UK Do It Yourself - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is uk.d-i-y?

UK.D-I-Y is a usenet "newsgroup". It was created at the end of 1994, and since then has grown into a very popular group which typically receives in excess of 6,000 postings per month! Some may be unfamiliar with newsgroups, and usenet in general. They have existed on the internet for many many years, and even predate the creation of the world wide web itself. Although some web sites have been created that allow access to usenet, it is generally at its best when accessed using dedicated news reader software.

DIY stands for "Do It Yourself", Plumbing, wiring, building, decorating, furniture making, and in fact anything and everything to do with maintaining, running, and improving your home, from putting up shelves to building a house. Doing the job yourself saves the expense of employing somebody else, and often gives better results (you have to live with them after all!). It can be both enjoyable to do, and provide a great deal of satisfaction.

UK stands for United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), and is very relevant because so many aspects of DIY, such as practices, regulations, and where to get particular products, are country-specific. Questions are welcomed from elsewhere around the globe, of course, but the advice given may not be applicable to those areas.

So what is this web site all about?

This web site contains a compendium of Frequently Asked Questions from the newsgroup and some of the better answers that have been posted to them. It also contains links to the more recently introduced DIY WIKI project (a DIY, DIY FAQ if you like - like other wiki projects, anyone can edit the WIKI - not just a formal administrator or maintainer).

Questions about motor vehicles are not in the scope of this group. You'll find appropriate forums in the hierarchy. The uk.telecom hierarchy is more appropriate for questions about phones. The very popular uk.rec.gardening newsgroup discusses all matters to do with gardening in the UK. It overlaps with uk.d-i-y in matters such as hard landscaping and the construction of sheds, ponds and pools.

How do I join in?

See the newsgroup access tips to learn more and find out how you can participate.

Who "owns" the newsgroup?

Nobody owns it, and anyone is free to post. It is also unmoderated. The FAQ maintainer has no privileges compared with anyone else. That is why it is in everybody's interest to try to preserve order by attempting to follow basic netiquette guidelines and to adhere to the guidelines published here.

The Google website archives all postings made to uk.d-i-y (and indeed any other usenet group), unless their authors have specifically marked them otherwise. The archive can be searched by newsgroup, author and/or subject and can thus reveal both the record and reputation of a contributor, and allow previous discussions to be referenced.

Purpose of this Document

This document is written with the help of the regular contributors to the uk.d-i-y usenet newsgroup. Please read it before posting to the uk.d-i-y newsgroup. This document also acts in lieu of a formal "charter" for the uk.d-i-y newsgroup. It explains what the group is for, gives guidelines on what is and what isn't considered acceptable practice in this newsgroup, and tells you where you can find answers to many DIY problems.

Can I advertise on this website?

Sorry, but no. This may come as a surprise, but this web site is a non commercial site. It has no product to sell. That also means that if you sell web site search optimisation services, we really have no need to hear from you!

Can I advertise in the uk.d-i-y newsgroup?

COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING IS FORBIDDEN ON UK.D-I-Y. It is an interactive forum, and the good "signal to noise ratio" of uk.d-i-y will be spoilt by those who selfishly exploit it. If you want to advertise, go to news:uk.adverts.. (etc) or start an appropriate newsgroup (see

Company representatives (who are often valued experts) are welcome to suggest their products where a genuine question has been asked on the subject, but only if they answer the questions put. Company representatives may mention their products, services or websites in the signature of their replies to questions. (please keep signatures to under five 75-character lines).

The Reference parts of the FAQs contain listings of companies useful to the DIYer, these generally only included on recommendations from regulars. However if you have a product or service that you feel is of particular interest to the DIY community, then please add a link to the suppliers page on the wiki.

Private individuals wishing to sell (or give away!) relevant items can use this group to advertise them, within reason, so long as they post a follow-up when what is for sale is no longer available.

To uk.d-i-y-ers: Please complain strongly to Internet Service Providers about advertising in this newsgroup if it transgresses the above guidelines: a small amount of effort on your part will help to keep the group usable. The more complaints ISPs receive, the more likely they are to act.

Copyright Information

All parts of this FAQ are Copyright by the FAQ Maintainer and all rights are reserved. The pages are made available as a service to the Internet community. They may not be sold in any medium, including electronic, CD-ROM, or database, packaged with any commercial product, or published in print, without the explicit, written, permission of the FAQ Maintainer. The copyright of included material belongs to the original author and is reproduced here with the author's permission.


Although contributors to the uk.d-i-y newsgroup have an impressive depth of knowledge, they cannot be held liable for any consequences whatsoever of the information or advice they provide, either on the uk.d-i-y newsgroup, in the uk.d-i-y FAQ, or in the uk.d-i-y Wiki.

DIY can go wrong, with expensive or even dangerous consequences, and it therefore must be stressed that nothing should be attempted without applying common sense, and only if you are confident in your ability to carry out the job with safety (both your own and others') and successfully. You cannot expect answers to your questions to include a complete list of possible pitfalls, although people will very frequently remind you of some of them. Remember that the advice has been given to you in good faith, free of charge. While most posters will try to give their best advice, neither its accuracy nor legality can be relied upon.

If you are unsure about anything then do please ask - it is much less embarrassing than blowing yourself up or having your house collapsing around your ears.

Finally, postings from company email addresses are personal to the poster, and do not necessarily represent the views of the company supplying the Internet connection.

Happy DIY-ing!


Hosting provided by Internode Ltd