Neil Cumins

I’ve been a property journalist since 2003, writing about everything from architecture and construction to interior design and home improvements for property clients all over the world.

neil
how to finish laminate flooring edges

How to Finish Laminate Flooring Edges in 6 Easy Steps (DIY Guide)

Laminate flooring has become the default choice for many people, yet it’s surprisingly easy to spoil its aesthetic with a lousy finish. In particular, poor edging is often to blame—I.e. where the floor meets a skirting board or doorframe. Although it’s not always practical, removing skirting boards and laying laminate flooring underneath is one option. …

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how to lay laminate flooring in an L-shaped hallway

How To Lay Laminate Flooring in an L-Shaped Hallway (DIY Guide)

In the Victorian heyday of British housebuilding, hallways were usually straight and long. In response to their predecessors’ focus on symmetry, Edwardian architects and builders adopted wilfully asymmetrical designs like L-shaped hallways. This trend continued into the Art Deco movement, leaving us with a surprisingly high proportion of homes whose hallways aren’t even on nodding …

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bricklaying tools list

Bricklaying Tools List – 15 Essential Items Every Brickie Needs (DIY Guide)

Bricklaying is a surprisingly technical process, which you can only complete with the right tools. Most people would include spirit levels and club hammers on their bricklaying tools list, but more specialised items, such as bolster chisels and hawks, may be omitted. Avoid mid-job trips to the DIY store by stocking up on these essential …

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how long does carpet underlay last

How Long Does Carpet Underlay Last? – DIY Guide (UK)

Like skirting boards and plug sockets, carpet underlay is an underappreciated home component. This cushioning material serves a vital role despite being completely hidden from view. Most people only notice their underlay when it begins to fail! To determine how long does carpet underlay last, we have to consider several factors, from materials and installation to …

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best screwdriver bit set in the UK

Best Screwdriver Bit Set in the UK (2022 Reviews & Buying Guide)

After careful consideration and extensive analysis, we reckon the best screwdriver bit set in the UK is manufactured by Draper.  We especially liked that their 82398 Magnetic Bit Holder Set contains niche heads, including Robertson and imperial/metric hex bits. It’s hard to imagine a screw head you can’t extract or insert with this set! This …

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how to stop condensation in built-in wardrobes

How to Stop Condensation in Built-in Wardrobes (Step-by-Step Guide)

If you’ve ever taken something out of a cupboard or wardrobe and noticed a slight clamminess, you’ve encountered the unwelcome phenomenon of condensation.  Synonymous with windows, damp and clammy air can cause significant issues in wardrobes, though these problems may not immediately be apparent. This guide explains how to stop condensation in built-in wardrobes so …

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anti slip decking paint reviews

Anti Slip Decking Paint Reviews – 2022 Edition (UK Buying Guide)

Decking quickly becomes dull and worn when left untreated, and anti slip paint represents a colourful alternative to varnishing or staining. While the latter simply adds a clear coat of protection, pastel colours can dramatically enhance the appearance of your decking. Moreover, anti slip properties are vital because painted and varnished/stained surfaces can be treacherous …

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corded vs cordless drill

Corded vs Cordless Drill – Which Power Source Is Better in 2022? (UK Guide)

DIYers of a certain age sometimes claim that different jobs call for different drills, but the historic performance gap between corded and cordless products has narrowed in recent years. Advances in battery technology and improvements in product design have led to Bosch claiming there’s no longer any difference in durability or power when comparing a …

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best radiator paint

Best Radiator Paint in 2022 (Reviews & Buying Guide) – UK Edition

Painting a radiator requires precision and diligence to achieve a quality finish that will last for years. Furthermore, choosing the best radiator paint can significantly simplify the task and improve the finish’s longevity. Today’s radiator paints provide consistent coverage and fewer drips than their poorly-regarded ancestors, generating fewer toxic fumes.  Pro Tip: Always open the …

