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DIY Projects for the Home

Looking for some do-it-yourself tips on building projects? Here you’ll find a wealth of information from mixing and plastering, paving and screeding, to larger projects like building fish ponds and even tennis courts. Our simple step-by-step brochures will help you bring your DIY building dream to life with little effort.

Cement General Use Product Guides

Choose the strength of concrete required for your particular project. This guide includes mixing instructions for cement, mortar and plaster.

This guide includes product description, features, benefits, applications and availability.

Choose the strength of concrete required for your particular project. This guide includes mixing instructions for cement, mortar and plaster.

Using and Handling Cement

The alkalinity of cement may cause skin problems; here we outline important protective measures and precautions.

Follow this advice on how to load and off-load cement bags to reduce breakages and losses. We also give tips on how to store and transport your cement to prevent waste.

Follow this guide on how to avoid the risks involved with using Portland cement through unprotected exposure. It includes step-by-step first aid treatment in case of accidental exposure.

Building Basics

Guidance on selecting materials, mixing proportions for varying strengths, and batching, mixing, handling, preparation and finally the placing of the mortar and bricks.

You'll get information for successful plastering with a guide to materials selection, surface preparation and correct plaster application.

This technical information is intended for architects, building contractors, building inspectors, and anyone who wants to achieve successful plastering. It includes materials selection, mix proportions, surface preparation and correct application.

Here, you will find information on materials, mix proportions, batching, mixing, handling and how and when to use the mortar.

Guides to Concrete

By following a few simple guidelines, you can make a success of your building projects.

The amount of water added to a mix must be enough to make it workable and plastic. This easy visual guide helps you measure the material ratio for different concrete strengths.

This guide will give you information on the standards that apply in South Africa to cementitious materials for concrete and help you in choosing the right materials for your project.

When tackling small projects at home, this guide will help you determine what materials you need, the mix proportions, how to mix by hand, placing and curing the concrete and a host of other helpful tips.

The tables in this guide help you work out the quantities you’ll need for different concrete strengths and varying applications.

Repairwork

A spalled joint is one that has cracked, broken or chipped in the immediate vicinity of the joint. In this guide, you’ll find step-by-step instructions on the repair method and mix proportions of the materials to be used.

Sometimes repairs to concrete are necessary. This guide outlines the types of defects and their causes and describes repairs of various types using different techniques.

Assess whether plaster is acceptable or not, and if not, what you can do about it.

Walls and Floors

Sweeping a wall with cement brings new life to old surroundings. ‘Bagging’ cement is named after the traditional method of using a hessian cloth or bag to ‘paint’ a thin layer of cement over a face brick wall or surface. The form of the bricks remains visible for visual impact and texture.

Screeding provides smooth flat floors and can also increase the structural depth and strength of the base slab. This information is on monolithic, bonded and unbonded screed and toppings.

Enhance you property with a maintenance-free path or patio. This guide will help you choose the right materials, prepare the site and it recommends methods of laying the paving.

Driveways, Paving, Farm Strip Roads

A well-laid concrete driveway will give at least 20 to 30 years’ trouble-free service. With the use of these instructions you can lay your own driveway with as little effort.

Economical and durable all-weather roads, especially suitable for farms and rural areas, can be made with concrete strips laid as wheel-tracks.

Enhance you property with a maintenance-free path or patio. This guide help you choose the right materials, prepare the site and recommends methods of laying the paving.

Projects in Concrete

Pre-casting is an economical means of producing high quality concrete items. This guide gives you information on small-scale pre-casting of relatively small unreinforced or reinforced items such as paving slabs, planks and elements for post-and-panel walling.

Concrete is durable and relatively cheap and suitable for making small garden ornaments less than 40 kg. The techniques in this leaflet can also be used for large castings but the process is more complex. This guide deals with equipment and materials, preparing the pattern, making the mould, casting, demoulding, repairs and curing, and colouring.

Construct a pond shell in concrete up to a diameter or length of 5 metres. Aspects of pond design and maintenance such as water circulation and filtration are not included.

Casting concrete into the desired shape and size is achieved by building a mould that will double up as a water reservoir.

Building a Home Pizza Oven

This is a satisfying and challenging DIY project. These guides give step-by-step instructions on how to construct a pizza oven for entertaining friends and family at home.

Sports Grounds and Courts

Various factors must be taken into account when building a tennis court. Here we look at positioning a site, preparing the site, concrete surfacing, concrete mixes, concrete mixing and placing, joints, curing, marking, coloured finishes, coatings and stains.

Concrete provides a permanent solution to the problem of high maintenance costs with traditional turf pitches. It’s possible to simulate the characteristics of a natural surface and at the same time provide a number of additional benefits.

See step-by-step instructions on the requirements, quantities, use of polymer emulsion admixtures, plastering system, materials, batching and mixing, and repair of localized failures for plastering squash court walls.

Small Business

See how to set up and run a block yard to manufacture concrete bricks and blocks on a small scale. Intended mainly for development agencies, local authorities, builders’ associations, housing consultants and trainers but could be of use to entrepreneurs and block yard managers.