How To

  • Here, we'll guide you through the process step by step, ensuring a successful window installation. Tools and Materials You'll Need A replacement new window – naturally - safety goggles and gloves, Screwdriver, pry bar, which is similar to a crowbar, a measuring tape and a level You will also need Shims - Shims are usually evenly spaced at the bottom, sides and top of the window. Shims at the bottom of the window also carry the weight of the window. These must be spaced according to manufacturer instructions to distribute the weight so the bottom of the frame is not distorted Don’t forget you will also need a caulk gun and silicone caulk, insulation foam, nails or screws and a hammer or screwdriver (depending on fasteners). Step 1: Safety First Before starting any DIY project, prioritise safety. Put on your safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands throughout the installation. Step 2: Remove the Old Window Carefully remove the interior trim around the old window using a pry bar and screwdriver. Set the trim aside, as you may want to reuse it later. Using the pry bar, gently remove the old window frame from the opening. Clean the opening and remove any debris or old caulk. Step 3: Measure and Prepare Measure the width and height of the window opening at multiple points to ensure accuracy. Check that the new window's size matches the measurements. If necessary, trim the window or adjust the opening accordingly. Apply a bead of silicone caulk around the inside perimeter of the window opening. This will create a seal to prevent drafts. Step 4: Install the New Window Carefully position the new window in the opening, ensuring it's cantered and level. Insert shims under the window to provide support and to keep it level. Use a level to check for evenness. Secure the window in place by driving nails or screws through the frame and into the surrounding wall studs. Be cautious not to overtighten and distort the window frame. Apply a second bead of silicone caulk around the exterior perimeter of the window to seal any gaps. Step 5: Insulate and Finish Fill any gaps between the window frame and the wall with insulation foam. This will enhance energy efficiency. Reattach the interior trim, securing it in place with nails or screws. Clean any excess caulk or foam for a neat finish. Once everything is secure, apply a final coat of paint or stain to the trim to match your interior. Step 6: Test the Window Operate the window to ensure it opens, closes, and locks properly. Check for any drafts or air leaks around the window. Congratulations! You've successfully installed a new window, adding both functionality and aesthetic appeal to your home. Properly installed windows can improve insulation and save on energy costs, making this DIY project a valuable investment in your home.  
    25 views Sep 18, 2023
  • Obtain Necessary Permits and Permissions Check with your local authorities regarding zoning regulations, building permits, and any other legal requirements for adding a structure to your property, but if you do not feel confident then give me a call Design and Planning Determine the purpose of your garden room (e.g., home office, guest room, gym) and create a detailed design. Decide on the size, shape, and layout of your garden room. Consider factors like insulation, heating, electrical wiring, and plumbing if needed. Plan the foundation, which can be a concrete slab, deck, or concrete piers. Gather Materials and Tools Make a list of all the necessary materials and tools required for construction. Common materials include timber framing, insulation, cladding, roofing materials, windows, and doors. Site Preparation Clear the area where the garden room will be placed. Level the ground and ensure proper drainage. Install the foundation according to your chosen design. Frame Construction Build the frame of the garden room using pressure-treated timber. Ensure the frame is level, plumb, and securely anchored to the foundation. Insulation Install insulation between the framing members to regulate temperature and energy efficiency. Wall and Roofing Installation Attach exterior cladding to the walls, considering weather-resistant materials like wood, vinyl, or metal. Install roofing materials, such as shingles, metal roofing, or roofing panels. Windows and Doors Install windows and doors, ensuring they are weather-sealed. Double-glazed windows are ideal for insulation. Electrical and Plumbing If your garden room requires electrical wiring or plumbing, hire a licensed professional to ensure safety and compliance with local codes. Interior Finish Finish the interior with drywall, insulation, and any other desired materials. Paint or stain the walls, ceiling, and flooring. Flooring Choose suitable flooring options like laminate, hardwood, or tile. Ensure proper insulation beneath the flooring. Heating and Cooling Install a heating and cooling system, such as a mini-split HVAC unit or a space heater/air conditioner, depending on your climate. Interior Design Furnish and decorate the interior based on your intended use. Landscaping Landscape the area around the garden room, adding walkways, plants, and outdoor furniture. Final Inspections Have the construction inspected by local authorities to ensure it complies with building codes. Utilities Connection Connect utilities such as electricity, water, and sewage (if applicable). Safety Considerations Ensure your garden room is equipped with smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and emergency exits. Enjoy Your Garden Room Once construction is complete and all inspections are passed, you can start using and enjoying your garden room. Remember that building codes, regulations, and best practices may vary by location, so it's crucial to consult with local authorities and professionals throughout the construction process to ensure safety and compliance. If you're not experienced in construction, consider hiring a contractor or a team of professionals to assist with the project.  
