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Home-Dzine It’s all about caring for and improving your home

July 2010

make a statement


Laminate Flooring for your home

Also in this issue ... • Faux venetian plaster

Add texture to walls without the fuss

• Plaster relief on furniture

The easy way to dress up plain doors

a word or two JOIN THE


on Saturday 31 July and MAKE A DIFFERENCE Do it! Go girls. There’s nothing like having a fun morning with a group of like-minded ladies while you educate and empower yourself! This month we look at some new ways to decorate your home and give you a reminder not too forget to book for the DIY Divas Paint and Painting Technique workshops. These promise to be just as much fun and the Divas will be covering quite a few techniques. Please try and join us on 31 July as we Make A Difference for Hospivision. As part of a Ladies Day we will be making toys for children in our State Hospitals.

Janice Home-Dzine Online is written and compiled by Janice Anderssen. All projects in this issue, or any other issue, remain the property of Home-Dzine and Janice Anderssen, or the respective copyright holders, and may not be copied or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. Image and content credits: meredith publishing - good homes - family handyman - sunset publishing - popular mechanic - house & home - georgia pacific - expert village - channel4 - pottery barn - flikr - nkba - resene - mitre10 - lowes and any others.

To raise funds for children at our local State Hospitals, Hospivision present a Ladies Tea at the Swan Conference Centre in Midrand.

The DIY workshop will include making toys for children. Book a corporate table or bring a friend and join in the fun. The day promises plenty of exciting events for everyone, including: Catwalk Fashion Show, an opportunity to pamper yourself with a manicure, a Charity Auction, plenty of stalls and much more. Opportunities are also available should you wish to obtain a stand at the event. The cost is R3000 per table of 10 (or R300 per person), including lunch and all activities. Contact Hospivision - Belinda van Deventer - Cell. 082 858 4642 or, or visit the website for details.

a picture says a thousand words!

click here to join the many DIY Divas who have discovered just how easy it is to Do-It-Yourself


transform your home

If you’ve got the urge to decorate and possibly update your home with new furniture, here are some ideas to inspire. ABOVE: If you love wood but are feeling overwhelmed by too much of it, perhaps it’s time to look at ways to affordably update your interior. Painting a tongue and groove, or beamed ceiling, is easily done with proper preparation and the right paint.

Paint over tongue and groove ceiling

Painting a ceiling is not always the easiest task, and painting over tongue and groove can be time consuming. You DO need to sand the surface if it was previously varnished or painted with enamel paints. But if the tongue and groove was left raw or painted with an emulsion or acrylic paint, you can easily paint over this without too much effort. 2

Decorate ď ś THIS PAGE: Bring your dining room into the 21st century with paint and furniture. Three walls are painted in a soft cream, while the focus wall is painted in camel, which ties in perfectly with the coir mat placed under the dining table. With the addition of the coir mat and added light ďŹ xture, this open plan dining room is given a more cosy and intimate feel.


Decorate Mimic the timeworn look of plastered wall by applying layers of undiluted paint with a trowel. The paint layers give the wall a textured look that is actually smooth to the touch. This technique is the perfect way to disguise bumpy or irregular wall finishes and add a textured look without the roughness of plaster. You can choose any colour as long as the colours are all selected from the same colour swatch.

venetian plaster


Drop cloths Plastic trowel or spatula 4 plastic paint trays Prominent Paints - matt - in four colours* Masking tape Clean, lint-free cloths

Sign up for the DIY Divas Paint and Paint Technique workshops around the country. 4

DIY Tip:

If you want to apply this decorative technique in high traffic areas, or where walls need to be regularly scrubbed, finish off with two coats of Prominent Paints Acrylic Sealer.

Find Prominent Paints at your local Decorating Centre or Prominent Paints outlet. Click here for details.

home depot

You will need:

Decorate  Here’s how:

1. Use four colours for best results. Prominent Paints matt gives a realistic plaster look. Pour paints into separate paint trays.

