Archive for March, 2017


A Simple Guide to Brick Rendering

March 31, 2017


Today we came across an article that seemed very useful to our trade and DIY customers: A Guide to Brick Rendering, from the fine folks at HireJungle Blog. They have kindly given permission for us to reproduce bits of it here. Thanks, guys! You’ll find the full article here.

Prepare the Brick

Use a firm brush to remove any dust or debris. Then, brush PVA glue mixed with some water liberally all over the brickwork. Use the brush to get the glue into all of the nooks and crannies of the brickwork.

Choosing the Rendering Mix

Choose one that is suitable for your environment. For example, if you’re in a location that’s particularly wet or windy, you’ll need a specific weather-resistant mix. Choose a render in a colour and texture that matches the existing brickwork and that blends well with the surrounding environment.

Mixing the Render

Follow the packet instructions to mix up the cement. Once well mixed, you can add the water. Before adding the water, add a little water retarder and plasticiser. Add it gradually, being gentle so that the render mix doesn’t splash out of the mixer.

Tips for Applying Rendering

  • Use thin layers. Using a layer that is too thick means that the render is likely to fall off the wall, so it’s best that you use multiple thin layers instead.
  • Once you’ve applied the render, score the surface of the render in diagonal parallel lines about an inch apart. Leave to dry.
  • Once you’ve applied the undercoat and once dry, use a brush to coat the brick and render with another layer of PVA glue. Leave to dry.
  • Second, third and even fourth layers should be no thicker than the first layer and should all be scored.
  • Once you’ve applied the final coat, use a trowel to ensure that the render is as smooth as possible. Then, use a float to smooth the render further.
  • As the final layer of render starts to dry completely, if you see any cracks (this may have been caused by the render shrinking as it dries), spray the render with water and smooth the cracks back with the trowel.

Trench Block Foundations Save Your Back

March 31, 2017
Thermalite Trench Block

The right size in one go

TBS stock Thermalite Tongue & Groove Trench Blocks – a labour-saving way of constructing solid foundation walls.

Trench Blocks are an economical alternative to building cavity walls the traditional way, with concrete infill, engineering bricks or heavy aggregate blocks.

These beauties are the exact size of two traditional blocks with concrete infill. Their  tongue and groove design means they interlock in one easy process and you don’t have to mortar the ends. No wall ties needed, either.

This means that your groundwork can be done in half the time – a real bonus in bad weather.

Lightweight Lego for men!

Trench Blocks can be easily and accurately cut, so there’s less waste. Services can be quickly and easily installed through the foundation wall.
One major selling point is that Trench Blocks are lightweight and have built-in hand holds. That makes them easier to lift and position, and it’s kinder on your back.

Trench Blocks are suitable for soils up to and including class 4 sulfate levels. They’re ideal for Brownfield sites.
So, whether it’s a new build or an extension that you’re planning, talk to the Sales team at any TBS branch about Thermalite Trench Blocks.



A Touch of Chainsaw Class Here!

March 31, 2017


We take our hat off to these guys! I wonder what their public liability insurance is like?


Beautiful Homes Created from Industrial Premises

March 29, 2017

Click on images to enlarge

Who says old industrial premises are ugly? Architects are catching on to the unique creative possibilities that they offer when turned into dwellings.

The first example is at Minsk in Belarus. Architectural designer Alexander Uglyanitsa has turned a small factory into a home of character and delight – even turning old pipework into a striking feature!

You’ll find more information and pictures on this creative refurbishment here.



The second example is from Düsseldorf, Germany. Bruno Erpicum from Studio AABE has transformed a former warehouse into a thing of beauty.


He left some brick walls untouched, and in others added a glass wall.
The large floor space means the ensemble lacks a cosy feel, but the use of coloured light and the careful choice of furniture more than compensate.
You’ll find more pictures, with design information, by following this link.

Give Your Garden a Touch of Class with Decorative Boulders and Cobbles

March 27, 2017

For some time now, TBS have been proud to stock aggregates from Long Rake Spar, based on the edge of the Peak District. They have nearly 150 years of experience in the aggregate business, and their lines are certainly attractive.

Now we’re pleased to announce some additions to the range we stock at TBS. For more details and for prices, follow the link above.



LRS Flamingo Chippings, 14-20mm, in a 20kg bag. An eye-catching mix of colours, great when wet!






LRS Scottish Boulders, 300-500mm, sold singly. Ideal for rockeries and garden features.







LRS Rainbow Cobbles, 40-90mm, in a 20kg bag.







LRS Welsh Plum Slate, 40mm, in a 20kg bag.








LRS Blue-Plum Slate Rockery, approx. 250mm, sold singly.




Long Rake Spar like to work with independent merchants, like TBS, so you won’t see their products everywhere. If you’re in our area, come by and view some. We’ll gladly organise a delivery if you need one.


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