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Exploring Solar Technology

With solar technology you can give your garden several moods in an environmentally friendly way. One of the most effective but most underused garden ornaments is lighting. The great advantage of using lighting means that for a small investment you get two gardens. As dusk falls and lights are lit, the familiar daylight garden is transformed into a second garden - a magical place full of subtle lights and da ...

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Build Your Own Home

We've all got a dream home tucked away in our minds - that perfect house in the perfect spot - but it really is possible to make that dream a reality. Building your own home is the perfect way to have the house you've always wanted - at a much lower cost than buying a ready-built home. One of the reasons is that stamp duty is paid only on the cost of the land. You could, for example, buy a plot for under ...

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Trade Secrets

Plumbing is a highly skilled trade but there are some simple jobs you can do yourself and save money on expensive call-out charges. With charges running at between £35 and £75 an hour, calling a plumber to deal with something as simple as a blocked sink or a loo that isn't flushing properly can be very expensive. Luckily you don't have to be an expert to tackle simple plumbing repairs. Bigger jo ...

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Hit the Decks

© Redcover/Ken Hayden Our love of decking shows no signs of abating - and who can blame us? Not only does a deck work well in both traditional and modern settings, it is a great way to add interest to a plain garden. It is perfect for disguising an ugly paved or concreted area and what's more it is the ideal solution to problem areas such as sloping or tiered gardens where a series of raised or stagger ...

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My Life Changing Year

Although he resigned from GroundForce last year, Tommy Walsh is brimming with exciting plans for the future which will see him on our screens in all manner of guises. Q: What has been the highlight of your year? A: It's been a punishing year, but good nevertheless. My four DIY books are now out and they're doing well. I've also completed a DVD called DIY Survival, for GUT Records, which is the first time it ...

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My Favourite Things

Tommy Walsh reveals some of the pleasures in life that really tick his box. My favourite food It's the Irish way of cooking boiled bacon with swede and potato. You cook the meat and the veg together and the potatoes separately. Here's how to do it: Put the meat, which should be smoked or green bacon, to soak in cold water, to get rid of some of the salt. After at least an hour, take it out and put it into a ...

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Andy’s Foreword

Hello everyone! Talk about a year of changes. The first big one was Changing Rooms coming to an end after nine years, which I’m really sad about because everyone I worked with was so lovely. On the other hand, it will also be lovely to spend more time at home with my wife Geraldine and our four kids. Looking back, I can recall making some really wild and wacky creations for the designers. I can’ ...

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Tommy’s Foreword

Hi there. Welcome to another great-value issue of At Home with Tommy Walsh and Handy Andy Kane. I can hardly believe it’s a year since we last hit the news stands but for me, those 12 months have been packed with changes. As you may know, after eight brilliant years I finally decided to leave Ground Force - but you haven’t seen the last of me yet! I’ve a whole host of projects lined up for ...

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A Year in My Life

With the demise of Changing Rooms, life is on the move for Handy Andy - but he's got a whole range of new tricks up his sleeve that will guarantee his place in the public eye. Q: The death knell has sounded on Changing Rooms and you've been with the show since it started nine years ago. Are you going to miss it? A: All good things come to an end but I'm quite sad because the crew were so lovely and we got o ...

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The Loves of My Life

Chilled red wine, Sunday roasts, fast cars and cordless screwdrivers... Handy Andy Kane reveals his all-time favourite things. My favourite book I'm not really a bookie sort of person. However, I have just bought Underground London: Travels Beneath the City by Stephen Smith (Littlebrown, £17.99), which is about hidden parts of London. Did you know that in Eastcheap, in the City of London, there's an N ...

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