recently I was inspired by the film Betty Blue to paint lots and lots of houses pink. My cousin is gonna be really really pissed off when he sees his Monopoly set....LOL..
Wait, stop I was only pulling your leg.
This review is about how I did recently paint my humble abode.
On Tuesday I went to a leading DIY store and bought 14 litres of Mauve paint, 3 brushes (1 x 5", 1 x 2" and 1 x toiletbrush), 2 good size rollers, a paint tray and a comedy gnome for the back garden. He look like a normal gnome but he have his willy out instead of fishing rod. It really really funny.
On Wednesday I get up at crack of dawn (please note, no smut ridden jokes about sleeping with someone called Dawn, this a family friendly website. Besides, my wife, who I woke up with on Wednesday is called Fanny so no jokes there) and put on my special painting outfit.
I always like to wear my special painting outfit as it have many pockets for putting things and one special pocket with a hole in it for when I get bored. It also covered in lots of paint from old jobs so I feel more professional if I have to pop out to buy new brushes and what-not.
I cracked open the first tin and once I'd drained that proceeded to open the first paint pot, stuck my brush in and got started.
I did a brush-stroke up and then a brush stroke down and then a brush stroke up and then a brush stroke down and then put more paint on my brush and then did a brush-stroke up and then a brush stroke down and then a brush stroke up and then a brush stroke down and then put more paint on my brush and then started to get a bit bored and played noughts and crosses for a bit.
When I started to paint over the noughts and crosses and the pictures of comedy boobs I realised that I would now need to use several coats and swore a bit.
I carried on painting for many, many minutes and then spent 3 hours finding the right music to listen to that would inspire me to get the job done. Then it was lunchtime so I popped out to the local for a bar-meal (so much faster than cooking my own). When I got back it was getting a bit dark for painting and Fanny was asleep so I called it a day and had a little smoke.
On Thursday I made Fanny breakfast in bed (actually it was the remains of the full english pizza I'd brought home from pub the night before and then been a little sick on) and waited til she left before getting back down to work.
I realised that I'd forgotten to rinse out the 5" brush I'd been using the day before so I binned that and started work with the 2" brush.
I did a narrow brush-stroke up and then a narrow brush stroke down and then a narrow brush stroke up and then a narrow brush stroke down and then put more paint on my narrow brush and then did a narrow brush-stroke up and then a narrow brush stroke down and then a narrow brush stroke up and then a narrow brush stroke down and then put more paint on my narrow brush and then started to get a bit bored so I sent a text out to some of the lads to see if they wanted to come round and help out.
Uptake wasn't too good - Mickey the Finger said 'bollocks', the Sperminator (Nigel) was looking after his nan, Reg is still inside and Monkey Peter has a medical condition that precludes him from working with mauve paint (something to do with 'nam I think) and Trendy Bendy Wendy asked me to delete her number and stop harrassing her.
So I had a cup of tea and popped out to see who else was around the manor at a loose end. I tracked down Daisy Poppers and Larry Sphinx who obviously didn't want me to hang around too much due to their being engaged in sexual intercourse in Tesco car-park and they told me that Julian the Nonce probably didn't have much to do what with it being term-time so I tracked him down outside the Primary School.
Turned out he had a job interview down at the department store in an hour (or at least that's what he said - what kind of job involves wearing a big white beard and a red fat-suit?) but he did ask me to hold onto his stash of pills and blow cos his costume didn't have many pockets.
I said my goodbyes to the dopey bandit and hightailed it into the park to sample his wares.
Charged up and ready to rock and roll I ran down to the DIY store to pick up more brushes, more paint in dozens of pretty colours that shimmer and shake, a wheel barrow and a teeny tiny plant pot....
I paid for my goods, threw them all in the barrow and ran, ran, ran home, forgot why I'd bothered with brushes cos it all made sense now, music on full, blasting out, I stuck my hands into the paint and got stuck in, then I used my feet, my hair, man I enjoyed using my hair, I was like the freakin human paint brush you know, I picked up the pots,I threw the paint against the walls, I mixed and smeared and brushed and created.... I was an ARTIST man, I was on fire, I painted and painted and painted, I was Rolf frikkin Harris playing my feckin didgeridoo, I painted and painted and painted and painted and....
Fanny came home, hit me over the head with a frying pan and I woke up in A & E.
In case you have been living under a rock for the past 15 years, or your visiting from another planet ( in which case hello an welcome), basically DIY is the acronymn/term for "Do-It-Yourself". You know, all those jobs you should really have paid someone else to do, someone else who perhaps knows what they are doing!!
However, although not a new concept, DIY has blossomed in the past 15 years, and with the huge number of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) programs on TV, and wannabe "celebrity builders" and "DIY'rs" such as Tommy Walsh, Bob the Builder (if your 8) and the rough an ready Nick Knowles and his BBC gang from DIY SOS popping up almost as often as the irratating celebrity chefs, it is very little surprise that the UK has a huge active DIY retail sector, said to be a multi-million pound industry and growing.
