Peter FallPeter Fall


Preparing your home for winter

The imminent onset of winter is a bit like the old mother-in-law joke. “Why is the mother-in-law like an exorcet missile? You know she is coming but there’s nothing you can do about it”. Well, winter is the same. You know it’s coming and there’s nothing you can do about it, but you can do something about preparing your home. I hate to say it, but we really only have another four weeks before most of the work we can do to the outside of house has to stop. Once the temperature drops to around freezing, or the surfaces we…

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Repairs following the winter

1st published 30th March 2009 ‘Spring has sprung, the grass has riss…’ And don’t we know it. The last few weekends have seen the return of the rattling lawn mower. I’m sure this ritual cutting of the grass was a reluctant step by most but, like the sighting of the first cuckoo, it is a sign that we are probably over the worst of the weather. My plea is not to stop the gardening but let’s take a little time, when you break for a coffee, to look up at the top of your house. This winter has had its…

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Mortar pointing – so simple but easy to get wrong

1st published 19th May 2012 How long have we been building brick walls? It’s got to be 2000 years, it was one of those things ‘the Romans did for us’. Despite this we still manage to get it wrong, probably because we don’t think through why we are pointing the wall in the first place. When I say ‘we’ I mean the building industry as a whole, not the specialist bricklaying firms who I’d like to think get it right every time! This pontificating came about because we were asked to comment on the condition of a brick wall, whether…

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Maintaining the maintenance free

1st published 16th October 2010 The Editor and I were chatting (well, email chatting, what ever that is called) the other day, about uPVC windows which are sold as ‘maintenance free’ but rarely are. The Editor was remarking that whilst the frames may not need painting, the catches and hinges do need regular attention and eventually need replacing. Many of the hinges to the uPVC window frames are quite complex. Gone are the days when the opening sash would just swing out and back. These windows frequently pivot not just outwards but they can also turn over for easy cleaning….

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