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About DarrenA

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  1. Those flames! 😯 That would definitely freak out the site health and safety guy 😀
  2. I intend to post periodically here and will do my best. My wife puts something up most days if you are interested in more frequent updates. Christine's Blog
  3. I'm pretty sold (well unsold) by Alex's comment so am off charred wood and back on the painted/artificial wood route now. Just to be clear, the huge price difference at yours was purely down to whether it was fire proofed or not? I like the look of yours and suspect we'll not need the additional fire proofing as there are no timber frame buildings nearby.
  4. Thank you, that's very useful. Sounds like another no go.
  5. It certainly sounds better in Japanese 🙂. No I'm not looking for the fireproofing properties. I'm looking for a dark black solution that doesn't fade or need maintaining.
  6. It looks great, I assume it is holding up well? My main criteria is something that looks sharp and keeps its looks maintenance free.
  7. Anyone have any thoughts or opinions on burnt wooden cladding. It came up on a design TV program repeat I was watching yesterday and I'm wondering if it might be more unusual and longer lasting that black painted wood or the engineered painted wood like thermopine. I'm thinking about buying it preburnt from somewhere like carbonbydesign.co.uk rather than DIY charring.
  8. Maybe... I've ordered some samples thanks
  9. Do you have any idea of the price and whether they sell direct rather than through installers. I've gone through my samples pile and found some and it might work.
  10. Our architect has been great but has also been paid so she isn't keen on changing the design, especially for free. But she recommended the Kingspan corten cladding solution. I'm pretty sure this comes in stable sheets of corten wrapped around insulation. I'm going on their installers training course next week to find out more. But my gut feeling is that it will work out far more expensive than plain sheets. I also went on the Tata Steel Colorcoat-Urban course for painted steel cladding. It was impressive, easy to fix, belt and braces watertight and in budget. But the panels fitted quite loosely and didn't give a flat, smooth finish. Also the colour palette is very limited for small orders. Thanks for the rust advice, it has put me off a lot. The question is what cladding to use instead. I tried to get PPC aluminum cladding quotes based on our plans but the only company who seemed to consider the job properly came back with a quote of nearly £20k. Nothing came in under £12k. Colorcoat Urban came in at £4k which is in budget but like I say, we didn't like the product for our house. Black timber cladding is to our taste and might be where we end up. It's also a possibility to have elements of corten in areas well away from the brickwork such as around the staircase. Decisions decisions.
  11. Yes, that has crossed my mind. If the drips drop down I think the run off can be managed to avoid the bricks. But if they are blown around in the rain and streak sideways then yes it's going to be an issue. My fallback plan is to hose the bricks down but am not sure if that will remove the stains. It's a very good point.
  12. Our build has quite a lot of decorative cladding - the brown bits in the pictures (the white bits are brick). Our architect has specified aluminum cladding here but it seems very expensive and not DIY friendly. I'm considering switching to corten steel sheets instead with visible screw fixings and a gap between the sheets for expansion. I've attached the architect spec for the wall build up for aluminium cladding. Basically it is fixed to 18mm ply on batons to give a cavity behind. Does anyone have an equivalent spec if I use corten sheets instead? In particular, does it need the ply backing or can I fix it straight to batons? How do I fix it - should the screw holes be oversized for expansion, how many fixings, how much gap between each sheet, should the gap be filled with anything like rubber gaskets, etc. Also what thickness of sheet is appropriate. 1.5mm and 2mm seem common. I'd like it as light and easy to work as possible but don't want any crinkles or dents. And finally is this a good idea or am I missing something? All thoughts appreciated 🙂
  13. I take it trowel is a term for bricklayer 😊. Never heard that one, will he be offended if I tell him?
  14. The bricklayer is expensive. A fixed price of £23k for around 13000 bricks and 3000 blocks. But this is the one we wanted and didn't really shop around for other quotes. I wouldn't take this as a useful indication of Oxfordshire rates. We have a 200mm cavity and are using Cavalok BigBlok. I made the frames on site from 6m lengths (around £30 a length). I'm fairly impressed for the price. We're having separate concrete and catnic lintels above the windows. The brickie thinks the closers will be in the way in which case I'll take the tops off. But they were useful for keeping things square.
  15. No, we just have the fenced area. 460m2 I think. Our house is a row of 9 in an inner crescent. We back onto larger plots up the hill on the outer crescent. It will be a while before any of the outer crescent houses are built. One unexpected surprise is getting flooded by rainwater coming straight down the hill from these plots and flooding our garden. We've had to make dams and canals to send the water where it does least harm. Long term we're considering embracing it and building a trench and rill around the plot and enjoying a water feature.