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Showing content with the highest reputation since 18/10/19 in all areas

  1. 9 points
    At long last, as of today, our area has now become the 14th in the world to obtain International Dark Sky Reserve status: http://www.ccwwdaonb.org.uk/news/141/39/Cranborne-Chase-AONB-becomes-an-International-Dark-Sky-Reserve/ It's involved a fair bit of work to remove unnecessary street lighting, persuade people to not leave outdoor lights on etc, and has meant everyone adopting a winter culture of always carrying a torch, but it does mean we get great views of the stars on a clear night.
  2. 9 points
    No longer a muddy building site after nearly 3 1/2 years, Hooray. Landscaping just finished during the wettest 2 weeks of the year. Never mind, it is done. Used the plastic honeycomb gravel crates with the weed membrane on the back. Lawn & wild flower meadow to sow, fencing & planting to be done, so still a long way to go, but at least some progress.
  3. 6 points
    Time for another update. Most of our work this month has been focused upon finalising the kitchen design, stair, stove etc. Tangible work on the house has consisted of the taping and filling and fitting the last bit of ducting. Not terribly exciting, but it's all progress. Here are some photos. Next up I need to resolve an ongoing treatment tank problem which will be covered in a separate entry. We hope to start internal paint work in the next few week pr so.
  4. 3 points
    I just got all my invoices back this morning and confirmation that my full claim is payable, this includes some invoices that were in my builders name , some in my plumbers name and one for glass that was provided from a local company, the only paperwork I had for this one was a worksheet with the company name on it and amount paid, no vat number on it, I didn’t expect them to pay this one but decided to put it in anyway, happy days! Oh and it’s only 8 weeks since I submitted it!
  5. 3 points
    Digging is progressing well despite the rain - they had to pump out a bit as we had that swimming pool we wanted! They had no muck away on Monday so only 4 days and the bulk of the big dig is complete and you can start to see the scale of the project. They have done the rough dig and are now levelling out the bottom and starting to place a layer of stone that will then be concreted over to form the slab. The hole is actually bigger than the basement by about 1m all round so they have room to work so it will get smaller! You can see that they are laying a gravel filled French drain all round the back to collect the water that runs out of the clay in the thin layers of sand, but given the rain we have had the water is not at all bad. We have to say the contractors are absolutely brilliant - very pleased so far, but for them this is a relatively small hole - hate to think what a big one looks like! Now the big dig is done we can heave a sigh of relief because there were no 'nasties' underground to cause us unforeseen problems - one of the advantages of such a huge excavation - so we are technically 'out of the ground' (it might not look like that though) and past that big landmark moment. Its taken a lot to get to this point - its really good to know we are moving forward and been a long uphill struggle to this point - now we should coast downhill all the way!!! The Building Control Officer came out this week and brought a couple of his graduates (who like the BC Officer really loved the project which is really encouraging) as they dont get to see this kind of construction often (or ever before if I understood right!), probably because not many people are as insane as we are! He was really happy with the soil conditions and the works so we can proceed with the slab and he will be back when the steel is in and we are ready for the first pour. He is really helpful and supportive and a complete contrast to Planning (the less said here the better), we get the feeling his goal is the same as ours - a really great building. We had some discussion about a window from the garage/ workshop into the pool room - it needs to be fireproof as its between a garage and habitable space, and its also through the thermal envelope so it needs to be thermally efficient. Now these two requirements (FR 60 and PH) clash and we have struggled to find anything that does both (at any price). We batted about some options and he made some good suggestions to mitigate the problem. But in fact I think we will follow the Architect who said - its only a workshop and you can buy an awful lot of lights for the cost of a very special window! So artificial light in the workshop will be fine. We have also finalised the windows because a 12 week leadtime means they need to be in production in time for the TF. After much research / quotes and head scratching we selected Internorm for two main reasons - firstly they do a really neat integrated Juliet balcony that was proving very tricky for the SE and Architect and was going to be really expensive to do any other way (though the Internorm solution is expensive its really simple). Also we were going for wood/aluminium on both houses, but they do a PVC/aluminium range that is 15-20% cheaper, has the same external appearance and performance and looks really pretty neat on the inside in dark grey (not at all like your typical uPVC windows). So Plot 1 will go that way and this brings the cost down. The only concern is the quality of the fitting (we are assured that they now have this under control) - the quality of the windows is amazing. We just need to bottom out on front doors - any suggestions as the Internorm option was pricey. Also signed Nick (from Wales) up for M&E - looking forward to that and he does seem to be one of the few people who knows exactly how to integrate all the bits and pieces that come with PH levels of design. So that's it for another exciting week - hope you liked the videos atmospheric look as the digger appears out of the mist/rain at the beginning of the day - we worked so hard to achieve that effect. Seriously does anyone have any suggestions on how to solve the problem of overnight condensation on the camera? See https://www.dropbox.com/sh/th9f6e3cel5dm1q/AAAfsWdAH184J75bCNUUtzVra?dl=0 for the week by week video diary P.S. seem to have solved the battery problem for the TL camera by using Energiser Ultimate Lithium AA's - at least they do more than Duracell - appreciate the suggestion on external battery pack and will go for that if the Energisers dont prove to last long enough.
