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DavidFrancis last won the day on September 27 2016

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About DavidFrancis

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  • About Me
    Not building a new house. Have a rubble stone house with a 1970s flat-roof extension and spend a fair bit of time on maintenance and small/medium sized improvements.

    Barely done any DIY until moving into this house, so find this site a useful way of improving my knowledge.

    Watch far too many TV programmes on building/renovating houses and like the idea of doing a self-build but the stress would probably give me a nervous breakdown.
  • Location
    South-west Lancashire

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  1. I used to be an insurance broker many years ago and I wouldn't be suprised if the insurers are relucant to cover any losses. I've just looked at an Aviva policy, purely as an example, and without "accidental damage" cover I'd say their policy wouldn't cover these kinds of electrical damage losses and even their accidental damage extension has an exclusion of "electrical or mechanical breakdown". If the original cause of the problems was a fire, an explosion, a falling tree etc then the cover should operate, but for a faulty connection somewhere, there maybe a problem claiming. Not all policies are the same, but in this area I think they are mainly pretty similar. But I did leave the business 30 years ago, so I could be talking out of my posterior.
  2. DavidFrancis


    According to the government's latest fire statistics, about half of all dwelling fires start in kitchens, so if you're thinking about where to place an extinguisher then in or near the kitchen would be good. May be of interest to Lizzie: smoke alarms failed to operate (or failed to raise the alarm - not sure of the distinction) in about 30% of dwelling fires, but only 20% of mains-powered alarms failed, whereas 40% of battery-powered ones failed (mostly because the battery was either missing or defective). See https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/650926/detailed-analysis-fires-attended-fire-rescue-england-hosb1617.pdf About 8% of fire fatalities come from candle fires and 35% from "smokers materials", so if you use neither your chances of dying in a fire are much improved!
  3. DavidFrancis

    fire in the house

    Which? magazine tested smoke alarms a year or so ago. From what I remember, there were quite significant variations in speed of detection, depending on the source of the smoke (plastic, wood etc). May have only been battery-operated ones though? Can't remember. https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/smoke-alarms/article/how-to-buy-the-best-smoke-alarms
  4. DavidFrancis

    Greenstar 24i/28i Junior

    I've spoken to the WB technical support quite a few times and they've always been helpful: 0330 123 3366
  5. DavidFrancis

    New Windows Scotland

    Why don't you start by looking through this section?: https://forum.buildhub.org.uk/forum/142-windows-glazing/
  6. DavidFrancis

    Dry rot in our 1930's semi detached

    Don't know if this will help, but there's this article on dry rot on the buildingconservation.com web site: http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/dry-rot/dry-rot.htm
  7. DavidFrancis

    MVHR, OSB, windows and roofing starts.

    Thanks again @JamesP. Looking more closely at your second picture above, I looks like you've screwed the 75x47 into the 150x47s using a single horizontal screw at each intersection. Did you use something like a 120 x 6 screw? Looking at your diagram, you have the 50x47s inside the 75x47s but it looks like these sit on top of some insulation and not the slab, and you then have OSB, battens and then plasterboard inside the 50x47s. This seem like a lot of weight being carried on these screws, or is there some additional support somewhere? Sorry to ask so many questions.
  8. DavidFrancis

    MVHR, OSB, windows and roofing starts.

    Thanks @JamesP. I was thinking of a wall build-up something like this should we re-build our extension. One last question (perhaps!): how did you fix the 75x47s to the 150x47s?
  9. DavidFrancis

    MVHR, OSB, windows and roofing starts.

    @JamesPall looks very professionally done. Can you give bit more detail of your wall build-up (140/70/50)? I'm guessing the 50mm is the internal battens? And did you do the GRP roof all yourself. If so, have you done anything like this before? And how difficult did you find it? Thanks
  10. DavidFrancis

    Renovating external render

    Are you sure your arithmetic is right? Take your "front main section". If the rectangular part of that is 3m wide and 2.4m high, that's 7.2 sq m. Add 3.6 sq m for the triangular section and deduct 1.5 sq m for the window, then that's 9.3 sq m, not the 17 sq m you've got.
  11. DavidFrancis

    Timber and treated timber: what goes into treatment?

    For a definitive guide you could buy one of these from TRADA (Timber Research and Development Assn) https://www.trada.co.uk/search?term=treatment&IsSearchPage=true
  12. DavidFrancis

    Timber and treated timber: what goes into treatment?

    Berry's use one of the Koppers treatments, but its NatureWood.
  13. DavidFrancis

    Timber and treated timber: what goes into treatment?

    I think I've seen some sizes of treated timber in the sheds. And Berry's will pressure treat any of their timber for you for an extra charge. I haven't got an up-to-date price sheet for sawn timber, but (for example) 50x150 planed timber costs 38p/metre extra for pressure treated - and it come in clear, brown or green! I think they only do two treating runs a week so I've sometimes had to wait for three or four days before I could pick it up. And I agree with Jeremy that painting or spraying's not going to be as effective. I ofter soak cut-ends in a tray of wood preserver for a minute or two and, as @Onoffsays, it soaks up quite a way.
  14. DavidFrancis

    UFH in Garage

    @PeterW - do you have any recommendations/suggestions for a self-install split unit? Was wondering about these only yesterday. TIA
  15. DavidFrancis

    Recommendations for breathable roofing membrane?

    An oberservation on membranes now our re-roof is mostly done. I was suprised by the amount of wear the membrane got from boots whilst the roof was going on. Our roofers walk up and down the roof along the rafter lines as I imagine most (all?) roofers do and their boots scuffed up the membrane to a fair degree. As we're having a re-roof there were quite a few nails left in the rafters after the old battens were removed. These were then just hammered into the rafters and if any of these had been left with a bent head I imagine there's some probability the membrane could get torn. So I reckon its worth going for a pretty good quality membrane to ensure it's all in one piece by the time the tiles/slates are on. One caveat: we have a double roof and our roofers got to the inside (valley) pitches from the outside pitches, so maybe our membrane got more wear than the average membrane.