The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.

Building

Builders Accessories

Building Builders Accessories

Builders accessories including rubble sacks dust sheets and heavy duty bags. Dust sheets are a must for protecting areas while you're working. There's also a good selection of rubbish and rubble sacks making it easier to clear the site and keep it clean. Here you'll find other bits and pieces for building work that don't have their own category.

Builders Metalwork

Building Builders Metalwork

Builders and construction metalwork including angle brackets mesh ties and lintels. The range of metal brackets, straps and ties is almost endless. Strapping may be supplied in long lengths ready for cutting to size on site. Brick reinforcing mesh and bars may be used to strengthen brickwork. A wide range of decorative aluminium panels can be purchased. There are metal brackets available to suit almost every imaginable application.

Building Chemicals

Building Building Chemicals

Building chemicals including cement additives and water proofers, dust proofer pva and repair compounds. Chemicals are available for all manner of building and construction work from concrete and paving cleaners to mortar additives and colourants as well as repair compounds and waterproofers.

Building Materials

Building Building Materials

Building materials including cement, bricks, blocks, plaster, artex and heavy building products like sand, gravel, and plasterboard. Also included here are some of the premixed textured finishes, cavity wall ducts, and concrete lintels.

Cavity Boards and Trays

Building Cavity Boards and Trays

Cavity boards and trays for construction and building work. Cavity trays are designed to displace and divert penetrating water away from the cavity in brickwork to minimise the chance of water ingress into the building. Cavity boards often made from polyurethane and faced with foil are designed to improve the insulative value of the wall and to meet National House Building Council standards.

Concrete Mixers

Building Concrete Mixers

Concrete mixers and cement mixers for large home improvement projects. Concrete mixers can make light work of mixing and are particularly useful where larger quantities of concrete or cement mortar are required. Clean out after use to prevent build up drying and hardening inside the drum and on the blades. A range of sizes is available and they may be electric or petrol driven. For home improvement projects look for compact models which will be easier to move and store.

Coving and Dado Rail

Building Coving and Dado Rail

Plaster and polystyrene coving and dado rails plus adhesives and fixings. Traditional plaster coving is relatively heavy and may require temporary support when fixing whereas modern lightweight coving and cornice is easier to work with. Some have pre-made corner pieces overcoming the need to cut accurate mitres. Dado rails and other moulding and sections tend to be timber. A simple mitre box may be used for angles on these but a professional mitre saw will allow more accurate cuts to be made.

Damp Proof

Building Damp Proof

DPC and DPM. Damp proof membranes and damp proof courses plus bitumen paints and sealers. Used to prevent the ingress of water into buildings, damp proof membranes need to be both durable and flexible. Damp proof courses are typically used towards the base of a brick wall to prevent capillary action leading to rising damp. Damp proof membranes are typically laid before concrete bases are poured thus preventing water rising up through these from the ground below.

Decking Fencing and Gates

Building Decking Fencing and Gates

Decking fencing and gates plus deck and fence accessories and fixings. Decking can provide a great alternative to a stone or paved patio. Timber decking boards usually have a grooved side which allows rainwater to run off and can make them less slippery. Fence panels, posts, and timber accessories should be pre-treated to prevent them from rotting. This section also includes timber and metal gates as well as garden mesh.

Door Frames and Linings

Building Door Frames and Linings

Door frames and door lining kits. The door frame is the section of timber used to for the opening for a door and will usually be of sawn timber. The lining is the planed softwood timber section that we usually see. Linings are frequently referred to as the door frame and this causes some confusion. The lining may be painted or varnished to suit the decor. It is common to buy door linings as a set with the rebated joints between upright and horizontal pre cut making installation easier.

Doors

Building Doors

Flush panelled and glazed internal and external doors plus high security multi point lock pre hung doors. There is a huge range of doors to choose from whether it be for internal or external use. They may be solid timber, composite moulded, or veneered as well as uPVC. Traditional panelled doors may compliment period properties. Contemporary doors with hardwood veneered surfaces sometimes have detail lines set in made of a different wood. Glazed panelled doors will typically have toughened glass and this will normally be supplied with the door.

