Recent Changes

10-Dec-2014 Replaced old Atomz search with google search. Search now indexes FAQ and wiki content in one place.
13-Jan-2012 Uodated mid position valve article to correct so errors in the text. Many thanks to Stuart for the heads up.
20-Jun-2011 Changed entry page to go straight to contents, rather than the about page.
13-Jun-2011 Links page for various paper catalogues has now been removed since it was both out of date, and the content was in effect duplicated in the DIY website (WIKI) links article.
10-Jun-2011 New hosting arrangements. We would like to express our sincere thanks to former uk.d-i-y regular Grunff, who's company Symworks have provided free hosting services for both this site and the wiki pages for many years. Responsibility will now be taken up by the very excellent Internode Ltd (yeah ok I am biased). So now when anything breaks it really is the editor's fault!
6-Aug-2010 Changed banner for our corporate sponsor.
28-Apr-2010 Relocated links section to wiki to enable more open maintenance and addtions.

Added the Andy Hall of Fame page

02-Mar-2009 In a drive to make future maintenance of the web site a little more efficent, we have switched to a new look and feel. This version of the site does away many of the "hard coded" elements of previous versions, and employs more modern page layout techniques that make use of Cascaded Style Sheets to control the appearance.

There may still be a few bugs with this version - particularly with older versions of Internet Explorer. Please report any problems to the maintainer (link at foot of page).
29-Apr-2009 First of a series of updates to better integrate the FAQ and Wiki resources. Expect more integraton work over the coming weeks.
28-Apr-2009 With great thanks and appreciation to Phil Addison for years of hard work on the FAQ, maintenance of the site has now passed to me; John Rumm. So if it all goes pear shaped from now on, don't blame Phil!
24-Sep-2005 More  additions to John Rumm's Power Tools FAQ 
John Schmitt's Drill-bits and Drilling FAQ incorporated in the main uk.d-i-y FAQ
Thanks are due to all that contributed comments and suggestions to both these FAQs.

Also made an editing pass over most (but not all!) pages to make the layouts a bit more consistent.

22-Apr-2005 Washing Machine FAQ by Ian Tilley  (Shrek) added under Electrical Appliances.
20-Apr-2005 All email address have been coded to reduce the possibility of harvesting by spam-bots.
16-Apr-2005 Power Tools FAQ contribution from John Rumm added.
08-Nov-2004 Added Pipe Bending section to Plumbing pages.
19-Oct-2004 Several defunct links deleted and others updated.
24-Sep-2004 Obsolete section on 'Balancing Central Heating Systems' (on Heating And Plumbing Page 1) replaced by the 'Balancing Central Heating Radiators FAQ'
05-Feb-2003 Screwfix catalogue/website details updated.
03-Feb-2003 Lost link 'Sharpening Carbide Tips' restored as 'Dealing With Dull Carbide'
17-Dec-2002 CMT / Woodcut deleted from DIY Catalogues. They seem to have gone out of business.
30-Nov-2002 Added links to Ed Sirett's Sealed Heating System FAQ and Gas Fitting FAQ.
18-Sep-2002 The FAQ web site hosting is now sponsored by Clare Associates giving us a throughput up to 2.5GB/month, which should eliminate bandwidth problems for some time to come.
9-Sep-2002 Removed the 'Download the FAQ' facility to save on traffic bandwidth.
5-Sep-2002 The FAQ web site traffic is increasing rapidly. It exceeded the 500MB/month sponsor's limit by 96MB in August, with 750MB being predicted for September. Some site re-organisation to reduce individual file sizes is urgently needed, otherwise the site may have to be closed for the later part of the month when 500MB is reached.
16-Jul-2002 The FAQ web site hosting is now sponsored by Cyberprog New Media. ABC Group were unable to continue sponsorship.
3-Mar-2002 DIY FAQ web site hosting sponsored by ABC Group.
5-Nov-2001 FAQ moved down to diyfaq folder  to make room for London Meet photos alongside.
11-Oct-2001 • New revision published, linked from
• Many broken links fixed, but still a few more to track down.
• Spelling/typos fixed - and new ones probably introduced!
• Otherwise pretty much as laid out by CliveE
• (There are more additions in the pipeline)
6-July-2001 • Phil Addison takes over from Andrew Gabriel as FAQ Maintainer. All pages updated to show Phil as maintainer
9-Jan-2001 • Andrew Gabriel took over from CliveE as FAQ Maintainer. All pages updated to show Andrew as maintainer
29-Dec-2000 • Andrew Gabriel's Self-Uninstalling Gas Water Heater added to the Humour page
• John Stumble's DIY Archive URL updated
• plus other minor updates
30-Nov-2000 • The FAQ on Combination Boilers was added
14-Nov-2000 • Update "named anchors" by removing spaces, to correct bugs in site navigation
1-Nov-2000 • Search facilities added to Contents and Websites pages
• Add Rutlands to Catalogues and Websites pages.
• Phil Addison's FAQ on Balancing CH Radiators now hosted.
• Minor update to Andy Pugh's FAQ on Damaged Threaded Fasteners.
28-Oct-2000 • All pages now show "UK.D-I-Y FAQ Maintainer" contact address rather than Compiler and/or HTML author. Last Updated dates not changed.
• New "Website News" page (this page!).
• Andy Pugh's FAQ on Damaged Threaded Fasteners now hosted.
Page 2 of the plumbing FAQs "Central Heating Controls, Motorised Valves and Wiring" has been revised by Ian Clowes. Navigation links have been added to each section within Page 2. Consequently Plumbing Pages 1 & 3 and the Contents page have also had to be updated.
07-Oct-2000 • New "Tool Sharpening" page.
20-Sept-2000 • New Netiquette Guidelines and Acronyms page.
20-Sept-2000 • Major rewrite of Introduction page.
8-Sept-2000 • Details on the Manuals page have been verified by Ian Clowes
18-Nov-1999 • New "Humour" page.
Oct 1999 • CliveE took over from Matthew Marks as FAQ Maintainer
17-Aug-1999 • New Web-based FAQ announced, produced by CliveE


