Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Replacing Spiral Sash Balances

We attended a job in Islington last week to measure up for replacement spiral balances on four double glazed aluminium windows. The tenant told us that we where the sixth company to take measurements. For some reason all the other tradesmen had turned the job down.

We returned to the property yesterday, armed with 8 pairs of replacement balances and had them all fitted in four hours. The job did need two handymen, due to the shear weight of the windows, but the job could not have gone smoother.

In the end we left a very happy landlord and a relieved flat of tenants who had been complaining about the windows not working since the summer.

It felt good to succeed where five others had failed to even that's Silver Service.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

London Handyman - David Guest

I took a call on Tuesday last week and immediately recognised the caller as David Guest, the wacky yank from last years series of 'I'm a celebrity get me out of here'. I personally find him hilarious. His relationship with the other celebrities and his crazy stories had me in stitches every evening the show was on.

The job we were asked our handyman to do was to hang 300 framed gold 45s on a wall. They all had to be in perfectly aligned rows and columns. There is no getting away from the tediousness of this type of job but using a laser level to mark out a grid does make life allot easier for the handyman.

David was so impressed with the results that he has asked us to come back for a few more hours next week. Hopefully he passes our business card around the celebrity circuit.

It would be nice to be the London handyman service to the stars.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Seal the draught and stop the whinning

We had a sash window draught proofing job on Saturday. The tenant let us in and showed us the troublesome windows. She had been complaining to the landlord for weeks that cold draught was whistling through the windows and that the flat was impossible to keep warm.

On inspection we found multiple problems with the windows, in fact the top sashes were painted shut and hadn't moved in decades. We called the landlord and explained that we could just do our normal draught proofing service, which would cure the draught problem, or we could carry out additional repairs to get all the sash windows operating as well as draught proof.

His response was clear. 'I just want the complaining to stop, so just do the draught proofing'.

So this is what we did. Five hours later all three sash windows had been thoroughly draught proofed. The tenant was happy and the landlord was happy.

Crumbling Bricks

I took a call last week from a gentleman who wanted his 50" LCD screen hung on a chimney breast. Normally this is a very simple job, in fact installing LCD TVs is one of our most common tasks. But in this case the customer had a cantilever style bracket and he lived in Clapham. Both of these facts set alarm bells ringing.

The cantilever style brackets undergo allot more bending and twisting forces than a flat or tilting bracket would ever have to deal with. These forces are transferred to the wall and fixings. Therefore to hang an LCD TV of that size on the bracket he had there would have to be no doubt to the structural integrity of the walls.

It is however our experience of many years of hanging pictures, LCDs and curtain rails that it is often the case that the old brick that holds up our homes simply crumble away when drilled into. This is particularly true for houses in the Clapham area of London and was the case with this customers chimney breast.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Draught Proofing Sash Windows

Draught Proofing Sash Windows

As temperatures fall and wind speeds rise along with the price of fuel, it's time to consider plugging those gaps which are so often a feature of London's millions of sash windows.

Silver Saints Handymen have years of experience in maintaining sash windows and draught proofing is one of the services we offer to keep your home or office snug this winter.

London has many companies specialising in sash window restoration but you will usually be asked to part with several hundreds of pounds per window for their services. If your window is basically sound but rattles a bit in the wind and lets in draughts, then Silver Saints offers a unique value-for-money draught proofing service.

We will professionally draught-proof your sash windows for an all-in price of only £95+vat per window. What is more, if any of your sash cords needs replacing, we can do this at the same time for only £8+vat per cord.

We will dismantle your sash window and apply high quality draught-proofing materials to all surfaces which can admit draughts. We will then reassemble the window, make good and leave your window smart and draught-free.

How can we do this for such a low price?

At Silver Saints, we realised that companies offering sash window restoration were offering more than many of us needed, if all you need is draught proofing. So, we started experimenting on our own windows at home to find a cost-effective solution to draughts and have come up with an approach which offers unique value for money. There are no short-cuts. Every surface which can admit a draught is sealed with the highest quality materials. What we leave out is the wider restoration of the window which is what takes most time and is where most companies make their money. Because our Handymen have many years experience of working on sash windows, they are able to work quickly and effectively and so reduce labour costs. This is how we can offer the Silver Saints customer unrivalled value for money.

