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Monday, 1 April 2019

Plaster repair in Melbourne

Plaster repair in Melbourne

Plaster damage can look quite ugly and turn away potential buyers, renters or AirBNB stayers. Here is how I prepare for and repair the damage, weather it be a crack or a bigger dent.

For any repair I always try to get a sample of the paint so I can get it matched.

Lets start with the basic tools and materials you may need for plaster repairs.

  • 100mm drywall joint knife
  • 125mm drywall joint knife
  • Knife or keyhole saw
  • Plaster compound (pre-mixed multi purpose joint compound is easy to use)
  • Paper joint tape or mesh tape
  • Spare plasterboard sheet (for dents/holes)
  • Thin timber for backing of replacement plasterboard
  • Sanding block/sandpaper (not very rough)
  • Paint brush
  • Paint Roller & tray
Joint Knife

Paper tape

Mesh tape

Plaster compound

Keyhole saw


For a small crack you will need to first need to sand the area smooth so your compound has a smooth surface to start with. If the crack has a bit of a gap then you will need to use either paper joint tape or mesh tape. I use mesh tape for longer cracks as it may be house movement and it helps to hold it together, and paper tape for smaller cracks to allow something for the compound to grab to.



With paper tape you will need to apply a thin layer of compound first for the tape to adhere to. Once you have the tape on the crack you will need to smooth it out and eliminate as much of the compound under it as possible so it is smooth and as flat as possible.

Once your tape is flat and smooth you can start applying your compound to the area. Apply it in small layers and make it as smooth as possible (this will help with sanding later). Apply your compound in alternating ways, up & down, left & right. This helps eliminate the air holes and small holes that may appear in the compound. You need to apply enough compound so you can't see the tape or crack, making sure to cover around 20mm wider then the damaged area so you can feather the compound later.



Once your compound is smooth, allow this to dry for at least 24hrs so all the layers are completely dry. After 24hrs and all layers are dry you can start sanding. You need to feather your edges until you feel no bump between the repair and original wall. Sand the rest of the area so it feels as smooth as possible without sanding through to the paper tape.



Once the area is sanded to perfection you will need to get rid of the sanding dust that has accumulated on the area. I use a cheap wide paint brush to brush away all the compound dust so the paint has a clean area to stick to.

Once the area is clean from sanding dust you can paint the area. For all plaster repairs I use a paint roller of a suitable size. I paint an area larger then just the repair so the repair is less noticeable, you can even paint the entire wall.

Now for a larger dent or hole you will need to have some spare plasterboard. If the dent looks to deep and you think it will take a fair bit of compound to fill then you will need to cut out a section of damaged area.



I use a keyhole saw to cut out a square or rectangle slightly larger then the damage as it is easier to cut a replacement square or rectangle. Cut a piece of thin timber slightly wider then the hole and screw it to the original plasterboard (this will allow your replacement piece to sit flush with the existing plasterboard). Make the replacement piece as close to the hole size as possible. If the replacement piece is very close to the hole size you won't need any paper tape around the edge.

If you have a gap where the compound will sink into to easily then you will need to apply some paper tape around the edges to allow the compound to adhere properly and not sink to much into the gap.

Apply the compound as mentioned earlier and paint the area. You have now repaired your plaster damage or if this seems to complicated and you think you don't have the skill to make it perfect, fell free to call or send me a message.

It should look like the damage was never there in the first place and the wall will be like new.



PH: 0419 393 179
Email: adam@adamshandyhands.com.au
FB: www.facebook.com/adamshandyhands

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Door repair and install in Melbourne

Door repair and install in Melbourne

At Adam's Handy Hands we take pride in every door, whether it be a small doggie door or a front door.



There are a few thing you need to know about doors before you start repairing them.

  1. How should a door work perfectly
  2. Roughly how old is the house/door
Once you know this you can begin to work out where the problem is. If it's hitting on the floor then you can either plane off a little from the bottom or you may be able to adjust the hinges. You can make the hinge(s) sit deeper in the frame.

If you need to plane the bottom of the door you will need to take it off the hinges. Some hinges have removable pins and some you need to remove the screws. I use an air shim to hold the door still and level to make it easier to get the hinges off.


Once the hinges are off you can lay the door down on a sheet or towel to protect it from scratches. You can now plane a little of the bottom of the door (take it easy and remove a little at a time), make sure you have a spare piece of timber at the end of the door where the plane finishes so you don't end up pulling chunks off the end.

Once you have enough planed off the end of the door you can reinstall it. You may need another person to help stable the door. I use an air shim to help level the door and push the top of the door in towards the frame.

Once it is back in place, make sure it is all working perfectly and the latch is still latching like it should be.

If the door latch isn't latching or is hard to latch there is a couple of reasons it may not be latching.