    35 views Sep 11, 2023
  • For your convenience we have listed 10 of the best “How to plaster a wall” blogs and guides and as we have no affiliations to any individual suppliers, it is for you to decide what works for you. Building Materials Company One of the better guides showing how to plaster a wall in nine easy steps       2. British Gypsum As one of the country’s leading manufacturers this How to guide is obviously aimed at its own products but also gives a more general guide to all types of plastering and may be better suited to the beginner.         3. Homebuilding and Renovating This is a more interesting guide as it tries to give useful tips covering a range of different plastering challenges.          4. DIY Doctor This website readily acknowledges that plastering can be difficult but concentrates on the finished job, the actual final coat or skim, which obviously has to look flat on completion.           5. Dave’s Tips We like this site as it really tries to appeal to the beginner. Dave is an experienced plasterer and reckons it’s easy – but then it probably is for him.            6. Able Skills This is a site that assume you have never plastered a wall before and really does get down to the basics. We all know of course it’s not as easy as it’s made out – but well worth a look.          7. Real Homes This is advice for those of us who live in old homes. Plastering is a more of a challenge in such buildings and this is where you will get the best tips if you have an older property.          8. The Spruce Keeping on the theme of old homes The Spruce takes it one stage further by discussing plaster and lath. If your home features such walls and ceilings then this is for you.             9. Artex Ltd Probably one of the biggest plastering challenges and a throwback to all those 80’s style properties this How to guide shows you the best way to plaster over Artex. Good luck.             10. Dummies Finally in our top 10 and the one that most find easier is a guide to how to repair cracks. These easy to follow instructions are worth a look.
    3,010 views Dec 13, 2018
  • Once you have planned where your shed will go you need to make sure you have all the right tools and products to complete the job such as: Pegs and string Building sand Standard cement Timber for base formwork Tape measure Spade Sweeping brush 1. Prepare the base When you do this allow enough distance from hedges or fences for easy access to all sides. Use the pegs and string to mark out a base 2” (5 cm) larger than the area of the building on each side. Make sure the area is square by using a level diagonally across the area 2. Pay attention to the hardcore Ensure that you have at least 3” (7.5 cm) of compacted hardcore underneath a 3″ concrete layer. The base can be level with the ground or raised above it. If you want it to be level, dig to a depth of 6” (15 cm), to allow for the hardcore layer and 3” (7.5 cm) of concrete. Level the area with a rake and spade and remove the pegs. 3. Make sure it’s level Measure, cut and fit timber to the shape of the base in order to contain the concrete. Check diagonal measurements to ensure the formwork is square and level as this will determine whether your shed base is 100% sturdy. Spread the hardcore and cover with a good level of sand. Ensure it is well compacted and flattened using a compacting tool or roller. 4: Next the concrete Mix concrete using one part cement to five parts all-in-one ballast, or use bags of dry-mixed concrete and just add water. Be careful not to add too much water as this may make the cement too runny. Spread the concrete evenly and slightly above the formwork. This can be then levelled off with a long straight edge of timber resting on the formwork. Use a sawing motion slowly over the entire surface of the freshly laid concrete. In extreme weather conditions – both hot and cold – ensure that you base is covered to allow it to cure slowly, minimising the risk if shrinking or cracking – and there you have it – the perfect base for your new shed. You could of course then decide to build your own shed but as we discussed earlier – why would you want to when there are so many brilliant alternatives that have been prefabricated offsite and ready to be place on your new base. Talk.Build never makes recommendations but as a starting point you might want to visit:  Sheds
    2,910 views Jul 30, 2018
