We’re hiring! Marketers, customer service and software developers.

Cleverley Builders

Top trades
  • >Carpenter & Joiner
  • >Extension Builder
  • >Painter & Decorator
  • >Bathroom Fitter
  • >Roofer
  • >Kitchen Fitter
  • >Restoration & Refurb Specialist
  • >Chimney & Fireplace Specialist
  • >Bricklayer
  • >Loft Conversion Specialist
  • >Tiler
  • >Groundworker
  • >Plasterer
  • >Garage & Shed Builder
  • >New Home Builder
  • >Conversion Specialist
  • >Driveway Paver
  • >Fencer
  • >Window Fitter
  • >Damp Proofing Specialist
  • >Insulation Installer
  • >Conservatory Installer
  • >Demolition Contractor
  • >Plumber
  • >Electrician
  • >Heating Engineer
  • >Landscape Gardener
  • >Flooring Fitter
  • >Gas Engineer

Ask a Tradesman answers

Below are this tradesman's answers to questions posted by our community.


What is the best method of installing mdf skirting boards? adhesive? plugs & screws?

My flat was fully replastered and would like to reinstall skirtings. I would prefer adhesive but do not know what type of adhesive. Can you also suggest a brand? Thank you.

Ytrekker27 5th Sep, 2011 Carpentry & Joinery
6 Answers u29

I agree with hampshire carpenter
If You have the luxury of a 2nd fix nail gun then you can tack the mitres with this or you can buy mitre fix which holds the mitre perfect
If the walls have been plastered then make sure they are dry first otherwise they won't stick
Best regards

Cleverley Builders 9th Sep, 2011

I want to add a Balustrade with wooden spindles to my staircase

I have just bought a property that needs full modernisation and one of the jobs required is to add a balustrade to the staircase.

I would like to add one that has the individual spindles that run up the stairs and across the landing.

What would be a rough cost for labour and materials to do this on a standard staircase with a 12 foot landing?

I am trying to do as much work as possible by myself but I imagine this needs to be carried out by a carpenter to make sure all spindles are cut and positioned evenly along the railing.

Ypaulb_47 3rd Oct, 2011 Carpentry & Joinery
5 Answers u6

It would take 2 carpenters 1 day at 180 per man and 60 waste removal
420 plus vat 84 - 504.00 plus material

Cleverley Builders 9th Oct, 2011

i have a inspection cover where i want the extension to go, ca this be moved?

also who would i need to contact, to make sure i am following building regs

Ykam_92 11th Jan, 2012 Extensions
5 Answers u10

Hi Kam
it depends on who owns the drain you or wessex water.
If its you you can lintel over the pipe, if its wessex water you will need to contact them.
If you need any more help contact me
Mike Cleverley

Cleverley Builders 11th Jan, 2012

Bathroom re-fit - help!

Hi there, we have recently received a quote for a full bathroom refit and are wondering if this is a reasonable price. The reason I am asking via questions is that this quote is more than we wish to spend, therefore do not want to waste anyone's time posting a job if this is a true price!

The quote we received was around £5000+ which included:
- approx 18m2 wall tiling ( tiles supplied)
- approx 4m2 floor tiling (tiles supplied)
- full suite refit, including 760 shower enclosure
- replace electric shower
- ceiling panelling
- towel rail

Thoughts appreciated.

Thanks for your replies folks, much appreciated! I like to think that we are realistic however the cost of the refit must reflect the value of the property in a sense.
Lots of different thoughts here so will discuss with my partner before posting a job. Thanks folks!

Ynursey14 29th Jan, 2012 Bathroom Fitting
13 Answers u32

Hi nursey14
It seems a bit high depending on the cost of the bathroom suite. We have just completed a bathroom refit for less. Where abouts do you live.
Mike Cleverley

Cleverley Builders 30th Jan, 2012

Do I need a permit from the Council to demolish and rebuild the front wall of my house?

I need to demolish and rebuid the brick front wall of my house as the bricks are v old (about 120years) and crumbling +fit new windows and door.
Is it better and chaper to glue the plaster boards inside or to use normal plaster?

Y49swin49 25th May, 2011 Bricklaying
3 Answers u4

depending on your area but as long as you dont rebuild the wall to much out of character no ones going to mind as long as its not a listed
you can fit new doors and windows like for like but you will need FENSA registered installers for re-sale purposes
it is quicker to dot and dab the wall and skim over as there is less drying times involved

Gary Cleverley

Cleverley Builders 25th May, 2011

Flexible mortar - such a thing?