However, as a novice how do you know what projects to undertake, or which are really a step too far. Which are cost effective, and which will cost you so much in special tools that you may as well get a proffesional in. Well in this review, I hope to share my experience, and knock together a rough guide, and hopefully save you from uttering expletives at the top of your voice.
DO - Know your Limits
It is fair to say, most DIY disasters are generally caused by being ill-prepared and/or by being too adventurous.
Firstly think about physical factors. If you were always the last to be picked for the school team, chances are your poorly coordinated or maybe just unpopular, but assuming it was the former, it is probably fair to say that you would not be the right person to be scaling a ladder, and walking around nimbly on a roof, or to be delicately erecting an aerial on a chimney. In addition, if you have fingers like tree trunks, doing basic electrical work should also be left alone. Which is generally a good idea, unless your qualified. OK you get the idea.
Next avoid critical safety items, it is illegal to work on gas systems without being qualified for a very good obvious reason. However it is not illegal to do basic electrical work, but as mentioned unless your clued up, it is usually left best to those who know what they'r doing. The same could be said about plumbing. Even a simple task such as changing a tap can turn nasty, not to mention coslty, if you don't know what your doing.
Nobody can better judge your ability than yourself, but "Caution" is a very good word for the DIY'rs volcalbulary.
DO - Plan your Project
Being well prepared is probably the most critical part of undertaking any DIY work. Ideally you should breakdown your project (no matter how simple) into individual identifiable tasks, and know what resources, tools (more on that later) and timescale you need for each.
An like any well managed project, you should identify milestones to achieving the task on time.
It is probably a good time to look at the cost to. The time to find out you can't afford that new kitchen, is not after you have taken the old one out. An you won't really know the full cost, until you have planned all the work that needs to be done. Purchasing the units, is only part of the cost, so its key to pay attention to costs early on!
I earlier mentioned critical systems such as gas and electricity. Although it is ill-advised and in most cases illegal to undertake this work yourself, you can still plan and task for this work to be done. For example as part of your room decorating project, you could set aside a task and budget for the electrical lights/sockets to be moved, an then "sub-contract" this to a professional. However it is still part of your overall plan, and something you should be planning and managing as a DIY'r.
What you are looking to do, is to ultimately plan things, so that the correct order is followed. For example, you wouldn't want to invite the electrician after you have painted the walls/ceiling. So once you have planned, run it all through again until you are sure.
Another thing to plan is research. If you have never used a paint roller, its a good idea to learn how to use one, before starting to decorate a room. Also the first time you learn to use a Circular Saw, it is probably not best to accomplish this on your dining room door.
DO - Check your Tools and Inventory
There is nothnig worse than starting a DIY job on a sunday afternoon, and suddenly discovering that despite meticilous planning you failed to notice that your drill is not charged, or the mitre saw you need is broken. So always check your tools before starting work.
Speaking of tools, for any DIY'r it would be a good idea to make sure that you have the following items, although not a definitive list, it is a useful rough guide:
-A Drill, one cordless, and one powered hammer drill for beefier jobs.
-A Circular Saw, for cutting thicker sections of wood.
-A Jigsaw, for cutting irregular shapes, or cutting laminate in lieu of larger tool.
-An Electric Plane, time saving tool to shave doors down to size, or to smooth of that sawn timber.
-A set of screwdrivers, both types.
-A Socket set.
-A pair (or two) of Mole Grips
-A decent set of Paint Brushes, and Rollers. (Paint pads are not worthwhile in my opinion).
-An assortment of Hand-Tools, such as Pliers, Hammers, a Rubber Hammer, and basic other hand-tools such as a Hack Saw and Files etc..
-Face masks, if your going to be stripping paint, or cutting laminate. LOOK after yourself, and use these protective masks!
-EYE PROTECTION, this is not a mistake, i have typed this in CAPS, because it is often overlooked, yet your sight is valuable, ALWAYS use suitable eye protection when using ANY power tools, and/or in other scenarios when debris may go into your eyes. Be cautious when it comes to your eyesight.
In addition, its wise to have a large selection of sundry items such as screws and nails in varying sizes, and a selection of wall fixing items such as rawl plugs etc. Many DIY stores do value for money selection packs which are handy for starters.
Also, it is advised to purchase the best tools that you can. Cheap tools, can lead to accidents, so be careful.
DON'T - Rush your Work
If you will not have the time, DO NOT start the task. The expression "less haste more speed", exists for a very good reason, and none moreso than when thinking of DIY.
Rushing to finish, is probably the second biggest factor when it comes to accidents at home, and is one that is completey avoidable.
Without sounding like an old wife (no offence to any old wives), another useful expression is "measure twice, cut once". Some DIY materials can be very expensive, so taking your time to get it right is the only option!
DIY can be a very rewarding pastime, it can save you a fortune in labour costs. However, it can also be a road to ruin.
