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About MAB

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  1. You can have an informal pre-planning application advice meeting to discuss your plans with most council planning departments, it used to be free but I think many charge for an hour of their time now... Pre-application advice:-
  2. It is important that the mortar mix is correct and not too strong or it can cause cracks. There is a golden rule in the building industry that states ‘mortar should never be stronger than the material it is joining’. Some good advice here:- These Fischer Duopower wall plugs work well:-
  3. Without the final completion certificate on a house or extension from Building Control, it can cause problems if you ever sell the house as the buyers solicitor usually asks for evidence of it to ensure everything has been done to the correct standards. A friend of mine whose builder failed to get one on his extension had major delays when selling a few years later, as he had to get local BC to come back and sign off the drains, etc retrospectively before they would issue a cert. Luckily they did not insist on him uncovering the pipe work under his new paving but the delay almost broke the chain of waiting buyers and sellers. I had to chase my local Building Control office to issue a certificate, I don't think they would ever have knocked on my door to add to their workload. My BC officer said the property did not have to be fully decorated but all essential services must be finished and working but I remember he said my walk in shower needed to be plumbed in but did not need the glass panel, etc fitted. He also checked the Electrical Certificate and noted the spec etched on the safety glass panels on my Juliet Balcony. I have never had a Planning officer return to check anything after construction has started and they rarely seem to talk with Building Control officers, I suspect they are too busy and only come out if a neighbour complains about something. Another friend had his builders make the foundations for his kitchen extension half a metre too far out into the rear garden by mistake. The Building Inspector said if your neighbours don't mind just carry on. His neighbours did not mind so his kitchen is bigger than the approved plans and as over 4 years has passed I think that is the cut off period for anything out of planning spec to be challenged?
  4. I had the dilemma a few years ago of planning wanting a new bedroom window to be fixed frosted glass with an opening top fan light window to maintain any overlooking privacy to neighbours, while Building Control wanted an opening casement window below the fan light for fire escape reasons. In the end I went for frosted window with opening fan light and casement to suit BC and safety, only opening the lower window if/when essential. BC inspected and signed off but planning officers rarely seem to return to inspect unless someone complains.
  5. MAB

    seized stopcock

    Thames Water:- What should I do if I want to replace my lead pipes? Answer: 'If you’re replacing your lead pipes, we’ll arrange for the replacement of any lead piping that belongs to us free of charge.'
  6. MAB

    seized stopcock

    Perhaps you would have been better telling Thames water their outside stopcock had stuck in the shut off position and you had no water supply, pretty sure they would have to come out then. Once the workmen arrived I doubt they would care exactly what the problem was and just replace it or fix it.
  7. I saw a house recently that had a dormer roof loft conversion added after the old tiled roof had been spray insulated a couple of years earlier by the previous owners (to me it is a temporary bodge job in most cases). The builders had a nightmare removing the old roof tiles and the whole road was littered in foam insulation carried around on every gust of wind.....
  8. Correction Building Regs only require 30 minutes:- "Wall and any floor between the garage and dwelling house to have a minimum fire resistance of REI 30 from the garage side."
  9. Good point you can do one of two things if the ceiling is not already to 60 minute fire barrier standard for the garage below a habitable room Building Regs:- (1) you can double board the ceiling with standard sheets of plaster board. (2) you can use single layer of fire check pink plasterboard sheets which are a bit heavier to put up.
  10. I would close it in as you plan and maybe install a linear drain across the front of the new Garage door to prevent any rainwater coming in under the door. If you did have any damp problems you could still install a concrete floor at a later date if/when required.
  11. My chipboard floor in my extension only started squeaking after all the carpets had been fitted! I fitted the chipboard floor I just lived with it and don't notice it anymore, plus the rest of the house is 1930's suspended timber floorboards and stairs which have always had various squeaks and creaks!
  12. This video in link below may help you. I bought my 'Folding Sliding Doors' from here and installed them myself as shown in their video. Detailed instructions can be downloaded here:- What is the best bi-fold operating system
  13. Makes no sense to me many councils suggest you get a Lawful Development Certificate with PD to save any problems.
  14. I built my integrated garage to the same standard of construction and insulation to walls and roof as the rest of the house, a minimal cost difference in the scheme of things, that way the garage can always be used in the future for extra living space or as a warm Hobby room/Gym/Workshop, etc with minimal conversion work. Also a good selling point if you ever move on as few people seem to use a garage for a car anymore.....
  15. For info Virgin V6 Cable TV boxes each require a coax cable connection.