Duration: 1 hour

The most important renovation work is the work that stops a building structurally deteriorating. The first thing to do is assess its structure for damage or weakness. In this course you will learn how to assess, prioritise and address the most important structural deficiencies in the early stages of any building renovation; for example: if you find holes, cracks, water damage, or missing components then repairing these will need to be prioritised.
Duration: 4 hours

Carpentry involves things like fitting doors, floors, windows and cupboards. In this course, you will learn about tools, techniques and applications for carpentry work in building repairs and renovations. The course focusses on things people new to the area can learn; it does not include details on joinery. Also includes material on selecting the best kind of wood for your project.
Duration: 3.5 hours

a basic understanding of electrics can help you to decide what fittings and power options you would like in a room or building. It can also help you to determine whether your power usage is efficient or faulty, and whether your existing power arrangements are in need of an upgrade. In this course, you will learn about electrical work for building renovations, including a basic understanding of electrics can help you to decide what fittings and power options you would like in a room or building.
Duration: 3.5 hours

There are lots of different types of paints, stains and sealants that are used to coat surfaces in buildings. These are applied using various types of tools and equipment. The purpose for using these “coatings” may be either functional or aesthetic (or both), the building components that are coated are various, and the methods used to apply the coatings can also vary. In this course, you will learn how to select and use paints in interior and exterior decorations of buildings.
Duration: 4 hours

Exposed bricks or stones on internal walls have become a fairly common feature in home renovations, particularly industrial type buildings like converted warehouses and barns. Usually only the best face bricks are used on the exterior walls; because interior bricks are expected to be plastered, they are often of lower quality. In this course, you will learn how to undertake plastering and tiling work. Includes material on working with plasterboard.
Duration: 3.5 hours

Plumbing covers more than just pipes for home water supply. It also includes pipe networks for provision of gas supply, sprinkler systems, roof plumbing, garden irrigation, grey water systems and waste and drainage systems. In this course, you will learn about the plumbing work required for renovation jobs. Includes material on guttering, fittings, water tanks, and a useful glossary.
Duration: 4 hours

Planning involves working out the best order to do things, the tools needed, any equipment hire, materials and fittings, and preparation. Each room will have a slightly different approach to planning depending on what services, appliances, fixtures and fittings are already in the room and what is to be added or removed. In this course, you will learn how to plan and either manage or undertake the renovation of a room, including working with a budget.
Duration: 4 hours

Walls can be external or internal; and of structural importance, or of no structural importance. Those of structural importance are load bearing. Those of no structural importance are partition walls and non-load bearing. In this course, you will learn how doors and windows can be repaired or replaced in a building or room renovation.
Duration: 5 hours

Roofs and floors are critical parts of any building. Having inspected a property and made good any damage to the exterior you can give attention to these areas. In this course, you will learn how roofs and floors can be repaired or renovated in an old building. Includes detail on different types of materials and a useful list of terms.
Duration: 4 hours

Determine the nature and scope of work required for a building renovation project. Any project can be disruptive for a home owner. The longer it takes to complete, the more disruptive it can be. For any project to be successful it should be realistically conceived, and its execution should be planned to achieve a useful outcome within the constraints of financial and other resources available, and with a comfortable margin of error. Learn How To plan your building renovation with us!
Duration: 3 hours

When you create something from wood, it can be very important to choose the right wood for the job; and to do that you need to understand and get to know the characteristics that differentiate one type of wood from another. In this course, you will learn about the scope and nature of carpentry. Understand how to differentiate between different timber products, and the appropriate use of each.
Duration: 5 hours

Many highly skilled carpenters and cabinet makers would be 'lost' without an array of hand tools which afford them a greater sense of control and precision over power tools. In other instances, there may be no power available to run power tools or it just might not be practical to do so. In this course, you will learn about significant carpentry tools and identify appropriate uses for each. Identify and manage risk in a carpentry workplace.
Duration: 4 hours

The joints in timber are very important. Those which are hidden out of sight in buildings such as in floors and ceilings are made to withstand the stresses and strains they will have to endure, and so the emphasis is on strength. In this course, you will learn about a range of different techniques for cutting wood in a variety of different situations. Describe and compare different techniques for joining wood.
Duration: 3 hours

Starting out in carpentry requires a good work area. Your workshop may be any area you designate as your chief area for storing tools and working on your projects. It could be a shed, the area beneath a carport, or a basement. In this course, you will learn how to get set up, then how to undertake a small carpentry project. Includes a list of potential projects suitable for beginners.
Duration: 4 hours

