So it's now turning cold and winter is beginning to set in after some mild and changeable weather. As a result professional plumbers are going to start getting those panicked calls from customers regarding frozen pipes leading to expensive floods and leaks, potentially ruining the house and its contents.

As any professional plumber will know, there are some obvious mistakes that people make when they are taking measures to protect their house to prevent these issues occuring, the most obvious being to turn your heating off if you go away as it makes sense when you’re going away to stay with family. The top tip we cover is:

Don’t turn the heating off and leave it on a low setting

This action in itself, could cause serious problems if the temperature drops too low as the pipes will freeze and could burst whilst you're away. 

  • You should leave the house warming to a minimum of 14 degrees centigrade. The only time you should leave your heating off is if you're away for a longer period of time. 
  • Consider turning the stop cock off or even draining the system altogether if away for long periods, but this needs to be carried out by a trained and qualified professional plumber or they could end up with further issues. 
  • Many households will have a combi boiler heating both the hot water and heating elements of the home so the danger here is that the pipes will have condensation within and cause the boiler to stop working. And remember, all pipes can freeze.  

Pipes freeze whether they are plastic or copper

There are also stories abound that people with plastic pipes rate than the traditional copper pipes means that they won't freeze or burst. When it comes to this problem, the type of pipe is irrelevant, it depends how much the pipe has to expand when the water within freezes. 

  • Insulation of pipes is key with all of this, so all pipes that are in areas where freezing is a risk suck loft spaces and garages. 
  • It's also imperative that any dripping or leaking pipes are dealt with as possible as this will increase the likelihood of the pipes or drains freezing. 
  • If in doubt turn the stop off and call professional plumber:

Turn the stop cock off and call a profesional plumber

If a pipe bursts or there appears to be a problem with a persistent drip or ‘weep’ then the stopcock should be turned off and any repairs should be completed by a qualified plumber.

  • Alternatively a hairdryer, could be used to thaw out a frozen pipe but be careful not to use a high heat setting. 
  • Don’t be tempted to use a naked flame such as a lighter or even a blowtorch to thaw the pipe.
  • Homeowners should make sure they know where the stopcock is situated and they should regularly make sure that the tap itself is serviceable.

Using the services of a professional plumber

There is a danger also that some plumbing work can be carried out by homeowners rather than hiring a professional plumber. 

  • The cost of hiring a plumber is an unwelcome expense to many but the mistakes made could mean they're paying a plumber more to fix a plumbing issue than was necessary than the first place, costing more time and money. 
  • To make sure the job is done right the first time, it is easier to simply call out a qualified plumber to avoid any costly mistakes. 
  • At Access Training our experts can offer you advice if you’re not sure about any training that may be required to carry out a task.

Advice from Access Training’s plumbing tutors

Our Tutors advice, thorough years of experience, is to: 

  • Always use a qualified plumber to ensure the job is done safely and most importantly carried out to UK building regulations.
  • Nobody should undertake a task that they were not trained to rectify as possibly dangerous scenarios can result from the most simplistic looking tasks. 
  • A trained professional plumber, someone who has received the training, skill and knowledge and therefore holds professional plumbing qualifications, is the only way to deal with problems that arise. 

At Access Training, we are always striving to provide people of all ages, young and old, with the professional level of training, knowledge and skills needed to carry out basic and complex tasks, safely and efficiently. For those looking to become skilled and qualified as a plumber, we will teach you what you need to know, allowing you the opportunity to turn basic DIY jobs into earnings and a career.

How we train: 

To find out how to become professionally certified in a trade such as plumbing or to simply discuss the career options available to you, call us today.

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

If you read the survey carried out by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS) you will see that basic skills are completely lacking! The survey found that 18-24 year old adults lack basic repair skills, from unblocking a toilet to fixing a leaking tap. Only 1 in 3 know how to bleed a radiator with over 55's the most capable age groups when it comes to home plumbing tasks.

