How to Build a Shower Base and Floor

Here are the basics to build a shower and floor concrete base.

Tools and material

  • utility knife
  • bucket
  • impact driver
  • trowel
  • drill
  • hammer
  • dust mask
  • 2′ level
  • safety glasses
  • marker
  • concrete mix
  • cement board
  • rubber membrane
  • floor leveling compound
  • cement board screws
  • shower drain assembly
  • tape

Step 1: Frame the box

Frame in the box that will serve as the form for the concrete pour.

Step 2: Spread out the rubber membrane

Spread out the rubber membrane in the space and over the bottom of the form so that it overlaps the form. Make sure there’s enough material on each side of the form to extend up the wall to the correct height.

Step 3: Attach the membrane

Flatten the membrane against the bottom of the space and push it tight against the bottom of the form board. Attach the membrane to the studs with large-head nails at least 8″ from the bottom of the form.

Step 4: Cut out the drain hole and attache the drain plate

Cut out the drain hole with a utility knife, making sure not to cut the hole too large. Attach the drain plate by tightening the bolts with a socket wrench.

Step 5: Screw in the drain and create the concrete mixture

Screw in the drain to a height of 1-1/4″ and cover the chrome drain with tape to protect it during the concrete pour. Pour concrete mix into a bucket until it’s about one-third full. Mix in water and more concrete mix until the result is the consistency of a milkshake. Use a spade-handle drill and mix.

Step 6: Pour the concrete and allow it to cure

Pour the concrete and spread it out with a trowel. The height of the concrete should gently slope from 2-1/2″ around the outside of the form to 1-1/4″ near the drain. Allow the concrete to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions before tiling.

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Waste water drainage system

Here are the basic systems in use for the disposal of waste water.

2 pipe drainage system for older waste drains

The waste water from the baths, kitchen sink, basins, is all drained to a gulley outside. This system has a water trap to prevent smells emerging from the drains.

The waste from toilets is routed directly to the mains drainage via a larger vented pipe.

Single stack drainage system for newer waste drains

All waste water (bathroom, kitchen, toilets) is fed into one large vented drainage pipe which connects to the mains drainage.

All waste drainage systems

 Carefully identify the correct route for disposing of waste water. For example, it is illegal to dispose of effluent into the surface water drainage system as this system is for the collection of rainwater and frequently connects to nearby streams which would become contaminated by the disposal of sewage.

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Install door casing

Tools and Materials

  • 3 lengths of casing (2 for the uprights and 1 for the horizontal head section)
  • miter saw
  • hammer
  • nail set
  • finish nails

Step 1: Attach the first upright

The casing’s margin (the inner edge to the edge of the door jamb) should be 1/5″ to 2/5″. Mark off the margin position around the edge of the door jamb. Join the marks at the corners to have a right-angled guide line. At the head, mark the piece where it meets the right-angled margin mark. Make a mitered cut, using the marked-off point to guide you. Reposition the casing, with its inner corner at the apex of the margin’s right angle. Attach it with three nails at the top.

Step 2: Cut the head section

Make a mitered cut on the head section to join with the section already fitted on the jamb. Hold the head section in position while marking off the cut for the other miter on the right-hand end of the length. Cut the miter.

Step 3: Cut the other upright

Place the right-hand upright section of casing to mark off in relation to the margin requirement and cut this miter. Nail the right-hand upright in place securely at the top.

Step 4: Attach the casing

  • Check that the head length of casing fits and nail it into position.
  • Drive in nails along the entire lengths of casing.
  • Use a nail set to drive all nails below the surface.
  • To keep mitered corners tight, you will need nails through both pieces by drilling pilot holes.
  • Drive a 1″ finish nail into each pilot hole on the mitered corners. Then fill nail holes and sand smooth, if necessary.


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Refinish a wooden door

Step 1: Remove door from hinges

Remove the door hinge pins to remove the door and lay the door on a flat surface.

Step 2: Sand the door 

Use a palm sander with fine grit to give the door a light sanding. Careful to not leave in one spot too long to avoid damaging the wood.

Step 3: Wipe and condition 

Remove all dust and use a pre-conditioner that will help the wood absorb the stain more evenly.

Step 4: Stain the door and let it dries 

Step 5: Varnish and mount 

Finish a varnish to protect the wood, let it dries and mount the finished door. 

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Weatherproof doors

Tips for weatherproofing your doors, no more light and wind coming from the outside!

