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About billt

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  1. billt


    You can't have hard water then! Ours scales things just as well with cold water.
  2. It's not the conveyancing process that's stuck in the dark ages, it's the people who administrate the system, i.e. conveyancers; those minions employed by solicitors, generally and inaccurately referred to as solicitors. For instance, we've just completed the sale of my late mother-in-laws house. The conveyancing took less than 5 hours. Lynne went to her "solicitors" office to sign the contract, contracts were exchanged by phone and the money was in her account later that afternoon. All the fannying around has nothing to do with the conveyancing process, but everything to do with third parties being incompetent and wishing to cover their backs for every possible or impossible contingency. Of course all the obscurities that are possible with this system can be used to the advantage of one or other party. When I bought my first property I wasn't in a particular hurry and asked if the solicitor (he was actually a solicitor in this case) could delay the transaction. He was happy to delay it as much as I wanted - a few weeks in the end.
  3. billt

    Help required wiring my ASHP/UFH

    Manuals available here. Personally I don't find it any uglier than the other one you show, but the silver finish looks a bit naff. I've just installed 3 to de-computerise our UFH & towel rails to make it suitable for non geeky people. The only drawback for me is there are only 6 changes available, I'd like 8 for the towel rails.
  4. In effect it means BT want you to pay for the infrastructure. There are some ares where BT has provided infrastructure for FTTP and you can order it through a normal ISP. These will normally be in towns, but there are some odd areas where it is inexplicably available, for instance Hopton Wafers, a tiny village in Shropshire. They also seem to be installing FTTP in new estates. If BT haven't provided the infrastructure, most exchanges have an option called FFTP on demand. The exchange has the capability to provide FTTP, but the customer has to bear some or most of the cost of the fibre installation.
  5. If you're talking about FTTP on demand, I had an estimate a few months ago from Cerberus. (Most ISPS, including A & A don't support FFTPoD.) The estimated cost was £16,800 plus VAT. That's about 2km as the wire runs from the exchange. Edit - if you can persuade neighbours to participate you can split the cost, so it might be more affordable. If you're in an FTTP provided area I don't think the costs are much different to FTTC.
  6. billt

    Diesel or Petrol?

    I take it that you've never used a diesel vehicle, flown in a jet aircraft, or been in a building heated by oil then.
  7. billt

    Diesel or Petrol?

    I've had 3 Skoda Octavia diesels. The first was a 1.9TDI. That averaged 63mpg over 250,000 miles. Next was a 1.6TDI which averaged 67 mpg over 38,000 miles. Claimed consumption about 10% better than the previous model. Now I use a 1.6TDI greenline, averaging 63 mpg over 53,000miles. Claimed consumption about 10% greater than the 1.6TDI. Of course that doesn't mean much. I was still working when I had the first 2 cars so was doing mainly long distance driving. I'm now retired so doing very little driving and that is mainly journeys of less than 20 miles. Tthe car is very inefficient when the engine is cold, apparently much more so than the old 1.9tdi. Of course petrol cars suffer the same over optimism. We had a Kia Picanto which claimed 55mpg, we actually got about 48 out of it, which was disappointing for a small car.
  8. If the work has only been done recently and there is no official BC documentation the house will be unsalable except at a knock down price. These days mortgage companies and their solicitors insist on lots of paperwork. Personally I'd run away unless it's got some special value to you.
  9. billt

    Grand designs

    They're not all like that. The last one I watched was a family near Leominster who ended up with a black tin shack. They had quite a lot of tribulations and had to redesign to be able to build something affordable. Ended up with a simple, but acceptable design. They're still middle class and comfortably off, but no sign of an extra 100k in the back pocket.
  10. Council tax is a property value tax, albeit one that was introduced with massive built-in distortions (expensive properties pay disproportionately little and cheap properties pay too much). Like the rates, a revaluation was supposed to be done every 10 years, to ensure that valuations remained accurate(ish). Like the rates that hasn't been done; no doubt the politicians are scared stiff of the back lash.
  11. billt

    one for the girls

    Old fashioned nail brush. (Unless your nails are 6" long.)
  12. billt

    Reina radiators

    I installed a Reina Greco 1800mm high x 470mm double radiator in our kitchen 3 years ago. No complaints, it installed fairly easily and it's still working OK!
  13. billt

    What do home buyers want?

    We're trying to sell our house and the viewings have been about 1 and a half hours each. 2 couples have come back for a second hour and a half viewing, so that's 3 hours each so far. Of course that will be after hours and hours spent trawling through estate agents details trying to find something vaguely suitable. For me it's location, location, location, distantly followed by floor size and amenability to be modified to suit us, be we aren't in the market for this sort of house. Broadband does seem to be important; both potential buyers asked about it and I see one estate of crammed together rabbit hutches near here are making a feature of fibre connection being provided.
  14. billt

    Septic tanks and the 2020 law.

    Cess pit != Septic tank. A cess pit is a closed tank. As it's closed it needs frequent emptying = expensive. A septic tank is a multi chamber system which separates the solids, which need to be removed periodically, but much less frequently than a cess pit. The liquid should be further treated; the best system is a good leach field. You only need one of the proprietary systems if there isn't enough room for a leach field. I doubt that there will be any policing, but it will become a problem when you try to sell a house with an improperly configured system.
  15. billt

    Can you have too much PV

    I'm sure it can be done, but to stay 'legal' you should inform them of any change in the system. E.g. if your inverter fails you should tell them that it has been changed, even if it's exactly the same model. So I'm sure you can fit optimisers but you should inform the system of the change. If you don't and they discover it they have the power to cancel your contract.