What is clear is that young people are the most challenged by these tasks with less than 30% not knowing how to change a light fitting where, in contrast nearly two thirds of over 55s are able to carry this out. The survey also found that 37% of young people could change a showerhead but double this figure were capable in the the over 55s category.

Further to this the survey showed that adults born after 1985 are increasingly unable to take on simple tasks. However, a third of millennials would in fact know how to bleed a radiator, but this is still way short of the 79% of over-55s who would be able to carry out this most basic of jobs. 

So it is conclusive that when it comes to basic home repairs, they are not an issue for those in older generations, but the capability to carry out a repair is far less in the younger generations. In fact the repair that most people are happy to carry out is bleeding a radiator:

  • Bleeding a radiator - 57%
  • Replacing a shower head - 53.3%
  • Fixing a blocked toilet - 44.6%
  • Replacing a light fixture - 44.5%
  • Fixing a leaky tap - 30.2%
  • Fixing a leaky toilet - 21.2%

What is clear from the survey is that repair tasks within the home have become something or a mystery or even a no-go for most. This is great news for tradespeople and those considering taking up a trade as there are so many tasks that home occupiers will need to be carried out by professionals, no matter how simple they are in really. 

In fact it would not be advisable for anyone to tackle a task that they were not sure about as problems and possibly dangerous scenarios can result from the most simple of tasks. It's always best to use a trained professional, someone who has the training, skill and knowledge to deal with these situations. 

At Access Training, we are always striving to provide people of all ages, young and old, with the professional level of training, knowledge and skills needed to carry out basic and complex tasks, safely and efficiently. For those looking to become skilled and qualified as a plumber, electrician, gas engineer, carpenter or plasterer, we will teach you what you need to know, allowing you the opportunity to turn basic DIY jobs into earnings and a career.

To find out how to become professionally certified in a trade such as plumbing or to simply discuss the career options available to you, call us today.

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.




*WRAS Survey of 2000 adults in April 2019.

How many jobs do you feel capable of doing around your home? Can you bleed a radiator? Do you know how to hang a door?

Well, if you're a young adult and your answer to these questions is yes then you are part of the minority! A third of young people (37%) said they could confidently change a shower head, and even fewer (31%) said they knew how to bleed a radiator. When the same questions were asked of over 55 year olds, 65% said they could change a shower head, and a staggering 79% knew how to bleed a radiator!

So the question is, does experience come with age, or are we living with a generation of young people who aren't confident in picking up their tools and giving DIY a go?

Part of the problem is that young people, more often than not, live in rented properties rather than their own homes. This means they rely heavily on their landlords to pay for and solve any problems that may occur in the home. More often than not, young people are left for days, if not weeks, with an unfixed problem in their home while waiting for their landlords to organise a solution. 

We want to inspire young people to give DIY tasks a go, but one thing to be wary of is that there are some jobs you can do with the help of a YouTube video... but there are some jobs that should not be attempted without proper training (that's where we come in).

Improving Your DIY Skills

Besides offering some excellent Electrical, Gas and Plumbing Courses, we also offer a range of construction courses such as:

These courses will teach you skills that will prove very useful if you want to try your hand at DIY tasks around your home. Better still, you could use your trade to help complete jobs for friends, family or even start your own business and make a profit on your new DIY skills!

If you want to enquire about one of our courses, don't hesitate to get in touch - you can call us on 0800 345 7492 or click the button below to fill in an enquiry form today!

Enquire Now >

Handyman courses

Specialising in general home repairs and domestic maintenance, a handyman is very much a 'Jack of all trades'.

Covering everything from hanging picture frames to building flatpack furniture, a good handyman will be well-versed in the art of small jobs within the homestead – after all, why should Thor get to be the only hero with a hammer?

If you're a dab hand with a drill and a superstar with a spanner, you yourself could have the makings of a fine handyman (or handywoman).

Do you have the skills to pay the bills? Become a doctor of DIY and take your domestic talents to the next level with a handyman course from Access Training.

View DIY Carpentry Course >

 

Why take a handyman course?

