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About Gooman

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    Bedfordshire, UK

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  1. Good suggestion, but I knew enough to do that ... and the leak is on the mains side of the valve, not the tap side. I've - carefully - tightened the nut, and it seems to be much improved. Thanks for the tips!
  2. I have a slow leak (about one drop every 20s) from a plastic pipe that connects to a screwdriver isolating valve that feeds our outside tap. It was fitted by a professional plumber around 6 months ago and has only just started leaking. I've read up and discovered that a common mistake is to not put a liner inside the plastic pipe at the joint. Is this likely to be the problem? There's no extra play in the plastic pipe, so if I cut it shorter I'll have to add something else. What's the best solution here? A short section of copper pipe with a push-fit joiner to the plastic pipe? I'm a novice at plumbing ... changed a few taps but that's about it. Not keen to call a plumber out for just a slow leak if I can avoid it! Thanks
  3. Yep, was planning to have a similar depth board under the American fridge/freezer as it needs to slide out for access to the water supply and filter. I'll have an expansion gap between the flooring and the board (hidden under the fridge/freezer removable threshold) that I'll plug with something just for rolling it out and back again. Washing machine is under the utility, so that's not a problem. But yes, I should do the same with the dishwasher.
  4. I'm due to start fitting my kitchen next week. Done this a few times, so no biggie ... except for one thing. I'll be putting in a high quality laminate flooring, on underlay, over a concrete sub-base (which I've also done a few times, but not in a kitchen). Most people recommend NOT putting the flooring under the cabinets - it's meant to float, and if it's held down by the weight of cabinets it could buckle when dealing with natural expansion and shrinkage. The manufacturer specifically says to avoid putting it under cabinets too, and it would invalidate the warranty if I ignore that. But the additional height of the underlay and floor is 12mm. My cabinet legs are adustable up to 170mm. I'd like to avoid having to cut down the plinth too much - we have warm air heating so there are plinth grilles to be fitted which need enough space top and bottom to avoid the plinth becoming too weak. But that 12mm means I only have 8mm of height adjustment, which might be tight ... So I wondered if it would be wise (or not) to chock up the cabinets by around 12mm with some spare ply I have knocking around. I was thinking of making some square plates, larger than a cabinet foot, and gluing these to the floor at the locations where the cabinet feet will go. This seems a sensible move to me, but what's worrying me is I can't find any hits on Google or on here of anyone doing the same thing. On the basis that it's unlikely I'm a pioneering genius, what pitfalls might await me if I go down this road?
  5. Just to close this out, I've reviewed the situation with our builder. The roof is in good enough condition to keep, and doesn't need to be replaced. The roof needs to be raised by 250mm and that is exactly the gap between the existing roof and the bottom of the fascia - the fascia can be trimmed back and flashed into the new roof height. As for the drainage, the builder agrees with me that it needs somewhere to run other than onto the neighbour's roof (which doe have guttering - hard to see on the pics as it's black). He will be running a downpipe through the roof out to a soakaway at the rear.
  6. Having looked into it a little further, it looks like the best option would be to replace the existing warm air boiler with a more modern version. The existing J50 is reportedly around 80% efficient, whereas the more modern versions are up to 98% and include PFGHR and are a straight retrofit. The only point where we've had sound carry is through the return air vents as the one on the landing connects directly to the boiler cupboard, which has vents into the hallway and the kitchen. But we've been told by a warm-air specialist that we don't need both of the hallway and landing ones, so we'll block the landing one which will solve the sound problem.
  7. We have a warm air heating system (Johnson & Starley J50). Before anyone kicks off suggesting that we rip it out - we really like it and aim to keep it. I'm curious though about the amount of potential heat recovery that could be gained from the flue. There's a big (200mm?) asbestos cement flue that runs vertically from the boiler, through the loft and to a ridge terminal. The asbestos cement flue has been inspected by a specialist surveyor and it's all safe as long as it's not cut or drilled. The flue does put some noticeable warmth into the loft. Is there any feasible way of retrofitting a heat recovery system that would fit around the flue, providing an additional heat source to our hot water cylinder? There is no in-flue system available from the manufacturer.
  8. That's right, My main concern is to ensure that rain from the front of our garage does go somewhere, and doesn't just pool against the new raise section due to the lack of any pitch across the roof from left to right.
  9. Not enough space in the rear garden for a rear extension (and still leaving a reasonable garden. This is our "forever" house, so we're less concerned about devaluation - plus, any devaluation from it being classified semi rather than detached would be more than offset by the amenity value of the conversion. Lastly ... since we're going first, that's more of a judgement for the neighbour anyway.
