The scope of DIY massively varies from person to person. For some DIY may just mean an afternoon making creative home decorations, such as unique snow globes or painted tea lights. Whilst to others, DIY may be a case of undertaking more ambitious projects such as entirely replacing a kitchen. The value of doing DIY is clear, not only can it be fun and rewarding to take control of one’s house and unleash your own specific vision, but if done properly, DIY could save you considerable amounts of money.
Keeping a house in good working order requires a lot of hard work and over the course of years, it also requires large amounts of materials. Choosing the right material can be tricky and many different considerations need to be taken into account. Often price can be a severely limiting factor, but quality considerations such as; strength, endurance, versatility and ease of disposal can, in the long run, turn out to be just as important. Increasingly, environmental concerns such as sustainability and ease of recycling are becoming more of a priority. When doing DIY, you want to get it right, whether this is something small like putting up a shelf or something that needs to be done perfectly like fitting a window. Some things are more delicate than others; if eyes are the windows to the soul then windows could be considered to be the eyes of the house. The importance of both beautiful and hard-wearing windows is something that most of us want; so, it stands to reason that the material chosen for them is also very important.
From getting windows to small candle-holders, we just couldn’t do without glass. However, since the thermoplastic Acrylic was discovered in 1928, it has progressively shown itself to be capable of doing what glass does, in some cases even better. It’s becoming increasingly more popular as a good alternative to glass. Not only can the thermoplastic fill in for glass for, like for windows and patio doors, but it is also cheaper and more versatile. Acrylics are also more durable and due to their superior optical-transmission properties, they often look nicer. When considering using acrylic within your home, there are some key economic advantages: It is relatively easy to process and due to its lower density, the transportation and assembly for using it in building materials make it a lot easier and cheaper to produce; it is also extremely easy to recycle. These properties are not only advantageous for windows in houses, but the extreme strength makes it ideal for a range of more glamorous uses such as for submarine and aquarium windows. However, even for smaller, more manageable DIY tasks, Acrylic offers great versatility and can be easily coloured, which makes it ideal for creating colourful lamps to decorate your home.
Not all acrylic is made equal, and whilst either variety is largely superior to glass, there are two key types of acrylic which perform differently. These are cast Acrylic and Extruded. Cast acrylic is significantly better compared to Extruded and offers some noticeable advantages such as greater optical clarity and greater optical and chemical stability. Additionally, Cast Acrylic is much more versatile, as it can be reworked when it’s hot. Information about windows from Simply Plastics, a clear cast acrylic maker, illustrates this comparative advantage very clearly – the flexibility and variety one obtains from this material, so far remain outmatched. The differences been Cast and Extruded add up and it’s worth considering that whilst Cast may be slightly more expensive, it will not only look nicer, but it will also serve you better in the long run.
Acrylic is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. For example, Acrylic can be used to great effect in Kitchen Splashbacks, as they share the strong and durable aspects that glass splashbacks typically have. Additionally, with the advantages of being cheaper, slightly more durable and often looking nicer. Another example, for those who feel more creative, is that it can be used in combination with some clever computer bits, such as a raspberry pi, to create a magic mirror, which essentially functions as a display for the computer device. Whatever use is found for Acrylic it is certainly easy to install, clean and attribute to a range of different uses.
However ambitious you are with DIY, it benefits to pay attention to the materials you will be using in your projects. Although most materials have their strengths and weaknesses, many newer materials certainly outperform more traditional materials, not only in being cheaper to buy but also more robust in action and more sustainable to produce.