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Matching bricks for extensions

To match the brick colour to the original building is very important. Just use the weather, old bricks, right pointing/cement mix, etc to your advantage. On this job, we could not wait 6 months for the custom made bricks and we did a good job with what we had.

matching brick work extensions

On this job we also had to match the bad quality brickwork.

extension

You can also see a video here :

Reused bricks

Reclaimed bricks can be reused most of the time. Old bricks will give character to a new build, by having a weather down appearance.

driveway fence wall using old bricks
Driveway fence wall using old bricks

Building an office/shed/storage space using old bricks from demolition of chimney breast - in the garden
Building an office/shed/storage space using old bricks from demolition of chimney breast – in the garden.

front garden brickwall
Front garden brickwall

Building a partition wall

Sometimes a big living room or kitchen-dinning area is a wasted space. By putting a wall up , the space can be divided and you can create a second room/ bedroom, office area.

carpenters building wood structure partition wall

Sound proofing the wall is very important, its always better to use acoustic insulation rather than cheap standard insulation.

sound proofing a partition wall acoustic

A good way to save on time and cost is to use a tape and joint system , rather than plastering – skimming the wall.The wall can also be easily removed if needed.
tape and joint plasterboard

If part of the room will get less natural light by building a partition wall, a good compromise is to have a window installed into the wall, and if you want a bit of privacy, you can use obscure/sand blasted glass.

partition wall window natural light

The final result is two medium sized rooms.The skirting board, door, architrave and painting needs to be matched to the existing decorum.

partition wall

Care of basic tools

builder using a power drill

DON’T leave steel measuring tape extended, especially with blade on edge, on workbench or floor in case something falls onto it; damaged tape will be virtually useless

DO hang up saws by handle or frame when not in use and put blade guard over cutting edge; if left lying about teeth may get damaged. Lightly oil blade to prevent rust. Sharpen teeth, or replace blade, regularly.

DO tie chuck key of electric drill to lead with string, but allow enough length to turn key without having to untie it. Service drill regularly as worn parts will impair efficiency.

DO keep hammer heads clean and free of any traces of adhesive; rub hammer face squarely with fine glasspaper round block of wood. Bang loose heads back into place and/or use wedging pins.

DON’T use hammer on wood-handled chisels; side of hammer head can be used on plastic handles. Ideally use mallet to prevent damaging handle. Never use chisel as screwdriver or you will ruin edge. Maintain good cutting edge by regular sharpening.

DON’T use screwdrivers as levering devices or for raking, chipping or digging holes. If shafts are bent or blade ends not squarely cut they will not turn screws efficiently.

DO check plane blades are correctly adjusted. Hold bottom of plane squarely up to light; blade should be parallel to bottom so it cuts evenly across its full width

DO rest planes on their side to avoid damaging blade or bottom and keep regularly sharpened. After use, store in dry place to avoid rusting.

Types of double glazing

Types of double glazing
There are four types of double glazing in common use: insulating glass, secondary sashes, coupled windows and plastic film.

Insulating (hermetically sealed) glass
These units look like a single pane of glass and consist of two pieces of glass joined together and hermetically sealed in the factory – a process in which the air space between the panes is dried to prevent misting when installed. The pieces of glass are sealed with edge spacers of metal, alloy or plastic. The units are tailor-made and replace a single pane, enabling a window to open and close normally. There are two types standard and stepped. The stepped units are ideal where there are shallow rebates since installation can be carried out without having to alter the existing frame to accept the new units. The existing frame must be well fitting and sound enough to take the extra weight which will be imposed by the units.

Secondary sashes
secondary glazing
This is the most popular DIY method of installing double glazing. A second pane of glass in its own frame is secured to the existing frame or to the inner or outer sill and reveal; in some circumstances it is possible to flt the new window outside the existing frame. The existing window remains unaltered to form the other half of the double glazing. Manufacturers supply frames of aluminium or plastic; other types consist of plastic extrusions which are cut to length and joined with corner fittings to enable a frame for the glass to be made up. Hinges or clips are then used to secure the secondary sash to the existing window. The secondary sash is movable for cleaning, ventilation or summer storage and can be fixed, hinged or sliding.

Coupled windows
These are usually specified only for new buildings or where entire frames are being replaced during conversion. One single-glazed window has an auxiliary window coupled to it, allowing both to move together. They are flitted with hinges and fasteners so the frames can be separated for cleaning purposes.

Plastic film
This is not double glazing in the traditional sense, although at least one proprietary system is available. Plastic film is cut to size and applied to the window frame with double-sided adhesive tape. If you use this method, make sure that where windows are to be opend they are double-glazed separately from fixed panes; if a complete film was stretched across the entire window it would not be possible to open the window without first removing the film. If you are restricted to a very small budget, you can use kitchen self-clinging plastic to make a form of double glazing for small panes. For larger panes, you will have to break up the pane space with a thin timber framework to create the effect of smaller panes and fix the film inside these smaller areas.

