How to hang outdoor Christmas lights

Brighten up the spirits of everyone in your neighbourhood with a beautifully Christmassy lit house. Hanging up outdoor Christmas lights might be more difficult than you would have expected it to be, so it’s only normal to ask for an extra pair of hands – you can ask your partner, a friend or the Handy Squad! Our London handymen are always happy to help!

Whether you want to hang frosted icicles on your gutter or attach lighting to the exterior of your whole house, it is better to be prepared to ensure it will go as smoothly as possible. To help you with this task, we’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide on how to hang outdoor Christmas lights inclusive of essential equipment.

What you’ll need.

  • Outdoor Christmas lights.
  • Gutter hooks or decorating clips.
  • Weatherproof extension leads.
  • Tape measure.
  • Batteries.
  • Ladder.

How to hang Christmas lights.

Firstly, switch on the lights at ground level to ensure all the bulbs are working properly and that there are no knots in the cable.

For mains-powered lights, ensure that there is an accessible power socket. If you are powering the lights from inside via an extension lead, make sure the lead is long enough. In case you have an outdoor power supply, check if the cable is long enough to reach the power supply.

To hang string lights, attach your gutter hooks to the place you are decorating at regular intervals. Work backwards from the socket and place the lights on the hooks, avoiding leaving cables hanging loosely.

If you have some extra lights, you can add these to your garden plants and trees to add even more shine to your outdoors. Once you’re done, take a step back and admire your jolly and festive entrance.

In case you need some help to hang your Christmas lights, don’t hesitate to contact our team on 0800-0-12-12-12. Alternatively, request a free quote today by filling our online booking form and letting us know how we can help.

How to prepare your house for sale during lockdown

Ready to put your house on the market? Not so fast! Before listing your home, it’s important to properly prepare your home for sale. By staging your property perfectly, undertaking general maintenance and following some of our other tips, you can easily increase the value of your home, make visitors fall in love with your property and encourage a quicker sale. 

First impressions count. 

The entrance of your home will be the first thing potential buyers will see when they arrive at your property, so it’s essential to have a well-maintained exterior. A 2019 survey by Homeowners Alliance revealed that the most important features for kerb appeal include well-maintained windows, a roof in good condition as well as a tidy front garden and pathway. 

Related: How to give a home kerb appeal.  

Declutter and make it shine. 

Declutter, organise and clean. Presenting a tidy, uncluttered and organised space it’s key for buyers to appreciate the space that your home can offer. Plus, by decluttering and playing with furniture placement, you can make small rooms look bigger. 

Related: How to make your small room look bigger.  

Repairs, replacements and revamp. 

Are your lights flickering? Do your doorknobs feel loose? Do your walls feature some unwanted cracks? Have a team of professionals come by your home to see what needs to be done around to ensure your home is in tip-top shape. The Handy Squad offers a variety of property maintenance services and, as experienced professionals, we can easily spot a small issue that might turn into a costly repair. 

Go neutral. 

Swap that busy wallpaper for some neutral-coloured walls. Remove the wallpaper and then paint the walls in neutral tones, so future buyers can more easily picture it as their potential home. You want your home to meet different tastes, so going neutral is the easiest way to do this. 

Related: How to remove wallpaper.  

Pay attention to smells. 

Bad smells can put off potential buyers from considering your property. Don’t just lit up a candle to cover smells either, get to the root of the smells and take care of them. Bad odours could be a cause of damp, blocked drains, pets and more. 

Don’t forget the garden. 

Make your home more appealing by giving your garden some much-needed attention. Get rid of tall weeds, cut the grass, plant some colourful flowers, fix broken fences and give your garden shed a new lick of paint. 

Related: How to decorate a small garden. 

If you need an extra pair of hands getting your home ready for sale, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team by calling 0800-0 12 12 12 or request a quote by filling out our online booking form. Our handyman in London can carry out general handyman tasks you might need. Plus, we have our other tradesmen can complete a full range of home-related tasks. 

Can you hire a handyman during lockdown?

Short answer, yes. At the Handy Squad, during the November lockdown, we remain open for business as the new government guidelines allows us to trade as normal, provided that we continue to follow the government’s guidance on working safely during COVID-19 in other people’s homes.

This includes:

      • Maintaining social distancing whenever possible.
      • Hand washing and surface cleaning.
      • Keeping the activity time involved as short as possible.
      • Limiting the number of workers within a confined space to maintain social distancing.
      • Working materials should be assigned to an individual when possible. If they need to be shared, they should be shared by the smallest number of people.