My advice would be to plan any DIY project to the tiniest detail, and to work well within your judged capabilities.
It is also worth researching any ideas on the internet, and not just steaming into a project without first considering any problems that may arise, or calling upon the experience of others, who have been kind enough to share. Aim small, shoot high! Have fun!
sounds like an advert for b&q to me.....do you really think that the black mould problem has been solved? I don't think so.. the mould is flourishing behind the panneling..wouldn't like to try and remove the panels later to re-decorate or tile either.. no more nails seems a bit too permanent for me.
Why buy cladding that needs to be painted anyway? I thought the whole idea of this new UPVC cladding was to replace tiling and be more hygenic and decorative.
Let me see: DIY dos and don'ts. Well the answer to this question is quite simply DON'T. That is ofcourse provided that someone who actually knows what they are talking about can do it instead! No.1: Never tackle a job you know will either be dangerous or a serious bodge by the time you get to the end of it. It will only invite more problems later. Don't have the typical view that if the blokes on TV can do it then you can. It quite simply isn't the case! No.2: NEVER EVER wear a tie or rings when doing DIY especially when using heavy machinery or the more powerful tools on the market. Ties are a good way to lose a neck and likewise rings are a quick and easy way to never being able to use a games console or type quickly (terrible crime) No.3: “A bad workman always blames his tools” to this I say bollocks! A bad workman is most probably a bad workman because of the state of his tools (people will now think that I am a bad workman) I am not denying the fact that if you haven't got the skills the job at best ends up a bit messy. The moral of the story is not to attempt a job if you haven't got the right tools or do not know how to use them properly. No.4: Over-cocky workmen and flat-pack furniture don't go together, approach it with caution and beware that it is flat-pack for a reason- they didn't want to assemble it themsleves!?! No.5: Always be aware that DIY is a potentially dangerous. Never attempt DIY when in a sleepy state or when hungover! Have your wits about you at all times, or you never know, those old mistreated tools from the shed could bite back! If I have forgotten any please write a comment and I will add it as soon as possible. Until then safe DIY to you all!
I moved into my two bedroom flat about 18 months ago. It was fairly well decorated but the whole place looked like it needed a great deal of money spent on it, money I did not have. I set myself a budget of about £150 per room and set to work changing the flat so it was more homely and appealing. 1. Changing the lighting is a very cheap and effective way of transforming a whole room instantly. The use of Halogen spot-lights (usually between £15 and £60) to light your rooms make it cheap and versatile. Ikea has a great range of lighting which can be installed on tracks for either the ceiling or walls at £19 per pack (which includes 3 halogen adjustable fixtures, wiring track and trasnformer). Unfortunately replacement bulbs aren't cheap at £4.98 for two. 2. My kitchen was the prime problem but for £19 I got an aluminium look blind from Ikea and replaced the shabby curtains. The lighting was £49 for a 5 spotlight on a track from Ikea (it took 30 minutes to fit). Finally carpets tiles (£2.99 each from B and Q) completed the whole new look for under £100. People living in the block have since asked me to help them do theirs since it looked so good. The major thing to get rid off is any flourescent tubing immediately since it looks cheap and has harsh lighting. 3. In the bathroom simply placing blinds in the window (wooden slats at £49 from Ikea) plus new lighting (£19 3-spot lighting from B&Q - which now offers online shopping) changed the whole look and made it seem warmer). 4. The lounge and bedrooms received new curtains with metal tie backs from IKEA (£12 curtain poles, £15 curtains and £3 tie backs in silver with white curtains). 5. The hall had a budget of £50 which meant a cheap lighting track on the ceiling (£19) which looks fantastic plus stick-on square mirror tiles for the wall (brings in light and creates a feeling of space) for £6 each from Homebase - buy velcro sticking squares (£5) so they can
be removed easily and moved around. Good places to shop ------------------- 1. Online B&Q - great bargains and cheap delivery. www.diy.com 2. IKEA - often knocked but never beaten for cheap accessories to finish those rooms and give them a new look for little money 3. HED - Electrical supplier which offers 6 months interest free and delivery - www.hed.co.uk - excellent prices 4. Homebase - Pretty costly but the 'upmarket' DIY store with those things you just can't find elsewhere. Top Tip ------- 1. Use pastels and whites to create a clean looking home with maximum light and space 2. Subtle colours will help if it comes to selling 3. Use lighting where possible as it is relatively cheap and can transform rooms 4. Don't feel you need to do everything at once, get one room sorted at a time 5. Shop around and stick to your budget. Keep track when you are out shopping. 6. Take a friend for advice and to act as a sounding board STOP PRESS: For everyone that doesn't live near and Ikea - they have promised to build another ten over the next three years becuase they know there are too few. Look out for one near you soon. Hopefully they will be going on line before long.
