Main­te­nance and DIY tips for your home: hang­ing pic­tures

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Although the NHBRC is not re­spon­si­ble for main­te­nance, we sug­gest that you con­sider the fol­low­ing tips:

Wall fix­ings

Very light items can be fixed on all kinds of wall fin­ishes by us­ing ap­pro­pri­ate ad­he­sives ac­cord­ing to the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions. But be care­ful. The ad­he­sion nor­mally has to be the paint or pa­per that cov­ers the walls, and the bond can be no stronger than the ad­he­sion of the pa­per or paint to the wall.

Pic­tures (if not too large) and other small items can be hung on all types of walls us­ing steel pic­ture hooks.

All walls may look solid enough, but be­fore at­tempt­ing to fix heavy items to them, it is im­por­tant to find out how they are built.

Ask your home builder or try to find out your­self by tap­ping a wall to see if it sounds hol­low.

If it does and your home is of ma­sonry con­struc­tion, the wall is likely to be dry-lined with plas­ter­board or ma­sonry. It is pos­si­ble that the walls di­vid­ing rooms may be tim­ber­framed par­ti­tions with plas­ter­board on ver­ti­cal tim­ber studs. Mak­ing sev­eral trial holes through the plas­ter­board with a bradawl (a tool with a blade sim­i­lar to that of a straight screw­driver and a han­dle made from wood or plas­tic) or very small drill bit will re­veal the po­si­tion of the tim­ber frame, or whether there is a ma­sonry wall close be­hind. Oth­er­wise, walls will be of plas­tered ma­sonry.

If in doubt, use a bat­tery tim­ber-stud de­tec­tor. Some mod­els can also de­tect elec­tric ca­bles and pipe work. These are avail­able at DIY stores. In tim­ber frame homes, all walls will nor­mally be par­ti­tions of plas­ter­board on tim­ber studs.

Al­ways re­mem­ber: very heavy pic­tures and mir­rors should not be hung on pic­ture hooks.

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