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About MAB

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  1. I agree Resin Fix and stainless steel threaded studs....Screwfix have everything you need:- If you break through into a hole just squirt in more resin, you should have plenty for hanging a gate, once it has set as said above you could hang an elephant of them next day.
  2. Went 'slightly' over original budget as usual but I don't remember any mention as to where the extra cash (£100k +) needed came from...? 😀 Episode 1 "George Clarke meets the people breathing new life into our unused and unloved buildings, transforming local landmarks into unique family homes that celebrate their past. After Richard and Sarah's local high street bank shut, they decided to buy it and transform it into a unique family home, while retaining its grand Victorian Grade II listed architectural pedigree."
  3. "Plumbers and electricians will be the most sought after, followed by decorators, builders, and plasterers. On average, homeowners are planning to spend £13,958 on their makeovers – adding up to a total bill of £135 billion across the UK, with one in five budgeting over £20,000. A new kitchen is in highest demand, followed by a re-landscaped garden, bathroom renovation, and redecoration in the bedroom or living room."
  4. One of the big issues with spray foam insulation is when you come to sell a property..... "Whilst contractors may push the benefits of spray foam, lenders will often insist that surveyors take a different view. Surveyors and valuers will often have to discount the value of a property or request a specialist report, because it has SPF insulation. It may even make a property unmortgageable in the eyes of a lender."
  5. "A semi-detached show-home on the outskirts of Gateshead may seem an unlikely location for a technology revolution. But when this outwardly unremarkable looking building opens its doors in the coming weeks, it will mark a key moment in the UK’s accelerating transition to a zero-carbon economy. When the programme began, it was as much about ruling out hydrogen as an option as anything else, but as the project team worked its way through key questions on everything from the feasibility of hydrogen appliances to public acceptance, the case for putting the gas at the heart of the UK’s energy transition grew stronger. “As the programme’s progressed we’ve discovered everything is feasible and found a way over various hurdles.” “Everyone’s beginning to realise this really could be a very real possibility.” One of the keys to this has been the input from some of the biggest names in domestic heating, including the UK’s market leading boiler manufacturer Worcester Bosch, which has developed a prototype hydrogen-ready boiler that’s about to be put through its paces in a series of major trials. Worcester Bosch CEO Carl Arntzen told The Engineer that when the company began seriously looking into hydrogen around five years ago, it set out to answer two key questions: can it be safely burned in a domestic boiler, and is it possible to make a hydrogen boiler that’s the same size as an existing system? Artntzen’s team began by looking at what the differences between hydrogen and natural gas might mean in terms of engineering fundamentals. An early win was the realisation that hydrogen and natural gas have a broadly similar Wobbe index. This is a measure of the amount of heat energy within a given volume of gas. Artnzen explained that whilst hydrogen has a lower calorific value than natural gas, its density is much greater, meaning the same volumes of hydrogen and natural gas will give roughly the same heat energy. This provided early confidence that not only could a hydrogen boiler be physically the same size (and therefore wouldn’t require future customers to reconfigure their homes) but that it would also be compatible with the existing gas network. “The size of the existing gas network is roughly OK and supplies the same amount of energy whether you supply 100 percent natural gas or 100 per cent hydrogen,” he said. Nevertheless, the properties of hydrogen did present a number of engineering challenges. For instance, it has a much faster flame speed when compared to natural gas which, said Arntzen, created some initial challenges around how to control the combustion process. The team also encountered some early problems with “flashback”, a result of both the flame speed and shorter flame height of hydrogen. “The ignition was lighting the fuel upstream of the burner so we were getting a backfire,” he explained. “It was perfectly safe but of course your boiler going bang every few minutes is not really desirable!” Both of these findings prompted a redesign of the burner face to more effectively manage the flow of the gas within the appliance. Another key challenge was around monitoring and controlling the flame. Whilst existing domestic boilers sense the presence of a flame by detecting the electric current generated by carbon molecules within the gas, the absence of carbon molecules in hydrogen meant they had to look at different solutions for flame detection. At this point, said Arntzen, it became clear that it wouldn’t be possible to simply convert existing gas boilers to run on hydrogen, and the concept of a hydrogen-ready boiler was born, a system that would initially run on natural gas but which could be switched over to hydrogen with a minimum of fuss. “It goes into your house and burns natural gas, then, four or five years after you have it installed when you get notified that your area is going to be converted to hydrogen we come back in, quickly change a few components, and that boiler’s ready to burn hydrogen.” The Full Article can be read here:- (The posted readers comments after the 'Engineer magazine' article are not quite so positive....)