I enjoy undertaking DIY projects and that is the most important aspect of any DIY task. If you do not enjoy it, then the probability is that you will most likely not do a very good job. I have listed below a few ideas that I hope will help anybody who is embarking on a DIY project. DON’T take on a project that is beyond your abilities, as it could end up as a very costly exercise if you later have to call in professionals. But, this does not mean that you should not tackle big jobs. DO look at any project you are planning and break it down into small tasks and ask yourself can I do that. If you answer yes to every bit then go for it. With a whole collection of small tasks a project does not seem so daunting and it is satisfying as you complete each part. (Remember you can only eat an elephant, one burger at a time). DO make sure that you have some safety equipment. Gloves and goggles are essential for almost every DIY project, and a dust mask and strong shoes and boots are also a good idea. I know we are all indestructible, but accidents do happen and hospital A & E centres are full of DIY enthusiasts every weekend. DON’T tackle a DIY project if you are not sure if you can afford it. Almost every project costs more than you expect and it is not very satisfactory if you have to leave a project half completed until you have some more spare cash. DO have heavy materials delivered. If you are undertaking a project that requires some heavy items, such as timber or building materials then I highly recommend that you pay to have them delivered. It may seem a saving at the time to use your own car, but it may be a false economy if you damage your car, with overloading or scratch the paintwork. Also if you have to load all the items onto a trolley at the DIY store, then load them into your car, then unload them when you get home, you will be worn out before you even manage to start doing any work. DON
’T be afraid to hire tools. Yes this will cost some money, but by using professional tools you really can save a terrific amount of time and effort. The cost of hiring is often not as dear as you would expect and most towns now have a hire shop of some kind. DO make sure that you have the majority of your materials before you start work. You do not want to have to keep stopping work and running off to the DIY store to buy more bits and pieces. DO have a plan. If you keep changing your mind you will find it much harder to achieve anything. Have a sketch, or a list of tasks that you can keep referring back to. DO allow yourself plenty of time. Most DIY tasks take much longer than you expect them to. Also if you find yourself getting tired then take a break. Tiredness can lead to accidents. Also, if you have a short break and a cup of tea you will feel ready to carry on with extra enthusiasm. DO read books if you are not sure how to tackle something. Every bookshop will have stacks of DIY books and most local libraries are also well stocked with books on DIY. DO buy the best tools you can afford. Good tools will last for years. Cheap tools may break and certainly will not make a job any easier. DO try to limit the mess. Every DIY project seems to involve a lot of mess and it does not please partners when this mess is transferred all over the house. Just remember little things like taking off shoes before walking around the rest of the house and don’t sit down on the best sofa with dirty work clothes on. Finally, please DON’T e-mail if it all goes wrong. I only want comments left from good, successful projects! PS, aching backs and muscles are nearly always the result of DIY work, but keep telling yourself that the exercise must be doing you some good.
I never thought that there was much to opening a paint tin....you know, you just get a largish screwdriver, lever the lid off, and there you are. But I just realised how much better it is to use two largish screwdrivers, position them about 45deg apart, and lever with both of them at the same time. This way the lid lifts easily, and it doesn't become distorted in the process. Then wipe the edges of the lid and tin with your brush, or with a cloth or tissue. Then when you come to replace the lid, it will fit perfectly and give a good seal. A simple point, but well worth taking a bit of care with.
A lot of my friends on Dooyoo have said that I would not do an op on a tap, so just to confound them, here it is. Last week the tap in my kitchen developed such a leak that even the floor was becoming wet. I decided that it hadn't in fact been my "in house " sprinkler putting a fire out (ahh-hmm), so I would have to replace the washers. Now, this doesn't mean B-rokscarrie and scattyredhead busy there washing the dishes even though they make a really excellent job in their ops, but in fact the fibre washers in the pipes under the sink which are connecting the hot and cold pipes to the mixer tap. It would normally be a case of disconnecting a few nuts under the sink, putting a few washers back within the nuts, re-tightening the nuts and hey presto, job done for 20p. Did this happen to me ?? In a word..NO. Firstly, good old dad came round on the Friday evening to help me. He has an abundance of tools compared to my veritable hoard of...1 screwdriver. Also, while he plays with the tools I can take up my normal position of holding the torch under the sink while having a ciggie and a Kronenbourg. At this point I must give a technical note to Sue26 (now Sue27), Kronenbourg is an alcoholic drink which I bought in France instead of my usual Stella Artois because this time it was cheaper, and the bottles were bigger. Anyway, we had to turn the water mains off. Scattyredhead tried, but the mains tap wouldn't budge, so off we all trudge out into the street armed with a large stop-cock key. What happened there ?? Well, there was about 10 kilos of mud covering it. Having pulled back B-rokscarrie from her enthusiasm to do it, I...offered dad who willingly dug the lot up to find, NU, the stop-cock was not the answer. So, back to the mains tap. Having loosened decades of tarnish, the thing eventually moved so that the water was off and the job could begin. Loosened the nuts under the sink and said tap was off..What d
