DIY factsheets: a round-up of useful resources

We’ve done the work so you don’t have to – at least when it comes to finding DIY help and advice online.

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Here’s a handy checklist of retailers offering advice, inspiration, factsheets, brochures, tech guides and useful little conversion widgets.

Help and inspiration from B&Q

  • Knowledge centre – How-tos, buying guides and your DIY and home improvement questions answered.
  • Inspiration centre – Design inspiration, style expertise and your choice of brochures covering furniture, bathrooms, kitchens and much more.
  • Support centre – This is your destination for B&Q customer service and feedback.
  • Social hub – Community pages for B&Q customers to have their say and share their knowledge and experiences with others.
  • Calculators – A range of helpful widgets for paint, wallpaper, flooring, radiators and Imperial to metric measurements.

Factsheets and guidance from Wickes

  • Good Idea Leaflets – A vast range of practical advice on almost every DIY topic under the sun.
  • How to cope with building works – A guide for homeowners that aims to help you work with builders to ensure stress is kept to a minumum.
  • Video Guides – A short series of video guides to practical DIY tasks in the bathroom, kitchen and around the house.
  • Regulations and Safety – What you need to know about ladder safety and hazardous materials.
  • Price Lists – Need help estimating the cost of your project? You can download and print out any Wickes price list here.
  • Brochures – Your guide to the retailer’s kitchen, bathroom and other ranges, all available for download.
  • DIY News – Visit the retailer’s news feed here.

Handy guides and DIY project advice from Focus DIY

  • Kitchen and bathroom – Starting from scratch, updating or carrying out essential maintenance? Focus is here to help.
  • Paint and decorate – From preparation to the final unveiling, here are tips and hints on every job from getting a good paint finish to hanging wallpaper.
  • Fit and repair – Advice on home improvement tasks from insulating a loft and fitting locks to changing a socket or installing draughtproofing.
  • Plant and garden – Whether you want a lovely lawn, a perfect path, patio or gazebo, succulent vegetables or a drift of beautiful flowers, there’s something for you in this section.
  • Energy-saving tips – ten top tips that could save you as much as £250 per year.
  • Policy on sustainable timber – Want to know where their wood comes from? Here are the answers.

Top tips from Topps Tiles

  • Topps Tips – advice on everything from how to fit tiles and seal baths and showers to laying perfect flooring and caring for natural materials.
  • How-to videos – visual guides on topics like tile cutting, floor tiling and preparing a shower cubicle
  • Tile calculator – find what you need for walls and floors.
  • Floor tile layout – Choosing the right pattern for floor tiling can be one of the hardest parts of the project. This PDF guide will help you get the right fit for the size of tile you’re using while also getting a look that complements your room.

How-to advice from DIY Tools

This collection of articles includes advice on topics like spotting carbon monoxide in the home, building a greenhouse, painting and decorating tricks of the trade and advice on using primer. Definitely worth a look!

Buyers’ guides from Northern Tool + Equipment

This DIY retailer has a comprehensive page of buyers’ guides for many of the product categories it stocks plus a special section on pressure washers. You can also learn more about renewable energy and check out its bio-diesel calculator.

Tooled Up: manufacturers’ technical helplines

Looking for technical advice on a product from a manufacturer such as Black & Decker, Karcher, Panasonic, Stanley or Makita? This invaluable collection of contacts from DIY retailer Tooled Up should help you in your quest no end. The company also stocks a selection of books, guides and videos.

Screwfix: disposal of electrical and electronic equipment

Under new government regulations issued in January 2007 we are all obliged to ensure that the amount of waste on certain electrical and electronic equipment is reduced. Read more about your responsibilities here. You can also get useful information on hazards here.

Reports from Which?

The Consumers’ Association publishes a range of reports on all kinds of home improvement matters on its Which? website. A lot of its content is only available to subscribers. But even if you’re not a member there’s still plenty to read about. Its greener living section is also worth a look.