2. Dip the trowel into the darkest colour first and then immediately into a lighter colour. Starting at the top of the wall, trowel on the paint using vertical and horizontal motions. Continue to dip the trowel into various colour combinations of all four colours as you build layers. Apply darker colours to the top edges and corners for a more authentic aged look. 3. Watch for drip on the lower section of the wall and smooth them out before they dry. 4. Occasionally apply a darker colour using light pressure and skipping the towel across the surface. Holding the trowel perpendicular to the surface as you drag it across the surface will leave more dramatic deposits of paint. 5. Use vertical and horizontal dragging motions, varying your pulls from left to right and right to left as you add layers of colour. Avoid overworking an area. As the paint dries it will become unworkable, so move on to another area. After a section dries, come back to it if you aren’t happy with the results. 6. When you are satisfied with an area, make a final application of the lightest colour for highlights. Continue to work across the wall. After you have completed the entire wall, step back and evaluate the effect. Add more deep tomes and highlights as desired. Remove tape and allow to dry. 5

ď ś


make a


We’ve often heard designers talk about a focal point and how every room should have one. But what is a focal point? 6

Decorate Simply put, a focal point is a place in a room where the eye is immediately drawn and around which the furniture will revolve. It can be a piece of decorative or contemporary furniture, a work of art, or even a French door. Having one outstanding feature in a room adds interest. It gives the room character. In a room that has no distinguishing or architectural features it is easy to create your own focal point.


The first step in the process is to identify the best position for your focal point - a space where you can create a statement using furniture, art or paint technique. When all of the walls look alike, bold colour is the easiest way of creating a focal point. Paint one wall in a similar, but lighter shade than the other three. That single wall becomes the focal point for your room.

PREVIOUS PAGE: A plain, uninspired wall can become a commanding focal point when photos and collectibles are displayed artfully. An arrangement of framed prints placed above the sofa draw attention to the space. When framed in black this arrangement would be even more eye-catching. Colourful cushions and a well-dressed coffee table complete the look. BELOW: A decorative cabinet creates an attractive symmetrical eye-catching arrangement. A focal point should be something interesting to look at, something colourful or visually appealing.


Once you have decided upon the placement of a focal point, start by arranging larger furniture and place these to allow for comfortable viewing, as you would arrange the furniture around a flat-screen TV, a fireplace, or other - if this was your focal point. Add occasional pieces and accessories to complete the arrangement. No matter what item you end up choosing for your focal point, what’s important is that the arrangement as a whole makes a statement! 7


what better way to make a

than by


winning laminate flooring!

Tired of your current floor and wanting a change? Now you can change your drab-looking floor yourself, thanks to the DIY application of laminate flooring. Laminate will transform your floor in no time, offering a fashionable wood finish so real that you can’t tell the difference from solid wood. “Not only is it great value for money and has the advantages of being cool in summer and warm in winter, you can also install it yourself,” says Jose Dos Passos, managing director for Floors Direct. 8

Advertisement  The click-lock joint system allows for easy installation, making laminate flooring within easy reach of everyone who are willing to allocate a bit of time to install the floors. Installing your own floor is very rewarding and you don’t require any special skills or expensive tools to obtain a good result. This system-profile guarantees perfect professional laying and neither glue nor nails are required. The floor is ready to walk on immediately after installation and has excellent surface stability. The environmentally conscious will be pleased to know that the boards are made mainly from recycled wood. Laminates purchased from Floors Direct comes with the Floors Direct lifetime guarantee. The company not only stocks a wide range of wooden flooring and the accompanying cleaning products, blinds and rugs but offers various other services including matching profiles, technical expertise, professional installations as well as DIY-friendly laminates that you can install yourself. For more information contact Floors Direct on 0861 1 FLOORS nationwide or visit their website

TO ENTER: Simply send your full name, email address and daytime contact number to: and you could win laminate flooring for your home to the value of R2000! Competition closes 31 July 2010. Prizes cannot be exchanged.



simple switch Simplify your lifestyle with automated lighting in your home.

