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Entry Number 13: patching up a door.

I got a message from a new customer. She asked me to board up her back door, just temporarily, to keep the weather out and the heat in. She insisted that it didn't need to be anything special, as the door was going to be replaced next year anyway: just a quick patch up will do. From the photo she sent, it was obvious what the problem was, and how I was going to fix it.

I cut 2 sheets of 9mm plywood to fit inside the moulding: one on the outside of the door, the other on the inside. I used adhesive silicone sealant to glue the two plywood panels into position, and a few nails to hold everything in place while the sealant set. This prevents any draughts and water from getting through the patched up area.

Finally, I slapped a coat of varnish on the bare plywood, paying particular attention to the edges; it may only be a temporary patch up, but it's worth protecting the repair from the elements in case it turns out that it's going to be there for more than a few months. It only takes a few more minutes, and makes the repair job look great.

Needless to say, the customer was very pleased with the job, and has told me that she will be contacting me in the future, as there's always something that needs doing around the house. I'm happy to be of service, and it's great to have regular customers!


Entry Number 12

Did a deep clean yesterday. It's hard work, but always rewarding.

This was a one bedroom flat, oddly, with 2 showers. That caught me off guard a little: showers are always encrusted with limescale, and take far more time to clean than any other room.

I've done a few of these cleaning jobs, so I now have a methodical approach:

1 Spray the oven with cleaner;

2 Spray anti-mildew and anti-limescale in bathrooms;

3 Wipe dust off the tops of doors, door frames, switches, power sockets, radiators, window sills, skirting boards.

4 Vacuum every room, starting with the cobwebs on the ceilings and walls, and then the floor. Also vacuum inside kitchen cupboards;

5 Return to bathrooms to clean.

6 Return to kitchen. Clean oven fridge freezer and cupboards.

7 Shampoo all carpets, mop all hard floors.

Job done!


Entry number 11

This is the plastic roof of a recent job that I did for someone. The roof was leaking quite badly; as you can see, the plastic roofing sheet has popped out of its joint. This likely happened in high wind. The trouble with plastic: it has to be cut deliberately short, to allow it space to expand when it gets warm in direct sunlight. If you don't cut it short, it will expand and crack if there's not enough space for it.


Entry 11 continued

To fix the problem, I simply cleaned off the roof panel with soapy water, and them dried it off. Then, using a window glass sucker handle, I was able to lift the panel slightly, and gently push it back into the joint. I then ran a bead of good quality clear sealant/adhesive along the joint, and gently smoothed it into the joint using an old expired debit card.

Next time the panel expands, it will expand in the other direction, into the other joint: when it contracts again, it won't get any smaller than it already is, so will hopefully remain watertight.


Entry Number 10. It's been a busy few months both at work and at home. Especially in the garden. Not only did I have great success growing tomatoes and cucumbers outside on a wicking bed (more about what that is will follow), I proceed someone wrong in Texas who told me that you can't grow cayenne pepper outside in the UK climate. Oh yes you can!

Work wise, I've been up to all kinds of things. I've done a lot of end of tenancy cleaning and carpet shampooing, as far north as Medway, as far south as Folkestone. I've rebuilt tongue and groove doors, replaced window glass and remade window frames for a 17th century house. I've repaired collapsed dining room chairs. I've remade fallen kitchen cabinets. I've painted walls and ceilings: in fact, I expect to be painting an entire 2 bedroom house next month (ceilings, walls, woodwork and radiators).

I've met lots of great people asking the way, and many of them call me back to do other work. It's the months since I started doing this full-time, and I'm heading in the right direction.


Entry Number 9. Service Your Sofa. All too often, people throw out perfectly good sofas, spending unnecessary amounts of money on new furniture, which by design, is worn out by the end of the two year guarantee. In little more than one minute, I can show you how to make your sofa feel like new, for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

Created by Gary Newson