  6. 2 points
    Main rules are that they have to be accessible and they must not be buried in insulation, as they need a bit of free space around them for ventilation/cooling. They only run slightly warm to the touch, so nothing like as hot as halogen lights or transformers.. Some of ours are in the ceiling void, accessible through the holes where the lights clip in, with small baskets of chicken wire over them to keep the acoustic insulation a few inches away from them. They are just resting on the plasterboard ceiling. Others are either inside the light enclosures or are behind the eaves walls, and can be accessed via the doors I built in to those (we use those spaces as storage areas).
  7. 2 points
    Hi I hope to start renovation of small “3 bedroom” Victorian terrace house. House is called by us “the tower”- four storeys including basement. Structural building is sound and looks bit over engineered. what we plan to do: moving up first floor section around 15 cm to get some headroom in basement knock down wall between two so called “bedrooms” to get one proper size insulation -IWI PIR on external walls, wool inside roof heating system –radiators connected to manifold with attenuators and central control plumbing for cold and hot water on manifolds ventilation with heat recovery some tweaks on electric wiring intercom , proper burglar alam system etc. and of course like always decent bathroom and general refurbishment Generally I can make everything myself (and calculate it before) J As you know rules of physics are same all over the world. Sorry that we can’t tell same about building regulations. I will try to place my questions in proper section of forum and share my knowledge with others huck
  8. 2 points
  9. 2 points
    Depends if you want to be able to claim on your SE's indemnity insurance later because if you go against their instructions and something goes wrong you're in a tricky position. Have you approached the SE with the BCO's view to see what his thoughts are?
  10. 2 points
    Try shutting off all the radiators and opening up one at a time to see if you can get water to flow to each in turn. It might just be an air lock. How is the multi fuel boiler joined to the oil boiler, usually there is a neutraliser or low loss header. Can you turn something on to get that pump running?
  11. 2 points
  12. 2 points
    Have your requests pointed out to them that as a vat registered entity actively collecting vat they have a legal obligation to provide properly formatted vat receipts and that you intend to inform hmrc that they are not in compliance with this.
  13. 2 points
    You are now entering the 'Why does a dog lick it ****s' territory. Because it can.
  14. 2 points
    Sounds like the hot water circuit might be gravity, how many pipes go to the multifuel? Or is the system "pumping over", with the pump forcing water out of the vent pipe and back into the F&E tank? Are there any other pumps, like beside the oil boiler? You might try as a first go, closing the valves on the hot radiators to force the flow to the others. Once you've flow to all than you can worry about balance...
  15. 2 points
    After getting some good advise on the forum (DON T DO IT!!! LEAVE IT TO THE PROS!!!) I decide to ignore that and buy some 2nd hand equipment on ebay. How hard can it be http://tintabernacle.blogspot.com/2019/10/setting-out.html?m=1 It wasn't. Just time consuming. At the end it always is a question of wether it is cheaper doing it yourself or if it actually would have saved £££ getting a pro in. My case for doing it myself (as much as possible) is the massive knowledge gain. Even if it turns out to be the same price than having someone doing it for you (which most of the time isn't the case), I wouldn't want to miss what I learned so far.