Early History of the FAQs

These web pages are largely derived from the work of Matthew Marks, who originated the uk.d-i-y FAQs in 1996 and maintained them until 1999. In the early years the FAQs were text-based pages which Matthew regularly posted to the uk.d-i-y newsgroup. He gathered useful articles from newsgroup discussions and, with the author's consent, edited them before adding them to the FAQs with an acknowledgement of their source. He also wrote articles himself and the quality of much of the material here is a result of his careful and dedicated effort.

As the content grew, the FAQs were divided into five broad categories to keep related topics together, to make them more manageable and to keep downloads small. In 1997 CliveE compiled a section of References (DIY manuals, catalogues and websites) which became a FAQ in their own right and were added to Matthew's regular postings. John Schmitt soon realised that the FAQs would be even more useful if they resided on the web in a permanent location and if there was some interaction between them to aid navigation. In 1997 he took a snapshot of the FAQs, converted them to HTML web pages and hosted them on his local server. This worked for a while but pressure of work and the rapid evolution of material at that time meant that the web-based FAQs lagged the newsgroup postings. John was also at that time developing his own excellent FAQs (see links on Contents page).

In 1999 Clive took another snapshot of Matthew's regularly posted FAQs, converted them to HTML and placed them on the eidosnet website under ~ukdiy. This host originally had the advantage that uploads could be made from other ISPs (e.g. using one's employer's network connection ;-)) but that mechanism was withdrawn very soon after. Clive reorganised the content somewhat to keep page sizes small in an attempt to keep download times short. Links were added to aid navigation within the pages and between pages so that anyone arriving in the middle of the site would be able to navigate the whole site. For a while the web pages and the regular newsgroup postings ran side by side but keeping the content in synchronism was a major effort so it was eventually decided to move almost entirely to the web. One newsgroup posting remained: for the benefit of newcomers, Matthew still automatically sent out the FAQ Introduction page to the newsgroup every ten days.

Up until 1999 Matthew was the "FAQ Maintainer", having the last word on what was and was not included. In October 1999 he handed over that responsibility to CliveE. The history from that date is detailed in the table above.