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How to fit shelves :: Posted by: Admin on February 13th, 2014

How to fit shelves

Shelves are a handy way to store and display items, from books to ornaments. There are a few different types of shelving available, such as floating, fixed bracket, slotted shelving system and built in shelving. You will find one that suits your needs and situation.

Obviously the most important thing with shelving, whatever the type you use is to ensure the shelve is level and securely fitted to the wall. You will need a few basic tools to fit shelves and is an easy job to do.

Tools needed to fit shelving

You will need the following tools to fit shelves:

  • A pencil
  • A spirit level
  • A drill
  • Rawl plugs
  • Drill bit
  • A cable and pipe detector
  • A tape measure
  • A dust sheet

Unless you are sure where pipes and cables run you should always use a detector to find and mark them to avoid drilling through pipes or cables.

Fixed Bracket Shelf

Fitting fixed bracket shelves

Firstly use the pipe and cables detector to find and then mark the location of any cables or pipes on the wall. Once this is done you can work out where to fix the shelf, making sure you avoid the cables and pipes you may of marked.

Once you have decided on the shelves location, hold the shelf against the wall and with a spirit level ensure the shelf is level, then draw a line along the under edge of the shelf, then put the shelf to one side.

Now take a bracket and hold it so that the top of the bracket is level with the line you have drawn on the wall and far enough in from the edge to give the shelf good support (this will depend on the shelf size and the weight you are going to put onto it). Mark the holes of the bracket onto the wall using a pencil, then put the bracket to one side.

Now with a drill bit and drill, drill the holes required and put rawl plugs into the wall, repeat the same process with the other bracket.

Floating Shelf

Once you have the holes drilled and plugged you can screw the brackets onto the wall, then fit the shelf to the bracket, the brackets will have holes in them to allow you to screw through the bracket and up into the shelf to stop the shelf from moving or being pulled off. Just make sure the screws are small enough so they do not go all the way through the shelf.

Finally check the level of the shelf, and you are now ready to use your shelves. If you have more than one shelf to fit, follow the same procedure as above.

Fitting floating shelves

A floating shelf is designed to hide the supporting bracket by concealing it inside the shelf, these types of shelves give a modern minimalistic look.

Firstly use the pipe and cables detector to find and then mark the location of any cables or pipes on the wall. Once this is done you can work out where to fix the shelf, making sure you avoid the cables and pipes you may of marked.

Once you have decided on the shelves location, hold the shelf bracket against the wall and with a spirit level ensure the shelf is level, then mark the holes through the bracket onto the wall, put the bracket to one side, drill and plug the holes.

Now screw the bracket onto the wall using the holes you have just drilled, once the bracket is firmly fixed to the wall slide the shelf onto the bracket. Check the level of the shelf, if you are happy screw the grub screw (small screws) through the shelf and into the hole in the bracket to ensure the shelf can not be pulled off the wall.

Adjustable Shelf System

Fitting slotted adjustable shelf system

This type of shelving is great if you may wish to alter the height of the shelves to allow taller things in between shelves in the future, and can be removed completely and just leave the vertical rails on the wall until you wish to use them again, in you need a versatile shelving system then this is the one to go for.

Firstly use the pipe and cables detector to find and then mark the location of any cables or pipes on the wall. Once this is done you can work out where to fix the shelf, making sure you avoid the cables and pipes you may of marked.

Work out the height of the supporting rail and mark it on the wall, hold the supporting bracket so the top lines up with the mark on the wall, then mark the top hole, drill and plug this hole and screw the bracket to the wall, but don’t tighten the screw all the way in, allow the bracket to hang, it should hang vertically level as it is only fixed in one place, check and adjust if needed using a spirit level, then mark the remaining holes, hold the bracket out of the way, drill and plug the remaining holes. Then screw all the screws into the bracket.

Now moving onto the second bracket, ensure it is at the same level as the first one, and not too far apart for the shelf. By using the same procedure as above fit the second bracket.

Once both brackets are fitted you can slide the shelf brackets into the supporting bracket and lock them into place.

Then you can put your shelves on the shelf brackets and then using a small screw screw through the underneath of the bracket up into the self to stop it from moving or being pulled off.

Fitting built in shelves

Built In Shelf

Built in shelving is ideal for alcoves either side of a fireplace. They consist of wooden battens that are screwed to the wall and then a shelf is cut to fit the alcove and sits on top of the battens.

Firstly use the pipe and cables detector to find and then mark the location of any cables or pipes on the wall. Once this is done you can work out where to fix the shelf, making sure you avoid the cables and pipes you may of marked.

You now need to measure the battens, one for the back and two for the sides. Drill and fix the batten on the back wall, then line up, drill and fix the two side battens. The two side battens can be shaped so they aren’t square edged on the front edge, you can cut them at a 45° angle.

