Roof replacement

In the next few months you will find that there are more people in DIY stores, more machinery noise in the morning and more home and garden services being advertised. It will soon be spring and most people’s garden could do with a little attention as the grass starts to grow, trees need pruning and flower beds need de-weeding. It’s also an excellent time to start some home DIY as there will be a few bank holidays over April and May. One of the top jobs this year is roof replacements.

Many people have been trying to sell their homes for the last few years and have still yet to sell them, it is mainly due to banks not lending or buyers not having enough cash to pay for the asking price. So many homeowners have put off doing any renovations as they cannot guarantee they will get their money back. There are some buyers out there who have been through the process before so do not want the hassle of changing the windows or roof when they buy it.

Roof replacement

On average a roof can last for 30 years before there are signs that it needs to be replaced completely. There may be times when a tile becomes loose but this is no reason to replace the entire roof, you just need to make sure that the loose tiles are secured. Other signs may be:

  • Damp appearing on the walls and ceilings
  • A strong draft on the first floor or near the attic
  • Leaking from the attic

You should get a few quotes before accepting the first person that comes to assess the damage. It is also good to have a quick look yourself if you can as builders are known to make situations look worse than they seem. They may try to make you take them on there and then saying things like ‘it won’t last another month’ ‘the entire roof has rotted through’ and show you loose tiles that are nothing to be worried about.

You should never accept work from an uninvited salesman, this is someone who turns up at your door trying to sell you their services or new doors and double glazing. They will make is seem like they are offering a good deal because they are in the area or claim that they are working on the neighbours house a few doors away. In fact they are just touting for business and need you more than they need you, do not let them intimidate you and let them know politely that you are not interested.


Roof cleaning – Why should you do it

There will come a time when you will look at the roof of your house and find that it doesn’t look so great and you may even find moss or algae on your driveway or patio. This is perfectly normal as the roof of a house is the most neglected when it comes to maintenance and cleaning, it’s hard to get to and dangerous to access if you don’t have the proper equipment and training. The last 5 years alone has seen requests for roof cleaning treble as many people try to regain the former glory of the exterior of their house.

The main reason a homeowner would choose to have their roof cleaned is to create the illusion that the roof has been maintained properly and in some cases making the roof look newer compared to the adjacent houses. It’s also a great cheat when it comes to selling a house as it makes the property look more appealing to the others on the same road. Make your property stand out and increase the chances of a quick sale by having your roof cleaned.

Roof cleaning problems

Over time the roof of a property will have a build up of algae, moss and lichen, properties that benefit from full sunlight in rural areas are most likely to have this problem but in the last 50 years it has spread to many inner city areas. Lichen, moss and algae can have roots that are stubborn to get rid of in some cases being as deep as 12mm. These penetrate the roof and surrounding areas and allow water to soak through. In time it can cause mould and damp to properties, the roof will also have to bear the weight of this and in time will deteriorate faster than roofs that have been cleaned.

Roof cleaning process

The solution to these pests is simple and having your roof cleaned will prolong the tiles and prevent damp, mould and drain blockage. Here is a step by step description of the process:

  • All areas that are not to be treated will be covered, the pipes disconnected and rubber matting placed down
  • The roof is now ready for cleaning, a high pressure power jet is used to removed all algae, moss, lichen fungi and dirt
  • The gutters, pipes and drains will also get a thorough cleanout
  • Some companies will also repair any minor damage to your roof such as broken, damaged or missing tiles, re-pointing or cement work (usually included in the price of the quote)
  • Now that the roof is clean and repaired an environmentally friendly treatment wash is sprayed on, this will prevent any further growth of fungi, moss, lichen or algae
  • Finally a clear solution is sprayed onto the roof to act as a protective layer against water and to prevent any further attacks. The clear solution is breathable and will also act as an insulator to keep heat from escaping

Not all roof cleaning companies will offer the same service; some may be cheaper because less work is carried out whereas others will be more expensive as all aspects of roof maintenance are performed. You should expect to pay around £800 for an average 3 bedroom property but the age and severity of cleaning may mean you might have to pay more.


Home decals – The exciting way to decorate

nursery wall decalsMost people buy a starter home and don’t really know how long they’re going to live there. So when it comes to decorating, the majority just leave it a neutral colour as it’s easier to sell with minimal work later. The same applies for young children who have yet to decide how they would like to personalise their room. The answer is simple – wall decals also known as wall stickers, transfers, wall art and even wall tattoos. Wall decals for the home are inexpensive and temporary and you can remove them from wall without stripping of any paint or wallpaper.

The advantages of using wall decals

As they are only temporary, they are easy to stick on the wall and you can take them to your next home should you decide to move. As young children are very indecisive, wall decals are a cheap and convenient way of keeping them happy. When children grow out of their selected wall decals, you can pass them onto any younger friends or family with children of their own. As an adult, don’t feel like it’s only children that get to have all the fun as there are many designs that you can apply all over the house. You can have fun designs, contemporary, modern and even really girly just to annoy partners.

Where to put wall decals?

You can put wall stickers, wall tattoos and transfers in virtually all rooms and surfaces. To give you some inspiration here are some really good places to start.

Living room – if you have a chimney breast or specific area you would like to stand out, you could place long stemmed flower or even tree stickers to liven up the room

Bathroom – to make the bathroom more interesting, you can have water animal stickers to encourage children to bathe or something grown up for any adults living in the house

Kitchen – you can get kitchen themed decals to make cooking more exciting

Dining room – if you have a dining room, why not have a themed decal to make the dining room stand out and be a conversation starter

Children’s bedroom or play room – there are endless designs aimed for children of all ages; stickers are safe and non toxic compared to most paints, so save some money and get decorating today

Hallway and stairs – you could have birds, butterflies or any theme for a hallway or stairs, adding excitement and individuality

As there are so many different wall decals available, explore your options and remember to take them down if you decide to sell your house. Future buyers may be put off of extensive wall decorations so remember to take them with you.

