How to hang curtains: a step by step guide

Here at Mr Fixing It for you today, we have compiled a nice step by step guide to assist you in creating beautiful looking curtains in 8 easy steps. Once you have purchased a nice pair of curtains we can begin at Step 1.

Measure your window to establish what size curtain you need. Most retailers now size their curtains by window size so you don’t need to work out widths of curtain to window ratio.



Measure the window to define the length of curtain track you require. To allow good light into the room the curtains should be able to be pulled back just behind the window. In general you will need 20cm 8″ inches at each end to allow for the curtains to be bunched back. Screws that come with the track may not be long enough, so you may need longer ones, especially when screwing into old plaster.




Now you have purchased a curtain track it is time to cut it to the correct length, using what ever cutting tool you feel will be best. Ensure the cut is completely vertical to the 90 degrees.




Drill the holes every 15cm 6″ inches at about 10- 15cm 4 – 6″ inches above the window, to allow the curtains to just brush the floor or window sill. Ensure you create sturdy fixing brackets at each end of the curtain track on the wall, as this is the areas that will take the most weight of the curtain.




Drill the holes with the appropriate drill , if you’re drilling into deep plaster or brick then use a raw plugs. If drilling into wood then drill pilot holes using a smaller wood drill than the diameter of the screw.




Fix the holding brackets to the wall ensuring the holding clips are facing the front so that you can actually fit the curtain track.




Attach the stop ends to each end of the bracket.




Starting at one end attach the track to each of the brackets. Once you have clipped them all on centre the track. Then tighten the screws into each of the brackets.




Now you can begin hanging the curtains. Begin by attaching the gliders that came with the curtains, space them equally along the curtain tape so the curtain hangs in even pleats. Remove one stop on each end, slide the curtains on to the track and then reattach the stop ends.


I hope you have enjoyed the little step by step guide and we will see you again, from your curtain hanging Mr Fixing It.

Hanging and fitting an internal door

Here at Mr Fixing It we have noted that the beautiful spring weather has began to subside, so we’ve decided to pack up and head back inside for the blog this time and look at the ideas and procedures behind hanging and fitting an internal door.

Unlike many other blogs and articles you may find about hanging doors, we do not mind how you wish to finish and furnish your doors. Just as you do, we simply want to help you get that door hanging. The one thing that we will not justify is hanging finishings and furnishings to a door before hanging it as to get a nice fit you must mould the door and the frame together (That’s more over a metaphor than anything, you’ll see).

Firstly, you need the right door. Find the width and height of the door frame and you will find, with good luck, that your door fits one of the three common dimensions: 2ft x 6ft 6 in, 2ft 3 in. x 6ft. 6 in, 2ft. 6in. x 6ft. 6in. If it does not then do not worry, you will just have a little more trouble finding the right sized door, but you should soon find one by phoning around DIY stores or even builders merchants. Of course, you also need the door to be of correct thickness as well, 1&3 eighths of an inch, 1 & 3 quarters of an inch, and 2 inches are the three common thickness’.

Keeping in mind the fact that you could a hollow door, you will need to look for a side on the door which states the letters LB or Lock Block and keep in mind that the fixtures and fittings must be hinged on the opposing side. Now it is time to get marking up and ready to actually fit the door into place. Offering the door up to the frame with the hinge stile of the door offered the to the hinge jamb of the frame you may now mark H for hinge side, LB for lock side and T for top, with these three markings on the door you can be assured that when you begin to cut the door to size you will be testing the door the correct way round. The side of the door with these markings becomes the doors front (Simply allowing you to understand which side I am referencing).

The door initially will have a very snug fit to the frame and will later have gaps of around 2mm gap around the sides and the bottom, you should mark these up against the door as the door will either have snuggly fit in the frame or overlapped slightly, careful measuring is necessary. For a small adjustment in size use a plane to shave down the wood, into the centre of the door from the edges. However, a substantial difference in size would make a circular saw more preferable, but honestly it is up to you how you get your fine and careful cut dealt with. Cut your door to size and test, continue to do so until you have the perfect 2mm perimeter.

