbor can help define different areas - especially in long thin gardens or huge spaces, walking through an arbor can be like passing through an open doorway into another world.
  • Arbors can be simple or ornate structures made of wood or iron, treated tubular steel, copper is also popular and even vinyl.
  • The majority of arbors built are made of wood.
  • Vinyl arbors may not be everyones idea of a perfect material for a natural garden but... they are maintenance free!
  • Intall an arbor made of copper tubing only if you are prepared for the copper to weather first to a warm brown and then to a rich green.
  • Arbors covered in scented climbing plants like honeysuckle or climbing roses enhance gardens and pathways.
  • Incorporating a seat in an cosy arbor is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the view.
  • Arbors are usually just over 80" high but you can find kits that are for taller arbors - over 130" - so that you can walk more comfortably through an arbor laden down with plants.
  • Some arbor kits are really flexible in that the structure can be kept narrow or extended to your desired width.
  • Arbor styles range from the traditional to the modern, oriental, simple or ornate and with the addition of wings and corner inserts.
  • Arbor are great back drops for photographing those special family occasions.
  • Arbor wings are great for extending the arbor construction and re-directing the path to a different area or to seating.
  • Arbors are typically smaller than pergolas but still need to withstand wind and rain, the posts need proper cement foundations, wooden arbors should be made of pressure treated timber or redwood and cedar options.

Think about where you would place an arbor in your garden and what materials you want to use and which style you would prefer - to help you along - why not build an arbor with us in next month's issue of home improve e-zine - with our fre*e arbor plan...

Share your favourite projects - it's easy to do here at Home Improve E-zine Contribution Page


Home Improvement Events Calender for September - OCTOBER 2005

October is one of the best months to visit a home show or home improvement show because the weather is usually great to travel and the amount of shows is staggering.

You may be interested to see that this month also includes two shows about building log homes, whether you are planning to build your own log home, a guest house, home office space, playhouse or workshop.

Here is our list for October 2005
Home Improvement Shows in October

p.s. it's interesting to note that many shows now do online ticket purchases costing considerably less than the "at the door" prices...

***Please always use the contact internet links or the telephone numbers where available to confirm date and venue before attending any home improvement show.***

Still time to check up on events during the second half of September 2005
Home Shows in September



  • In Next Months Issue

    Throughout the year we are going to put different projects under the microscope. If you are ready to get down to the nitty gritty and begin exploring the potential TOP and BOTTOM of your home - then look out for the October Issue 008 of Home Improve E-zine

    Highlights include:

    • Our Tip Top Tips
    • How to build a pergola and get your hands on our fr*e*e pergola plan!
    • How to build an Arbor and how to adapt a basic design
    • Home improvement Show November listings!.


    Welcome New Subscribers

    We would like to extend a very warm welcome to you as a new subscriber to our internet magazine: "Home Improve E-zine".

    I hope you will continue to enjoy our ideas, tips and articles throughout the year. Please pass the information about our e-zine onto any of your family or friends who are especially interested in home improvement to improve the quality of their home life and/or to improve the value of their home.


    Copyright and Subscription information

    Copyright 2005 All rights Reserved

    You can tell your friends to get their subscription here:
    Home Improve E-zine

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