id we find?..yes Washers 1 Tap 0 While the washers appeared fine, the moveable part of the mixer tap spout was beyond repair. Oh well, down to Focus Do-It-All, luckily open until 8 o'clock at night, and just up the road. Next problem, cheapest tap £29.99 !! Oh well, bite the bullet and buy it. The tap is a Chrome finish Cascade Deck Sink Mixer, for which the web site is www.bristan.com for more details. I will give more details of the tap as the job progresses but first, back home. However, in the car park I was most surprised to meet my former Ford Scorpio (see my op of June),. I thought this had been confined to the great scrap yard in the sky, but somehow the new owner had managed firstly to get it working, and secondly to escape before I could talk to him about it. Returning home, scattyredhead Very Usefully decided it was too late to install a tap so I ....got dad to cut the remains of a tree down in my front garden while I did justice to a Kronenbourg (remember that Sue26 ??) and cleared all the mess away. Never one to waste time me !!! The next day dad returned with half a hundredweight more tools. The first job was to assemble the tap. The tap is suitable for use at all supply pressures. Firstly then you identify all components and check for completeness. You then fit the spout into the body. Remove the grub screw before fitting the spout to prevent damage to the "o" rings, which can lead to a leak at the base of the spout. Ensure that the grub screw is replaced once the spout is fitted. Then, the idea is to fit the mixer tap to the sink using the gasket and backnuts provided. You then connect the hot and cold water supply pipes, fully open both valves, letting them run for a few minutes to flush the system and check all joints and connections for leaks. Well, you guessed it, the thing leaked again, from a different position. So, over the road to the plu
mbers merchants to buy some plastic backing plates which by now had been on and off the sink a few times with the original tap PLUS...some fibre washers. This time, only 42p Back to the tap, washers on the pipe and bingo, tap works !! In a word.....NO. Didn't work. Still leaking., So, back to the plumbers merchants for more washers. This time 75p. I come back, gave the washers to dad and...wrong washers !! So, back to the plumbers merchants to change said washers, and was given 50p back. Back to the tap, washers on the pipe and bingo, tap works !! In a word....NO..Didn't work. Still leaking. What next. Oh well, whole pipe under the sink was taken off and found very old washers were caught in the thread of the joints and were impossible to move. So, back to the plumbers merchants with the pipe to buy a replacement joint, this time a compression joint . This is basically approximately 2 inches of what looks like loads of nuts. Cost £1.75. However to achieve buying this we did have to explain English to the plumber to describe what was needed. What next. Well, back home again. The original pipe has to be shortened, so heat up the pipe on the oven ring and then the extension part in the end of the pipe will come out. Blow all this for a game of soldiers, half of another day has gone and mum is ringing up wondering where dad is because they are supposed to be looking at a new house, and want to move very soon. Luckily my mum has known me and dad for a very, very, very long time !! Anyway, pipe down to size, new compression joint on, new washers on, water back on, and it all works. Wow. Only problem is new tap looks so swish, I'll soon have to replace half of the kitchen to match it, perhaps another op. ?? At this point I was going to give you more technical details, but I've decided that B-rokscarrie, scattyredhead and dad and me deserve a drink, so anyo
ne that does want those details can E-mail me or leave a comment and I'll Doo my best. The final twist to the saga is that while all this was going on, my tenant decided Very Usefully it was time to hoover up and....managed to melt the brush bar of my Dyson !! How ?? Another op ??
Hello Girls ! Don't ever feel intimidated by DIY tools; I'm not..since buying a totally run down house nine years ago as I could not afford anything else, I have become the queen of the black and decker, the mistress of saw and the harlot of shelfdom! Even my old pine bed has been strengthened with the old 10cm x 2cm planks to stop that unnecessary wobble during crucial passion! How did it all start I wonder? Well, couldn't afford the odd job blokes and partner was not one for the odd bit of DIY tool-wise. So faced with massive quotes, I got myself down the library and on to some adult education courses in plumbing, wiring and woodwork. Every family birthday and Christmas present was focused on tools, occasional trips to the car boot sale provided a few ancient specimens and the good shop Wilkinsons yielded a few excellent and cheap hand tools such as a Sandvik Saw about 30 cms long that I have had for 8 years and has been a boon. Women need smaller tools that men to do the same job! What have I done with these tools? I've rewired most of the house to the latest standards, fitted a kitchen, laid carpets and lino including underlay, built retaining garden walls, decorated the entire house including fitting dado rails; properly mitered. I've even built a raised garden for my herbs as I am partially disabled and one day may need a wheelchair. The best tool ? Oh definitely my screwdriver set; bought for about £15 as a gift from a friend it has a gun shaped driver and six different heads that fit any screw I have ever found. The grip of the gun shape gives me extra leverage to reach awkward spaces and tighten things that would require powerful muscles with an ordinary driver. Next best is my little saw (mentioned earlier) and third place goes to my metal claw hammer bought from Blackpool market for £1.00; excellent value and virtually indestructable. I did most of the work at weekends and after work; the hardes
t job was fitting an artificial wall over an unusable cupboard using plasterboard; Girls, you have to get your own plastering trowel for this and its like trying to ice a cake vertically; use enough water on the surface of the wet plaster and float the trowel over it like an icing spatula! If you use someone elses trowel, their personal style will have grooved the trowel and make your results messy... I do not know why this is, but it is true. In my toolbox I always have a selection of sandpaper....different thicknesses from hard sandpaper to fine glasspaper.....any woodwork mistake can be sanded smooth, filled and sanded smooth again so no-one needs to know! Also, don't fight with wood and nails if it doesn't work for you.....use "no-nails" type adhesive..... if you used this on your knicker elastic, this is never coming off! If you use screws to join wood etc, one of the gun=type drivers will beeasier, or if you have a birthday coming up, ask for an electric screwdriver.... so useful for almost any joinery job! Hope I've stimulated a few thoughts on this; join me in your opinions on women and DIY !