Whether you want to set up your own handyman business or simply brush up on some essential domestic skills, a handyman course can be a great way to broaden your horizons and enhance your abilities.

Completing a course on the do's and don’ts of DIY will allow you to easily overcome common home maintenance issues, save money on household repairs and, best of all, provide you with the necessary knowledge and understanding to be independent within the home.

Outside of that, handyman skills can be a great way to supplement your income by carrying out odd jobs for others. Better still, a relevant training course could even provide you with a solid base on which to build your very own business.

 

Which handyman course is right for me?

Often grouped together under the banners of 'Property Maintenance' or 'Home Maintenance', handyman courses offer a whole host of useful domestic skills to learn.

From plumbing and bricklaying to painting and decorating, the list of handyman courses available across the UK is vast and wide-ranging. Finding the right one for you can depend largely on your specific needs and aspirations.

If you simply want to brush up on some household skills, a standard DIY course should fit the bill nicely; however, if you want something a little meatier to prepare you for a professional venture, you may want to consider a more comprehensive training programme.

 

Our DIY training courses

At Access Training, we offer two primary DIY courses, both of which are designed to help you become more independent in the home and give you the functional expertise to easily overcome typical household headaches.

The DIY courses currently available from Access Training are:

  • DIY Carpentry Course - From tool handling and basic cutting to hanging doors and fitting locks, our DIY Carpentry Course covers a wide variety of tasks in order to help you improve your practical carpentry skills around the home.

  • DIY Plastering Course - Providing you with all the basic know-how on the art of plastering, our DIY Plastering Course is ideal for anyone looking to take on a domestic plastering job, covering everything from mixing materials to rendering walls.

 

Further training courses

In addition to the DIY courses outlined above, we also provide a number of other 'Essential' courses that are ideal for anyone looking to get to grips with a skill they've never tried before.

These include:

These entry-level courses may be considered a step up from the DIY level, providing a superb foundation if you're looking to turn professional in the near future.

Get in touch now to speak with a course advisor >

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: To help our learners stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now offering live online training sessions. This means that you can participate in virtual classroom sessions from the comfort of your own home and rewatch each tutorial as many times as you wish. Of course, there's no substitute for hands-on experience, so the practical portion of your training course will still be delivered in person at our fully-equipped training centre. Contact Access Training now to find out more about our unique training packages.

 

The term “DIY” can mean many different things to many different people, depending on the words that follow it. From DIY fancy dress to DIY wedding decorations, the universal initialism of “Do It Yourself” can be applied to pretty much anything and everything… provided you don’t mind getting stuck in.

That being said, as a standalone term, DIY typically relates to handiwork around the house and can be a great way to save money on home improvement projects. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, DIY could be for you! With that in mind let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work, as we peel off the lid on the essentials of DIY.

 

how to do diy

 

How to DIY

When it comes to DIY in the home, the variety of tasks can be extremely vast and wide-ranging, including everything from re-wiring a plug to fixing a leaky tap. As such, a universal guide to all these tasks is non-existent; however, there are a few common themes that each job will share.

To help get you started on your DIY quest, here are a few simple rules to follow when taking on a task that’s outside of your comfort zone.

 

Do your homework

Before beginning any DIY task, it’s important to know what lies ahead.

While ploughing through your dining room wall with a sledgehammer may seem like a great way to expand your living room (and relieve some stress), the consequences could leave you picking up the pieces for a long while afterwards.

Doing your homework on a DIY task can help you adequately prepare, while also providing knowledge and knowhow on how to do the task properly. Luckily, Google can be your best friend in situations like this and step-by-step instructions can be found on a multitude of tasks in mere seconds.

Meanwhile, to make things completely idiot-proof (in theory), YouTube is also loaded with hundreds of thousands of instructional videos, designed to help you expand your mind, broaden your horizons and reach the DIY promised land in one piece.

 

Tools of the trade

They say a bad worker always blames his tools… so if you don’t have any tools, you’ll have no-one to blame if it all goes catastrophically pear-shaped!

