How to get your home ready for the holiday season.

Looking forward to the festive season ahead and to having your friends and family around to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year? If you are looking forward to it but haven’t had the time to get anything done around the house or don’t even know how you will find time to do so, don’t worry – the Squad is here to help. Take a deep breath because we’ve put together a list of how to get your home ready for the festivities to make everything easier. However, if you simply don’t have time or don’t want to get your hands dirty, call the Handy Squad and we’ll get your home ready for Christmas in no time.

  1. Declutter, organise and clean.

Decluttering your home is highly important and it should be on the top of your list this Christmas. The last thing you want is for your guests to feel cramped and uncomfortable in your home due to the lack of space, so get it to it!

Go around your home and grab anything you don’t need or want and make three piles: sell, give and throw away. Once you’ve cleared out all these unnecessary belongings, it’s time to organise the ones you decided to keep and to clean everything.

  1. Winter-proof your home.

So, it’s Christmas day and you’re having your family around when your radiators start to make a strange noise and stop working. Your home starts to get home and the only thing you can do is to hand out blankets to everyone.

Before this happens to you, make sure you have your home ready for the cold months and that you’ve serviced your radiators and boilers. Also, don’t forget to draughtproof your windows, doors and other small gaps to ensure the warm air stays in and the cold air stays outside.

Related post: How to winter-proof your home.

  1. Get Christmassy.

Now it’s time to decorate your house. Get all your family members together (because that’s the best way to do it) and put up Christmas lights on the bannister and wherever you feel like they will look good, put up the Christmas tree and any other Christmas decorations you’ve around. Don’t forget to decorate the front garden and your entrance door!

Related: Help to set up your Christmas tree and decorations at home or in the office

If you are more of a Grinch and Christmas is not your thing, we make your life easier as well – we can block up your chimney, so Santa doesn’t stop by yours. However, in case you absolutely love Christmas but can’t find the time to prepare your home for the season, give the Squad a ring on 0800-0-12-12-12 and we’ll be ready to help (no matter if you’ve been nice or naughty this year!).

How to save energy during the winter

The cold days are here to stay, and much as it pains us to type this, they are here to stay for a long time (and you know it). This means that it’s time to start layering clothing, drinking mulled wine, listening to the sound of a burning fireplace and thinking about ways to stay warm at home without worrying about the energy bills at the end of the month. To give a helping hand, we’ve put together some low-cost tips on how to save energy during these colder times.

Seize the sunlight.  

During the day, open the curtains on your south-facing windows, so that natural sunlight warms up your home. Once the night comes, close the curtains to help keep the heat inside and cosy up.

Drafts? No, thank you.

Any gaps on windows and doors can easily let warm air out and cold air in. To tackle this problem, try installing draft proofing strips or draft excluders on both your windows and doors. Don’t forget to also cover letterboxes, keyholes and cat flaps. If you don’t have enough time on your hands to do this by yourself, give the Squad a call on 0800-0-12-12-12 and let us draughtproof your home.

Seal the deal.

Find and seal leaks around chimney gaps, recessed lights in insulated ceilings, unfinished spaces behind closets and cupboard or even around utility cut-throughs for pipes.

Push the button.

Some appliances, such as televisions, chargers, hairdryers, and irons continue to use up energy even when they are not turned on. So, instead of wasting energy, when you are not using your appliances, remember to switch them off. Also, don’t leave your phone on charge all night, it won’t need that long!

Light it up.

Switch your lightbulbs for energy-saving LED bulbs. These bulbs use much less energy than normal ones plus, last much longer than non-energy-saving ones. Our London electricians will be able to replace your lightbulbs in no time!

Change it around.

If your radiator is being blocked by a sofa or a bed, it means that the heating is getting absorbed by the item in front rather than warming your whole room. Change the placing of your furniture, so you’re the one benefiting from the warmth. Need an extra pair of hands? The Handy Squad can lift and shift your furniture – leave the heavy stuff for us!

Also, if you’ve noticed that your radiator isn’t working properly it might mean that it’s time to bleed it or repair it. We’ve written a whole blog post about how to fix issues with your radiator, so if that’s what you’re looking for, hop on to that page.

If you need a professional to ensure that you have a cosy and warm winter at home, our team will be happy to help! Request a free quote today by filling our online booking form.

