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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

Hi Music_Freak, yes I was talking with you, the reason I asked about your meter box is that if the box is still wood then the house/unit needs to rewired.

When the new wiring has been done the reading box, (what the Sec man reads to send you the quarterly bill) is metal, then it's been rewired.

The shade cloth will need to be fixed to the fascia board, that's what the gutter is attached to every few inches because if you try and attach it every foot or so and if you have a strong wind it will detach itself.

Another option is to get a piece of wood as long as the shade cloth will be, attach the shade cloth to it on the ground then attach this piece of wood (with help from someone else)onto the fascia board or drill holes in the bricks and tighten with locksin bolts.

Don't worry it may sound to be difficult but it's not really.
Let me know if you want to know what the locksin bolts are and what they do, sounds hard but not really, your dad maybe able to help you.

The blanket is a great idea until it rains then it absorbs all the water and will fall down, as it begins too heavy. continue

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Champion Alumni
Job #2, what are you thinking of painting inside, ceiling, walls, timber doors or surrounds or skirting boards.

When you look at the painting don't look at as for the whole house, just take it as room by room, because I know people who have said to me that they need to paint the whole house, that turns them off doing anything.
Let me know what you want to paint, and the bookcases can be painted with the wall paint, so you can buy a small roller, tray and paint into the corners then use the roller to finish off.

Electric sanders are cheaper these days, but this depends on your finances.
Sandpaper grades will depend on whether you want to bring the timber back to raw timber, I used to love doing this but let me know what's on the timber now, and any stain marks you want to remove, then I can advise you on what sandpaper grades to use.

Are you replacing the lino and the carpet or just making good or maybe just tidying it up.

Karen and Elizabeth will follow in next post. Thanks Geoff.

Thanks Geoff,

I'm sorry I'm so stupid, but I can't even figure out what the fascia board is at my place!! I will have a proper good look tomorrow (and maybe google pics can help too).

I'm feeling too anxious and overwhelmed about this right now. I'm currently in bed with my cat in a bit of a panicky state. It's the thought of making bad mistakes and having to pay for repairs and feeling more stupid than I thought I am.

My dad won't help me as my family aren't my biggest fans after having to kick my dad out. So I'm going completely solo...scary

I think my dad attached the blanket every few inches (maybe 10cm) or so, so I will copy that and keep your advice in mind, after all I don't want it to all fall down!

The painting will be ceiling/cornices if they need and walls definitely. Door jams/frames in random spots, patches of a few doors and skirting if it needs doing (I haven't really looked at them). I would have to prep and then paint rooms as I go. Trying to do every room at once would overwhelm me for sure. Can you touch up spots when painting...or does that not work, I don't really know

The table would have to be sanded back to raw since I want to re-stain it the matching chair colour. There's stain and separate varnish on it currently, no stains/marks or anything, just light scratches. I'm not sure about a sander, would have to save for it maybe or plod along by hand. I wouldn't know which type to buy

I hope I've answered everything and don't sound too useless

I just realised I forgot to answer about the carpet/lino.

I was thinking about ripping up the old yuck carpet in the dining room and putting new lino over the current kitchen lino and go into the dining room which next to it. And ripping up the lounge carpet and either replacing with carpet, or maybe just new lino (or what's there even) and a runner as I have rugs covering most of the floor. I'm undecided currently. Doing this is probably a long way off, due to finances, anyway

Another quick question for anyone who might know...

I have tile in my kitchen that I want to attach a surge protector powerboard to as I have near to no power points...how would I do this? What do I need? I have bought a cheapy kmart cordless drill, but really haven't used a drill before without supervision (years ago!)

I'm so sorry I'm so clueless!

Hi Music_Freak, don't worry this thread was set up for people who don't know what to do, had no experience and years ago I was just like you or anyone else.

Karen and Elizabeth sorry I haven't forgotten about you.

Just look at the gutters that catch the water from your roof and then goes down a downpipe, the fascia board holds your gutters in place.

If you feel too anxious then don't do it now and don't google too much because this will make you even more anxious.

Do you have drop sheets, you can buy them from paint/hardware store, they're very cheap because you will need them to cover your furniture and carpet when painting the ceiling.

Use a hand broom and attach it to your roller this will stop getting up and down the ladder to refill the roller, much quicker and less exhausting.

If walls are really dirty then they may need a wash, and yes you can touch up spots on the walls but you may see where you have made these touch ups, if you're not too particular then don't worry. to continue

If you want to sand back the table top to raw, then by hand maybe too hard, there are cheap sanders at a large hardware store, which you could put on layby but some range from $49, it's a tool which may come in handy later on.
Just ask at the store and how to change the sandpaper.

You can still rip up old carpet and put rugs down as a temporary measure, perhaps get quotes for carpet, lino and sanding the floorboards, you maybe able to pay them off at the store or some other measure.

The power board can be attached to the tiles by drilling into the grout then fill the hole with matches, piece of timber or you can buy cheap plastic inserts, so ask at the hardware store that you need these so you can screw an item into the tile grout,these would be better but they are very cheap.

It doesn't matter if you think you are clueless, I'm the same with so many other things and have to ask for help. Geoff.

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Champion Alumni
Hi Karen, spot on, I was thinking about hammering a picket in the ground at an angle, so that you attach some wire which will allow you to pull the gate back by tightening it.

Hi Elizabeth, I'm pleased, you will get used to not noticing where the hole used to be, put it this way, it will become an heirloom. lol. Sincerely Geoff.

Thank you SO much for your help Geoff!! You have no idea how much I appreciate it - hopefully I can gain confidence to keep doing DIY jobs 🙂

I'm feeling better today but not forcing anything (just lots of saving posts from here onto my phone!)

I'm sort of looking forward to giving everything a go, but so tentative at the same time. I will take things easy and re-read posts here a lot 🙂

LED globes.

I own a vintage replica car. They have the old style 12 volt globes so I thought it clever to replace all of these with long lasting LED globes of the type that fit into the standard bayonet fitting. Available on ebay I order heaps for a small sum from Hongkong.

I replaced all of them except the headlights. But, I found some no longer worked. Honestly I don't know why but a car club member told me the system cant cope with it and I'd need a separate unit to allow them to work. So out they came.

I do use them for the number plate light, the reversing light and dash lights. Dash light globes are available in different colours to.

So in mechanics and electricals what seems like a good idea at the time often means more trouble than what they are worth.

An example of this is my good neighbor restoring a 1939 Desoto car. He wanted to install a slightly larger engine which was 50mm longer. This meant moving it back 50mm so it didn't touch the radiator which also meant all connections like pedals, propeller shaft, gearstick etc had to be modified. In the end he went back to the original engine and kicked himself for wasting 6 weeks of his time.

Tony WK