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Home Improvements Feature - Autumn 2021

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TOPIC • 7 October, 2021

AUTUMN HOME IMPROVEMENTS GUIDE

21

Autumn Home Improvements

GUIDE


22 TOPIC • 7 October, 2021

AUTUMN HOME IMPROVEMENTS GUIDE

SWITCH AND SAVE

WITH NEW STAR F.M.

Switching your mortgage has never been easier!

If you’re an existing mortgage holder you may

well be able to avail of a much better mortgage

rate with a new lender and secure a super competitive

rate to boot. With fixed rates now as low

as 1.95% for


TOPIC • 7 October, 2021

AUTUMN HOME IMPROVEMENTS GUIDE

23

Decorate

seasonally for

Halloween!

Halloween is a great time

to make a few changes to

your home. Giving your

abode that autumnal harvest

look brings warmth

and comfort not only to the

inhabitants but to neighbours

and passers by also.

Year by year, it seems

that more people go above

and beyond for the celebration,

each applying new

creative and inventive concepts

for their house decoration.

New trends appear

each year and more useful

tips and designs surface as

a result. An example of

this is the increasingly

intricate designs for pumpkins,

such as detailed portraits

of celebrities,

characters or scenery.

However, a lot of time and

planning is needed to carve

these elaborate pumpkinsperhaps

that’s something

you can leave to the children

to be creative with!

THEMES

Many people stick to certain

themes, for example,

harvest themes and graveyards,

with many creating

a front-yard horror show

adding to the thrill of the

night as you pass.

Colour schemes are also

prevalent, whereby shades

of orange, purple and

black associated with Halloween

act as décor. It is a

subtle, modest acknowledgement

of the celebration

without seeming too

exaggerated.

Other popular decorations

are candles, which

heighten the eery atmosphere

unique to Halloween

night. Easy to get and use,

further personalisation

can be added with a touch

of DIY, for example, white

candles with dripping red

wax resembling blood, but

be careful where you use

the candles and keep them

away from young children

and always have a fire

extinguisher on standby if

you do intend to decorate

your home with candles for

Halloween. Battery operated

candles are by far the

preferred choice in a house

where children are present.

Whatever you end up

doing for Halloween, make

use of the opportunity to

give your home a different

look, both inside and outside.

Heimdall

Security

Systems

Offering customers the

latest security technology

at affordable prices

Domestic and Commercial Intruder Alarms,

CCTV Systems, Access Control Systems,

Fire Alarm Systems

Gates & Barriers Automation.

24hr Intruder Alarm

and CCTV Monitoring Service

Licenced and Certified by the PSA and MSC

087 9441369

Watch out for Asbestos

when attempting DIY

Up until 1999, asbestos

was commonly used in

building materials, mainly

for insulation and fireproofing,

and in some consumer

goods. However it is

now illegal to place

asbestos or asbestos-containing

products on the

market.

Remember, if you are carrying

out any building or

renovation work on your

home or farm area, you

must have an asbestos survey

carried out by a specialist

asbestos monitoring/

surveying company. If

asbestos is present an

asbestos management plan

is required. Removing

material containing as -

bestos must only be done by

a specialist contractor.

Asbestos waste is a hazardous

waste and the original

producer must ensure

that it is disposed of in an

authorised manner.

SCALLY

PRECAST

PRODUCTS LTD

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CATTLE SLATS 6’6’’ TO 16’6’’

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Tel: 044 9223211

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Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath

Be a good neighbour - don’t

be a backyard burner!

Burning waste is not only

a nuisance to neighbours

but it can release many

harmful chemicals into the

atmosphere. Such illegal

practices lead to the

release of toxic dioxins

which are a real hazard for

peoples’ health and the

environment. In September

2009, a law concerning

waste disposal by burning

came into force. These regulations,

the Waste Management

(Prohibition of

Waste Disposal by Burning)

Regulations make

explicit the offence of disposal

of waste by uncontrolled

burning and prohibits

such disposal within

the curtilage of a dwelling.
















Failure to comply with

these regulations is an

offence and fines of up to

€3,000 may be imposed.