“Connect a Simple Switch receiver to any light circuit and you now have the ability, at the touch of a button, to control it from anywhere in your home or office,” says Valerie Poyurs, Director of Marketing at Radiant Lighting. “You can transform your home and living spaces with a wireless handheld remote that automatically controls your light switches and dimmers. The wireless Simple Switch plates can then be placed wherever you like and the buttons linked to control one or as many lights as you wish.” Imagine the versatility you now gain. Climb into bed, hit one button and the lighting inside and outside your home is set to desired levels. Or, if it’s the middle of the night and you hear a noise, press a button from your bedroom and light up your whole home so you can safely investigate. Simple Switch pads are available in two, four and six button versions. Each button on the switch-plate can be linked to as many light circuits as you wish and a simple press will turn your lights on or off, while holding the 10

button down allows you to dim your lighting to your desired levels. The Simple Switch system is easily expandable making multi-way switching very easy. One or many Simple Switch receivers can be linked to operate off a single transmitter button. Now you can place a switch at the top and the bottom of the stairs or the entrance and exit of a passageway and these can both control the same light without any additional wiring. Scene Pads are used to set your lighting to your favourite levels with one press of a button. Set up to five different scenes that suit your lifestyle, such as “Sleep”, “Wake”, “Entertain” and “Movie”. Place a Scene Pad next to your bed or the front door and simplify your life. Climb into bed without patrolling around the house turning lights off – just one press of a button and the lights throughout your home are set how you want them. “Automated lighting systems are a growing

Advertisement ď ś


Advertisement area of interest for homeowners because they have a large impact on quality of life as well as home value,” says Poyurs. The new wireless remote control system is one of Radiant’s latest innovations and allows homeowners to install automated lighting in already-built homes. “You don’t have to spend a fortune setting up the infrastructure for the system and you are able to programme the lighting in your home to suit your lifestyle,” says Poyurs. Depending on the sophistication of the lighting scheme, it’s possible to create “scenes” using dimming switches and different combinations of lights. The idea is to programme scenes or various light levels for fixtures that are memorised and recalled when you press a button. When it’s time for a romantic dinner for example, fade out the lighting combination that illuminates your kitchen preparation area and bring in the soft lighting above your dining room table. Alternatively, switch between lights that create a party atmosphere in your sitting room and those that provide just enough background lighting for you to watch television in comfort. Simple Switch uses digital coded radio frequency to control your lighting which means it communicates through walls. So instead of running wire from your light to a switch, let the Simple Switch transmitter simply send wireless commands to a receiver which will control your lights. Receiver modules connect to the home’s lighting circuits and are available in two versions. The Dimmer version allows for superior light level control with the added benefit of energy saving and extended bulb life. Most light bulbs and low voltage transformers (12V) are suitable and the dimmer model is capable of powering up to six down-lights (300W). The Switch version however, is designed to control non-dimmable lamps including Fluorescent Lights and Compact Fluorescent Lights which do not exceed 5A at 230v or 1000W (up to twenty down-lights). If you’re looking for a fast, easy and flexible way to automate your light switches then look no further than the Simple Switch. For further information on the Simple Switch, please call Andre Le Roux at Radiant on: 011 386 0000 or visit


Crafts 



Judging by the responses we have received at our DIY Kids workshops, parents are being stretched to the limit to provide entertainment during the long school holidays. Here are some more crafty projects for kids to try out - and let mom have some time off! BELOW: Empty tin cans are perfect for storing crayons, felt pens and such. You can easily dress them up with strips of ribbon and some clear adhesive.

Pretty with paint

Let the kids decorate their own lampshades to match the theme or colours of their bedroom. Cut out cardboard or plastic stencils with flowers, butterflies, cars, etc, so that they don’t go too overboard with the design! Grab a selection of Rust-Oleum Paint Pens and plain white lampshades and decorate the shades to match the bedroom. Older kids can use a glue gun to finish off with ribbon and colourful sequins for party nights at home. For younger kids, let them use Pattex contact adhesive to attach trim.


eco kids Let the kids create their own shelf with this ever-so-easy project. They can easily use the latest Bosch range of power tools for this eco-shelf.

