Tag Archives: self

Self Build: Construction Site Safety tips

Self builds are quickly becoming a popular option for those of us looking to move house, or even start a renovation project that aims to leave us with our dream home. It may seem obvious, but your home will start as a construction site with countless health and safety issues you need to be aware of to ensure the safety of both you and your workers.

The safety of you and your workers is paramount!

The safety of you and your workers is paramount!

Here are the Healthy Hideout’s top construction site safety tips:

  1. Tools and Machinery – Ensure all equipment is in good working order with no unregistered modifications. Higher rated power tools should be fitted with appropriate cut off switches, and staff should have appropriate power tool training where needed.
  2. Dust, Noise & Vibration – When doing any work that involves excessive dust, noise or vibration make sure that you have the correct safety equipment. That includes breathing masks, ear muffs and gloves.
  3. Electricity – All energy installations must be correctly labelled and checked by professionals, with all cabling being routed sensibly. If any cabling is damaged accidentally ensure that it is dealt with quickly by professionals.
  4. Slips & Trips – Your site must be kept tidy at all times, with any waste being removed to a dedicated area on a regular basis during work. Battery powered tools are a great way of reducing cabling.
  5. Vehicles – Monitor all arrivals of materials from large haulage vehicles and vans to ensure absolute safety to pedestrians and workers on the construction site. People can be hit or crushed by loads or the vehicles themselves so extra caution must be taken.
  6. Falling objects – Make sure any scaffolding you have on site is fitted by a professional contractors with a good track record for safety. Ensure boarding, brick guards and object nets are fitted, along with hand rails at levels higher than 1 metre.
  7. Storage – Stacking of any construction materials must be done safely in a sensible area, within the work site. Materials stored on public walkways are a liability, so if you must do so during a delivery, ensure the goods are moved onto site as soon as possible. Flammable materials should be stored separately in appropriate containers.
  8. Digging and Excavation – When large excavations are exposed they are a danger for people on site. Ensure they are properly covered when not in use, avoiding the storage of any materials around the edge of the excavation.

The above construction site safety tips may seem obvious, but covering the simplest dangers avoids any potential accidents. The safety of your workers must be a priority, and if you’re too busy to delegate properly, ensure someone is in charge of the safety and well being of your workers on site.

How to Self Build – 7 top budget tips

If you’re planning to start your own self build project soon, you may or may not have realised how important it is to plan your budget in detail. With proper analysis of figures and costs, you may find yourself increasing expenditure and even extending your loan.

How to self build, and how you should be spending your available budget requires attention and skill, but with the right execution anyone can do it. Here are the Healthy Hideout’s 7 top tips for sticking to your self build budget:

  • Site choice – When choosing where you want your self build to start, be sure to pick a pre-levelled site with good drainage whenever possible. Slanted or sloped areas with poor ground conditions can quickly become a nightmare that eats through your self build budget.
  • Service location matters – If you ensure that all services are close at hand including water, electricity, gas and drainage you’ll spend less money having these services extended to where you need them. Installation charges for such services can be incredibly expensive.
  • Simple self build – Many houses rely on the classic four walls with sloped roof for a reason. A classic box is the most cost effective way of enclosing a space, with a sloped roof being very efficient at shedding rain and snow during bad weather.
  • Keep it standard – If you stick to using standard materials in standard sizes you’ll find yourself saving a lot of money as they are generally cheaper. Bespoke materials tend to cost to more, but if you do want to add a sense of difference, use effectively and sparingly.
  • Practical placement – When deciding where your kitchen, bathroom and toilets go, try and keep them as close to each other as possible. This will minimise the cost of further drainage pipes and makes long term maintenance easier.
  • Natural light is crucial – Maximising natural light into your property not only improves your sense of well-being and mood, it also saves you money on electricity bills.
  • Maximise insulation – Insulation is a cheap investment (even cheaper from utility suppliers) that will help protect you against rising fuel bills for many years to come. Be sure to complete insulation in the roof, exterior walls and ground floor – If you’re based in the UK, this is now required under building regulations.

Now all this may be denting the image you have of your perfect self build dream, but you don’t have to conform to the above and make it look boring. Budget restraints such as the ones we’ve discussed force us to come up with solutions we may not have come up with before. Let your imagination run wild!

Have you just finished your perfect self build? Did you stick to budget? We’d love to hear from you.

Self cleaning bathroom anyone?

It’s not a surprise that the weekly bathroom clean has become somewhat of a chore to many of us. Thanks to Rose Amal & the Particles and Catalysts Research Group, University of New South Wales the days of sprays and scrubbing may be a thing of the past.

With the use of Nanotechnology, this new coating can be applied to any surface. It will contain particles with an oxidizing ability stronger than chlorine bleach.

This new super coating contains modified particles of titanium dioxide, which are doped with other cations like iron or vanadium and anions like oxygen, nitrogen or carbon. The oxidising properties also mean fungus cannot grow on the surface. And because the coating is hydrophobic – it does not like water – the water simply slides away carrying any dirt with it, rather than gathering as droplets.

More development is required to bring it to the marketplace, but the stage is set for fast progress.

Don’t go throwing away the Marigolds just yet!