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Weatherproof your home for winter

Now that winter has arrived, it is a good idea for home owners and landlords to check over their property and make sure it is fully weatherproof. From frozen pipes, to cracks in the rendering or brick work, winter weather can have a serious impact on buildings, including your home. Here at Gilston Building Services, we are building experts. From driveways and brickwork, to roofs and gutters, we provide a range of top quality, effective building services. As a result, we have produced this guide to help you weatherproof your home for winter.

Weatherproof your home for winter

There are a number of steps you should take to weatherproof your home for winter. These include:

  • Fill in any exterior rendering cracks- While having this professionally repaired is the best options, even a temporary solution will be better than leaving a crack in your external render. This is because if water gets into the crack, and freezes, the force will expand the crack, and it will get bigger and bigger. This leaves more of your brickwork open to the elements.
  • Protect external pipework- Frozen and burst pipes can result in no hot water, or no heating. Which can be a nightmare that nobody wants to deal with over the colder months. It can also cause water damage to brickwork and pointing, so you should also fix any leaks.
  • Empty your gutters- if you didnt follow our autumn maintenance guide, and remove the leaves from your gutters, you really should do it now. Leaving the leaves in the gutters can cause them to freeze and cause blockages in your pipes. This makes the water gush over the top of the gutter, and causes water damage to your home or property.

For more information or for professional building repairs or maintenance, get in touch with the experts today, here at Giltson Building Services.

Repairing your roof tiles this Autumn

We recently brought you the ultimate guide to autumn property maintenance, to help you get your home or building prepared for the cold, wet weather. But there is one final step that is essential for the health and happiness of your property, and even the inhabitants. This final step is to check over your roof. And if you have any repairs or work that neeeds to be carried out, now is the time to fix it. Here at Gilston Building Services, we are leading building service providers. And we specialize in brickwork, paving and roofing. As a result, we have produced this guide to repairing your roof tiles this Autumn.

Repairing your roof tiles this Autumn

It is currently a good time to check out your roof, so that you can repair any damage before the really harsh weather sets in. You should be on the look out for:

  • missing roof tiles- these do blow off in high wind and bad weather, and it will leave the underlayers of your roof exposed to the elements. Which can cause a lot of problems in terms of water damage. And of course, your energy usage will also increase, as you lose heat through the hole in the roof.
  • flashing- overtime, flashing is often warn away completely, or it comes lose. Either way, this means that it is not protecting the joins on your roof, and water could easily be leaking into your home, and into your wall cavities. Over time, this will cause damp areas and patched inside, and this can be expensive to resolve. Simply fixing your flashing earlier, could prevent this damage,

For more information or advice about repairing your roof tiles this Autumn, get in touch with the professionals today, here at Gilston Building Services.

Checking your property this Autumn

As the weather begins to turn, and the nights are starting to draw in, it’s currently the perfect time to start your autumnal maintenance routine. Autumn is a month that can be difficult to judge. From cold, crisp mornings, to heat waves in October, Autumn really is a mixed weather bag. But before the winter arrives, you need to pay special attention to your property. Here at Gilston Building Services, we are Southport’s leading building specialists. From roofing, to paving, to brickwork to plastering, we can provide a range of top quality building services. As a result, we have produced this guide to checking your property this Autumn.

Checking your property this Autumn

As part of your maintenance this Autumn, you should thoroughly check over:

  • your gutters and down pipes- any trapped leaves or debris can cause havoc over winter, resulting in damp patches and insufficient drainage
  • external lighting- you probably haven’t had to use it much through the light nights of summer, but if you have exterior security lighting, or just exterior lighting, Autumn is a good time to test it. And make sure it is in good working order. Replace any bulbs or batteries as necessary. And makes sure it is fully sealed and waterproof
  • lag your pipes- makes sure all your pipes are lagged in the garage, the outhouse, the attic, the basement and outside. This will prevent burst pipes in the Winter, and prevent lasting water damage
  • check your driveway- When water gets into cracks it freezes, expands, and can make the crack even bigger. Enough small cracks can turn into big cracks, and eventually the concrete can crumble. So check your driveway for tiny cracks and fill them in, before Winter arrives!

For professional help with any potential issues that may arise, like fitting new gutters, or replacing your driveway, get in touch with Southport’s leading building specialists, here at Gilston Building Services.

What is felt roofing?

If you are about to build an extension, an outhouse or a garage, you might be thinking about different types of roof available. Felt roof should be one of your top options. But what is felt roofing? And what should you know about it? Well, here at Gilston Building Services we offer a variety of high quality roofing services. This includes built up felt roofing, and high performance felt roofing. As a result, we have produced this guide to felt roofing.

What is felt roofing?