You will need:

[2] pieces of pine planking - cut to length Few pieces of pine offcuts Bosch Drill/Driver plus assorted screw bits [3] picture hangers and small screws Rust-Oleum paint pens in various colours

Use Rust-Oleum paint pens to paint your favourite designs onto offcuts of wood. These can be animals, butterflies, flowers, cars, or anything you like.

Here’s how:

1. Put a small amount of wood glue on the bottom of the back. The bottom of the shelf is screwed to the back of the shelf using 35mm cut screws. The wood glue helps to make the shelf stronger. 2. Screw 2 or 3 hangers onto the back of the shelf with small screws. 3. Have mom or dad drill and put wall plugs and screws into the wall to mount the shelf. 14

The new Bosch range of Li-Ion (Lithium Ion) power tools are so light they make DIY child’s play!

M revoeka

Decorate 

create a home

work space

ABOVE and BELOW: For a soothing home work environment, paint the room in pastel shades or relaxing hues.

Travelling to work and back is taking longer and longer as the roads become more congested. That’s why many are opting for the stay-athome career option: living and working in the same space. As technology improves, so does the ability to work from home. It’s simply a matter of switching on the laptop and connecting to the office, or downloading a few emails. While working from home has its advantages, we’re often at a loss as to how we can create a workspace at home. Here are a few tips:

Set up a space

Working from home can be difficult if you don’t have a specific work area. It is necessary to separate ‘home’ and ‘work’ spaces in order to organise more easily and switch off at the end of the day. If you are lucky enough to have a spare room at home, 15

 Makeover you’ll most probably dedicate this as a home office. But not many have that luxury. Alternatively, you could use a room divider or bookshelf to delineate your workspace.


Choosing furniture for your work space will depend upon the final location. If you have a dedicated ‘home office’ you can obviously decorate the room as you like. For a work space that is located within a home, you’ll need to keep to a style if you don’t want it to stick out like a sore thumb! Furniture for your home office can be as simply as a hollowcore door - painted in a glossy colour - mounted in two trestles.

ABOVE and BELOW: Decorate your home office in your personal style - create your own space.

ABOVE: Even an old ironing board frame can be repurposed as a desk! With a little imagination and creative flair you can create a stylish work space on a shoe string budget.


Makeover 

home office revealed

A DIY home office makeover, where almost every element is installed and built by you, is obviously no easy task. It involves a lot of measuring, careful planning, and motivation to finish the project. But, as this project shows, the result is well worth it when you complete all the hard work and transform a bare and rather small space into a bright work space. If you’ve got a really small room that needs to work as your office, built in furniture is a good way to maximise the space. The desk in this makeover fits right into the corner and the built in shelves allow for more space than this room would normally allow. A splash of green paint, with black + white curtains are great additions/ changes to complete this office.

the office stylist

PG Bison LifeSeal worktops offer an easy way to install a home office work space. Make your own cabinets by building a basic frame and installing uprights, then adding shelves. 17


shelve it Where do you fit an office in a small flat? How about up the wall! In this 80 square metre flat, some ingenuity was called for to create a working space that provides not only space to work, but also space to store. The solution ... a desk with shelves that mounted to the wall to take advantage of the vertical space available.

apartment therapy

An office shelving system provides the perfect way to make use of limited space, and you can mount the shelves in any arrangement to suit your own individual needs.

Another easy option is to mount sturdy brackets onto the wall to mount individual shelves according to your needs. You will find a wide selection of brackets at your local Builders Warehouse, or visit: • EM Shelving • Mr Shelf • Rack and Stack



Use wrapping paper to decorate plain cardboard boxes old shoe boxes are perfect - or boring arch lever files to add a more personal touch. Choose colours and patterns to coordinate with the decor in your home office and dress up with colourful ribbons.

