Walls

Building Screen-block Walls

A screen-block wall should not span more than 3m without intermediate pillar supports. You cannot cut screen blocks nor the pilasters, so check the exact dimensions when planning. Blocks normally measure 300 x 300 x 90mm thick, and pilasters 195 X 195 x 200mm high including joints. Foundations For a low wall, foundations should consist…

Painting

Painting Technique Essentials

Always prepare ceilings first, then the walls and finally any woodwork or metal (window frames). See section dealing with metalwork. Preparing ceilings and walls In new houses or extensions, plastered walls and ceilings can be painted within a few weeks. Old ceilings should be washed with sugar soap or household detergent, then rinsed with plenty…

Building A Brick Wall
Brickwork

Building A Brick Wall

To bond bricks together, spread the mortar over the foundation with a bricklayer’s trowel, and lay a brick on top, the frog (hollowed-out part) uppermost. Many amateurs and, indeed, some tradesmen prefer to lay with the frog downwards because, they say, the mortar will squeeze into the hollow part and obviate the risk of tilting….

DIY Home Surveying
Home Surveys

DIY Home Surveying

If you really are reluctant to do household repairs, it’s obvious that you should buy a house that doesn’t need them. The right house would be one that has recently been decorated to your taste, has all the built-in storage you require and all the plumbing, electrics and roofing in working order. This will then…

Wall types
Walls

Wall types

Solid brick wall This is a wall built entirely of bricks fitted closely together. It may be 41 or 9 inches in thickness, depending on whether a single or double bricking is used. Walls of this kind were commonly built between the wars. Their main drawback is that rain fairly easily penetrates them and they…

Wall Maintenance
Walls

Wall Maintenance

Although there are several different kinds of walls that we may find in our homes, for interior work the differences are not very important. Nearly all of them end up with a plaster surface to which our decorations are stuck. This plaster may be applied in the traditional manner as a wet plastic mass smoothed…

External Wall Insulation
Insulation

External Wall Insulation

The most expensive way to insulate a solid wall is to apply the insulation to the outside. The expense is caused by the need to provide a strong waterproof facing to the insulation instead of the plasterboard used internally. The advantages and disadvantages of external insulation are many. Assuming you have decided to go for…

Insulating Cavity Walls
Insulation

Insulating Cavity Walls

Before you can insulate your walls you must find out what kind you are dealing with. As a rule, houses are built of brick and most recently built homes have cavity walls, which are made of two thin skins of brick with a gap between. These walls can be recognised by their thickness, usually 270mm,…

Openings in walls
Construction

Openings in walls

The inherent stability of an opening depends upon the means of spanning over the opening. Lintels, short beams of timber, reinforced concrete or steel are stable because the loading at the supports is vertical. Arches and wedge arches are inherently unstable and may only be used safely if they are adequately buttressed by the walling…

How To Apply Rendering
Walls

How To Apply Rendering

Rendering is a waterproof barrier to protect the underlying brickwork from the damage caused by damp. If the render coat is damaged, it should be repaired as soon as possible. Repair to a smooth-rendered surface is made with a mortar mix consisting of 1 : 6:1. It may be necessary to apply two layers of…

Brickwork Maintenance Tips
Brickwork

Brickwork Maintenance Tips

From time to time brickwork may become dull and discoloured. This may be caused by grime and pollution, efflorescence, rust or accumulation of vegetable matter. Dirt or pollution. Bricks that are grime-laden and dull but otherwise in good condition usually require only simple treatment. Remove dirt with water and a stiff brush. If you suspect…

Walls

Internal Wall Coverings

Internal. It is important to know which walls are non load-bearing and which are load-bearing, i.e. integral to the structure of the house. Where a load-bearing wall is removed or substantially cut into, an RSJ (rolled steel joist) must be fixed horizontally to support the load above. Dealing with load-bearing walls is strictly for the…