Anyone who’s keen on DIY or keen to get into DIY in the New Year needs a good do-it-yourself manual and the B&Q You Can Do It Book is just the thing. With projects for novices and more experienced home improvers alike, it will make a great Christmas gift, especially if you’re trying to give someone a hint. It costs £16.98 from your local B&Q, see www.diy.com.
Dremel has launched a new Glue Gun Hobby Set, perfect if you like combining crafts and DIY. The set includes 10 normal glue sticks, 12 glitter sticks and three nozzles for the glue gun, enabling you to create different patterns and shapes. The set is ideal for making Christmas decorations and cards, or decorating picture frames and mirrors if you want to give handcrafted gifts.
The glue gun has a dual-temperature setting so it can be used on a wide range of materials, an LED light to illuminate the area you’re working on, a one-hand-operated kick stand to provide stability on the work surface, a large three-finger trigger to enable you to apply the glue precisely, and a soft grip for comfortable use.
The Dremel Glue Gun Hobby Set costs around £24.46 from DIY stores, or online from www.dremeluk.co.uk and others
ASK THE EXPERT…
Q: Should I tile my kitchen floor before the units go in or after?
A: This partly depends on whether your base units will be on decorative legs or have a kick board concealing the legs. If it’s the former, you’ll need to tile the whole floor before the units are fitted because you’ll be able to see under the units. If you’re having a kick board, you could tile once the units are in because the join between the sub-floor and the tiled floor will be concealed by the kick board. This will be cheaper than tiling the whole floor, but the different floor levels could cause problems if, for example, you need to pull out the appliances and they, like the units, are lower than the tiled floor.
Painted exterior walls can look pretty bare and boring at this time of year, especially if they usually have a climbing plant on them, so if it’s a sunny day and you feel like escaping the house and getting out into the garden, brighten them up with a coat or two of exterior paint.
TOP TIPS FOR… installing a kitchen
As with any DIY project, it’s essential to get the order of works right when fitting a kitchen. Good DIY books and websites should be able to help with this, but if you’re at all unsure, get expert advice – or get the experts in to do it – because getting it wrong could cost you a lot of time and money.
Some decisions about the order of works are a matter of personal choice. For example, would you prefer to paint around the units once they’re in, which is awkward but saves on paint, or would you rather paint the room when it’s empty, which will use up more paint and risks the paintwork being damaged by the rest of the DIY, but is a lot less fiddly?
Replacing a worktop, providing it’s made of something like wood or laminate, is relatively straightforward. It is possible for DIYers to install other types of worktop, but they are more suited to professional installation. The problem comes when you have to cut the worktop: wood and laminate can be cut with jigsaws and circular saws, but this will take some practice to get perfect if you haven’t done it before.
Another problem is the sink: replacing the worktop usually involves unplumbing and then replumbing the sink, which isn’t necessarily as easy as it sounds. Remember, only very experienced and competent DIYers should tackle plumbing, and no DIYers should do gas and electrical work – leave it for the professionals.
Even if a builder or carpenter is installing your units, you can usually save money by assembling them (if they’re flat-packed) yourself, but allow plenty of time and room in which to do this – the garden’s an ideal place in good weather. When it comes to the handles, you’ll need to measure carefully where you want them to go and then get it right on every door and drawer front. Double-check your measurements and the position of the handle before you drill to avoid making a potentially costly mistake.