I need to mortar down the sides of a door frame, or should I say re-mortar. Every time the door closes, it has loosened the mortar that has been used. Someone has mentioned to me some sort of mortar you can use that has a bit of give, but I can't remember what it's called.Can you help?

EDIT: I should say that we live in a 350 year old cottage so white upvc trim isn't an option. I don't really want to go down the foam route really as that won't do the stone any favours. Anyone know anything more about this lime puddy that's been mentioned?

Yaires69uk 25th May, 2011 Extensions
7 Answers u6

the best way to fix this (without looking) is expanding foam down the joint then mastic, mortar is sand mixed with cement this will always crack as the door is always in use, a good tradesman would rake the joint then expanding foam then mastic/silicone over or if over 12mm a timber/plastic bead would be idea cost from 30-60 depending on how far away they have to travel or if you are handy then your local diy shop can sort you the tools you need remember to wear gloves with exspanding foam and easy on the trigger as it can get messy any excess should be left to cure hard then cut back with a sharp knife best of luck
kind regards Gary Cleverley

Cleverley Builders 26th May, 2011

Is it usual to request for a 50% deposit before any work has been completed, especially when the company is not VAT registered ?

I am having a roof replaced with fibre glass and having four external walls re-rendered and painted on a block of 4 flats and have been quoted c£20,000 for this work. Is this nornal procedure to ask for such a large deposit upfront ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Ywilliams_76 3rd Aug, 2011 Roofing
9 Answers u13

you should agree a 20% deposit and 3 stage payments as the works progress. Also work to a schedule
Mike Cleverley

Cleverley Builders 3rd Aug, 2011

The felt(I assume it's felt) inside the roof area of my 4 bed house, although the forth bed is a newish extension, is hanging of in places. Is this going to be a big

Sorry I left off last of question!!

"big job, expensive" Any advice and many thanks.

Ymolly_36 16th Aug, 2011 Roofing
5 Answers u8

Hi Molly_36
It sounds like your felt has perished. You may need to replace soon, ie refelt & batten, you may be able to reuse your tiles.
Mike Cleverley

Cleverley Builders 18th Aug, 2011

Toilet Cistern Slow to Fill

Installed a Duravit 0910100005 Happy D Toilet some yrs ago in a 2nd floor flat. Ever since, the cistern never filled very fast & the plumber at the time wasn't able to solve it. Cistern is replenished from the lead tank in the bathroom in the ceiling cupboard. I found the shut off valve that feeds the cistern & tried to turn it, but I think the thread is worn - didn't make any difference anyway. Do I need a plumber to replace the shut off valve to free up the pressure, defur the pipes, or fit a pump to give it extra pressure or something...Looking for an expert to help me finally resolve it. Thx.


Many thanks to Sovereign Plumbing & Heating, Briner & Sons, and Cleverly Building Contractors for taking the time out to answer my question.

I have taken the cistern fitting out a few times in case it was grit causing a blockage, gently cleaned what I could, then flushed it thru with good pressure from the bath cold water tap, fed from the mains. nfortunately it did not solve the problem. It did let me see that the flow of water into the cistern is weak.

I will try to look for the float valve next as suggested. This does sound like a possible root cause. The pressure on the cold water taps fed by the mains is fine, powerful. If I can close off the shut off valve, I will then follow your instructions and see if this solves it.

If not, then it sounds like you are both right, it is a modern toilet just not compatible with a gravity fed water supply, and get a new float valve fitted that is compatible, and better still, connect it to the mains and get a new shut off valve fitted at the same time.

You are all very kind and I appreciate you taking the time out to help others. I will be sure to pass on the kindness and lend a hand to someone else in need I can help...One good turn deserves another! I hope you have a great Christmas and Happy New Year.

Yedina_82 10th Dec, 2011 Bathroom Fitting
4 Answers u4

try cleaning the fitting you may have grit in the washer which may have been disturbed when fitted

Cleverley Builders 12th Dec, 2011

Who to hire if bathroom needs damp proofing and many other works?

Hi, a new home owner and rather lost at where to begin! Please advise which tradesmen I should be engaging to assist with the following things that need to be looked at / done in the ground floor bathroom? Also, in what order should these things be done?

1) Had damp proof report done and looks like one of the external walls of bathroom needs to be treated (amongst one or two other places in the house e.g. living room/dining room areas) (Can a bathroom fitter do this for the bathroom, along with other things below?)

2) After shower, lots of condensation on walls, patches of wall paint starting to falling off when touched, and also 'bubbles' appearing on wall. New to all these problems but they appear to signal a huge ventilation problem? No ventilator at moment, only some small air vents built into wall. (Bathroom fitters can fix ventilator if they are/have certified electricians too?)

