Thursday, February 17, 2005

Measuring and Estimating for Cladding

Having had a request from a customer who neede an extra two panels to finish decorating his bathroom job it prompted me into jotting down a few ideas about measuring and estimating.

We have a page on the web site too help with measuring and estimating how many wall panels you need - the key word being estimating.

However accurately you measure, however frugal you are with your off-cuts you will never get the quantity 100% right - unless you work out before hand where every single panel and every single cut will go, and make no mistakes during the installation process.

You should always allow a little bit extra for wastage and problems, and keeping a spare panel or two will not hurt either - it is possible to remove and replace panels once they have been installed although this requires quite a bit of skill (we will be doing a feature on this in the future, in the meantime contact the sales office for details).

If you are cladding above a bath but keeping the existing bath panel, the offcuts from this area are sometimes useable below a window opening. Smaller off-cuts can be used above the widow opening or above the door. One area that many DIYers forget to account for is the window reveals. This can use up quite a few panels if the opening is large, but sometimes you might be lucky and be able to use offcuts for this area. Keep the window in mind when you start your job and you might well be able to scrounge enough bits to do this area without having to start a fresh panel (or two).

If you are fitting built in bathroom furniture in a run, the cladding can be installed above the countertop - there is no real need to run the cladding behind the units as removing these units would require a complete makeover for your bathroom in any case. You can save quite a bit of panelling by doing this. It is worth cladding behind freestanding vanity units as this might get replaced in the future and an extra square metre of panelling here will save you having to redecorate a whole wall (or even the whole room) should you ever decide to replace it.