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Home Living : July 22nd 2008
6 HLN - HOME LIVING: NORTH, Tuesday, July 22, 2008 Water - colours HOMELIVING Reducing water waste is top of mind for everyone these days and there are a number of steps to take to be friendly to the environment when painting. Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute (PQI) manager Mike Beresford says one simple way is to use grey water from a bucket in the shower to clean up after painting. ''Saving water is easy when using water- based paints,'' he said. ''There are some commonsense steps you can follow that not only conserve water but make painting easier too.'' Water saving tips: Wipe and squeeze as much paint as possible from the brush or roller back into the paint can. Roll or brush out any excess paint on to old newspapers or rags, allow them to dry and dispose of them in your household garbage. Use two buckets of water for cleaning up -- one to clean most of the paint out of the brush and roller, the second to rinse them clean. Leave the first bucket overnight, allowing paint solids to settle to the bottom. The next day pour the water over the garden. Wipe out the paint solids from the bucket with old rags or newspapers. Water from the second container can be poured straight on to the garden. As well as conserving water, responsible painters can also help the environment by recycling their paint cans. Once they are empty, relatively clean and dry, steel paint cans are recyclable. Most municipalities have regular collection days during the year, so check your local council or the Environment Protection Authority for details. Beware of shonky tradesmen Archicentre's Reno Watch warns of consumer rip-offs by unscrupulous builders and traders. State manager Angus Kell says the service hears lots of stories when called to inspect and report on renovations that have gone wrong. ''There was the interior designer who claimed her husband was a building practitioner. He wasn't,'' Mr Kell says. ''They collected a $50,000 deposit and never returned. When the client contacted them the couple claimed to be insolvent. ''A famous one was the burglars who dressed as termite inspectors. They evacuated the household and then looted the place.'' Mr Kell says one illegal builder collected a deposit and vanished. ''While the vast majority of builders and tradespeople are reputable, there are also plenty of dodgy operators who undermine the industry by massively over-charging or taking a large deposit and then they disappear,'' he says. ''Renovators who get caught up in building scams or poor workmanship can find themselves involved in lengthy, expensive court cases, chasing money from a bankrupt, or being left with a half- finished project that does not meet the building standards or is classified as illegal.'' Mr Kell says Reno Watch hopes to steer homeowners in the right direction, whether it's costing a building fault or finding a tradesman they can trust. 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July 15th 2008
July 29th 2008