Essentials for Home DIY

We talk with ManoMano about how to go about renovating your home, which areas you should be concentrating on and what the essentials for home DIY are.

What are your top tips when shopping for DIY products online?

Buying online gives you a lot more choice in products and brands, but with great choice comes great responsibility! Firstly, know what the essentials for home DIY are and exactly what you need to do the job. It is highly recommended to read buying guides, as well as product descriptions, provided by the website to be sure that it is what you need. Don’t forget the customer reviews, these are essential for free impartial advice based on experience. Otherwise, identify which brand is leader for a certain type of product through online forums. And yes, most of the time, price does reflect the quality, which is why it’s important to understand your needs first. Do you need something for a quick job or something that will last?

What factors should I consider when changing the flooring in my house—what are the different options I can choose from?

Putting carpet in a kitchen is like tiling a bedroom floor. You need to firstly take into consideration how the room will be used, including potential wear and tear, cleanliness and maintenance. Carpet is cosier but less hygienic than hard flooring, the latter being better for allergy sufferers. Next, how big is the surface area and do you think that you can tackle it alone? If you’re not ripping up the original flooring, laminate or engineered wood flooring can easily cover it (carpet, tiles, etc). However, forget tiling over unlevel hard flooring without using a surface levelling compound.

When installing a new carpet, what components should I consider when shopping for DIY products?

The answer to this largely depends on the type of carpet you are laying. Though generally speaking, the essentials for home DIY carpets include: a stretcher (or knee kicker) to stretch the carpet onto the gripper, a flat plate with one toothed side and one padded side that holds carpet in place at the edges of the room. Another one of the essentials for home DIY carpeting is a decent carpet knife with spare blades, as they will get blunt quickly cutting carpet. Before laying your carpet, assess the floor underneath as you may have to clean, damp treat and/or underlay. Not forgetting the finishing touches, such as threshold and stair bars. We recommend buying kneepads; they may save you from buying new trousers!

See also: Doing It Yourself

What tools would I need for a DIY tiling project?

Lots! You will need tools for both wall preparation and the actual tiling job. Firstly, fill any holes in the surface and prime any porous surfaces with a PVA adhesive. The essentials for home DIY tiling revolve around wear safety goggles, heavy-duty gloves and a dust mask on the job. Otherwise you’ll need a tape measure, spirit level, claw hammer, tile cutter or scorer (electric tile cutter or jigsaw for thicker tiles), tile adhesive trowel, tile edge nipper, tile file, sealant gun, grout spreader, sponge and tile spacers! And then a nice cold beer to take the pressure off!

What products would you recommend to draught proof my house and increase insulation whilst saving energy?

It’s good to start with an open invite to family and friends to keep windows and doors closed to stop heat from escaping for no reason. Properly draught-proofed windows and doors could save you £25-35 per year. There are many products available to block gaps, such as self-adhesive foam strips for windows and various brush draft excluders. Alternatively, put thick curtains on your windows and front door, and don’t forget to properly insulate any openings where there’s a cold draught, such as the garage door, the loft hatch, the letterbox or keyholes.

See also: Tools of the Trade 

What are your tips to people who are doing a DIY loft conversion for the first time?

It’s a long process but well worth it—start with preparing the floor and roof with insulating material or insulation boards. Ideally you should use proper floorboards for your loft floor, as large wooden boards just aren’t solid enough and you don’t want to fall through the ceiling. If you are planning on adding a skylight, ensure that the windows in your loft are highly insulated as they are more exposed to wind. Be aware also that purpose-built staircases cost roughly 10 times off-the-shelf designs, so pre-plan for loft stairs in your budget. Finally, make sure that your loft conversion complies to fire safety regulations!

ManoMano is a DIY marketplace: they act as secure intermediaries between buyers and sellers of products on their website. The range of quality products available on their site span from heating and plumbing materials to kitchen units. To find out more about Mano Mano’s services and products, visit their website:

If you have enjoyed reading this article on essentials for home DIY, click here to read more on Celebrity Angels about draught proofing your own doors and windows.

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