To the hinges, if you wish to use the old hinge frame from the door simply mark how this lines up with the door using a pencil. However if you wish to use new hinges then it is a whole different story. Again you will need to mark their position on the frame of the door as well as the door itself. Fitting the hinges to the door should be done with great care as you can spilt the wood if you do not make careful pilot holes before attempting to screw the hinges on, the hinges should be fitted firmly but with care not to damage the wood.

Once you have your door cut to shape, hinges fitted it is time to fit the door in the hole. Begin by attaching the hinges to the frame with one screw, and seeing the door function before adding the remainder of the screws. Adjustments of the screws will create adjustments with the whole fitting for the door, continue to screw the hinges of slowly but surely until the door fitting is correct and you can finish by adding you furnitures to the door, I.E; The door handle.

I hope you found this blog interesting and this blog made reading how to fit a door slightly more simple than other blogs and articles make it seem, at least that is our idea, from you door hanging homies at Mr Fixing It


Keep the pests at bay

Spring is here and plants are beginning to bloom and grow, but sadly just like every year; pasts like slugs, bugs and snails begin eating up our lovely plants and crops. So here at Mr Fixing It we have compiled a few simple hints and tips to help keep the slugs and bugs at bay. Just because they are natural doesn’t mean you should have to tolerate their pesky ways.

The first thing you want to do is tackle diseases, which build up in crowded areas, having spaced out plants increases airflow. Increased airflow stops the air from becoming stagnant and becoming stale and carrying diseases from plant to plant. This will then also slow down the spreading of pests due to the more spread out nature of your garden.

Aphids are one of the most common pests, coming in their hundreds and sucking the life out of every plant they come by, they are truly a great pest. the most quick and organic way of dealing with them is a quick blast from the hose onto all the plants and leaves which will knock them off.

Then you have cucumber beetles, which are attracted to cucumber like plants and spread disease quickly throughout them. Once cucumber beetles arrive they are difficult to get rid of, the best way to stop them from arriving is to clean up all dead leaves and ruffage out of season so that they do not build up during the winter time.

Grasshoppers will destroy anything they come near, but luckily they can be stopped by attracting robber flies which will attack and kill them on sight, as they are prey to them. Sunflowers, Marigolds and Calendula are good plants to attract these flies and they do not attack your vegetation either. Grubs, slugs and snails can be stopped simply by purchasing some sort of pellets or powder from your nearest DIY store; B&Q or Homebase are good places to start.

Those strange crayon liek lines on your leaves are caused by leaf miners, at most they simply leave their trails along the leaves and do not actually cause any damage or harm to the leaves itself. The best thing you can do is remove any leaves that have been infected.

Dill, Sunflowers, Marigolds and Calendula attract many of the good guys that prey on the pests in our garden. You can help them out by raking through your plants or using a stick to move them around to cause insects to fall off and become easier targets for the good guys.

Last, but by no means least. We have black spot, which attacks our lovely rose beds. This black spot will turn your prize winning roses into a prize losing eyesore. Keep the foilage of the roses dry over night so that black spot does not beging to build up, if it has already started keep it dry from now on to stop it from spreading all through the roses and remove any damaged areas.

I hope you found these few hints and tips useful and interesting and enjoyed the blog this time from your pest-ridding friends here at Mr Fixing it.

Slabbing and patio creation

Slabbing, or a patio, is a useful and practical idea for any garden and can make them look more attractive as well as provide a wider area within the garden. Laying a patio can be quite difficult, therefore it may be a long blog for you this time at Mr Fixing It. As we have stated in previous blogs, planning is essential, and when you are planning major changes such as laying down slabbing or a patio you must plan accordingly. In fact it is a good idea to draw a plan of your house and lay out within this plan where all your new changes shall go, before you actually begin use lengths of string to lay out your plan on the ground.