As you will soon discover DIY is not my scene. As a tenant I had never had the occassion to do any interior work as it was always the responsibility of my landlord. That has changed since I have purchased my home and I have found, to my horror, many tasks to be carried out to make it comfortable. My sister in law moved in and that has led to a quick fix in the spare bedroom. The main job was to put cornicing up along the ceiling. This was a difficult enough job without the additional problem of the plaster sold to fix it to the walls refusing to do its job properly. No sooner was the piece held in place than it fell with a thud to the ground. The container we had purchased should have been enough for 12 meters of cornicing, but we managed to use it on 8 meters. Since B&Q were six miles away I shot out to the local shop to ask if they sold any. There I was informed that the stuff they sell specifically for the job was not the best item for the task. "Forget about the plaster, use artex" was the advice given. This I had to do as I needed to finish the task that day. I have to say that I am so glad to have followed the advice. Artex is so much easier to apply, the cornice is easier to fix into place and it bonds quicker with the wall and ceiling surface. Since artex is thinner than plaster it also oozed out easier and filled the gaps. Life with artex was so much easier. This was a great piece of advice that I felt should be shared
Here's a few tips for avoiding having really unpleasant things happen to you or your house. Some of these may seem obvious, but judging by the previous occupant's DIY efforts on my house...... evidently some people could use some advice. Being safe: Lots of accidents happen in the home. if there are safety instructions on a product, tool, ladder, or similar, read and follow them. They are there for a reason. Make sure you know how to safely dispose of left over paint and the like - don't just pour it down the sink. Be aware of electricity - find out where there are wires in the walls and don't drill into them. If you are working with a ladder, get someone to hold the bottom of it. Take precautions - dust sheets on furniture, newspaper on floors, overalls on people can save a lot of swearing later on - its worth setting up an area so that you can work in it without messing it up. Don't take short cuts - the previous occupier of my house didn't bother to get all the wallpaper off the wall before adding a new layer of plaster. Needless to say, the whole lot is now falling off. Do things properly - give as many coats as it says you need, use the right tools. It's worth spending a bit of extra time and money to get the job properly done. Buy from someone reputable - good material makes for a good job, if you buy cheap, shoddy stuff you will only have to replace it in a little while. It's worth getting it right the first time. Don't risk it - if you don't know how to do something, get a professional in. Better to pay a small amount now than a large amount for someone to fix your mistakes. If you are not a plumber, leave the pipes alone. If you know nothing about electrics, don't fiddle with them. *************** DIY things you should do. Maintain your environemnt - wood needs painting regularly if it is to remain water proof. This includes w
indows, sheds, and fences. Clean out your gutters to avoid clogging. Painting and decorating. Remove plants growing through your drive. Damp proofing sometimes needs redoing - check yours. watch out for crumbling mortar - get your bricks erpointed if th cracks begin to show. The small things can be vital to the wellbeing of your house. Being more adventurous: If you want to make something, be it a shelf, a cupboard or whatever, measure carefully to find out how big it should be. Allow for the thickness of the wood (an oh so easy mistake to make) Use the right tools - using the wrong tools as a shortcut can make all sorts of messes. Use a spirit level to make sure things are flat. Check that your right angles are indeed right angles. Ideally, get some sort of pattern or instructions to work from - modifying a plan is better than starting from scratch. The biggest problem with DIY is the temptation to do it all now. If you take your time, work slowly and methodiclly, then the odds of something going wrong are much smaller. ****************** Things not to do - taking out walls. Unless you really do know what you are doing - you might damage the structural integrity of your house. Try to build stairs - these are beyond difficult, it's much better to buy staircases. Do not use paints that aren't emulsions on your walls -you will never be able to cover them up or get rid of them. Don't use interior paint outside - it isn't waterproof. Don't glue your wallpaper to the wooden door frames, it looks silly. Don't put pollyfilla in wood, or put cement in wood, as both will cause the wood to rot. Don't move into a house that has previously been owned by a DIY enthusiast with no sense at all.