How to paint kitchen cabinets

It’s been a few years since you’ve moved into your house. When you first moved in you had all of these ideas about renovating the place and a large collection of Pinterest images of your dream kitchen. Now, you’ve made up your mind and are ready to start renovating your kitchen. At this point, nobody can stop you.

But then, you start to think if you really want to go through all the trouble of a full revamp and feel like a refresh might do just the trick. Even better! We think that giving your kitchen a small refresh, like painting the kitchen cabinets, will actually have a big impact on the overall look. Now, all you have to do is put your sleeves up and get to work. Wonder how to do it? Keep on reading.

  1. Pick a colour, any colour.

When it comes to choosing the right colour for your own kitchen, there is no right or wrong answer. However, it is important to pick the right colour the first time around, as the last thing you want is to re-paint your cabinets right after painting them. The easiest way to see which colour suits your kitchen is to get a few colour samples, tape them to the current cabinets and see how you feel.

  1. Preparation is key.

Start by removing the doors, drawers and all hardware (hinges and door handles). Don’t think that you can skip this step and decide to paint over the hinges and door handles – trust us, it’s not a good idea.

Make a quick sketch of all the doors and drawers in your kitchen and number them. Then, label the doors and drawers with the corresponding number. The last you’ll want to be doing after all your hard work is to be guessing where everything goes.

Next, time to clean! Wipe everything down with a grease remover. This is a very important step because paint won’t stick to greasy cabinets.

  1. Sand it down.

Sand everything with a medium grip sandpaper. This will help the paint stick to the surface. Fold the sandpaper in half to get into the detailed areas on doors, drawers and door frames. After sanding, don’t forget to clean all the surfaces with a vacuum cleaner. 

  1. Don’t forget to prime.

Primer will also help the paint stick to the surface plus, it will cover any imperfections.

Top tip: if you have oak cabinets and are looking for a smooth finish, we would recommend filling the open pores before painting with several coats of primer or with spackling paste.

  1. Embody Bob Ross.

This is our favourite bit. Use a paint roller on larger surfaces to speed things up and then use a paintbrush lightly over the surface to ensure there are no roller marks. If you prefer to take your time, use a paintbrush all around. Whilst applying the paint, finish with top-to-bottom strokes along the wood grain.

  1. Assemble and admire.

Finally, let your masterpiece fully dry. Then, follow the sketch you did earlier with the positioning of your kitchen cabinets and put everything back in place.

If all of this seems too much, too time-consuming or you simply don’t want to get your hands dirty, don’t worry – the Squad will come to the rescue. Our team of highly experienced decorators in London will be able to give your kitchen cabinets a new lick of paint whilst you put your feet up and enjoy a warm cuppa. Request a free quote today by filling our online booking form or give us a call on 0800-0-12-12-12.

 

Disclaimer

At the Handy Squad we strongly advise that you always take safety precautions into consideration when undertaking a DIY project. We also strongly suggest that you closely read and follow the instructions, that are provided by the manufacturer, of any building materials, products or tools you use for your projects.

Our aim is to provide you with clear and correct instructions, so that you can easily complete any DIY project you desire. However, please note that the information we provide should only be used as a guideline and that some information within the text may not be entirely accurate.

When using our articles for information and advice, please note that it is your own responsibility to determine whether you are capable of undertaking and executing the task you wish to complete.

Before starting a DIY task, it is essential that you inform yourself of any existing building, gas, water and electrical works regulations. If you were to have any further concerns, we recommend that you complete additional research and/or contact the necessary professional body.

We also strongly recommend that a qualified tradesperson completes the relevant safety tests and checks on any DIY work you have completed. 

Tips for insulating your home or office

Insulation for a home or office is vital, and at the Handy Squad, we realise the importance of this. Here are some of the most important things to know and remember when insulating your home or office.

Some methods are cheaper, more effective and quicker to implement, saving you time and money. On the other hand, some methods are more expensive but are ultimately more worthwhile investing in for the long term.

 

Secondary, double and triple glazing

 These may all be phrases that you are familiar with, but do you really know what these forms of glazing all are?

With secondary glazing, a frame containing a pane of glass or plastic is fixed over the existing window frame, leaving an air gap between. You can buy secondary glazing kits that are very simple to use, and they are usually available in a range of sizes.