Once you have planned the design of your slabbing and patio begin by finding the centre of the room, once this has been done begin laying the centre with mortar, wet the back of the slab with a brush and lay it gently but firmly within the mortar. Now you may use a piece of wood and a hammer to lay the slab in to position with some gentle tapping and so on, attempt to fill in any gaps under the slab with mortar to allow it from being unsightly, cutting it flush with the edges as you proceed. This centre slab is called your key slab and is the one you shall work from to create your first row, use 10mm spaces between the slabs to make sure they are all the same fall and proceed in the same manner until your have completed your first row. Now that you have created your first row working from the centre outwards you now want to work in the same manner working from adjacent outer edges and working in to the middle until the fall is correct and all slabs are level in all directions.

Make sure you leave the mortar 48 hours to set before attempting to walk upon the slabs. If rain is coming or the slabs are wet, wait until another day to begin filling in the joints. Once you have the right day you want to mix a dry mortar; 3 parts sharp sand, 1 cement. Remove spacers and brush mortar into all the joints, push the mix down firmly with a trowel and repeat a good few times all over the new patio or holes may begin to appear. Finally brush away excess mortar to take away the unsightly finish, be careful as it is easy to get mortar on the top of the slabs. Lightly water the slabs to kick start the setting of the mortar. Alternatively there is a dry jointing compound available to purchase from DIY stores such as B&Q which you brush into the joints and it sets in a mere few hours.

I hope you enjoy the look of your new Mr Fixing It focussed patio and we hope to hear again from you soon. From your patio professors at Mr Fixing It!

A few benefits of the garden greenhouse

Most people understand that green houses are great for growing plants better than simply leaving them to weather in outside conditions, but here at Mr Fixing It we wish to share with you the benefits of having a green house in your back garden. With a green house you have the power to control pests as well as temperature and humidity, you simply create the perfect growing conditions.

Drought and flood are barely an issue with a green house as you control, to the enth degree, how much water your plants get, with combination of temperature control and climate control this allows you to extend or alter the growing season which over all can increase yield off of plants such as tomato and pepper plants, for example. This is especially useful in the northern hemisphere where the spring and summer is collectively shorter so that the green house allows there to be a longer artificial summer.

A green house can be analogised to the same way your car heats up on a hot day, the light and heat energy enter through the glass and is captured on the inside however, unlike your car a greenhouse will include some sort of open window or fan that will reduce the amount of heat inside to stop it from becoming to excessive. Of course because the heat gets trapped it remains within the greenhouse over night so that flowering plants do not need to deal with frost or dew.

Greenhouses also have the added benefits of being automated so that you may set them up by a monitor to irrigate your system, as well as automatic cooling systems which can turn fans on or off or open and close windows when they are required instead of having to be done so manually.

There are also many types of greenhouses, made from a different selection of materials that can also be a benefit to the overall structure of the greenhouse system as well as coming in greenhouse kits that are large or small so that they can be constructed by yourself or larger greenhouses that can be installed by the DIY store or Garden centre that you may purchase them from, when purchasing a greenhouse you need to plan for the purpose that you will utilise it.

When installing a new greenhouse or restoring an old one there will be a cost involved, and before doing so you must decide whether the benefits out weigh the costs or whether growing plants or vegetables outside would be better suited.

I hope that you now understand a few of the more introspective benefits of having a greenhouse, instead of just the fact that it will produce some lovely plants or delicious home-grown vegetables. Until next time, from your greenhouse theorists at Mr Fixing It.

How to erect a fence


Not a very long blog for you this time and we are remaining in the garden at Mr Fixing It, we’re here to discuss putting up new fence panels; seen as we had some rather large gales of wind late last year. When putting up new fences the first thing that must be done is gaining permission from neighbours, putting up a fence is much easier when you can work from both sides instead of just your own. Make sure your neighbour is aware of all your plans as the fence will be on their property as well.

Begin by clearing any weeds or plant material away from the fence and then proceed by removing any older fence panels which will be replaced by your brand new fence panels, which can be purchased from DIY stores such as B&Q or Homebase. Once you have done this it is a good idea to mark out the position of your new fence panels with a few wooden pegs and some string to create the border.

