diy in lockdown

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, DIY projects have become increasingly popular. With more time at home and very few things to entertain us, it only makes sense that you tackle some of the home improvements that you've been putting off. In normal circumstances, you might have hired a professional to get the job done properly. However, tradesmen are busier than ever and we're being advised to limit our interactions where possible, so a DIY approach might be preferable this time around.

Luckily, a lot of DIY stores like B&Q, Halfords, and (most importantly) Ladders UK Direct are still trading, which means you can get your hands on the materials and equipment you need. Shop Ladders Now >

If this is your first time doing any kind of home DIY, you might be following YouTube tutorials and 'winging it' to a certain extent - which creates some pretty serious safety concerns. Tradespeople with years of experience and knowledge are able to manage the risks properly. In comparison, your average Joe following a YouTube tutorial might make one wrong move and end up damaging their home, or worse, injuring themselves. In this blog, we're going to take a look at some of the safety precautions you can take to reduce your risk of DIY injuries during lockdown.

 

Do a risk assessment

Before you start any DIY job you should carry out a risk assessment. Professional tradespeople always do them to make sure that all the potential risks are managed. Now, we're not expecting you to fill in paperwork, but you should definitely take some time to look a the job, the tools and equipment, and the working area before you get started. 

A lot of people decide they want to do a DIY job and just dive right into it without any forward planning - this is where accidents occur. It's good that you're keen to get things done, but your safety always has to come first!

We've gone into detail to show you how a step ladder risk assessment should be carried out, but the same steps can be applied to any kind of DIY risk assessment.

  • Identify potential hazards
  • Come up with solutions to eliminate the hazards

For example: "My ladder is missing a couple of rungs, which means I'll struggle to climb to the correct height safely"

Solution: Don't use a ladder that's damaged, order a new one and make sure it's in good working order before you start your DIY project.

Some potential DIY risks to be aware of

You might think that most DIY jobs come without risk, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Every DIY job comes with risks, some are just more obvious than others. Here are a few risks that you might not have considered...

Painting and/or putting up wallpaper 

Check that the room you're decorating has adequate ventilation. A lot of people start decorating with the windows and doors clothes and end up giving themselves a severe headache from the fumes!

Putting up pictures/shelves

Drilling directly into a wall blindly is a definite risk. Check that you're not going to hit any important wires or cables by investing in a cable detector.

Electrics/wiring

The risks that come along with electrical DIY can be life-threatening. We'd recommend using a fibreglass ladder to reduce your risk of electric shock. If in doubt, always seek the help of a professional electrician.

Avoid doing unnecessary/overly-dangerous DIY

One of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of injury is to assess each DIY job and decide whether or not the risk you're taking is absolutely essential. If you're not confident that you can complete a DIY project safely, it might be best to avoid doing it at all. 

Ending up in the hospital right now will put more pressure on the NHS and also increases your chances of catching COVID-19, so, if in doubt - leave it to the professionals. 

That being said, with a thorough risk assessment, the right equipment, and some prior knowledge, there are a lot of DIY jobs that anyone can do during lockdown!

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 If you have any questions about the right kind of ladder for your DIY project, drop us an email at sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.

can cats and dogs climb ladders

There's nothing more special than having a fluffy companion to keep you company on the dark winter days, but when it's time to get your DIY done, you don't necessarily want your pets hanging around your ankles. Not only is it a distraction when you need to be focused on the task at hand, but some furry friends can scale ladders and potentially cause themselves harm. 

Today we're going to delve into the world of cats and dogs to find out whether or not they can climb ladders. 

Can cats climb ladders?

Felines are known for their agility and balance and they LOVE to climb. We've all heard the horror stories of firemen being called out to rescue a cat that climbed too high up a tree, so it's safe to say that if a cat wanted to climb a ladder, it certainly could.

Many pet owners actually invest in climbing equipment and ladders that are designed specifically for cats to climb. Climbing is a natural part of a cat's instinct, so don't be surprised if you see cat owners creating elaborate obstacle courses high up in their homes.

Now, it's one thing having a ladder for your cat inside the house but another thing to have your pet join you on the roof while you're replacing some tiles.

Some cats are quite timid and reserved about climbing unusual objects, so they might take one look at your extension ladder and decide it's not for them. On the other hand, there are some cats who are really curious and keen to follow their owners. These cats are the ones you want to watch out for when you're working at height outside. 

Generally, if a cat can climb up somewhere, it can also get down. But be mindful if your cat does decide to join you on the roof. If you finish your jobs for the day and pack your ladder away in the shed, you might leave your little kitty stranded on the roof!

Can dogs climb ladders?

When it comes to man's best friend, you might be thinking, surely not. Surely dogs do not have the flexibility or balance to climb a ladder. Well, that's where you're wrong. There are hundreds of things that you probably thought you'd never see in your life, and if a dog climbing a ladder is one of them, then today's your lucky day.

Check out this viral video of a pitbull making his way up a precarious ladder and onto a roof. We have to admit we were holding our breaths as he got to the top, but he sure looks pleased with himself when he makes it!

Now, it's quite unlikely that your pet dog at home will be able to tackle this kind of feat, and it's not really something we'd encourage you to try either. Dogs are not really designed for vertical climbing like this, and while it is clearly possible for a dog to climb a ladder, it's also pretty dangerous. If you're carrying out DIY work home or you're working on-site it's probably best to leave your four-legged friend down on the ground.

