2006-2010 Blog Archive

Here you'll find a collection of some of my old old blog posts from the last decade.
Scroll down the "snippets list" to find a specific blog post, or use the "Search" button at the top of the page 

  • WIP... Fitted bookcases in alchoves WEDNESDAY, 16 JUNE 2010Same house... different room!This time the brief was to come up with simple units without too much embellishment From a matchstick drawing I made these ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:57 AM by Jim Sear
  • Built in Wardrobes I'm working up in the Meads all this week. It's a substantial property close to where Shackelton once lived. The rooms are large, and the alcoves either side ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:58 AM by Jim Sear
  • Get rid of an air lock, a simple methodology WEDNESDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2010In these troubled times I'm pleased to be busy - lots of people are having a very hard time of it at the moment.  It helps ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:32 AM by Jim Sear
  • Power shower Sunday, 31 January 2010 My customer had just moved into her new flat and had a problem with her shower -- it didn't work.Well that's not strictly true ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:25 AM by Jim Sear
  • Rats continued, Traps, Pest Control, Eastbourne Wednesday, 27 January 2010 Thought you might like an update on Ratus Ratus and friends. The householder is in her 70's and was aghast that rats were in her ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:19 AM by Jim Sear
  • Fix a dripping overflow discover a rats nest Monday, 25 January 2010 Spotless house. Not a speck of dirt anywhere. A place for everything and everything in its place. The overflow in the loft was pouring water onto ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:15 AM by Jim Sear
  • Mirrored sliding doors Thursday, 14 January 2010 Worked with a lovely family today installing some sliding doors. The man of the house had done all of the roughing out, and the double door ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:11 AM by Jim Sear
  • Install a loft hatch ladder In many houses, getting up into the loft can be a real contortion act.My customer wanted to get into his loft, without taking his life in his hands.He ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 9:27 AM by Jim Sear
  • Toilet boxing in Tuesday, 20 May 2008 Last week I was asked to rebuild some shelving in a former outside loo.It wouldn't have been my first choice of layout - and I ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 7:09 AM by Jim Sear
  • Under stairs storage cupboard Wednesday, 3 October 2007                    I've been building video storage units for a customer today. Over the past month I've constructed several units in different locations around the house ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 3:19 PM by Jim Sear
  • Another deck in Eastbourne Sunday, 7 October 2007 Click on any of the pictures to see them full size.
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 3:14 PM by Jim Sear
  • Custom built hall cupboards Saturday, 1 September 2007   Click on any image to enlarge....Yes, more custom fit cupboards!The brief...Take a wide, shallow, entrance hall and maximise the cupboard space without making ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 3:09 PM by Jim Sear
  • Cooker cupboard conversion Saturday !st September 2007A good friend of mine, Zena Parker, is 80+ and makes the most delicious rock cakes - perhaps that's why we're friends - because I like ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 3:04 PM by Jim Sear
  • Plumbing: Change a ball valve on a toilet cistern As a handyman I get called to many overflow problems. Whether its a toilet cistern, cold water tank in the loft, or the central heating header tank, the process is ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 2:57 PM by Jim Sear
  • Building custom fit bookcases Most of my work is through recommendation.Chris had suggested to the clients that I might be able to help them. When they called me, they said "We want a ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 2:47 PM by Jim Sear
  • Repair shed windows and renew roof felt Monday, 28 May 2007 One of the jobs today was originally planned for last week. Last week we had wonderful weather -just the weather to do some shed roofing.So ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 2:34 PM by Jim Sear
  • Jettied Decking over a stream Wednesday, 23 May 2007 Last year I built this deck for my aunt in Church Stretton, Shropshire.She wanted to be able to lie in bed and look out over ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 2:35 PM by Jim Sear
  • Combined Bookcase Wardrobe Radiator Cover Just before going on holiday I was asked to build a combined bookcase / wardrobe /radiator cover. Click on the pictures to see how it turned out. The customer thought it ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 2:09 PM by Jim Sear
  • Shallow full-height wall cupboards Monday, 30 April 2007 Purpose made shallow full-height wall cupboards incorporating cooker hoodDoors open out to give chef full access without doors in the way when at the ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 1:24 PM by Jim Sear
  • Purpose built kitchen corner cupboard Monday, 30 April 2007 I've been amazed at the number of enquiries I've had over the last few weeks. On top of all the other work that's ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 1:21 PM by Jim Sear
  • The planters and benches take shape Planters and storage and seating for the deck
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 1:09 PM by Jim Sear
  • How to build a deck 2 It ended up 7m x 7m. That's quite a large deck!For one man on his own (me) it was more than enough to do.I loved doing it ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 12:46 PM by Jim Sear
  • How to build a deck Tuesday, 3 April 2007 The deck is split level and measures 6.5m x 7.0m (21' x 23'). It's due to be done in stages. Stage one: The ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 12:39 PM by Jim Sear
  • Argos Flatpack Cabin bed and MFI wardrobes Wednesday, 28 March 2007 Assembling a cabin bed can be a two cups of tea job. Assembling a cabin bed in a box room only just big enough for it ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 12:35 PM by Jim Sear
  • Waste Disposal Units Wednesday 28th March 2007I arrived home today spattered from head to foot with gunge from a WDU (commonly known as a waste disposal unit). The smell was awful. I ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 12:32 PM by Jim Sear
  • St Philips Church Eastbourne "Architect designed" Wednesday, 21 March 2007 This evening I had arranged to fit an outside light for a home owner.   The old unit had given up the ghost.The homeowner was an ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 11:19 AM by Jim Sear
  • Laminate flooring Wednesday 21st March 2007I had to lay a laminate floor in a kitchen today. At home we have it throughout most of the bungalow, including the kitchen. Because our ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 10:59 AM by Jim Sear