Now it is time to dig your first fence post hole, work from the fixed end of the fence and dig the whole that is 60cm deep, or 2ft. The hole should be at least a spades width wide so that your have room to concrete around the post to hold it firmly in place. Place the post in the ground and layer in some rubble for extra support before concreting. You can buy pre-mixed concrete mix or mix your own, what ever you need to do to create some concrete for your post. Simply pour the concrete into the whole and make sure the post is level with a spirit level before allowing the concrete to set.

Now the concrete is holding the post in place you will need some one to help you mark the position of the next post, line the fence panel in the first post and then either you or your helper can mark out the position of the next post. Attach the panel to the first post using panel clips and then nail the panel clips to the panel and the post, now ask your friend to hold the panel whilst you fasten the second post into the ground with concrete and then attach the panel and post with panel clips and nails.

To finish what you have begun simply continue this action all around your boundaries until you complete the whole of the perimeter. And until next time, I hope you have found this information useful. From your fence erecting professionals at Mr Fixing It!

Do you want a picture perfect lawn?


As it is nearing that time of year, here at Mr Fixing It we felt we should move away from the theme of walls (which of course are bland and boring – even though I’ve seemed to create enough blogs about them) and give you some hints and tips on getting the perfect lawn for the fast approaching summertime. Now, some people would call these secrets but I’d like to think I can share the secrets with you and you won’t go telling anybody!

The first and most drastic point I can reiterate is do not cut your lawn too short, because the grass will respond to this by growing back faster. This will, in turn, use up a lot of nutrients in the ground and will require a lot of water; causing the grass to become less green and more unsightly as the nutrients and water ceases to hold a consistent level. The rule of thumb is to never cut more than a third of the grass height when it looks as though it needs cutting. That brings me to the second point, water your lawn in large quantities but do this infrequently. One mistake commonly made is to water the lawn very often, a sprinkler should be used to water until approximately 2cm of water is within the soil, a good way to measure this is to use a shallow tin or container in the area of the sprinkler and to then until the container is full and move on to a new area. You should be able to tell when the grass needs watering next as when you step on it the footprint will remain there instead of springing back.

Now arises the third and one of the most major points, mowing the lawn when grass is wet will compact your roots and restrict oxygen to them causing the grass to die and creating a patchy lawn, which of course is merely the opposite of perfection. But the again, for the fourth secret, mowing frequently is indeed required as constant pruning helps the grass to flourish and be healthy. Constant mowing makes grass grow back thicker, as long as it isn’t cut too short as previously stated, and this prevents from weeds appearing within the lawn as well as making the grass grow greener and looking better on the eye.

Finally, although a strange technique and one that may sound ridiculous, in conjunction with the previous four secrets this final one works extremely well to no end. Its quite simply, when mowing, leave the clippings when they fall. Because the grass will be cut frequently and the clippings will only be short they will have enough time to work their way into the soil before the go yellow and unsightly and in turn will work as an excellent natural and organic fertilizer for the lawn.
I hope that you can get your lawn looking as fantastic and as perfect as you have dreamt with these five secrets and goodbye until next time, from your lawn perfection posse at Mr Fixing It.


