Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Be Prepared When Tackling Home DIY Projects

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Be Prepared When Tackling Home DIY Projects

Article excerpt

"Spring has sprung, the grass has ris" ( and the drive to get the house sorted is at its peak over the Easter holiday.

Any trips to DIY stores this weekend will be fraught. Finding a car park space will be difficult but manoeuvring around the store, through trolleys stacked with boards and planks, will be a nightmare. All because the better weather has arrived and the nights are lighter. We come out of hibernation and see that our homes need to be brightened up.

I blame the TV makeover programmes. As I see it they are responsible for the stress, arguments and accidents that will result from this rush of blood.

Having said all that, it is right that we should take a careful look at our homes and decide what work needs to be done over the next few weeks. The winter can have played havoc with the outside of our houses, so it is important to look carefully and decide what we can do by DIY and what needs to be put out to competent tradesmen.

I always recommend that before you do anything, you sit down and make a list of what needs to be done. Then look at each individual job and break it down into what you will require in materials, equipment and then expertise.

Some jobs require very little expertise. Simple cleaning out of the gutters or even replacing a length of rainwater pipe or gutter that has become cracked during the winter months are within the capabilities of an agile adult with a head for heights.

Repairing gutters may not need much in expertise, but it certainly requires a good solid set of ladders. It will also require careful attention to your health and safety. Working on a ladder two storeys up, is not a one man job. It is important, if you cannot secure the ladder at the top and the bottom by safety anchors back to the wall, to have somebody to hold the ladder.

If while working off the ladder you need to stretch to one side or the other, then you should be thinking in terms of scaffolding. A simple zip up scaffold might be sufficient to repair the gutter. If you need anything more, then calling in the specialist is essential.

You may feel that you could reset the ridge tile that was disturbed by frost and high winds. …

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