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curlewhouse last won the day on August 7 2016

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About curlewhouse

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  1. curlewhouse

    Can planning permission mandate a specific supplier?

    Here is a thought - and gets you thicker , nicer looking slate and at *half the price* - recycled Welsh slate. That's what we've done. We were specified to use only Welsh slate and after having a near heart attack when I discovered the price (which is plain profiteering when identical slate can be shipped from Canada who have similar wages to us, and costs thousands of gallons of fuel oil to get get here for far less), I looked at second hand. I also used it in my application saying how "green" it was to reuse slate. The price turned out at 50% of new and we got really thick slate compared to the modern stuff. It was re cut to size, and because it's already weathered looks lovely straight away. What's also nice is I know exactly what buildings it came from and I did the same with our stone walls, so ticking lots of "green" boxes but happily also slashing the cost (our stone came from a convent school!)
  2. curlewhouse

    Contamination Survey....deep breaths!

    You know, one of the biggest unexpected costs (and angering) for us was this joy the office warriors have of spending other people's money. It's the easiest thing in the world to pontificate from an office and say "I want you to get this, and this, and this" when it's someone else's money. The fact that you can get tests done for £16..... or £3k shows what a racket the whole thing is really.
  3. I know that for our archaeological "watching brief " it was plainly a ready made boilerplate document with our site details cut and pasted in by the archaeoligist. But the various firms all quoted about the same amount for that part of the "work" & since they would be doing the watching brief there was no way around it as we had to have a qualified archaeologist on site (and the national park wanted to know his qualifications and had to agree he was acceptable before we could proceed!) so although the brief could pretty much have been copied from any other site it was useless without the archaeologist himself and of course they wouldn't work with someone else's. I can't see the council accepting *your* say so that nothing untoward was found to be honest. Is there reason to suspect contamination in particular?
  4. curlewhouse

    An almost balanced article about Newts and Planning

    Interestingly enough the "museum" aspect of the countryside is one I actually had to remind our national park planners of at one point during our fight, er, I mean "the planning process" with them. When they queried if we were having electricity and telephone (they were worried about "wire clutter") & I actually said that although we want it kept looking nice and traditional probably more than even they do, "the village is not a museum" .
  5. curlewhouse

    Diesel or Petrol?

    I loved those engines - had xantias, a zx, and a 306 with them and even did a marine conversion on one to go in a boat! Absolutely bomb proof engines if just given basic oil changes. I was getting 55mpg with them and running some on veg oil back when it was priced as a loss leader so was pennies. In fact whenever I sold on or scrapped a car those xud engines were still running fine. 55mpg without all the fancy electronicals we "need" now.
  6. curlewhouse

    Diesel or Petrol?

    Having had diesel landrovers from way back when you had to go round the back of the garage with the wagons to get a diesel pump (it cost pennies!) I was gutted when car drivers started buying diesel - and as a result the price shot up. So as long as I'm allowed to keep my diesel defenders (200k on the clock and running strong) I'll be glad when they all go back to petrol or electricity. Then maybe we diesel heads can have decently priced fuel again. 😁
  7. curlewhouse

    "Must Sees" at the NEC Show?

    When we first started we spent 2 days at the NEC show and went to most of the seminars of relevance to us over those 2 days. Really useful. Yes, most of the firms there are by nature high profit. But certainly when first starting out it was well worth it for us to go. You can browse, learn what's available, compare methods, ask questions, get prices.... and then go off and find the best prices once your back home. We found them very worthwhile and interesting. Once we'd started the build there was no point in us going to them, but they were great for helping shape our ideas and having a look at actual materials and so on in the early stages. It also makes you realise just how many people are interested in self build/custom build.
  8. curlewhouse

    Has a safety boot saved you?

    More times than I can recall. Ive dropped a block before on my toes been saved by the steel toecap, and saved stubbed toes when tripping or catching on things. They also allow you to kick things with impunity 😁 . Whilst my hard hat is still in its wrapper, I definitely will replace my steel toecapped site boots with new steel toecap ones when they wear out
  9. curlewhouse

    Yours truly is very annoyed.

    I hoped to avoid this by using BC and warranty from same firm - (and even ended up paying for a more expensive warranty, imagining that this would be far simpler with the same firm doing both - Wrong!) which failed dismally, and indeed only last week I got a new query about the drains being laid in a bed of gravel - and had we done it! Now this is almost a year since their own BCO looked at them, bedded in gravel and told me fine, you can fill them in! The warranty inspectors supervisor has made it very clear he doesn't like SIPS, and the inspector himself didn't even know what they were! As JSH says, there seems to be no consistency at all, and "rules" are inserted almost at random and against logic it seems from many of the examples we see on this forum. As for planners, we locally see a big difference in their approach depending no the wealth of the individual. Example, one man wants to develop a derelict house - he is refused permission as it would mean building a new access track across a field. Next, Lord X's close relative (yes really) applies for the very same house.... and is given permission! As a parish councillor I recently saw a case given permission before going to consultation (as it happens it was fine and we would have happily agreed it anyway). By sheer coincidence the owner is also a millionaire. Now let me be clear, not for one second do I suggest anything untoward, that would be ridiculous frankly, but I do think there is an unconscious bias - which could be solved by sticking to the same rules for everyone - the same for BCOs and warranty inspections.
  10. I know it's shot vertically (I forgot) & the wind makes it a little hard to hear, but this is an update as regards the windows etc. Meantime, our lovely warranty people are being difficult again,asking for photographic evidence of *things they've already inspected* which are now buried or behind walls! ..... they *really* do not like SIPS!
  11. curlewhouse

    Stephen Hawking

    Had to re-read A Brief History of Time immediately after the first read to get a grip on it (well, I think I did, sort of! )
  12. curlewhouse

    Access Rights

    Can you get any indication how long this work will continue? I suspect it may be temporary. I used to live in an old station house beside a railway crossing which once a year was lifted and relaid on a weekend night. They also parked there to access the track further down as at the time new cabling was being done. This then attracted assorted toe rags to steal the cut up cable! (I got a couple of them caught). The worse part was once when working on the line they set up a new (at the time) safety system which "whooped" loudly every few seconds to show it was live, then changed tone when a train was approaching - so this damn thing "whooped" every minute or so all through the night until they finished around 5 a.m! However these were all temporary things. The plus side was I got to see the trains .
  13. curlewhouse


    I should update this - annular ring nails were used. Because of fitting a cabrio type window which we had to wait for, part of the roof facing west was unfinished for a a few months - our West aspect faces out over a valley several miles long and we get the wind directly off the moors opposite - there is nothing between the moors and our roof. We went through 2 periods of gales like this, with a huge vee shape missing from the slates, facing directly into the gales which if I recall right were around the 60/70mph gust mark. We had some actual sleepless nights listening to this (as it nearly tipped over the caravan we were in) and imagining the roof ripping off .... but not one slate so much as budged. The roof is finished now, but that test of strength when it was at its most vulnerable has given me a lot of confidence in it.
  14. curlewhouse

    Q: What's in a name? A: £100-£50

    Talk to your postman - ours just went back to the depot and got one of the staff to add it!
  15. curlewhouse

    Q: What's in a name? A: £100-£50

    Yes, I was almost tempted when I saw that the road could be named for £150