Once all the battens are fixed to the walls you can fit the shelves. You will have to make bespoke shelves to fit your width and depth of alcove. Once the shelves are fitted you can screw the shelves from the top into the batten to ensure they don’t move or are pulled off.

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Posted in Building, DIY Tips, Handyman tips, Woodwork | No Comments »

Boxing in pipework :: Posted by: Admin on January 13th, 2014

Boxing in pipework

Boxing in pipework

Pipes such as heating pipes or waste pipes can look ugly and can be a dust trap, they can be hard to clean and even paint around. The ideal solution is to box pipework in, once they are boxed in, the box can be decorated the same as the surrounding area, such as tiled or painted.

Typically to box in pipework you use timber battens and plywood or MDF, the battens are normally 2×1 inches (50×25 mm) or 2×2 (50×50 mm). The plywood or MDF can be 6 or 9 mm. All of the materials used will depend on the circumstances you plan to box the pipes in. You may even wish to use plasterboard and plaster the box.

Tools required for this job

  • Battens (2×1 or 2×2) (50×25 mm or 50×50 mm)
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screw or panel pins
  • Spirit level
  • Screwdriver / drill with screwdriver bit
  • Hammer
  • Plywood, MDF, Plasterboard
  • A pencil
  • Tape measure

How to box in pipes

Take the battens and hold them against the wall, use a spirit level to ensure they are upright and level, next drill holes through the wood into the wall, use rawl plugs and screws to fit the batten to the wall ensuring they are level.

Once the two wall battens are fixed you can cut the plywood to the correct size, fix a batten on the outside corner of one of the pieces of plywood, this will allow you to screw the other length of plywood to it giving the external corner a good strong fixing.

Decorating the box

Once the boxing in is done you can decorate the box, if you are painting the box, fill the screw holes and rub them down then apply the appropriate paint to match the surrounding area, you may have to prime the box first to seal the plywood. If you are tiling the boxing in, cut and fix the tiles to match in with to other tiles. You can add skirting boards to horizontal boxing in to match the room, and coving to vertical boxing in to make the box become part of the room and once decorated should like it has always been there.

Horizontal and vertical pipes

The same method for boxing in applies if you are boxing in horizontal or vertical pipes.

You can box in heating pipes, hot and cold water pipes, soil pipes and waste pipes to tidy them up and make them look part of the room.

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Posted in Building, Decorating, DIY Tips, Handyman tips, Plumbing, Woodwork | No Comments »

Fitting a letterbox draught excluder :: Posted by: Admin on October 30th, 2013

Fitting a letterbox draught excluder

If you have a letterbox fitted into your front door, you can help reduce heat loss and draughts if you be draught proof it. Modern doors such as PVCu door will come fitted with a letterbox pre-installed and will have a flap on the outside as well as the inside so no further draught proofing is required.

If however you have an older door and only a flap on the outside of the letterbox, for only a few pounds you can add an internal flap or a draught excluder. These are easy to fit and only take a few minutes.

These draught excluders are readily available at DIY and hardware stores. Once you have bought one you simply need a drill, drill bit and screwdriver, an optional extra is a small level to ensure you fit the excluder level. The screws should be in the packet when you buy the excluder.

Types of draught excluder

There are two types of excluder available, a brush type that has brushes that help stop drafts, the same idea as the brush excluder you fit to the bottom of the doors. Two rows of brushes reduce the draught from coming into your property. The other type is a brush with flap, these are slightly more expensive but do look neater.

To fit both types of excluder simply align on the door, using a level to ensure it is straight, then drill pilot holes to take the screws. Then simply screw the two or four screws into the door to compete the job.

Both types of letterbox draught excluder are fitted internally.

letterbox draught excluders

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Posted in Building, DIY Tips, Handyman tips, Woodwork | 1 Comment »

10 things that can devalue your property :: Posted by: Admin on August 7th, 2013

Graphic of a house with money going down a drain

10 things that can devalue your property

You can do thing’s that improve your property but you can also do things that will devalue your property, obviously this isn’t a good thing and when selling your property could affect how quickly you sell your property.

You have to think like a buyer and what they maybe looking for, offer a plain canvas so they can put their own mark on the place. The following 10 items maybe good reason for the buyer to knock your asking price down, so take a read and see if you can improve your property before a buyer views your house.

First impressions

First impressions count so make sure your property has good kerb appeal, make sure the frontage is tidy, keep it clean, if you have a garden have some nice shrubs of flowers and keep the weeds and grass down, don’t let the grass get so high you can lose a small child in it. If your property is in need of decoration either do it yourself of call on the services of a professional decorator to do the job for you.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, make it a good one, not a bad one. Bad first impressions are hard to change.