Joking aside, a well-stocked toolbox can be a useful addition to any home. Items like a hammer, spanner, pliers and a set of screwdrivers can come in handy surprisingly frequently, whether it’s to tighten a loose screw or knock in a protruding nail.

You may also find that certain jobs require more than just your standard toolbox essentials. Electrical items and power tools like a circular saw or electric drill can also be useful to have, depending on the task at hand.

While other tasks may require more specialist items – such as a tile cutter or a floor sander – it may be worth considering how much use you are likely to get out of a job-specific item. If it’s a one-off job that won’t require revisiting, it could be more cost-effective to rent rather than buy your tools outright.

Specialist tools can be hired at a variety of outlets nationwide and could be a good way to keep your outgoings to a minimum.

 

Know your limits

DIY can be a fantastic way to save some money on a small job or menial repair task. However, if you’re dealing with something that’s totally outside of your knowledge and expertise, with a range of complexities attached, it may be worth reassessing the situation and, more importantly, your capabilities of completing the task successfully.

There’s no shame in admitting you’re out of your depth and knowing when you don’t know can be the difference between a job well done and job that needs redoing. What’s more, blindly sailing into the DIY abyss without a clear view of where you going can be extremely dangerous, particularly if you dealing with elements like gas and electricity.

 

Safety first

Following on from our last point, safety should always be top of the list when it comes to DIY. In fact, it should be the title of the list, written in bold and underlined… twice!

DIY in the home can involve a multitude of dangers, particularly if you’re new to home improvements. Even a simple task like hammering a nail can quite easily lead to a broken finger, so caution should be exercised at all times.

Sensible risk assessment is also hugely important. If you’re painting the ceiling while teetering out-stretched on a rickety ladder, all while your cat sleeps underneath on the glass coffee table, chances are you may want to reconsider your approach.

Whenever you’re attempting DIY, you should also bear in mind the clothes you wear too. This doesn’t just extend to overalls and old threads that you don’t mind getting ripped, dirty or ruined – it also extends to safety gear. Protective gloves can come in handy if you’re dealing with sharp objects that fragment – like glass, bricks and tiles – while safety goggles can quite literally save your vision if a rogue shard or shaving goes airborne.

 

When it comes to real DIY expertise, there’s no substitute for professional knowledge. If you want to expand your home improvement knowhow, why not consider a course with Access Training? Our vocational courses can help you achieve first-hand knowledge in a wide variety of skills – including electrical, gas and plumbing courses – making even the most daunting of DIY duties a doddle.

Get in touch today!

Home Improvement Courses

Did you make any New Year's resolutions back at the beginning of January? Lots of people do it, and while resolutions differ greatly from each person, we can probably all agree that deciding to learn a beneficial new skill is a good resolution to make!

If you want to learn a new skill or to make some changes to your household this year, we have a number of home improvement courses that are sure to suit you. These DIY training packages are a great way to learn valuable new skills and take your home improvements back into your own hands.

When something goes wrong around the house - or when you just want to make some simple home improvements - it can be expensive to hire someone to do it for you. Being able to carry out certain tasks by yourself will give you far more freedom over your project, allowing you to save a lot of money in the process.

Although many of our training courses are designed to help students kick-start their careers in a chosen trade industry, we also cater to those who are simply interested in learning some essential DIY skills. Our home improvement courses will help you to be far handier around the house, and they'll also give you the satisfaction of gaining a useful new skill.

Here are some of the home improvement courses we offer:

Our courses are incredibly flexible, so you can learn at your own pace and around your work / family commitments. We are more than happy to talk you through each course and find the best way for you to study - please contact us today for advice!

Last month the DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) announced amendments to the current Building Regulations, introducing a previously proposed third party inspection scheme to allow DIY enthusiasts/those not registered with a Competent Persons Scheme to have their work checked and certified. However NICEIC and ELECSA have announced that they will be opting out of these changes, arguing that the changes could "undermine registered electricians" and cause more harm than good.