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best plunge saw

Best Plunge Saw in the UK (2022 Reviews & Buying Guide)

Increasingly eclipsing the less practical circular saw, the spring-mounted circular blades on plunge saws are ideal for precise and consistent cuts through the hardest woods.  However, with so many plunge saws on the market today, it can be tricky to choose the best model. After testing the UK’s most highly-rated products side-by-side, we determined that …

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best cordless chainsaw in the UK

Best Cordless Chainsaw in the UK (2022 Reviews & Buying Guide)

Whether chopping down a tree or trimming a hedge, having a cordless chainsaw is extremely useful, combining practicality and freedom of movement without worrying about power leads. However, with so many products available, how do you choose the best cordless chainsaw in the UK? After many hours of research and testing, we’ve done the hard …

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best hand saw in the UK

Best Hand Saw in the UK (Reviews & Buying Guide) – The Top 5 in 2022

A hand saw is an essential component of any toolkit, but few DIY products come in a broader assortment of shapes and sizes, prices and brands. At Property Workshop, we’ve tested many types of saws. In our latest closely fought contest, Stanley’s STA515244 FatMax narrowly wins the ‘best hand saw in the UK‘ award. Part …

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best emulsion paint

Best Emulsion Paint in the UK (2022 Reviews & Buying Guide)

When it comes to the best emulsion paint, it’s often worth paying a little extra for a higher-quality product. High-quality paints have the texture and finish of single cream, whereas cheaper alternatives can resemble skimmed milk.  Our three shortlisted products all claim near-identical coverage of between 12 and 13 square metres per litre. This number …

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best chalk paint in the uk

Best Chalk Paint in the UK- 2022 Reviews & Buying Guide (Updated)

Chalk paint is underpinning the burgeoning fashion for upcycling older furnishings or accessories. Thinner than gloss and more muted than emulsion, chalk paint allows the weave or grain to show through. However, not all chalk paints are created equal. Some are suitable for upcycling metal surfaces or objects, while others aren’t. Also, coverage varies from …

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best corded sds hammer drill in the uk

Best Corded SDS Hammer Drill in the UK – (2022 Reviews & Buying Guide) – The Top 3

If you have a large amount of heavy-duty drilling to get through, an SDS hammer drill is your ultimate weapon. However, there are huge price differences between the leading models, so is it worth paying more than twice as much if you’re after the best corded SDS hammer drill in the UK? This article explains …

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best hacksaw in the uk

Best Hacksaw in the UK – (2022 Reviews & Buying Guide) – The Top 5

After many hours of research and rigorous testing, we highly recommend the Stanley Fatmax 5-in-1 Hacksaw. It’s uniquely flexible (though not literally – its lightweight frame can deliver 100kg of blade tension) and has five different configurations, including one as a jab saw. While any hacksaw can cut plywood, it takes plenty of chassis strength …

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best bandsaw in the uk

Best Bandsaw in the UK (2022 Reviews & Buying guide) – The Top 3

Less precise than a scroll saw and less powerful than a circular saw, a bandsaw may seem unnecessary compared to other tools in a carpenter or handyman’s armoury. However, bandsaws are great for repetitive cutting actions. The English Woodworker describes bandsaws as “hand saws with endurance“, capable of endlessly slicing through hardwood and some softer …

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how to build a close board fence

How to Build a Close Board Fence – A Step-by-Step DIY Guide (UK Edition)

Whether you’re moving into a new house with a turfed lawn but no boundaries or improving the privacy of an existing garden’s open fencing, there are plenty of reasons for learning how to build a close board fence. A fully boarded fence gives you complete privacy at ground level, preventing your pets from seeing neighbouring …

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best circular saw blades in the uk

Best Circular Saw Blades in the UK (2022 Reviews & Buying Guide) – The Top 7

When it comes to high-speed cutting, there’s nothing to match the power and durability of a circular saw.  Capable of slicing through anything from timber and plastic to ceramic and metal, circular saws are uncomplicated one-job machines that come in various weights, power settings and states of portability. Best Circular Saw Blades Reviews – The …