Is your kitchen taken out of the ark? Is it greasier than a chip shop? If your kitchen has seen better days it maybe time to have a new one or at least retrofit it by fitting new door and draw fronts to it. If the walls are greasy use some strong de-greaser to remove the grease.

A clean bright modern kitchen will add value to your property, a run down old one will reduce it’s value. The kitchen is the hub of any home, it should be a nice place to be.

Another thing to consider is if you fit a kitchen that nobody else likes this could also devalue your home, that’s not to say you can’t be modern or contemporary with your choices but when people come to view your property they will have in their minds, “Needs a new kitchen”, and knock your asking price down accordingly.


Much the same as a kitchen the bathroom should be clean and bright. If you have carpet is it in good condition or stained and mouldy, an alternative is a tiled floor, which is easy to keep clean and mob up water.

If you still have a bathroom suite from the 1960’s or 1970’s that is chocolate brown, avocado, turquoise or pink unless you have a retro styled bathroom it could knock a little more of the asking price. White is very popular today with more attention being spent on the accessories such as waterfall taps.

A tiled bathroom is often found nowadays rather than papered due to the fact of the dampness you get in a bathroom from the steam, if you have wallpapered walls that is coming off at the corners, invest in some paste and stick them back.


There is nothing wrong with bright colours or big bold patterned wallpaper, but all things in moderation, especially from a buyers point of view. If your decoration is in good condition then you don’t have to worry too much but if you haven’t decorated for the past 15 years consider digging out the paint brushes and roller to give your house a lick of paint to freshen it up.

If you have bright bold colours, consider taming them down a shade or two before putting the house on the market, it won’t be such a shock to the viewers then.


Both front and rear garden’s are important to maintain, mow the lawn, weed the border and plant some nice shrubs and bedding plants in the border. If you have fast growing Leylandii conifers in the garden make sure they are well maintained and trimmed, the last thing you want to do is end up with a dispute with a neighbor, especially if you are trying to sell your property.

If you have a patio area or decking, give it a clean. Sweep up the fallen leaves. Fix and broken fencing or replace fence panels and mend gates. Put the kids toys away.

Bad workmanship

If you have done any work or had any work carried out on your property make sure it is of a good standard, bad shoddy workmanship shows up and will put people off as they know they will have to redo the work again correctly.

You should never do the work yourself unless you have a good knowledge of what is required, any gas, electric, plumbing and heating should be carried out by a qualified person. If bad workmanship is seen people will wonder what else hasn’t been done right or how much is this going to cost me to put right, all of which devalues your property.

Bad or illegal building

If you have had any building work done in must of been passed with the local building authority, if it isn’t you’ll have real problems when it comes to selling, plus it’s illegal and you could be asked to take it down.

Another issue arises if you live in a listed building, there are rules you have to follow and things you are and are not allowed to do to a property, go against this at your peril and at the expense of devaluing your home.

Building with no planning permission when permission is required will make your property untouchable for many buyers, it just isn’t worth the hassle, so make sure all the paperwork is in order and that the local building authority are happy with your new build before trying to sell.

Woodchip and artex

If you still have woodchip wallpaper or artexed walls this could certainly devalue you property as it isn’t in fashion any more and it can be fairly costly to remove it and have the walls plastered smooth again.

Having woodchip or artexed wall could also show to potential buyers that you haven’t decorated in a while, it could be a deal breaker so consider removing them if you still have them before selling, or be prepared to drop the asking price accordingly.

An Englishman’s home is his castle

As the old saying goes, “An Englishman’s home is his castle”, but that doesn’t mean you have to ram in every period feature into one house, it is good to have original period features but if you adding features be careful not to over do it.

You don’t want to have a ceiling rose with a large light fitting, a picture rail, a dado rail, ornate eight inch skirting boards in a 1960’s end terrace, it just won’t look right and may put people off buying your house as it doesn’t look like a 1960’s end terrace it may look just a bit, over done. So it maybe a good idea to try and keep true to the period of your property when you do it up.


If you have pets such as cats, dogs and you let them run freely around the entire house you may have pet smells in your house, to avoid this try keeping them downstairs and maybe to one or two rooms to keep smells to a minimum.

Also be aware of leaks, a slow drip from behind the concealed toilet cistern or a leaking kitchen tap will make the surrounding area damp and in time this will smell, if you know you have a leak try and fix it as soon as possible, if you have rotten wood caused by a leak, replace it.

Smells can also come from leaking drainage, you should fix these as soon as possible, not only because of the smell but because of hygiene also.

In summary

I hope this post has been thought provoking as well as useful and pointed out some things that could devalue your house but maybe you hadn’t thought about before.

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Posted in DIY Tips, Gardening, Handyman tips, Plumbing, Woodwork | No Comments »


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