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AliG last won the day on October 10

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About AliG

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  1. AliG

    EURO NCAP * Ratings

    I did not know that they said you cannot compare across size classes.
  2. AliG

    EURO NCAP * Ratings

    I have actually refused a couple of times to get in cars that I considered so old as to be unsafe. I once refused to get in a 23 year old taxi at Heathrow airport, an FX4 with rear opening doors. I wasn't paying £90 to take a rickety old vehicle along the motorway into London. Thankfully they now have a 15 year age limit, or even better I can call up an Uber Exec and travel to London in a newish 5 series or E-Class for less than the cost of travelling in a taxi never designed to be driven on the motorway. I have never been in a serious car accident, but I did go to school with someone who lost his dad in a car crash and I know someone who died in a motorbike crash, it is not that unusual. I think ultimately you get the safest car you reasonably can at the time. Newer cars are generally safer. and safety moves on. Before EuroNCAP I remember people took a lot of convincing that their 80s Volvos weren't safer than a more modern car. I think in general I would want a minimum 4 stars on the NCAP test. Very very few cars get less than 4 stars today, so this is not really limiting your selection. It is quite interesting to read the test and also watch the videos and see how various cars do. The chart below shows all you need to know about increasing safety as well as the importance of wearing seatbelts. I also wondered how many casualties were in cars versus pedestrians. The table I found shows how dangerous motorbikes are compared to cars, roughly 40x worse per mile driven.
  3. AliG

    Fitted wardrobes

    I thought this might be useful for people looking for fitted wardrobes. Most of our bedrooms have wardrobes with the same doors as the our room doors, but our bedroom had a dressing room that needed fitted furniture. I see this all the time in various show homes but didn't know where to buy it. As we struggled to find it we did get quotes from a couple of people - Sharp's and someone the builder knew. These were roughly £11,000 and £10,000. I just wasn't prepared to pay this, basically it is 4 double wardrobes, 2 singles and 2 chests of drawers (I changed it to 3 when I built it). No way was I paying over £1000 per item, it is ridiculous. Anyway I had found two companies on line that allow you to order fitted furniture cut to size. I was a bit concerned about using these as I wasn't sure about the quality and particularly I was worried about getting the measurements wrong. In the end I just decided to get on with it and the builder's joiners fitted them. They look great and they cost around £6000 compared to the £10000+ quotes I had, still not cheap but a lot more reasonable. That's about £4500 for the cabinetry and then the fitting, I could have done most of it myself but simply don't have time. The company I used was The other one I found was The second would have been a little cheaper but I just felt better about the first and they were a little more flexible. They also had 2400mm tall wardrobes that I thought would fill the space better. It is very heavy, the drawers and wardrobe backs are all 18mm board. The handles still have to be fitted and I decided to get some kind of granite top to finish it off nicely.
  4. AliG

    Possibly starting all over again

    It's just number 1 in the street. Just to clarify the plot we are buying is the small one with the lines through it, the rest of the area os the garden of number 1. Number 1 is listed. It was up for sale in 2015 I think. It had a stair lift, old kitchen etc, so presumably was lived in by an old person who had not upgraded it. A local developer bought it, did it up then sold it but kept back around 25% of the garden. They initially applied for permission for a larger two storey modern house with double garage, it was withdrawn. They applied for permission in half the plot we have bought for a small 2 storey house, there was a mysterious area listed as garden ground owned by the applicant but not part of the house plot. I think that then once it was up trying to creep along the road and build another house was exactly their plan. They then applied to enlarge the house they had permission for but it was withdrawn. I did ask have a quick call with the council and the person I spoke to said that they didn't want any more of the area built over, even for a single storey house. The reason seems to be that it encroaches too much on number 1 that is listed. I have taken a flyer that is nonsense. The house on the opposite corner is also listed. A house has been built in its garden that covers around 250 square metres of ground and is two storeys tall. It covers a larger area of than the listed house. Considering this precedent it would be difficult to refuse what we are proposing. I think keeping it single storey so that you cannot see it, the hedges around the site are over 3m tall, gives it the best chance of being approved. This is the kind of house that my parents would like, whilst something else might maximise the value of the plot it would be hard to get permission. Even with what we are asking for I have a couple of backup plans. There were a lot of objections to the two storey houses applied for due to overlooking and the effect on the streetscape, I think one storey will be a lot less annoying to people in the area.
  5. AliG

