Spare Parts for the Home and Garden – Lawnmowers and Ride On Mowers Self Repair

REPAIR and DIY are scary concepts to many of us but with the world economy in a downturn it is a clear and obvious way to save a great deal of money.

The average labour bill from a garden tool repair workshop can be £30 HR plus call out plus spare parts and this can quickly add up to a large bill.

The best time to check your lawnmower for wear and tear is out of season when not in use (winter).

Think of your lawnmower as two units, the chassis and the engine (or electric motor), you need to keep and eye on both. Common engine faults often relate to the fuel and oil. Common chassis faults are often related to physical damage.

The lawnmower engine:

  • Always use clean fuel from a clean container – any dirt will break your engine
  • Always check your engine oil – it is quick and easy to check your dipstick to see the oil level is between the high and low marker lines
  • The lawnmower chassis:
  • The common parts are the blade, push handle, control cables and wheels.
  • Blade – this must be sharp to otherwise it will strain your engine and pull at the grass rather than making a clean cut. You can resharpen your blade with a file
  • Cables – you can squirt aerosol light oil like WD40 onto the cables to help them last longer.

What if i find something that is worn of broken?

1- Identify your lawnmower – what is the make and model of the Engine? (engine powered mowers only) – what is the make and model of the Lawnmower?

2- Identify the part as Chassis or Engine component

– the Engine will have its own unique identifying data plate showing model code and serial number. This is often stamped into the engine metal work.

– the Chassis will have its own unique identifying data plate showing model code and serial number. This is often on a silver badge or sticker near the rear wheel.

Common UK Lawnmower Brand Makes:

Mountfield, Honda, Qualcast, Flymo, Castel,Garden, MTD, Hayter, Atco, Bosch

Common Engine Brand Makes:

Briggs and Stratton, Honda, GGP, Sumec Linhai, Robin, Kawasaki, Kubota

Cool Accessories Make The Home And Garden Much More Pleasant

Many of us love our gardens to the point that we want to spend most of our time out there amongst nature. Bird houses and water fountains make the experience even better and it is to this end that some websites have all kinds of goodies on offer to make life that much more comfortable. Indeed, just a quick look through some of these sites really gives an idea of just how many bits and pieces can be used to improve our living spaces.

In the garden, furniture is about the one thing that some people make a mistake with. If the garden has a country flower feel to it, try putting in some rustic seating to enhance that feeling. If the garden is sparse and Zen like, rustic seating will look totally out-of- place for sure. Here, clean lined seating, with little fuss or decoration, is the order of the day and will surely make the place look very tranquil indeed.

Nooks and niches can also be created with winding paths, even if the garden is rather very small. By creating the winding look to the whole thing, people are fooled into thinking that they are walking further than they actually are. Seating arrangements can be placed in amongst the trees to allow for private trysts or meetings, with perhaps the odd place for a quiet read to take place too.

Further into the garden a flower arbor will look great, particularly if there is a swinging seat underneath. This lovely idea is great for those romantic evenings, when the kids are asleep, for the parents to just reconnect after a heavy day at work. Candle light here is a good idea since most people do not like the glare from electric lights when they want to relax.

Outside the living or dining room, many people put in some great decking to extend the room beyond the normal size. This also gives the impression that the room is larger than it looks and is great for those who do not want to go right into the garden for some peace.

Within the home, table water features are a good idea to bring peace and tranquility too. The tinkling of cool water over piles of artistically piled pebbles really sets off the decor and many people have more than one scattered about the place. These, added to some lovely wind chimes which make an equally peaceful sound, are the ideal way to ensure that some peace prevails.

Since most people these days love to make their homes a haven of peace, adding some cool accessories like this is probably the perfect way to ensure that the place looks and sounds wonderful. Scented candles too will give a lovely atmosphere and some even have calming effects too.

Finally, the home is that one place where we should be able to hide away from the world and be at peace. By adding some of these exciting accessories, we just make our ‘nest’ that much more comfortable to be in.

Solar Lights – Saving While Enhancing the Beauty of Your Home and Garden

So what are solar lights? They are basically lights that are being powered by the sun’s energy or solar energy. Not only are they quite great in decorating your house with it (may it be in your deck, porch, walkways, garden or terraces), they are also helpful when it comes to easing down your electric bills. It is known to be economical and it enhances the beauty of your house and even outdoors. This is best for those who are too conscious about their electric bills and ones who are concerned about safety. Did you know that these solar lights are known to be the best and safest type of lighting equipment? Whoever will install this; will not need to be afraid about the safety of their pets or children or themselves when it comes to wiring it up and getting it connected. Moreover it is basically easy and quick to install.