In a statement from Emma Clancy, CEO of Cetsure (which operates the two brands), it was said they "do not wish to see DIY'ers carry out potentially dangerous electrical work" and believe it needs to be left to competent electricians who will able to comply with the wiring regulations. She went on to point out that the third party inspector scheme is not UKAS accredited, meaning that there is to be no external verification ensuring that the scheme operators are doing their job to the correct standard.

"It makes a mockery of competent persons’ schemes and the tens of thousands of registered electricians already in the marketplace. There are glaring holes in the scheme, such as the amount of time an installation can be live before it is checked, potentially endangering the householder," she continued.

Other electrical contractors have also expressed concerns over the scheme, especially toward a lack of clarity as to where the responsibility lies. Is it with the inspectors even though they didn't install it? The question has also been raised as to why DIY installers do the work themselves (and get it checked) in the first place, when as it stands they'd actually be saving money by hiring a competent electrician to do the work.

Finally, Certsure have released a video where NICEIC/ELECSA representatives Tony Cable and Darren Stanniforth discuss the brands' position on third party certification. You can view it here at this link.

Here at Access Training, we fully agree that DIYers shouldn't be attempting any form of electrical installation without the proper knowledge, training and qualifications to ensure that their work isn't a hazard to themselves or anybody else. However we also understand some of you will want to have a go at it yoursepves, which is why our range of electrical training courses is suitable for trainee electricans and DIY enthusiasts alike! At our Cardiff training centre, you'll be able to earn your 17th Edition Wiring and Part P qualifications, proving you skilled enough to join a Competent Person Scheme and tackle all sorts of domestic electrical work yourself.

To find out more, just give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

Fire service data indicates that over 20% of domestic fires are caused by electrical faults, with this figure increasing during the festive season.

As the festive season fast approaches, some of you will be planning your part in the annual “Battle of the Illuminations” with your neighbours. This year you will want more lights, bigger, brighter, and more colourful for a more dynamic display that will make people stare in amazement.

All of your socket outlets will be put to use, many with multi-way extension leads attached. Will you be checking to see if your installation can safely cope with the extra load? No! Don’t be daft its Christmas, it will be ok!

Will you check the lights to make sure that they are safe to use?

  • Are they the correct type of lights for use outdoors?
  • Are the flex, plug and leads un-damaged?
  • Are the plugs fitted correctly and do they contain the right fuse (usually 3Amp)?
  • Are all the lamps the correct rating (voltage, wattage)?

Or shall we just trust to luck?

Then on one December evening your home becomes the focus of everyone in the neighbourhood. People from all over, standing wrapped in coats and scarves watching the awesome display that is before their eyes. A myriad of multicolour flashing lights illuminating jets and sprays of water as the local fire service battle to save your home!

One small spark is all it takes to start a devastating fire, do yourself (and your family) a favour this Christmas – check your lights (or get a qualified electrician to check then) before you put them up and use RCD’s to protect each ‘string’. A small price to pay to have a Merry Christmas with your family– in your own home!

Season’s Greetings,

- Mark Jenkins.

Mark Jenkins is the Electrical Course Development Manager here at Access Training. If you would like to take the steps to become a professional electrician, our electrical training courses are the fastest and most effective way to build up the skills you need and gain the necessary qualifications for a prosperous career in the industry. To find out more give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

Organising a big home renovation project can be a really exciting thing, especially if you're already a DIY enthusiast. However it's also easy to get carried away and overestimate things, leaving you a bit stuck when it comes to actually carrying the work out. With that in mind, here is a selection of handy tips to avoid frustration and make sure you get it all right the first time.

Be realistic with your budget:

Before you start any of the work or gathering the tools and materials, it's wise to set an overall budget for your project. Try to account for everything as accurately as possible, that way you won't see that ballpark figure going up and up as the work goes on. One thing to always keep in mind is encountering unexpected issues along the way, so it might be a good idea to set aside some excess funds just in case of an emergency. Knowing your budget also makes sure you aren't getting in way too over your head either.