Have you noticed how PVC WINDOW manufacturers all claim that their products are all maintinence free, Well don`t believe them. Here`s 1 problem that crops up and how to fix it. STIFF WINDOWS. One of the major causes of STIFF WINDOWS is that over time dirt and grime collects in your hinges. To keep your hinges working in top condition make a point of spraying a small amount of WD40 into the hinge. This will also help the hinge to glide smoothly along its track. Another solution which you should check out at the same time is :- 1: If you look at the track in which the hinge slides, you will notice a small BLACK plastic box. In which you will see a brass coloured screw. This screw adjusts the ease with which your hinge will open and close. ANTI-CLOCKWISE : Makes it easyer. CLOCKWISE : Harder. N.B. most wooden windows now use the same hinges as their PVC counterparts. The next time you open a window, have a look.
Magnetise your screwdriver bit it makes screwing a pleasure not a chore.;o) Buy a cordless drill with two batteries it saves time. Use a reverse toothed jigsaw blade. It drives the sawdust downwards, so you can see what you are doing and gives a neater edge. "Discover paint-pads they are faster and give a more even finish." I wrote this having spent ages using kitchen and bathroom paint on Super Fresco (embossed blown vinyl)on flat walls. The paint-pads worked a treat, covering better than a brush in half the time. HOWEVER as someone has commented, if you've got to gloss paint a Victorian panelled door I can see you reaching for a brush to do the mouldings. A good tip on painting window frames next to the pane - use a 2" brush edge-on rather than a narrow one - it doesn't flex and bend so much, hence less on the glass and more on the frame. Buy decent single power screwdriver bits. They last longer without going ragged. Avoid cheap sets. Stanley are good. Avoid quick drying paints and varnishes. They don't give a quality finish. Many are water based and no good on metal.
We recently moved into a modern house thinking that we would not need to do anything to it. This was particularly attractive to us having lived in a Victorian Villa for 5 years which needed constant attention to keep it looking presentable. I often likened it to the Forth bridge – as soon as one operation was completed there were two more waiting in the pipeline. Bit like the NHS in some ways. But I digress…… It took some time to get used to our much smaller surroundings , we kept falling over the dogs who insisted on laying in the doorway just in case it was walkies time. We also fell over the furniture as we had far too much but I could not give it away. If it wasn’t pine – no one wanted it!! Know what I mean? The ceilings were so low that even I started ducking & I’m only 5 ft and was in danger of winning the Quasimodo look-alike competition. But we didn’t need to do anything to the house did we? Oh yes we did; it wasn’t long before I noticed that the wooden cabinets in the kitchen were looking very dated (the house is ten years old) but you could see my husband going alternately red and blue around the throat at the thought of a NEW KITCHEN. That’ll costs thousands that will – he said. No way – he said. What’s wrong with it anyway – he said. You could see that real panic was starting to set in. No, no, I said, I’ve seen it on the telly – you can paint the units and get very good results – that’ll brighten it up. The colour started to return to his face, a couple of cans of paint – well, that’s not so bad – plus the primer I said. You have to prime the surface first so that the paint will stick. After letting him have a few days to get used to the idea we trotted off to the DIY shop & bought the paint & a stencil kit so that I could add my individual stamp to the finished effect. Well, he took his time
& gave the doors 3 undercoats and 2 topcoats using a roller where possible & it looks great. No tell tale brush marks – looks very professional and the sunflower stencil gives it an air of je ne sais quoi! We replaced all the handles with stainless steel one’s which we got from MFI at a fraction of the price of the same thing in B&Q. We had to order them but they arrived on time & with free delivery. The addition of a new stainless steel cooker & hob which was necessary as the old cooker was really past it’s prime – and we had a very up to date, modern kitchen & probably saved at least £2000 on units. The finishing touch was ceramic floor tiles which we did get from B & Q on special offer at £5.99 per box. A real bargain & so easy to keep clean with two hairy wet dogs. Here I go again , sorry. Then came the can’t doo – A few weeks later and the sitting room was beginning to get me down – it was always so dark as it is in the back of the house which faces north. The one really sunny room is the dining room which faces south but it is only ever used on high days and holidays. Those that may have read my other ops will know that I suffer from depression and light is very important to how I feel so I waited for the right moment and then suggested that perhaps we could knock a hole in the wall and put in double glass doors which would filter the light into the sitting room. He looked at me – disbelievingly at first,you are joking he said but he could tell by my expression that I was very serious. Like the trooper he is, he went over to the wall and tapped it in a very professional manner; shouldn’t be too much of a problem he said –I think it’s only stud work – I will check with Paul. That’s his builder mate and what he doesn’t know about building isn’t worth knowing. Paul duly arrived – tapped the wall and agreed that it was a relatively easy job and he would h
elp knock it down and do the plastering as that skill had not yet been mastered by my other half. The day arrived for the demolition, I went out for the day & wasn’t that a good move. After attacking the wall with great gusto for several minutes they discovered that it was, after all, a solid wall and urgently required propping up if our bedroom was not going to become part of the dining room. Apparently the plaster board had been laid either side of the blocks, with a gap between which made it sound hollow - what a shock! The moral of this tale is to make sure that you know exactly what you are taking on before you start and leave it to a professional if you have any doubts! This was not a job for a DIYer and could have proved to be very expensive. Luckily Paul could lay his hands on the necessary props and by the time I came home the doors were being fitted. They look great and the sun ( when it does shine) finds it’s way into the sitting room lightening not only the room but also my mood. I wonder what the hall would look like if we tiled it ????????