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stud partition wall cost per m2

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

Many home improvement projects aim to make the most of the available space in a property, but sometimes the setup of your home may waste precious space. If that’s the case, installing a stud partition wall is a great way to improve the layout. This guide will take you through how much stud partition walls …

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cavity wall insulation removal cost

Cavity Wall Insulation Removal Cost in 2022 (UK Price Guide & Money-Saving Tips)

Good cavity wall insulation can work wonders for your heating bills. Slowing the movement of heat through your walls helps your home stay warmer for longer. If your insulation isn’t installed correctly, you can suffer significant issues. This guide explains when (and why) you might need to remove cavity wall insulation. It’ll outline how to …

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fire door installation cost

Fire Door Installation Cost in 2022 – UK Price Guide & Money-Saving Tips (Updated)

Installing fire doors isn’t something many of us will have done before. Fire doors aren’t necessary for all property types and development projects, but it’s crucial to know what they are and when to use them. This guide answers these important questions and outlines the UK’s average fire door installation cost. In a Hurry? Find …

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asbestos removal cost uk

Asbestos Removal Cost UK – 2022 Price Guide and Money-Saving Tips (Updated)

Think of your worst nightmare during a home improvement or renovation project. Were you thinking about the possibility of finding asbestos? If not, you probably should have been. Asbestos in any kind of property can cause huge problems. You must deal with this hazardous material carefully, but what’s the best way to handle it and …

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how to measure stair carpets

How to Measure Stair Carpets in 2022 (Step-by-Step DIY Guide & Pro Tips) – UK Edition

Homeowners often think it’s too difficult to do anything with their stairs. They’re not confident enough to replace their stair carpet themselves. However, hiring a professional carpet fitter is expensive, as we recently explained in our guide to carpet fitting costs. Moreover, stair carpet fitting isn’t as tough as you may think. It starts with …

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how to remove wall tiles

How to Remove Wall Tiles in 2022 (Step-by-Step DIY Guide + Pro Tips) – UK Edition

We’ve all got home improvement projects we know we should crack on with. According to research from B&Q at the start of 2019, Brits typically have 16 small projects either on the go or on their minds. The same research also revealed that replacing tiling was a project one in six respondents felt needed to …

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how to mix plaster

How to Mix Plaster (Step-by-Step DIY Guide & Pro Tips) – UK Edition

Amateur DIYers and home improvement newcomers fear few things as much as plastering. It’s a job with a reputation for being devilishly difficult to get right. Kezzabeth brilliantly sums up the frustrations which may arise in her blog post. There’s one key thing any would-be plasterer can do to boost their chances of success. That’s …

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pva for plastering

Why You Should be Using PVA for Plastering in 2022 (and how best to apply it) – DIY Guide and Top Tips

If you’ve got some plastering work that needs doing, you’re probably wondering whether you should try it yourself. Plastering is something of an art form, and it can go badly wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. With the right guidance, even an enthusiastic amateur can achieve great results. Jan and Christine, writers of …

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how to remove polystyrene ceiling tiles

How to Remove Polystyrene Ceiling Tiles in 2022 – Step-by-Step DIY Guide and Top Tips (UK Edition)

The 1970s have a lot to answer for in the interior design stakes. You only have to think of avocado bathroom suites and Artex to realise that. However, one of the worst decorating trends of the era has to be the compulsion to install polystyrene ceiling tiles. These unsightly tiles have long since fallen out …

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how to box in a boiler

How to Box in a Boiler (Step-by-Step DIY Guide and Top Tips) – UK Edition

Is an exposed boiler spoiling the look of your kitchen? You’re not alone. Research has found unattractive exposed boilers are a major bugbear among UK homeowners. A whopping 57% would want £5,000 off the house price just because the boiler was on show! Fortunately, you don’t have to grin and bear it by living with …

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