Combi or combination boilers are now the popular choice as they do away with the hot water cylinder and hot water is instantaneous when you turn on the hot water tap or shower control. The combi boiler is fed directly from the mains water supply also, which also means that the tanks in the roof space are no longer needed, a lot of existing installations that require a new boiler are replacing conventional boilers with combination boilers.Installing a combi boiler is not a DIY project unless of course you are an oil or gas registered person, but there is no reason why you cannot carry out all the new pipe works, fit the radiators if they are not already in place and employ a registered fitter to commission the boiler. In an existing installation, when a conventional central heating boiler is replaced with a combi, the cold water head tank and hot water cylinder become redundant; this space can usually be used as extra storage space and the cylinder cupboard can be turned into a cloakroom or shower room, or if in the bathroom a shower enclosure can be put in the space, or it can be extra useful storage space.There are of course some drawbacks to combi boilers, for example they can only provide maximum water pressure through only one tap at a time. They’re not suitable for big homes where multiple sources of water might be used simultaneously. There is also a short delay as the boiler has to warm up the water, they are also not suitable for power showers, plus of course if a fault develops, or the gas supply is interrupted or you run out of oil, with no immersion heater you have no hot water.If you do decide on a combi boiler, remember get a condensing boiler as they are more efficient than standard boilers and save fuel.
Laminate floors have been popular in some European countries for a good many years. In Sweden for example laminate wood floors using a thin layer of oak adhered to a cheap softwood base was used in public or social housing as long ago as the late 1960’s.Today laminates of many types are in common use as the cost of solid hardwood floors become scarcer and the cost increases. With technical advances it is now possible to produce laminates which can accurately mimic any type of material and so they can be used in a variety of rooms, kitchen, bathroom living room etc.Laminate is graded according to the likely use to which they will be put and these are in two categories, residential and commercial with three sub categories in each, so when you decide to lay a laminate floor it is useful to know the different categories. These are: Residential Class 21 – Moderate Loads, ideal for bedrooms etc., Class 22 – Normal Loads, ideal for living rooms etc., Class 23 – Heavy Loads, ideal for anywhere in the house with the exception of bathrooms. Laminate flooring is a floating floor, which means it does not fasten directly to the sub-floor. Instead the planks are clicked together. This enables the floor to be fitted fast and with no real mess.Most laminate floors today fit together with a tongue and groove system, simply place the tongue of one plank into the grove of another and lightly tap together. The accurate milled shape makes it possible to create a very tight connection during the installation. The floor can be walked on straight away.If you are laying laminate flooring over a concrete sub-floor then you will fist need to lay down a damp proof membrane (DPM). On top of this goes the foam underlay this acts as sound absorption and also helps even out minor irregularities in the sub-floor.
Showers installed to many homes are inadequate due to the water supply [pressure and although the pressure may be adequate at the bath or basin, because the shower hjead is positioned higher and in consequently nearer the header tank, the pressure can drop and the result is a trickle or weak spray. Now it may be possible to raise the cold water tank in the roof to a higher point, this will increase the pressure at the shower head, the higher the tank is the greater the pressure at the shower head. However, in many lofts such a change would not even be practical.It is possible to overcome this by fitting a twin impeller booster pump to the hot and cold supply. This does not have to be difficult and a competent DIY person will be able to fit one without a problem. However, the electrical connections must be carried out by a qualified certified electrician. The pump works automatically when a tap is turned on and it is not necessary to switch this on and off manually.The first requirement when fitting a booster pump is where to site this, the two best places are either in the airing cupboard where the hot water tank is, or under the bath, this makes it easy for it to be connected to both hot and cold supplies. The pump sits on rubber ‘buffer’ pads to reduce vibration noise, and must not be screwed down to the floor. There are four connections to the pump two inlet connections and two outlet. Usually the inlet connections are at the end of the pump and the outlet either side of these. Use one end of the pump for the hot water, the other for the cold and when fitting the pump remember that you must use flexible connectors as the pump vibrates. Do not clip the pipes down for at least half a metre after the pump and do not use metal clips, plastic are better in this case.
