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Curtain rails and shelving

Fitting curtain rails or putting up shelving can easily be done as a DIY project, or by a local handyman. A handyman is someone who can offer DIY type skills for those who either aren't good at DIY themselves, or simply haven't got the time or inclination. The types of jobs handymen can do include straightforward tasks such as putting up curtain rails or fitting shelving. Used wisely, a good handyman can save you time and money, they are usually paid by the hour and are usually much cheaper than hiring a carpenter or builder.

There are many variations of curtains and poles available from DIY superstores such as B&Q, with an option to suit every taste and style. The difference between curtain poles and tracks (rails) is that curtain tracks can only be used to hang pencil pleat curtains, whereas curtain poles can hang all types of curtains. Curtain rails are made from either plastic or metal, they mount close to the wall and the curtains are hung using curtain hooks on gliders which move along the rails. Curtain tracks are usually less visible compared to poles as they have a smaller profile, so they are an good choice for a more minimalist, clutter free look. Curtain rails can be painted to match the wall and are easily fitted to bay windows. Curtains poles can be used with a wider range of curtain materials and types, making them a more versatile choice.

If fitting curtain racks yourself, ensure you choose the right weight of track for your curtains, whether corded or uncorded (corded tracks or rails make it easier to draw your curtains). When you buy curtain rails, they usually come in packs which include brackets and gliders, but check that they also contain the hooks required to hang your curtains. A handyman should be able to install a curtain rail or pole in a typical window and hang your curtains in an hour or two. Building timber shelves from scratch will take much longer and be much more expensive, as a carpenter or joiner will be required. Allow for 4-8 hours or longer if a particularly unusual shape.

Another popular handyman job is fix shelving, space is always at a premium in UK homes and with some basic wood-working skills shelves can be tailor-made to maximise the space you have available. But most shelving is bought in ready-made packs of different sizes to fit almost any space. These flat packed shelves are relatively easy to fit for a handyman or DIY enthusiast, whereas custom made shelving is a bit trickier and may require a carpenter! When choosing shelves, remember to consider the load the shelves will have to bear when choosing materials. When choosing where to place the shelves, consider the type of wall structure to determine the best type of fixings to use. Shelving for really heavy items is best fixed into masonry walls or the timber studs in stud walls.

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