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Beyond Blue Home Improvement Thread

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
Hi everyone. I'm Geoff and have been a dedicated Volunteer on the forums for 13 years. I am proud to have stopped some of the stigmas that are associated with mental health as well as doing my best to help others too

Before my health went south I was a builder in all aspects of home construction and renovation. If you don't have a handyman around I hope I can offer you some tips that may be of help. I have had many years of experience in home renovation and will do my best to help you out if you are stuck and need some advice

I hope my experience may be of help to the people on Beyond Blue and make their life a little bit better. Even if you need help with the most basic painting job or putting up a shelf I can help there too with some tips

I will do my best to get back to anyone that has a question when I can as this is social yet important thread

1,295 Replies 1,295

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
Hi Everyone, there was a post regarding asbestos, and it usually takes years of continued exposure to high levels of being around it or involved in it before it causes any health issues.

No new houses contain any asbestos and no products are on the market but you need to put on a mask.

Actually brake pads used to be made out of asbestos, not any more so don't worry.

If you have any of it and want to drill, saw or breakup then make sure you keep it wet, not with a high pressured hose then the fibres won't be in the air.

There are professional people who can remove any of it. Geoff.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Everyone, all is quiet on the Home Front.

Anybody replacing old wooden windows with aluminium ones or making an opening bigger than the present one they have.

Troubled by termites

Need to replace the flywire on a window or a door.

Need to put up a shelf because the brackets keep falling off the wall. Geoff.

So glad I found this thread!

I'm totally alone when it comes to home improvement and such and don't know a lot.

I will come back and post when I'm not so disinterested in everything.

I want to try and improve my government housing place a little, but have been too scared to attempt a lot solo

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Geoff,

Im sorry I've taken a while to get back to you, I couldn't go back and do it until yesterday, i used the Jack to level the gates the put bricks under the longer one and removed the jack, I didn't know the difference between drill but have managed to drill a hole in the concrete to put the pin down to hold the longer gate shut, I screwed a thicker screw into where the stripped thread was and put the gate shutting thing back on. I can now close my gates properly, but cannot open the longer gate to move my car out. No problem I'll leave my car outside until I can remove the bricks..at least and I'm happy my dogs are safe. I will have a look at the pole on the bigger gate and get back to you if I'm not to much of a bother to you.

Thank you very much for your patience.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hey Geoff

Thankyou for your reply....Now I understand what I am doing....There is about 70% of paint left on the window frames...

I will take your advice and sand the outside frames so the old paint and the meranti doesnt have that 'step' in it

I checked on the paint and its lead free Berger Outdoor......and the peeling is on the front window frames of the house that faces north.

Is 28 years a good life with outdoor paint?

Thanks heaps Geoff 🙂




Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
Hi Music_Freak, great to have you join us.

Where I live the area was inundated with government houses, some have been pulled down, some renovated and some new houses or flats have been built.

I have worked in many government houses, inside and out so please get back to me.

Is your electric meter box wooden?

Hi Grandy do you have a star picket, one that stakes up new trees or tomato plants, it's normally black?

Hi Paul, lead paint was phased out in the late 70's, but to have any paint last as long as 28 years is brilliant, but check out if it's oil based or acrylic with putting metho. on a rag and wipe it, it paint appears on a rag then it's acrylic, if not it's oil-based paint.

There is an undercoat specially designed to paint over oil based so you can then paint the windows with acrylic, your paint store will know and it needs to be done, otherwise, the acrylic paint will wash off.

Hope you have a cork block to put sand-paper around to help you sand. Geoff.

Hi Geoff,

I'm not sure if you were talking to me about the meter box or not, but I am in a bit of a complex, meaning my street is full of semi detached (share one wall) 2 bedroom houses/units. I share a locked cabinet where the elec meters are with surrounding properties. I have a shared driveway with my neighbours and I assume the locked up meters are from the same properties. It's a metal cabinet and my gas meter is the same, although I have my own separate gas meter.

My first job is to put shade cloth up as the back of my place faces west, so very hot. I can't afford a verandah or anything, unfortunately. My dad put up a blanket (hanging from under the gutters) and that was sufficient, so I'm going to copy what he did and use poles (from a temporary marquee, similar to curtain rods) along the bottom (with rope threaded through) and maybe something like tent pegs in dirt to tie rope to, for some stability. I just haven't worked out the logistics yet, or bought the shade cloth. I have a cheap drill from Kmart and hopefully some screws of my dads that I can use. I'm assuming I wouldn't be screwing into timber, and because of this I'm feeling tentative (silly I know).

Job #2 may be painting the interior and I'm not sure what I need, I've only started researching today. I also have a bookcase I'd like to paint, but like the house paint, I don't know what I'd need

I have a dining table I need to resurface the top of (with stain/varnish). My dad started this job but never finished it before I had to kick him out for leaving me with a rent debt. I don't have an electric sander so would be doing it all by hand, unfortunately. I kind of know what I'm doing except for knowing which grade sandpaper to buy, or stain colour. The timber is pale like pine so I have painted a pine sanding block my dad made to match my chairs with vegemite and I'm planning to take this to a paint store and hopefully the colour will match close enough.

Then flooring (lino and carpet), but I think it may be best to pay professionals for this, when I maybe have the money...it could never happen with my finances 😞

And that's all I can think of right now 🙂

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Geoff, and everyone else,

Wow Geoff we are keeping you busy.

Yes I do have several of the star picket stakes, mine are black metal and around 5foot tall, lol not sure in metric.

Thank you again for your help, it's so valuable and I appreciate it so much..


I have just scrolled through this entire thread and found some great painting tips, so thank you all 🙂

No rush with my post/questions, as I said, I haven't bought anything as yet.

Elizabeth CP
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Just updating you on my progress with a big thank you for you advice Geoff. I have finished painting my lounge including the bricks. While you can see where the hole was in the bricks it is completely sealed & now everything is the same colour it doesn't stand out even if I move the settee. The cream coloured bricks instead of dark brown makes the room so much lighter. My son visited today & commented on how good it looks now everything is finished including skirtings etc which are a lighter cream than the walls. Everytime I use my cupboards in the oven tower I remember your willingness to give advice giving me the confidence to tackle the project. So much better than the ugly brick surrounds & dodgy oven.

Just wanted you to know that I am happy with the results & the advice & encouragement you gave