  • Squeaking creaking floorboards Tuesday, 13 March 2007 Sovereign harbour is full of them. Today I was in a house in Tasmania Way, and the creaking from upstairs when anyone moved about was - horrendous ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 9:47 AM by Jim Sear
  • Jet Skis, Handrails, and Door Closers Saturday, 3 March 2007 Well after the last post, lets get back to the real world.I had a nice light day today. Fit an electric shower, put up two ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 1:50 AM by Jim Sear
  • Kitchen doors Saloon doors and Showers Thursday, 1 March 2007 The morning started of well. I went to a house in Langney. I walked in the door, the lady pressed money into my hand and told ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2011, 1:49 AM by Jim Sear
  • Ledge and brace gate kit from Wickes Monday, 26 February 2007 Have you ever woken up, gone to work, and wished you hadn't? That was how I started feeling this morning. I was scheduled to fit ...
    Posted Feb 14, 2011, 2:52 PM by Jim Sear
  • Build me a rabbit hutch run ! The lady was not for turning! "It'll be cheaper to buy a ready made one" I said. "I can't get one the size and quality I'm looking ...
    Posted Feb 14, 2011, 2:39 PM by Jim Sear
  • Assembling flatpack - simple doesn't mean easy. I like flat pack. It's fun. Over time I've found it's best not to look at the instructions too much --the given instructions only serve to confuse ...
    Posted May 31, 2015, 12:08 PM by Jim Sear
  • Some Eastbourne plumbers suck! I was up in three lofts today changing ballcock valves. Two of them were simple. Turn off the water, undo two nuts, change the valve, reconnect, turn on the water ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 10:04 AM by Jim Sear
  • Hanging doors Monday, 19 February 2007 It seemed it was going to be a nice easy day today. Two exterior doors to hang, and an empty house to do them in -- and ...
    Posted Feb 14, 2011, 2:12 PM by Jim Sear
  • On my knees again --- Laying laminate flooring Tuesday, 13 February 2007 Last Friday I paid a visit to a house in Stone Cross. The couple had bought some stick-on tiles and wanted me to lay them ...
    Posted Feb 14, 2011, 1:51 PM by Jim Sear
  • Seized stopcocks, warped doors, and dripping taps Thursday, 8 February 2007 February is already a quarter gone! Before you know it, it will be Easter. Focusing on all the small jobs, as I do, very often, in ...
    Posted Feb 14, 2011, 1:35 PM by Jim Sear
  • How to build a bird table I built my first ever bird table in Eastbourne today! It was great fun. Strictly speaking, I have to say it was more a refurbishment. The post, and remnants of ...
    Posted Feb 14, 2011, 12:49 PM by Jim Sear
  • The floor was sinking fast - rotten wall plate Sunday, 28 January 2007 I don't work on Saturdays, well, not normally. This weekend I've had to make an exception (I quite often make exceptions for lots of ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2011, 2:29 PM by Jim Sear
  • External doors come in all shapes and sizes Friday, 26 January 2007 Can someone tell me why imperial external doors are normally 78"high in all widths except 32" width (which is 80" high). I can't find ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2011, 2:19 PM by Jim Sear
  • Internal doors come in all shapes and sizes Thursday, 25 January 2007 Internal doors come in all shapes and sizesInternal doors come in a variety of sizes. If you have a post 50's house, as a ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2011, 1:55 PM by Jim Sear
  • Plumbing with ice cold feet Wednesday, 24 January 2007 What a suprise this morning's snow was. I know it had been forecast for East Sussex, but when I woke up and looked out the ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2011, 1:49 PM by Jim Sear
  • Gates and Fences Tuesday, 23 January 2007 The wind has blown itself out - for the moment.Winter has finally arrived!I'm not used to the cold.By the end of the day ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2011, 1:41 PM by Jim Sear
  • Fitting venetian blinds Monday, 5 February 2007Renew fascia and guttering on a double garage, Fit five venetian blinds, make a lot of shelving in two cupboards, remove mildewed silicone and re-seal ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 9:47 AM by Jim Sear
  • I work as a general handyman and I'm able to do a wide variety of jobs. Although I have the skills and knowledge to build a house, I no longer choose to undertake any large projects. Many customers tell me I am particularly good at problem ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2011, 1:27 PM by Jim Sear
  • A fence too high! Saturday, 20 January 2007 It's been a busy week. The storms made it even busier. I now have more than enough fencing repairs to last me a lifetime. Well ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2011, 1:21 PM by Jim Sear
  • Radiators Valves Stop Cocks and other plumbing jobs Wednesday, 10 January 2007 After you've read this post - go and do it!I get called to so many homes on small plumbing jobs. A dripping overflow, a tap ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2011, 1:17 PM by Jim Sear
  • Doors Outside Lights, and Sovereign Harbour Tuesday, 9 January 2007 Today I went to see a client that had been given some old doors. I have to admit when they told me on the phone I ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2011, 1:12 PM by Jim Sear
  • Drains sinks and other fascinating things... Friday, 5 January 2007 Today was a plumbing day.Kitchen sink taps - who designs these things?If anybody out there is a designer of ANYTHING, this is for you.visit ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 10:17 AM by Jim Sear
  • For several years now, I've followed the policy, that I only work with people I like. Thursday, 4 January 2007 For several years now, I've followed the policy, that I only work with people I like.The reason is very simple. First impressions do count ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 10:31 AM by Jim Sear
  • Make a decision and then make another one! Wednesday 3 January 2007Today has been a day of looking at future jobs. Two of those jobs will be carried out tomorrow, and involve a good deal of basic ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 10:23 AM by Jim Sear
  • A broken floorboard at the bottom of the stairs. Tuesday 2 January 2007The hardest part of today was getting going.The first job of the day was in Stone Cross, and was the work of a few moments ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2011, 9:56 AM by Jim Sear
  • Suzi is still going strong 27 January  2007What a great day today was. The weather was good. I met a lot of new customers, and got a lot done. Life is good.I drive ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2011, 12:17 PM by Jim Sear
  • Have you ever put up ceiling lights? Monday, 29 January 2007Designers!How I would love to strangle a designer. Especially the one that design light fittings.I've just put up a Chandelier - it replaces what ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2011, 12:09 PM by Jim Sear
Showing posts 1 - 54 of 54. View more »




