To enquire further or to book a handyman to draught proof your sash windows call us on 0207 0999 199 or send an email to

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Handyman Services Are Not All Created Equally!

If you glanced at our website,, and then at our main competitors, 0800handyman. You'd be forgiven for thinking that both our services are very similar. In fact a friend of mine passed a comment recently that all handyman services are the same. Oh, but how wrong he was and I took it upon myself to convince him other wise.

Comparing Silver Saints to 0800handyman is like comparing a Nissan Micra to a Aston Martin DB9. Sure they are both cars and they'll both get you from A to B. But one of them offers just the basics with questionable efficiency while the other comes with style, class and performance. In this analogy, Silver Saints Handyman Service is the Aston Martin and 0800handyman is the Nissan. Now imagine that you could get the Aston Martin for the same price as the Nissan, which one would you choose?

My friend chuckled. But anybody with knowledge of both handyman services knows this to be true.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Pushing Product

When exchanging the small-talk when meeting someone for the first time it is often the "what do you do?" question that can move a conversation on quite zestfully. For over 20 years I had said always said Advertising knowing that this wasn't a very stimulating answer and I could then ask the same question in hope that they said something less boring.

It's a strange thing habit, my answer, Advertising, was meant to sound glamorous once in the hope that I could impress but as the years went by I dreaded the question but never got around to changing my script. Presented the same question at a film premier last week I found myself saying "I unblock toilets", for this is true, I packed in my stressful world last year and became a Handyman for Silver Saints, a unique handyman company employing the talents of like minded men in pursuit of a better life.

I thought was a good answer but no one seemed to believe me. I have to explain that through a family connection I had found myself rubbing shoulders with more than one film star and the elite of Hollywood's movie men. I quickly gauged that they thought I was comedian and I was about to seriously impress. I added that I had an agent, again this is true, but it only seemed to add substance to my new career in Hollywood. I was on a roll... But then I ruined it, I explained that I don't always unblock toilets, I sometimes unblock sinks! They started to believe me. As my audience dwindled to just one I found myself missing the best part of the evening talking to an art gallery owner who's urinals were periodically overflowing and wondered if I could offer any advice.

Following my impressive strike record of clearing blockages I seem to have become the specialist amongst the Silver Saints crew. Apart from the obvious unpleasantness, there really is something very rewarding in hearing the obstruction release itself followed by the gushing sound of water. For the client, yes I'm pleased, I've sorted their problem but more interestingly, I truly regard an unblocking like an instinctive pleasure. My Grandmother was obsessed with her drains and I sometimes wonder if one can inherit feelings like these genetically.

Without actually seeing what's causing the blockage or where it is along pipe's route, it is normally case of narrowing down just how bad the situation is. I should add that this isn't part of the pleasure especially when you have to climb inside an inspection chamber full of floaters. On the other hand this could bring high rewards later. Did you know, a backed up blockage from where your waste leaves your property can sometimes show the same symptoms as a mere clump of hair in u-bend under your bathroom sink?

I found this out on a job earlier this year... It was my first job of the day and booked in as just a blocked bathroom sink. After removing the wad of hair from the u-bend, I turned on the taps and all was well again. I started packing up and then noticed that the bath was filling from its plug hole. My cup of tea then arrived with the customer and I asked her when she last had a bath? I wasn't questioning a lack of hygiene, I was just trying to establish how much water could be standing in the pipes below the bathroom. Anyway, after laughing a little at my unfortunate remark she said "this morning"! I knew then that we were dealing with a major backed-up blockage and I could explain why. I suggested that the 'blocked sink' was only locally and probably not completely blocked and what I had done by running more water than usual down it on top of the emptied bath was not a typical morning for the bathrooms use. Furthermore, the waste trapped in pipes and the inspection chamber would very slowly drain away during the day making enough room for tomorrows bath water again. Bingo!

As it turned out this is exactly what was going on and by the appalling state of the inspection chamber at the front of the house, it had been for quite a while. What's needed at this stage is courage, a call to the office for moral support and an all-in-one suit. After emptying thirty five buckets of vile brown liquid from the chamber I revealed a rodding point and got going with the auger. The auger is basically a long flexible rod designed to dislodge blocked material. It gets round tight bends in the pipe with the assistance of being rotated.