Timber is an organic material. It can shrink, swell and change colour in response to environmental conditions, and it can be prone to damage from pests and wood rots. Some timbers are more weather or pest-resistant than others. Timber that is vulnerable to termites, boring insects, and fungal rots should be raised off the ground or treated before going outdoors. In this course, you will learn about the construction of different things in an outdoor situation with wood; including fences, furniture and retaining walls.
Duration: 5 hours

Explain the construction of different types of small buildings which are constructed mainly with wood; including garden sheds, gazebos and cubbies.
Duration: 3.5 hours

There are many different ways to build a house and whilst any component such as the frame, roof, doors, floors and windows can be constructed from materials other than wood, most houses still contain at least some wooden parts. In this course, you will learn about the different uses of timber in the construction of housing.
Duration: 4.5 hours

There are many areas of life where some knowledge of carpentry may come in useful other than in terms of construction. For instance, there are times when carpentry skills can be used to repair broken items such as fences or furniture, or you may be able to modify an existing item. In this course, you will learn about a range of common carpentry tasks that a handyman may need to undertake in routine maintenance and repair work.
Duration: 4 hours

Finishing timber is an extremely important consideration which should not be overlooked. Timber which is out of sight, for instance timber studs used inside walls or the inside of the carcass of a chest of drawers may require no finish other than perhaps preservative. Timber which is visible may require finishing to prepare it for use e.g. timber flooring, or for aesthetics e.g. quality furniture. In this course, you will learn about a range of different techniques for finishing wood, including how to smooth a surface, and the difference between paints, stains, and varnishes.
Duration: 2 hours

For any new carpentry project no matter how simple, some degree of setting out is required. Setting out in carpentry and joinery in a workshop has traditionally involved both setting out the drawing, as well as setting out the timbers to be cut. In this course, you will learn how to plan a timber construction project.
Duration: 5 hours

Brick and stone are dense and durable materials. They are naturally quite fire-resistant in buildings depending on how thick walls are and what other materials are present. Most brick and stone construction doesn’t need to deal with smoke and fire other than to retard fire for a given length of time. In this course, you will learn how to build things that will be exposed to fire, including fireplaces, chimneys and barbecues.
Duration: 3.5 hours

Learn how to construct with brick, stone or concrete in a way which is structurally sound and appropriate to the circumstances. Above all, every structure needs to be built on a strong foundation whether it is brick paving or a house. Here, we shall examine some of the key methodologies underlying construction work.
Duration: 3 hours

Repair, renovation or maintenance tasks may be required for anything made with brick, stone or concrete. Although well designed and constructed masonry should last a very long time (even hundreds of years) with little or no maintenance, eventually any construction can deteriorate, or need changing to fit a new purpose. In this course, you will learn about different ways to repair masonry and apply finishes. Understand how stone, brick or concrete might be used for a primary effect including non-structural.
Duration: 4 hours

Whenever embarking on a construction project, your choice of masonry materials may be at first influenced by cost but there are other factors that should be considered too. It’s important to always recognise that different types of materials have different physical characteristics. In this course, you will learn how to undertake the construction of a small building project with brick, stone and/or concrete and understand the steps involved.
Duration: 3.5 hours

Cement is a binding material. It is the material of choice in building where it is commonly used in building construction, engineering and landscaping. When it is first mixed, concrete is pliable and can be shaped. Is it cures, it hardens. Hardening takes place because of a chemical reaction between water and cement. In this course, you will learn how to use cement as a mortar, or in concrete, appropriate to the circumstances of construction.
Duration: 5 hours

There are many ways that brick and stone is used in gardens and other landscapes, including garden walls, brick beds for plants, paving, barbecues, and structures like sheds, gazebos and follies. Masonry materials may also be used for sculptures and for any number of other creative constructions. In this course, you will learn how to use masonry in landscaping.
Duration: 4.5 hours

This course focuses primarily on clay bricks. Hardened bricks have been made from clay for over 5,000 years. In this course, you will learn how to work with bricks for different construction purposes. Includes material on types of bricks, laying bricks, and cutting. Also includes instructions for a variety of projects, including a brick wall and brick arches.
Duration: 4 hours

The stone which you use in construction may be purchased or gathered. It may be virgin rocks not prepared in any way for use, or it may have had some preparation such as cleaning, cutting, splitting and polishing. The type of stone products you choose to use will depend upon both what you want to use them for and what is available. In this course, you will learn about how to work with stone for different construction purposes. Includes material on cutting stone, retaining walls, and dry stone walls.
Duration: 3 hours