Tools and materials

  • caulk gun
  • putty knife
  • utility knife
  • backer rod insulation
  • weather stripping
  • white paper
  • decorative trim
  • caulk

Step 1: Check and seal gaps

Check where are the largest gaps. Measure the gap from side to side and cut a piece of backer rod to fill the space. Larger gaps might require more than one piece. Once the space is filled, caulk the upper and the lower edge. Stick a decorative trim against the caulked area then drive in some finishing nails to secure it.

Step 2: Fix weather stripping

Use a cutter to cut off the length of copper supply-pipe that is corroded.


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Common problems on entry doors

Over time, entry door might suffer from wear and tear and not close easily as wood expands and contracts through changing weather. Here’s some of the most common maintenance and repairing tips to make on your entry door.

Step 1: Adjust a sticking entry door

First clean all of the hinges and remove any buildup of dirt along the door edges. Then adjust the hinges by tightening them. If the door continues to stick, try sanding the edges of the door.

Step 2: Repair dents

If you have a steel door, you may be able to repair it using an auto filler. Sand down the damaged area until you see the metal, then applied the auto filler in layers until the door is smooth.

Step 3: Squeaky hinges

Lubricate your door hinges with silicone. Remove the pin and lightly scrub the pin, barrel and hinge leaves with steel wool. Then coat with a thin layer of silicone spray or a light penetrating oil.

Step 4: Seal doors from air leaks

Check the caulk around the door, and replace it if it shows any damage or gaps. Weatherstripping is another option for stopping air leaks. Check out this article about Weatherproof doors.

Step 5: Replace a doorway

Remove one hinge screw and drive a 3-inch screw into the framing to hold the door in place.

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Automatic gate and door

Three simple advices to consider before installing an automatic gate or automatic door.

Most important question : do you have room?

  • Automatic gate or door needs space : you need to be able to park in front of the gates or the garage doors while they open and inside the drive while they close behind you.
  • If you have a short drive, you can opt for gates and doors which slide open along rails to save some space.

What about a pressure sensor?

You can choose to use a pressure sensor, over a remote. This will detect the car entering the driveway and automatically open the gate or garage.

A whole new system?

If your garage door is too old for an automatic door opener, consider buying a new system which include the doors. You can choose an up and over door or one which rolls up in sections.

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How to maintain internal wooden doors

A few advices on how to maintain your wooden door and give it a longer lifetime.

Tips for unvarnished wood

  • Mix hot water, a squirt of detergent, a little vinegar and olive oil.
  • With the abrasive side of a sponge, lightly wipe the wood. Note to work in the same direction as the grain.
  • Dry the door with a cloth.
  • To bring out the natural colors of your door, wipe entirety the door with a cloth that would have dip into a mix of warm water and olive oil (add around 15 ml of olive oil per 4 litres of water).

Tips for varnished wood

Apply a wax paste on the door protecting it from moisture and dust. Apply not too much wax over the door with a cloth. Let it dry for at least 24 hours and repeat the process on the other side.


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The benefits of installing double glazing door

Double Glazed windows are great isolation windows, it not only retain your home’s heat (great for your heating bills), but it also keeps its comfortable temperature during summer time.

General benefits of double glazing windows

Double glazing windows incredibly reduce your energy consumption and consequently your heating costs. During cold time, you can save substantial amount of money on your energy bills.

Double glazing also insulates sound very effectively, making it ideal for houses close to a busy road or in a heavily built-up area. Noise pollution is clearly reduced.

Double glazing windows are also much stronger than single glazed window. It will typically come with integrated locking mechanisms, make your home more secure.

How to install double glazing windows

  • Take all necessary measurements
  • Place the double glazing panel moulds into position
  • Align the draft proofing window strips and begin screwing in the catches and hinges
  • Place the glass windowpanes into position


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How to fit a door threshold

Here is a step-by-step guide to fitting a brand new door threshold.

Step 1: Remove the old threshold

Remove the old threshold by cutting through any old silicone caulking.

Step 2: Cut the new threshold

  • Cut the new threshold to the correct size of the door.
  • Ensure that you choose a blade most suitable for cutting your material (aluminium and brass are softer thresholds than stainless steel ones).
  • Protect the finish of your threshold by using paper masking tape during the cutting.

Step 3: Drill the threshold

Plenty of masking tape on the threshold will help to avoid drill skid. Countersink the drill holes so that the screws will sit flush with the surface.

Step 4: Fit the threshold

Fit your new threshold either screwing it with countersunk screws, gluing with a sealant, or using a combination of the two.


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