Don't skimp on the cost:

This might seem a little contradictory to the above, but the point here is to not settle for the cheapest materials on the market. Odds are these are the ones that won't stand the test of time, and you could find yourself having to do the work all over again sooner than you might think. Know the average price of the materials, what the best ones are to use and do a job that will be the best it possibly can.

Prepare the work properly:

For example, if you're painting a room, don't skip taping the surfaces you don't want to paint. Don't just assume you'll be 100% accurate the first time, because odds are you'll end up with paint splashes where you don't want them.

Make sure your measurements are accurate:

Avoid having unnecessary waste material, as not only is it a waste but it means you also may end up having to go out and buy more material when you didn't need it in the first place. There could even be worse repercussions to inaccurate measurements - imagine having custom kitchen cabinets made, only to find they're the wrong size when they arrive. Times like these the best advice is always "measure twice, cut once".

Use the right tools for the job:

If you're missing a tool needed for the job, don't try and improvise with a different, potentially unsuitable one. Either buy one or rent/borrow it, because not doing so goes hand in hand with our last bit of advice...

Safety ALWAYS comes first:

Even when keeping everything else in mind, this should always be your number one priority? Is your work really worth the risk of serious injury. Protection such as safety goggles, gloves and (in some cases) a hard hat should be a given, but if at ANY point you feel like you're out of your depth stop what you are doing and get a trained professional to complete the work. Even the best DIYers know their limits.

-----

If you have a home reburbishment in mind but lack to the skills to carry it out, or alternatively are looking into property development as a potential career path but lack the qualifications to make it happen - Access Training Academies are here to help! Offering training in various trades including electric, plumbing, gas, tiling, plastering, carpentry, brickwork and painting & decorating, you can attain the perfect skillset to cover any job properly. To find out more about our multi-skills courses and talk to one of our sales advisers, give Access a call on 0800 345 7492.

In an interesting attempt to make the life of a tradesman easier, Installer Online have come up with an interesting new iPhone app that may just lighten your toolkit somewhat and make sure you're never without some important tools.

The free app is named InstallerTOOLBOX and has been developed "provide a range of functions that will make every day - and every installation - that little bit more straightforward." It incoporates a number of things that are essential to your job and keeps them all within your phone, meaning they'll be in your pocket at all times!

Altogether the app includes:

  • A TORCH for when you need that extra bit of light dealing with pipes under the sink or rummaging around in boiler cupboards. It features three brightness settings to give you maximum visibility.
  • A quick, easy and above all accurate SPIRIT LEVEL that "measures down to 0.1° to ensure that it is more than just a gimmicky add-on". It can also switch between horizontal and vertical settings.
  • A UNIT CONVERTER that covers everything from temperature to velocity so that you don't have to make any rough calculations in your head or require a pocket conversion guide. All you need to do is enter the amount and choose what units you want it in.
  • Finally, every tradesman loses a pen once in a while so here you can do away with pen and paper for good with the JOB SHEET. With this you can make notes, jot down job specs, prepare invoices and more! It also allows you to build you a record of every project you complete, including photo attachments. These are saved to the app and can be emailed out to colleagues, customers and whoever else may need them.
Sound like your ideal piece of kit? As mentioned earlier InstallerTOOLBOX is a completely free iPhone (sorry Android users) app and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store now!

Need to complete a plastering DIY job but have absolutely no idea where to start? Considering a career change to plastering but lack the expertise to make it happen? Fear not, Access Training is on hand to help prepare you for whatever it is that lies ahead. Like with all trades, the first step is to take a look at exactly what it is and understand some of the terms and definitions you'll come across. To assist with this, we've put together a brief list of some of the common plastering definitions to get you started;

Accelerator: A material that shortens the setting time of plasters and other cement-like materials.

Admixture: Any substance added to a plaster component or plaster mortar for the purpose of modifying its properties.

Aggregate: Granular material that does not contribute to the hardening reaction of the mortar.

Bonding Mortar: A mortar to produce a first bonding coat in a multicoat system. Usually applied in a thin coat.

Correction Time: The maximum time interval during which adjustment is possible without significant loss of final strength. This may be also referred to as adjustability.