However, sealed double and triple glazing is slightly different. It comprises two or three panes separated by spacing strips, that are bonded together and hermetically (completely airtight) sealed at a factory before being fitted onto the window frame.

 

Insulating your walls

Insulating your walls is a bigger and more expensive job than something like a roof. However, an average uninsulated house loses around 35% of its heat through the walls, more than roofs, doors, windows and the floor.

Firstly, cavity walls can be insulated. The insulating material is blown through holes drilled in the outside wall, however, this type of job is much better suited to a professional, such as The Handy Squad.

Solid walls can be insulated through dry-lining, which is adding an extra layer of plasterboard to their inner faces. Plasterboard with thermal and acoustic properties is ideal for a job like this. However, the slight issue with this is that plasterboard is up to 50mm thick, essentially closing in the space of the room when added.

There are two very simple steps to fitting plasterboard:

  1. Cut it to the correct size.
  2. Glue or screw it to the existing wall.

However, whilst glue or screwing the plasterboard to the existing wall is easy, there are also a couple of minor complications. For example, you may have to move and reinstall electrical wiring, sockets and switches, radiators, doors and windows.

 

Insulating your floors 

Floors are another key part of loss of insulation in your home or office, with the average uninsulated house losing 15% of its heat through the floor. Floors in new houses have to be insulated. However, in existing uninsulated floors, a good-quality carpet, partnered with underlay should usually be enough to minimise downward heat loss.

Any gaps below skirtings can be filled with either flexible sealant, or they can be covered by wooden beading that is pinned to the skirting.

If you have a concrete floor, you can build an insulated suspended floor on top of it.

 

Fitting draught excluders to your windows

Why fit draught excluders to your windows? The answer is simple: it will keep warm air in and keep cold air out. It will also help to make your home warmer and cut your fuel bills too. Also, windows on average lose around 25% of a houses heat, and that is not something that you want in your home or office.

Another positive about draught excluders are that they are cheap, easy to fix in place and are ideal for using on casement windows and interior doors. However, when fitting make sure not to stretch the strips, as this will weaken the effectiveness.

There are a few main steps that are related to fitting draught excluders to your windows:

Step 1: Use a damp cloth to clean off any dirt or loose paint that has been collected on the window frame.

Step 2: When the frame is dry, peel off the backing paper from the self-adhesive foam draught excluder – a little at a time.

Step 3: Then press it onto the outside of the window frame (where the opening casement window will press against when closed).

Step 4: Cut the ends of each length at a 45 degrees angle to form an accurate join at each corner.

Step 5: Close the window to make sure that the strip is pressed firmly in place.

 

How to draught-proof internal doors

Similarly to windows, draughty doors on average contribute to around 25% to the heat loss in your home or office, so knowing how to stop this is imperative.

You can draught-proof internal doors to unheated rooms by fitting a brush strip to the bottom of the door, and a self-adhesive foam seal strip all the way round the door frame.

Draught excluders come in various sizes for different sized gaps. However, if you’re unsure about the size of the gap, there is an easy way to check this. Simply squash a small piece of reusable tack into the door frame and shut the door. Reopen the door, and then remove the tack and measure it.

There are a few important steps that can be used in relation to draught-proof internal doors:

Step 1: Use a damp cloth to clean off any dirt or loose paint on the door frame.

Step 2: When the frame is dry, put self-adhesive foam draught excluder all the way around the edge – similarly to how you would for a window – and cut it to the right length with scissors.

Step 3: Make sure to attach the strip to the frame instead of the door stop, or it will rub off when the door closes.

These are just a few major ways in which you can insulate your home or office, and if you are even unsure of how to conduct one of the methods that have been explained, our London handymen can always be contacted on 0800-0 12 12 12 to make sure that your home is insulated to perfection. Alternatively, request a free quote by filling our online booking form.

How to lay a patio

With the summer season well under way, there has never been a better time to start planning and constructing a brand new patio design for your garden. This can be easily achieved once your flex your imagination and use some simple and effective DIY techniques.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laying down and maintaining patios is just one of the many technical DIY tasks that can be handled by the Handy Squad. With our Handyman in London service, you will receive a qualified tradesmen with the required expertise to make your dream patio a reality.

