Welcome to the first blog post from Dean Taylor.
I hope this blog will be of interest to you and plan to cover a wide variety of property improvement and maintenance issues covering both domestic and commercial properties. I will always include some tips and advice, but if you have any property work that you can’t cover yourself, give me a call on 07841 622484 or email me here.
In this issue:
Job of the month: Fencing.
Product of the month: De Walt drill
What to do this month: Spring clean, de-clutter and Redecorate
Video of the month: How to fill a plasterboard wall
Gardens and Fencing
I’ve had a lot of calls recently about fencing – either putting up new, or doing repairs to existing.
It’s typical of this time of year when everyone is spending more time outside and starting to think about changes or improvements they can make to their gardens and outside space.
The storms of early 2014 took their toll on many garden fences so now is definitely the time to get any weak spots fixed.
If you are looking to erect a completely new fence, it’s worth spending some time choosing your style. There are so many different styles and variations available it can get confusing. Think of the sort of look you like – for example natural or contemporary, and also consider how you will use the fence. Do you want a fence primarily for privacy or security, for example, or is it more to boost the kerb appeal of your property?
Also bear in mind your neighbours and various legal restrictions concerning fences and boundaries. Make sure you know who the boundary belongs to before you make any changes! Under UK law you will also need planning permission for any fence, wall or gate over 2 metres in height. However if it borders a public highway used for vehicles you may need planning permission for anything over 1 metre. Your own property may also have additional restrictions or covenants on it – best to check first before you spend time and money!
Our Great Front Garden Makeover
I don’t get a lot of time these days to work on my own property, but after it has been on our to-do list for the last couple of years I’m delighted to say I finally got round to sorting out our front garden.
First I dug beds all around, added top soil and soil improvers (the soil here is heavy clay – yuk!) and planted hedging and flowering plants to make it more wildlife friendly. It’s fantastic to see the plants thriving and getting bigger every day.
Next, I covered some unsightly manhole covers with gravel and sleepers. This isn’t a solution for every manhole cover but as we had not needed access to them in over five years we figured they would be safe to cover. However the beauty of gravel is that it isn’t a permanent cover and, if we do ever need access to the manholes, gravel can be quickly cleared away.
Final stage of the great garden makeover involved fixing these new Featheredge vertical fence panels which really smarten the place up. I plan to replace the existing older fence made out of Overlap fence panels around the back garden with the Featheredge panels when I can. The Overlap panels have been great and stood up to some weather recently but personally I prefer the look of the Featheredge panel fence.
The DIY shops like B&Q all have a good selection of fencing materials right now but if you like the look of the panels similar to the ones I have used, here is a link to 6 foot (1.83 metres) high panels:
Brown Eco-Treated Softwood Featheredge Fence Panel 6ft x 6ft
What to do this month:
Spring Clean, De-clutter and Redecorate
These long early summer days are our reward for the long winter months and hopefully the weather will continue to let us get outside as much as possible.
There is plenty to be doing in the garden this month, so take the opportunity while your indoor space is not needed so much to have a good spring clean, de-clutter and think about redecorating.
The amount of clutter, paperwork and just general stuff we acquire every day is breathtaking and it can feel like it’s getting on top of you.
Be as brutal as you can when you clear out – it’s rare you miss something once it has actually gone. If in doubt create three piles – Chuck (or recycle/donate to charity), Keep and Not Sure. Get ride of the Chuck pile as soon as possible so you don’t have chance to change your mind!
Then keep going, splitting what’s left further into another three piles – the amount will start to dwindle and you will start to see the light at the end of the tunnel!
And remember, someone else will be getting enjoyment or use from the things you donate, and the charities will also benefit.
There is nothing like a new look to your home to cheer things up and maintain the summer brightness for as long as possible.
If you don’t know what colours to choose, I recommend picking up some tester pots of paint. Apply the colour to pieces of paper which you can then stick to your wall. Seeing the colours in situ really helps and you can see exactly what shade they will be when they dry.
According to paint company Farrow & Ball, the key colours for 2014 are reflecting our love of natural shades – like Cooking Apple Green (a lovely bright but soft green), Stiffkey Blue (a serious, warm dark blue), Purbeck Stone (think seashore pebbles) and Mole’s Breath (a warm slate grey). Follow this link to see some photos of those colours in situ.
My Top Tips for best wallpaper results:
- Take time to ensure your walls are clean as possible before you start – I always brush off any dust with a soft brush and wipe down with sugar soap. Fill any holes and sand down once dry.
- Use a 2 inch (5 cm) brush for cutting in. Any wider and it gets harder to control and keep the line straight.
- Try to get your first roller coat on before the cutting in line dries, to avoid leaving a mark.
Product of the Month
Father’s Day – June 15th
Every dad deserves a good drill and my De Walt cordless drill hasn’t let me down.
It is fairly lightweight, the batteries charge quickly, it has a good hammer action and is serving me well, no matter what I ask of it.
If you have someone to treat this Father’s Day, here’s a link:
I do like De Walt tools, I generally find them very reliable and good value for money. And no I’m not on commission from De Walt!
Video of the Month
I often get asked for DIY advice so I’ve decided to start sharing a few tips on my new YouTube channel – Dean Taylor Property Man.
This is the link to my first video – hopefully the first of many:
I hope you find it and others helpful – if you do please give me a Like and feel free to subscribe to the channel. I think it notifies you when a new video comes online.
Also let me know if you have any requests for video subjects.