Lifestyle

How to give your kitchen a facelift by changing the handles and hardware

There is no need to replace your whole kitchen to give it a facelift. Simple and rather effortless replacements can still make a huge difference to its look. One of these things is to change the handles and hardware. Besides it is evidently more affordable too. You could also spray paint the cabinets, and/or opt for worktop overlays too. All of these will make your kitchen look much different, at a fraction of the cost.

Modern Kitchen Door Handles. Image credit: MiuMiu Borse

First off, one of the things that are mostly subjected to wear and tear are the hardware, the handles, knobs and pulls. Older designs can also date very quickly too! Just imagine how many times you opened and closed the doors and drawers. No wonder that they appear worse for wear. Besides there are so many different styles to choose from nowadays, that the sky’s the limit when it comes to replacing handles and knobs. There are lots of different styles, finishes, shapes and colours to choose from, so you may wish to take into account your personal preferences so as to narrow down the choices a bit. It will also depend on the style of your kitchen. The more modern a kitchen is, the more room for originality there is going to be, both in terms of orientation, as well as angles. However, do bear in mind that if you are going to install the handles in a rather untraditional manner, you may need to touch up the doors or drawers so hide where the previous handles were.

Nowadays bar pulls are among the most popular choices when it comes to handles for modern and contemporary kitchens. These tend to be really long and wide, and definitely much more sturdy. Bolts and knobs may sometimes be preferred to handles, especially in vintage kitchens or for those who prefer minimalist designs, but you will need to take into account the width of the drawer or the length of the door, so as to see if they are feasible enough when it comes to opening and closing easily.

Traditional Kitchen Handles. Image credit: Pinterest

When it comes to replacing the kitchen hardware make sure that you buy ones of the same size. In that way you will avoid the problem of having any parts not being properly covered up, leading to the need to retouch your cabinets unnecessarily. The spacing of the screws and the hinge overlay, will need to be taken into account when buying the new hardware. This will make things much easier when it comes to installing them. So make sure to remove all of the parts and to take them with you when going shopping for new hardware.

To remove the old hardware all you will need is a screwdriver, or a cordless drill to make the job even faster. So remove the door or drawer, and then unscrew the hinges and the handle. It is a good idea to buy some extra handles just in case.

Then, simply start to screw the new hardware to each cabinet door and drawer. Rehang them by screwing the hinges to the frame of the cabinets, and that is about it! You will be amazed at how much difference those little new handles make to give you the ultimate in low-budget kitchen makeovers.

Posted by Kyle in Lifestyle

How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer

Get legal compensation with the best solicitors

Getting the advice and legal assistance of a lawyer is something that most of us cannot do without at some point in their lives. Be it because of marital problems, child custody, or accidents, there are a myriad of situations which call for the legal advice of a solicitor. However, not all lawyers are going to be specialized in offering legal assistance in any and every case. Most lawyers prefer to specialize in a limited number of areas, or in just one field only. They do this in order to be able to dedicate themselves more specifically to that legal field, and be of expert guidance to their clients. So, if you have been a victim of some form of personal injury, it is imperative that you look for a personal injury lawyer, who would be specialized in this particular legal field.

Choosing a good personal injury lawyer is very important if you want to make sure that the outcome of your case is according to your wishes. Let us discuss some things you should bear in mind when looking for a personal injury lawyer.

A Personal Injury Claim is Essentially About Getting Justice. Image credit: King of Wallpapers

First of all, as a victim of a personal injury, your first thought will be that you need to get what is owed to you as a form of compensation for the injury or injuries that you suffered. Therefore, you are going to have certain expectations which will revolve around the need and the wish of getting what is owed to you in one form or another. This good be financial compensation, or payment of medical expenses for example. Therefore you need the assistance of a personal injury lawyer to help you bring your case against the person/s who are responsible for the injury or injuries that you sustained. The personal injury lawyer will also be defending you if you are the one against whom someone else is claiming that he or she suffered injuries because of you. So, either way, you need a lawyer who has considerable experience in this field.

The personal injury lawyer will be aware that a lawsuit will need to be filed within a certain period of time, and so you need to talk to such a lawyer as soon as possible. However this should not impede you from taking the time to choose a good lawyer. You also need to ensure that he/she is a person of integrity, a good communicator, and someone that you feel at ease with. You will also need to consider the expenses involved as different lawyers charge different rates. These are some basic things you should bear in mind when looking for a personal injury lawyer.

Tort Law is Essentially About Getting Compensation. Image credit: Slideshare

Having said that, let us now elaborate a bit further on how to arriving to the final choice.