Dot and Dab: A technique used to attach plasterboard to walls using small lumps of adhesive.

Float: A tool or procedure used to straighten and level the finish coat, to correct surface irregularities prodDouced by other tools, or to bestow a distinctive surface texture.

Grout:  A mortar or paste for filling crevices, esp. the gaps between wall or floor tiles

Hawk: A tool used by plasterers to hold and carry plaster.

Mortar: A plastic mixture composed of water and a cementitious material, which may be machine or hand applied, and which hardens in place.

Screed: To level or straighten a plaster coat application with a rod, darby or other similar tool

Setting Time: The time after which the mortar begins to harden. After this time the mortar is normally stable in the presence of water.

Substrate: Immediate surface to which the mortar is to be applied. In the case of a coating to be applied to an existing render, the render would be the coating's substrate.

Unsound: This refers to the condition of plaster where the hardened mass has lost internal strength, exhibiting cracking/spalling/delamination/etc. This general state may be contributed to by excessive aggregate addition, water damage, poor drying conditions, overwatering and other factors.

Now that you know some of the definitions you may come across when plastering, its time to have a go at the real thing. However attempting a job without proper training could not only prove expensive, but you might end up doing lasting damage to the wall or surface you're working on. To get the most rounded plastering experience the best option is a comprehensive plastering course from Access Training. With a variety of different courses for different skill levels, our experienced teaching staff will either fully prepare you for future DIY work or help you attain the vital qualifications needed to gain employment as a professional plasterer. With our courses open to people of all ages and backgrounds, you could just be a phonecall away from gaining a valuable new skill that will stay with you for the rest of your life. To find out more please take a look at our courses page or call us on 0800 345 7492.

To round of the week we turn to capentry for our quick definition guide. Hopefully this post will give you a beginner understanding of some of the more basic terms carpenters use, and you'll be able to use them to build up your own DIY knowledge or even as the first step in becoming a professional carpnenter!

Architrave: The ornamental mouldings fitted around a door or window frame. These also cover the joint between the plaster and wood framing.

Auger: A long drill-bit-like tool turned with the hands, usually by means of a handle.

Bead: A rounded shape cut into a square edge to soften the edge and provide some protection against splitting. When several beads are placed together, they are called Reeds. If the bead lies below the surface, it is referred to as a Sunk Bead.

Bench Hook: A workbench accessory used to provide a stop against a piece of wood being worked can be placed to hold it steady whilst cutting, planing, or chiseling that piece of wood.

Brace: A part of a timber or metal structure spanning a diagonal space that adds strength and stability, and resists compression or tension.

Dado: Decorative panelling applied to the lower part of an internal wall.

Dado Rail: Decorative moulding applied to an internal wall at a height of around 1m. 

Dowel: A short length of wood, round in section, used for a variety of purposes such as joining timbers, plugging fixing holes etc.

Eaves: The bottom edge of a roof that meets the walls of the structure. This is also where the water is collected into the gutter.

Fibreboard: A lightweight and weak manufactured board often used when making cheaper furniture.

Grain: The appearance, size and direction of the fibres of the timber.

Hardboard: Manufactured board made with compressed particles of wood formed together. One side of the board smooth with the other side rough. Hardboard in sheet form is often used and subfloor covering to give a smooth and flat surface.

Joists: Lengths of timbers that support ceilings and floors, usually fixed in parallel.

Mitre: A 45 degree angle joint that neatly joins two pieces of timber together.

Stud wall: A timber framed internal wall faced with plasterboard that is non-load bearing.

While this should be enough to get you started on the theory side of things, the next step is to find the correct carpentry training that can offer you exactly what you need. You might want to gain qualifications and seek employment as a professional carpenter, or alternatively you could simply be looking tp build up your DIY skill set properly. Access Training offer a range of carpentry courses to suit both parties, and are available to everyone no matter their background or skill level. To find out more about what we can give you, take a look at our courses page or give our team a call on 0800 345 7492.

Get in touch to learn more about our training courses!

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