Felt roofing involves laying a mat of fibres, coated with a bituminous coating, over the structure of your roof. For a built up felt roof, more and more layers are added to this. Each of the layers added will be bonded to the next, and this will create a water tight, weather proof and durable roof. Then a final coating of grit, chippings or sand is added to the top. This is to protect the roof from the sun. Although a mineral cap sheet can be a better idea.

High performance felt

Different types of felt are available, including high performance felt. This is felt roofing that is made from polyester, rather than glass fibre. As a result, it is more flexible, and will last around twice as long as normal felt.

Advantages of a felt roof

So why would you choose felt roofing? Well, felt roofs do offer some advantages, including:

  • it is a light weight material so it can be used on weaker structures easily, as well as extensions and garages
  • it is the cheapest roofing option available
  • it can easily be repaired
  • it is a flexible material that can cover any space

If you have any more questions, or if you are looking for a building company you can trust, contact us today at Gilston Building Services.

Do you need a plasterer?

When it comes to professional plastering, we are experts here at Gilston Building Services. Whether you need a professional float and skim, or you would rather install dry lining, we provide a range of professional plastering services. But when do you need a plasterer?

When Do You Need A Plasterer?

Plasterers can be contacted and involved at all stages of home renovation or redecoration, or simply when an incident occurs. As professional and high quality plasterers, we are often called out to:

  • Plaster walls and ceilings during redecoration and renovation projects- we provide both wet plastering and dry lining options and are usually called after the plumbers and electricians have finished laying cables and pipes through the walls of the home.
  • Repair damages- Over time damage to your plaster work can occur. We are here to help put it right, and simply to plaster over the damaged area, so it matches seamlessly with the rest of the wall.
  • Add decorative finishes to give your house more style.

Why should you hire a professional plasterer?

Plastering is a challenging task that takes time and practice to get right. If you hire a handyman or simply try to plaster the wall yourself, you are much less likely to end up with a smooth finish ready for painting or wallpapering. In fact, your wall will likely end up lumpy.

In addition, trying to plaster your walls or ceilings yourself will probably result in needing to hire a professional to repair the damage caused. And this means the total expenditure will be a lot more than it would have been, if you hired a professional in the first place.

Finally, a professional plasterer will provide a professional finish, of the highest quality. And it will take less time for a professional to work in a range of circumstances, because of their experience and skillset. So your project will be completed faster.

For more information about our plastering services, get in touch today, here at Gilston Building Services.

Laying decorative paving tiles

Here at Gilston Building Services, we can offer a wide variety of services. From brickwork and driveways, to roofing and gutters, we provide top quality building solutions. But we can also transform your outdoor space. As the weather is heating up for a rare hot summer, you might be thinking about brightening up your patio area, by laying decorative paving tiles. But this is not as easy as it might seem. As a result, we have produced this guide, to show what we can offer, as a professional service.

Laying decorative paving tiles

Decorative paving tiles can be used to create a stunning patio or outdoor seating area. But to get the effect you need, and the professional quality finish, you need to hire a professional team. That’s because, there are a number of steps, that require a trained eye.

Here at Gilston Building Services, we will begin by creating a sturdy sub base on which to build the patio or seating area. This is an important step that can often be forgotten. But it will make all the difference to the longevity of the patio, and the quality of the finished product. It also provides another opportunity to measure out the space, and spot any potential issues before they arise.

We will then make sure to lay the first tile correctly, after fully measuring out the space available, and making sure all the tiles will be evenly spaced.

Considerations for laying decorative paving tiles

While we take on the manual labour, there are some things you will need to consider before we begin. This includes:

  • the desired size and shape of the patio area
  • the desired space for the patio area to fit into- e.g.Do you want it to be in the sun or the shade? Connected to the house, or further out?
  • the layout pattern for the paving tiles

For more information or advice, get in touch with the professionals today, here at Gilston Building Services.

building references

Creating a stylish driveway

Here at Gilston Building Services, we offer a wide range of services from roofing and plastering, to brickwork. And one of our most popular services is creating driveways. With an increasing number of homes needing additional space for two or even three cars, driveways need to be practical, as well as attractive. As a result, we have produced this guide to creating a stylish driveway.

Why is the driveway important?

First of all, why is the driveway so important? Well, the driveway is the first thing any potential buyer, passer by, or nosy neighbour will see. And this essentially gives the first impression of your home. If you want to make a good impression, your driveway needs to look the part.

Driveway options

There are a variety of driveway cover options that can help you achieve the desired effect. These include:

  • flagstones
  • paving
  • gravel

Flagstones for your driveway

Laying flagstones to create your driveway can be a effective choice. Flagstones tend to be very attractive in appearance, hence the extra price tag. But this can create a unique, classy, driveway.