WIP... Fitted bookcases in alchoves

posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:46 AM by Jim Sear   [ updated Feb 16, 2011, 8:57 AM ]

WEDNESDAY, 16 JUNE 2010
Same house... different room!
This time the brief was to come up with simple units without too much embellishment 
From a matchstick drawing I made these. 

If you need help or advice on this or any other topic give me a call on 07930 335 937 or email me 
Carpenter Electrician Painter Plasterer Plumber Eastbourne Handyman Eastbourne

  

Built in Wardrobes

posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:32 AM by Jim Sear   [ updated Feb 16, 2011, 8:58 AM ]


I'm working up in the Meads all this week. It's a substantial property close to where Shackelton once lived. The rooms are large, and the alcoves either side of the chimney-breast in the bedroom are in need of wardrobes.
I've been building the internals.
Where once bare walls were, now stands the outline of the first wardrobe.

Long hanging for Ball Gowns are catered for, 
as is hanging space for blouses, jackets and skirts and trews. 
Four large drawers and ample shelving will make this a good sized wardrobe.





The second (right-hand) "internals" for the wardrobes went up this morning.
building the drawers was time consuming (drawers always are).
As you can see from the picture one set  has four drawers the other has three.
The cabling for the Blue-Ray and the Satellite receiver is linked through the chimney breast to the TV and had to be routed through channels in the wardrobe sidings so that the minimum of cable will be visible.
It all takes time, but we'll get there.