Learn about the materials, tools and equipment used for masonry construction, and the nature and scope of work that might be undertaken by those skilled in the use of those tools and materials. Definitions of masonry vary though. One definition may be the work undertaken by a “mason”. Some definitions describe masonry as working with clay or concrete bricks and stone. Other definitions may consider masonry as working with a more diverse range of materials including glass bricks, cob and ceramic blocks and tiles.
Duration: 2.5 hours

Most small system electricity generating systems require a bank of storage batteries to store the energy generated. A cell is a self-contained device used to convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. A battery can be one cell or a series of cells. In this course, you will learn about different techniques for storage and use of electricity. Includes notes on safety, a glossary, and explanations for different radiation types.
Duration: 2 hours

In relative terms, the cost of energy has decreased quite dramatically over the past century. In 1900, only 8% of American homes had electricity, compared to 99% in 2006. In 1900, electricity costs were approximately 10 times those of 2006. Energy consumption dovetails with population growth. In this course, you will learn how to better manage energy consumption and improve energy conservation.
Duration: 2 hours

How exactly do we change over to renewable or alternative systems? The simplest way to go green is to actively purchase green electricity or offsets from your provider, where possible. In many places this will incur a higher electricity cost, meaning the incentive is usually ethical rather than financial.In this course, you will learn about converting a building’s energy supply to an alternative system; how to investigate alternative and renewable energy options in your area; how to establish a potential plan for switching over to alternative energy.
Duration: 4 hours

Hydropower, or power from moving water, is an old form of energy generation for humans. Waterwheels are a simple form of this type of energy generation and capture. Yet there are many ways to generate electricity. In the past, these have been inefficient compared to producing electricity from coal. Recent innovations, however, have let us to return to greener energy generation methods. In this course, you will learn about different methods of generating electricity, including solar, hydro, and wind.
Duration: 3 hours

As we learn more about the earth, effects on the earth's climate, and alternatives to fossil fuels, scientists, social scientists, environmentalists, and activists may redefine meaning. Climate change, however, has driven interest and research into alternative energy such that its use is increasingly mainstream. In this course, you will learn about the nature and scope of alternative energy and how it is continually evolving.
Duration: 2 hours

Solar energy is electromagnetic radiation released by thermonuclear reactions occurring deep in the sun. The amount of solar energy received by the earth is very large and is responsible for the environmental features such as temperature, wind, rainfall, and more. In this course, you will learn about harvesting solar energy and study simple applications of solar energy in non-electric systems, such as in greenhouses and in hot water systems.
Duration: 2 hours

There are many definitions of electricity, each depending on context. A physicist might define electricity as charged particles, protons and electrons, with no reference to movement. A science teacher might define electricity as the flow of negatively charged particles moving through a wire.
An engineer might define electricity as the motion of electrical energy, where electrical energy is defined as the flow of charged particles. The only constant between definitions is that electricity involves charge. In this course, you will learn about the nature and application of electricity.
Duration: 3.5 hours

Modern society has developed to be heavily dependent on electricity as a universal currency of energy. Even a short pause in electricity supply can cause a lot of disruption in our everyday lives. It has become easy to convert other forms of energy into electricity, and then convert it back into another form of energy as and when we need it. In this course, you will learn about the application and operation of firewood and biofuels as energy systems.
Duration: 2.5 hours

Mechanics is the study of machines. A machine is made up of multiple parts, it is designed to take movement or force, and translate that ‘energy’ to perform a specific task. Machines have become so much a part of modern life that we can easily take them for granted. Most people don’t even give a second thought to how the machines they use are functioning; that is until they stop functioning. In this course, you will learn how different types of engines and motors work.
Duration: 2 hours

There are many useful measurements and mechanical principles that you can utilise in your daily life. These include an understanding of force, load, pressure types, specific gravity, and the concept of work. In this course, you will learn about the features that differentiate the quality and work capacity of engines from one another.
Duration: 2 hours

Engines can need a variety of systems to support their operation, including: Cooling systems to stop the engine from overheating; lubrication Systems to prevent wear and tear on moving parts (reduce friction between parts and allow movement with less energy loss); ignition systems provide a spark of electricity to ignite petrol; and transmission systems transmit power/movement from the point of production to the point of use (e.g. Wheels of a tractor).
Duration: 2 hours

Motors or engines are the core of any machine, taking a source of energy and converting it into movement. The movement created by an engine is typically a spinning shaft (or cylinder) which can then be connected to the machinery it drives either directly, with cogs, by gears or by drive belts. In this course, you will learn about different ways of converting the movement of energy in order to perform work tasks.
Duration: 2.5 hours