  16. 2 points
    A couple of pics
  17. 2 points
    I've drilled it out to 10.2mm (M12 tapping drill). It's a tad off centric but spins nice on a 10mm drill as the video clip shows: Video: Will try and get in the post Monday.
  18. 2 points
    If you look through his whole site it is very informative. I’ve seen one of his surveys and they make your average home buyers survey look like a comic. This bit is very true : Every damp problem has a specific cause, and it is usually easy to fix that cause - for example, faulty guttering, external ground levels too high, concrete / cement render trapping moisture on outside walls, and so on. Our survey will outline any problems, and suggest solutions, which never include injection damp proofing! The silane based chemicals can’t work the way they are described to, yet I’ve seen them suggested where wholly Inappropriate by bank and mortgage company surveyors that suggest you can “fix” damp into this way. As he says repeatedly, find the cause of then problem first ...
  19. 2 points
    That tank clearly has been sat around somewhere for a while before it got to you. Another vote for Bio-pure here!
  20. 2 points
    @Thedreamer The condition of that tank is just unbelievable. Lucky you had the where with all to inspect it like you did. We went for a Bio-pure and have had no problems whatsoever with it a year on [touch wood] We bought direct from webuildit-ltd.co.uk but I'm not sure as to their policy on deliveries to your part of the world.
  21. 2 points
    Re smoke alarms. I have gone overboard perhaps. SA in entrance hall, another in the main living room, SA in the utility room (my preference because of tumble dryer fires, I want to know if it is simmering) SA on landing, and another in my workshop the plant room above the garage. And in the Kitchen, AICO do a neat combined heat and CO alarm in one package (shame AICO don't to a matching combinerd smoke and CO alarm) None of this had to be presented as a special fire docment, it was just documented on the drawings where they all went (though I have fitted more than the drawings say)
  22. 2 points
    My build is 5 miles from Caldwell. When's it dark, it is very dark. Takes some getting used to - the boss told me she needs a light outside as can't see a damn thing sometimes. It's mega on clear nights though.
  23. 2 points
    The one thing I am looking forward to once our build is done. I remember lying on my back in the middle of the desert and staring at the wonder that is the galaxy we are part of
  24. 2 points
    Correct Peter if you have recently completed I’m sure you could make ten posts We thought that there would have been all sorts that where rejected In fact our claim was paid to the exact penny that was requested While there is plenty of info online The forum has condensed this into what is relevant to all of us Which makes it a laborious but easy task to claim one thing we did do was to make copy’s of all invoices This took longer than doing the claim request
  25. 2 points
    Here's the spreadsheet version of the VAT form (which is acceptable to HMRC): VAT Claim Form 431 - Blank - extra sheets added.xls
  26. 2 points
    The real problem here is that the methodology for determining cylinder heat loss uses a tapping cycle that is nothing like real-world use, if the cylinder is kept hot most of the time. As an example, I bought a 260 litre thermal store that had a stated heat loss of 1.8 kWh/24 hours. In reality, when run at 65°C, the measured heat loss was over 3.5 kWh/24 hours. That was with a double thickness sprayed foam insulation layer that I'd asked the manufacturer to add, which should have reduced the spec figure of 1.8 kWh/24 hours a bit. The heat loss was so great that our services room reached temperatures of around 40°C, and the inside face of the door leading to it cracked quite badly. I added an extra layer of insulation, by making up an octagonal box of PIR foam, which was foamed to the tank, with all the joints taped, and that reduced the loss to around 2.5 kWh/24 hours, but it still didn't meet the spec. Reducing the temperature to 55°C reduced the loss to around the spec figure. I can say from experience of having both a very well insulated thermal store and a Sunamp in the same location, doing the same job, that the real world heat losses from the Sunamp are far lower than those from the thermal store. The 9 - 10 kWh Sunamp UniQ we have has a stated heat loss of 0.738 kWh/24 hours, so less than 1/3rd of the measured heat loss we had from the "super insulated" thermal store, accepting that, at 210 litres equivalent capacity, it's a bit smaller. I doubt that any 210 litre UVC has a real world heat loss much below 1.5 kWh/24 hours, though, which still makes the Sunamp twice as efficient.