Whether your water tap has been dripping constantly not letting you get a good night’s sleep, or your radiator hasn’t been working properly making your home cold during these cold and chilly nights – our team will be able to help.

You might be a homeowner or renter that needs the help of a professional to repair flickering lights or broken doors. There is no need to search any further if you “can hire a handyman during lockdown?” because the Handy Squad will be able to give a helping hand.

We believe that it is important to work safely during this pandemic to ensure the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers. For this reason, as per government guidelines, “no work should be carried out in a household which is isolating because one or more family members has symptoms or where an individual has been advised to shield – unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household or to public safety.”

If your home, office or commercial establishment requires essential maintenance, get in touch with our team today on 0800-0 12 12 12 or request a free quote by filling out our online booking form.

How to organise loose cables

Cables are one of those things that you will only think about when something stops working and you want to unplug it, but instead, you’re faced with dozens of tangled cables, not knowing which one to unplug – a stress inducing activity that nobody wants to experience.

Tangled cables really are the devil’s work. What’s worse than a massive ball of cables with no end? Trying to detangle them probably. And who’s going to do that? You are, and you will succeed in doing so. It might be a difficult task, it might take some time and it might make your blood boil, perhaps you’ll shed some tears and you will definitely break a sweat, but you will succeed. Now that our not-so pep talk is done, let’s organise some loose cables.

So, you have a beautiful new home office that you’ve been enjoying oh-so-much. Everything is neat, clean and fresh. However, one look under your desk and there is a pile of messy cables and cords ready to make your life a living hell. Stop thinking ‘out of sight, out of mind’ because it’s time to tackle these cables properly organise them.

Detangle time.

Make sure to safely turn off any electrics, such as your printer and computer, before unplugging them from the socket. Once everything has been safely turned off, it’s time to unplug and detangle. Take a deep breath and slowly separate the wires and cables. If you start to get frustrated, take a step back, have a cuppa and then continue.

Label your cables.

While you are separating your cables, it will be wise to label them. This will guarantee you know which cable goes where and which cable is which – computer, monitor, lamp, printer, charger, landline, etc. Masking tape is a cheap and easy way to label your cables.

Tie them together. 

To neatly organise your cables, loosely wrap them and tie them together. You can easily tie them together with Velcro tape, masking tape or any other fastener that you might have laying around the house. We wouldn’t recommend using gaffer tape as it might leave a sticky residue.

Get rid of some. 

Do you really need the cable for that old recorder that you don’t even own anymore? Do you really need 10 different USB cables? Make your life easier by donating, recycling or throwing away unwanted or unnecessary cables.

If you’ve searched for how to organise cables for storage or how to organize electronic cords, we hope that this article has helped! If, after reading our article, you don’t feel like organising your collection of untamed wires and cables, get the Squad to do it for you. We’ve helped plenty of Londoners tidying loose cables in their homes and offices. Simply give us a call today on 0800-0-12-12-12 or request a quote by filling our online booking form.

Easy ways to add colour into your home

Are you tired of your monochromatic interiors? It’s time to jazz up your place, then. Perhaps your all-white home looked great when you first bought it, but now doesn’t bring you any joy? Maybe you want to add some pops of colour into your rental flat that won’t make you lose your deposit? We’ve put together some ideas to add some vibrance into your home with options to paint or to ditch the paintbrush.

Create a picture gallery.


Add picture frames with bold and colourful art to any room in your home or group together different shaped bright photo frames for a visually appealing wall décor. Maybe choose one sizeable vibrant art piece for a quick wall refresh. If you need some help to hang large pictures or rearrange your extensive collection of frames, the Handy Squad can give you an extra pair of hands.

Add some greenery.

Flowers and plants are perfect to add a small dose of colour and life to any part of your home – bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens. Plus, plenty of plants can also improve the air quality in your home, so it’s a win-win situation.

Related: How to display indoor plants.

Change the lightning.

Lighting will have a large impact on the overall décor of your home. You can choose to go for a colourful statement pendant light to add a splash of colour or you can easily change the mood by choosing colour changing lights. Need to relax? Change your lighting to blue. Having a romantic dinner? It’s time for some soft red lighting. Our London electricians will be able to replace lighting fixtures, change lightbulbs and install LED colour changing lights on your gaming room walls for a futuristic feel.

