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Bitpipe last won the day on July 23

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  1. My uncle (now deceased) had a through floor lift which seemed much more robust than the stairlift and was less obtrusive.
  2. What is your originally proposed floor build up from the joist up?
  3. Top tip - DO NOT thread UFH through the pozi joists, you will struggle to do that without kinking it. We stapled spreader plates down on the pozi joists and laid the 16mm pipe - one bend sat within the gap between pozis and the other sailed over the joist, secured with a pipe clip. As our OSB floor deck was 18mm, we just left a gap where the over joist pipes sat. Protected with a few strips of ply during the build and then the final floor covering (in our case, ply and then resin) covered the whole lot. We did try the threading method initially but gave up after 5 mins when it was clear it would not work.
  4. What else is in the office generating heat i.e. computers, displays etc? In this warm weather our passive tf house works well at keeping cool until the sun flips over to the west side where we don't have external shutters on the glazing and by that time the external air is warm so keeping both direct sun and warm air out of the house is a priority. As soon as the sun goes low, air temp drops considerably and the house can be stack ventilated until morning when the cycle starts again. We have blown cellulose so high decrement delay which seems to be working well, external shutters on east windows which is very effective at reducing solar gain. Need to sort the west aspect where we have large sliders - either a film or external structure to provide more shade. We have some linen drapes inside that are somewhat effective but insufficient. However the home office, in a NE room, is always warmer due to displays, laptops etc chucking out extra heat.
  5. All works 'closely associated' with the build (assuming PP granted and going back down to ground level) are zero rated. Plant hire to you and professional services are standard rated. New utility connections are zero, utility moves (like a meter) are standard.
  6. So I'm in the unfortunate position of needing to replace my external render system as the original has had a material failure. I may need to use another contractor for the replacement system as the original firm may not be in a position to do the works. So, question is whether it can be zero rated? We got our completion cert from BC in September 2018 so HMRC would argue that this is not work related to the build but 'renovation' and would be standard rated. However there seems to be caselaw here that suggests otherwise. New contractor is discussing with his accountant, fingers crossed. Anyone here had similar experience? VAT: When is the building of a house complete? (And why is it important?) By Marcus Ward 11th June 2019 Completion of a residential dwelling A technical point which comes up surprisingly often and seems innocuous is: when is a building “complete”? The following case is helpful, and I thank Les Howard for bringing it to my attention. The date that the construction of a dwelling is deemed to be complete is important for a number of reasons. The issue in the case of Mr and Mrs James was whether certain works could be zero rated via the VAT Act Schedule 8 Group 5 Item 2 (The supply in the course of the construction of a building designed as a dwelling…) or as HMRC contended, they were the reconstruction or alteration of an existing building and the work should be standard rated. Background The James used a contractor to plaster the entire interior of their house in the course of its construction. However, the work was demonstrably defective to such an extent that the James commenced legal proceedings. A surveyor advised that all of the old plaster needed to be hacked off and replaced by new plastering installed by a new firm. The stripping out and replacement works took place after the Certificate of Completion had been issued. The James claimed input tax on the house construction via the DIY Housebuilders’ Scheme. Technical HMRC refused the James’ claim to have the remedial work zero-rated because, in their view, the re-plastering works amounted to the reconstruction or alteration of the house which was, when the supplies were made, an “existing building”. They proffered Note 16 of Schedule 5 which provides that “the construction of a building” does not include “(a) … the conversion, reconstruction or alteration of an existing building”. They stated that zero-rating only applied if the work formed part of the construction of a zero-rated building. They had previously decided that the work of snagging or correction of faults carried out after the building had been completed could only be zero-rated if it was carried out by the original contractors and correction of faults formed part of the building contract. When the snagging is carried out by a different contractor, the work is to an existing building and does not qualify for zero rating. The James stated that the Customs’ guidelines on snagging do not take into account extraordinary circumstances. Their contention was that the re-plastering works were zero rated because they had no choice but to engage the services of a different contractor other than the one who carried out the original works. Decision The judge found for the appellant – the re-plastering works were zero rated. There was a query as to why The James applied for a Certificate of Completion before the plastering was completed. In nearly all cases such a certificate would crystallise the date the building was complete. The reasons were given as: the need for funds. The James could not remortgage the house