3) Toilet not well insulated as the 2 small windows has fixed parts that are not double glazed and also have glass shutters. Would like these replaced to improve insulation. (Require window fitters? Joiners? Or can bathroom fitters do this too?)

4) Remove previous owner's self built cabinets under basin and replace existing basin with separate taps, to a new basin with mixer tap and under basin cabinets. (Plumber or Builder needed for this?)

5) Toilet has 2 doors - one leading to garden, other to indoors. Would like to replace these too. (Joiner? Builder?)

I'm rather clueless but assume ideal scenario is to hire one tradesman to coordinate everything for me, rather than me trying to hire different tradesmen separately and ensuring work gets done in the correct sequence? Would be helpful if you can also advise ballpark figure to deal with all the above?

Any advice will be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Ybeatrice_28 12th Jan, 2012 Bathroom Fitting
8 Answers u9

Hi beatrice_28
We have carried repairs simular to your problem, if you are in the Bristol area please contact me otherwise get in touch with the Federation of Master Builders.
Mike Cleverley

Cleverley Builders 12th Jan, 2012

Felt under roof tiles has split - what are the options?

Hi all. The felt on my roof under the tiles has split and perished. Is there any other answer then taking all the tiles off to replace it. Is there any other solution. Thanks....

Many thanks for all your input.. It's not a cheap job then coz it's the hole roof. Once again thank you all.

Ygraham_779 24th Apr, 2012 Roofing
4 Answers u8

In my opinion the best way for a quick repare would be to lift the tiles around the problem area, cut the batons back out the way and replace the damaged felt with a breathable felt. Then fix back the batons and relay the tiles.

Cleverley Builders 25th Apr, 2012

How long should it take to have a studded wall & 5 internal doors to be fitted?

Studded wall - 78" wide, 90" high & 16" deep, wall to have 42" tv inset, inset for sky box etc, 2 shelves with spotlights & electric fire to be hung.

Also 5 internal doors & door furniture to be hung.

Yjon123_54 23rd May, 2011 Carpentry & Joinery
7 Answers u7

build the stud and insert electrics 1 day
plaster walls 3 hours
hang doors 1 day
so around three days give or take

Cleverley Builders 25th May, 2011

couple of ways build a false wall next to the bath to run services in or get the right tap gear for the bath
go to plumb city and look at the displays theres options but its your choice how to do it without seeing the layout or the room thats all i can say

Cleverley Builders 7th Jun, 2011

Do you need to repoint ridges


My girlfriend and I are buying a house and the survey has indicated that some repointing is requiredfor the ridge.

What does this mean, do we need to get it done, is this cosmetic only?



Ysaseefeldt 2nd Aug, 2011 Roofing
4 Answers u4

Hi Scott
If the mortor pointing has become porus or missing then there is a possibility of water ingress running under the tiles and into your property. You need to remove the ridge tiles clean off the old mortor bed and relay on new mortor.
Mike Cleverley

Cleverley Builders 3rd Aug, 2011

whats the best way to take down lining paper thats been painted over?

just moved into a new house and we are looking to decorate the upstairs. all the rooms are lined with paper, which looks quite badly hung. you can see all the seems through the paint and there are a lot of bubbles. what would be the best way of taking it off with out the risk of damaging the plaster behind?

many thanks :)

Ycazz87 22nd Aug, 2011 Painting & Decorating
4 Answers u6

you can buy a spiked roller to break up the surface of the paper then use a steam stripper, the spiked roller allows the steam to penatrate the paper

Cleverley Builders 23rd Aug, 2011

If its on a external wall u may need to vent it a good quality builder would return and view the problem and sort it if it needs vents then all he need do is charge for the vents
Good luck Gary

Cleverley Builders 13th Sep, 2011

if you still owe money to the builder for other work hes doing use that to pay for the windows and deduct it off ur builders final bill
dont pay any more money to the builder untill hes up to date with the work

Cleverley Builders 28th Oct, 2011

Grout may have become porous would grout sealer sort it for the time being?

whilst we research all possible solutions.

Ymgb2000x 17th Nov, 2011 Bathroom Fitting
2 Answers u1

try masonry silicone

Cleverley Builders 17th Nov, 2011

can you use sandtex paint on inside walls?

Yaveleyfc 20th Nov, 2011 Painting & Decorating
9 Answers u9


Cleverley Builders 21st Nov, 2011

Depends how big the base is and the style you need, will the tiles stay the same
working on a 750x750 basic shower tray around 200-500 fitted inc encloser

Cleverley Builders 15th Dec, 2011
View all Questions and Answers >