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Ian last won the day on November 14 2017

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About Ian

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  1. @Visti Given that you won't be building the mezzanine now the main design issue that you need to look at in order to future proof the design is Part B of the Building Regs (Fire Escape). This is the relevant extract from Part B for England:
  2. England & Wales are treated the same way. I don’t know about Scotland or N Ireland.
  3. Sorry but that’s not correct. We bought all our external works materials such as garden fencing and driveway materials after the date of our completion certificate and we were able to claim the Vat back successfully on them with the rest of the claim.
  4. Actually the deadline for submission of your Vat reclaim is 3 months from the date of your completion certificate
  5. @lizzie The short answer is to simply ask your inspector what he needs from you in order to sign it off - on my own build all he asked for was the 3 items you've mentioned + they did a final visit to check that we had actually finished. IMHO it's pointless spending hours of your time getting items of information together that the inspector may not need. Ian
  6. Bump Cap, or Hard Hat?

    @recoveringacademic The general rule is that site helmets should be replaced if they have been damaged in any way and in terms of lifespan it's usually recommended to replace them every 5 years. The risk of something dropping from above will be very low if you're working on your own - I'm with @JSHarris and I'd wear whatever is most comfortable.
  7. Part K handrails for stairs

    @StructuralEngineer The diameter requirement of 32mm - 50mm on that diagram from part K is like that because some people have trouble gripping a handrail which is narrower than that. Building Inspectors will usually accept the handrail recessed into a hollow in the wall if space is tight.
  8. Air-tightness and wall plates (rim joists)

    @recoveringacademic The main commercial alternative is using joist caps but they are more expensive and not as good: https://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Safety-Fast-Joint-Cap-SFJC305-50/p/215030
  9. Air-tightness and wall plates (rim joists)

    @recoveringacademic I think the idea originally came from Tony Cowling as the "Tony Tray": http://tonyshouse.readinguk.org/tony.htm
  10. Don't forget to also check mining records. Over the years I've worked on quite a few sites which had either vertical shafts or horizontal tunnels under the site which affected the way that the site was developed. For some sites, eg ones in built up areas, its also worth checking old OS maps in your local library. I had one site in St Helens where checks showed an underground culverted river that crossed a corner of the site.
  11. Part K handrails for stairs

    Part K is simply the Approved Document and is not the actual Building Regs which means that you may be able to negotiate something different from Part K if you can convince your Building Inspector. If we are just looking at the wording in Part K then there's nothing to prevent you from using a handrail that is different to the thicknesses shown in diagram 1.13 as that diagram is for "buildings other than dwellings". I would however disagree with you when you say that that the first two steps need no handrail as I don't think paragraph 1.37 provisions should be read in that way. I think paragraph 1.37 means that if you only have a flight of 2 risers or less then you don't need a handrail. Any flight with 3 risers or more then the whole flight needs handrails.
  12. @Ralph I'd agree wholeheartedly with those who have suggested taking a fabric first approach and using Jeremy's heat loss calculator to explore options. I'd also suggest with regards to heating systems that it's worth trying to keep things as simple as possible. The main thing I'd like to add with regard to insulation is that there's little point in adding a lot of extra insulation and better windows to go beyond the minimum requirements of the Building Regs if you don't also aim for very good airtightness with MVHR. At typical minimum Building Regs standards, heat losses from a naturally ventilated building will typically amount to about half of your total heat losses IE you'll be losing roughly 50% of heat through the walls, roof, floor and windows and 50% from draughts.
  13. Snow, what snow?

    For work I drove from Manchester to Burnley this morning which was fun! The A56 dual carriageway was only just passable. My car has 4WD and winter tyres but most don’t and that’s what causes the jams on even the most gentle incline. I’ve just got here and I’m already wondering how long it will take to get back home again.
  14. The bit of the Approved Document B that you will need to read is Sections 8 & 9 (page 41 onwards) link:
  15. Unpleasant Discharge!

    @Ed_MK if you don’t get any recommendations from the forum you could try the Milton Keynes branch office of an Approved Inspector called Assent Building Control. I’ve worked a lot with the guy that runs their Cheshire office who Is excellent but I have no direct experience with any of their other offices so can’t say how good they are. Address: Regus House Fairborne Drive Atterbury Milton Keynes MK10 9RG [Edit. Make sure you tell them how far you got with the LABC appointment paperwork and the fact that you haven’t paid them anything yet. The appointment process of an Approved Inspector is strictly governed and there are rules they have to follow]