Just a simple request…

.. but still needs planning and care

A regular client asked me for some help putting up his picture collection. Nothing really too hard, but still worth the time to lay out the pictures, consider grouping and spacing, then securely fixing for many years of enjoyment.

Picture hanging
Where is Tony Hart when you need him!..

If you have a few jobs around the home and need a little help, call me on 0791 702 4469.

Cambridge Property Doctor logo
Cambridge Property Doctor

Door repair job

A client wanted a carpenter to repair a rotten door sill. You might notice that while the rest of the door is in good shape, the sill is often decayed. This part of the door takes rain water running down the door and directs it away from the threshold. It is key to keep your home dry. So in order to remove the rotten sill, I used a stack of rare earth magnets. These can be used to locate the screws on the other side holding the sill in place.

Rare earth magnets

The magnets is a trick I often use to find buried screws in walls and timber. On older properties with plasterboard held on with battens, the plasterboards screws can be quickly located. Once you have found one, the next is almost certainly 600 or 400mm away horizontally. It is a easy job then to locate good holding points for heavy pictures or mirrors.

Once, I had found the screws recessed onto the back of the door, it was a simple task of removing them.

With the screws located, the filler covering them can be dug out and then the screws removed. The new sill can then be installed. Then with a bead of clear silicone across the top, the worst of the weather is kept out.

A bit of filler over the screws in the back of the door and the job was ready for the client to paint.

With all the weather we have been getting, it is best to get on top of jobs like this one. If you need a carpenter for a door repair, call me on 0791 702 4469.

I will soon have your property ready for the worst that the weather can throw at it….


End of tenancy….

Sometimes work is like buses, no work for a landlord for a while, then two turn up at once.

Today was similar to yesterday in that a landlord contacted me to say that an empty property was about to get new tenants and would I be able to go in and tidy the place up a bit.

This type of work will often cover many different skills, so having the knowledge of many trades is a huge benefit.

For both jobs, making good dings in walls / plasterboard is a given. Happily both landlords had paint left over from previous work, so filler, sandpaper then mini-roller had the walls looking clean and smart.

Handyman tip: using a hot air gun (carefully!) greatly speeds up the process between drying and sanding.

The rest of the work included new blinds, silicone around bath/shower, fix door and window handles, trim back kitchen unit plinth for new fridge, re-hang electric heater and on it goes. Each job needs a different skill, each needs to be done to the highest standard.

Both landlords were delighted with the outcome and both said they would definitely ask me back for other properties. I suppose that is the acid test, do I get invited back…

If you are about to vacate a property and want to avoid losing your security deposit or you are a landlord looking to get your property ready for new tenants, call me for property maintenance/ handyman help in sorting out that list of jobs.


Why me…. :-(

Wood screw selection box
I have nothing to say….

Decking job

A quick deck clean and re-treat with preservative. Maintenance of a deck at your property is always going to be a good investment.

We all know about timber decks that become grey and or greasy. They soon become an eyesore and in the wet, lethal.

A client asked for a pressure wash then application of a clear preservative.

Here are the before…

…. and after pictures…

Decking cleaned and re-treated

If you have a decking in need of a spruce up, call me for a free quote…


Property maintenance checklist

For many home owners, property maintenance jobs happen only when something goes wrong. Overflowing gutters, slippery decking / patio, overgrown hedge, leaky shed roof. Your family’s safety could be in jeopardy when key areas of your home are neglected for too long. To keep your home looking at its best, preserve its value, and keep your family comfortable, follow this property maintenance checklist on a regular basis.

A spectacular roof I help maintain
Roof survey


  • Springtime property maintenance jobs are often mostly all about clearing up from the mess of the winter weather.
  • Clean out your gutters and down pipes using a water hose, make sure that they drain freely.
  • Check any exterior cladding or render for any moisture damage.
  • You might want to think about cutting back trees or heges that are starting to encroach into your garden or property. (Try to do this in early spring or late summer, to avoid nesting birds. For branches near overhead electric lines, your must call your supplier rather than try this yourself!
  • Outdoor landscaping such as decking or paving could do with a close inspection to make sure that there are no raised paving slabs. Timber decking can become covered in green algae growth which is particularly slippery to walk on, this is a simple job of pressure washing to restore back to the original surface. Now would also be a good time to treat with a coat or two of protective wood treatment.
  • How is that shed at the bottom of the garden? Did it survive the storms? Replacing torn or leaking felt is vital to keeping the whole structure in good condition. Any warped or rotten cladding can also be easily replaced.
  • Now is the best time to carefully check over your window and door frames for any sign of the weather getting in. Rotten sections can be cut out and replaced, cracked or flaking paint can be sanded back and painted over.
  • Any major work requiring trades needs to be planned and trades booked in for the better weather, the better trades get booked two or three months ahead.
Client shed in need of repair!
A small roofing repair!


  • With better temperatures and less(?) rain, now is a good time to get major repairs completed. If you booked the work in at the start of the year, you are already ahead.
  • Now is the time to paint, paint, paint. Fences will need treating every two years. Sheds the same. Do it now, you will thank yourself later!
  • Flick on your central heating, you can avoid an expensive bill for a replacment diverter valve in the autumn by making sure that it dosen’t become stuck during the summer.
  • Test your smoke and carbom monoxide alarms
Hosta  ‘June’, my favourite


  • Property maintenance jobs during the autumn should be focussed on the preparation for winter. Gutters, shed roofs etc.
  • Lubricate moving parts on your lawn mover, drain the fuel and store out of the weather.
  • If you have a wood burner, think about when you had the chimney swept.
  • Remove leaves and debris from garden ponds and water features, leaving an old ball in the water helps keep a space clear for birds over the winter.
  • Test your fire alarm


  • With cold temperatures and harsh weather, the focus of winter home maintenance is damage control. Because of the nasty outdoor conditions, you may not have the opportunity to do extensive exterior repairs.
  • From a safely secured ladder, check gutters and the lower roof for moss growth, leaves etc and clear guttering as necessary. Perhaps this could be an opportunity to clear out basements, garages out houses, sheds.
  • Inside your home, now is a good time to check grouting and silicone around all your kitchen and bathroom fittings. There is no need to live with moudly shower seams, it is a fairly straightforward job to cut out all the discoloured silicone and replace with new white or perhaps complimentary colour silicone.
  • Have I mentioned, check your smoke alarm?

A snowy day
A snowy day

If you have a small job or a whole list of work, call me for help with your handyman / property maintenance jobs…