Wallpapering versus Painting walls

Not such a long blog for you this time at Mr. Fixing It, but hopefully something that may get you thinking next time you need to decorate a room in your home. Painting or wallpapering a wall is a choice we all have to make at some point and just like every decision that we must make unanimously, it is a critical one. The idea with wallpaper is that it can offer specialised patterns, designs and textures in sheets that you simply attatch to the wall. The same can be achieved with painting but takes either skill or stenciles, plus more time. For instance I have a friend who as a child, his mother and father painted cartoon charcters upon his wall and I was always jealous of how much better it looked than my own dinasour-clad wallpaper. The colour, texture and over all appearance of your walls, as well as looking striking, have the effect of changing the apperance of the size and shape of a room, however the choice between paint or wallpaper has many aspects that must be factored in before a decision can be made and walls can be decorated. Ease of application, cost and the variability of the area you have are the major things that must be considered.
Firstly, as stated before, wallpaper is supposed to be more easy to apply intricate patterns and designs, but if you are looking for one block colour or two block colours on a wall then a few coats of your desired paint would be more useful than attempting to layer your walls in wallpaper. Then there is also the way that some paints have nice finishes, like wallpaper vinyls, which help to reflect light in a manner that gives the wall another different texture, like glossed paint for instance. With preperation and ease of application wallpaper seems to be having a losing streak, first of all there is the removal of the old wallpaper which is long and tedious most of the time and creates a lot of mess on the floor with small flakes of wall paper that drop to the floor, instead of removing in big sheets just like it went on. Then there is the issue with actually fitting the paper to the wall and getting the wallpaper straight which again, can prove to be long and tedious. However, darker paints on the wall simply need to be painted over with a lighter colour and a few layers with a roller must be applied over the top to get yourself a nice finish, instead of tediously attampting to apply wallpaper to the length and bredth of the wall.
The durability of wallpaper is much higher and newer wallpapers can even be scrubbed and cleaned to maintain that fresh new look, where as paints when they are scrubbed become more damaged. As we discover when trying to remove wallpaper from the wall it takes more to actually pick away at the paper and the adhesive where as, after time, paint begins to flake from the wall and simply fall apart on its own. This takes much less time than you may assume. The only issue with durability of wallpaper is that bathrooms, which collect a lot of warm moist air, cause wallpaper to peel away from the much quicker as it breaks down the adhesive.
Cost wise, wallpapers are usually of better quality and therefore more constantly in comparison to the areas that can be covered with paint, the only issue is that many layers are needed to cover a wall with paint and therefore in a large area many more tins will be needed to create sufficient coats. Cheap paints can be purchased but it is the difficulty of installation that weighs down on the costs of decorating with wallpaper. However, many people seem time find comfort in making a combination of the two, adding a texture to their walls giving the room new dimesnions and painting other areas of the wall to complete the finish as a lower cost.
I hope you found this blog interesting and it helped you to come to a solution of your own towards decorating your walls. Until next time, from us at Mr.Fixing It, your decorating dudes.

Skimming – The art of flat walls.

It’s a nice meaty blog for you this time at, all about plastering and techniques to do so.
Some people consider plastering an art that you must go to college to learn or to study. But I always think if you can’t offer the information to everybody, how is anybody going to carry on learning if they didn’t go to college just for plastering? A skim is a coat of two very thin layers of plaster placed upon each other to create a very smooth and flattened out finished layer. Whilst this sounds easy in concept it is more difficult in practice.
Preparing is always the very first thing that must be done before any task is taken to hand. The wall must be coated in a watered down PVA, a mixture of five parts water one part PVA can be sufficient, but other people prefer a 3-1. Use which ever seems better to you, even though the lower content of water is essential to high suction backgrounds. Use a large brush and begin at the top when applying your new mixture, the reason for starting at the top is that the mixture will drip down and you must catch up with it with the brush to make a nice even coat of PVA. Don’t be afraid to apply the PVA generously. This preparation step ensures there is good connection between the plaster and the wall for application. Wait until the PVA becomes slightly tacky but not full hardened, however if it does harden and hasn’t been left longer than 24 hours this is not a problem as the moisture in the plaster will cause the PVA to become tacky once again.
Now you have moved on to applying the plaster, the first thing you must know is that the first layer of plaster is to ensure that the wall is as flat as possible to then use the second coat as the finish, aim for a thickness of about 2mm on the first coat. Powdered plaster can be purchased at places such as B&Q or Homebase, you can find links to these stores in our affiliation page. Mix enough plaster for one wall, by pouring powder into the bucket and adding in water every now and then until you get a nice consistency, this should be about the same consistency as melted ice cream. A great tool to use to mix plaster is a drill with a paddle fitted, it takes a lot of the effort out of the mixing process.
A hawk must be used to get the plaster from the bucket to the trowel. This process is quite tricky and daunting but it can be made easier by following this procedure. Scoop three generous scoops of plaster upon the hawk using the bucket or any other tool of your choice, that was the easy bit. Getting the plaster from the hawk to the trowel is the more tricky part, its all to do with movement of the hawk and the trowel together as the plaster is designed not to run at an angle. Hold the trowel so the base is facing upwards and tilt the hawk towards the trowel until at a 45° angle, begin scooping and take small layers of plaster at a time upon to the trowel as to not overload it too quickly.
Trowelling is the stage that will make a mess on the floor if you have never tried it before, so its a good idea to protect the floor. To begin with, with a loaded trowel, continue to hold the trowel facing upwards and you may do the same with the hawk underneath to catch any falling plaster. Now gradually begin to tilt the trowel to touch the wall until there is contact. Now you are contacted move the trowel down the wall and then back up again to smooth out and make a nice flat layer, continue to do this in the same manner until you have layered the wall once. Remember to brush out your lines as you go with a nice 4″ brush. Continue to work into the wall until you have made it level and flat.
The final layer is the most difficult and takes quite some time to get right as it takes a lot more trowel control. This layer essentially should be much thinner, using less plaster than the first and being only around 1mm in thickness, but being much flatter and flush.The idea with this coat is to not leave any trowel lines, not even faint ones. To do this you need to come down the wall with the trailing edge of the trowel, this will take some practice to get right. The trailing edge is the opposite edge that you use to run the plaster along the wall. The trick, I have found is to go up against the wall at an angle close to 5° and to come down the wall at an angle around 2° , anywhere 2° or more out is just as good. You may leave some lines as you trowel the wall so you must go over them with tighter angles.
Now is where you come into the final finish, the smoothing out stage. Again, like the wait inbetween the first and second layer you want to wait about 10 minuets or more before continuing. Smoothing out and finishing is just trowlling without any plaster, it simply creates a very very fine finish to the plaster. Flicking water off of your 4″ brush will ready the wall for smoothing out, then dipping the trowel into a bucket of water to trowel and stroke along the wall as in the same manner as in the first and second layer.
And here’s to the end of another Mr Fixing It blog, I hope you learned something useful about skimming and finishing walls and you will come back soon for more DIY tips and guides. From your skimming amigos at Mr Fixing It.