Many metals will corrode over time. Protection from air and water can slow or prevent corrosion. When a machine is neglected for a long time, its components can become severely compromised, perhaps to the point where it may be dangerous to start up the engine without first checking its structural integrity. In this course, you will learn about how machinery can deteriorate over time, and responses to both prevent and repair deterioration.
Duration: 2 hours

When machines are built well, operated properly and maintained routinely, they will perform at their best, and last many generations, if not indefinitely. There are machines that were built in the industrial revolution (i.e. 19th century), which still operate perfectly. Sadly though, a neglected machine will not maintain peak operation, and can deteriorate and become useless in a relatively short time.
Duration: 2 hours

Brakes are used to slow or stop motion by creating friction which is literally resistance to relative motion between two surfaces that are in contact. When designing a braking system it is important to look at the materials that are being used and the amount of pressure that is applied to these materials, in order for an effective braking system. In this course, you will learn about the mechanisms used to slow or stop any form of motion by applying force.
Duration: 2 hours

Building, maintaining and repairing machinery requires a well organised and equipped workshop. To choose the best tool for any job you need to understand all of your equipment options, the techniques for using that equipment, and what is needed to keep that equipment in good condition. In this course, you will learn about machinery workshop tools and equipment, and about their safe and appropriate use in maintaining and repairing machinery.
Duration: 2.5 hours

Most machines benefit from regular servicing. The term ‘regular’ however, is very subjective (i.e. based upon personal feelings); for one person regular may be monthly and for another, annually. There are of course variables that come into play (e.g. one person may drive a vehicle a lot more than another), but broadly speaking, schedules recommended by manufacturers should be considered very seriously. In this course, you will learn about routine machine maintenance and repair tasks, and how you can use them to improve your appliances and more.
Duration: 4 hours

Learn about the impact of building surrounds, including a garden, on the interior environmental conditions. The immediate environment surrounding a building can have a dramatic effect upon the health of people inside the building. Air, dust, and energy (e.g. heat, light, etc.) move into (and out of) a building from its surrounding environment. It follows that if the surrounding environment is of good quality, the environment inside the building will be better.
Duration: 3.5 hours

Cleaning products are one of the easiest ways to bring chemicals inside a building. Luckily it also makes them easily removed. Cleaning products are amongst some of the most hazardous chemicals you will find inside most buildings; this is why many carry hazardous warnings. In this course, you will learn about chemicals used in and around buildings and their impact upon human health.
Duration: 1.5 hours

Learn about the health implications of using different types of finishes, including sealers, paints, preservatives and stains. Many people would acknowledge that paints and other similar petrochemical-based finishes have the potential to be harmful. They may not however, realize the extent of damage that these types of products are capable of, or that all paints, even water-based paints can be detrimental to the health of those exposed to them.
Duration: 3 hours

Furnishings may be made from any combination of a range of different materials, including metal, plastic, timber, stone, glass, fabrics, and more. Synthetic carpets and rugs are made from acrylic, nylon and/or polyester fibres. They are also frequently treated with formaldehyde based chemicals. In this course, you will learn how to choose interior furnishings that are not likely to damage human health.
Duration: 2.5 hours

The way we use a building can have just as much impact upon the health of people, as the way the building may have been designed, built, and furnished.Indoor temperature control can have a large impact on human comfort and stress levels. Consideration needs to be given to best managing indoor temperatures. Similarly, maintaining air quality is an important factor in maintaining a healthy indoor environment. In this course, you will learn how to plan health-conscious management systems for interior environments.
Duration: 4 hours

One of the most common treatments for pests is the use of pesticides. Worldwide consumption of pesticides was at 2.6 million metric tonnes in 1995 and this is continuing to rise at approximately 1% yearly. While the majority (80%) of this is used commercially, the remainder is used by the domestic market. This equates to 520,000 tonnes used in households globally. In this course, you will learn about the health implications of using alternative methods of pest control in buildings and adjacent gardens.
Duration: 2 hours

Surveying an area of land involves determining gradients, boundaries, and location and size of major features on a site, in order to produce a plan which accurately depicts these and other such characteristics of that site. With this course you will learn about surveying, including basic principles and techniques, appropriate for horticulture and agriculture.
Duration: 3 hours

Earth works are one of the first tasks to be undertaken on any development site. Earth works simply means working on the earth; to change the shape or composition of the site. This is often a major job, requiring the physical movement of large quantities of soil, affected by both soil type and work method. In this course you will learn about when earthworks are required for an agricultural or horticultural site.
Duration: 3 hours