  • We have seen many different types of architectural software over recent years and while it seems that most do very good jobs there have also been many adverse comments that products are not delivering. Understandably most professionals are confused with the wide range of products on offer. Many look at niche options which do not quite hit the mark but with the right software and a modern computer, the entire plan of a building can be rendered and checked for structural and design flaws before it even leaves the drawing board. This is more efficient, less wasteful, and a lot more convenient as well. BIM Modelling has also demanded that architects design and produce in both 2D and 3D and as a result there have been major development in design software which allows professionals to draw and visualise house floor plans more quickly and easily One such company, Elecosoft, seems to have gone further than most with its own bespoke package, “Arcon Evo”, which combines visual design, professional CAD capabilities and clear project execution in a single program. The new software also offers an extensive range of architectural CAD tools for all aspects of building design allowing architects to construct to the smallest level of detail. It also produces detailed plans, automated 3D models, elevations, section details and working drawings and much more. At the front end it will also generate detailed drawing sets for planning applications with many additional features which many of my colleagues in the trade press are endorsing as a major leap forward. To some extent I guess I am doing the same but rather than list all the benefits, which can be seen on the company’s website – the link is featured at the bottom of this article - I am more interested in how architects themselves have responded. In the past, as mentioned earlier, we have seen many different software packages which all claim to bring architects and building professionals into the 21st Century but have failed to deliver when it matters. According to the professionals “Arcon Evo” does exactly what it says on the tin and is more than capable of producing detailed 2D and 3D designs and it seems a whole lot more. Guess it is down to our readers to decide. Visit:
    3,559 views Jul 26, 2018
  • Once water begins to come through the roof most sheds, by the very nature of their soft wood structure, quickly rot and if remedial action is not taken then most will soon be looking for a replacement. Replacing a felt roof is not as hard as it looks and only requires basic DIY skills and a little help from a friend or neighbour. Simply follow these easy steps and your shed will be as good as new. You will need at least half a day to complete the project and will require Shed Felt, Roofing Felt Adhesive and Clout Head Nails. Make sure you also have the right tools such as a tape measure, sharp knife gloves, an old cloth, straight edge hammer 2” or 3” and a disposable paint brush. Before you start clean and tidy up the surrounding area, including the floor. To ensure you are properly prepared for later, unpack and roll your shed felt onto a clean and dry surface. This allows it to relax or straighten after being rolled up. Roofing felt is harder to work at low temperature so try to avoid working with it below 10° or in wet or windy conditions. Prepare the surface of the shed roof by removing any old roof felt or nails. Ensure the surface is flat, clean and dry. If the roof is rotten or damaged, you may want to apply a complete new sheet of ply. Measure your shed by running a tape measure along the bottom of the roof (the eaves), and up the diagonal end (the gable). Write down these measurements (it’s easiest to use metric as shed felt normally comes in 8m or 10m rolls). Remember too that you will need the felt to overhang each gable end, and the eave of the shed by at least 50mm (so you need to add this to your measurements). Calculate how many lengths of roof felt are needed: The felt will be applied in strips, with each strip overlapping the previous one by at least 75mm. A final length sheet will be required along the ridge. Calculate how many strips and of what length you will need. Cut your roof felt to length: Using your straight edge and sharp knife, carefully cut your felt to the correct length (don’t forget to include the extra 50mm overhang at each end!) Nail on the first length: Position the first length of roof felt along the lowest part of the shed roof. Ensure that it overhangs the eaves and each gable end of the roof by 50mm. Nail along the top edge of the strip with the galvanised clout nails. Space the nails at 500mm centres. Fold over the gables and eaves: Starting at the centre of the eave, and taking care not to rip or tear the felt, fold the overhanging felt over the edge of the roof. Fix the overhanging felt using galvanised nails at 50mm. Fix the next length of shed felt: Take your second length of felt. Position this strip so that it overhangs the top of the first sheet by 75mm. Nail along the top of this strip at 500mm. Where the sheets overlap, apply roofing sheet adhesive using a disposable brush. Using a downwards brushing motion, firmly press the top layer of roofing felt onto the adhesive, taking care to ensure that the strip of felt does not ripple or crease. Nail in place at 50mm spacing along the bottom of the strip. Use an