Demolition

Demolition is the destruction of a building or structure. It is important to ensure this process us undertaken safely as taking down an entire building has many obvious risks.

Here are some demolition methods;

Wrecking Ball

Almost any structure can be demolished via Wrecking Ball but it is a skilled practice which cannot be self taught.

The wrecking ball is a very effective method of demolition. When demolishing multi-storey structures that have suffered structural damage. After all other methods have been considered and undertaken a hazard assessment, if the plans are deemed too hazardous the wrecking ball is determined the most appropriate method.

Hazards associated with Wrecking Ball Demolition include but are not limited to:

- Noise
- Dust
- Vibration to adjoining structures
- Flying Debris
- Uncontrolled/Unintentional Collapse
- Limited waste minimisation

Any trainee's must be instructed by a trained and experienced worker and work under close supervision until they are competent.
Not just any crane is capable of undertaking this task, we would recommend a converted drag line crane. They are very robust and stable, a crane with a hydraulic ram should not be used when using a demolition.

A crane which is being used with a wrecking ball should be fitted with FOPS and should be enclosed, strong and debris-proof. Cranes which are used solely for lifting on a demolition project dont need to be fitted with a FOPS cab, however operations that could cause flying debris should not be carried out close to the crane.

Demolition by Implosion/Explosives

Explosion or implosion destruction is an effective and efficient method of demolition. Using this technique can reduce both cost and time to bring dangerous multi-storey structures to the ground in comparison to conventional demolition methods. In the majority of cases, implosion can reduce the whole demolition period by up to 80% with most of the time being spent in preparation and the clean up following.

The only structures which cannot be demolished in this manner are Timber-Framed and Brick Structures. Even structures which have been compromised in the past can be effectively imploded, however an expert will give instructions on any collateral damage that may occur.

The method usually used is to cut or disintegrate key structural members by fixing plaster charges to key structural supports or drill holes

The usual method is to cut or disintegrate key structural members by loading drilled holes with explosives, or fixing plaster charges to the outside of these members.

You should always take the following precautions:

- Have an experienced and approved explosives handler in charge of the work.
- Make sure that the plans are feasible by consulting an experienced IPENZ engineer.
- Use mats and small charges to stop flying debris
- Beware of strong columns as they may cause the building to sit down rather than topple.
- Advise the local authority and police of the plans.
- Ensure there are safe escape routes.

Wire Rope Pulling

This method uses wire ropes and cables which are attached to such as tractors or winches and fixed to key structural members then pulled down. This method is best suited to detached structures as there is plenty of surrounding room and less risk of damaging any other structures in the process. Wire Rope Pulling can be used for bridges, brick, stone or steel chimneys, timber-framed buildings and for spires or masts.

We would recommend the following precautions:

- Use wire ropes with a safety rating of at least 6 and with a diameter of at least 16mm.
- Make sure the machine is anchored securely and the rope is flattened to less than 1 inch.
- Ensure that no one stands between the machine and building or next to the rope.
- Do not allow anyone inside of the building while pulling.
- Make sure that all ropes are properly secured before commencing with the pull.
- Take note of any overhead power lines to make sure the rope doesn't touch them.

Grapples and Shears

If there might be a risk of fire, or where more precise cutting using a torch is not required, power shears can be used to crop and cut through concrete and metal such as beams or reinforcing steel. An additional feature of this method is that it reduces the noise on site. Any member which is to be severed should either be effectively supported or, if it is going to be allowed to fall care should be taken in order to ensure remaining structures or personnel are not endangered.

When moving waste around the site or loading it onto other vehicles to dispose of waste, power grapples can be used to handle the waste. There should be care taken to avoid overloading the equipment as some of the debris from demolition could have a high density. You should always try to avoid damage to the machine itself, do not try to do too much at once, as a heavy load could induce instability and then overturning.

Machines should only be operated in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations.

Need more information?

Visit our blogs section to read about some of our other services. If you need a demolition specialist please dont hesitate to call us on 01325 364 045.

Painting & Decorating

Painting and decorating may sound simple, however there are a few things to consider when doing it professionally. You always want to achieve the best finish, so you need to make sure that you are using the correct paint and the correct brushes for the appropriate job.

Assessing the wall

If you paint a wall without assessing it first, it could incur some problems. For example if you haven't brushed the wall before you paint it, there could be dust particles getting clumped in the paint. Once the paint has dries, the wall could have a bumpy/rough texture to it which is very unprofessional.

An example of a problem with the wall which could affect a professional finish is if the wall is cracked. You could just paint over cracks, or you could go the extra mile for your customer and fill those in and you wont even need a plasterer. By using Acrylic Caulk, you can fill those cracks, quickly and easily. Caulk is used by cutting the nozzle until it is slightly bigger than the crack you want to fill and then squeezing it in, smoothing over using a pointing tool (or finger) and then waiting for it to cure. Once cured you can paint over with emulsion.

Types of Paint

Many people go by the assumption that paint is paint and they all do the same job. This assumption is false, emulsion is great, it is cheap and great for covering large areas however it doesn't leave that shiny look that many of us have come to expect. Gloss is used on door frames and skirting boards, it leaves a shiny look and is very difficult to paint over with anything other than gloss. This type of paint is only really used for highlights because it is more expensive and it comes in a smaller tin, but its well worth it for that professional finish we all love.

Need a professional?

Call us on 01325 364 045 and speak to one of the team! Alternatively visit our contacts page and fill out our enquiry form, one of our team will help you as soon as possible.