TULLAMORE CARPETS

Over 40 years serving the Midlands

OPEN

MONDAYS

Cut Pile Felt

Back Carpet

was €9.95 yd 2

NOW €6.95 yd 2

Plush Pile

Hessian

Back Carpet

was €11.95 yd 2

NOW €8.95 yd 2

AUTUMN

SPECIALS

Hardwearing

Carpet for Stairs &

Landing

€199 fitted

AVG 16 yd 2

Hardwearing

Vinyl Flooring

was €9.95 yd 2

NOW €6.95 yd 2

Heavy Duty

Laminate

Flooring 8mm

was €13.95 yd 2

NOW €10.95 yd 2

4’6” Top Quality

Odearest

Mattress

was €550

NOW €350

4ft 6’ Respa Mattress was €250 NOW €175

ALL LEADING BRANDS SUPPLIED AND FITTED

EXPERT FITTING • ALL CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED

Tullamore Carpets, Tanyard, Tullamore

Tel: 057 9351269

Contact: David McGrath (Manager) or Michael O’Rourke (Sales)


24 TOPIC • 7 October, 2021

AUTUMN HOME IMPROVEMENTS GUIDE

Doing a house clear out? –

Do you know where your

rubbish is going?

LET THERE BE LIGHT

How to make the most of natural light in your home

Increasing the amount of natural light in your home can actually

reduce your heating and lighting costs. It also makes rooms seem

bigger and more inviting. Here are some simple and inexpensive

ways to get more natural light into your home.

Adding a skylight

will let in more

light and make

your rooms feel

bigger.

Before and after - Canal Avenue,

Mullingar, brought back to

natural beauty with funding

from the Anti-Dumping

Initiative.

Autumn is the time of

year when we are energised

and take on the challenge

of clearing out the

“spare room” or redeeming

the dreaded “office/toy

room” but there’s a word

of caution that comes with

this job and it is “check

that the person taking

away your rubbish and

unwanted items holds a

Waste Collection Permit”

stated Ruth Maxwell of the

Environment Department,

Westmeath Co. Co. She

continued: “By law, anyone

Illegal Dumping,

including Construction

and Demolition Waste

who is in the business of

waste collection must have

a waste collection permit

and must carry it with

them in their vehicle but

unfortunately some people

are unaware of this – using

a non-permitted waste collector

can lead to illegal

dumping of waste and a

fine and/or prosecution

being imposed on the

householder.”

Cathaoirleach of Westmeath

Co. Co., John Do lan

stated “illegal dumping is

a blight on our countryside

Construction and Demolition

(C&D) waste is waste generated

from construction and

demolition activities (including

excavated soil from contaminated

sites). A holder or

producer of waste is required

by law to ensure their waste is

dealt with in a responsible

and authorised manner.

Waste should only be handed

over to authorised waste collectors

who hold a waste collection

permit from the

National Waste Collection

Permit Office (NWCPO), and

only brought to an authorised

waste outlet with a valid

waste licence, issued by the

Environmental Protection

Agency (EPA), or waste facility

permit, issued by the Loc al

Authority. It is illegal to

deposit waste on lands without

an appropriate waste

license or permit. As well as

posing a risk to their local

environment (such as to soil,

groundwater and surface

water), landowners, who

allow waste to be deposited on

their land without a waste

authorisation, may face both

significant costs in cleaning

up the waste and the risk of

criminal prosecution. If

waste is dumped on farm land

without the knowledge of the

landowner the landowner can

be held responsible for the

clean-up costs and face prosecutions.

– we see it all over the

county and particularly on

back roads and bogs. It is

something we must be vigilant

about and we should

use the confidential, freephone

1800 819 000 to report

incidences and I urge

everyone to be vigilant and

report where necessary.”

Last year two sites in

Athlone (Al River, Willow

Park and Grace Park Road)

and one in Mullingar

(Canal Avenue) were

brought back to their natural

beauty with funding

from the Anti-Dumping

Initiative. These were sites

that had been the target of

illegal dumping over a sustained

period of time but

after the removal of in

excess of 110,000 tonnes of

rubbish costing €52,650

they are now transformed

into a community amenity

area including a community

orchard (Al River, Willow

Park), an outdoor art

space (Grace Park Road)

and potential for housing

development (Canal Ave -

nue).

WINDOWS, CURTAINS AND BLINDS

On sunny days, open curtains and

blinds to let in as much light as possible.

Replacing heavy curtains with a

lighter or see-through material helps to

let in more light during the day and

keeps in the heat at night.

Aluminium or wooden venetian

blinds and vertical blinds come in a

range of colours and let you control the

amount of light that comes in. By

angling the blinds, you direct the sunlight

to where you want it.

And if you’re building or renovating,

make sure that you design your windows

to be taller rather than wider,

which lets in more light.

MIRRORS

Use mirrors to reflect natural light

and open up small spaces like hallways.

Placing a mirror opposite a window that

gets good light will make a room sunnier.

As well as hanging mirrors on the

wall, you can put them on your

wardrobe door or on a desk behind flowers

to create the feeling of more space.

Place your mirrors in a number of

rooms around the home to find out what

reflects the most natural light, before

permanently installing them.

NEW DOORS

Replacing a solid front door with one

Invasive Species

Invasive species are non-native plants or

animal species that are harmful, either, to

human health or to the environment.

