TOP TIPS FOR… fitting doors
Don’t be tempted to fit the door furniture before you’ve fitted the door. The same applies to painting the door and the doorframe. Fitting a door usually involves a lot of trial and error and it’s easy to scrape the door and the frame in the process, so wait until you’ve finished before doing any painting.
:: Most doors have to be trimmed to fit, but if you live in a period home, fitting (and finding) doors is likely to be harder. Period doors tend not to be a standard size and your doorframes may have moved over time.
:: Getting the size of the door just right is usually tricky, time-consuming and frustrating. You don’t want it to scrape on the floor (you should protect the floor underneath when fitting the door), nor do you want a large gap at the top or bottom that lets in draughts (you can add strips of wood here if necessary). That said, getting an exact fit at the sides is obviously most important because otherwise the door won’t close.
:: You’ll probably need a circular saw to cut the door to fit, as most doors are too thick for jigsaws. Once you’ve got the door pretty much the right size, use a plane (preferably an electric one) to shave off smaller amounts of wood until it fits exactly. Cut a door down too much and you could compromise its structure, so it’s essential to get it right.
:: You may have to move the position of the hinges and the lock and handle mechanisms on the door or frame, or sometimes both. Do whatever’s easiest without compromising the way the door works. External doors are usually best fitted by a professional, not least because it’s vital to have your security locks installed correctly.
DIY NEWS BULLETIN
:: No self-respecting DIYer should be without a good book to help them and The Reader’s Digest DIY Manual is just the thing. It has already sold more than three million copies and is now being re-released with information on the latest building, plumbing and electrical regulations, as well as advice on making your home more environmentally friendly.
Each DIY job is explained in a clear step-by-step way, complete with pictures. There’s also lots of useful information, tips and trade secrets. Whether you’re new to DIY and need help to get started, or you’re a more experienced DIYer wanting to tackle advanced home-improvement tasks, you’ll find it really useful.
The manual also includes information on eco-friendly materials, saving energy and how to assess and improve the energy-efficiency rating of your home. There’s an accompanying CD-ROM that has a carbon-footprint calculator to help you gauge your home’s CO2 emissions, a ’ready reckoner’ for estimating DIY materials, and 42 animated DIY tasks and techniques.
The revamped Reader’s Digest DIY Manual is available from 26 March and costs £19.99. See www.readersdigest.co.uk
:: If you’re planning a big DIY project in the garden this spring or summer, check out the new Homebase Garden Buildings brochure for, among other things, fences, sheds, log cabins, gates, gazebos and decking. It can be viewed on the Homebase website – www.homebase.co.uk (Online Brochures is under Advice & Guidance on the homepage).
ASK THE EXPERT…
Q: Where’s a good place to get period doors?
A: Salvage yards and eBay are good places to look, although the doors won’t necessarily be cheap. Skips are an excellent – and free – source of period doors, though it may take months until you find what you need and your success will partially depend on how many houses in your neighbourhood are of a similar period to yours.
Mothering Sunday’s coming up and if your mum’s handy, why not get her something fun like a leopard-print tool belt or a flowery toolbox and matching tools? Look on the internet. Some amazing items can be found.