  10. We recently moved into a detached house with an attached double-length garage. The other side of the garage shares a party wall with the neighbour's identical garage. See front and back pics attached, together with the view from our first floor over the garage roof. We're planning to take out the wall that separates the kitchen from the rear half of the garage and install a wall in the garage to create an open plan kitchen diner. You can see that wall from the garage in the attached pics. Of course, since the garage floor is about 110mm below the kitchen floor (and is uninsulated) we'll be putting in insulation and a floating chipboard floor. To enable that, we need to raise the part of the garage roof that's above the newly converted area, by about 300mm (including insulation and service void). The neighbour has agreed to our Party Wall Act notice. So far, so good. But here's the potential problem ... The garage roof has a slight pitch for drainage from front to back (you can see on the pics that the front has a raised lip and the rear has the (shoddy) guttering. So if we raise our part of the rear half of the garage, rain water will run from the front towards the new raised part. The least worst of the problem is that this will run across the front of that raised part onto the neighbour's garage roof, and they then have our run-off going into their gutter. My major worry is that the water won't all just run horizontally across to their part of the garage, since there's no noticeable pitch running across, and that it might pool on the roof next to the wall. Am I being paranoid? Our builder seems to think so. If not, what are my (reasonably priced) options here? In an ideal world I'd rather not have our run-off going across the neighbour's roof - although they've agreed to the Party Wall notice, we don't want to be unreasonable and would like to avoid any future issues. For example, could we have a gully at the base of the new raised roof section, with in internal downpipe inside the remaining part of the garage? You can see in the internal garage pic that there's a soil pipe that runs from the toilet above. That soilpipe will be moved to run diagonally from the external wall above and then down through the roof of the remaining part of the garage. Could a gully connect with that soilpipe?
  11. "Gentlemen's" agreements are always dangerous. They don't protect either side from changing their mind. Specifically, it doesn't protect you from any future occupier raising objections about the work. This might be someone who buys their property in future - or your neighbour might drop dead and their executors are unhappy about the work and its impact on the resale value of the property. Written contracts make for good relationships. Don't scrimp on this. It could cost you big-time, but costs little (or even nothing) to do it right in the first case.
  12. I've been advised elsewhere that it should qualify as Class B, with the soil pipe relocation as Class G. Although Class B prohibits soil pipe work, since that work could be done independently it would then qualify under Class G. Looks like I'm going for the Lawful Development Certificate route. Good point that we could demolish and rebuild as a side extension (it would definitely qualify for that) - I'll use that as part of the justification.
  13. At long last, we're in our new home! Thoughts of a rapid start to the garage conversion have been put to one side as we've got to grips with some of the more mundane tasks that need sorting first: Draught proofing - precious little had ever been done, and I've already made a big difference in one week! Tuning the vents on the warm air heating system - downstairs is now warmer than upstairs Fixing the hot water - scaled-up ballcock valve meant the cold water storage tank emptied after two baths and introduced air locks - now all fixed Quotes for fencing around the garden as we want to improve privacy and security Leak-proofing needs to be done on all uPVC windows as the external frame sealant is cracked and in some places mortar fillets had been used rather than foam + frame sealant Broadband still not yet up and running Roof space is well insulated but need ventilation (lap vents will be simplest and easiest) Eaves cupboards are insulated only with fibreboard, all of which needs to come out and be replaced with PIR board Surprisingly, we seem to quite like the warm air heating. Depending on running costs, we might keep it and save the £6.5k-8k it will cost to put in a wet system. If we do that, we'll probably heat the new dining space (from the garage conversion) using electric heaters. Underfloor (of any type) is out as we can't afford to dig out the garage floor to put in the 300mm+ insulation we'd need. On my task list for the garage conversion are: Talk to our builder about sequencing of trades - what happens in what order? Before the wall comes down, electricity supply, meter and consumer unit need to be moved as they all terminate on the wall that's going Soil pipe also needs to be moved (underground and above ground) Roof needs to be raised Steel needs to be installed Wall needs to come down But kitchen sink is currently on the other side of that wall, and we still need a sink while works are ongoing Plumbing and waste need to be moved to wherever sink is going Draft plans for Lawful Development Certificate application Issue Party Wall Notice to neighbours (as the garages are attached and we'll be extending the height of the garage party wall to raise our garage roof) - might be a two month delay Apply for LDC Get steel beam calculations done Create detailed plans for Building Regs Submit Building Regs applicatoin
  14. My local planning department will only provide that sort of compliance via a Lawful Development Certificate, which has a £103 fee. If it's highly likely to need PP then that would be wasted money.