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Building Services

Building Services

Carpentry and Cabinet Making

I'm concerned carpenters sometimes inflate the cost of materials. How can I know this won't happen?

This is poor practice and no professional carpenter should do this. However, it’s understandable that you may have concerns. Our carpenters will happily give you copies of all receipts upon request.

What kinds of work can a carpenter do?

A carpenter can perform a wide range of different jobs, from building bespoke furniture to repairing the internal frame of a building. They can also install things like stairs and drywall.

How much will it cost to have a bookcase built?

Quotes for individual projects differ depending on a wide range of factors. The types of materials, complexity and size of the project all factor in. Taskforce carpenters always ensure that they offer competitive prices whilst getting the highest quality result possible.  

How can I tell if there are termites in my woodwork?

It can be difficult to know before it’s too late. Hollow sounding wood is often a clear indication. Termites often also leave droppings or wings behind.

How can I stop my floorboards from creaking?

Floorboards can start squeaking if they bow or rise up from the wood they are nailed to. When the wood and nails rub together, they make a creaking noise. To fix this, you’ll need to pull up the floorboard and reattach it.

Electrical

My electrical outlet is sparking. Is this a problem?

If there are small sparks when you plug in an appliance, this may not be a problem. It is a normal part of diverting the electricity to your appliance. However, if the spark is very large, is causing heat, or is occurring very often, you should have it checked by an electrician.

How can I tell if my outlet is damaged or dangerous?

If the fitting is loose, if plugs are falling out or if there is any heat. These are all signs of problems that could be dangerous.

I have bought a new house, which has not had electricity for over a year. Do I need to do anything before getting electricity reconnected?

Electrical companies will not reconnect electricity without first having everything checked by a qualified electrician. This is standard practice for houses that have been disconnected from electricity for more than one year.

Should I have surge protectors installed on my appliances?

The source of electricity can sometimes surge and overload your electrical system. This can be caused by lightning or irregularities in the electrical source. Without a protector, an electrical surge can be damaging. Almost all modern power boards have these installed. You should have surge protectors for everything you want to protect from damage.

Sometimes when I use an electrical appliance, the lights dim. Is this a problem?

This problem occurs when the lights are part of the same electrical circuit as the appliances. Old-fashioned wiring was sometimes done this way but is no longer standard. A new wire should be installed to create a circuit solely for your lights.

I would like to have somebody go over my house's electrical wiring and make sure there are no fire or electrocution dangers. Do you offer that service?

We do offer this service. We can have a qualified electrician visit your house and ensure that all of your electrical wiring is safe and damage-free.

Some of the electrical outlets feel hot to the touch, is this bad?

This may be caused by damaged or outdated outlets, problems with the wiring, electrical loading or with the appliance plugged in to the outlet. There are many things that can cause heat at the outlet. This can be dangerous, and requires the attention of a qualified electrician immediately.

Fence Building

Do you install feature fences and gates?

Absolutely. We make and install fences and gates in all materials, and can match a design to whatever your dream is.

Do I have to pay for the entire cost of the fence, or do I share the cost with my neighbor?

If the fence is situated between two properties, your neighbor may also be required to pay for the fence. However, the type of fence and overall cost must also be negotiated so that all parties are satisfied.

What is my responsibility to my neighbors before building a fence?

You need to send your neighbor a Notice to Fence and must receive permission before you can begin building a fence.

Can I hire someone to fix a fence on my neighbor's boundary?

Any changes that you intend to make to a fence that outlines the boundary between two properties requires the permission of the owners of both properties.

How high can I build a fence?

For most residential areas, the fence limit is 6 feet for side fences and 4 feet for front yard fences. These may be slightly different depending on your location and you can contact your local council to be certain.

Handyman

How can I stop my washing machine from being so noisy?

A noisy washing machine is often caused by your machine ‘walking’ – rocking on its legs. Each leg will have an adjustable nut. Tighten these nuts to level out the legs of your washing machine and prevent any noise or rocking.

Why won't my air conditioning come on?

If your air conditioning has cut out suddenly and can’t be turned back on, it may be that a fuse has broken or a circuit breaker has been tripped. These are located in the AC unit. If you have your manual around, find out where the fuses are. If they’ve been broken, there’s been some kind of electrical surge and you will need to purchase a new fuse.

How can I fix a door lock or hinge?

For door locks that are not working smoothly, spraying graphite into the key lock and inserting the key a couple of times should restore the lock’s functionality.

For problems with squeaky hinges, oil may solve the problem. Otherwise, the pins of the hinge may have worked their way out and need to by knocked back in with a hammer.

How can I fix the toilet?

Usually, a malfunctioning toilet will leak water into the bowl constantly. This is almost always caused by a problem with the rubber seal that opens when you flush. The seal will need to be replaced.