            

The woodwork is finished...
The customer has chosen Tom Ware Painters from Bexhill to finish the wardrobes in Satinwood white.
I've really enjoyed doing this job. I can hardly wait to see the finished result.

Get rid of an air lock, a simple methodology

posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:28 AM by Jim Sear   [ updated Feb 16, 2011, 8:32 AM ]

WEDNESDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2010

In these troubled times I'm pleased to be busy - lots of people are having a very hard time of it at the moment.  It helps that many of my customers use me on a regular basis and continue to recommend me to their friends to do those 'no job to small' jobs. As the lady on the telly says 'every little helps'.

Some jobs take literally five minutes or less. I've lost count of the number of light bulbs I've changed for people who can no longer do it. The funny thing is that when you do that sort of thing, people remember, and then they call you back again and again to do jobs that actually pay! My mother used to say "it costs nothing to be nice to others and it will bring rewards", and over the years I've tried, sometimes successfully, to follow her advice.

A case in point. Some time ago I was called to a house in Kilpatrick Close in Eastbourne. The basin hot tap would run for a short while and then just peter out. "New tap washers" the lady said. "No" said I "its an airlock".
Less than five minutes later I was done and on my way.  Since then I've been back to the house several times to do other 'proper' jobs. Little things lead to greater things.

For all those reading this, sometimes, there is a simple way to get rid of an airlock.
It doesn't always work, but in this instance, it worked almost instantly.
Here's how.
Turn the offending tap on.
Go down stairs to the kitchen.
If the kitchen sink has a monobloc tap, hold your hand very firmly over the outlet so that water can't get out. Keeping your hand tight over the spout turn on the hot tap. Now turn on the cold tap. The mains pressure water forces its way back up through the hot water system and expunges the air as it does. Let it force its way through for a minute or so and Hey Presto air lock will be gone.
As I said, it doesn't always work, and then only on certain types of system.
PS if you don't get it right you can get very wet!

If you need help or advice on this or any other topic give me a call on 07930 335 937 or email me 
Carpenter Electrician Painter Plasterer Plumber Eastbourne Handyman Eastbourne

Power shower

posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:20 AM by Jim Sear   [ updated Feb 16, 2011, 8:25 AM ]

Sunday, 31 January 2010
My customer had just moved into her new flat
and had a problem with her shower -- it didn't work.

Well that's not strictly true. It did work. Just not well enough.
  It took ages to shower and there was simply not enough flow.
She wanted a strong shower and at reasonable cost.

After a bit of research we decided that I should fit the 'Vigour' model from Mira, supplied by Plumbase in Eastbourne. I use Plumbase whenever possible.
All of the guys are always friendly and helpful.

Fitting Mira products is generally a breeze, and this one was no exception. 
Getting to the hot and cold feeds under the bath proved to be more like an exercise in yoga. 
During installation I grazed my knuckles a couple of times, but apart from that it all went smoothly. 
 When the unit was commissioned later that day, 
Janice was delighted with the surprisingly variable high powered shower. 
It cost a little bit more than the cheap models that are available, 
but the difference in output and looks more than cover the small extra outlay.

If you need help or advice on this or any other topic give me a call on 07930 335 937 or email me 
Carpenter Electrician Painter Plasterer Plumber Eastbourne Handyman Eastbourne

Rats continued, Traps, Pest Control, Eastbourne

posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:16 AM by Jim Sear   [ updated Feb 16, 2011, 8:19 AM ]

Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Thought you might like an update on Ratus Ratus and friends. 
The householder is in her 70's and was aghast that rats were in her loft. Apparently it's very common. 
They'd come in through the drains, up the stink pipe, along the roofline, under the tiles, and into the loft. 
Don't start to get smug... 
it's VERY VERY common and can and does affect any household. 
That's what the heroic Eastbourne Council Pest Control Officer said.

He was punctual friendly polite and helpful. He explained what he would do and how he was going to get rid of them. He set traps and laid bait and will be back to make sure the problem is gone. 
In short, he was the hero of the hour.
If you want to find out more about this very common problem click here. to read an article by Rentokil.

Fix a dripping overflow discover a rats nest

posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:11 AM by Jim Sear   [ updated Feb 16, 2011, 8:15 AM ]

Monday, 25 January 2010
Spotless house.
Not a speck of dirt anywhere.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
The overflow in the loft was pouring water onto the ground outside.
In the loft two cisterns.
One for the hot and cold water.
One for the central heating.
Set up the step ladder.
Lift up the loft hatch. Switch on loft light. Start climbing into the loft.