  27. 1 point
    If retrofitting to an existing house, then PP may be required (seems to be often ignored here, though), but if it's a new build then adding an ASHP is a NMA. My planning consent had no ASHP, as we were, at that time, going to install a GSHP. When I realised just how much more expensive a GSHP was going to be over an ASHP, I called the planning officer and asked if I needed to submit a new application. He just asked for an amended plan showing the location of the ASHP outdoor unit, then emailed me to say he'd made a note in the file that there was now an ASHP included. No fee payable, no forms to fill in, just a phone call and exchange of emails.
  28. 1 point
    Oh that's a pain because eBay may have helped you out with this. Unfortunately I don't believe that a supplier has a legal obligation to provide a VAT invoice unless you are VAT registered (although most do) so ALWAYS best to clarify that they will do so before purchase. How do you have an eBay invoice if the transaction wasn't completed through eBay however? From the Gov.uk site: https://www.gov.uk/invoicing-and-taking-payment-from-customers http://stewartaccounting.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Do-you-always-have-to-issue-a-VAT-invoice.pdf What options do you have? Well, if the company still refuses to send you one maybe you can add the VAT number to the invoice yourself (assuming all of the other details required are on there)? An invoice does not have to show VAT separately and there is a separate section in the claim form for purchases where VAT is not shown separately. I had a few such invoices (although they did all have the VAT number on them) and one where the VAT was worth several hundred pounds. The VAT for all of these was refunded without any issues. For this particular transaction I would attach the receipt from Paypal. Plus keep hold of the emails. It may still not get paid if HMRC aren't happy with it but it's your best shot if you really can't get an invoice from them.
  29. 1 point
    Yep. Time is the main difference. The commercial for Digital Total Station tells that the average traditional 2guys team does approx. 400points/day and with the digital tools you can now double the point to 800points/day(marking) with only 1 guy. I was doing traditional autolevel points on my own and approx. 30points/day. Completely unacceptable for pro-contractor. But I have 0 cash for contractors and a fair bit of spare time to build the house.
  30. 1 point
    @Russell griffiths thanks, it's just for show, if I didn't make this overhand 300mm lower, the window on the right at the top, would have a skinny looking render area under it that wouldnt be in proportion @jamiehamy thanks very much for your suggestion 👍 I'll make up a frame like you suggested, I'd nearly prefer a metal frame in case the box ever sprung a leak, also one lad told me to have the same material under the thin coat render, as two different materials could cause cracks, expanding and contracting at different rates, I might try boxing out that frame with insulation.. To have the exterior rendered surface all the same.. Thanks for your suggestion
  31. 1 point
    I had a small piece of horsetail growing up next to the sandstone path leading to the house. I put a small amount of salt (NaCl) on it to kill it, as I often do for horsetail growing on its own. Unfortunately I didn’t know how damaging salt can be to sandstone until I searched the internet. The effects of de-icing on sandstone buildings in some Scottish cities is well documented. It’s a pity I hadn’t heard about it and this is the result. Needless to say I won’t be de-icing my paving with salt this winter.
  32. 1 point
    Plenty of room inside for insulation then 😎
  33. 1 point
    Ping pong poms 😄. Out of all the Brits I met out there, a high proportion of those that came from the north of England were staying permanently, those from the south not so much. I could speculate the reason why, but I doubt it's valid. 😏
  34. 1 point
    I had a huge amount of rebar in my 90m2 raft. Two layers of A393 mesh, perimeter cages and lateral cages criss crossing the middle. Steel cost £2.2k Rebar for the ICF house on top was only used above window and door openings. £200 Amount of rebar varies depending on brand of ICF I believe.
  35. 1 point
    carbide test for moisture -- that reminds me of how we got all the pike out of a pond when i was a boy an old ginger beer stone flagon -- with screw in stopper-- put some carbide in it from a pot holers lamp --piss in it --then chuck it in the pond 10m ins later -- BOOM-- like a wartime mine -and stunned fish floated up to top just make sure it sinks or its a hand grenade .
