How to repair paving

Patios are a nice touch to our outdoor space. Along with their hard-wearing surface and presentable looks, the paving on your patio is more than prone to cracking, dirt build-up, and other types of damage, due to small ground movements or heavy usage.

Paving your outdoor space isn’t cheap, and it can cost a small fortune to have any damaged paving repaired, especially when it can be repaired with a little work of your own! Find out how to repair your damaged paving in the easiest and cheapest possible way in this guide. Alternatively, you can book online today with the Handy Squad, or call 0800 0 12 12 12 and we’ll be happy to help.

Replacing paving slabs:

If a paving slab has sunken or has been damaged beyond repair, it’s a pretty simple process to either re-lay or replace it. However, if you’re re-laying or replacing slabs that are 600mm x 600mm or larger, it’s recommended that you have somebody to help you do so. Make sure you have the right equipment and protection to help you re-lay/replace the slab(s). It is highly recommended that you wear safety goggles along with heavy-duty gloves for this task.

Steps:

    1. Using a plugging chisel and a club hammer, chip out the pointing around the slab.
    2. Using a spade, lift up the slab. To protect the slab next to the slab you’re lifting, use a timber cut-off.
    3. For easier removal, place a broom handle under the slab and use it to roll the slab out of the way.
    4. Dispose of the old mortar under the slab you just removed by breaking it up, you can do this using a bolster chisel or a club hammer. If your slab has been laid on sand, use a piece of timber to precisely level it, add more sand if necessary.
    5. If your slab was laid on mortar, wet the back of your slab and lay it into position for a fresh set of mortar. Ensure that the slab is in line with the surrounding slabs. Then, using a timber cut-off and a club hammer, press the slab into position and fill the joints with dry mortar.

Regrouting paving stones

If the joints between your paving start to crack, this can lead to the joints being completely damaged, which will then lead to other problems down the line, such as your slabs becoming loose or weeds growing in between the cracks, which completely ruins the overall look of your paving. It’s essential to regrout your paving joints as soon as you start to notice any threatening cracks. Repairing the loss of jointing is easy to fix, but if you feel that this isn’t the task for you, or you feel that your skills are not up to the “standard,” then why not call the Handy Squad? They’d be more than willing to regrout your paving stones, making it look as good as new again!

Steps:

    1. Remove all of the existing cracked patio joints using a hammer and a bolster chisel, as these are the best-suited tools for this task.
    2. Once all of the joints are clear, you can start repointing them. The amount of sand and cement you will use to point will depend solely on the width of your joints. (It’s highly recommended that any pointing done is carried out when your patio itself is dry.) Using a bucket, sprinkle the mix of sand and cement along the joints that need repointing. Then, using a soft brush, carefully sweep the mixture into the joint(s). Ensure that the joint(s) are absolutely full. When the joints are full, brush off any excess of the mix and leave the joints to air-dry.

Jet washing stains on paving:

Stains and bad marks ruin the overall look of your patio, especially when they’ve built up over time. Removing stains is an easy task that will get your patio looking as good as new in no time. If a task that involves getting a little wet isn’t your forte, then a trained professional from our Handy Squad would gladly pressure wash your patio paving, leaving it sparkly clean!

Steps:

    1. Completely clear your paving of any furniture, pots, etc.
    2. Using a broom, brush away any loose debris, such as leaves or dirt.
    3. Before cleaning your paving, it’s recommended that you apply a detergent to the surface to help dissolve any stains and to help make the paving easier to clean. Applying detergents can also protect your paving surfaces from weather damage.
    4. Connect your jet washer to the mains electricity supply then turn it on to pressurise the system and to clean your paving.

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.

How to build a Greenhouse

At the Handy Squad we have a team of highly efficient and skilled Handymen, ready to assemble your greenhouse with ease. Your Handyman in London can do more than assembling greenhouses, we can also help with the following jobs; Flat pack assembly, Hanging things up, Tiling, and Odd jobs.