Planning the layout  

You firstly need to understand the overall layout of the garden in its current state. It’s vitally important to make a drawing on graph paper to clearly indicate where any trees, shrubs, walls and fixtures are situated.

This is a simple but important step, since this drawing will enable you to make accurate estimations on how much material you will need for specific areas of your garden.

You must also consider where any patio furniture is going to be positioned and determine whether they could end up being obstructive during the process.

The Handy Squad will be able to provide a handyman to assemble patio furniture with ease, which means you will be able to pick and choose any style to suit the layout of your new patio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can also provide assistance with flat pack garden furniture assembly, to help you install general garden furniture such as benches, hammocks, deck chairs, sun loungers and gazebos.

Types of paving

There is a multitude of different paving styles currently on the market which means any patio design can be constructed. The premium option has always been the flagstone which offers a pastoral and rustic tone for your garden.

When choosing your preferred style, you will need to plan for any features you may wish to add in the future. Whether you decide to add a built-in barbeque, pond or planter, you will need to have the required space to ensure there is no upheaval as they are being installed.

A simple way to implement this whilst keeping your garden looking clean would be removing large slabs in certain areas and filling them with the appropriate amount of shingle.

It is also common for chairs and tables to be present within gardens, which will need regular wooden garden furniture treatment in order to blend with your new patio design.

Setting out the patio

You will need to mark out the exact layout of your site with pegs and string. When you are pushing any pegs into the ground, you will need to make sure that their tops are positioned at the proposed finishing level.

The patio’s level at the house wall should be at least 150mm below the damp proof course. This is typically seen as an extra wide line of mortar within the brickwork. However, in older houses, you may still see the slate initially used.

Unless you follow this procedure, there is a strong possibility that any walls on your house will start to get damp. This could also prove to be detrimental to any garden furniture you have positioned nearby. If you discover any damaged furniture that needs to be cleansed, you will need to use the Handy Squad’s jet washing garden furniture service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing your drainage

You will need to create a small slope for your patio to sit away from the house so that rain water does not pool onto it. In most circumstances this will be 1:40, however larger designs will need a cross fall of 1:80 to enhance the water run-off.

It’s important to consider the fall between the pegs being used so you can then place an appropriately sized offcut of wood on top. When you have levelled out the batten between pegs, the offcut will then account for the necessary fall.

Once you have measured down from the top of the pegs, you will be able to calculate the amount of soil needed to be removed. There needs to be enough room to account for the thickness of any slabs as well as any layers of the base. It’s always beneficial to tie string lines to each of the pegs to help assist the process.

Dig out for the base

You will firstly need to dig out any topsoil and save it for other areas of the garden. The depth in which you dig down below will be dependant on the size of your patio.

For light usage, the slabs can be placed onto a compacted 50mm bed of sand. If you want more stability, it is recommended that a 50mm semi-dry mix of sand and cement is used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foundation of the patio

For any areas of heavy use, you will need to have a compacted 75mm layer of hardcore placed below the sand and cement mixture. This particular substance is broken down brick and rubble, which needs to be laid over the ground and then compacted to guarantee a firm and stable base.

Once you have multiplied the patio area by the thickness of hardcore needed, you will then be able to calculate the required volume.

It is recommended that you hire a plate vibrator for the preparation stages to ensure you achieve a firm and solid base. Once the base has been prepared, you will then be able to lay the flagstones into one of the corners.

Laying down the slabs

In the case of light use, you will need to trowel five reasonably sized dabs of mortar onto the base area and then place down the first slab. Then tap the surface of the slab using a rubber mallet or the end of a club hammer and then check the spirit levels in both directions.

For heavy use, the slabs will need to be laid down on a consistent bed of 50mm tick mortar. This will ensure that the slab is supported correctly and therefore less likely to break.

It is also possible to lay down paving directly onto the sand, providing you have carefully levelled to fully support the slabs. You firstly need to place battens down at intervals in the sand, making sure the tops are at an appropriate level. Then use a straight edge to level out the sand between them by marking it along the battens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue the process across the main area of your patio, making sure you regularly check the level. It is advised that you firstly work across the house wall, then down one side using string as a guide to ensure you are working diagonally.

It is quite common after a few years for the cement between each slab to crack and come out of place. This means regrouting paving stones is of paramount importance, since it will help get them back to their original state and prevent the growth of weeds.