Drive and Drains

Building Drive and Drains

Drain and manhole covers for drives including block paving cover and patio drain gully. This section includes manhole cover frames that can accept block pavings to give a more uniform appearance to the driveway. Gulley strips and drain channels allow water to be routed off the drive and discharged. There are also drain and gulley covers to keep leaves and debris out which reduces annual maintenance tasks. Manhole cover lifting keys are also available.

Fascias and Soffits

Building Fascias and Soffits

Fascia cladding and soffit boards. Fascia refers to the upright sections of either timber or uPVC used in buildings to cap off the ends of the rafters. Soffits are the flat sections used underneath to trim the rafters. Traditional timber fascias and soffits are most common but the benefit of low maintenance uPVC has become very popular. It should be noted that replacing timber with uPVC may require planning in some areas particularly where the property is in a conservation area.

Garage Doors

Building Garage Doors

Garage doors - canopy and retractable up and over doors with secure multi-point locking. Garage doors come in a range of styles from ridged through to panelled. Modern materials mean that many are now considered almost maintenance free as they do not require painting. Look for doors which are pre assembled within the frame and ensure that the locking mechanism affords adequate security. Hinged up and over style doors may also be operated by remote allowing the door to be opened and closed from within the car.

Garden and Landscaping

Building Garden and Landscaping

Garden and landscaping products including chain link. All items related to gardening and landscape work are included here - ranging from planters and plant ties to water butts and decorative stone. Hard landscaping with different coloured gravels, slate chippings and stone can be an effective way of producing a visually appealing but low maintenance garden.

Glazing

Building Glazing

Glass glazing and polycarbonate sheet products. Acrylic glazing components are considerably lighter than glass and offer the DIYer a suitable alternative. Sheets can be used for many applications including conservatory and lean to roofs, secondary glazing and greenhouses. The toughness of acrylic makes it safer to use in many situations and it can easily be sawn, cut or drilled. It is also flexible making it easier to work with and less likely to break or crack.

Interior Cladding

Building Interior Cladding

Interior cladding V jointed wood and pvc. Cladding offers a simple and effective way of changing the appearance of a wall or ceiling. Decorative timber cladding using simple v jointed tongue and groove timber can give a warm appearance as well as increase the insulative quality. Wood cladding is usually varnished whereas uPVC cladding can provide a simple and effective, virtually maintenance free, solution. Battens are first fixed to the wall in the opposite direction to that required for the boards. Cladding is then fixed to these either with small pins using a hidden nailing technique or, using special fixing clips.

Joinery

Building Joinery

Builders joinery including wood radiator covers and cabinets. This section includes radiator cover kits which come ready to assemble. These can provide a great way of disguising unsightly radiators whilst still allowing proper air flow. You can also purchase grilles and screens which can be readily cut to the required size for making your own cabinets.

Patio and French Doors

Building Patio and French Doors

Single and double french and patio doors as well as bi fold and multi panel doors. Materials vary from traditional timber to modern uPVC. French doors tends to refer to a pair of hinged doors whereas patio doors normally refer to the sliding type which are mounted on a roller system. French doors are more suitable on period properties where style and character need to be retained. More and more people are opting now for multi panel or bi-fold doors which can be a great way of visually minimising the divide between garden and house. This obviously allows far more light in but, being able to completely open a room to the outside creates a great sense of space and is perfect for warm summer weather.

Paving Blocks and Walling

Building Paving Blocks and Walling

Stone and concrete paving blocks and walling including circle blocks and sandstone. There are a huge number of styles now for paving slabs and some of the imitation stones are particularly good. Basic slabs provide a cheap way of creating a paved area for a simple patio. Beyond that there are great options for hard landscaping which is not only low maintenance but can also be aesthetically very pleasing. Blocks are commonly used for driveways and paths and these create a more pleasing look than the old concrete slabs.

Plaster and Jointing

Building Plaster and Jointing

Plaster and plasterboard tape and jointing compounds and repair mesh. Jointing compound is used to fill and smooth out the joints in plasterboard. This is often referred to as caulking. Once dried it can easily be sanded smooth allowing boards to be painted without skimming first. Paper or self adhesive jointing gauze is used to reinforce the joints as they are caulked. This reduces cracking due to movement and drying.

Plaster and Render Beads

Building Plaster and Render Beads

Internal and external angle beads for plaster and render. Used to provide a rigid and durable edge to plastered walls at internal and external corners. Stop beads allow plaster or render to be finished where it terminates at foundations, openings such as windows and doors, or where there is no natural break point. Beads may be fixed with nails or set on plaster dabs - in this case, allow the plaster to set up before plastering up to them.

