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TheMitchells last won the day on November 30 2017

TheMitchells had the most liked content!

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About TheMitchells

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    Bicester, OXfordshire

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  1. I think most people have been in the same boat as you and its probably done us all the world of good. I am so grateful that while in lockdown we have a garden and it has been wonderful to do so many off the jobs that i rarely get rouond to doing. and the Other Half didnt seem to mind helping either. Horticulture/gardening is an excellent form of therapy; so much so that some Dr's are even prescribing it. Re designing a garden, thats something i help people with. but Manchester is a bit of a long way from Bicester, Oxfordshire. Maybe i could start a simple guide to designing a garden. I used to teach it so will have a look at my notes and pull something together. it may be some use to others too. In the meantime, if you see a picture of a garden that you either like/hate, try to keep a note of what you liked/disliked. and try to decide what you'd like the garden to provide - is it just for entertaining? for relaxing? for children/pets?
  2. Best time to prune a wisteria is in winter - Feb is good - as you can see the framework that you have. Here are some before and after shots. And here it is flowering. In summer, i go thorugh the whole thing and cut back all the long whippy growths to 4-6 buds. this encourages the one nearest the plant to beome a flowering bud (as well as tidying it up), so in winter when i cut back to 2/3 buds, you have a new flowering one and 1-2 buds to grow. then repeat as many times as you like with the flowering spur getting bigger each year. occasionally cut out some of the flowering spurs to keep the plant in shape or let more light in. and if it needs renovating, cut it back really hard, leaving only the framework that is in the right place. it will soon send out new shoots which you can then train in for the future. The main thing is to be tough - remove any shoots that arent in the right place and tie in ones that are. you'll need a strong support too. Good luck.
  3. Thanks Ferdinand for the reminder of that great song! 😁
  4. Dont let them put you off! You dont mention where you are based but there is a great Self Build and Renovation Centre at Swindon which I'd recommend you visit. its free if you pre book tickets and is a mine of information, particularly for those beginning their delf build dream. But I agree that it helps if you both are in this together. My other half is not as keen and I know I need him to be on board too before we do it. There are self build shows all around the country and again, you can get free tickets from various sources; magazines or companies which are keen for their potential customers to attend and see their stall. They are great for talking to other self builders to get a true picture of what its like. And there are plenty of self builders who are happy to show you their own house. Then you can truely see the benefits as well as discuss the pitfalls and downsides so at least you go into it with your eyes open. And lastly, try out the podcasts at Go back to the beginning as they are going to be most relevant. Good luck!
  5. Dad has already ahd a letter saying that they have seen his car on our temporary drive and he has crossed the footpath which is illegal. while they dont mention prosecution; that is implied and as am 80 year old, he does not want to do anything illegal and would be horrified to think he'd be sent to court. yes, thats correct. The council say it is the cost of making the pavement to the right specification. and I guess that does make the price more reasonable. howwever, there are loads of places around where people cross the pavement and even park on the kerb and I doubt they get any letters. I shall look into that as we have been told that we can only use those contractors on the list. we did get someone out to give a quote for the driveway and he was not happy as he had tried to get on the council list and couldnt. so he he could not give us a price for the dropped kerb. I still think the prices are way too high for the work. hopefully we'll get more reasonable ones now we are after Christmas and some of the other firms willcome and give us quotes. Fingers crossed!
  6. Go for the Double Height hall - will look fab! who needs another En-suite. you already have two bathrooms upstiars. thats my twopennyworth.
  7. Have been getting some quotes for a dropped kerb for parents bungalow. It tool over 6 months to get the permission but the council finally relented and sent us the contractors list that we can use. Tried about 5 but most too busy as its Christmas! however, had two quotes - £1500 + vat and £2,500 + vat!! here's the kerb - its 5 cm high and made of granite cobbles which they will re-use. Is that daylight robbery or not?? I guess £260 of that is the council licence they have to have. But even so, are they going to re-do the whole footpath around the bungalow? Anyone else had a dropped kerb to give me some perspective on costs? But like usual - we cannot use a local reasonable firm; we have to use someone off the Council list which seems to give them the ability to charge anything they like. Bah Humbug!!
  8. All the podcasts are free, its just the Hub which he charges for. It used to be much cheaper and I certainly would not pay the current monthly fee. But with this offer, you can have a look at the video's which are good. I particularly like the Buckinghamshire Passivhaus as it goes through all the stages from start to finish. It also has the video's from his own Passivhaus build.
  9. This came through today and offer ends Sunday. I certainly liked watching the video's. its quite expensive after that tho. Here's the link. From Ben Adam-Smith. I'm doing something that I've never done before. I'm giving you the chance to road test our membership community The Hub. So I'm offering a 14-day trial for just £1! Simply click here to get started. Unsubscribe at any time within the 14 days and we'll say no more. But we're hoping you'll see the benefits of being a Hub member and want to stay on. This offer is only available until the end of Sunday, so take advantage today! And if you have any questions in the meantime, please let me know. Merry Christmas! Kind regards, Ben Adam-Smith HOUSE PLANNING HELP - THE HUB
  10. please can you translate this into english?? thanks.😊
  11. yes, that certainly looks like the one. I would love to build a house with the straw panels - warm, healthy and natural. and the panels look easy enough to build ourselves. May be ideal for @Mischiefsmum.
  12. Welcome to the Forum - you will get all sorts of advice, and not just about Building. It is a genuinely friendly place, as you have found out already. A while back I saw a Dragons Den episode with a couple of women who wanted to set up a straw building company here in the UK. They were already building straw bale houses but wanted to join up with an Eastern European (I think) company who produce cassette type builds using straw as the insulating material within wooden frames. That sounds just the thing for you. It may be an idea to speak to Barbara Jones of Straw works to see how the idea developed and if anyone knows how to help you acheive your dream, it will be her. Good luck!😊
  13. I love this forum - Just had elderly parents for lunch and Dad brought an Advertisement for a new way of heating his hot water that he was interested in. It was the Aquafficient from Fischer Future Heat. luckily I had read enough on here to think it sounded just like a Sunamp so after they went home, I did some research and found this post. He has been suitably warned and I doubt will bother ringing them. It was a full page advert in The Sun and sounded very good. It did mention that the Aquafficent is 'Manufactured exclusively for the home electric heating experts, Fischer Future Heat!'.
  14. Having just rung Richmond Radiators, they have the timer and element which I can buy to put into the towel rail that we already have. or they can supply the towel rail and timer instead and thats cheaper than the towel rail that I have already paid for...... I need to see if I can return the rail and wifi controller and get my money back.
  15. Help needed so I am jumping into this post with another towel rail question? In the parents new shower room, which is almost finished, we need to add a towel rail. I was over ruled in putting in under floor heating (for various reasons) so they are relying on a towel rail for all the heat. There is electric to the location for the rail but no conenction to another point outside of the room for a controller so we need a towel rail with an element controlled by a wireless timer/thermostat. All the decorating has been done now so we dont want to have to channel out for another cable - also there are plenty switches outside the bathroom door that we'd struggle to add another. The bathroom suppliers I went to ordered what I thought was what we wanted but it has arrived and it has a wifi control unit which still needs a cable to the electricity supply for the rail. ie - running it from a smart phone, which isn't what we wanted. i have found this one Does this sound right - we can have the control unit in the bedroom and it would communicate to the element in the towel rail?? The bathroom supplier has been in communication with the supplier of the towel rail and they say they have not heard of anything suitable for our situation! I am hoping @Nickfromwales can help here. It looks like we'll be charged a restocking fee if we send it back. Help!