Changing a ballcock on a storage tank is simple work. 
Its the getting to it and the finding what's there that causes the headaches. 
In this case it was very easy. Plenty of light, solid floor, and easy to get to. 
The pipework had a stopcock fitted so it was simply a matter of turning the water off. Undo the mains tap connector. Undo the back nut. take the old valve out and replace with a new one and then reverse the process.

The smell, immediately recognisable, everywhere, intense, pungent, biting the back of the throat.
The stench of urine. Over by the chimney the droppings. Long. Cylindrical. 
Rats it can only be rats.

I could smell them, but I had no intention of going after them. 
Their droppings were over by the chimney, so I stayed well away. 
Having changed the valve and checked for leaks, I was off out of there. 
The lady of the house had heard some noises over the months but thought it was birds nesting. 
She called Pest Control straight away and they will be there tomorrow afternoon to lay poison and traps.
Let's hope they get the blighters.

If you need help or advice on this or any other topic give me a call on 07930 335 937 or email me 
Carpenter Electrician Painter Plasterer Plumber Eastbourne Handyman Eastbourne

Mirrored sliding doors

posted Feb 16, 2011, 8:08 AM by Jim Sear   [ updated Feb 16, 2011, 8:11 AM ]

Thursday, 14 January 2010
Worked with a lovely family today installing some sliding doors.
The man of the house had done all of the roughing out, and the double door units were more or less in the right spot. I had to get it all running properly and "dress" the opening to finish the job.
After you've done a couple, fitting mirror sliding doors is not difficult. The main thing to remember is to make the height of the opening just 2-3 cm larger than the door height and the frame width 2-3 cm smaller than the double door width. . There's a good range of vertical adjustment that will take up any play.
The adjustment range can accommodate even quite wonky walls.
Everything should slide smoothly and butt up parallel to the frame.

Tea was offered (and gratefully accepted). We talked about the theme of the week.... snow snow snow... and the time just flew by. In what seemed like an instant I was back on the road and onto the next job...
Nice home, nice kids, nice people... all in all ... nice.

Install a loft hatch ladder

posted Feb 16, 2011, 7:09 AM by Jim Sear   [ updated Feb 16, 2011, 9:27 AM ]

In many houses, getting up into the loft can be a real contortion act.
My customer wanted to get into his loft, without taking his life in his hands.
He knew what he wanted...
A solidly built wooden loft ladder - 
not one of those wobbly aluminium contraptions...
He also wanted easy access... 
He was tired of trying to get a 2' box (and himself) through a 2' hole.
I suggested a very neat solution.
The Fakro Loft Ladder
It's a folding ladder made of quality pine, 
it's supplied with an insulated hatch door, and a handrail. 

There's loads of wide tread space which makes stepping onto the treads easier. Safety grooves are cut into the treads to prevent slipping. They are relatively easy to fit, and feel really safe to use. All things considered, it would be my personal choice every time. Below is a video of the loft ladder in use.



If you need help or advice on this or any other topic give me a call on 07930 335 937 or email me 
Carpenter Electrician Painter Plasterer Plumber Eastbourne Handyman Eastbourne



Toilet boxing in

posted Feb 16, 2011, 7:02 AM by Jim Sear   [ updated Feb 16, 2011, 7:09 AM ]

Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Last week I was asked to rebuild some shelving in a former outside loo.
It wouldn't have been my first choice of layout - and I must admit I did try to alter her plans - but the lady wanted . . . and so the lady got.
It's amazing how much storage she now has in such a small area.
The slot on the left is a magazine rack

The job took quite a bit longer to complete than first estimated because once started we then agreed that the tiles were hanging off the walls and had to be stripped off and the walls plastered. The old toilet pan was cracked and so needed to be replaced. The new one was then raised by 2" to give a more regal feel to the throne :).
In the end it actually turned out looking better than I expected.

Under stairs storage cupboard

posted Feb 15, 2011, 3:15 PM by Jim Sear   [ updated Feb 15, 2011, 3:19 PM ]

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

                   
I've been building video storage units for a customer today. Over the past month I've constructed several units in different locations around the house. In fact apart from the stair well itself, there are video storage units everywhere. He has thousands upon thousnds of videos, and despite my best efforts, we still don't have enough storage. We've now commandeered the under-stairs broom cupboard to accomodate some more. He tells me that we have only racked and stacked less than half his total collection! I find other people's lives fascinating! Here are some
 more pictures of various units..

                              

         

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