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GETTING THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB.

You've bought the materials for the job - and you want to transform your home.

But if you haven't got the right tools for DIY, you'll never achieve a professional finish and the end result will not only take much longer but may look slapdash.

If your DIY skills only extend to painting a room then the kit you need is small - roller, tray, a selection of brushes, sandpaper, scraper, dustsheets, white spirit and brush cleaner.

But larger, more adventurous tasks mean you've got to have a fairly comprehensive kit.

You'll need a three-metre flexible steel tape measure and a 600mm steel rule, a 300mm steel combination square, a 600mm steel spirit level and a 300mm tenon saw.

A junior hacksaw is vital for cutting metal and plastic, and for starting drill holes you need a bradawl. A hand drill is a must and you can buy a bit to fit according to the screw sizes you intend using. Buy two screwdrivers to cover the most common screw sizes and make sure the handles have a good grip. A No.2 Phillips screwdriver is also essential, and then an electric screwdriver with an insulated handle and a mains tester.

You really need two hammers. One should be 450-560g with a steel shaft and a claw head and the other should have a Warrington head and a wooden handle.

Pliers should not be too stiff, and be insulated for any electrical work. If you are planning plumbing jobs buy two adjustable spanners, especially if you are using compression joints. The head should be 200mm to ensure the spanner is large enough for most plumbing jobs.

Bevel-edged chisels should range in size from six to 25mms, and if you don't have a wooden mallet make sure the chisels have plastic handles that can be used with a hammer. They should have protective plastic caps for the blades.

If you are planning lots of underfloor work a bolster chisel is essential, and a Stanley knife is a useful tool.

You need a sanding block to wrap sandpaper around and, of course, a ladder. Choose one that is at least two metres high, but ensure you can easily reach your highest ceiling. Ideally it should be aluminum with an open leg lock and a paint tray, and come with non-slip feet and strong struts.

You'll need a selection of screws and nails, various grades of sandpaper, electrical and waterproof tape, fuses in various sizes, a pencil, a torch, a plumbline and protective goggles.

If you intend doing a lot of DIY, a portable workbench might be worth investing in.

For further advice, Do It All have a free guide called Taking Care of Tools available in-store.

IT'S A FACT...

Smallrooms with low ceilings can be made to feel more spacious by decorating in pale colours and using scaled down furniture.

IT'S A FACT...

A window at the narrow end of a room can be made to look wider by hanging the curtains to sill level only and using a wide rail.
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 30, 1997
Words:506
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