Get the paintbrush out.

The easiest way to give your home a colour update is by painting it in a different colour. However, don’t just stick to painting all your walls the same tone or painting an accent wall one colour, why not play around with colour? Choose a few contrasting colours and be creative with tape to create a unique graphic pattern.

If painting your walls is out of the question because you’re renting or because it seems like too much of a permanent solution, perhaps giving a coat of paint to forgotten spaces of your home, such as the back of bookcases or skirting boards, could be a good idea. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty with paint, our decorators in London can paint rooms, repaint kitchen cabinets and even paint stairs.

For a quick fix, why not go for a colourful peel and stick wallpaper? It’s easy to install compared to traditional wallpaper and, if you get bored of your current wallpaper, it can be easily removed and replaced. Get the Squad to come by and install a beautiful tropical leaves wallpaper to your living room wall to feel like you’re away on an island adventure.

Add colour to your windows.

Who said that curtains and blinds need to be in neutral tones? Forget about light grey curtains and warm-white blinds, go for colourful curtains and blinds instead. These will add a fresh new tone to your interiors and can tie-in the rest of your colourful living room accessories.

Tile it up.

Give your bathroom an upgrade with colourful tiling or, if that’s too daring, why not choose some colourful grout instead? For your kitchen, add bright and dazzling splashback to make your walls stand out. At the Handy Squad, our team can tile bathrooms and kitchens or simply change the tile grout. Request a free quote by filling our online booking form.

How to rearrange furniture

You might live in a small house where you have limited space for furniture, so moving things around is the only way to give your home an uplift without breaking the bank. Perhaps you’ve moved into a new home which was furnished and now you want to make it your own without having to buy new furniture – the best way is to shift furniture around.

Or maybe, you’re one of the many people who can’t stand to see their home the same for long periods of time. You have a furniture moving itch that makes you need to rearrange the way your whole house looks every so often to the point that when you go to your friend’s place you have to hold your tongue to not say “why don’t you move this and that over there?”.

Rearranging furniture can lift your mood, encourage you to declutter and give an opportunity to let your creativity run free. If you live alone and can’t move heavy items of furniture by yourself, perhaps stick to changing accessories or small pieces of décor, such as picture frames and shelves. Don’t fret if you need another pair of hands for heavier items, our London handymen can help you lift and shift furniture to make your house feel like home.

Do you want to rearrange your living room? Maybe you’ve just searched how to rearrange your office? No matter if you want to rearrange the furniture in one of your rooms or want to completely change up the furniture around your whole house, we’ve put together some tips on how to best go about doing it.

1. Measure it out.

When you are moving furniture from one room to the other make sure to measure it, otherwise, you might go through the trouble of moving it and then having to move it back as it didn’t fit that perfect spot.

2. Find a focal point.

To give rooms more structure, find the focal point of the room and arrange furniture around it. This focal point could be a large window, fireplace or simply your television. An alternative is to focus on the conversation areas of the room by positioning your sofas and chairs in a way so people can have conversations without having to shout across the room or twist their necks to talk to each other.

3. Think about balance.

It’s important to consider the size, shape and placement of your furniture to give your rooms a balanced feel. For instance, don’t group all the small or large pieces of furniture in one area, spread them around to create a visually interesting décor.

4. Consider traffic flow.

Make sure there is enough space for people to walk around your home without tripping on furniture or having to climb on your sofa to go to the bathroom. Create unobstructed paths for people to walk from one room to the other without any issue.

5. Get creative.

If you’re feeling like changing up furniture in your home, go for it and get creative with it. What’s the worst that can happen? Perhaps not liking something in its new place and changing it to another or back to where it was before.

Maybe you are looking for ways to rearrange your room to make it look bigger? To make the most out of small rooms, we would recommend reading our blog post on how to make your small room look bigger.

In case you need some help changing up your room, the Squad is only a phone call away. Give our team a ring on 0800-0-12-12-12 or request a quote by filling our online booking form.

How to assemble flat pack furniture

We’ve all been there…. In the middle of boxes, fixings, furniture parts that don’t seem to fit together and instructions in a foreign language that might as well not have been included, regretting our decision to assemble flat pack furniture by ourselves in the first place. Maybe this example is a bit extreme, but you understand what we are going for, right?

