Handy Tools

DAZBERT offer free help and advice for Londoners wanting to improve their homes themselves. We also offer advice on a number of other things that we are not qualified to! So beware and take our advice with a pinch of salt. thanks for reading Daz Rogers and Albert Moore 2014 Measuring Steel rule This will give you accurate results. Don’t use an old school ruler. Buy a rule with both metric and Imperial measures.

Then you have a ready conversion from one system to the other merely by reading across. Steel tape Get one at least 3m (10 ft) long. The little hook at the end is meant to move slightly, as this compensates for whether you are measuring internal or external surfaces. Some more sophisticated tapes have a window in the top through which you can read off your dimensions. Don’t use a dressmaking cloth tape, it is not accurate enough.

Hire tools

There may be occasions where it just isn’t cost effective to buy tools which may only be needed once or twice. In such situations it may well be wise to hire what you need from a local hire shop. They will be pleased to supply you with a leaflet giving terms of hire and costs per day and week. Bear in mind that it is cheaper if you can arrange to collect and return the items borrowed yourself. And it is most important to plan your work so you don’t keep the items longer than necessary.

The variety of equipment available is extensive, including concrete mixers, steam wallpaper strippers, damp-proof course injectors, insecticide sprays, heavy duty power tools, ladders and scaffolding, roof ladders and a whole range of garden equipment including cultivators and flame guns.

As a beginner you may feel much of the equipment mentioned is at present beyond your scope. Even so it is worth knowing of its existence for those occasions when you could call on the assistance of someone more experienced.

Practice makes perfect

As with all activities, practice breeds confidence and acceptable results, so spend time trying out your new tools on scrap materials. Cutting, shaping, drilling, smoothing – all improve with experience, and it will save you spoiling good materials when there is a job in hand.

 

Painting

Remember absorbent surfaces such as bare plaster take more paint, than surfaces which are merely to be repainted. Textured and relief materials also take considerably more than a smooth surface. Changing from one colour to another where there is a considerable difference may call for two coats of undercoat. Top coats have very little, if any, covering power. When measuring up, divide surfaces into Measurable rectangles then add them all together. Window frames are hard.

Count a window as a solid area by multiplying width by height. Shop around for paint, as quality materials can be bought at very considerable discounts. And buying one large can is usually less expensive than a lot of smaller ones. It also (insures that the colour is consistent, as batches can and do vary slightly. You will find the batch number on the can. Remember also that paint coverage can vary from type to type, so don’t generalise. Choose your paint, then check on the can to find the recommended coverage.

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