The need to replace a bath panel at home may arise through damage to the existing panel or be simply an aesthetic choice. In either case, anyone with a basic knowledge of DIY and the right tools can complete the job quickly and satisfactorily.Bath panels are sold in standard sizes and in many cases will need to be cut to fit. After removing the old panel, the space should be measured before purchasing the new one to ensure it is either the same size or slightly larger.To fit a solid panel that will last for a long time it is essential to build a timber support frame. This will reinforce the side of the bath and make it less likely to suffer damage from bumps and knocks which occur through use. A strong timber of around 50mm by 25mm is ideal. It may be possible to use the frame from the old panel if there is one already in place.Once the frame is fitted it’s time to measure the bath panel and cut to size. Begin by measuring the void under the bath left by the removal of the old panel. Take measurements carefully and do not begin cutting until you are absolutely certain you have them right.A handsaw or fine blade jigsaw is needed to cut the panel to the correct size. Saw gently to eliminate the risk of damage to your new panel during the procedure. Once the panel has been cut to size it can be a good idea to apply a coating of PVA glue to the cut edge, as this prevents water seeping in. Once the panel is the correct size it is simply a matter of using the screws provided to fit it to the existing framework according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. You may now wish to add new tap fittings from Sagittarius to complete the look.
After a little practise soldering pipe joints is relatively easy and will save you money in the long run. The great thing about pipe fittings is that there cheap meaning that you can easily practise your technique before tackling the real project.Tools you’ll need for pipe soldering include:• A gas torch• Pipe solder• Flux• Wire woolPreparing the copper pipePreparation is key when soldering and each of the pieces to be soldered must be cleaned thoroughly before use. This is done by cleaning the pipe ends and fittings with wire wool until the piece is shiny and free of debris.SolderingApply flux to the pipe ends and pipe fittings then assemble the pieces together. Next, heat the joint evenly with the gas torch until the flux starts to bubble. Remove the flame and touch the solder onto the joint; the joint is full when a bright ring appears around the whole joint.That’s basically all there is to it, so why not give it a try for yourself.
A deck is a popular addition to a garden and choosing a sunny spot, where a barbeque can be within easy reach is an ideal way to spend a sunny afternoon, but choosing the right material for the decking is just as important as the position in the garden. The deck is perfect for family and friends to sit on the warm sunny days or evenings.The most common timber used by most of us is softwood as this is easy to work and it is relatively cheap compared to hardwoods. However, it is vital that softwood is treated to prevent decay and the best way is for this to be pressure treated. There are basically two types of pressure treatment, water based chemicals or spirit based solvents.The most common is the water based type and this is often referred to as “Tanalised” and it certainly is effective. The one downside to this is that it can warp as it is not water repellent, it also will need to be stained each year after it has been pressure washed, this is why it may be better to choose a pressure treated spirit based solvent.The ultimate choice for a deck is hardwood and the choice is wider and varied, cedar or eucalyptus species will last and require minimal refurbishing, they will not distort and can stand up to hard ware, but it is more expensive.An alternative to both of these is a composite which is made from a combination of wood and plastic to mimic the appearance of aesthetic wood. However ensure that any cut ends are well protected as they are the vulnerable part of the composite, but nonetheless virtually maintenance free.
Now that laminate flooring is growing in popularity, many more people are fitting this themselves as it is an item that is on display in DIY supply stores. Today most homes have central heating so inevitably there will be piping to cut round and as the floor level is being raised it will be necessary to remove doors and reduce them to accommodate the new flooring height.With door height reduction place a board against the door and mark the door just above the height of the board. The door will have to be removed before cutting but ensure that you do not cut into the door casing, remove only the architrave section.Piping presents a different problem but it is simple if the correct procedure is followed. Mark the board to be cut by drawing on the face of the board using a straightedge either side of the pipe, then, using a tape or ruler, measure the distance from the wall to the front to the pipe then mark this on the board. Now put the board into a workbench or other suitable clamping arrangement. Select a suitable drill the size of the pipe and the mark where the centre of the pipe would be, for example a 20mm pipe will have a 10mm centre. Drill out the hole and the very carefully cut along the marked lines and save the piece of cut laminate. When the board is fitted into place, glue that cut section behind the pipe and you have a neat cut around the pipe.