Buying double glazing

Certain double glazing firms do not cater for the DIY market, others cater for both professional and DIY work and some solely for the DIY market. If you choose a professional installation, a representative from the company will call on you, discuss your requirements, measure up and arrange for the work to be carried out by company operatives. If you choose to install double glazing yourself, you will find local retail outlets stock at least one kind of kit for the framework. Measure up your requirements and buy the correct size; then read the instructions carefully to find out the thickness of glass required ,3 or 4mm and the height and width of glass. Glass can vary in price, so it is well worth shopping around. One or two companies offer online order service whereby you measure up, send the firm the dimensions and they return a kit, in one case at least the glass also is supplied. At least one company offers the best of both worlds , a company representative will call and measure up and you will then receive a tailor-made kit complete with glass. The advantage of this method of buying double glazing is the company takes responsibility for any errors in measuring and making the framework; also. since you are dealing directly with a company and not through a middle man, this system is often less expensive than other systems.
double glazing
Costs
Depending on the house style and the system chosen, to double glaze all the windows in a house could be a costly business. You could reduce the amount by completing only selected windows – perhaps those in the living room, hall and landing or a particularly draughty bedroom. A little-used dining room or spare bedroom might not be worth the expense; it would probably be better to keep the doors of these rooms closed and well sealed in cold weather to prevent the house heat drifting into them. When they are in use, heavy curtains pulled across would be as effective as double glazing as long as the windows have been effectively draught proofed. Factors which can drastically affect the price of double glazing one window, let alone all the windows in the house, are obviously the cost of the glass and the retail price of the kit you choose, which again can differ from shop to shop.

Sound insulation

Installing a good quality double glazing system will give a substantial reduction in the decibel level of noise permeating through windows from typical town traffic or a local playground. However, if your noise problem is more acute, noise prevention is a more extensive technical matter – the actual source of the noise, the location of the house, the type of glass thickness needed, the distance the two panes are set apart and any additional insulation around windows or between the double glazing should all be considered. Professional advice should be sought from a quality double glazing company or building company on other methods of sound insulation.

noise loud

Government grants to install double glazing can be given to people living in certain heavy traffic areas or where there is an airport nearby. Your local authority will be able to supply details and advice. In normal noise level situations the two sheets of glass in a double glazing system should be at least l00mm apart to provide adequate sound insulation. To provide effective thermal insulation, the optimum gap should be of 20mm. If you want both sound and thermal insulation, you should select a wider gap or use triple glazing ; you will find thermal insulation is not greatly reduced in this case.

Double glazing

robuild installing double glazing patio door
Insulation
While heat losses vary depending on the nature of a building and its aspect, in a typical uninsulated house about l5 percent of house heat is lost through the windows. If all the windows in such a house are double-glazed, this heat loss will be halved to give a seven and a half percent saving on fuel bills. There are many factors which can affect this figure – for example, the type of system used and how well it is fitted. Installing double glazing in an old cottage with just a few small windows would not obtain this saving whereas there will be higher savings in a modern ‘goldfish bowl’ type of property.

Double glazing is not a money saver on the scale of other forms of insulation such as glass fibre laid in the loft or cavity wall infill; however, there are a number of reasons why you will find the necessary expenditure worthwhile to add to the comfort of your home. An efficient system will eliminate cold, draughty areas round window making the whole floor area of a room usable on cold days, and rooms will seem larger without the need for occupants to cluster round the fire or radiators.

Preventing condensation
dirty double glazing
When rooms are properly heated and ventilated, condensation will be reduced and possibly eliminated by double-glazed windows, since the inner panes of glass will be warmer and less susceptible to misting. With some double glazing systems, interpane misting may occur; this is usually slight and can be wiped away provided the new window is hinged or sliding. Alternatively you can place silica gel crystals between the panes of glass; these absorb moisture and, when saturated, should be temporarily removed and dried in a warm oven.

Misting on the room side of the window indicates the temperature of the glass is too low, given the water content of the room’s atmosphere; by a process of trial and error, you should carry out adjustment until there is a proper balance between heat and ventilation in the room. Condensation on the cavity surface of the outer glass is usually a sign that moist air is leaking into the cavity from the room. Make the seal round the new double glazing as airtight as possible, using a tape form of draught excluder, and seal any gaps in the joints of a timber framework with a matching wood filler, making sure the filler penetrates through to the full depth of the joint. If this fails to cure the problem, drill ventilation holes through the primary frame to the drier air outside. In a 1m wide window, two 10mm diameter holes set 500mm apart should be sufficient.

More will be needed for larger windows; you can decide the exact number by a process of trial and error – drilling an extra hole and waiting to see if this cures the problem. Pack the holes with glass fibre to act as an air filter. With hermetically sealed units the air in the cavity is dried, so condensation between the panes is not possible as long as the seals remain sound; failure of the seals is a rare occurrence, but reputable manufacturers give long-term guarantees to cover the possibility.