Happy New Year, Phnom Penh! This week Do It Yourself is going to be a little bit different as we welcome in 2009.
Now that the party confetti has been swept up and the Champagne hangovers gone, you'll be left with a clean slate and a bunch of resolutions. Perhaps they will take you to work on time, or get you to the gym more regularly. Hopefully, some will involve the home improvements and repairs you've long had planned.
Keeping all these resolutions can be tricky, and as January becomes February and February becomes June, the resoluteness behind the resolutions can ebb and eventually fade away. Here are some tips on how to keep some of those New Year's promises, at least in regards to your house.
One of biggest reasons for putting off a home-improvement project is a lack of that special something, usually a tool. So I recommend that your first New Year DIY project is making sure your toolbox is organized and well stocked.
I have yet to see a fire-engine-red toolbox for sale in Cambodia, but I have seen the occasional fishing tackle box. Heng Sport at 214 E0 Monivong Boulevard sells them for $10 and they make good toolboxes for smaller tools, while the little compartments are handy for screws and nuts and bolts.
Start with a list
Filling your tackle/toolbox can be fun. First make a list of all the necessary tools. Make sure you include all of the common ones: hammer, adjustable wrenches, screwdrivers, wire cutters, needle-nose and standard pliers, and a box-end wrench set.
Then add the more specific tools such as wire strippers, Allen wrenches, an electric drill, a putty knife and a socket set. Having duct tape, masking tape, electrical tape and plumbing tape is also a good idea, as is a variety of nails, screws and plastic anchors, washers, and nuts and bolts.
These items can be purchased at almost any nearby chieng shop, but for price and selection go to O'Russei Market or Russian Market. Street 110 near Phsar Chas (Old Market) has numerous tradesman shops, but I usually go to Torn Chongly hardware store on the corner of streets 110 and 17.
Wherever you go, it's a good idea to largely stick to a specific hardware store where you feel comfortable shopping and where you know what they usually have in stock.
Once you have your tool/tackle-box in order, you can commence with the projects. As with most jobs it's a good idea to begin slowly with something smallish but rewarding.