Mike O'Toole

Mike O'Toole is a freelance writer and copy editor with a background in architecture and building construction. He likes to spend his spare time fixing things – even if they're not broken – and his latest project is a house renovation in Corfu, Greece, which seems to be never-ending.

mike
when do you need a damp proof membrane rather than a vapour barrier

When Do You Need a Damp Proof Membrane Rather than a Vapour Barrier (UK Guide)?

With rising energy costs, the need for better insulation and reduction in heat loss has never been greater, but this creates another problem – damp!  As an architectural technologist, one of the most significant issues in house building has been dampness and moisture control.  Rising damp and condensation result from poor control measures and must …

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cost of structural engineer for load bearing walls

Cost of Structural Engineer for Load Bearing Walls in 2022 (UK Price Guide) 

I’ve worked with many structural engineers, and I know how much value they bring to commercial projects. But they’re also helpful in domestic projects, such as opening up ground floor space to create a kitchen-diner and removing walls.  Read on to find out the cost of a structural engineer for load-bearing walls. In a Hurry? …

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how long does tile adhesive take to dry

How Long Does Tile Adhesive Take to Dry Before Grouting (plus how to speed it up)?

Tiling is my favourite DIY project because you see the effects immediately. You can cover large wall or floor areas in just a few hours, but then you must stop and play the waiting game.  It’s frustrating, I know, especially with flooring, because you can’t walk across it until the initial set is complete. So …

How Long Does Tile Adhesive Take to Dry Before Grouting (plus how to speed it up)? Read More »

how to remove paint from textured glass

How to Remove Paint from Textured Glass – Step-by-Step DIY Guide

There are plenty of chemicals on the market for this job, but I’m going to show you how to remove paint from textured glass WITHOUT harming the environment and your health. If you’ve ever painted bathroom windows, you’ll know that removing paint splashes from textured or obscure glass is more complicated than ordinary glass. The reason …

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removing emulsion paint from plaster walls

Removing Emulsion Paint from Plaster Walls in 2022 (Step-by-Step DIY Guide)

I’ve been in the property business for over 20 years. I’ve bought and renovated many houses in that time, so I know how removing emulsion paint from plaster walls is painful, not to mention hazardous. In this step-by-step guide, I’ll explain when you should remove old emulsion paint before repainting and how to avoid the …

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best concrete breaker

Best Concrete Breaker Reviews (2022 UK Buying Guide) – The Top 3

When I think back to my building-site days, concrete breakers were giant machines that created massive amounts of noise and vibration. These oversized concrete breakers were connected to compressors and typically operated by a big, burly man who undoubtedly suffered from white fingers and tinnitus. These days, concrete breakers come in more manageable sizes and …

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cavity wall insulation cost per m2

Cavity Wall Insulation Cost per m² in 2022 – UK Price Guide & Money-Saving Tips (Updated)

There is nothing new about insulating cavity walls. We’ve been doing it since the oil crisis in the 1970s. Still, people only started taking it seriously in the mid-80s when changes to the Building Regulations forced housebuilders and designers to re-think construction methods. I know because I was one of them. I’ve based this cost …

Cavity Wall Insulation Cost per m² in 2022 – UK Price Guide & Money-Saving Tips (Updated) Read More »

types of drills

9 Essential Types of Drills & Drivers You Should Know in 2022 (and when best to use them) – DIY UK Guide

I remember my dad using a hand brace to drill holes in a piece of wood and thinking, ‘there’s got to be an easier way’. Sure enough, there was, and when I was old enough to buy power tools myself, I wanted all types of drills going. These days, there are more types of drills …

9 Essential Types of Drills & Drivers You Should Know in 2022 (and when best to use them) – DIY UK Guide Read More »