  36. 1 point
    Travis perkins. Beat any other price I could find, with the added advantage it got delivered on their own wagon with a hiab to unload it. Some other suppliers said I would have to offload it, and my digger would not have reached high enough to lift it off a wagon. Mine is the ASP6 Here is it being lowered into the hole in the ground
  37. 1 point
    That's on a par with when I was a small boy, I asked my dad who's job it was to go round and change the batteries in the cat's eyes along the roads. I don't recall if he tried to explain Retro Reflectors to me or not.
  38. 1 point
    If you go with lead, there used to be a little booklet issued by somebody like the lead workers guild or something very useful tells you a lot of boundaries to work within to save expensive mistakes. I think it was free.
  39. 1 point
    Lead every time. I had never used rolled lead in my life until earlier this year. To be honest, there are a lot of good instructional videos on YouTube and if you have a good knack for making things and working with your hands you should be grand. The trick is also to work in about 4-5' lengths max, for several reasons, however, the most important being expansion and contraction, big long pieces of lead will crack or split. Long pieces are also difficult to work with and are heavy to work into place and get up onto the roof! I actually found lead nice stuff to work with, I enjoyed it's malleability and it's compliance to be worked into some odd shapes. I scored it with a sharp Stanley knife and used tin-snips to cut it. I used pieces of 2x8 and 2x4 as formers and a piece of 1.5x1.5 and a foot long as a sort of press. Keeping the lead indoors and warm before working it will help no end or outside in the sun (too late in the year now). I dressed our lead down over the profile of the roof tile on warm days and you could almost do it with your fingers although I found that the shaft of a hammer was good to gently tap it down (lead beater was too big) the result is a row of nice little dressed down sections tight to the tile. I used diesel as patination oil.
  40. 1 point
    This is onr of those probkems you can either go through - find a way to locate your remote or go around and stop watching TV or get a butler like the rest of us.
  41. 1 point
    Doesn't make up for the stress and heartache of knowing your home has been invaded, but it's very good news to hear that they have received money that's come directly from those found guilty. I wonder how often this happens? If it's a fairly common thing, then it really deserves a bit more publicity. People seem only too willing to be critical of the police, so a bit of good news relating to the hard work they do should be made more public, IMHO.
  42. 1 point
    On a slightly lighter note, my parents in law told me that the guys that burgled them last year were caught. They admitted to 40+ burglaries and have been sentenced to several years' jail. Interestingly, both of the burglars have had property seized and sold. The result is a not insubstantial payout to my in-laws. I was quite surprised by this - I assume it's something to do with the proceeds of crime legislation, but I didn't realise that money was distributed to victims.
  43. 1 point
    Conversion work comes under Appr Doc L1B (E&W) with a much more relaxed standard compared to new build. No need for SAP calculation to show compliance as simple elemental U-values are provided. (SAP is needed however to produce the EPC on completion). In basement walls and floors the U-value is dependent upon the basement depth as well as insulation type & thickness, if too difficult to insulate BCO can relax the L1B standard.
