Carpentry

Carpentry can be broken down into a number of sub-categories which are as follows:

Floor joists are typically 200mm by 47mm or 225mm by 47mm, spaced at 400mm centres and hung on galvanized joist hangers. Timber noggins are fixed to the midspan of each joist and their purpose is to transfer loads through the entire structure, strengthen the floor and prevent warping of joist members.  


Wall partitioning is normally 100mm by 47mm or 75mm by 47mm, spaced at 400mm or 600mm centres. It is made up of a: Sole plate, head plate, stud and finish with noggins. Metal partitioning is most commonly found on a commercial building site and is lightweight, easy to handle and quick to fit.
Softwood is graded according to natural defects found in timbers which are: knots, species, arrangement of grain and stiffness. All structural timbers are strength graded and the most common class found at your local timber merchant is C16 and C24. Strength grading is set according to the British standard building regulations and provides the means to quality control timber and ensures that the timbers are of sufficient strength to carry a particular load.  


Door installation. The 3 most common door width sizes are 762mm, 686mm and 610mm. Interior doors are 35mm thick and fire doors are 44 mm thick. The success or failure of door hanging is govern by the correct fitting of the door lining and the ability to use the electric or hand plane accurately. The next step is to hang the door with either two or three butt hinges. This depends on the type, size, weight, and the location of the door. When the door is closed it should be flush with the door frame and an even 3mm gap between the door and the frame.


Door furniture is a collective term referring to locks, latches, handles, hinges, letter plates, bolts and security fittings. Although there are guidelines on the height and position of these items, there is scope to adjust measurements to suit ergonomic function and aesthetic appeal. Before deviating from the guidelines seek advice from a qualified carpenter or manufacturer.


Decking has a life span of between 10 to 15 years. However, this is significantly reduced by poor carpentry practice. Only use specialized outdoor screws, coach bolts, galvanized joist hangers which are resistant to both the corrosive nature of the weather and the chemicals found in pressure treated outdoor timbers. The area where the decking is to be built must be free of vegetation and the soil treated with weed killer, pay attention to the instructions given on the packet of weed killer and a good quality weed membrane should be use to cover the soil. Ideally, the floor structure should be suspended off the ground and noggins added.

The ledger joist must be set off the wall of the house to prevent premature rotting and the migration of damp into the house. Deck boards should have a gap between them to aid drainage of rainwater and to facilitate air flow below the floor which helps the floor structure to dry out.


Fencing. The job of the fence post is to provide a strong connection for the fence panels and anchor the entire fence structure to the ground. An inadequate hole depth, dug in the soil for the fence post will result in greater than permitted movement in the post. This can be witness in windy areas resulting in the swaying movement of the fence panels and will eventually damage the fence panels which may need to be replace. Post spikes are driven into the ground using a hammer. However, if the soil contains large stones or tree roots, you will struggle to keep the post spike plumb. Both the post spike and bolt down fence support are cheap and less labour-intensive compare to the fence post and concrete method.


Flooring. Engineered flooring is a multi-layer hybrid of plywood and real wood and is designed to be unaffected by household humidity which makes it dimensionally more stable than solid wood flooring and it has the added benefit of genuine real wood. It can be fitted in areas which are unsuitable for solid wood flooring such as conservatories, kitchens, bathrooms and can be used in underfloor heating. Laminate flooring is a composite wood, formed at high temperatures. It consists of 4 parts: The bottom layer provides stability and moisture resistance. The second layer is the core and is made up of high-density fibreboard and resin is added for strength and moisture resistance. The third layer is the call the picture layer, this a photo print of a wood grain or tile. The fourth layer is call the wear layer and involves coating the picture layer in melamine resin; this protects the board from scratches and staining.


Staircase and balustrade. The specification for the construction and fitting of a staircase is laid out in the Approved Document K of the building regulations. Here is a summary of a few key points relevant to the domestic staircase. The pitch or steepness of a staircase must be between 33° and 42°. The maximum rise (vertical dimension of the step) is 220mm and the minimum going (horizontal dimension of the step) is 220mm. The handrail height can be between 900 and 1000mm, measured from the pitch line (notional line that links the nosing of all the steps) or floor. The gap between each balustrade must be less than 100mm wide.


Trim. A collective term covering skirting, architrave, picture and dado rail. The architrave and skirting provides a decorative finish and the former covers the joint between the door frame and the wall and the latter covers the joint between the floor and wall. The purpose of the dado rail was to protect the wall against damage from the backs of chairs and clips were used to hang pictures off the picture rail. The original function of the rails has become obsolete in the modern household and is now used as a decorative finish.  
 

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