Flagstones can also be cut into different shapes and sizes, and arranged in a bespoke way to make your driveway truly stunning.


Paving can also be incredibly attractive and involves laying stones in different ways. With lots of patterns and layout choices available, you can really design a driveway that has personality and character.


Creating a driveway from gravel can be a great option. Gravel is available in all different sizes, shapes and colours, so you can really design something that works for you.

For more information or advice about creating a stylish driveway, get in touch with the professionals today, here at Gilston Building Services.

Brickwork bond types

Here at Gilston Building Services, we are brickwork experts. From English bond to the standard stretcher bond, we can lay any type of brickwork you might want. But what are the differences in the brickwork bond types? And what kind of effect does each bond type create?

Stretcher bond or running bond

This is the most common type of brickwork you will often see on houses or on walls. With the longer, narrow face of the brick lined up with the one next to it, the course will overlap at the midsection of the bricks both above and below the course.  Perfect for simple brickwork, this bond is a basic repeating pattern, but will need reinforcing at larger heights.

Header bond

The same as stretcher bond, but with the bricks laid with the header (the square shape) facing outwards, instead of the long rectangular face, as is seen in stretcher bond.

English bond

English bond is a more intricate brick bond type with one course of stretcher bond, and one course of header bond alternating all the way up. This bond type uses a quoin close in the corners. This is a brick cut lengthwise into two halves.

Flemish bond

The most intricate type of bond is the Flemish bond. This uses alternate headers and stretches in the same course. With the headers of one course being centered over the stretchers of the course below.  Every alternate course of Flemish bond starts with header at the corner. As you can tell, this type of bond requires a skilled professional to lay it properly in a secure and stable way.

Choosing a brickwork bond

When choosing a brickwork bond, opt for something that will suit the rest of your home, and compliment it well. Especially if you are creating a home extension. This is because you want the the new part of your home to blend in with the old.

For more information or advice, get in touch with the experts today, here at Gilston Building Services.



Professional wet plastering

Here at Gilston Building Services, we have a range of skills and experience in tackling a variety of building and structural projects. This includes brickwork, guttering and pipework, and plastering. Wet plastering is a job that seriously requires a professional touch. And that’s what we can offer.

What is wet plastering?

A technique that is suitable for any property, wet plastering is simply the application of wet plaster to a surface. This acts as a base coat, before a finish layer or skim is added on top. The aim of the plaster is to provide a fully flat and even surface that is suitable to paint directly onto, or to wallpaper over.

Because the wet plaster will need time to dry out, before the finish layer or skim is added, wet plastering can take longer to complete than dry lining, or hanging plasterboard.

However, the end results can be worth the extra time taken.

As you can tell, it is essential that you hire a professional for this job, as someone without the necessary training or experience will leave your walls flaking or cracking, with the plaster falling off.

Base coats

When plastering, it is also necessary to choose the correct base coat. This is because the different types of base coat should be used for bonding to different types of surfaces. Otherwise you will not get a professional result.

Some of these base coats include:

◾Thistle Bonding Coat- this undercoat plaster will provide a perfect base layer for low suction, smooth substrates, like concrete, blocks and plasterboard
◾Thistle Hardwall- For other surfaces, like bricks and other masonry substrates, this is the perfect undercoat plaster for you. That’s because it can resist impact, and is quick drying.

For more information or to book a professional plastering service, get in touch today, here at Gilston Building Services.

Gutters and pipes

Although January is now out of the way, February and March can always provide some very cold weather, not to mention the April showers. As a result, it’s always a good idea to weatherproof a building at this time of year, to prevent structural or interior damage. This includes checking your gutters and pipes. Here at Gilston Building Services, we are building experts. As a result, we have produced this guide to the gutters and pipes.


Does your building have external pipework or guttering? Whether it’s a garage, a shed, or your home, you need to be vigilant about the down pipes. That’s because a leak from a downpipe can cause water damage to your brickwork of cladding, weakening the structure. If your brickwork is showing discoloured stains, a leaking downpipe could well be the culprit. And, with more cold weather set to to arrive, as well as the rain, this could be a problem.

A leak can be caused by damage to the pipe itself, or by a blockage. This will need to be resolved for your pipes to work as expected.


Guttering is important on any building, even an outhouse or shed. It is responsible for taking the water away from the roof and walls of your building. Guttering that is broken or tilted, will not be able to carry the water load, and instead will cause water to run down your walls, leaving stains and discolouration. Over time this will cause water damage that can be expensive to fix. So make sure that your guttering is working properly, before the cold weather returns.

If you do notice any issues with your pipes or gutters, you should get your building checked out by a professional. Replacing broken guttering and downpipes is a fairly straight forward job, but it could help prevent expensive damage. Here at Gilston Building Services, we are building experts. If you have any issues, give us a call.