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Carpentry around the house.

In these cash conscious times, I am aware that more and more people want to take on those tasks around the house that in better times they would have hired a professional to do.  Carpentry is one of those areas that homeowners feel they can take on themselves, but DIY carpentry is not so straightforward and I would suggest following the advice of the professionals before undertaking any carpentry job in the house.

For more complicated jobs, the services of a professional carpenter will be essential but basic tasks around the house are well within anyone’s capabilities.  I have done them myself, with success, believe it or not.  One task that is relatively straightforward to complete is the replacement of skirting boards, which become worn down or rotted away over time.

As a first step in replacing a skirting board, I would measure the area I want covered.  I do not use a tape measure unless absolutely necessary.  I find it better to mark my measurements using a pencil.  Not only is this faster but it is also more accurate.  My family jests that neither fast nor accurate are words with which I am overly familiar, but I digress.  If I am using a tape measure, a useful tip I have discovered is to apply masking tape to it so numbers can be taken down easily and quickly as I go along.  With my measurements done, my next step is to visit my local DIY store and pick out a length of skirting board in the appropriate style.

Once I have purchased the skirting board and brought it home, I cut it to fit the measurements I have taken before then sanding it down.  To put the skirting board in place, I drill a hole in the wall for a rawl plug before screwing the board onto the wall, avoiding pipes, of course.  Even the thought of a leaking pipe is enough to make someone be extra vigilant, is it not?

At a more basic level, I imagine that many people new to carpentry will be asking what the essential tools they need to get started are.  The essentials for carpentry are:  a good hammer (a claw hammer made from forged steel is probably best); screwdrivers and drills; a wrench set; a tape measure, a wood saw; levels, to determine whether a surface is parallel with the ground; and pliers.  If your budget stretches that far, I would recommend purchasing a cordless drill.  Remember that screws are available in different sizes so a screwdriver set is essential.

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