old cloth or rag to remove any excess felt adhesive. Continue to work up the complete side of the roof in the same method. Felt the second side of your shed: Repeat the same process for the opposite side of the roof. Fix the capping sheet: The roof should be finished with a capping sheet along the ridge. Place along the ridge of the shed so that it equally overhangs each side of the roof. Always ensure that it overlays the top strips of felt by at least 75mm. Apply roofing felt adhesive to the underside of both sides of the ridge and press the capping sheet into place. Nail along the bottom of each side of the capping sheet at 50mm intervals. And that is all there is to it to ensure that your shed continues to provides many more years of useful life. You can source the materials you need from most local builders merchants or go on line. You can click the link below to Amazon to a supplier that has a five star rating if you prefer to have materials delivered. Click Link for Amazon
    2,199 views Apr 25, 2018
  • Roofs, conservatories, balconies, terraces and walls are extremely prone to water penetration and left alone will ultimately result in major refurbishment. Until fairly recently construction professionals would use a variety of different sealants to tackle an equally wide variety of leak situations, but thankfully science has come to the rescue. There are several companies that have developed advanced ranges of waterproofing solutions that can be simply brushed or rolled onto surfaces, seeping into cracks and other vulnerable areas to produce a barrier, once fully cured, against even the worst weather. Many of these solutions are transparent and virtually invisible once applied which makes them ideal for all types of glass such as conservatory roofs and roof lights. They can also be used on terraces and exposed brickwork helping to enhance the colour of the stone while adding total protection. The good thing is that such solutions can be applied by without any special skills saving householders massive labour costs, but as in all cases, particularly when a leak is at roof level, it is usually best to call in the professionals. If you are planning to do it yourself then make sure that you have enough material; to complete the job. A 20Kg tin will cover around 25 sq metres of surface area depending on the thickness of the coating. Ensure that everything is cleaned up before any solution is laid to ensure maximum performance and ideally three layers should be used on the surface area. Coverage is based on application by roller onto a smooth surface in optimum conditions. Factors like surface porosity, temperature and application method can alter consumption. Installed correctly your roof, conservatory, balcony, terrace or wall will continue to giver many more years of service keeping out the worst of the weather.  If you are looking for such a product then why not check out Maritrans, which is available via Amazon.  Click here for Amazon
    2,296 views Apr 24, 2018
  • It is easier than it looks to build a raised timber deck.  Timber decks can be designed to meet most design situations. According to the Timber Decking and Cladding Association Desired service life options of 15, 30 and 60 years are given in European/British standards. It should be noted that 15 years is considered to be the minimum standard.  For new the NHBC insists on a 60 year service life in accordance with TDCA Code of Practice TDA/RD 08/01. Building a simple timber deck is straightforward and is considered less expensive and more environmentally acceptable than bricks or flagstones. The following step-by-step guide covers and is consistent with most of the basic applications to install timber decking and while these instructions are for guidance only please always remember to check with supplier specifications. Step 1: Make sure you plan in advance to ensure that boards will be flush with your frame. Prepare a level area for the framework by cutting the timber to the required length, then join using exterior wood screws. Check the frame is square by measuring from corner to corner and adjust if necessary Step 2: If you need to raise the frame, cut four blocks of timber to the desired height. Screw these to the inside of the frame at each corner, ensuring they're flush with the top. As these legs will be taking all the weight ensure you use at least three screws per block, Step 3: Place blocks or slabs underneath edge leg to spread the load and provide a level, stable base if your deck is sitting on grass or soil. Position and adjust checking the frame is level using a spirit level Step 4: Three joists are sufficient (one in the middle and the others at the centre-point between the edge of the frame and the centre joist) if you are building a small deck. Mark across one side of the frame first, then repeat on the opposite side. On larger