without the certificate and they needed to borrow a substantial amount they could not reclaim VAT under the DIY Housebuilders’ Scheme until the Certificate of Completion had been issued they were aware that the building inspector was beginning to wonder why the building works were taking such a long time they needed the house assessed for Council Tax which could only happen when the certificate had been issued the Certificate was issued as part of the procedure required by the Building Act 1984 and the Building Regulations of 2000 These reasons were accepted by the judge. Despite the respondents stating that: for the reasons given above the fact that the James had been living in the house for some time they had obtained the Certificate of Completion the new plastering work had been done by the new plasterer such that the house had been constructed before supply of the new plasterer’s services had been made the house was an “existing building” the judge was satisfied that in the circumstances the new plastering work was supplied in the course of the construction of the building as a dwelling house and that there was no reconstruction or alteration of an existing building in the sense contemplated by Note (16) to Group 5 Schedule 8. He observed that the Certificate of Completion records that the substantive requirements of the Building Regulations have been satisfied. But to the naked eye the old plasterwork was obviously inadequate and dangerous ad he could not possibly consider that the construction project had finished until the new plasterwork was installed. The James’ construction project was to build a new dwelling house. Plasterwork of an acceptable standard was an integral part of the construction works. The new plasterwork was done at the earliest practicable opportunity. Commentary Care should be taken when considering when the completion of a house build takes place. There are time limits for DIY Housebuilders’ Scheme clams and clearly, as this case illustrates, usually work done to a house after completion does not qualify for zero rating. So, if the owner of a house is thinking of, say, building a conservatory for example, it is more prudent in VAT terms to construct it at the same time as a new house is built, and certainly before completion. I would say that the appellant in this case achieved a surprisingly good result.
  7. There is a bit of a leap from a simple RWH system for gardening to servicing internal systems (toilets etc). The latter needs mains fed buffer tanks to allow for drought, pumps and must be WRAS compliant - also needs independent plumbing to the WC. Some people have raised potential health concerns about virus in bird droppings that may get washed from roof into the system and be aerosolised when the loo is flushed. Realistically you can't bury IBCs so forget that, I stored mine underground which is a better way to think of it. However once you move below ground you need a decent pump to make it useful. In my experience, RWH was an easy way to meet the water usage calcs.
  8. N.B. You shouldn't use any ground level drainage for harvesting as it may get contaminated with whatever it picks up off the ground - run that straight to a soak away. Roof drainage can go to RWH tank but once full, excess will go to soak away. RWH tanks are usually buried as being dark and cool inhibits nasties to grow, however this makes them expensive. You can DIY with IBCs (as I did) but mine are below ground level in a big concrete box covered with a deck that we needed to build for the basement anyway. You cannot bury IBCs without substantial protection as they will get crushed.
  9. It took me all of 20 mins to foam the joints, had too much plant installed at that stage to get the PB skimmed.
  10. No, I think it was just to ensure the PB was sealed between boards and at wall / ceiling joints - if there was a fire any gaps would compromise fire and smoke containment. A can of pink LE foam (rated for fire) applied with a gun, not straw, into all the gaps satisfied him. Once it goes off you can cut excess back with a knife.
  11. Our plant room was in basement so 3 walls are concrete and one is stud wall with door. Stud wall and ceiling boarded (standard white, 30 min) but not skimmed - BC would have preferred that but accepted pink LE foam in all the PB joints and around any penetrations. Door is FD30 with intumescent strip.
  12. £10 will give you 4m2 @ 10mm so you can prorate the coverage accordingly. You just need a tub and paddle mixer.
  13. +1 on compound, also known as latex. Quite cheap and easy to apply as it is self levelling. Remove any high spots and aim for 3mm coverage. We did this on our basement floor before laying karndean and it worked a treat.
  14. His way would work and I have seen it done but it will cost you a lot more £££ and you still need to stop people or animals falling in so would need a grille or parapet wall. Also, how deep would it be? How would it attach to the basement wall itself? How would it be waterproofed? I really don't understand how anyone could be confused by the MEA system though. We left a simple aperture in the basement wall to fit the MEA light well internal dimension and then just ordered a window to match, works perfectly well and as it sits in the 1m backfill zone, is surrounded by clean stone so not exposed to the surrounding soil. Took me, a complete amateur, a day to install each one Still looks great 5 years on and very easy to keep clean. The internal surface is curved and polished to efficiently reflect light into the room and does so very well. Oh, and you are the client so just tell him what you need.
  15. The US, bastion of capitalism that it is, has Fannie May and Freddie Mac who are Federally backed mortgage lenders.