Category Archives: Handyman

How do they sleep at night?

I’ve been doing some paving work for a nice old lady – she must be in her 70s, and noticed that she had had some new plastic verges put up on the roof.
I thought they looked a bit wonky, so got my ladder to check them over for her…..unbelievable…..they are totally the wrong size and each one leaves a perfect bird nesting hole. They are only fixed at the lower edge and were actually flapping about in the very slight breeze.
They turned up out of the blue, (“just passing and noticed they needed doing, we could do it straight away….blah blah blah….”) were there for just an hour and a half, and charged her £280……. ::b

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Red Brick Tile Window Sills


I know the sills you mean, you should probably be looking at a suitable primer rather than a power sander…(a decent primer and topcoat should last 5-10 years rather than 2)

Fence, similar, I can’t remember ever having to sand a fence (With the exception of picket fencing) a good wash down….creosote isn’t available anymore, so you are are probably using creocoat…..a completely useless product.

Try “Ducksback” or similar.

Properly applied should again last at least 5 years.

Any way, pics of your exact problem might help……..

Small 2w air pump device

I have an small air pump for my aquarium which is in my bedroom. It’s a bit noisy and disturbs my sleep so I worked out that if I place it in the laundry basket the noise gets muffled enough for me to get a quiet nights sleep.

It does get a bit warm after several hours of running (although I haven’t tested it yet to see hot warm it gets with ventilation.

The pump is sealed and does not have any ventilation holes of it’s own – (though I am not sure how it sucks air in – probably through the gaps of the shell casing.

Was curious is it safe to have it insulated like this or is it a fire risk?

Butinox or Demidekk ?

Hi ,
Can anyone with experience of Butinox or Demidekk Ultra help with some advice please ?
Basically, what’s the best stuff for my exterior windows which need redoing again ::b after many efforts down the years with the “usual” makes which all fail and well …don’t do what they say on the tin ! i’m now looking at the above makes which sound pretty encouraging ?
I’ve used spirit stain oil varnishes and all in one woodstains previously but they all end up failing despite following all preparation guides .
To be fair it’s worse on the more exposed areas with the lower parts of the frame peeling off and the sills pretty much back to bare wood .
Questions i have are –

1.Wondering about the differences/merits between Butinox 1, 2 and 3 – i see that 1 is called translucent and 2 3 are opaque – which obviously i get but they still refer to 2 3 as a woodstain/paint ?
Is the finish of 2 3 a basic flat colour like paint or does it perhaps leave a kind of impression of the grain ?

2. Can i get the Butinox’s or the Demidekk Ultra in a Dark Brown /Mahogany like colour ?

3. What do you think about the Demidekk Ultra in comparison – i think i’ve seen that it’s referred to as Demidekk “Windows doors” so would that perhaps be the better product for planed timber?(rather than cladding etc ) or would the Butinox do just as well ?

4 In regards to the application – because some parts such as sills are down to bare would as i say , should i use a primer (ie Visir) before using the top coat/s ?
Also because there is some cracking and damage etc to fill repair , is there a filler that you chaps would recommend for exterior repair ?

Any help or advice much appreciated


Flat roofing vapour barriers

I have a flat roof surrounded by parapet walls / house wall. Roofing contractors are in the process of stripping and recovering. In order not to raise the height of the final deck covering too far, Building Control agreed to some insulation between joists ( cold deck ), then board over the joists and further insulation above before the final covering, with a vapour barrier somewhere in the sandwiched construction above the joists ( warm deck ).

Now we find that the joists need replacing, and BC then suggested a vapour barrier between ceiling and underside of joists would be a good idea. There is currently no ventilation of the voids between the joists, so to my mind any moisture in the wood would be trapped between ceiling and decking and this doesn’t sound good.

Anyone come across this before ? All advice welcome !

DeWalt XR 14.4V with 18V range

I’ve a Dewalt XR 14.4 combi-drill with 2 x 4ah batteries…

I’m on the lookout for a few cordless bits, problem is the Dewalt cordless range is all 18V…

Would my 14.4V batteries power the bare 18V units or not…

I think I already know the answer to my question but for my wallets sake i’m holding out for a glimmer of hope :cb

Thanks in advance

Weatherproof light switch wiring problems.

Hi. I have a garden shed which the landlord refuses to do anything to. As a result it can get rather damp in Winter. My wife goes out to fetch pet food and feed the guinea pigs every night and having used head torches and then led battery powered lights I finally decided to try and get the shed lit up properly.

I installed a Greenbrook BHEAD Bulkhead Light Fitting with Glass Diffuser connected to a three wire mains lead. I decided to draw the power from the garage so needed a switch. I installed a Masterplug WP12 20A 1-Gang 2-Way Storm Weatherproof Outdoor Switch (Single Pole IP66 Rated) though the box states it was made by ‘British General’.

The switch has me beaten and I can’t afford to call on an electrician so I am throwing myself on the mercy of those who understand such things…

I have a cable (3 core – Live, Neutral and Earth) plugged into a socket in the garage, this runs through the wall and along the inside of the shed roof to the switch and then a second length of cable (same type) running from the switch to the light on the ceiling of the shed.

the instructions which came with the switch are totally beyond me. (A pdf version can be found here: [20 AMP 20 AX SWITCHES – NEXUS STORM Data Sheet]) When I ordered it I had assumed there would be three or six screw terminals and it would be easy to wire but all I keep doing is trying to make sense of these instructions and blowing the fuse every time I turn the light on.

I have twisted the Earth in and out wires together and screwed them into the Earth terminal in the switch housing (there is also an Earth terminal in the light housing). The Live in has been screwed into the ‘Com’ terminal in the switch and the Neutral in and out wires have been twisted together and screwed into the L2 terminal while the L1 terminal has the Live out wire attached.

I removed the Neon indicator ‘Link wire’.

I’m rather out of my depth here and would really appreciate it if someone could put me on the right track.

Fingers crossed.

Thanks in advance.