  1. If the house has shifted the latch may be hitting the striker plate a little low.
  2. Or if the door has bowed a little the latch may need to be pulled out a little.
To fix this problem you need to determine which way the latch need to go to allow the door to latch properly. You start by removing the striker plate and with a chisel you chisel out a little of the hole (whether it needs to be longer or wider).



Before reinstalling the striker plate you should check that the latch is working and hitting the hole in the middle. You can now reinstall the striker plate, you may need longer screws if you have removed a little to much of the frame.

Once the striker plate is back in place you should check that the door closes properly and perfectly. If it closes easily and the latch works perfectly then it is done.

Door and handle install.

A door install can be a simple process if you know what problems you can run into.

  • It is an old house and the frame is smaller then the new standards
  • The type of door handle to use
  • Which side the door handle goes on
  • Is it an internal or external door
Once you know these you can start to install your door.

If you have an existing door there you need to remove that first. Remove the screws from the hinges on the frame, then align it beside you new door (face to face) and mark where the hinges and latch are to line up with the new door. This will save a lot of time when installing the door.

You will need a hole saw with a 52mm and a 25mm size. Using the 52mm hole saw start drilling from one side of the door until the pilot drill bit goes all the way through. Then start from the other side, this prevents the timber around the hole from splitting as you break through the other side.

I use a door handle install kit, it makes it easier to align up the holes for the handle and latch.



Next take the 25mm hole saw and drill in from the edge of the door lined up with the centre of the hole you just drilled. Once these holes are drilled you should test fit the handle to make sure it fits perfectly.

For your hinges you need to chisel or router out just enough to recess the hinge so it sits just below the edge of the door. Have your hinge close at hand so you can test fit it to make sure you take out the right amount of timber.




Once you have all the door handle and hinges cut you can install them and get ready to install your door.

First, align your hinges with the door frame and I use an air shim to raise the door enough so the hinges line up with where the old hinges cam out of. You can use a screwdriver to raise the door or have someone else assist to hold the door steady.



You can now screw the hinge screws in to secure the door to the frame and check that the latch is in the correct position and latches correctly.

For a quality door install call Adam's Handy Hands
PH: 0419 393 179
Email: adam@adamshandyhands.com.au
FB: www.facebook.com/adamshandyhands


Monday, 17 September 2018

Mould removal in plaster

How to determine if you have mould in your plaster?

If you notice any dark irregular marks on your walls or ceiling keep an eye on them and see if they grow or more appear. If you have had a water leak then it can cause the plaster to get wet and insulation to soak up the water.

With the insulation being wet this will cause the plaster to stay wet and allow the mould to grow. The affected plaster and wet insulation needs to be removed and disposed of properly. The affected plaster and insulation should be placed in a garbage bag and straight into the bin, making sure you vacuum the dust straight away.


This ceiling area started out as a small patch, about the size of your fist. The client just painted over thinking it was a stain. After a few weeks the area grew to what you can see here. The mould could have been spreading harmful spores into the are and harming your family.

Once the cause of the mould (leak) had been fixed you will need to cut out and remove all the affected plaster. Even if the plaster doesn't have mould, it can be growing underneath, so make sure you remove more plaster then you think is necessary.


This is what was on the underside of the plaster, growing mould spreading unnoticed to the eye.

The first thing to do when tackling mould is to be prepared for the worst. Wear appropriate clothing and protective gear. Long sleeves, gloves, respirator (suitable for mould) and eye protection or face shield.


This respirator is for both airborne particles (wet and dry) and dust, it keeps out all particles that are harmful to you. 


These goggles help keep all the dust and harmful mould spores out of your eyes.

If you don't have any goggles you can use some glasses to protect your eyes. This basic safety equipment is needed to keep the harmful mould off you and stop you from breathing it in.

If you have a large drop sheet or something you can use to catch the dust it would be good, but not necessary.

Once you are prepared with all your safety gear you can start to remove the plaster and insulation. Once you have removed the affected area you can proceed to patch the area.

If you don't want to take the risk and prefer to get it professionally removed then you can call Adam's Handy Hands

PH: 0419 393 179
Email: adam@adamshandyhands.com.au
FB: www.facebook.com/adamshandyhands

Monday, 18 June 2018

The dangers of mould!

Mould can be very dangerous and can spread bad spores into the air. It can be very dangerous to breath in the spores. All precaution is needed to remove any mould in plaster.

Before any work commences on treating the mould you need to make sure that the source of and how it go there has been fixed. Whether it be a leaky roof or not enough ventilation in the walls, allowing the build up of water in the wall. You may not have enough ventilation in your bathroom, causing the steam to affect the ceiling.