If you're looking to get some DIY jobs done during lockdown, take a look at our wide range of ladders. Alternatively, give us a call to discuss your needs and we'll find the perfect ladder for you.

christmas tree ladder

As much as we love to share our ladder guides and health and safety tips with you...it's the season to be jolly! So, today we're bringing you a fun and creative DIY project that all the family can get involved in. If you're sick of finding pine needles everywhere, or you're tired of the cat ripping the decorations off the tree, then this ladder Christmas tree might be a great alternative for your home!

Here at Ladders UK Direct, we love a good Christmas decoration as much as the next person, and while a ladder can certainly be helpful for hanging mistletoe, lights and putting the star on the tree - it can also become part of the decorations with a bit of creative thinking!

We're going to show you how a simple step ladder can be turned into a sparkling tree for inside (or outside) your home. This is a great way to add an extra touch of festive magic without having to fork out on multiple trees. We also love the 'rustic' look these ladder Christmas trees offer.

Light it up

Nothing screams Christmas like wrapping things in fairy lights! While you're doing your bannister, your tree and your fence outside, make sure you purchase some lights for your ladder Christmas tree too. The best ones are battery operated so they don't need a mains connection.

This gives you a lot more flexibility to choose where you want your ladder Christmas tree to go. If you get outdoor fairy lights, you can even pop your ladder Christmas tree in the garden to give everyone a festive welcome as they approach your house.

Plant pots

If you simply can't live without the green shrubbery of a Christmas tree, you might want to add some potted plants on the rungs of your step ladder to give it a more natural look. The beauty of this is that you don't have to stick to the usual pine or conifer, you can choose any plants you like. We particularly love poinsettias with their bright red, Christmas colour!

Tinsel & trimmings

To finish off your ladder Christmas tree, add a selection of tinsel and trimmings like baubles and ornaments. This will give the finished 'tree' some character and charm! All you need to do now is wait for Santa to pop by and drop the presents off.

Whether you decide to go for something bold and bright or something stripped back and minimal, we're sure your ladder Christmas tree will look great! We particularly love the way these trees look in shop fronts and outside people's homes. Will you be giving it a try this year?

What ladder should I use for my ladder Christmas tree?

Most ladder Christmas trees are created using a step ladder because they're capable of standing on their own and they echo the typical 'Christmas tree shape'. Here are a few of our step ladders that we think would make great ladder Christmas trees! 

On the left is the 720 Series Fibreglass Podium Ladder that comes in a (very appropriate) red colour. On the right is our Heavy Duty Step Ladder in a more contemporary black shade.

Don't worry, no one is expecting you to buy a step ladder just for Christmas! Once they've been stripped of their lights and tinsel, these ladders will come in handy around the house and in the garden... you can't say that about your tree can you? 

Be sure to tag us in your pictures on Facebook or Twitter if you give this festive DIY idea a go. If you have any other questions about our ladders, don't hesitate to drop us an email at sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.

For some, the winter months are the best time of the year. Dark nights, cosy settings and hot chocolate in front of the TV all make for a very festive feeling. However, with the cold, wet and potentially snowy weather comes a host of issues not just for your daily lives but for your property as well. 

To avoid any unnecessary issues that can ruin your winter, Ladders UK Direct have summarised the most important things you can do to prepare your home for the winter! Read on to find more.

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Upcycled step ladder with flower pots

If you trusty old step ladder has become damaged and unstable, don't continue to use it - stay safe and get yourself a sturdy new step ladder instead. We have a wide range of step ladders on offer here at Ladders UK Direct; click here to browse our range and buy online. (We offer free delivery on all orders!)

Still, just because you've replaced your old step ladder doesn't mean you have to throw it out. Instead, why not 'upcycle' it and use it to decorate your home or garden?

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We know that ladders are an essential piece of equipment that every house should have. From cleaning gutters to hanging Christmas decorations, they can make dangerous household activities safer as well as easier. However, there are more odd-jobs around the house that do not involve ladders that we think you should know, well, at least someone in the house should know. 

So, without further ado, here is Ladder UK Direct's list of top DIY tips...

DIY

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If you're self-quarantining right now because of the coronavirus (COVID-19), why not use this opportunity to do a bit of DIY around the house?

DIY home improvement

A lot of us are going to be stuck at home for the next few weeks, and with all the restaurants, bars, gyms and cinemas currently closed, you may well have a lot of free time on your hands right now.

But why spend those vacant hours in front of the TV when you could use them to do a spot of DIY? This lockdown is the perfect time to tackle all those odd jobs you've been putting off for months!

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With the UK on lockdown and a large portion of the country's workforce currently furloughed, you may have a lot of free time on your hands right now.

On Monday 23 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged us to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) by staying at home and only going out for the following reasons:

  • Medical needs
  • Shopping for essentials
  • Exercising once a day
  • Work (but only if you can't work from home)

Those rules have been in place for a couple of weeks now, and unsurprisingly, many housebound Brits have been turning to DIY to keep themselves busy.

Man painting house with ladder in the background

Photo by Tafe Sa Tonsley

But it's one thing to reupholster an old armchair or try your hand at upcycling - jobs like those are easy to complete without going outside. What if you want to paint your house? Is that allowed under the current COVID-19 rules?

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