  1. Do some research so as to learn more about different personal injury lawyers, their experience and training. Personal injury lawyers will not only be experienced in the laws which deal with such cases, but they will also have an in depth understanding of medical processes, diagnosis and treatments required for people who have been injured in most common cases such as falls, slips, road accidents, and accidents at the place of work. This is often referred to as tort law, and personal injury lawyers will have an aptitude with negotiation as well as trial experience.
  2. Check what their past clients have to say about previous cases they handled for them. You will be able to get a better idea about different lawyers’ reputations, trial experience and record of cases they won. You could also try asking for personal referrals such as relatives or co-workers who availed of the services of a personal injury lawyer sometime before.
  3. Contact some personal injury lawyers who seem to be experienced and reputable so as to schedule a meeting with them. Meeting in person and discussing your case will give you the best idea of whether a personal injury lawyer is a good choice or not. You will be able to see how he/she intends to handle your case, whether he/she has a timeframe to resolve it, whether a trial will be required, and other key factors. You will also judge whether he/she is a good communicator, and a patient and emphatic person, or whether he/she is just considering you as a number and seems to be constantly busy answering calls even during your consultation.

Your choice of a personal injury lawyers should be based on whether you feel comfortable with him/her as a person, and with the cost structure of whether the lawyer offers a no win no fee arrangement or upfront payment terms. You will also need to base your decision on his/her experience and credentials, but especially on whether he/she dealt with cases such as yours successfully in the past. Needless to say each case differs from another, but your chances of getting a good outcome from your case will improve considerably if the personal injury lawyer of your choice is experienced in that particular type of accident and injury.

Posted by Kyle in Lifestyle

How to build a Plywood or MDF Stepstool

A step stool always comes in handy. Sometimes you realize you need something to climb on to reach up a bit further, and you find that you do not have a small step stool at hand. Climbing up on a chair or something unstable is certainly not a good idea. Getting a ladder every time is very inconvenient, not only because it is bulky, but also because it may not be opened up properly if you need to use it in a restricted area.

So, why don’t you build a step stool yourself so as to find it at your disposal in such cases? Building a step stool is really quite easy, and you can do it using MDF or plywood. The construction is fairly simple, and the result will be a lightweight but robust step stool that will be useful in many cases. Let us discuss how to go about building it.

Various Thicknesses of MDF Sheets. Image credit: Woodland Manufacturing

Materials Required

You will need to get a plywood board or sheets of MDF. About a quarter of a full sized sheet should suffice for a step stool. Try to find a board that is relatively thick, as the thicker it is the sturdier it will be. Plywood is often found in a 12mm thickness, but in some stores you should also be able to find 18mm thick sheets or even 25mm. The latter is ideal as your stool will be stronger and it will not run the risk of warping or bending over time.

You will also need a box of self-tapping wood screws. A screwdriver is a must of course. A regular one will do the job, but an electric screwdriver is more convenient. You will also need a jigsaw or a circular saw.

Building the stool

Start off by cutting two L-shaped pieces from the MDF or plywood sheet. The length and the depth of these pieces should be of approximately 15 inches. The most important thing is that you stick to the same dimensions on both sides. To create an L-shape, remove exactly one square quarter of the side.

Afterwards, cut four batons. These should be of an equal length as they will need to connect both of the L-shaped pieces together. This will result in the frame of your stool. Each baton should be about 15 inches long and 2 inches deep.

Once you have cut the batons, position them in their respective places and start to attach them. A combination of wood glue and wood screws is recommended to attach them well. The screws should be inserted at either end, and go through the sides of the l-shaped pieces. This is the easiest way to go about it. However, for those who are more skilled at woodworking, there is also the option of making jig holes, also known as pocket holes in the batons as in this way they will hide the screw heads and you will achieve a neater result.

Now that the basic frame of the stool is assembled, you will need to tackle the top. Cut your stool’s top with the jigsaw or circular saw. It is highly recommended that you do not cut it precisely to fit the frame’s opening. Some overhang is important as apart from providing you with more room where to stand, it will also make the stool more robust. So, aim for a size that is about 18 inches long and 9 inches deep. Attach the top to the frame of the stool using screws that run right through the surface of the batons.

If you would like to include a carrying handle for your stool, by cutting it out on the top step of the stool. This will make your stool look even more professional and also allow you to move it around and store it away more easily.

Last but not least, you will need to cut the bottom sheet of the step stool. A piece measuring 16 inches by 18 inches should do the trick. Then trim the edges so as to allow this piece to slide easily and manage to fit it in snugly in the stool’s frame. It should overhang a bit at the front when you attach it. The thinner edge of this piece should slide into the back area of the stool’s lower step, and in this way you will be able to attach it with screws and some wood glue.