  44. 1 point
    Interested in getting thoughts on extract for high kitchen utilisation..... my other half uses the kitchen (~4m x 4m, 2.7m ceiling) in a commercial capacity and we currently have a 'big boy bertazzoni' 😉 800m3/hr extract which makes some noise on full tilt! To be honest, it's never really used on full power, only on minimum when something is boiling on the hob. Useful the odd time on full power when things get smokey as folk above have mentioned, but there's also an openable window for those 'incidents'... I'm thinking 2 extract points would be a good idea here, perhaps one closer to the cooking source, plumbed into the back of the cooker hood (I can get at this through the chimney void behind it.) and one in the ceiling corner as per normal. Any thoughts? Still looking at sizing the unit, perhaps a Blauberg SB250 for our 3 bed semi (~110m2, 1 bathroom) which would be slightly oversized as we only need 39l/s as per the regs. I'm loving this forum, lots of useful information and tinkerings 🙂
  45. 1 point
    For a reason or reasons unknown to me I am about to pen a short piece about cats. I think it is mainly because @AnonymousBosch posted a picture of his supervisory cat, here. Now, that cat is a lot of things, and whilst allegedly Jellicle (ie black and white), is not so. It is clearly a Rum-Tum-Tugger - particularly given a penchant for using 'playbites' as a slightly abrupt management tool. It is also the fault of whoever did not tell me about the statue of Hodge, the supervisory cat that used to own Dr Samuel Johnson, when I was living in the City of London back in the late 1990s. As reported by Boswell: 'I recollect [Hodge] one day scrambling up Dr. Johnson's breast, apparently with much satisfaction, while my friend smiling and half-whistling, rubbed down his back, and pulled him by the tail; and when I observed he was a fine cat, saying, "Why yes, Sir, but I have had cats whom I liked better than this;" and then as if perceiving Hodge to be out of countenance, adding, "but he is a very fine cat, a very fine cat indeed."' I need to record somewhere that a statue of Hodge now exists in Gough Square, outside Dr Johnson's House - just around the corner from where Cafe Opera used to exist in Fleet Street. Cafe Opera was just what it says - reasonable Italian Food whilst being serenaded by Opera singers earning a crust on the side. (Credit Mrs Woffington, who's current blog, which seems unfortunately to have stopped in 2010, is here. I will assume she found a congenial Latin teacher who now occupies her interest). The oysters, upon which Dr Johnson used to feed Hodge, are a sign (in 2019 anyway) of a very supervisory cat. Whilst I'm jabbering about this area, I recommend that anyone wanting to get some amazing ideas for Garden Design take a tour around the two dozen pocket-parks in the City of London. These are genuinely delightful, complexly small designs, and deserve a profile as high as the collection of City Churches by Wren. Greyfriars Bobby, never mind Paddington Bear, eat your heart out.
  46. 1 point
    I am looking at combining an insulated raft foundation with SIP. Just rereading some of the earlier comments on this thread, I find myself scratching my head as all of the negative aspects apply to a standard TF build as much as they do to SIP.
  47. 1 point
    Some day for it. Today was one of those special days where suddenly years of work starts to come together in front of your eyes. No machinery here just elbow grease. It was all going so well until the building inspector turned up. A few internal load bearing walls to be finished and then on Monday we have the telehander coming to stay for a couple of weeks, followed by the delivery of the attic trusses on Tuesday.
  48. 1 point
    Yes @Triassic you should skim.......tape is for low end spec builds. We did tape joints not skim in the garage and thats ok for there but I would never have it in the house. You will spend many years looking at those walls, you dont want daily reminders of a bad decision. Save the pennies elsewhere and get a good plasterer in.
  49. 1 point
    When I was researching into how to install MVHR around eight or nine years ago I made a list of rules I found relating to connecting the unit to the outside. I'm sure these are not exhaustive and nor are they prescriptive, but it's what I used to install mine. 1. The inlet and outlet grilles should be 3m apart to prevent cross contamination of air. 3m was the distance I found mentioned most often. 2. The inlet and outlet grilles should be high enough (2m) to prevent interference by animals or children. 3. The inlet and outlet grilles should be on the same wall so they are affected equally by the wind. 4. The free flow area of the grill including insect screen should be at least as great as the cross sectional area of the duct. 5. The duct should be smooth wall to reduce air flow restriction. 6. Any ducting bends should be large radius of curvature or two 45 degree bends to reduce air flow restriction. 7. The ducting should slope downwards slightly to ensure any moisture drains to the outside.
  50. 1 point
    I’d be afraid a half inch sand cement screed would just crack and break off. It’s too thin. Then the issue with the levelling compound is if the floor is damp that won’t last either. If the floor isn’t damp and doesn’t have a door with water getting in (ie where rain is coming in onto to the floor like some outbuildings) then this, while more expensive, is probably the best option. Another option if the existing floor is fairly good concrete would be to hire a large grinder and just grind down the existing floor making it flat. This would be the strongest most durable finish but my only concern with this is you’re floor might be so rough it could take a long time to grind flat and smooth.
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