Home work

If you have to spend late nights in the office, at least make it comfortable. Upholster your favourite chair in colourful print fabrics, and be sure to have plenty of task lighting.

Colourful containers

Transform or makeover steel and plastic containers for useful storage. All you need is a couple of cans of Rust-Oleum Painters Touch.

Post it

A ready-made louvre shutter or old kitchen door becomes a useful storage board for notes, post-its and invitations. You will still find these lying around at secondhand stores, or you can buy at your local Builders Warehouse. Finish off with decorative bulldog clips.

image: flikr

Fancy files




shelves You don’t need more than a few scraps of wood to make these shelves. Use pine or supawood offcuts for a nice painted finish.

Here’s how:

1. Cut 6 equal sized squares. Sand smooth before assembly using 180-grit sandpaper. Note: only sand the edges if using supawood. 2. Drill 2 pilot holes and countersink along one edge. 3. Apply a bead of Ponal wood glue along joining edges and use half-shank wood screws to join together. Tip: You need to use half-shank screws, as these pull the wood together for a stronger joint. 20

4. Apply 2 coats of Prominent Paints Sheen acrylic and let dry. 5. Hang onto the wall using steel angle brackets screwed to the back of the shelf.

Do it yourself Don’t waste your hard-earned money on shoddy furniture when you can make your own for half - or even less - than the cost.



This side table can be used in the lounge, in the bedroom as a bedside unit, and even in the bathroom. It cost around R150 to make with some bought pine and a few supawood offcuts, and only took 3 hours to do. With a few basic skills and a few tools and materials, you can easily save yourself hundreds of Rand - a similar table sells for between R350 to R500.

You will need:

[4] of 45 x 45mm pine [4] of 22 x 100mm pine Supawood offcuts for top and shelf Drill/Driver plus assorted drill and screw bits Jigsaw and clean cut blade Kreg Pockethole Jig* 5 x 40mm cut screws Clamps Steel rule Orbital sander plus 80- & 240-grit sanding pads Woodoc Gel Stain - imbuia and ebony Wood grain rocker [4] brass angle brackets and small screws [4] corner brackets and small screws Ponal wood glue Wood filler Pencil Tape measure Disposable gloves Clean cloths

*A pockethole jig makes joining wood even easier. You can buy the Kreg Pockethole Jig from Hardware Centre in Randburg ( 21

Do it yourself

Here’s how:

1. The Kreg pockethole jig allows you to create holes at an angle. The kit is supplied with the jig and a special drill bit. Insert the panels into the jig and drill holes as shown right. Drill 2 holes on either side of every panel. 2. To shape the legs, mark each length at 20mm in from one side and 200mm up from the bottom. Use a steel rule to draw the line. Firmly clamp the wood to your workbench and cut off the marked section. Sand the legs smooth before assembly. 3. Chamfer the bottom of each leg at a 45-degree angle for a professional finish. 4. Use pockethole or cut screws to attach each panel to the legs. The angled hole creates a very strong join. Apply a bead of wood glue to the edge of the panel before screwing to the legs. 5. Place the frame upside down on a piece of supawood and draw around the outside of the frame. This will be the template to cut the top and shelf sections. I prefer to measure for the top after the frame is made as this way as I am guaranteed a perfect fit when placing the top on the frame, and only a small amount of sanding is required for smooth edges. 6. Put the top and shelf sections together. Use a steel rule and clamps to guide the jigsaw for a perfectly straight cut.


7. Use 4 small corner brace brackets to attach the top to the frame. You could also leave out the brackets and use the pockethole jig to drill into the frame to attach the top.

Do it yourself

8. Measure a block 46 x 46 on each corner of the shelf and use the jigsaw to cut out. Sand smooth before placing the shelf over the frame to check the fit. You will need to do this as the pine may not always be truly square and you may need to do a bit of extra sanding to fit. 9. Measure up 300 from the bottom of each leg and make a mark. At this mark screw the brass brackets to the back of the front legs and front of the back legs. 10. Mount the shelf on top of these brackets and screw in place. 11. Use wood filler to fill in any gaps and let dry. 12. Sand the entire project with 240-grit making sure that you remove all excess traces of wood glue and wood filler, as these will spoil the final finish.


