Restoring an old home

                Restoring an old home to new glory is a wondrous thing to do – it makes one understand why restorers of cars are so passionate about their vintage vehicles.                 Like cars, homes come in various models and in South Africa we have a plethora to choose from: beautiful gabled Cape Dutch, grand Victorian ladies with high-brow windows, Parktown mansions and ostrich feather palaces.                 Luckily, for those with…

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Windows: replace or repair?

There is something nerve-smashing about the sound of glass breaking.  A large picture window has a distinctive shattering sound and my immediate thought was: “Burglar!”  A nervous peep around the dining room door put that very South African thought to rest: no burglar will use a soccer ball to break your window. On the other side of the broken window a guilt-panicked face mouthed aspiring Leeds United “Sorry, Mom!”                …

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Concrete Evidence

When renovating our home, we added beautiful French doors leading from the living room to the patio. What a waste. They were like ornaments. Nobody ever used them, except over weekends to access the braai on the paved area outside. I simply could not pinpoint the flaw, until a little accident on the patio changed my perspective. Daughter needed space for her Jerusalema steps. I moved my chair backwards and…

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Tile Talk

Fundi’s often remind us that our brains are constantly bombarded by visual images on billboards, television, our phones, and in magazines. Why don’t they ever talk about how many visual patterns we have to cope with daily? Paving, Löffelstein, rooftiles and, inside the home and office, window blinds and acres of floor and wall tiles all compete for your attention. It is especially in your home that tiling patterns have…

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Bathroom Renovations Blitz

An outdated, drab bathroom is as depressing as yet another Sunday rerun of Jaws. What your bathroom should be, is a little hideaway where nobody can demand your attention. Peaceful. Beautiful. When your father-in-law keeps telling you that bathrooms and kitchens sell homes, he is right. You may not be planning to sell, but at some stage, you will have to take stock of that bathroom. Close the bathroom door…

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Painting your world

I am an impulsive home painter. Give me some paint and I’ll find a wall that needs paint in that exact shade. A freshly painted wall lifts my spirit. My painting apron tells many a tale and also serves as a reminder of my mishaps and “never-agains”. The blue splodge on the apron comes from the wall in my study which was going to be transformed into a feature. In…

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Household Maintenance DIY during Lockdown

Our little house got lucky during lockdown. Time usually spent in the office became time spent at home which, in turn, made us see our home again. What we saw was that there was a heap of home maintenance to be done.  We consulted Dr Google, found lists of annual home maintenance tasks, and whittled it down to our own situation.  Some jobs we did ourselves, others we left to…

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Roofing maintenance can save you money

We usually do home maintenance on the things we can see: replacing a cracked window pane, painting a wall, making crack repairs, or replacing a damaged door.  The main reason for making these repairs is that they are unsightly and irritating to the eye (especially to our spouse’s eye…) But the one part of your home that is most often neglected, is the roof – it is “invisible” to most…

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Complex living: Who is responsible for the property and maintenance?

Your friend in Unit 14 had a burst pipe outside his back door and did not have to pay for repairs, yet you must fork out for the repair of the pipe under your patio. Surely this can’t be fair? New owners of homes in complexes (estates) are often not informed of their property and maintenance responsibilities and get confused and irate when they are charged. Property maintenance of a…

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