Fibreglass,felt, lead and asphalt flat roofing

The flat roof construction originated in the Middle East, where the weather is dry most of the time. In Europe, a flat roof is relatively a new way to build a roof. A flat roof is never really a flat roof as the name suggests, it will always have a slope to allow the water to drain off.

When replacing or building a flat roof, there are four popular options in terms of materials and costs.

Bitumen felt flat roofing

In UK, the most popular type of flat roof roofing is made of bitumen felt to provide a waterproof covering.The materials used for this type of roofing are cheap and the roofers will charge less than for other types of roofing.The felt roofing will have to be replaced from time to time, as it has a life span of maximum 10 years, depends on how exposed the roof is to the elements ( sun, rain, cold ).

bitumen felt flat roofing
Bitumen felt flat roofing with two skylights over a kitchen extension

Fibre Glass flat roofing
The materials cost is more or less double of the cost for a felt roof but it will last longer as most fibreglass roof manufacturers will provide a warranty of 20 years or more. It can also be cleaned very easily.
fibre glass flat roofing
Fibreglass roofing with a Velux window over an infill extension

Lead flat roofing
A very traditional way to build a flat roof, more often than not, it is required for Listed Buildings and for buildings located in a Conservation Area. A lead roof can have a life span of over 50 years, provided that there is ventilation for the wood work. It has to be painted with patination oil to stop the lead from staining.
lead flat roofing
Lead flat roofing over a rear extension

Asphalt flat roofing
Asphalt roofing is hot and melted bitumen mixed with aggregate. It has passed the test of time, it contracts when its cold and expands when its hot. White coloured asphalt reflects the heat better but it gets dirty very quickly.
asphalt flat roofing
Asphalt roofing and conservation roof window over a garage conversion