Dry lining walls

Dry lining walls is the method of fastening sheets of plasterboard to a wall using an adhesive compound and joining tape. This gives the wall a flat smooth finish that you will then be able to decorate over. As with all of the topics covered in our blogs, these things take time and patience to master and to create great results.
First off, remove any skirting boards that are present as they can be reused later. Now you must fit a timber batons at the top and bottom of the wall to create an area to work in, once you have done this attach timber batons from the edges at 16″inch or 400mm centres across the wall. These will be used to fit by nails or screws the tops, bottoms and middles of the boards to the wall. When lining up the boards the joints of the boards must sit center to the batons, as to create a strong joint. To fasten the batons to the wall they require plugs, screws or a strong adhesive, all of which can be purchased at DIY stores such as B&Q or Homebase. Batons will also need to be placed around any switches or fixtures upon the walls as to allow the plasterboard to be fastened to it.
Measure of the size and amount of plasterboard you will need as in the same manner as the two previous blogs, measure the area of the wall then the area of one board of plasterboard and divide the larger number by the smaller number. That’s how many boards you will need, however it is better to purchase a few more than required just in case. You may need to cut plasterboard for some areas, this is quite simple as it is made of a very thin and light piece of plaster and paper squashed together. Once you have measured the size of the cut you need to make on the board against the space on the wall, simply score a line using a rule and a sharp blade and then, once you are an 1/8 th inch or so into the plasterboard turn it onto its side and bend with your knee and two hands until the plasterboard completes the cut.
To fasten the boards to the wall we can use nails, small amounts of pre made plaster or a strong adhesive. If you are using nails hammer them in lightly until the heads are slightly below the surface of the boards. Once the boards are fastened to the wall it is essential to use skrim tape to fasten into all the joints and create a greater bond. Skrim tape is simply a gauze like tape with a sticky underside that molds into the joints as you tape along them. Make good contact with the skrim tape and use pressure to force the tape to mold into any gaps that may be present. You have now completed dry lining walls.

I hope that you were able to find some useful information in this latest blog and that you too now find it a little bit easier to dry line walls. Chris, your dry lining buddy.