  6. I split the steel 'goal post' wide opening for my folding/sliding doors in two with a central brick clad steel pillar and two sets of identical doors (mirror image) to avoid the deflection problems I have seen very wide openings suffer from (it is also a double story extension above). In practice it works well as most times it is only one set of doors that we open, apart from on very hot days or for family gatherings, etc. Smaller folding door panels i find are also an advantage for less weight and bulk for stacking up each side when fully open. A slight disadvantage when all our doors are opened up wide and the room briefly unattended has been the occasional pigeon flying inside and making a mess where it has landed....and a local tame fox which once casually wandered in and out after sniffing out food our cat had left in his bowl in the kitchen ! 🙀
  7. Apart from the extra fees involved, re-newing an existing planning application after 3 years is not guaranteed, as a different set of planning officials may be involved, conditions for developments in the area may have changed and new nearby neighbours may come up with new reasons to object. I would at least get foundations in, filled and inspected then pause work for as long as you wish. If Building Regs change during the period of the build the inspections continue to be based on what was in force when the B.Reg plans were originally submitted and passed.
  8. This below is what defined 'Commencement' with my local council planning dept. 5 or 6 years ago for a rear extension. I put in the foundations at the 3 year 'about to expire point' and used the base as a temporary patio until I was ready to continue. Building Control were quite happy with the long gaps between inspections and said that time frame was not unusual with 'DIY' projects, mine took over 2 years to final completion certificate! Planning permission is normally limited to a period of three years from the date of the decision notice, after which the permission or consent will expire, unless it can be shown that the development has commenced. Commencement of development is taken to be initiated if any material operation or change of use comprised in the development is carried out. Any work of construction in the course of erection of a building; Any work of demolition of the building; The digging of a trench which is to contain the foundations, or part of the foundations of any building; The laying of any underground main pipe to the foundations or part of the foundations of a building, or to any such trench mentioned in bullet point 3 above; Any operation in the course of laying out or constructing a road or part of a road; Any change in the use of the land which constitutes material development.
  9. Construction Materials Shortage Continues Amid Ongoing Price Rises
  10. Need more time to work on your house? "This summer sit back and let the grass grow, as a new campaign called No Mow May encourages gardeners to leave their mowers in the shed and transform their lawns into havens of biodiversity."
  11. Keep us informed if possible, its on my list of things to do/ can only be better than the existing 'cold' external solid walls and the reviews seem good, as long as you don't expect to match the levels achieved with 50+mm of Celotex insulation!
  12. Not neighbour who has a similar 'period' house to mine, which would be difficult to insulate to modern Building Regs requirements without ruining internal or external 'period features,' is currently giving it a try and is impressed with the results so far....but he really needs to go through a full winter season to confirm that it at least improves comfort levels of the rooms with 'cold' solid brick external walls.
  13. Yes I read the reviews so used ordinary kiln sand in the end at half the price, just posted it for reference....but some people rate the weed resistant stuff.
  14. I went for close fitting blocks with sharpish edges and very small gaps for weeds or debris to collect. The blocks with larger edge chamfers or a cobbled look tend to leave wider joints where moss and debris can take hold. Marshalls 'Savanna' is an example of a close fitting concrete block, but after laying take care to make sure the very narrow joints are filled with kiln dried sand with a soft brush on a dry day, I found it took a couple of weeks to top up the joints as it slowly settled down:- You can also get more expensive weed resistant block paving sand:-
  15. Any recommendations for good quality reliable 15mm Full-Bore Isolators, the type with a screw driver slot? Screwfix stock these unbranded which look better than the cheapo ones which soon seize up in a short time or leak through the screw when turned which rather defeats the object of fitting them. Pegler make good quality full-bore 'lever type' isolating valves but their compact 15mm screwdriver slot isolator does not seem to be available as a full-bore type. Is the only way to stop them seizing up in hard water areas to remember to turn them on/off regularly? I usually forget and then when I do remember much later decide to avoid touching them for fear of just starting a new leak....