Cutting the paving stones

It is preferable to leave out the slabs that need to be cut until the bulk area has been laid. You can then fill in any gaps with cut slabs, using a grinder of bolster chisel to make scores around each slab.

You must take the necessary health and safety precautions when you undertake any cutting work. It its vitally important that you wear safety goggles, work gloves and ear defenders.

Once you have scored, you will need to raise the smallest section on a thin batten and then tap the main area of the slab. This will need to be done along the cut line with the use of a bolster hammer.

It is vitally important to oversee regular maintenance of your patio in order for it to remain radiant. We have an unrivalled London Jet Washing service available at the Handy Squad, which means we can provide both a jet washing paving stones service as well as a jet washing stone steps service.

How to fix doors

At the Handy Squad, we understand the problems that can occur when doors have been fitted incorrectly. Here are some important things to consider when you first start to notice critical issues that may affect the style and functionality of your doors.

Many doors typically start sticking when edges start to rub against the frame or floor. On many occasions, something as simple as shaving away small amounts of wood could help doors to open and close more effectively.

If you have a door that starts sticking near the latch area, you will need to remove the latch before you start repairing, as this could cause structural damage to the wood plane.

Any doors that have been adjusted appropriately shouldn’t start to rattle. A majority of strike plates come equipped with a flange which can be slightly bent to help alleviate the problem.

Doors that have been fitted too loosely will most certainly begin rattling during a draught. The leading causes for this problem are doorstops being poorly positioned or the strike plate being put in the wrong place. These can both be easily moved to instantly solve the issues.

For a thorough Draft Proofing service, we have a team of highly skilled Handymen in London. They will optimise your household to ensure you save vast amounts of money on your yearly heating bill.

If you have a door that is binding on a hinged edge, you will need to ensure that you have packed out at least one hinge. This is a simple task that requires you to unscrew a hinge and then cut thick cardboard to fit the size of the hinge leaf. Make sure you position the card behind the hinge and then screw back into its original place.

 


If your door has a latch that doesn’t catch when you close the door, you may need to consider filing down the inner edges of the strike plate. Latches are unlikely to function correctly if the plate has been installed too far back within the frame.

Doors won’t close properly if the hinges have been fitted too loosely. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you will need to drill out the original holes, plug them with wooden dowels and then drill new fixing points into the surface area before re-installing the hinges back onto the frame.

Wet weather is likely to cause wooden doors and windows to stick. When this happens, you should consider rubbing beeswax around the edges that are sticking. If this solution doesn’t work, you will need to remove the door or window and then plane or sand down the edges that stick.


Never attempt to adjust windows or doors too much as they are likely to swell during warm weather conditions and then shrink once the temperature starts to decrease.

Also make sure that you never hang an external door or leave bare wood exposed since water is likely to enter the grain and cause swelling. If this does happen, you will need to remove the door, dry it and plane away the affected areas.

If you feel hesitant about undertaking certain tasks related to doors, you should consider contacting any of our highly-skilled Carpenters in London. They offer a variety of relevant door related services, which includes: Hang New Door, Plane Door & Rehang and Repair Door Frame.

How to fit door locks

It is of paramount importance that all doors are secured to a sufficient level in order to prevent unwanted intrusions into your home.

Installing locks properly is often an arduous and time consuming task. That’s why the Handy Squad has a team of highly-skilled Locksmiths, to ensure security concerns are a thing of the past. They will be able to fit, change and repair any locks with ease.

Important information

The two most popular types of lock for entrance doors are the mortice lock and the cylinder rim lock.

In order to open a mortice lock, you will need to insert a key from both the inside and outside of the door. This is most commonly referred to as a deadlock.

Mortice locks are typically equipped with 2 to 7 levers. The difficulty of picking mortice locks will increase as you install more levers to the mechanism. In the case of entrance doors, you will be required to have a mortice lock with five levers.

A majority of mortice locks come in a standard size. You also have the option of replacing old mortice locks as long as the distance between the door edge and handle are the same.

On the other hand, cylinder locks are highly beneficial for people moving house since they can be installed and replaced with ease. They simply slot into place and come in a variety of different sizes.