With every solar light bulb, it has its own solar collector pane or panel that converts the sunlight to energy, electrical energy that is. If there is a thing that you must bear in mind, it is that these types of lights perform on the amount of sunlight it received during day time. The more sunlight it gets, the better it will perform when used. These types of lights also do require a good and unobstructed amount of sunlight for it to be able to recharge its batteries. Said type of light is quite ideal for places that is still out of the reach of electric companies, or places which barely has access to electricity. However, solar lights are not that useful for all applications that we need for lighting. Basically it is ideal to accent the design of our indoors and outdoors, this is because these types of lights does not necessarily produces that much light compared to regular bulbs that are powered by electricity. But then again, if you do not have an access to any light at all, this is the best one for you.

Today’s lights are way better and superior to first batch of solar lights. Again, they are way efficient as they do not use electricity and they are powered by their solar rechargeable batteries (solar panels or cells). They may be quite expensive, but they are sure worth it. In addition, most solar lights now use the latest Light Emitting Diodes or LED as their main and only light source. This is of course, compared to the ordinary solar lights. As most LED powered lights are ever reliable. Also, they are now more popular today, most especially the white colored ones.

You can also easily find your own solar lights online. There are lots of vendors that are now selling through the internet. You can choose from their vast selection of solar powered lights. Whether you want to enhance your outdoors or indoors, or you want to save on your electric bills, or you simply want the benefits of having a light, then why not try solar lights now?

Rehoming a Shelter Dog – Preparing Your Home and Garden Before You Bring Your New Dog Home

If you are serious about rehoming an unwanted dog, please read the following before you bring your new dog home. It will save you a lot of money and distress if you take some simple precautions. You have done the right thing by choosing a shelter dog but you have to remember the dog doesn’t know this. If its had a history of abuse or neglect or both you are going to have to prove yourself as a competent pack leader it can trust. This will take time and patience from you but it is well worth the effort.

Choose which rooms your dog will be allowed in and make sure all the family agree on this. It is OK to ban your dog from certain rooms if you are worried about dirty paw prints or any other mess. However, you will have to allow your dog in to at least one area of your home. This will help your dog settle quicker. If you leave it outside alone on its first night, it is more than likely to bark, howl and/or run away.

Make a bed for your dog from old towels or use an old one. Don’t worry about buying it a new, expensive bed at the moment. It may soil its bed or rip up the bedding from stress. Place some toys, treats and other things you think the dog will like near its bed. Normally a dog won’t soil in the area where it sleeps but stressed and unhealthy dogs may do so you might be better off letting it live in the laundry for a while.

Get a water bowl and food bowl ready. When your dog arrives home, give it some food but not a lot.

Be prepared, the dog may scratch at the door and damage it. It might try to get out or it may want to be closer to you. Fix thick cardboard to the door along the edge where it opens. This will have to be replaced and may make a mess at first but it will save the paintwork and you a lot of time and money.

A new dog may go to the toilet inside because it hasn’t been trained properly or because it wants to leave its mark. There is information at regarding toilet training which will be useful. In particular, cleaning up the mess and not making the dog more anxious which may cause it to repeat the behaviour.

Don’t leave the dog inside on its own for very long. You are only asking for trouble. I did this once and came home to find every curtain ripped and shredded. Remember your new dog may not have had much experience being inside a nice home. The best place is to leave it in a room where it can’t do a lot of damage like the laundry or bathroom, but don’t forget to remove all chewable and poisonous objects.

Check the fences then check them again. I know of a dog that jumped on the rubbish bins, the neighbour’s garage and then got itself stuck in a tree when it first arrived home. Don’t ever under-estimate how high or low a dog can get to run away. Remember, it is only running away from stress and loneliness. You have done the right thing by rehoming it but it will need some time to adjust.

If you are worried about the dog digging out, place dog proof wire along the bottom of the fence about 30cm out from the fence and about 30cm up the fence. If you are worried about the dog jumping over the fence, place a piece of string 1/3 of the way down the fence and 30cm out from the fence. This will break the dog’s line of sight and it will think it won’t be able to get over the fence. Remove anything from the fence, shed or garage that the dog can use to jump on and get over the fence. These things can be taken down later on.

Remove anything and everything from the yard where the dog will be staying. Again this is only temporary but you don’t want the dog developing the habit of destroying your property. This would include shoes, boots, mats, pot plants, garden furniture, hoses, garden tools, ornaments and any other feature that can be chewed or ripped up.

You can use strong pepper or citrus smells to keep dogs away from certain areas. This may include gardens or verandahs. Some shelter dogs are used to going to the toilet on concrete because they’ve had little choice to go anywhere else. A light sprinkling of red pepper powder will deter the dog from going near this area but remember to take your dog to the area where you want it to go so it has an alternative.

Make a safe area outside for your dog. Wild dogs are den dwellers so a kennel would be the perfect choice. If not, a dry area with a bed off the ground is just as good. You may want the dog to make the choice, it after all has to sleep in the area and it will choose a place that it feels safest in.

Ask your neighbours to report to you any barking or howling that might have gone on while you are not home. Record the time and see if there’s a pattern. Ask them for help and to keep an eye on your new dog until it has settled in. If any problems occur, get onto a dog trainer straight away. Don’t allow your new dog to become aggressive or destructive. Don’t allow them to get worse because they won’t get better on their own.