Acoustic tiles, Adhesives, cement,based, cork tiles, fungicidal, impact, latex, PVA, tile, vinyl flooring, wallpaper paste, waterproof, Airbricks, Anchors, nylon, nylon collapsible, rubber,sleeved, Angle, brackets ,shelf, L,shaped metal, timber, Angled metal strips, Anti,child locks, Anti,jemmy plates, Armchair re,upholstering, final cover, frame, hessian, scrolls, springs, stripping, stuffing, Awl (bolster), Ball (or float) valve, changing the washer, Croydon and Portsmouth, diaphragm, equilibrium, leaks, Bathrooms, condensation in Battens, shelf, Bib taps, Binder bars, Blanket insulation, glass fibre, mineral wool, Blockboard shelves, Blowtorches, Bolts, hinge, security mortise, surface fitting, U window security, Brackets gutter, fascia, rafter side, rafter top, Brackets ,shelf Bradawl, Burglars see Home security Buttons, upholstery, Cable, electrical, non,sheathed single core, sheathed, stripping, Carborundum stone, Carpets, cleaning (stains), repairing, stair, tiles, Carpets, fitting, binding edges, door clearance fitting a stretched, foam,backed, hessian,backed, joining carpet to, joining seams with tape, joining to hard flooring, laying, preparing sub,floor, starting edge technique, stretching, tools and equipment, dimming, underlay, Carpet grippers, Carpet shampooer, Carpet soil extraction machine, Carpet ‘steam’ vacuum cleaner, Carpet tacks, Carpet tape,’ Ceiling(s), condensation on, cracks, papering, Central heating systems, corrosion , Ceramic tiles, floor, adhesive, cutting border cutting corner, cutting shapes, fixing, glazed, grouting, ‘ mosaic, preparing surface, repairing, replacing damaged, studded, glazed, Ceramic tiles, wall, border, cutting, designs, example of, fixing with adhesive, grouting, heat,resistant, lining wall, patterned, plain, preparing surface, RE, REX, renovating, spacer (or field), textured, Chair covers, cleaning fixed and loose, cleaning and repairing leather and vinyl, re,covering armchair, re,covering drop,seat dining Chairs and sofas, buttons, cushions, repadding drop,seat, reupholstering armchair, rewebbing, Chimney,breast, wallpapering, Chipboard, panels, shelves, Chisel, bevel edge, cold, flooring, upholsterer’s ripping, Cisterns and tanks (hot and cold), ball valves, Cathodic protection, cold weather protection, corrosion in, Cold weather protection, frozen pipes, lagging, service pipe, storage cistern, Combination square, Compound fillers, Concrete (solid) floors, carpet tiles on, dusty, fitting carpets on, joining carpet to, Condensation, bathrooms, ceilings, damp floors, double glazing and, wall surfaces, windows, Contour gauge, Contour tracer, Copper piping, damaged , Cording sets, Cork tiles, adhesives for, cutting, hard wax, polyurethane, repairing, unsealed, vinyl,faced, at, Corners, fitting carpet, floor tiling, repairing external, wallpapering, wall tiling, Cornice poles, Corrosion, central heating systems, cisterns and tanks , gutters, Countersink bits, Cracks, gutter, plaster, Crime Prevention Officers (CPOs), Croydon ball valve , Cup washers, Curtain headings, cartridge pleats, gathered, pencil pleats, pinch pleats, smocked effect, Curtain hooks, Curtain linings, detachable, interlining, lightproof, milium, pyrovatex, Curtain poles, Curtain rings, false, Curtain rods, Curtaintracks, box rails, cording sets, curtain poles, fixing, hanging nets, , I,section rail, non,pelmet, pelmet, ornamental finials, Curtain wire, Curtains, Cushions, Damp,proof membrane, Door chains, Door clearance, Door locks and bolts, hinge bolts, hook bolt mortise, mortise, rim, security mortise bolt, surface fitting bolts, two bolt mortise, Doors, back and side, French windows, front, hinge recesses, interior, metal, opening into room, opening out of room, painting, rehanging internal, sliding patio, timber sliding Door viewer, Doorways, door frames, carpet fitting , carpet tiles, extending, floor coverings under, papering, Double glazing, condensation and, coupled windows, insulating glass, plastic film, secondary sashes, sound insulation, Downpipe, Draincocks, Drills, hand (wheel brace), electric hammer Drill bits, Drilling into a wall, Drum sander, Earthing, Electricity, double insulation, earthing, flex colour coding, joining flex, repairing fuses, sockets, stripping flex, wiring up plugs, Electrolytic corrosion, Expanded polystyrene, Expansion bolts (rawbolts), Extractor fan Fanlight windows, File, general purpose flat, Flagstones, Flex, electrical, circular braided, circular sheathed, colour coding, connectors, joining, l stripping, twisted twin, Flex connectors, connector strips, insulated, insulated detachable, Flex grips, Floorboards, timber, cutting across, levelling surface, lifting, loose and squeaky, retiling, resurfacing, square,edged, tongued and grooved, Floor(s), asphalt, concrete, damp, damp,proof membrane, hardwood, heating system under, insulation under, timber (suspended), ventilation, Floor coverings, carpet tiles, carpets, fitted, ceramic tiles, cleaning, cork and vinyl tiles, door clearance, repairing, rush matting, sheet vinyl, stair carpet, Floor sander, electric, French chalk, French windows, Frozen pipes, Fuses, cartridge, miniature circuit breakers, rewirable, Garston or BRS valve, Gaskets, Gimp pins Glass, replacing pane of, Glass,cutters, Glass fibre blanket, Glass fibre filler, Glasspaper, Glazing clips, Grinning (paint), Grouting, Gutters, blockages, brackets, cast,iron, leaking joints, painting, plastic, realigning sagging, replacing a section, rust and cracks, Hacking knife, Hacksaw, Hammer, claw, club, Warrington