Five fab­u­lous tips for work­ing out­doors

If the weather’s warm, do­ing DIY in the gar­den is a great way to soak up the sun while get­ting some­thing done

Kent Messenger Maidstone - West Kent Property - - FRONT PAGE -

1 If you have a big gar­den DIY project to do, 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. 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.

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. 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 is com­pat­i­ble with dust ex­trac­tion). 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 low­pres­sure washer with a 4lt wa­ter tank, ideal for DIY tasks out­side.

5 If you’re not ex­pe­ri­enced enough to tackle a big gar­den DIY project, you could get stuck into 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, etc, 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.

On a warm sum­mer day it’s nice to take por­ta­ble DIY pro­jects such as doors and fur­ni­ture out­side to work on them

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