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About SiBee

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  1. A little further away but try Bayfield bespoke, Manchester way. Even if its just for info. The guy who owns the place is declan Mckenna. Nice chap and knows a bit. Gave me a few pointers and was always trying to get us down to his showroom. email: He may remember me as he did a big project for me last year at our Southport office block replacing all our external windows and failed glazing casement units. They are a small company but when did some background checks they pick up some good work and his install teams are decent, his liability insurance us up there and method statements and risk assesssments are good, all good signs for a customer. BR Simon
  2. When We want decent tiles we have a look in Porcelenosa first👍. Only buy if they offer a really good discount or wait for the sale price. A friend worked there yonks ago and told us that they have a genuine sale but I think it was once, maybe twice a year. They do reserve a sale price for you though. Fancy showrooms cost lots of money. Roccia! If a salesman shakes my hand in there, I check that my watch is still on my wrist when I leave😉. Do you have a local CDT? Step up from Topps Some decent stuff and easy to get a discount. Johnson’s tiles are sold here but they have their own outlet shop near the factory in Stoke. Need to know what you are buying as some of their tiles may not be for everyone, quality wise. Had some real bargains on decent looking tiles which client had picked. I find it’s more about the tile than the brand, only the tiler will know how good a tile is.
  3. Great professional input from Nod and Nick so here is my experience from the DIY side. Many systems are available but I chose an Italian branded wedge system. Can’t remember the name (Feram........ or something) it was highly recommended on the tiling forums and I liked the wedge idea the best as it looked stronger and provided good surface area contact so I reckoned on having a better chance of getting tiles level. The floor was levelled and checked prior to tiling. Tiles are 300 x 300 quartz. The area is a long hallway which I wanted no lippage to be felt underfoot or to be seen as it would drive me mad and the job needed to be finished quickly. None of my tiler contacts will work for me personally (too picky) and none have used such levelling systems as it adds to the cost and most clients won’t want the additional costs or are not that knowledgeable about the finish. So, tiles went down quickly and at the time of working I could feel no lippage using an engineers straight edge. Next day after snapping the wedges and grouting I could and can see that the surface is not the perfection I had hoped for. My prep was spot on. Did I check the tiles before laying for flatness? can’t remember. Inexperienced user? Yes, but I am a skilled guy and have done a lot of tiling (modest too). I reckon my finish would have been just as good without using these only it would have taken me a lot longer to do. I would like to try another job to see if I am putting too much faith or expectation in my tile levellers. In theory at least, you should get a perfect finish, hmmm. I had a couple of the lads around for an honest opinion and they think the job is fine and can’t see the problem. My parents have just had their extension tiled with large format tiles and the tiler (builder recommended j didn’t use such a system. Lippage is obvious. No right or wrong here, just what people are comfortable working with I suppose but using these systems does not guarantee a perfectly level tiled finish IMO
  4. Are the pipe and inserts the same brand? I have never come across a “sloppy” fit? some are really hard to push in (dry) You are correct in questioning this.
  5. I am with Bitpipe on this. In a previous job I had to deal with a Dutch firm for machine spares and repairs. Their emails and spoken conversation came across as abrupt and rude. I am very thick skinned but this took me a while to get used to. No one on our site (150 employees) could string a sentence together in Dutch but our counterparts could all speak and write in English.
  6. Hi Tim, I didn’t give you the full story though. We placed bird feeders, fruit, nuts etc on top of our gabions all through the winter and carried it on as we enjoyed watching all the birds up close. We got to know their routine and even gave them names. Unfortunately this is what attracted the rats (we didn’t mind the field mice?) The pest control guy told us to remove the food and water bowls (obviously really) and guess what, the rats disappeared. Next door have a massive raised deck area and they barbecue regularly. Pest control guy reckons the rats live under their decking. So crack on👍We really miss watching all the different birds so close but hey ho. Give it another year and our jasmine will look great growing around these upright gabions.
  7. John explained my "set up" well. The baskets on their own will not be strong enough to keep their shape even using the ties between front and back. No doubt your stone placement will be better than mine 🙂 My upright ones filled with logs are to act as a retaining wall for climbing plants to grow around and through. I have concreted a steel post to act as a support and they sit on bedded 50mm 2` x 2` flag. I did want the whole wall to look like this but the weight put me off and I ended up with the individual gabions as a compromise. Looks a bit naf to us but the plants are starting to take and the wildlife love them even rats! I checked out the motorway embankment near me which used gabions and they have used 4/5mm thick galv wire and these look really sturdy. The supplier I used sells them in this size but the price starts getting silly. I drive past a Mcdonalds and they have just used gabions for the new outdoor seating areas. Looks a good job. If staying in the property, we would re do the gabion wall with some nicer infill.
  8. Hi Col, Thinking of what to say? My oldest gabions are 5-6 years old now. The mesh I picked was 75mm x 75mm x 3mm dia galv wire. The stone fill I used came (free) from the quarry at the bottom of my garden. This has crumbled over the years and something in the stone has reacted with the mesh and caused the gabions to rust? Also, we keeping walking on them so the top of the gabion wall is no longer level. Would I use them again? Definitely. Would I use the same supplier? Defiantly. We couldn’t afford to buy stone to fill them, we just got creative with what we could get for free.
  9. Never seen these but they are a good idea. Without checking the details myself, do they com3 in different s dims? 85mm is shallow once tiled. I made my own (marmot and orbry board) Openings with tile sizes in mind to try and limit cut edges and to fit mosaics. I did hav3 the luxury of a large cavity
  10. The houses in our cul de sac are about 16 years old. The boundary between next door and his neighbour has been planted with mixed hedging plants. Our shared drains run underneath these and an access man hole is bang in the middle of the hedge. I know the original neighbour next door but one planted specifically to hide the eyesore man hole cover. Every year for the last three years the drains have backed up due to blockages caused by the roots finding a way in. Drain man just shakes his head but he likes the regular income.
  11. SiBee

    Flexible caulk

    Dulux decorators centre anti crack acrylic caulk, as recommended by our contractors who swear by this stuff. I tried loads and even paid more for postage than product in buying the one recommended in the monthly builders magazine. Think it was made by Dunlop and my paint still “crackled” over this.What the lads do is prime with B.I.N as this covers anything, is tough, easy to use and ready for a coat after approx 40 mins. I am painting my kitchen cabinet doors and these products are working well.
  12. oil based egg shell is the answer. Covers and can be cleaned down. To cover difficult surfaces in the first instance, use zinsser B.I.N. Our decorators told me this info. This wont be the cheapest option but that was not the question asked.
  13. Just to expand, the energy suppliers trade/pay per half hour so if we the end user dont do likewise then the potential exists for the energy companies could lose out. Remote switch offs and data collection have been mentioned. You do not legally have to have a smart meter but the providers make it compulsory for some tariffs as they had targets to meet with numbers of smart meters fitted. Its marketing rubbish about saving you money; they should have been honest about the real reasons behind smart meters.
  14. Not always. I have under counter side by side zanussi fridge and freezer. They are old though, about ten years. Compressors are not the same and the freezer makes a lot more noise. Fridge is quiet, freezer is not. I am tarting the kitchen units up and cleaned the back of these appliances looking for any obvious problems so this is fresh in the memory. Only just put them back so not dragging them out to take pictures🙂
  15. Good spot. Flex is same both ends and I intended to remove the paper label as it won’t last. Never been used since fitted as it’s a spare bathroom only went in to take the pics.