Plants like Japanese Knotweed, Giant

Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam are the

most common invasive species on Irish

soil. The movement of topsoil and the disturbance

and disposal of cuttings are the

main cause of spreading. However, it can

also be spread on the tyres of a tractor, in

tracking machinery or even by foot.

It is important to be aware that a licence

is required to remove and dispose of certain

invasive species. Further information

can be obtained from the Licencing Unit of

National Parks and Wildlife Service

http://www.biodiversityireland.ie .

that has stained, clear or frosted glass

gives you a brighter and more inviting

entry room.

Changing a solid interior door for one

with window panels also lets more light

in.

There’s a range of doors with stained

glass, clear and frosted panels that can

work for you depending on your budget,

security requirements and tastes.

SKYLIGHTS

Installing skylights in hallways or

small rooms with no windows lets in

more light and makes it feel bigger. Skylight

kits are inexpensive and easy to

install. Another option is to install a

dual action window and skylight higher

up on your wall to let in more light and

fresh air.

Colour Scheme

Painting walls and ceilings white, or

in light colours, means that any natural

light that comes in will be reflected.

White painted trim around the window

also helps.

INDOOR PLANTS

Growing plants or herbs indoors is a

great way to make sure that you let

more natural light into your rooms to

keep them healthy. You’ll also get the

added bonus of a year round supply of

fresh flowers, vegetables or herbs.

Japanese Knotweed.


TOPIC • 7 October, 2021

AUTUMN HOME IMPROVEMENTS GUIDE

25

10 Solutions for small bathrooms

What small bathrooms

lack in square meterage,

they can make up for in

style. Meet the challenge of

making small bathrooms

look bigger with these creative

ideas.

1. LARGE FORMAT LOOKS

LARGER

Grout lines create a grid

pattern that can make

rooms look smaller. It may

sound counter-intuitive,

however large-format tiles

reduce the number of grout

lines, creating a seamless

space. “We’re seeing customers

increasingly opting

for larger tiles and it’s definitely

a growing trend,”

Floating furniture and a big mirror help to

create the illusion of space.

said Donal Higgins, Managing

Director of World of

Tiles, Bathrooms & Wood

Flooring in Mullingar. Rectified

tiles laid with narrow

spacers (1.5mm, or 1mm if

the tiler is top-notch) will

also reduce the grout-line

grid. After all, you want to

show off tiles, not grout.

2. FLOATING IN SPACE

“We’re also seeing a growing

preference for wallhung

vanity units and

ceramics,” added Mr Higgins.

Freeing up floor space

reduces the cluttered look

and has the added benefit of

making the floor easy to

clean.

3. COMPACT COMBOS

Ideal for a cloakroom or

small en suite, a combination

toilet-vanity gives you

all the essentials plus storage.

A slim seat also helps

keep the look tidy.

4. THE WET ROOM ILLU-

SION

When space is tight, a wet

room, even a small one, creates

a luxe look that suggests

there’s room to spare.

The effect is best achieved

with a frameless glass

shower screen. The glass

will also reflect the available

light and make the

bathroom appear bigger.

5. THE POWER OF A GOOD

MIRROR

A mirrored wall will double

the size of a small bathroom,

however, it’s not to

everybody’s taste, or may

not be structurally feasible.

The latest mirrors have inbuilt

LED lighting with a

choice of mirrors and mirror

cabinets with backlighting,

strip-lighting or

surround lighting. Keep an

eye on what the mirror

reflects — it’s not ideal to

be looking at the toilet

every time you look in the

mirror.

6. THE COLOUR ILLUSION

Light colours will add

brightness and a sense of

space. Tiling floors and

walls in the same tile adds

to that effect. However,

small bathrooms don’t need

to be boring. With a multitude

of marble-, concreteand

stone-effect designs,

with light-reflective polished

or glossy surfaces,

you can introduce texture

and achieve a contemporary

appeal. Add interest

with mosaics or decor relief

tiles matching the base tile.

7. IF YOU CAN SQUEEZE IN

TUB

Nothing says luxury like

a beautiful bath. Small

bathrooms aren’t ideal for

these, however, if you can

squeeze one in, a free-standing

or slipper bath is a good

option. The elegant curved

shapes will break the boxy

lines of the small space.

8. FREE UP SPACE WITH A

SLIDING DOOR

Sliding shower doors

make the world of difference

in small bathrooms,

with options for square,

rectangular and curved corner

units.

9. HIDE IT AND SEEK IT

Free up space, particularly

the clutter of bottles,

with good storage. A wallmounted

tall boy is a great

addition. Pair it with a

matching floating vanity

with drawers for easy

access to all those bits and

A combination vanity and toilet is ideal for small

bathrooms and cloakrooms.

bobs.