Finished MDF Step Stool. Image credit: Idano

And that is basically all you need to do to have a finished step stool. As you can see it is quite easy and it will not require neither skill nor expensive materials. This is probably one of the simplest DIY woodworking projects you can do, and yet there is no doubt that having a step stool at home or in your garage is really convenient, and quite often, indispensable!

Posted by Kyle in Lifestyle

How To Choose The Best Running Shoes For Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis is a painful inflammation of the muscle which connects the heel bone to the calf muscles called the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendinitis is mainly caused by using the affected limb too much and it is quite common among athletes.

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. Inflammation of the tendon may result from repetitive stress or sudden increase in its use. When the heel and toes strike the ground during high impact activity and force travels through the muscles and the bones of the leg and foot. The muscle then responds with a contraction and the tendon undergoes repetitive stretch and tightening. Inflammation can lead to the hardening and thickening of the tendon.

Anatomy of the Achilles Tendon. Image credit: Sports Injury Clinic

It can easily be confused with xanthoma of the tendon, which is the disease caused by the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood. People who are prone to Achilles injuries are likely to stop running if the problem is persistent. Achilles tendinitis can affect both young and old people.

Your running shoes, if not proper, may cause flare-ups in your Achilles. A proper pair of shoes, on the other hand, can help in alleviating the pain.

The risk factors for Achilles tendinitis include tight heel cords, poor foot alignment and sudden changes in your running shoes or activities.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis

  • Sharp or dull pain on the tendon, but often close to the heel
  • Limited ankle flexibility
  • Redness and heat over the affected area
  • A cracking sound when the tendon is rubbed by scar tissue when the ankle moves
  • A nodule, or lumpy block that can be seen on the tendon

Causes of Achilles tendinitis

  • Overstress or overworking of the tendon
  • Overpronation, which is excessive rolling out of the foot as you run. This leads to too much weight being transferred to the medial or inner side of the foot, rather than the ball of the foot.

Features to look out for when buying running shoes for Achilles tendinitis

  1. Flexibility in the forefoot and midfoot area
    Avoid shoes that have hard or rigid heel counters. Shoes that have softer heel counters or those that lack heel counters are ideal for people with Achilles tendonitis as they allow for more flexibility and freedom around the back of your foot. This is ideal for relieving pressure and it aids in recovery after an injury to the Achilles tendon.
  1. A higher heel-to-toe drop
    With Achilles tendinitis, the heel drop is a key feature. A higher drop of 9mm and above reduces the amount of stretch exerted on your Achilles tendon when running. If the tendon does not have the strength or flexibility to deal with the stretch produced by flatter shoes, problems, including injuries are likely to develop.

When a diagnosis is made surgery may be an option. However, this may not be necessary and other options may be explored first including physical therapy, pain medications, and supportive orthotics or shoes.

Many running shoes available in the stores have extra heel cushioning which increases the heel drop, so it is important to buy shoes that fit properly and replace them when the soles start wearing out. A great example of a brand ideally suited to runners with achilles problems are New Balance running shoes. Orthopedic inserts can also provide a heel pad or lift which is important in reducing the force exerted on the Achilles tendon.

A bandage wrap or silicone Achilles sleeve is also important in case your shoes rub uncomfortably against your tendon. Shoe inserts provide additional comfort and stability, and at the same time, they provide enhanced sensory feedback to the muscles of your calf so that they do not become overloaded.

Note that, should you start experiencing Achilles pain, it is time to stop running for some time. Take an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen or aspirin, and massage the area with ice for a few minutes several times a day until the pain subsides. Once the swelling or nodule is gone, make sure you stretch the calf muscles. Do not resume running until you can comfortably raise your toes without pain.

New Balance 860 V7 is considered a great running shoe for weak achilles tendons. Image credit: New Balance

Before you resume running, start off with the skipping rope, progress to jumping jacks, and eventually, begin running again. This should take roughly six to eight weeks.

It is also important to shop for running shoes in the afternoon or early in the evening when your feet are at their largest. This is because feet tend to swell or expand in the course of the day and any pair bought earlier in the day is likely not to fit as the day progresses.

You should also seek the advice of a qualified podiatrist especially if you are not sure of your shoe size so that they can measure your foot. They will also be in a good position to diagnose Achilles tendinitis especially because it is easily confused with xanthoma of the tendon as discussed earlier.

Posted by Kyle in Lifestyle