cross, Hardboard , conditioning, laying sheets, shelves, Hardwood floors, repairing, Heading tape, curtain, Heating, central, underfloor, Hessian chair backing , , Home security, anti,burglar paint, CPOs, door locks and bolts , doors, types of, floor plan, WSDs, Insulating (hermetically sealed) glass, Insulation, blanket, double glazing, draught excluder, granule, insulating boards loft, pipes, roof felting, sound, under,floor, Insurance, Joists, Jumpers see Taps Jumping bit, Knee kicker, Knots, slip , reef, Lagging, Lining paper, Locks, anti,child, disc tumbler, hook bolt mortise, mortise, rim, stay, two,bolt mortise, wedge, window, WSDs, Loft insulation, Metal binder bars, Metal button trims, Milium (lining), Mineral wool insulation, Mirror tiles, l Mirrors, clip fixing, frame fixing, screw fixing, Mortise locks, Mosaic tiles, Multi,blade cutting knife, Nail punch, Nails, clout, headless (sprigs), hidden, ring shank or serrated, round head, Nap grips, Needles, upholstery, double,pointed, slipping, springing, Notched spreader, tile cutter, Paint, anti,burglar, l anti,condensation, l bituminous, emulsion, enamel, fire,retardant, gloss, oil,based, primer, polyurethane gloss, stripping, thinning, thixotropic (non,drip),undercoat, water,based, Paint and varnish remover, , l Paint brushes, Painting, doors, walls and windows, gutters, over wallpaper, Painting faults, Paintwork, effect of condensation on, Parquet blocks, Pasting table,l Patio door lock, Pelmets and valences, Pillar taps, Pipe wrench, Pipes, alcove, boxing in, copper, burst, cutting carpet tiles, cutting tiles, disappearing, down, frozen, lagging, laying vinyl round, lead, service, skirting board, Plane, block, smoothing, Plaster repairs, ceiling cracks, external corners, filling cracks, filling deep cavity, recessing fittings and cables, replacing loose plaster, undercoat, Plastic, channel ,double glazing, Plastic film, double glazrng, Plastic, wood, Plug terminals, clamp,type, screw hole, Plugs, electric, see also Wall plugs Plum bob and line, Plywood, shelves, Polyethylene wallpaper, Polythene sheet, Polyurethane, cork tiles, gloss paint, sealer, mderlay, Portsmouth ball valve, Primers, Protective spectacles or goggles, Pryovatex (lining), PTFE plastic thread sealing tape, Putty, PVC shatterproof panels, Quarry tiles, Radial wiring, Repadding a chair, Rewebbing a chair, Rim lock, Ring main circuits, Roofing felt, Rush matting, repairing, Sanding, hand, mechanical timber floors, Saws, circular power, flooring, hack, pad, panel, powered jig, tenon, veneer tenon, Scaffold board, Screwdrivers, Yankee, Screws, countersunk, mirror, Secondary sashes, fixed or hinged, plastic channel, sliding, Security grilles, Self,adhesive tape, Shape,tracer, Shave,hook, Shelves, shelving, adjustable, angle brackets, brackets, end,pieces, free,standing, loads, l, materials, metal, putting up, stud supports, supports, uprights, wall, wiring and lighting Shrouded,head taps, paint, Sizing, Sleeper walls, Sockets, cutting recess for, Softwood shelves, Sound insulation, Spacer lugs, Spacer tiles, Spacer washers, Spanner, Spirit level, Spotlight, Sprigs (headless nails), Stains, carpet, Stair carpets, fitting, edge,to,edge fitting, fitting onto winders, tack,down method , tackless strip method, underlay, Stair pads, Stairwell, wallpapering, Stardrills, Steam stripper, Steel (cabinet) scraper, Steel measuring tape, Step ladders, Stopcocks, String lines, Stripping, chemical, heat, paint, wa\lpaper, see also Sanding Stripping knife, Supataps, Taps and washers, bib, continued dripping, l fitting new, gland failure, ‘O’ ring seal, pillar, shrouded,head, supataps, Teak shelving, Templates, Terrazzo floors, Terry clips, Thermoplastic tiles, paint, Tile cutters, Tile nippers, Tiles, acoustic, carpet, ceramic floor, ceramic wall, Cork and vinyl, mirror, thermoplastic, Timber floors (suspended floors), fitting carpets onto, hardwood, laying carpet tiles on, laying hardboard sheets on, relaying, repairing, resurfacing , see also Floorboards Toggle plugs, nylon, Toggles, gravity, spring, Torbeck ball valve, Transfers, selfl,adhesive, Transom windows (vents), Trimming knife, Try square, Undercoats, paint, plaster Underlays, carpet, brown paper, felt, felt paper, fitting, polyurethane loam or rubber, stair carpet, Upholstery, buttons, eye cleaning, fixed and loose covers foam cushions, leather and vinyl, repadding drop,seat dining chair, repairing (patching), reupholstering armchair, rewebbing chair, Uprights (shelving), Vermiculite, Vinyl, asbestos tiles, chair covers, cushioned, floor tiles, paint, sheet flooring, wallpaper, Vinyl,faced cork tiles, Vinylized repair kit, Wall(s), ‘ceramic tiles, condensation cracks, drilling into, expanded polystyrene lining, half,tiled, lining, painting, shelving, sleeper, Wall fixings, Wall plugs, Timber, nylon, plastic, Wallpaper,wallpapering, ceiling, dry,strip, estimating quantity, equipment, hanging, lining paper, painting over, patterns, polythylene, preparing surface for, ready,pasted, storing, stripping off, turning corners, vinyl, washable, Wallpaper paste, Wash,basin pedestal, Washer and seating kit, Washers, ball valve, Water hammer, wc , ball valves in cistern, Web stretcher, Wedge lock, Window frames, condensation effects on, cutting,in paint brush for, metal, painting, wood, Window security devices, Windows, bay, condensation caused by, coupled, double glazing, recesses, replacing glass in, sash, tiling round, Wire strippers, Wood beading, Wood fillers, Wood seam roller, Woodworm,