Putting vinyl floors in your house

As house sales increase, homebuyers are looking for cheap ways to decorate and make their homes look attractive to buyers or for themselves. With carpet going out of fashion, most people can’t afford real wooden floors or tiles so we look at the alternative.

Cheap flooring solution

I would consider vinyl flooring as it’s affordable and easy to lay and will last for a long time to come. Vinyl flooring can also come as tiles (medium sized squares) making them easier to lay and good for creating colour effects such as a black and white vinyl floor which is still very popular. Vinyl tiles have a self adhesive backing that will allow you to lay them effortlessly.

Vinyl flooring can also come on a long roll so if you are covering a large area such as the living room it’s possible to cover the joins without showing. The good thing about vinyl floor covering is you can get them in all different designs to suit all rooms in the house. If you want the wooden effect look, then you can also get vinyl laminate flooring that gives the illusion of wooden flooring.

By using bathroom vinyl flooring, the options are endless as you can get all different colours and designs to match the bathroom suite you have in your house. The added bonus of having vinyl flooring in the bathroom or kitchen is that it is waterproof.

Cleaning vinyl flooring is simple; all you need is water, a bucket and a mop. You can buy floor washing products or just use diluted bleach, house cleaning products or dishwashing liquid. You won’t need to get the vacuum cleaner out everyday as you can also sweep the floor using a long broom handle. You can also be sure that if anything falls on the floor it won’t stain as easily as falling onto carpet.

How to remove vinyl flooring?

Removing vinyl flooring is simple, it’s glued to the floor so all you have to do it lift it up but if you find that the glue used is extremely hard to remove, try using a wallpaper steamer as this has proved to work. The wallpaper steamer will help dissolve the glue so the vinyl floor is easier to remove.

Different ways of removing wallpaper

Removing wallpaper is not as hard as some might think. I take a look at the different ways to stripping off wallpaper.

How to remove wallpaper?

There are many ways to strip off wallpaper, here are just some of the ways:

  • Dipping a wet sponge onto the wallpaper and leaving it for a few minutes will cause the glue to dissolve. By using a stripping knife, the wallpaper will come off easily. This method is time consuming and you will end up with very wet floors as the water will drip down to the floor.
  • Another way to remove stubborn wallpaper is by using a wallpaper scorer but after using this tool, you will still need to remove wallpaper either by using a stripping knife or steamer.
  • The fastest and simple way to remove wallpaper is a wallpaper steamer. It’s not really worth hiring one as you can get good wallpaper steamers for £15 and if you’re not really going to use it again you won’t need an expensive one. Wallpaper steamers are easy and the most effective way to remove wallpaper.

Wallpaper stripper solutions can also be sprayed onto walls to remove wallpaper but this can be time consuming and expensive especially if there is a large area to cover.

What door cutting options are available to me?

Having recently refurbished my house, I encountered a problem with my doors, I decided to change all the doors in the house to newer modern ones as those currently present were over 30 years old. At the time, I didn’t know that the doors in my house were not of standard size so when I came to buy new doors, I didn’t realise that they came in different sizes. When I checked my current doors, I then realised that for the doors’ size I would need, I had two options. I could either buy custom made doors or buy standard ones and cut them. I had no choice but to buy new doors as the original doors I had were now already thrown into a skip.

What are my door options?

Custom made doors can get quite expensive and I needed 10 of them. The average price for one was £70, so it would’ve cost me £700 for 10 new doors. Buying standard doors in bulk was cheaper (coming in at under £300). I decided to buy standard doors and cut them to fit my ‘non-standard’ door frames.

Door cutting

At first, I foolishly cut the sides off by hand using a saw. The finish was uneven and it had to be sanded down. I finally listened to my wife and bought a circular saw to cut wood. This has made my life much easier by providing a professional finish and saving me time as well. Cutting doors using a standard saw requires a lot of arm strength and takes a lot of time! The circular saw cost me £65 and was well worth it. I can use it again for other jobs around the house. I would highly recommend this method for door cutting.

What are the solutions for wood cladding on ceilings or walls?

Cladding in the home was fashionable in the 60’s unfortunately nowadays houses with interior wooden cladding are harder to sell. Many people choose not to remove the wooden planks for fear of what is underneath. If cladding has been present for a long time you may have damaged walls or ceilings which mean that when cladding is taken off, the walls and ceilings might need a lot of work on them including plastering.

Painting wood cladding

Having just recently redecorated, here are my tips and tricks to painting cladding panels.

You will need the following before you start: masking tape, different sized paint brushes, wood primer and paint.

  • It is very common to paint the wall and ceiling cladding white, follow these easy steps to ensure a quick and professional finish.
  • Mask off edges and walls to ensure a clean painted edge
  • Start painting timber cladding with a primer painting in direction of the wood grains with a paint brush; leave this to dry for at least 24 hours
  • When painting remember to brush paint between wooden grooves, also there may be holes which were not so noticeable before but are now, fill these with polyfilla (available at all diy stores)
  • Finally paint cladding panels with desired colour, leave to dry; depending on cladding colour more than one coat of paint will need to be applied.

Now remove masking tape and enjoy your cheap cladding solutions.