10. LIGHT IT UP

In a perfect world, every

bathroom would be flooded

with natural light. In reality,

a small bathroom may

have no windows at all.

Besides mirrors with notouch

LED lighting, you

can also consider vanity

units with lighting inside

the drawers, and alcoves

with little LED lights for

both mood and that extra

bit of brightness.

All products are available

at World of Tiles, Lough

Sheever Corporate Park,

Mullingar www.worldoftiles.ie


26 TOPIC • 7 October, 2021

AUTUMN HOME IMPROVEMENTS GUIDE

Bathroom Design

Tiling &

Renovation Service

Design & Transform

your bathroom into a masterpiece

topic.ie

news

sport

arts

Russellstown, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

044 9342865 • 087 7530161

david@davidmurphytiling.ie

www.davidmurphytiling.ie

Get inspired for Autumn DIY & home improvement projects on any budget.

1000’s of building products & accessories to choose from.

St Patrickʼs Road, edenderry, Co. Offaly

Tel: (046) 97 32735

Email: sales@mckhardware.ie

Facebook @mckhardware Instagram: @mckhardware


TOPIC • 7 October, 2021

AUTUMN HOME IMPROVEMENTS GUIDE

27

Keeping your home

warm in the Winter

Now is the time to get all

those small home improvements

checked off your list

before the remaining

months of 2021 disappear

before your eyes.

Whether it’s changing to

heavier curtains or re-sealing

your windows and doors,

you can never be thorough

enough when it comes to

ensuring your home is warm

this winter.

In this feature, you will

come across plenty of great

ways to keep your home

warm during the coming

months in ways that won’t

break the bank. These

improvements will also

make your home more

energy efficient also.

With energy prices set to

rise in the next budget, it’s

important to make sure

you’re not throwing good

money after bad when it

comes to heating your home.

That’s why a key factor of a

warm home is good insulation.

Insulation keeps a

home warm in the winter

and cool in the summer, is

one of the most efficient

ways to save energy at home,

allowing you to keep the

desired temperature in your

house all year round. Home

décor, draft proofing, smart

thermostat, and double glazing

are all simple measures

that can make a difference to

your home during winter

and help you save money on

heating, rather than waste it.

Here are a few tips for a

warmer home this winter:

1. Be strategic with the

placement of your furniture

- it can make all the difference!

Avoid blocking any heat

suppliers such as a radiator.

Instead, place your most

used pieces of furniture,

such as your desk or sofa,

around (not up close to) the

heat source to ensure you

stay toasty when you’re in

the room.

2. Consider investing in

carpets and rugs. These not

only increase the warmth

and cosiness within your

home but prove to be a very

trendy way to modernise

and bring your home back to

life.

3. Replace ageing windows

with energy efficient double

or triple-glazed windows for

a longer-term investment in

your family’s comfort. Fine

tune the look with your

unique choice of window

furnishings, whether you

want to create a contemporary,

modern, or traditionalstyle

home.

4. Change to heavy curtains.

Younger home-owners

these days don’t seem to pay

much attention to the fact

that changing to heavier curtains

in winter can save

quite a bit of energy in your

home. Ideally, heavy, lined,

fireproof curtains are ideal

and are often on sale at this

time of year, to make way for

new stock for winter. It’s a

highly recommended way to

ensure the temperature of

every room in the house

increases, instead of

decreases during the colder

months of the year.

IMPORTANT REMINDER

Remember, with the

increased number of people

renovating in 2021, tradespeople

are in high demand.

Plumbers and electricians

are said to be the most

sought after for new home

projects. So if you can’t manage

to make your home

improvements now, plan

ahead and book a reliable

and recommended tradesteam

to complete your work

in 2022.

KC MAINTENANCE

-MULLINGAR

Prop. JOE KEELAN

087 2766416

Windows and

Door Repairs,

Locks, Hinges, Handles,

Double Glazed Units,

Restrictors,

Patio Door Locks

DAMIEN

DUNLEAVY

HEATING & PLUMBING CONTRACTOR

OIL • GAS

• SOLID FUEL

SOLAR PANELS

RENEWABLE ENERGY

INSTALLATION & REPAIRS

DOMESTIC

1 Glenmore Wood,

Mullingar,

Co. Westmeath

& COMMERCIAL

Tristernagh, Ballynacarrigy

T: 087 9376156

RADIATOR SLUDGE

REMOVAL

COMPLETE SYSTEM CLEANSE

Are your radiators cold

in the middle or the bottom?

You have sludge!

Get them cleaned to:

1. make your home warmer, faster

2. increase the lifetime of your boiler

3. use less oil or gas

Call 083 082 3414

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