On this particular occasion it glided in and its end proudly poked up at the base of the chamber, as I would expect it to. My problem was that it seemed to have made no difference to releasing the remaining waste in the chamber. After several attempts at withdrawing the auger and reinserting it, I started to push and pull the auger in a flossing action and then suddenly I had done it! A long stream of waste sitting on the pipe from the house was on its way and started to disappear down the hole.

The obstruction turned out to be a solidified cake of limescale and debris sitting in the base of the chamber's U-bend. I had obviously disturbed it with my flossing action and after bravely reaching down the hole, I pulled out two huge chunks to complete my job. Advertising was all about pushing product. I realise now that clearing drains is no different.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Waste Disposal Repairs

Waste Disposal Repair Service

Silver Saints is London''s Premier Handyman Service. One of the many specialist tasks we undertake is the repair and replacement of waste disposals.

What is involved?

We will investigate the fault in order to repair your waste disposal.
If a repair is not economical we will recommend that you replace the unit with a like for like model.

To discuss a waste disposal repair or replacement call our knowledgeable and friendly Operations Team on 0207 0999 199 or send an email to

How Much?

Initial visit costs £ 40+VAT

If a replacement unit or spare parts are needed we will advise you on the cost of the unit and fitting cost while the handyman is on-site.

Some more common models are available at local plumbers merchants, but we often have to order replacement models for next day delivery.

Let’s do it!

To book a Waste Disposal repair or replacement:
Call our Operations Team on 0207 0999 199 OR Email us:

London Handyman : London Handyman Service : Handyman London : Home Maintenance

Electric Shower Repairs

Electric Shower Repairs - London

Repairs to Triton, New Team, Mira, Redring, MX, Aqualisa, Gainsborough, Heatrae Sadia ... pretty much all electric showers.

Has your electric shower stopped working?

Silver Saints can get your electric shower working again. We carry out repairs to all makes and models of electric showers.

We offer a fixed labour price of £80+VAT to get you showering again.

How our service works

1.) Give us a call or send an email to letting us know the manufacturer, model and symptoms of your electric shower fault. We can help you to identify the model if you email us a photo of your electric shower

2.) Based on the symptoms you describe we will be able to diagnose the most likely fault and we’ll schedule an appointment for repair.

3.) On arrival we will run diagnostic tests on your electric shower. These tests will reveal the actual fault with the shower and we will undertake the repair. It is sometimes necessary for us to order in replacement parts for the shower. This will mean we will have to return for a follow up visit in order to fit the new parts. This does not affect the labour price, we charge £80+VAT whether the repair is carried out in one or two visits.

4.) It is important to note that all parts we supply for your shower are in addition to the £80+VAT fixed labour price.

London Handyman : London Handyman Service : Handyman London : Home Maintenance

Hanging LCD Screens

Our London handymen have mastered the hanging of LCD screens to any wall, plasterboard, masonry or chimney breast. But we get loads of requests to conceal the TV and accessory cables behind the wall. But this part of the job is far more complicated and time consuming than customers often realise.

Plasterboard is put up on vertical timber or metal studs, which block the horizontal route for cables behind the plasterboard. This means the only simple route to follow is vertically between two studs. The most common installation on plasterboard involves cutting a 80mm hole behind the screen and a second hole just above the skirting board. The cables are pushed through the hole behind the screen and exit above the skirting board. They are then routed to the plug socket and accessory along the skirting board.

On disused chimney breasts we cut a 80mm hole into the brickwork behind the screen and an exit hole on the side of the chimney breast where the accessories and power point are. The cables are then pulled through the cavity in the chimney breast and exit on one or the other side.

With solid masonry walls however, the process is allot more time consuming and messy. A channel has to be cut and chiseled into the masonry following the route the cables need to take. A trunking is fitted in the channel and the cables inserted into the trunking. The channel is then filled over and the filler allowed to dry for 24 hours. It is then sanded smooth and painted over. It is essential to ensure that the paint used is an exact match to the original paint.