Plastering

How do I know if I need a plasterer or a handyman?

You can usually qualify this by the size of the job: most handymen are capable of plastering smaller areas (patch-ups etc.) whereas anything over about 1 square metre will require a plasterer. 

Painting and Decorating

Is it possible to paint the face of my fireplace?

It certainly is. There are paints available that can withstand up to 100 degrees Celsius of radiant heat. These paints are not resistant to direct flames though, and should be used only to paint the front of a fire place.

How can I calculate how much paint I will need for a certain surface?

To figure this out, you will need two bits of information. The first is the square footage of the area you intend to cover. The second is the square footage covered by a gallon of the intended paint. With some simple calculations, you can then figure out how much paint you will need to buy.

How can I paint ceramic tiles?

Ceramic tiles are too polished to allow regular paint to stick. The only way to give ceramic tiles a lasting coat of paint is to ‘scarify’ the surface by removing the enamel coating. This can be difficult to do without the help of a professional.

In which order should I paint my house?

This question is simply one of convenience: which order is the easiest for you? Most professionals will begin with the ceiling, then paint the walls and end with the trim.

Should I paint my garage floor?

Painting a garage floor depends on how porous the cement is. Before painting a garage floor, you will need to test how much moisture has been absorbed into the cement. To do this, you can lay down a sheet of plastic and tape around the edges. If the plastic develops drops of moisture, the cement is porous and cannot be painted. If no moisture develops, it will be fine to paint over the concrete.

What's the best temperature to paint in?

It was once considered optimal to paint only in temperature above ten degrees Celsius. However, paint technologies have advanced enough that paints have been developed that allow easy painting in all temperatures.  

Security Doors

Does a garage roller door need to be attached to my home electricity?

If you want to avoid this, a garage roller door can be hooked up to solar panels. This saves the electrical costs and removes the need for special wiring.

Can you accommodate non-standard door sizes?

Yes. Security doors can be installed for any size, though custom sizes may take longer and may cost slightly more.

Will metal security doors rust?

Every precaution is taken to ensure that security doors remain as stable and solid as possible over time. Security doors are treated and sprayed to prevent any kind of rust.

Why does my electronic lock not open every time?

If you are having trouble with your lock opening reliably, this could be due to two reasons. The handle may be in the wrong position: it should sit straight. If it drops out of place, it may prevent the mechanism from opening. Alternatively, it may be that your battery is running low and needs to be replaced.

How do I replace the battery in my electronic door lock?

Batteries for door locks should be changed once a year. It’s a good idea to change the battery on a memorable day. The 4th of July is good because we don’t celebrate it in Australia but we’ll be reminded whenever it comes around. The cover of the battery can be lifted up in order to replace the old battery.

Plumbing

How can I fix a clogged sink or drain?

Drains and pipes clog all the time. How to fix a clogged drain depends on where it is (and what is likely to have clogged it). If the clogged drain is in a toilet, a plunger may do the job. For other drains, dissolving crystals may sort out the problem. Otherwise, a drain snake can be used to snag and remove the obstruction.

What causes a blocked drain?

A blocked drain can be caused by a number of things. Most often, blocks are caused by general build up and gunk. Bathroom drains can be blocked by hair; leaves and dirt often block outdoor drains. It’s also possible that some kind of foreign object has found its way into the drain and caused on obstruction. In most instances, you can dissolve blocks with drain cleaning solutions. If the block is more stubborn that this, you may need a plumber to open the pipes and fix the problem.   

How do I locate a leaking or broken pipe?

Obviously, the general position of a leaking pipe is indicated by dampness, mold or dripping water. However, it can be very difficult to locate the exact location without the help of a professional. Plumbers follow the pipe backwards and check for leaks as they go in order to locate them and fix them. 

My hot water system isn't as effective as it used to be. How can I fix this?

Hot water systems develop layers of sediment over time. If these layers build up thick enough, they can coat the filaments that are used to heat the water, making the process much less effective. 

Why has my water bill suddenly risen?

A sudden, unexplained rise in your water bill usually indicates a leakage. The vast majority of the time, an invisible leakage occurs in the toilet. Check the toilet to see if water is leaking down from the cistern into the bowl when it has not been flushed.  

What is a pressure-balancing valve?

A pressure-balancing valve stops the use of water somewhere in the house affecting the temperature of water elsewhere. For example, if you flush the toilet whilst someone is in the shower, a pressure-balancing valve will prevent the water temperature from changing.  

Why does the temperature of the water change when the toilet is flushed or a tap is turned on?

Any appliance that uses water pulls it from the same pipes that deliver water to the rest of your house’s appliances. This alters the ratio of hot to cold water that comes through the tap or showerhead, which affects the overall temperature of the water. How one appliance will affect another depends on the exact layout of the water pipes in your house.