You need to remove all the contaminated/wet plaster and any insulation that is wet. The insulation may not look contaminated but since it is wet it can still grow some mould and will affect the plaster patch.


This is a recent plaster repair I had to do that had a lot of mould. The client said they just painted over the area to try and cover the discolour. They said it just came back and that the mould has been spreading. I had to remove the entire affected section and the soaking wet insulation.


This shows how wet the plaster was and how easy it was to poke through. I could just poke my finger through without any force, meaning that the plaster could have fallen at any stage.

I had the affected area removed, which was bigger then it looked. The underside of the plaster (the side up in the roof) was very wet and starting to get mouldy. 

This shows how bad the plaster was and it was just falling away as I removed it. It's the worst I have ever seen and was in a bedroom, which is the worst as you spend about 8hrs there breathing in any mould spores in the area.



Upon further inspection I found that one of the roof tiles was cracked, so that will need to be replaced before any further work commences.

With the bad weather it had to wait until it cleared to get on the roof to replace the tile and have the plaster repaired.

This is s lesson to all that mould can be very dangerous and you should get professional help to deal with it. If left untreated or not removed completely it will most likely come back. You can't simply just paint over the area with normal paint, you need to use mould inhibiting paint or the best options is to remove the affected plaster and replace it with fresh plaster.

If you notice anything that resembles mould you should consult a professional to inspect it and have it treated properly. I can always inspect affected plaster and treat it to remove the mould. If it is in a bedroom it is best to limit the use of the room until it is treated or removed.

Always remember to be protected when doing his sort of work, wear a dust mask and rubber gloves.



PH: 0419 393 179
Email: adam@adamshandyhands.com.au
FB: www.facebook.com/adamshandyhands.

Friday, 11 May 2018

What can Adam's Handy Hands do???

Adam's Handy Hands isn't your ordinary handyman service, we do a lot of different jobs. We are always learning new skills, doing short courses and assisting experts on complicated jobs.

We assemble flat packs, mount TV's, washing machines, dryers to plaster and masonry walls, repair plaster damage (including painting), install doors and door locks (including digital locks), assembling and maintaining bicycles and more.

Some great jobs include, installing window awnings to provide some needed shade and cooling to the front rooms, installing a door and door frame to make a garage more secure and creating a free library






It great to see the end result of a perfect job, or in the case of a plaster repair not seeing the repair. I love getting to the end result, seeing that finished result and hearing from the client that they love the job I have done.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Gutter cleaning maintenance

Your gutters are an integral part of your home, they allow the rain water to flow from your roof into the down pipes. Your gutters also prevent the water just flowing off your roof destroying your garden.



Preventative maintenance helps clear the buildup of leaves and dirt to allow the water to flow nicely. With a build up of leaves and dirt it can cause the rain water to build up, potentially flowing under the eaves causing damage to your ceiling.

The cost of having your gutters maintained is minimal compared to having your ceiling replaced (which could be hundreds or even thousands). It is best to have your gutters maintained once every 6 months to eliminate the build up and keep your gutters flowing like a stream.



If you can see anything growing from your gutters then they are overdue for a clean.

Contact Adam's Handy Hands for a free quote
PH: 0419 393 179
Email: adam@adamshandyhands.com.au
FB: www.facebook.com/adamshandyhands
Linkedin: Adam's Handy Hands

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

What can Adam's Handy Hands do?

Adam's Handy Hands started out just assembling flat packs. It was something I could do and I already had the necessary tools for the job.

There wasn't much of a need for that sort of work and it was becoming a bit repetitive, so I decided to expand and start doing more complex jobs. I started to do picture hanging, researching many of the types of hooks and anchors out there.

I broadened my skills and learnt to do plaster repairs, deck staining/oiling and replacing polycarbonate roofing. I wanted every day in my business to be different and have a bit of a challenge in the work I do.

Since starting my business I have assembled a lot of flat pack furniture, hung many paintings, TV's and mirrors, repaired and painted lots of plaster damages, replaced polycarbonate roofing, cleaned gutters and replaced a front loader washing machine seal and installed some window awnings.


Picture Hanging

Mounting TV's

Replace the seal on a front loader washing machine door

Create a nice safe balcony for an indoor cat to go outside but not climb over and escape

Replaced old and sun bleached polycarbonate roofing

Polycarbonate roofing looking so much better

My latest work, some window awnings to reduce the sun getting into the front rooms of the house.


I'm still learning every day and expanding my knowledge, taking the challenge to learn new skills and enjoy the different things I do in my business.

With my ever expanding knowledge and strive to keep on learning it is easier to ask me if I do the work, rather then asking what I can do. The list will be too long and I may miss something.

Don't hesitate to get in touch for any jobs you may need done.

PH: 0419 393 179
Email: adam@adamshandyhands.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/adamshandyhands