Please, feel free to leave a comment and tell us what you think!

Window Fitting

Every window should be fitted using a spirit level to make sure they are level. 

Below is a picture of a window fitted really badly, and 2 pictures showing how it should be done.

At Howard Build in Darlington we have highly skilled builders with years in the business, who are more than capable of fitting windows and to a high quality.

Windows are essential to every house hold. Allowing light to pass through into your home, whilst keeping out the heavy winds and rain. Which is why having your windows fitted by a professional is important, if they are not there could be a multitude of complications.

A badly fitted window could mean that there is no vacuum between your double glazing, which is what muffles the outside noise. If the window is not fully sealed to the wall it could allow a draft to go through your home, and will definitely allow the cold winter air to pass through raising your heating costs.

Are you in need of a window fitter? Just give us a call on 01325 364 045 now or visit our contacts page to fill out our enquiry form and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.
We’re here to help.

Guttering

Howard Builders based in Darlington, County Durham are professionals in guttering installation. Guttering is important to have in every home, used to funnel water from your roof tops down into a drain in the floor. The function is simple however it prevents the rain water running directly from the roof to the floor, and/or in some cases onto the top of your head as you leave home.

There are a few different types of gutters, and materials that they can be created from. For example:

Zinc - This type of Guttering is the most durable and it will never rust. You will never need to paint it either as over time it will develop a patina. However in order to install this you would need a professional installer as any joints would have to be welded together. Zinc Guttering is the most expensive guttering but it is also the best.

Copper and Aluminium - These types of guttering wont need to be welded together, and they will never rust. However they are not as durable as the Zinc. Copper and Aluminium arent as expensive to buy as Zinc would be.

Steel - Durable and rust resistant. However over time the steel may begin to rust but that will take between 5 and 10 years. Steel is also less expensive than the Zinc option and will not need to be welded for installation.

Vinyl - A DIYers choice. Light weight, and inexpensive however they may crack in severe cold.

PVC-U - A cost effective solution for both new and refurbished use. PVC has gutter seal retaining clips for a fast user friendly experience.

Here are some pictures of different types of Guttering.

In our opinion, guttering is very important. No one wants to wake up to a face full of rain water free falling from their roof tops in the morning. If you would like to speak to someone about guttering call us on 01325 364 045 and speak to one of our team. Alternatively you could email us using our enquiry form from our Contact page.

Underpinning

Underpinning is important, the stability of your buildings foundations are imperative. If your foundations are weak, they could compromise the stability of your whole building.

Mass Concrete Underpinning

This method has been around for almost 100 years and is considered to be the 'traditional method'. This method is done by manually digging beneath the existing foundations and strategically filling the holes with cement, effectively creating a second foundation. This technique is generally used at shallow depths, however it can still be effective even at 50 feet deep.

Beam and Base Underpinning

This is a much more advanced method in comparison to Mass Concrete. Beam and Base Underpinning is done by creating a concrete beam above, below or in replacement of the existing foundation. This beam will transfer the mass of the building into concrete bases, strategically designed and located to take the weight. The size and depth of these bases is determined by the condition of the ground, and the beam is determined by the mass they are expected to hold.

Expanding Resin Injection

This technique is relatively new, being around for only 30 years. This is done by injecting structural resins and hardeners into the ground beneath the foundations, this causes the resins and hardener to mix which triggers a chemical reaction that causes the solution to expand. Whilst expanding, this mixture will fill in any crevices and compact any weak soil. If the mixture is continued to be added this could be use to raise and re-level the structure.
This method requires no excavation and is known to be clean, causing minimal disruption.

Howard Builders have decades of experience in Underpinning, feel free to give us a call and talk to one of our team members on 01325 364 045. Alternatively visit our contacts page and fill out our form, we will reply as quickly as possible.

Bricklayers Tools

Brick Laying Tool Requirements

A Brick Layer is a fundamental part of Build, Maintain & Improve. This is especially true when it comes to property development or any kind of extension.

Spirit Level

A spirit level is used to ensure layed bricks are level. This helps to reduce the risk of leaning and possible collapse, another use is against the side of the brick to make sure that all bricks are inline and as close to level as possible.

Pointing Trowel

The Pointing Trowel is used to properly place cement in the right place and scrape any from the side of bricks in order to provide a professional finish.

Tape Measure

Tape Measures are used to ensure the Bricklayers Line is set at the correct height. This is crucial to completing work to specification

Brick Hammer and Chisel

A Brick Hammer is used with a chisel when reaching the end of a wall. On some ends you only need half of a brick which these two tools can be used to create by breaking a brick in half.

Spade/Shovel

A Spade or Shovel is used to effectively mix Mortar ready for use. The Spade/Shovel can also be used to fill a bucket which is safer to use than such as a wheel barrow in higher areas.

Bricklayers Line and Pin

The Bricklayers Line is used to efficiently mark where the top level of brick should be, and then it can be pinned to the brick. This is much faster than having to use the tape measure again every few feet.

Hard Brush

A brush with hard bristles is used in order to remove any Mortar from the sides of any bricks before it sets and goes hard. This helps to create a professional finish which is easy on the eyes.

Bucket

A large bucket can be used to take Mortar up to an upper level of a structure rather than a wheel barrow. This is also safer for the brick layer as the bucket will be much easier to manoeuvre.

Need a Brick Layer?

Here at Howards we have serviced many customers across the North East with their Brick Laying needs, as you will be able to see from our testimonials. If you are in need of a brick layer please dont hesitate to call us on 01325 364 045 or click here and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help.