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Whangarei ITM

The Weekend Project

ITM has created a range of Building Guides with the object of assisting those interested in home improvement projects:

Please click on the brochure to view

Timber Fencing

Fences are both decorative and functional and can enhance your home. It's important then, that your fence complements the style of your house.

With any fencing, the wood you choose, as well as the method used to build it, determines its character. Good quality timber is crucial. Inferior materials deteriorate and at worst collapse. Use timber that has been treated to at least H3 standard, H4 for the posts. Protecting your fence with paint or stain is also advisable.

The right tools make the job easier and help to ensure your structure turns out square, level and plumb.

Timber posts set in concrete, with rails and vertical palings is the typical New Zealand suburban fence. The basic post and rail fence is a starting point for most fences, including picket and paling fences. Follow the directions below, adapting the final stages for your desired look.


A deck creates a flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. It is an extension of the indoor living space, forming an additional outside room, adding value to your home.

On a sloping section it can add a practical and accessible flat area for barbecuing
and entertaining.

The area of a deck should be large enough to be useable but not overpower a garden area, especially on smaller sections. A timber deck, as described here, will blend naturally with the planting and landscaping found in most New Zealand homes.

The deck is a system of piles, beaters and joists supporting the timber decking material. Piles must be treated to H5 level of treatment and all other timber to at least H3, to ensure that it will not rot. Fixings (nails, bolts, brackets) must be either galvanised, or if exposed to salt atmosphere (steam vents or similar) check with your local authority.

Exterior Painting

Repainting is one of the most popular do-it-yourself projects in New Zealand. Almost anyone can paint, but there a number of steps to follow to get a durable, quality finish. Preparation is the most important, but it can be slow going and it must be done well.


This guide takes you through the basic steps to achieve a quality finish on exterior timber, stucco, fibre-cement, concrete and roofing steel.

Retaining Wall

A well constructed retaining wall can be both a functional asset and an attractive feature of your garden. It can add valuable additional level space on a sloping section and provide an attractive cover to the face of an earth bank.

There are several types of retaining walls, each suited to particular heights, choice of materials, and the type of ground to be retained. This guide describes a simple to build post and rail wall which is versatile and has a natural appearance suitable for most environments.

Even low retaining walls may be subject to high forces action on them and it is important that the procedures outlined here are followed to ensure the walls stability.

Interior Painting

Interior painting is usually carried out as a result of a desire for a change of appearance and not because the paint is beginning to fail. Interior paints are less likely to fail because they are exposed to less UV and moisture than exterior paints.

This guide takes you through the basic steps to achieve a quality paint finish on timber, plasterboard, fibrous plaster, softboard, hardboard, particleboard and fibre-cement. It does not cover specialised paint effects such as stippling or rag rolling.

Staining Exterior Timber

Clear finishes and stains are applied where the natural colour of the timber is to be retained but a degree of weather protection is required. They won’t stop the timber weathering process but will slow it down, with the rate dependent on the water repellency and the transparency or amount of UV-blocking pigment contained in the finish. Generally, the more pigment the less the transparency and the greater the protection given.


It is important that the decision to use clear finishes and stains is an informed one because of the limited life and increased maintenance associated with their use. Also with film forming products, preparation for recoating after the coating has reached the end of its life a difficult and time-consuming task.


This guide takes you through the basic steps to achieve a quality stained finish on timber.

Fix and Joint Gib Plasterboard

How to Build a BBQ Trolley

Mounted on casters, this is the ultimate entertainment unit for the summer. Used as a table, bar or buffet this project will take about 2-3 weekends to complete and will cost you around $250 in materials (Excludes bench-top & stain – we paid $80 for the Stainless Steel bench-top).