Home Security

Protecting the home

No home should be left unprotected or invitations left for the prowling burglar. From Alarm installation to installing CCTV systems, you can have a look at the various ways you can guard against intruders and gives detailed instructions on how to fit locks securely to all types of doors and windows. Advice is given on what to do when you leave the house, whether for a short period or for a long holiday. Having spent time and money on improving the home, it is important all that effort is not wasted through a moment of carelessness. The intruder will often make quite a mess and it is heart-breaking to return and find your home in a shambles.

CCTV security

Whenever you leave the house

-Lock all doors and windows and remove keys.
-Lock garages and sheds and lock away ladders and tools.
-Never leave visible notes for trades people.
-Don’t leave keys under mats or in obvious positions.
-Never leave a key on a string behind the letter box; this habit will not go unnoticed.
-In the daytime open the curtains; at night close them and leave a light on – other than that in the hall; better still, fit a time switch to one or two lights so they come on as dusk falls.
-Never leave cars or bicycles unlocked even if in a garage.
-Never leave a window open for the cat to get in and out; provide a cat door.
-When leaving your car always lock valuables in the boot, again even when in a garage. Better still, take them with you.
-When shopping never leave a purse where it can be stolen such as in a basket, on a counter or in a pram- Use a small holdall rather than a basket.

Before going on holiday

-Tell your neighbours and the police so they can watch the house for you.
-Cancel all household deliveries, such as milk and newspapers.
-Ask a friend or neighbour to draw the curtains each night (and open them in the morning) and leave one or two lights on to give the house a lived-in appearance. Again it would be a good idea to fit a time switch so the lights will not be on all night and attract attention. .Also ask someone to remove any circulars from your letter box.
-If you intend to be away for a long time, make arrangements for your lawn to be mown overgrown grass can be an obvious giveaway.

At home

-Always leave the security chain fixed so, when you open the door, no one can burst in.
-Always check the credentials of callers such as meter readers; all public employees carry official identification ask to see it.
-Teach children not to open the door to strangers.
-Ensure the whereabouts of exit door keys is known to family and guests in the event of fire breaking out.
-Keep all documents, such as bank and credit cards, cheque books, insurance policies and passports in a safe place; but always keep cheque books separate from bank and credit cards which can be used to verify cheques.
-Keep duplicates of all keys in a secure place such as a safe; the loss of any could seriously affect security.