    Possibly starting all over again

    Looks like it should be OK. Because of the services and allowing for the house to be roughly 2m from the boundaries and 9m from the boundary with the house behind it has to fit in a space roughly 17.5m wide by 14.5m deep. We will apply for something covering 155sq metres which is 20% of the area of the plot.
  6. AliG

    Loft roof insulation

    You should be able to get loose fill insulation and push it along. Once you have filled the space between the first set of joists it will push over to the next set and so on. You would need to make up some kind of "pusher" but that shouldn't be hard. This is the cheapest simplest option I would think. Not sure if you could get it into the corners though. I have also heard of people jury rigging a leaf blower to blow loose insulation in. Blown beads would be ideal but I suspect that this is too small a job for professionals. However, if you want the cavity done also then they might be able to do it all at once. You would need to know if the cavity can take full fill insulation with no dampness issues. I can't believe there is no insulation, it costs peanuts. They probably thought it was too much hassle to get it in there.
  7. I just went through the process of getting a new car for my parents in their 70s. My dad was struggling getting in and out of the smaller doors on many cars. We settled on a small people carrier type of car. They didn't want an SUV, I wanted them to get a Skoda Karoq. They got a BMW 2 Series which wasn't my choice but suited them. In my research I found that from a head rather than heart view probably the best of this type of car was the Golf SV. A car that is terminally dull to look at but spacious and sensible. We too bought from a broker, Broker4cars. I use to check prices as they make it very easy to search on line, but they didn't have such a good discount on the car we bought. I have bought 7 or 8 cars from brokers over the last 15 years now for various family members. I am a big fan of the back up camera, but other than that I would avoid almost all electronics as they simply won't get used. My wife barely uses them, never mind my parents. My car does have auto parking and it works fantastically well, but takes a bit of getting used to to understand how it works. You will know your parents better, what size of car would they like, do they like ti use gadgets etc. One thing I would look for is good Xenon or LED headlights if possible, LED is unlikely at this price point. Older people really struggle to see in the dark and I think it is an important safety point. I am surprised that you say no automatic, it makes a car much easier to drive. A modern automatic is a big difference to a 2008 Chevrolet. For low hassle I would tend to go Japanese or Korean, on average they are much more reliable, although smaller simpler cars tend to be more reliable anyway. Cars I would look at that are that bit taller and easier to get in and out of and can be bought new in the £10-15000 range or cheaper if you go a couple of years older. Honda Jazz Hyundai IX20 Kia Venga Second hand I would look at the Golf SV Citroen Aircross
  8. AliG

    New series of Grand Designs

    Is anyone else riding Grand Designs a lot less interesting in the last couple of years? So many of the houses are so unusual they have little relation to any house anyone might build and so my interest rapidly wanes. I now way prefer Building The Dream which seems much more grounded in reality. I do wish they put more emphasis on how houses are actually built. I need to try Impossible Homes
  9. AliG

    Possibly starting all over again

    I have actually found them surprisingly helpful recently. I feel like there has been some kind of change. Many time I have called recently and they have answered the phone, something which never used to happen.
  10. AliG

    Possibly starting all over again

    Sadly it is a conservation area so no PD. It feels like almost the whole city is a conservation area.
  11. AliG