Versatile, practical and chic, vertical blinds are an excellent choice for every room in your home. Extremely useful, vertical window blinds come in a wide variety of colours, materials and patterns. Matching any décor is a breeze. Features include swivelling panels to allow in as much or as little ambient light as you like. Draws can be placed on either side, or the blinds can be fashioned so that they open down the middle, making them extremely practical. With customisable sizes available to fit any window opening, there are vertical blinds for every room in your home. Vertical blinds are especially useful in family rooms. With a classic, timeless look, they match any décor, from casual to elegant. The clean lines and minimalistic appearance make them an excellent match for a contemporary room, and their practicality makes them perfect for enhancing a casual look. Rich textures and colours also make vertical blinds a good choice for a sophisticated room.The family room can be enhanced with the addition of vertical blinds. The ability to make small changes in the amount of ambient light let into the room makes them a practical choice. The use of blackout liners adds insulation, keeping the room warmer in winter and cooler in summer, as well as enhancing light control and privacy. Blackout liners work well with vertical blinds in the media room, helping to further reduce glare. Vertical blinds in the media room help create an optimal viewing experience. With blackout liners, the room can be completely darkened. Vertical blinds are the perfect solution for the conservatory or for other large window spaces or sliding glass doors. Customisable sizes make them a practical choice, and the vertical design makes them ideal for sliding doors. Vertical blinds are an excellent choice for every room in your home.
Screws are stronger in use than nails and when you are taking on a DIY project using a screw is always preferably to a nail, although of course it takes longer to complete your task. There are many specialist screws available to suit a whole range of applications; today most screws are measured in millimetres, but traditional ones still use imperial or inches to measure them.Oce there was only one type of screwdriver in use, the flat blade to fit into the slotted head of the screw, now we see a variety of the newer crosshead type comprising either Philips or Pozidrive. With the Philips head only a Philips screwdriver will fit properly, but with Pozidrive either a Philips or Pozidrive screwdrivers will fit. These types of head allow more power to be applied to the screw without the screwdriver slipping, thus no damage will occur to the head, just as long as the correct size screwdriver is used.There are three types of common head used in screws, countersunk, round head and raised head. The countersunk heads are used where the head must end up being flush with the surface, to make the hole for the countersink head to fit into use a countersink bit, or a special combined drill bit that drills the hole and countersinks at the same time.Round head screws are used for assemblies that may be dismantled and material that is too thin to be countersunk, the head can be covered with a cover giving a nice appearance. Raised head screws are a combination of the above two and are used for areas where a neat finish is needed. With any of these it is important that the correct screw size is used but more so the right screwdriver for the screw.
In most cases of mould or mildew the reason can be traced to a damp and badly ventilated room, both of which are symptoms of this. Is the mould localised to one part of the room, in which case it could be due to a leaking gutter, pipe or drain. If there is an external source of dampness, this should obviously be fixed before you start to treat the mould.If you have a room, or rooms that regularly get damp through condensation, these will always be prone to having problems with mould and mildew and obviously the best way to prevent this is to improve the ventilation. If possible, open a window at least once a day, for about an hour, not always possible in cold winter months. Bathrooms are very prone to condensation which is the cause of mould and mildew and ventilation is really necessary here to ensure condensation does not linger on surfaces. Always ensure that a window is opened after the shower or bath is used, better still have a ventilation fan fitted and always used when taking a bath or shower.If a room is cold as well as damp, consider introducing a heater to the room. This could be a portable storage heater, but remember that portable gas heaters produce large quantities of water when burning, better still have a radiator fitted to the bathroom, electric ones are very efficient and can include towel rails to them. If you have a towel warmer in the bathroom, consider replacing this with one that has a radiator in the design.
If you have a small room in your house, you’re not limited to having it just as a ‘cosy’ space. There are many ways that you can change things around in the room in order to make the room look and feel bigger.The number one way to make a room feel smaller is to use dark colours. These absorb the light, meaning that the space appears more cramped. On the other hand, having a room with light coloured walls will open it up and give it an airier feeling. If the ceiling is particularly low, paint that in a colour that’s a couple of shades lighter than the walls to lift it a little.Another factor that’s very important in creating a sense of space is how you use lighting. Use what natural light you have to your advantage, meaning that the space doesn’t feel so limited by walls. If you don’t have a lot of natural light, use artificial lighting as best you can. Install lamps in darker corners and use mirrors creatively to reflect light into shaded areas. Mirrors are also helpful when placed so that they are angled towards focal points in the room or if they reflect a view out of the window.You’ll need to get rid of the clutter if you only have a small room. If it’s messy or cluttered, it will not only look smaller, but will feel smaller since there will be less space. Make sure that you only have one focal point such as a fireplace or a table and arrange furniture around it to keep the focus there. Make sure not to cover walls in pictures, but hang one large one; don’t lay large rugs on the floor, keep them smaller to maintain an illusion of a bigger area of space.