Roof Windows

Building Roof Windows

Roof windows, means of escape windows or MOE plus accessories and blinds. Velux or roof windows provide a simple solution to providing daylight in an otherwise dark loft room. They come as kits with the fixings needed for installation including flashings to seal between the window and the roof slates or tiles. Certain designs are deemed to satisfy the Building Regulations requirements for Means of Escape. The windows are usually pivoted and can be tilted sufficiently to allow cleaning from inside. Trickle ventilation is normally a built in feature.

Roofing and Insulation

Building Roofing and Insulation

Roofing and insulation products including cavity wall insulation and roof flashing. Insulation of roof spaces is an essential part of reducing fuel bills and conserving energy. This insulation boards with high low thermal transference values can be used to insulate between rafters on the underside of a roof where normal insulating materials would be too thick. These are lightweight and easy to install - often achieving the same insulation as twice the thickness of glass wool. This section also includes loft access hatches.

Sheeting and Accessories

Building Sheeting and Accessories

Corrugated and polycarbonate insulating roof sheets and accessories. Polycarbonate sheets are lightweight and offer the DIYer a suitable alternative to glass panels. Sheets can be used for many applications including conservatory, car ports, and lean to roofs. The toughness of sheets makes it safer to use in many situations and it can easily be sawn, cut or drilled. It is also flexible making it easier to work with and less likely to break or crack. Special fixings are used and jointing strips allow large areas to be covered.

Skirting and Mouldings

Building Skirting and Mouldings

Timber skirting boards architrave mouldings and beads including quadrant moulding and wood decorative trim. Skirtings are used to finish the bottom of walls and hide the junction between plaster and floor. Traditional styles such as taurus and ogee are readily available for many mouldings enabling period styling to be used. Simple chamfered sections are commonly used today and square sections used to create a contemporary look in older buildings

Stairs

Building Stairs

Stair and staircase components including handrail, spindle rail and newel posts plus balustrades. A range of stair components is readily available - replacement handrails, and spindles made from wood or metal. Complete pre made stairs suitable for new builds and for renovation projects can be purchased and provide a cheaper solution than custom made staircases.

Ties

Building Ties

Timber frame ties and wall ties for brick and block work. Ties are used for anchoring wood frames to brickwork or blockwork as well as for tying the two skins of a masonry wall together to provide increased lateral stability. Brick ties are usually shaped with drip points to prevent the passage of water from outer to inner walls. During construction, care should be taken to avoid mortar drops building up on these. The ties sit between courses and are built into the mortar joint. Special ties are available to overcome problems with mis aligned joints.

Timber

Building Timber

Wood mdf timber and planed softwood for home improvement and do it yourself projects. This section includes a wide range of timber and man made sheet materials as well as timber sections used in construction, joinery and home improvement work. When selecting timber, check for quality by assessing whether lengths are straight and show no signs of warping as well as being relatively knot free. Cheap softwood can be subject to twisting - particularly if it has been force dried.

Ventilation

Building Ventilation

Air bricks soffit vents and ventilation products. The importance of ventilation in buildings should not be overlooked. Lack of natural air flow - particularly in roof spaces and under ground floors can result in damp and condensation build up which will give rise to rot and damage. Building Regulation requirements for adequate ventilation should be adhered to.

Wardrobe Doors

Building Wardrobe Doors

Wardrobe and sliding wardrobe doors for do it yourself home improvement projects. Built in wardrobes with simple sliding doors can provide far more storage space than free standing furniture. By fitting tracks to floor and ceiling a very simple cupboard can be built that is functional as well as looking good. Doors may be wood, man made, glass or mirror finished. The more expensive types will have sophisticated sliding mechanisms allowing effortless movement of the doors.

Windows

Building Windows

Glazed casement windows and clear glass sash windows. Timber and upvc window frames, plus fixings and accessories are available for new build as well as renovation projects. Buying off the shelf windows is considerably cheaper that custom built but you will need to check sizes carefully. Remember that whilst uPVC is insulative and virtually maintenance free, you made need planning permission to replace timber windows - particularly if you live in a conservation area.

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