There are various methods that you could use to finish off your new table. For this project we used Woodoc Gel Stain, a wood grain rocker and Rust-Oleum polyurethane varnish spray. You could also paint or spray finish your table.

Hand painting

Use Prominent Paints sheen for a washable finish. For added protection apply 2 coats of Prominent Paints acrylic sealer. Use a foam roller to apply the paint and sealer.

Bosch PFS system

The Bosch PFS spraying system provides a smooth, professional finish to projects.

Spray painting

Use Rust-Oleum Painters Touch for a tough, durable finish. Remember to spray in a well-ventilated area. 23

Do it Yourself


wood Thanks to Woodoc Gel Stain, it is now possible to create a faux wood finish on supawood. The gel formula of Woodoc Gel Stain is not quickly absorbed into the wood and means that it does not run and seep into the surrounding area, making it perfect for using with a Wood Grain Rocker to create the look of faux wood. Now you can have the look of wood for the price of supawood! ABOVE: The photo doesn’t do the actual finish justice but it really does look very good.

You will need:

Woodoc gel stain For the darker stain I used African Mahogany, and for the lighter stain I used butter mixed with a small amount of Antique Oak Wood grain rocker Cloths Disposable gloves Woodoc 10 sealer Paintbrush


Here’s how:

1. Cover the entire area with a liberal amount of Woodoc gel stain. Rub over the surface but leave plenty of gel behind to work with. 2. Place the rocker at the top - or bottomedge of the board and gently glide across the surface - rocking as you go along to achieve the different grain. Start again from the top for the next row. Let dry. 3. Apply a liberal amount of Woodoc 10 with a paintbrush, stroking from top to bottom. You will see that the sealer is quickly absorbed and you will need to immediately re-apply until it is no longer quickly absorbed. Let dry.

Do it Yourself 



Add interest to cabinet door fronts, furniture or walls.

Using ready bought, thick stencils, or cutting your own out of 3mm supawood or hardboard, you can easily add detail to almost any surface. You will need:

Thick stencil Bonding liquid (Plastergrip) Exterior crack filler Masking tape Plastic spatula Paint* Painting equipment

Here’s how:

1. Mix up the crack filler and add bonding liquid as per manufacturer’s instructions. The mixture should be not too runny or too thick - to the consistency of thick batter. 2. Place the stencil over the surface to be textured and lightly smear the paste over the top of the stencil,. 3. Leave to dry overnight and then carefully remove the stencil.

4. Use *Rust-Oleum Painters Touch or metallic spray over the surface and let dry. For extra detail you can apply black acrylic paint over the surface - wiping off with a cloth before dry to leave paint around the edges. For extra protection spray with two coats of Rust-Oleum polyurethane.

Click here for more projects.


 Do

it yourself

you get what you pay for! Like everything else in life, the motto “You get what you pay for!” applies to DIY accessories and consumables. Pop into your local hardware store and you are inundated with options; everything from drill bits to sandpaper - you’ll find a million and one alternatives. The most important thing to remember when stocking up your workshop is that the cheaper it is the poorer the quality. Having said that, you don’t need to spend a fortune on accessories and consumables. These are items that you are going to use regularly, and they will need to be replaced just as often, unless you invest in a quality set from the start.

Screw it!

If you think about it, a screwdriver bit set that is made of soft steel is going to wear out quicker than one that is Titanium coated. And if you’re new to DIY and still haven’t quite got the hang of using a drill or drill/ driver properly, you are going to be replacing a cheap set of screwdriver bits at a much faster rate. 26

Hole in one!

If you are planning to do home improvements and need to do a fair amount of drilling in and around the home, it makes sense to use an HSS (high speed steel) drill bit or one that is coated with tungsten carbide.

