Basic plumbing skills

A prerequisite of success in virtually any do-it-yourself plumbing project is a sound understanding of the existing plumbing system of the house. The cold water distribution systems, hot water supply systems and above-ground drainage systems in common use in the United Kingdom are described and explained below. Cold water distribution A communication pipe connects the … Read more

Know your central heating

How big should a central heating system be? Well obviously no bigger than it has to be. Over-sizing can result in waste of fuel and an unnecessarily costly installation. Under-sizing results in complaints of lack of temperature and too little hot water. Complaints of lack of performance are very difficult to answer, particularly if you … Read more

Bricks and blocks

Clay is the most common brick material. Commonly used is ‘fletton’ clay and the manufacturing method is ‘wire-cut’. Strong and durable. Some clay bricks are still made by hand. Calcium silicate An alternative material (also called ‘sand lime’). Smoother and lighter in colour than clay. Concrete Moulded concrete bricks in a variety of colours and … Read more

Self Build Structural factors

Not all building materials are able to resist compressive and tensional forces equally. Brickwork, concrete and masonry are very strong under compression but have little ability to resist tensional stress. This means that they are very useful at supporting dead loads, provided the line of action of the force does not pass outside the column … Read more