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AliG last won the day on March 30 2019

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  1. I just called Virgin Media said I wanted to subscribe and explained that I needed a new install. Initially their system was confused as we knocked down a house that had VM and the cable had been broken during building. So despite telling them it would be a new install someone turned up thinking they just had to reconnect an existing connection and they then had to arrange someone to come back to connect a new cable to the pavement. Looking back at the email chain it was installed just over two weeks after I called them. This was months before we moved in but at the time was only supposed to be the week before. I don’t have any kind of box on the outside of the house. I think we had installed conduit from out side into the plant room and they were happy to pull their cable through that. I’ll check exactly how it terminates when I get home. I wasn’t there when it was installed. Usually it seems that a reasonable engineer will work with your builders if they are there at the time. For what it’s worth I filled out the new development form for Openreach even though it doesn’t seem designed for one house, there was literally no other way to contact them. A guy turned up to survey the install. He gave us a reel of cable and asked us to put it into a conduit from the house to the nearest pole. Then two years later we had to call a phone provider to ask for a line install to get the cable connected at both ends. Again despite frequently telling them this would be the case the guy turned up thinking he just had to put the master box inside the house. Amazingly he was happy when that didn’t work to go to the other end of the canid and connect it to the pole. Other people have said they were told that a special team was required to come back to do this.
  2. I thought about this idea on our house when I read about a "prep" kitchen which is a similar idea. I liked the idea of having one area where you would have sinks, dishwashers, fridge/freezer etc and you would make food out of sight and keep all the pots and pans etc. Then you would have another area where you might just have facilities for drinks etc and would be more for show than working. The trouble is, although this sounds a nice idea, my wife and myself depending on who is cooking usually stand and make things at the island whilst talking to other family members. My daughter usually sits at the kitchen table whilst my wife cooks for example. My wife in particular didn't like the idea of being stuck in a small room and unable to talk to people whilst cooking. Instead we have the hob and a sink on the island so you can face out to other people in the kitchen whilst working. You can cut veg etc at the space in between them. Depending on what you are making the hob is the place you often stand for some length of time, imagine making pancakes for example. I guess if one person tends to be in the kitchen on their own all the time then this arrangement may work better. This kind if layout would seem to work very well for a party where you might want guests to not see the work in the background, but not very well for day to day living. I guess looking at the suggested layout above you could have an area where you put the dirty dishes and pots and pans whilst still cooking in the main kitchen but that seems a bit of a back and forward faff. TBF we have a small upstairs kitchen that we put in as we had a free space and i felt it might be useful for a granny flat or something similar in the future. A few times now when we have had a party I have cooked all the sausage rolls etc up there then just brought them down so that I do not have to work around people in the kitchen and it works really well. But again it seems that the two kitchens/two areas idea is more for entertaining than for family life. Then there is the idea of a pantry for food storage. These are also quite trendy and my wife did ask for one. I couldn't find a space to fit one in and basically all the dry food we have fits in one cupboard. I am not sure that a large pantry wouldn't just encourage the accumulation of stuff we don't need. On the should the oven be next to the hob question, we had a similar issue. I was struggling with the kitchen design until I decided that the fridge and freezer didn't have to be next to each other. Ovens and hobs used to be together because they were all in one cooker and fridges and freezers used to also be together because they were also oneunti. Once they are separate items they is no actual practical reason to keep them next to each other.
  3. A quick Google came up with this So it looks like you can buy the condenser plus three inside units for less than you have been quoted for the condenser. These are different inside units but prob gives you a good idea. One thing I always do to get an idea of how reasonable the quote is is to ask how long installation will take. If they come back and say that it will be two guys for three days then you are being charged about £1000 per man per day, I have no idea what the right cost for London is but I would imagine £4-500 per person a day might be the kind of level you are looking at. Of course they can quote you whatever you like and the only way to get a better price may be to get other quotes. Afraid I cannot help you with other places, I would probably just start with Google and see if I can find some reviews.