With constant technological advancements and in most cases improvements that are occurring these days, people in all walks of industry are often being asked to revise their machinery and manufacturing processes. Engineering efficiency is frequently being called into question. How do we judge when a process is outdated or inefficient? In this course you will learn to evaluate the effectiveness of engineering applications for improving work tasks in agricultural and horticultural situations.
Duration: 2 hours

There are many types of fencing available, and each has pros and cons based on intended use. Common materials include wire mesh, barbed wire, and wooden fence palings. In this course, you will learn how to determine appropriate fencing to use for different purposes, including security and restricting the movement of animals, pests or traffic, in agricultural and horticultural situations.
Duration: 2 hours

Machines allow many things to be done easier and faster than they would otherwise be done; increasing efficiency and productivity in an agricultural or horticultural enterprise. Yet mechanisation is beneficial if the cost of the machine is less than the cost of the labour. In this course you will learn about the operation of machinery commonly used to mechanise manual tasks carried out in horticultural and agricultural workplaces.
Duration: 2 - 3 hours

Doors, windows, roofing and other features need to be created and fixed to the mud walls. In the past, doors and window frames have been attached to the mud walls with wooden plugs. Today they are more often attached with nails or metal bolts. Another option is to tie these frames to reinforcing materials (e.g. wire mesh or barbed wire) which is embedded in the mortar between rows of mud bricks. In this course, you will learn to determine options for building each into a mud building.
Duration: 2 hours

After constructing a wall, it is scrubbed down with a stiff brush and water. Holes can be plugged and smoothed over at this point. The result will be a smoother, more even surface. The wall is still bare earth though, which can be dirty inside, and prone to damage from water outside. A coating can be put onto the wall to seal and overcome these problems. In this course, you will learn different options for coating or finishing the surface of a mud wall or other mud construction.
Duration: 2 hours

Stone buildings were often erected on rock surfaces. When foundations had to be laid, the building pit was first filled with water and the resulting horizontal lines were marked on the walls. he water was then removed, and the pit filled with sand up to the marks, and the foundation started from there. Luckily, we have many other choices and options to have our foundations made out of in today’s time. In this course, you will learn the requirements for the foundations of a mud construction.
Duration: 2 hours

Humans have been using composite materials for a long time in order to build our dwellings. Basic mud bricks are made by mixing earth with water, placing the mixture into moulds and then drying the bricks in the open air. Straw or other fibres can be mixed or added to the bricks to prevent cracking. The strength and longevity of a mud brick will be influenced by what you make it with, how you make it, and the eroding effects of water (rain) and wind that impact on it. In this course, you will learn about techniques involved in making a mud brick.
Duration: 2 - 3 hours

Owner builders should recognise that mud brick making is a labour intensive activity. house may require around 10,000 bricks, but a working couple would be lucky to average a production rate of 200 a week. The time depends on factors such as experience, weather, and other conditions. In this course, you will learn techniques involved in laying mud bricks.
Duration: 2 hours

Mud brick construction is common and traditional in some countries, and building this way is considered “normal” and “expected” by legal authorities. This is true because it is a durable and cost-effective method of building as well as that the materials and manpower is abundant in many areas of the world. In other countries, it may sometimes be difficult to obtain legal permission to build a mud building. In this course you will learn about some of the legal considerations which need to be met when building in mud.
Duration: 2 hours

There are many different types of materials used in buildings. These can include wood, masonry, ceramic tiles, plaster, concrete, metal, plastics, fibreglass, glass, glues/adhesives, paints/sealants, etc. These materials all have their own distinctive characteristics, some of which may be detrimental to health. In this course, you will learn the preparation process required before constructing with mud brick, such as permits, manpower, resources available, area and more.
Duration: 2 hours

Mud brick building is also known by the alternative name ‘adobe’. There are other ways of building with mud apart from adobe. Of all the mud building techniques, adobe or mud brick is the most foolproof. For the novice, there is not a lot which can go wrong if you choose to build with adobe. In this course, you will learn about the nature and scope of mud brick construction.
Duration: 2 hours

While mud brick construction is a significant way of earth building, there are of course, other forms of earth construction. Some mud brick buildings may even be hybrid constructions; incorporating one or more other construction techniques into the mud brick construction. In this course, you will learn a variety of mud construction techniques other than mud brick used in earth buildings.
Duration: 2 - 3 hours

Services can be provided to a mud brick building in much the same way as they are supplied to any other type of building. While the supply of services is an important part of any construction, the concerns here are not generally unique to earth construction. In this course, you will learn the major options for providing water, electricity or any other required services in a mud building.
Duration: 2 hours

Learn about the possibilities and techniques used for building with straw bales. Learn how to properly construct a straw bale house, which materials to use and how to avoid potential problems.