Flat pack furniture is a nightmare for many people and if you are looking for “how to assemble flat pack furniture”, you might be one of those people. You dream of assembling your flat pack wardrobe or flat pack sofa without the headache, you wish that putting together your new flat pack cupboards or flat pack bedroom furniture with your partner goes smoothly without any arguments involved. Your dreams can turn into reality if you follow our flat pack furniture assembly tips! And if all fails, searching for flat pack furniture assembly near me will do the trick and our London handymen will be right over.

1. Get another pair of hands.

No matter what you are assembling, it’s important to have some assistance. A friend, family member, partner or simply an acquaintance that you’ve bribed with some blueberry muffins, having a second pair of hands to help you assemble flat pack furniture is essential.

2. Always be one step ahead.

You’ve ordered some Ikea flat pack or perhaps some flat back furniture from another website and are waiting for the furniture to arrive to find out what you need to assemble it. Don’t! Go to the furniture’s website and find the instructions and materials you’ll need ahead of time, so if you don’t have a certain tool, you can order it and then, as soon as you receive your furniture, you can assemble it on the day!

3. Choose the right place.

If you are trying to assemble a huge wardrobe in the living room but you want it to go to your bedroom, perhaps it would be smarter to assemble it in your bedroom. How are you going to move it to your bedroom afterwards? Each piece of the wardrobe might feel lightweight but when you put it all together, it will be too heavy for you and your friend to move it, and then you’ll end up with your wardrobe in the living room. Probably not the right place for it.

4. Study the instructions.

Quickly glaring at the instructions is not reading the instructions. Yes, it might look easy and you are confident that you’ll do it in no time, but what’s more likely to happen is you trying to balance three flat pack pieces with one hand and going through the instructions with the other, so everything doesn’t fall on the floor… Grab a cuppa, put your feet up and read the instructions thoroughly before starting the assembly.

5. Take your time.

Did you think that assembling your bedroom furniture was going to be easy and quick, so you had made lunch plans with your friends and now you’re considering cancelling? It might actually be good to take a break and then come back with a refreshed mindset, ready to finish the assembly. Perhaps you gave yourself a couple of hours to put together some flat pack chest of drawers and now are getting overwhelmed and stressed because it’s taking longer than you expected? Take your time. If you can’t finish it today, you will tomorrow.

6. Keep it tidy.

Do you have five different sizes of screws you need to assemble your flat pack bed and now they are all mixed together on the floor? You can do better than this. Separate them by size and shape, so then when you need a specific one, you know where it is.

7. Pay professionals to do it.

If you are getting frustrated and feeling like you’ve had enough of puzzling pieces of furniture together, maybe it’s time to give in. Perhaps you’ve already started to type “how much does it cost to put flat pack furniture together”. It’s okay to get someone else to do it. You tried, and now it’s just better for your mental health and for your relationship’s sake to call someone in to assemble flat pack furniture for you. It’s your lucky day! At the Handy Squad, we offer London flat pack assembly. So, get your phone out, dial 0800-0-12-12-12 and we’ll be with you in a jiffy.

Autumn home improvement projects

With the end of the hot summer days, autumn quickly approaches – leaves are turning yellow, weather is not too hot nor too cold, and there is a scent of spices in the air. After relaxing during summer on your much-needed holiday, you’ve ended up putting aside all of those home improvement tasks that you simply didn’t feel like completing then, so now it’s the right time! Roll up your sleeves and let’s get to work.

Repair patios and driveways.

Small cracks and gaps might have appeared on your driveway or patio, which now have weeds and grass growing out of them. Don’t let them get comfortable and grow even further by plucking them and then fixing and sealing the cracks.

Caulk window and doors.

Don’t wait until the chilly days of winter to start welcoming you with cold and uncomfortable draughts to start sealing your windows and doors, do it now. Any type of opening on your windows and doors could be letting out warm air and letting in cold air, so start by finding where there are unwanted gaps in your home and cover them. If you need an extra pair of hands, get in touch with our handymen in London, who will be able to draughtproof your home in a jiffy!

Uplift your flooring.

Your flooring goes through a lot of wear and tear – moisture, excessive summer heat, objects falling on the ground, furniture scraping constantly, and so on. If your floors are looking scratched, damaged or dull, think about sanding them down and have them refinished or simply polish your wood floors to restore their shine.

Give your garden some attention.