Greenhouses are the perfect way to breathe new life into your garden, allowing the growth of fresh fruit and vegetables within a controlled and practical environment. With the spring season approaching, now is the perfect time to start planning and constructing a greenhouse ready for the forthcoming climate.

Securing the base

Making sure you have secured the base of your greenhouse is crucial for structural solidity. Many people typically fix a greenhouse onto a brick or cement surface, in which a galvanised steel base will be required. The width and length of the structure will need to be accurately marked in accordance to the size of your greenhouse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you have the base measured and assembled, you will need to dig out a footing trench to act as the platform to grow produce. The centre will then need to be filled with concrete and levelled out neatly to ensure the surface is precisely even. Once the concrete is dry, mark a line around the entire edge of the footing trench. You will then be able to lay down a course of bricks for the galvanised steel base to rest.

Constructing the Greenhouse

Always start by putting together either the front or back component of your greenhouse. Lay all the pieces down onto a flat surface and put them into the required position, ready to be fixed together. Make sure that angled pieces are facing the correct way and bolts are exposed in the right direction.

You then need to repeat the procedure for the other end and the two side components. Every time a section is put into place, you need to make a loose fixing, ready for it to be placed into its final position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once all the sections are placed into their respective positions, they need to be loosely screwed together and then fixed to the galvanised base. The roof bar then needs to be placed on the top of the structure, resting on the two ends.

You then need to make sure everything has been placed correctly. You should use a spirit level to ensure the structure is firm and straight throughout. Once you are certain that your greenhouse has been properly assembled, you will then need to tighten all the screws to their maximum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The galvanised base will then need to be permanently fixed onto the brick surface, providing you a far stronger finish compared to a cement fixing. This means the structure has now been fully assembled and is ready for the window panels to be installed.

To ensure the panels are fixed securely, you will need to slide a thin layer of rubber around the frame area of the greenhouse. You can now position each panel in its place and fix them using clips. The roof vent should be put together first and put into place along the roof edge. Finally, put the doorway together and slide into position.

 

How to Paint Furniture

The Handy Squad is the number one handyman service in London. We have a team of trained professionals, prepared to bring your furniture back to life, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty.

 We also offer Moving Services, Plumbing, Electrics and much more.

Whether it is an unloved chair you’ve left in your garage for years or a vintage gem you found at a car boot sale, a makeover will save you money! And remember, you’ll be left with something unique that you’ve created.

If you have been going through Pinterest and found your dream bedside table or you want to use your imagination to create something different, all you need is some paint and a piece of furniture.

We have an easy to follow guide to help you strip, sand and paint your furniture in an efficient manner.

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Step 1 – Think about what you want as the finished product.

You are all geared up, but still need to choose what paint to use, don’t worry. Firstly, you’ll have to think about your vision, do you want a distressed look or a glossy finish? There are many textures and shades you can opt for, so before you spend money on a paint think about the look you want to achieve.

Step 2 – To prime or not to prime?

It all depends on your furniture type and the paint you want to use. By using a primer, you are sealing the surface and providing a uniform base to apply your paint to, however there are some paints which don’t require any priming, so always check the instructions on the label before you get down to it.

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Step 3 – Get ready to prep your surface.

Before priming or painting you’ll need to make sure your item is completely free from loose paint flakes, dirt and grease. So, give your surface a good cleaning and allow it to dry before painting. Next, sand your furniture with a medium-grit sandpaper and get all the glossy finish off, this will help the paint grip.


Step 4 – Our favourite part: painting!

To get a professional finish make sure you mask all the areas you don’t want paint to reach, that way you’ll have a clean and tidy finish. Paint thin coats and sand between each coat to achieve an even finish. You’ll need two to three coats to ensure an even coverage and after you’re done painting, make sure you give it extra protection by sealing it.

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It doesn’t matter what paint brush you use; however, it does matter how you use them and how you take care of them. (Don’t worry, we have another article explaining all you need to know!)

If all this work turns out to be too much for your hands, our Squad of painters and decorators will lend you one of theirs.