  4. Hi, I have noticed quite often that the water from one of our kitchen mixer taps is not hot. I had put it down previously to maybe being a quirk of our circulating hot water system. But I noticed at the weekend that the other tap in the kitchen was hot and this one just lukewarm whilst running them at the same time, so now I realise there is probably an issue with the tap. It is a Blanco Culina S-Mini. The temperature starts cold when set to cold but only moves to maybe 30C when you move it to hot. Looking on line I found a video suggesting that you need to flush the pipes when you install the tap. Could it be that there is dirt in one of the pipes, or could something else be causing this issue? Thanks
  5. Usually yes. Tesla uses Mercedes column mounted shifter.
  6. Pictures as requested. There aren't actually any handles at all, there is just a metal channel and you pull the back of the doors to open things. Easy to clean than a handle, you can just run a wet cloth along the top edge of the door when it is open. Someone mentioned no dust on another thread about MVHR. I cannot see any dust anywhere in the house and I don't think someone has dusted everywhere. I always thought that most dust was due to dead skin, but in fact I think it is mostly atmospheric dust and pollen coming in from outside. In my flat in London the window sills literally turn grey from the dust from the road outside, I hate to think what it does to my lungs.
  7. Will you have MVHR? As far as I can see, we basically have no dust in the house with MVHR. We have a handleless kitchen, no dust gets in the tracks where you pull the doors.
  8. We have one stainless steel sink and one white Silestone sink. The Silestone sink stains easily and has to be cleaned with Barkeeper's Friend. I probably wouldn't get one again. We changed from 1.5 bowl sinks in the last house to single larger sinks. One thing was I wanted to get a whole oven tray or BBQ grill in the sink, previously they stuck out the side at an angle so you had to fill the sink right up to steep a flat item. Our SS sink is a Blanco Caron XL 60. We were limited in that it had to fit in a 600mm cabinet. If you do like to fill it to wash stuff in the sink it does take a long time to fill a bit sink. My parents have a very modern sink with very sharp corners and say it is very difficult to clean the corners. Undermounted is so much easier to push water and crumbs into the sink. I would also recommend some kind of flexible tap that allows you to move the water around and a waste disposal. As we don't wash much by hand we don't have a draining area as I noticed in previous house that the grooves in the granite got very dirty. This seems no problem at all, sometime we just put things on the flat surface.
  9. I see them on here and on the internet, but I have never actually seen a beam and block floor in Scotland. Does anyone up here have one?
  10. One of the reasons I wanted to move was to have a good sized triple garage as at some point my daughter will be driving and I hated shuffling around cars in front of the house when I was a teenager and noted it was a big issue with my next door neighbour's kids in our last house. However, I am now increasingly thinking that this is not a great long term idea as when self driving is sorted out the notion that you would have multiple cars seems unlikely. You may have one car that you use a lot, but could probably get by on just dialling up a second or third car as needed. I still do not really expect this to be a reality for a good few years, but it is worth thinking about when you consider the lifespan of a house. If this becomes the case if you have an internal garage you may want it to be set up to be easily converted to living space. We go through these same arguments on EVs etc all the time. Hydrogen has lost the argument and is a wasteful way of moving energy about. I guess if we were in a situation where electricity was close to free then the waste of creating hydrogen then turning it back into electricity in a car wouldn't matter, but I suspect that most cars will be battery powered by then. People also forget that battery technology continues to progress. Cost and density improve and charging speeds increase. I wouldn't be surprised to see something like a 1/3 reduction in battery cost and 1/3 improvement in energy density over the next 5 years, any solid state breakthroughs could beat this, but I think this can be done with continuous improvement. This means that 400mile range cars are quite doable with 90-100kWh battery packs. I do not see there being a good payoff on larger range than this. At this level of cost and utility, BEVs kill ICE vehicles for most applications. They won't replace ICE vehicles in every instance, but for the vast majority of uses they will be equal or better. We have had our Tesla for just over 2 years now, finest car we have ever had.TBF as things advance and I can afford to spend more money pretty much every car we have had is the best we have ever had. That's just progress. However, as mentioned, EVs are just better cars. I nipped into the local Porsche dealer the other day to see if they had a Taycan as I have basically stopped driving my 911 since getting a Tesla. A