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All Posts in Category: DIY


Your guide to winter construction

The thought of building in wind, rain and cold temperatures might be unappealing, but if that were to deter us, we wouldn’t get much work done here in the UK. If you’re undertaking any construction job that will take more than a few months, or if you want to start a project without having to wait for summer to arrive, you need to learn how to cope with whatever the elements throw at you. Check out our guide below for tips on building in less-than-favourable conditions:

Keeping workers comfortable

Cold hands and unhappy workers equate to low productivity and poor morale, so it’s crucial that all those on the job are kept as comfortable as possible. Clothing is the first place to start: as well as being protective and practical, it needs to keep wearers warm and dry. Sturdy lined boots, waterproof padded shirts and strong thermal gloves are musts – buy them online from retailers like Dickies Store.

You can also combat a cold environment with space heaters – SIP stocks a great range of electric space heaters that are ideal for open-air working spaces. Also, if possible, hang tarpaulin to protect everyone from rain and provide a covered break/lunch area with hot-drink facilities. This will enable workers to enjoy relief from poor weather and reboot their systems.

Finally, you should make sure there is proper lighting to combat dank weather and shorter days. This will enable builders to put in more hours without compromising safety.

Protecting tools and equipment

Icy temperatures, wind and rain can cause significant damage to tools and equipment, something that can endanger and inconvenience your workers – and come at a great expense. It is crucial that scaffolding is properly secured, as strong wind can loosen bolts; metal tools like shovels should be wrapped in rags and sealed in a waterproof bag to prevent rusting; and power tools should be kept safely stored out or harm’s way during rain or snow.

Have a Plan B

There are certain jobs that, no matter what preparations you make, cannot be done in poor conditions. For example, painting or putting in foundations in the rain are no-nos. For this reason, you should factor in alternative tasks to be completed in the event of bad weather. Alternate options will ensure that workers stay productive and get the project closer to completion no matter what the weather.

If you have any builds in mind, please do not hesitate to contact Wintek Construction on 07773 715 196 or email us: [email protected]

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DIY or Hire the Pros?

When any work needs doing in the house the first thought is always, can I do it myself? If you’re a dab hand with the power tools or your just looking to save money, this option will seem tempting. For any job, carpentry/joinery in particular, it’s easy to assume that renting the tools and taking a stab at it would suffice but this might be further from the truth than you expect. Now obviously you aren’t going to hire a professional joiner to come and put up a shelf but the question remains, when should you seek professional help and why?

Cost.This is a defining factor in most people opting for the DIY option. It makes sense right? Maybe not. For instance, most professionals have links with suppliers and usually get those supplies at discounted prices. By adding labour costs on top, it is still more expensive but it doesn’t stop there.

Equipment. Professionals already own their own equipment, which is already included in the costs so instead of hiring or purchasing the necessary tools, adding additional costs to what you believed was the cheaper option, you can hire a professional. Remember that when hiring power tools you are liable for damages and any number of accidents can occur which would push the cost of the project up even further.

Insurance.When you pay for a professional you are paying for insurance, this means any mistakes or damages are covered. Obviously this is a big IF however, a professional is much less likely to make a mistake in the first place than somebody doing it themselves so it is certainly wiser to cover ones back.

Time. Professionals do these jobs on a daily basis and understand the value of efficiency. If you are doing it yourself then it is likely you will be doing it in your spare time, if not then you will be taking time off work, which again is costing you money, to do the job when professionals could do it much faster and in a more organised fashion.

If the reason you are opting for DIY is that you like to do this kind of work yourself, which is understandable, or you want to take a very hands on approach then you can always enlist a professional and then offer your help. Obviously you would be limited in what you can do, but you can take the opportunity to learn a lot for future reference and make sure the tradesmen is following your instruction.

DIY or Professionals?

Joiners. When doing any joinery or carpentry like work yourself, make sure it is something standalone and relatively simple. As mentioned before, putting up a shelf or building a desk from scratch are all joinery projects that can be done easily. For more complex work such as decking, built in home features and other complicated tasks should always be left to a professional joiner.

Plumbing. Besides maybe replacing a U-bend or fixing a leak, it is always wise to enlist a CORGI registered plumber. For the reasons listed above, specifically insurance reasons, you will want a professional plumber to ensure the job is done quickly and correctly.

Electrical. Other than changing fuses and wiring switches and sockets then, for safety issues, always hire a professional electrician. This is always the best option as safety cannot be stressed enough.

Despite the Medias scare mongering, most professional tradesmen are always happy to help and speaking with one is always a good idea. Even if you think you could manage yourself it is still worth contacting a professional and just making some general enquiries about cost and timescale before deciding whether or not to do it yourself.

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