decks, set joists at 400mm centres Step 5: Ensure that you measure across the inside of the frame at the joist marks before cutting lengths of the timber to suit. Fix the joists by tapping them with a rubber based mallet until flush with the top, then screw them in place from the outside of the frame Step 6: Support the joists with additional legs, spaced at 1m intervals. Follow the same method as shown in steps 2 and 3 for these legs, ensuring each is supported by a suitable block or slab Step 7: For the facing, measure the length of the outer sides of your frame and cut the decking boards to suit. Mark the cutting lines with a square to ensure a straight edge. Countersink the facing and screw to the frame, ensuring the facing is flush with the top Step 8: Now you are ready to start laying the deck. Measure across the top of the frame and cut a board to length. Place the first board flush with the outside edge of the frame and facing, and perpendicular to the joists. Mark the location of each joist on the board Step 9: Mark and countersink screw holes over the centre of each joist. Be sure to use a sharp countersink that will leave a clean hole. If necessary, drill a pilot hole to prevent splitting. Use at least two screws per joist for each decking board Step 10: Ensure you have a 5mm expansion gap between each board (as timber expands and contracts according to outdoor temperatures). Use a spacer to do this. Step 11: Continue the process until you have completed the job. There are many different sources for Timber Decking but we recomend the following link to AMAZON. Click here for Amazon
    3,425 views Sep 16, 2017
  • Horrible looking drains, manhole covers and inspection chambers appear in driveways and footpaths everywhere. You can even find them in the middle of your lawn or garden! How do you hide ugly manhole covers and drains?                     There are several ways to pretty up these ugly necessities but, however you choose to do it, remember that water utility companies require access at all times. If they cannot be accessed when required they will be dug up and not only will you receive a bill for doing so, you will also be left with the expense of repairing any damage. A much better idea is to (where possible) replace the existing industrial looking cover with a removable recessed (or inset) tray. Then you have the option to either blend them in with the surface or make a feature out of them. Recessed tray options A quick internet search will show you just how many different types of recessed trays are available – too many to mention here! You choose depending on where they are and what material you are going to fill them with. Basically they fall into two categories: Standard recessed tray Currently the most popular choice, made from polypropylene, aluminium or stainless steel and can be suitable for use by both pedestrians and vehicles. Permeable recessed tray This more recent option from EcoGrid provides a load bearing surface that features membranes and a perforated base which allows water to slowly filter through to the drain underneath. Infill options Another internet search will result in a lot of options for infilling a recessed tray. Your final choice will depend on where the drain, manhole cover or inspection chamber is and what the surface will be used for. Here are a few of the most popular infill options: Block paving or bricks These are common choices and can be cut to either blend in or contrast with the surrounding surface. Resin bound paving This is the most popular choice for the seamless finish - created by infilling the recessed tray with the same colour aggregate. You can also create contrast by using a different colour or produce a logo or design in the recessed tray. Using a permeable recessed tray with resin bound paving creates a fully permeable surface. Loose gravel Probably the quickest and easiest way to infill a recessed tray is with loose gravel, but it will inevitably scatter. The fleeing gravel will need regular sweeping and replacing and your lawn mower won’t like it much either... Grass Whilst sowing grass seeds into a recessed tray blends in with a lawn it can be awkward to mow and unless it’s sown in a permeable recessed tray, it will dry out very quickly. Of course you could opt for artificial grass… Plants and flowers Infilling with flowers and/or plants can help disguise unsightly drains, manhole covers or inspection chambers. You can also create a spectacular feature, but as with grass they will dry out very quickly unless a permeable recessed tray is used. Useful links: How to build a recessed manhole cover : An overview  from the Paving Expert. We strongly recommend clarifying ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance to drains, sewers and manholes. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: Follow us:
    10,287 views Sep 14, 2017