Save time and money

Sanding can be a time consuming project. You need to start off with a rough grit (80) and work up to a fine grit (240) for most projects. Using a quality sanding pad can make a lot of difference. While more expensive, Bosch sanding pads and papers have a higher percentage of Aluminium oxide particles, which means that they last longer and work out more affordable in the long run.

Do it yourself

draughty home? I think that the recent cold spell had many a homeowner rushing out to buy a heater. But if your home is draughty you are throwing money away. Draught proofing is one of the most simple and easiest forms of insulating your home and can be carried out without the need for professional help. All you need to keep your home warm during the winter months is a roll of selfadhesive rubber foam weatherproofing strip. The most common areas where draughts originate are around windows and doorframes, especially in older homes where these may be a poor fit. Chimneys are a source of draughts,

so if yours is unused, consider blocking it off. Check also if there are any gaps or cracks around air vents, plumbing, electrical equipment or wiring. Both internal and external doors can cause draughts as can cat flaps, keyholes, loft hatches and skirting boards. Remember that ventilation is just as important as insulation and lack of proper ventilation can cause health problems. Allow sufficient air to circulate in rooms where there are solid fuel or gas appliances and think about installing extractor fans in rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen where the air is moist. 27



outdoors This year, with the World Cup on our doorstep, many of us will still be entertaining family and friends outdoors. For an evening braai after an important match, you might consider investing in an outdoor heater to warm up the chilly nights. There are many alternatives and the models and prices are as varied as the heaters themselves.

Patio heaters


These units are sleek and very effective emitting a radiant heat up to 5m. Patio heaters generally run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and a full 9kg cylinder lasts for about 10 hours.

They are ideal to warm small groups while creating the ambience of an open fire.

For simple, effective, no-mess heating the right choice is a gas-fired patio heater. The heat is instantaneous and effective, making them a popular choice for restaurants with an outdoor area. It seems the trend has caught on at home too. With the increase in their popularity and improvements in technology, the price of patio heaters has decreased rather than risen.

If you are entertaining on a verandah or covered patio, remember to allow a clearance of at least 600mm from the top of the unit and any type of ceiling and don’t place them too close to walls or fences. 28

If you want the effect of real flames, you might prefer to consider a brazier. Inexpensive to buy and cheap to run – fired by solid wood, coal or briquettes − they are made of iron and have a tray to catch the ash to keep your patio clean and also to ensure no small burning embers fall to the ground. Braziers provide immediate heat, but the heat isn’t cast further than a couple of metres from the unit.

Fire pits

Operating like a brazier, a fire pit can be made of metal or clay and burns wood or briquettes.


1. Mark out the size of the pit and dig out the area to a depth of 30cm. 2. Prepare premixed cement according to directions. Spread the cement in the area between the outside and inside circles. Leave the centre area free of concrete to allow for drainage. 3. Continue to add cement and level it until it reaches 5cm below the level of the surrounding area. Tap pieces of rebar into the wet cement until completely submerged at various points around the footer. Allow to dry. 4. When the first course of face stones is in place, move on to the first row of fire brick. Trowel a layer of mortar along the inside edge of the face stones and press the first fire brick into place. 5. Apply mortar to one end of the next brick before butting it against the first and pressing it into the mortar. Check for level. Remove excess mortar as you work. Continue working in this fashion until the first ring of fire brick has been laid. 6. Continue building the wall of the fire pit by alternating layers of face stone and fire brick until desired height is reached. Apply a bed of mortar on top of the previous layer of stone or fire brick and then set stones and bricks. 7. Avoid wall weakness by staggering the joints between previous and subsequent layers of stone and brick. Fill in any gaps between the fire brick and the stone with mortar and stone scraps. 8. Apply a generous layer of mortar to the top of the fire pit wall, covering both the face stone and fire brick. Begin setting capstones into the mortar, selecting flat stones that fit neatly together. Once the mortar is almost cured, use a stiff brush to scrape off remaining bits of mortar. 29


Win Also in this issue ... Laminate Flooring for your home • Faux venetian plaster • Plaster relief on furniture It’s all about caring for a...

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