Cylinder rim locks that use a deadlock will have a key for the outside and a key operated knob for the inside. The key used for internal use will provide the option of a deadlock system. This basically means that the door cannot be opened if someone smashes the glass in the door and attempts to turn the knob.

It is suggested that cylinder locks and five-lever mortice deadlocks should be fitted 45-60cm apart in order for them to be effective.

Mortice door bolts have the option of being fitted onto the edge of doors. The best way to maximise security is placing one close to the top and one close to the bottom of the opening edge on the door.

There are a number of useful supplements to increase security, which includes: door limiters, security chains and surface mounted bolts. All of these are simple to install and are guaranteed to provide long-lasting quality results.

Many uPVC doors run the risk of damage from retro-fitted security systems. If you have any concerns about the types of locks that are appropriate for your door, you should always contact the manufacturer. If you have a modern door in place, you will most certainly have a multi-locking system already in place.

Any doors which have glazed panels should be equipped with a deadlock since they don’t possess the same structural integrity as solid doors. You should consider replacing any glass panels with either laminated or toughened glass.

Finally, patio doors are commonly used by thieves, which means you should consider installing extra locks. The best options for this type of door is push-to-lock or key-to-open, since they are simple to use and will fit perfectly within a frame.

How to fit a mortice security bolt

1. You firstly need to mark out the position of the bolt within the door edge. Then drill a hole with the same depth as the door bolt.

2. Insert the bolt and then mark a clear line around the outside perimeter of the end plate. This can now be used as a guide for chiselling.

3. Using a chisel, you then need to carefully take away enough wood in order for you to fit the door bolt end plate in a flush manner.

4. Using the chiselling as a guide, hold the bolt up against the inside part of the door and make an accurate marking to position where the keyhole will be placed.

5. Then drill a hole in accordance with the depth of the door. You need to ensure that you don’t drill all the way through the door.

6. In order for the bolt to be installed securely, you firstly need to drill a series of pilot holes for the fixings. The most suitable sized drill bit would be 2-3mm. You will then be able to slide the bolt into place and fix securely.

7. You can now drill the required pilot holes before fixing the key plate into its place. You must ensure that the plate has been aligned correctly with the keyhole.

8. Finally, you need to check that the key works properly.

How to replace a five-lever sashlock

1. You firstly need to remove the handle that is placed on the inside. This is done by unscrewing all of the retaining screws that are holding the handle in its place. You can then place the handle onto one side for reattachment at a later time.

2. Then remove the spindle bar that fits through the lock as well as both handles. Once removed, make sure you place them to one side as they will be reinserted later.

3. All the screws that secure the lock then need to be removed. It is possible that you may need to push a screwdriver through the spindle hole to help release the lock.

4. The replacement lock can now be screwed and fitted into position. If you have difficulty putting the lock into place, you will need to chisel away any excess wood.

5. Finally, you can now reposition the spindle as well as the inside handle. You must ensure that the new lock works methodically and engages with the strike plate in an effective manner.

How to replace a cylinder lock

1. You firstly need to remove the body component of the lock. This will need to be fitted back into place once the new lock has been installed.

2. Then unscrew both retaining screws that go through the door and keep the cylinder component of the lock in its place. You also need to ensure that the mounting plate remains in position.

3. You can now remove the old cylinder from the outside. Once this is done, slide the new cylinder through the drilled hole and refit using long screws.

4. The lock body can now also be re-installed. If the connecting bar exceeds the required length, you will need to remove the lock body and cut down the size of the bar with a hacksaw.

5. Finally, once you are certain that the lock body has been securely put into position, you will need to ensure that the door opens and closes smoothly when operated with the new key.

If at any point you need an extra pair of hands, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

How to remove a radiator for decorating

At the Handy Squad we have a team of highly skilled Decorators currently working in London. With over a decade of proficient and effective service, they will be able to assist with a wide variety of decorating tasks such as; Filling cracks in walls and Plaster patch repair.

For plumbing issues, we have an equally qualified team of Plumbers in London. They will be able remove radiators with ease and in a timely manner as well as being able help with Replacements or Installations that may be required after removal has been completed.

If you need to temporarily remove your radiator to be able to paint or decorate behind it, the Handy Squad have got the perfect how-to guide, which will help you complete this task effectively and with ease.