petrol engine just seems rough and annoying compared to an electric motor, a diesel engine seems positively agricultural. My 70+ parents, hardly at the forefront of technology would love their next car to be electric. Access to Charing in urban areas is difficult, but then 24% of households don't have a car. Most of these are probably in those same urban areas. Where I work in London, a lot of my fellow workers don't have cars. They are not worth the hassle in London. Again these areas will benefit from more availability of car sharing, self driving taxis etc. Only around 1% of trips are over 70 miles, we won't need as many chargers as people seem to think, charging at home will suffice for over 99% of trips. I have not once in two years made a trip where I needed to charge the car. There was one trip where we decided to take the train instead. Charging capacity really is not an issue, everyone will not get an electric car tomorrow. Even if they stopped selling ICE cars tomorrow it would take around 7 or 8 years for 50% of cars to be BEVs. There is ample time to manage the grid. The grid will also benefit immensely from the violability of ever cheaper batteries. The screen argument is exaggerated and anyway, it is nothing to do with electric cars, car manufacturers have just decided that this is what people want. What exactly do people do in their cars, how often do you touch controls other than the indicators? I set the AC to auto 22 and hardly ever touch it. We use voice control for sat nav and to pick songs, or just leave the radio on. The Tesla update I got yesterday allows you to control things such as the seat heaters and rear heated window using voice commands, I haven't tried it yet. But again I turn on the seat heater when I get in the car, or more likely using the phone app before I get in and don't touch it after that. Irrespective of how they work there shouldn't be a lot of messing around with you car, you should focus on driving it. The new Tesla update apparently also allows the car to read texts to you and you to reply using voice control. This is clearly for America where you would be amazed how many people think texting and driving is acceptable. Even without physically typing, concentrating on a text and a reply would be exceptionally distracting while driving and I don't think should be allowed.
  11. An even more aggressive advert on the "self charging hybrid" from Lexus(Toyota). Apparently it has two sources of power "petrol and electric". It really is quite galling.
  12. Looking at that last picture, is there any flashing between the flat roof and the side of either house? It doesn't look like it which would make me more concerned about where the water might go. It could start to pool and run into the house wall. The roof also looks in pretty poor condition, I would be considering whether to replace the whole thing whilst work is being done anyway. I guess though the builder might have mentioned this if he thought it needed done. This seems a bit of a thing in the south east, people seem happy to put lots of mismatched extension onto houses, but really it won't look great with a little piece of flat roofed area jutting up on just one side. I think I'd actually be more concerned with this that next door converting the back of their garage. Raising the entire roof on both garages would probably be best, but looking at your neighbour's house versus yours and the lack of gutter, it wouldn't seem like they will be in a hurry to contribute to anything. Depending on the current set up of your drain BC may not want you to connect a rainwater drain to a wastewater drain.
  13. I think it is hard for people to put it in context without a full ground floor plan. As I doubt you'd be blocking the front door, I assume that is a rear door to the garden at the moment and you enter the house at the other side. In that case, it would seem that the space will rarely be used. An en suite would work, but another suggestion might be to make it a study area, otherwise if it is just a rear hall I doubt you will get the benefit of the double height.
  14. I wouldn't recommend UFH for this kind of project. 1. UFH doesn't work well in retrofit situations. It can be done but it is much less efficient on timber floors than solid floors. The ground floor may be a more workable job. I would just stick with radiators upstairs. 2. UFH is designed for a modest low heat output. Unless you can considerably improve the insulation you will have problems. Not only may you not be able to get a high enough heat output to warm the house, but it could see large temperature variations depending on the outside temperature that UFH will not cope well with. Hopefully someone can give you some help on insulating the solid stone walls. I do know that without insulation they have awful u-values, worse than a double glazed window.
  15. Someone bought the house and refurbished it. They then sold it minus part of the garden which they had obtained permission to build a house on. The new owners were the only people who objected to the single storey house even though we already gave permission to build a two storey house. Apparently they cited that it would hurt the value of their house which was ignored.