5 tips for outdoor DIY this summer
- Credit: Archant
It’s been a soggy summer so far, but warmer, drier days are imminent - ideal for a spot of outdoor DIY.
Take advantage of the sunny spells while you can and complete some of the messier tasks you’ve been putting off doing…
1. If you have a big garden DIY project that needs doing, now’s the time. Building a deck or laying a patio takes some skill and experience, but putting up a wooden garden shed can be more straightforward, especially as it should come in panels and have instructions. You must first have or create a sturdy base for it, ideally a concrete slab. Wooden sheds usually have a wooden floor (that can sometimes go on a base of gravel and sleepers), but metal sheds usually have the concrete base as the floor.
2. Replacing a fence can also be too much for inexperienced DIYers - if the posts aren’t fitted properly, for example, the fence may not be able to withstand strong winds. However, replacing rotten fence panels is much easier if the new panels are the same size as the old ones. You often have to cut back shrubs and other plants before working on your fence or shed - try the Stihl HSA 45 cordless hedge trimmer (RRP £99, www.stihl.co.uk), part of Stihl’s new lightweight cordless range of tools. The HSA 45’s integrated 18V lithium-ion battery has a 40-minute run time, so you can get a lot done.
3. Many wooden sheds and fences come pre-treated with wood preserver or a similar treatment, but if they haven’t been, treat them as soon as you can. Garden wood paints and stains provide increased protection from the elements, and there are lots of bright, pastel, muted and neutral colours to choose from. Painting your fence, shed and other garden wood in lovely colours is lots of fun and a great way to transform the look of your garden.
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4. On a warm summer day, it’s nice to take portable DIY projects, such as doors and furniture, outside to work on them. This also applies to messy DIY tasks, such as sanding, sawing and planing, which are often best done outdoors. The problem with this is that you might not want to make a mess of your outside area with sanding dust and sawdust.
This is when the Karcher WD3 P Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner (£99.99 (was £129.99), www.kaercher.com/uk) comes into its own. Simply plug your electric sander or saw into its built-in power socket, and the mess is sucked straight into the vacuum cleaner (as long as the power tool’s compatible with dust extraction) - the suction automatically syncs on and off with the sander or saw.
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For cleaning off things outside before painting them, the Karcher OC3 Portable Cleaner (£129.99) will save you multiple trips indoors. This is a small battery powered low-pressure (5-bar) washer with a 4ltr water tank, ideal for DIY tasks outside, and taking anywhere with you, even on holiday.
5. If you’re not experienced enough to tackle a big garden DIY project, you could get stuck in to the demolition before the pros start the skilled work. Knocking down or breaking up an old patio, pond, garden wall, or concrete path or yard can save you a lot of money in labour. Again, the Karcher WD3 P vacuum cleaner is really useful here because it can suck up rubble, stones and liquids from your grass, drive and patio.