Ask a tradesperson

Do you need advice about improving your home but aren't quite ready to post a job? Find the answers to your questions, courtesy of our expert tradespeople.

57,927 questions

how to paint onto new plaster

Apparently I need to do a mist coat or 2 to seal the plaster. Have been told to use white watered down emulsion to do this. I have a full tin of magnolia matt paint lying around, can i use this or does it have to be white?

What is the best combi boiler overall for value and reliability?

Update - Thankyou all very much for taking the time to post your honest opinions - I'll be checking out your recommendations.
Most appreciated, Shona

Looking to replace my dad's boiler. Only had one quote so far which is based on a Ferroli boiler however when i research them online they are universally panned by almost everyone - clients and installers although I guess they are a source of work for the installers!! Fairly highly recommended seems to be Vaillent Ecotek but I think this is at the higher cost end of the scale.
Is there a boiler that has good reliability at a reasonable price or is it better to go with a big name like Vaillent or Worcester and pay more initially? My dad has a servicing contract with Scottish Gas so maintenance isn't an issue but all the same he doesn't want to be calling them out every 5 mins to repair it.
When I get quotes I want to make sure I'm comparing like with like and not getting a cheaper quote because it's based on a rubbish boiler.
Boiler is for a 3 bed house with one bathroom.

where is the best place to get kitchens from

i am buying a property which needs a new kitchen i would like to know where the best place would be to buy a kitchen for a reasonable price to have fitted by a tradesman. or would it be better to have a tradesman supply and fit?

Can you tile over tiles or should you remove all of the old ones first?

Can you tile over tiles or should you remove all of the old ones first?

Is there an easy way to remove Artex?

We have some Artex in our living room that we would like to get rid of or cover. It is quite thick in places (about an inch) as it was put on in a style that looks like butter spread on a slice of toast. What would be the easiest way of getting rid of the Artex it or hiding it? Could we sand it down it the thickest places and then put up a thick coat of fresh plaster over the top to hide it? Or should we sand it right back and then skim the wall? Or is there a product that can be bought specifically for removing artex?

How do you get a nice finish when applying sealant around baths and sinks

I am planning to re-grout the tiling in the bathroom. As part of the project I will be removing the sealant around the bath.
When I applied the sealant last time I had a hard time getting it to look as good as it did when we first moved into the house (it was a new build).

Just how do tilers get such a great smooth finish.

What is a reasonable payment schedule?

What is a reasonable payment schedule for a £8,000 job?

Should I give a deposit on confirmation of wanting a builder to do this work?

The job is estimated to take 3 weeks.

Many thanks

Additional Info: The builder I was thinking of using has asked for the following (I feel the 25% deposit is too high):

A deposit based on 25% of the total quotation (£8,000) is required on confirmation of the order, and 25% each week ending based on works completed.

Additional info: The builder is a member of FMB, so I am assuming he won't run off with the deposit!

Additional info: I see what you are all saying, but I am a good payer, but I guess the builder will not know this.

Thanks everyone for your advice.

Correct mix of mortar for my brick BBQ

I've started building a brick barbecue. The concrete base turned out perfect, but I didn't get much further than that. I'm having a lot of trouble mixing good, easily workable mortar. The mix I tried is 6:2:1 (sand:lime:cement). As I'm not used to laying bricks, I need to take my time adjusting the bricks into place. This seems impossible with the mortar I made. No matter how much water I put in it, the mortar dries fast and doesn't stick to the bricks (bricks that have been layed 24hrs ago can easily be removed by hand). What am I doing wrong?

How long after plastering can you paint a 'mist' coat on and what is the ratio water to paint? Thank you!

Super replies guys, feel confident to tackle the job now!
Many thanks!

Should I use gloss or satinwood for skirting, and doors?


i have just found out gloss discolours quickly. we are painting the whole house white and doing it ourselves. i wanted to ask what is the best paint to use for our doors, skirting, etc (wood). some of the wood in the house has already got gloss on it. some of it is bare wood.

i wanted to know what is the other paint you can use instead of gloss and if we use another paint do we need to take the gloss off that we already have on the wood.

i think we would rather go with the other instead of the gloss but what to go with satin or eggshell or is there something else.

i feel confused at the moment as i need to know wether to start stripping the gloss or not.

if i use this other paint on the wood what do i prime it with is priming it with normal emulation ok or do i need something else.

thanks in advance

Post your job to find high quality tradespeople and get free quotes

Can’t find an answer? Ask a new question

Question Categories