Every home and its contents should be properly insured; but this is not sufficient security on its own. Insurance can never recover the real value you place on your possessions or compensate for the mental distress caused by intrusion.

Locks for doors

Installing double glazing

If you are going to install your own double glazing, it is likely you will choose a DIY type since kits for these are widely available and are relatively easy to install. There are, however, a number of problems you may come across when fitting them.
For example, they can be fitted to existing timber or metal window frames; but if metal frames are fixed directly into masonry, you will have to drill and tap the frame to provide screw-fixing points or fit a secondary timber frame to accept the double glazing, particularly if the frame is too narrow. However, most metal windows are set in a timber surround and this can be treated as the window. If you want to fix the double glazing frame to the reveal, you may come across the problem of an out of square reveal; to deal with this you will have to pack the out-of-square area with timber wedges or choose a system which fits directly to the window. Again, certain types of kit require the channels in which the new glazing is fitted to be mitred at the corners and joined. If you think you will find this too much of a problem, choose a type which is supplied with corner pieces.
Remember to cut the channel lengths squarely at the ends or you will find it difficult to fit on the corner pieces and the final appearance of the glazing will be marred. Also, don’t expect the glass to be a push-fit into the channel; it might slide in, but often you will need to encourage this by tapping gently with a mallet or with a hammer and a block of wood placed to protect the glass. Warning If you are going to double glaze bay windows, remember to treat each window as a separate unit. There are many makes of secondary sash double glazing available and the manufacturers supply detailed instructions for installation.

There are, however, three basic types of system: plastic channel, fixed or hinged, and sliding secondary sashes.

Plastic channel

With this type, each pane of glass is fitted into a frame made by cutting lengths of U-shaped plastic channel to size; remove any sharp edges from the glass with a carborundum stone. The corners of the channel have to be mitred. Using a sharp knife and a mitre guide, cut the first mitre corner and then fit the channel to the glass to determine the position of the second corner. Remove the channel and mitre-cut at this position; repeat this process until all four corners have been cut. Secure the channel to the glass; some kits require the use of adhesive to form a rigid frame. Hold this assembly up to the window and fix it in place on the frame with the plastic clips supplied with the kit. With this type of double glazing, out-of-square reveals will not cause problems since the channel is always fixed to the frame.

Secondary glazing

Fixed or hinged
Usually this type consists of plastic or aluminium channel cut to shape and joined at the corners by mitring or by using special corner pieces. Fixing is either by clips to non-opening windows or by hinges to opening windows (the new windows can be hinged to open sideways or upwards). You could, of course, use hinges with fixed windows to make them easier to clean. This type of double glazing will, if correctly assembled, eliminate draughts and the new windows can be removed for summer storage. Before you buy this type of system, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to check the frame around your window is wide enough to take the double glazing and that it is made of the right material to take this particular system. With some systems the manufacturer recommends fixing only to wood rather than metal frames. Again. your existing window catches or handles may protrude in such a way they will interfere with the installation of the new system. You can usually solve these problems by fitting a secondary timber frame to take the double glazing; butt-join the corners of the frame, fill in any gaps with wood filler and apply a wood primer followed by two coats of paint. allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. There is one system which uses PVC shatterproof panels instead of glass. These are fitted into self adhesive plastic tracks which are cut and pressed into place to the wall outside the reveal. The panels can be easily removed, but you may consider this too much trouble with opening windows.

Usually this type is fitted in the reveal. An outer frame is fixed in the reveal to square up the opening; use pieces of wood as packing if necessary. The glass is fixed in a separate frame which is fitted inside the outer frame to enable the glass and its separate frame to slide. The framed glass is removable and horizontal and vertical sliders are available. Depending on the size of the window, two or more sliding panels will be needed. One system can be fixed to the face of the window frame so you will avoid the problems of squaring up a reveal, although it can be reveal fixed as well. In this case the company offers a kit specially designed to suit your windows; it comprises plastic channelling cut to size and ready to be joined on site so no cutting or mitring is required. The glass comes complete in its tailor-made frame ready to be installed in the channelling.