    Possibly starting all over again

    It was around £350k for 0.2 of an acre (800sq metres) As suggested there are a few plots for sale in Edinburgh at around £450k that are a little bit larger. There is also a plot I know of that just came on the market for offers over £150k but it is quite small and hemmed in by the adjacent houses although in a nice area. My parents don't want a large garden to look after anyway. As has been said though you have to see the value to you. The plot is at the other end of the street to us, around 5 minutes walk away. It is one of the nicest streets in Edinburgh and also within 2 minutes of a bus stop, 5 minutes of a few shops and 10 minutes walk of a GP. Perfect for retired people, the average age in the area is over 50 I believe. It is exactly what my parents would like and if they enjoy it and everyone is happy then I don't really care about a few thousand pounds either way. Of course the value of money is different to everyone. The wrinkle is that the plot only had permission for quite a small house, around 110square metres. That might be worth around £450-500k so wouldn't justify what we paid. In extremis we could fall back to building this. But the plot is easily big enough to take something much bigger. We plan to apply for a single storey house of around 160sq metres including a single garage At a guess it would be worth around £650k and so we can spend around £300k building it, 2000 a square metre and come out even. The plot is part of the garden of a listed house, the council told me that they didn't want a house with a larger footprint when I called and asked, but the application for the existing planning was on half the plot, I believe the owner hoped he could then apply for another house. The council also allowed a much much larger house to be built in the same situation at the other side of the street and have just approved for another garden in the street to be split in two. Plus most objections were to overlooking from a two storey house and this house would basically not be seen. We made a condition of the offer that we need to know if there are services through the plot to the house next door that would interfere with what we want to build, so are awaiting confirmation of that before the architect goes to work.
  12. AliG

    Possibly starting all over again

    I don't think we bid too much, I wasn't going to worry about a few thousand either way tbh. There is £30,000 less stamp duty on the land than there would be on the house built on it which goes a long way to paying for things.
  13. AliG

    Possibly starting all over again

    Our offer was accepted, but we will not conclude until we have confirmation that the services to the house next door do not interfere with our ability to build on the site.
  14. I have two en suites similar to the first picture, see below. I designed them with a 1000mm screen and 600mm gap but the bulkhead was built wider than it should have been so the gap ended up being around 500mm. I thought it looked narrow but it works fine. The bathroom people were adamant that the water would come around the end of a 900mm screen. I think in terms of hassle the narrower gap and not soaking the floor is better. Very little water comes around the end of a 1000mm screen, most of the water transfer comes from wet people getting out of the shower. For the second room, I'd try to get a 1700x900 tray and build a bulkhead at the end to take a niche for shampoo and pipework. The bulkhead would match the one behind the WC at the other side and frame the bath. Especially for a longer shower like that I would want the controls on the side wall across from the entrance and the head at the end, do you have a cavity to run the pipes in and put the valve into? It looks like that is an outside wall on the side and end of the shower. If you cannot make room in the side wall for the valve it would go in a bulkhead. A 1000mm or 1100mm screen would be fine here. In the third one I'd just tile the 300m of floor, not much water will get more than 1200mm back.The back wall doesn't really get wet on mine, but I think I'd want to tile it also. I'd be very surprised if you couldn't find a shower tray that works at 1500mm, it might just require getting onto Google for an hour. In all three I would try and put the controls opposite the entrance if possible and in the two with bulkheads I would have a niche in the bulkhead to store shampoo etc. I had a picture to hand of one of my ensuites, the shower controls are at the end as the wavy tiles aren't flat enough for them.
  15. @jsharris It was the same when I flew. The same people every week. It could easily be a couple of thousand people in total for Scotland. I can't say that I think many people do it daily though. By my calculation you need to earn roughly £50-60,000 more a year pre tax working in London to cover the cost of travel and accommodation. 2000 people at £200,000 a year average is around almost £200m a year in tax and NI. Although that's a drop in the ocean relative to the budget deficit. The average earnings of this group of people is very high. We did have someone who once commuted to Magaluf in the office.