Firstly, you will need old sheets or equivalent for water spillage, a bucket, a bowl that is able to fit under the radiator, a screwdriver and an adjustable spanner.

Then, place the old sheets under the radiator and a bowl underneath the manual control valve, which is the valve used to control the temperature of the radiator. Then drain the water from the radiator, use a clockwise motion to turn both valves off and unscrew the cap nut that keeps the manual control valve that attached to the radiator.

Then, slowly open the bleed valve at the top of the radiator to let the water drain out. When the bowl is full, tighten the cap nut, empty the bowl into the bucket and repeat the process until the water flow has stopped.

Before removing the radiator from its wall brackets, unscrew the cap nut that holds the other valve. Next, carefully lift the radiator and empty the remaining water.

After decorating, you will need to put the radiator back onto its supporting brackets. Then, close the cap nuts on both valves and after this step you can open both valves. As the radiator fills up, open the bleed valve to release any trapped air.

If at any point you need an extra pair of hands, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

How to remove air locks from your residential and commercial pipes

The Handy Squad is the number one handyman service in London. We have a team of highly efficient plumbers who will take on anything from unblocking a blocked toilet to installing new white good appliances. We also offer electrician services, decorating services, carpentry, locksmith services and much more.

When pockets of air are trapped by the water flow, it creates air locks, which will block the water pressure completely. To have your residential or commercial pipes working properly again, you will need to follow this how-to guide on how to effectively remove air locks.

First Method

There are two ways you can fix this problem. The most effective way of dealing with air locks is increasing the water pressure to push out the air bubble. For this first method you will need a hosepipe.

Attach the hosepipe to the tap that is not working properly and the other end of the hosepipe to a working tap. Turn both the faulty and working taps on, and then leave the water running for a few minutes.

If the tap is working again, remove the hosepipe from the highest tap and then from the lowest tap.

Second Method

If the last method did not work, the second method to fix the problem is to drain the whole pipe system.

Firstly, turn off the water supply at the main water valve. Next, turn on all the taps in the property and flush the toilets until they stop filling up. When there is no water coming out of any taps, make sure to partially close them, so there will be low water pressure getting out.

Turn on the water supply and then turn on all the faucets in the property. The high-water pressure should be able to remove any air locks in the pipes.

How to prepare to lay laminate and real wood flooring

At the Handy Squad we have a team of highly trained Carpenters, all skilled with anything related to Flooring. However their expertise doesn’t stop there as your Carpenter in London can also provide services which relate to; Sash windows, Cupboard doors, Hanging doors, Kitchen units, Shelves and Partition walls.

Preparation is an essential part for the installation of laminate and real wood flooring. Ensuring you have undertaken the required steps before laying any material, will guarantee both a neat and stylish finish.

 

 

 

 

 

You firstly need to ensure you have modified your working space appropriately. The room needs to have been emptied of furniture, floor coverings or any rugs and mats. Any fixings, such as rods or adhesive, should also be removed to leave the floor space level.

One of the most crucial elements for this process, is ensuring you have smoothed out the sub-floor area. You also need to check that the surface is dry and precisely level throughout in order to maximise the structural integrity of your floor. Once you have an even surface to work with, you need to install underlay, in order to achieve an effective final fitting.

There are two types of underlay that can be used for laminate and real wood flooring. The foam version, is either folded into a concertina or slotted together in the style of a jigsaw puzzle. Whereas fibreboard underlay, needs to be cut precisely and installed at a 90-degree angle in the direction that your flooring is being laid.

 

 

 

 

 

Before the aforementioned can be done, you need to ensure that there are no damp areas present on your flooring. You should regularly test the integrity of the surface and only conduct fitting once you are certain that you have a clean area to work with.

When your laminate and real wood flooring arrives, you will need to give it time to adapt to the temperature and humidity of your house. This will reduce the likelihood of gaps appearing between any of your flooring boards. Previously, the materials will have most likely been exposed to differing conditions, meaning a transitional period is required to alleviate shrinking or expanding.

To allow your flooring to adjust, you need to stack them on top of each other, whilst keeping them secured in their packaging. You need to position them in a way that allows air to circulate between each package and ensure they are not pressed against any walls, otherwise this could cause the material to bow.

It’s also important to ensure you are wearing knee pads during the entire process, since a consistent level of exposure to solid surfaces could cause strain on your body.