Dealing with condensation

For most people condensation conjures up pictures of bathroom walls running with moisture, windows steamed up and water on the window sills. These more easily recognizable forms of condensation can be temporarily cleared up with a little time and effort devoted to mopping up. But there are ways of helping to prevent condensation forming in the first place. Condensation is caused when moisture in warm air comes into contact with a cold surface and turns to water. Kitchens and bathrooms are the obvious places to suffer, but condensation will often occur in patches on walls or ceilings in living areas too.

damaged window frame
Single glass windows are undoubtedly one of the worst offenders in causing condensation. In damp winter conditions few homes escape the problem and bedrooms in particular suffer from its effects. This is the result of lower night temperatures reacting with the warm air we breathe out or warm air circulated by heating equipment. The problem is made worse by the introduction of new moist air into a room by cooking, using hand basins or running baths. Probably the worst effect of condensation is the damage it can do in a short time to window frames and paintwork. Even when frames are correctly painted 3mm in on the glass pane, the lower beading quickly breaks down and allows moisture to attack the timber or metal beneath. One remedy is the installation of good quality double glazing. Although condensation may not be completely eliminated, the build-up is reduced sufficiently to prevent moisture being a problem.

Keeping the home warm

One of the greatest money-wasters is heat loss, caused by poor insulation and ill-fitting doors and windows. This section describes the way in which you can solve these problems and cut down on your heating bills. Check with the heat loss blogs to see where your money is going and follow the steps necessary to keep the warmth where it belongs inside.
winter london
Preventitive measures including double glazing and insulating the loft are both tasks you can do yourself. Broken windows should be replaced as soon as possible. Condensation can lead to the greater problem of damp; advice is given on how to eliminate it.

Plumbing Insulation

Loft & Roof Insulation

Making curtains

bedroom curtains

There are several advantages in making curtains yourself: not only is it much cheaper than buying them ready-made, but it also allows you greater flexibility in design and choice of fabric – and you can be sure of getting them the right width and length for your windows rather than having to accept the sizes available in the shops. Of course you can have your own fabric made into curtains by a professional, but this is expensive and, since curtains are not at all difficult to make up, it pays to do it yourself.

Measuring for width
To calculate the width of your curtains, measure the curtain track, add any overlap and double this figure. This is only a general guide, however, since gathered or pleated curtains require varying amounts of material depending on the type of or curtain tape you use.

Measuring for length
Using a steel measuring tape or rule, measure the distance from the top of the track to the bottom of the window sill or to the floor (since some sills and floors tend to slope, it is best to measure in several places to ensure the curtains will hang in line). To this measurement add 20cm to allow for hems top and bottom; if the curtains will have a stand-up heading, double its depth and add this to your measurement. Divide the width of the finished curtain by the width of your chosen fabric to give the number of fabric widths and multiply the length of each curtain by the number of widths required.

Choosing curtains

Very thick brocades, velvets and wools are hard for the amateur to handle if you want your curtains to look heavy. it will be cheaper and easier to interline them. Remember, too, that natural fibres are more prone to rot if they are exposed to direct sunlight. Think about how you will need to care for your curtains. Kitchen windows might be near the cooker and likely to become dirty very quickly” so choose something light, washable and flameproof. Pattern and colour will be your final problems. Large motifs and heavy fabrics are best left for long curtains. If the curtains play a very prominent part in the look of the room. you might be wise to play safe and choose a natural or plain coloured fabric which will blend in with many different furnishings styles. If you want to redesign the room later, you can do it without a huge cash outlay by changing smaller or less expensive items like pictures. lights, plants and cushions. Big bold patterns give a striking effect but they will dominate the room, so keep the rest of it simple.

Upholstery and curtains

However hard-wearing your chairs may be, sooner or later they will need repairing or re-covering. Replacing furniture is costly; repairs and new covers will make chairs like new. Some advice on how to restore a range of chairs and keep them clean. It also shows you how to choose and make your own curtains and how to hang them. Although sewing is obviously involved in these operations, expert skills and not necessarily required and the simple, some advice will help even the beginner to achieve satisfactory results on the furniture or windows.