From painting your garden fence and your shed to cleaning out your greenhouse and adding some outdoor lighting, make sure you give your garden a little bit of an upgrade. Our team can help you with a few things to get your garden to the next level, our professional decorators can paint your garden shed, our London electricians can change your outdoor lights and our experienced plumbers can install garden taps.

Upcycle old furniture.

If you want to change up something in your home, why not upcycle some old furniture and give it a new life? In case you want to make your home look a bit different without having to upcycle any furniture, you can also simply change the furniture around.

Bring autumn inside.

Time to add some warm colours into your home, including yellows, reds, oranges and browns. Whether you want to add some leaves, candles or a couple of new pillows and blankets – anything will do! Grab a warm cup of tea and enjoy the beauty of autumn!

How to make your workspace safe

Whether you have a restaurant, hairdressers, offices or any other workspace with staff, clients and customers, it’s important to ensure the safety of everyone involved during the coronavirus pandemic. To do this, you will need to make sure your workplace is COVID-secure as per the Government’s advice.

Start by carrying out a Covid-19 risk assessment in line with the guidance from the Health and Safety Executive. Once you’ve assessed the risks in your workplace, you will have to rethink your workspace and make the necessary changes to guarantee everyone’s safety.

Some physical changes that can be done, include:

Hygiene practices.

– Supplying hand sanitiser at entrances and exits, lifts, meeting rooms and bathrooms.
– Putting up signage reminding workers and customers of hygiene requirements.
– Installing more storage for clothes and bags of staff members.
– Replacing doors with handles with swing doors that can be open with shoulders and feet.
– Installing motion lights in rooms, including bathrooms.

Social distancing.

– Rearranging the workspace, including entrances, break rooms, common areas, canteens and more, to encourage distancing.
– Laying down floor markings at entrances/exits and around the workspace to indicate sensible distancing.
– Installing screens and barriers to separate people from each other.
– Arranging one-way traffic through the workplace.
– Reconfiguration of work stations so that workers are sat back-to-back or side-by-side rather than face-to-face.

At the Handy Squad, our team of expert handymen, electricians, carpenters and other high-experienced tradesmen can complete these changes to help your business open safely to the public and to ensure that your workspace is a safe environment to all. Give us a call today on 0800-0-12-12-12 or fill out our booking form to make your workspace COVID-19 secure.

How to prepare for a garden summer party

Whether you are throwing an afternoon tea party for your children or inviting some close family members for a socially distanced garden party, now it’s the perfect time to get your garden ready.

You might have been avoiding your garden since last summer and now the weeds are tall, the patio is grubby and your garden furniture is covered in cobwebs. So, before thinking about what sandwich to serve at your afternoon tea or what cocktail to make for your garden party, give your garden some much needed attention.

If you haven’t been ignoring your outdoor area, perhaps you have a green thumb and already have your weeds cut and plenty of flowers blooming in your garden. There are still things you can do to make sure your garden area is ready to welcome your guests.

Make your patio look brand-new.

Remove built-up slime, debris, grime and moss with a pressure washer. You can rent one or book our jet washing specialists today to do it for you, so you can sit down and relax. We can blast away any inch of dirtiness with a jet washer and make your patio look freshly laid again.

Perhaps you’ve noticed grass or weeds growing between your paving stones which are making some of the stones crack, don’t worry! Our team can repair your patio jointing and regrout paving stones.

Give your garden furniture an uplift.

Pressure washers can also be used to give garden furniture a serious clean. If your wooden garden furniture is already squeaky clean but needs its shine back, it’s time to treat it. Treating wooden furniture will give it a longer life, help resist the elements and make it look brand-new.

If there is no way to restore your furniture or if you’d prefer to purchase new garden furniture, go for it! There is no need to struggle for hours trying to build new flat-pack furniture, our handymen in London can assemble your flat-pack garden furniture in no time. Put the furniture assembly instructions down, give our team a call on 0800-0-12-12-12 and enjoy the sunny weather.

Paint your home’s exterior.

Give the outside of your home a lick of paint for a quick refresh. Even simply glossing your fence and shed will do wonders to the look of your home! If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, our London decorators will come to the rescue and give the outside of your home a new coat of paint.

Light the way.

Make sure your exterior lights are working properly and, in case you don’t have any installed, maybe it’s time to consider putting some lights outside. Not only do lights improve visibility when it starts getting dark but lights can also be highly decorative and add a special touch to your outdoor area. If you need the Squad to help with any of these tasks, don’t hesitate to contact our team, who will be happy to help!