Let’s face at some point in their life just about everyone fancies themselves as a DIY expert. In most cases this is before they have actually done anything. I have just spent the last five days decorating my future mother in laws bathroom. Before I started I considered myself as a DIY enthusiast. I had not done a great deal of DIY apart from the odd lick of paint or fixing the garden gate. I longed for the chance to go wild and do a room as I chose and how I liked. I was prepared, I read leaflets telling you how to do things and to me it looked pretty easy. I thought it would be a doddle and not take long at all. We first of all toddled off to Homebase and Do it All. We spotted some tiles we liked just about straight away so in the trolley they went. We got some chisels and a hammer to remove the existing tiles and a few more bits and bobs and off we went. I dressed in some old clothes and set to work. The first tile came off easy and I immediately relaxed. Then I was amazed at what I saw next. No it wasn’t a nice smooth flat surface underneath, it was a hole, a big hole. The plaster was coming off in my hand. I quickly moved everything away from the door encase I had to run out and escape the crumbling walls. I was beginning to fear for our lives after all. Okay so maybe I am exaggerating a little bit but saying it was bumpy is definitely not an understatement. There was no way on this earth we could put tiles straight on to this wall. We were going to have to go about it the hard way. Off we went back to Homebase to get some plaster. We also got some more tiles as we had realised our five packs were not going to cover our desired space. Unfortunately there were not any more of the ones we wanted in stock so we chose a different colour and decided on making a pattern. We spent a whole day with the plaster trying to revive the wall. It was impossible to get it completely straight so we began to live with t
he fact that some of the tiles were going to be uneven. When we started on the tiles we began with the flattest wall. It didn’t seem too hard and after half an hour I was pleased with what I had done so far. I then got to the edges. We had to cut the tiles to size. No worries I thought we had bought a tile tool set which had a tile cutter in. I began with the first tile, measured it to size and scored it. There was not even a mark. I followed the instructions and all of a sudden there it was SNAP. Finally I thought, but then I opened my eyes and the tile was ruined. It had snapped in the wrong direction. Disgusted with my self I got my fiancé to show me how to do it. It didn’t take long before we had another casualty. This cutter was useless. There was nothing else we could do but go again to Homebase. A tile cutter seemed a harsh investment especially at £30 but we had a lot of tiles to cut and they had to be straight so in the trolley it went. Luckily it worked and soon enough I was cutting the tiles to the size I wanted. Happy with our purchase I carried on. A couple of hours passed and I began to pull my hair out. I was cursing the bumpy wall and struggling to get the tiles even. They were heavy and the tiles kept sinking down the wall. I tried my best and after another day of hard work and no contact with the outside world (apart from the odd trip to Homebase) I managed to get all the tiles on. I left my fiancé to do the grouting. Today we have spent some time putting on the first coat of paint. The tiles do look quite bad but at least we can say we tried. After writing my experience I will try list some Do’s and Don’ts. DO ·Write a list of everything you need before you go to the shop. This will save many trips backwards and forwards to your local DIY store. ·Get too much of everything. It is always better to have too much of something than not enough. You may fin
d that if you go back to get more paint, wallpaper or tiles that you want they may be out of stock. If you get too much you can always take it back afterwards. ·Be patient. Don’t expect to get it finished over night. You always have to wait for things to dry before the next stage so you cannot do it all in one go. ·Be Prepared. You will probably come across many obstacles on the way and you have to be prepared to do different things to what you first planned. ·If you can afford it get someone else to come and do it. A professional will do a better job than someone who has never done it before and if you have got the money it will definitely be worth it in the long run. DON’T ·Get too carried away. It is easy to get carried away especially when walking round a DIY store and seeing what they have to offer. Don’t pick anything that is going to be too hard, especially if you are a beginner. ·If you know your wall is in a bad state I suggest you stay away from tiling. If you have not got a straight wall you will encounter many problems and may be disappointed with the final results. We have yet to start on the floor but I will let you know about the disasters we come across there. My future mother-in-law has spent a fortune on this room and we are hoping we can get it looking good for her. I think if we had an even wall to begin with we would not have had as many problems. If you insist upon doing your own bathroom I wish you all the luck in the world. Good Luck!