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  1. It did take me a bit of practice to get the finish but even I managed it. I think Fermacell has or had instructions and videos showing what to do. A bit if trial and error at first but nothing you cannot fix with some fine abrasive paper on a flat sanding pad. No tape needed. Fill the gap with the Fermacell filler. That stuff shrinks so expect a couple of stages. The wetter you make it, the more it shrinks. Make sure it fills the gap, sand off flat to the surface. The instructions say to use jointstick on the factory edges but leave a gap and fill on cut edges. I found the joint stick could smear on the face as you locate the board and recovering from that is hard as the joint stick is basically like a glue and has a different texture. Overall I get a better finish just using the filler and no joint stick. you don’t need edge bead. At external corners cut the outer board a little oversize and sand back level. This stuff is hard and it does not flake or crumble like plasterboard so the edges are ok if sanded square and level. Fermacell do their own squeegee think but I have never had one. I put the FST on with filling knives, I have a 6” and a 10”, and then scrape off using a normal plastic bladed squeegee that I originally bought for windows and getting the drips off the car on the rare occasions I wash it. The FST fills the pores and any minor imperfections, it is not a skim. I do have a Fermacell cutting knife. It’s just a blade with a single tungsten carbide tip. You scape out a deep line by repeatedly going over with the cutting knife and then snap off. I also use and trash a few hardpoint saws every time. One thing that works for long cuts is one the cheap and nasty circular saws with a multi purpose blade, the ones that can cut through nails. Used with a guide (mine does not have a riving knife so is a bit wayward) it is a quick but messy way of doing a long cut. When you do a snap off edge you get a raggy finish when needs sanding off a bit. I also use one of those little block planes with the replaceable blades but I have seen a contractor using a surform for the same task. All this is why plasterers hate Fermacell. It puts a lot of the work up front. For me though, it eliminates their messy wet finish and I can screw things directly to it without having to insert extra support in the walls prior to boarding. I use it selectively. There is no real point using it everywhere, just use it where it is an advantage. I have only used the 12.5mm boards. The 10mm boards may be easier to handle. I have usually got the stuff through Travis Perkins but they source it from CCF (Contract Ceiling Factors) who are part of the same group. I have bought Fermacell compatible screws from a seller based in the Netherlands. They worked just as well and were less expensive. I think Toolstation’s European arm used to sell them, I have also bought Fermacell stuff from the big insulation outfits. I think one was Minster (part of Sant Gobain) but I may be mistaken. I just have recollection of going to their Truro depot. Another of the insulation sellers was selling it online and delivered, I recall being impressed that the boards were all in perfect order and the driver understood how to handle it. They are so heavy they can break under their own weight so do not go to wild when moving them. A good TP branch willing to talk to their partners at CCF should be able to help. CCF are a good source of dry-lining metal profiles too. I am an advocate of Gypliner type products, very useful stuff.
  2. I have used Fermacell many times. Just follow the system. All the guidance is there. Use their screws, joint stick, filler and fine surface treatment. I cannot plaster but I can finish a Fermacell wall myself better than any plasterer can finish any plastered wall without making any mess than I cannot vacuum clean. For mounting stuff to walls like a kitchen, utility or bathroom there is no other choice for me. You can screw kitchen units to it, boilers, radiators, inverters. No pilot holes, no plug just 5mm wood screws. Yes it is heavy. It’s harder to cut which is why plasterers slag it off. You don’t need edge bead. It is recommended to put SBR on it prior to tiling in humid areas. I cannot see why a taper edge version is required at all. I have never used it. Personally, I found it is better not to use the jointstick. Simply leave a small gap and fill it with the Fermacell filler. Sand off and then go over with FST using a squeegee. FST is not a skim, it fills the pores and gives a uniform texture. If painting a good quality paint helps. The decorating lady prefers Johnson’s Jonmatt. Johnson’s Durable Acrylic is good for bathrooms. since it was bought out by Hardy outfit, they have tried to kill Fermacell in the U.K. The necessary materials like filler etc became hard to find. It used to come from CCF and the like but is scarce. Any plasterer you speak to will say it is rubbish but that is because they don’t understand it and never learn. It takes more words than you can fit on a beer mat to explain how to use it.
  3. Highways conditions on planning consent are often there for the purposes o deterring development. The highways officer can operate on whim and will insert a tricky condition at the behest (not documented) of a planing officer. We have had it several times on our self builds. Favourite stunt in North Yorkshire. push them for genuine reasoned conclusions, not just a standard answer or a whim. Especially on an existing access. We’ve done it successfully.
  4. R290 is good. It will be a better prospect for older properties and the country certainly has plenty of those.
  5. I wonder or if the can offer one in dark green, the colour of my oil tank?
  6. First off I will declare that I am an advocate of Decra. Decra will have been specified because of its low dead weight and excellent resistance to wind lift and water ingress. It was not to make it cheap, because it isn’t that cheap. I have experienced it on buildings and it performs very well.
  7. I was expecting one of the Brexit freedoms would be a return to black and red. My place would have come back into fashion.
  8. Is it exposed to the sun? It is not UV stable. After a while is goes crumbly and mostly comes off with a light wire brush (not powered). The blue flexi foam is another matter.
  9. The last few I have fitted came with a moulded 3pin plug. Hence it’s just plug-in and go. There is usually a socket outlet tucked behind with the mandatory isolator somewhere easy to access. if it isn’t that simple the rule should be, “if you have to ask, you should not be doing it”
  10. What about solvent weld overflow pipe. There are adapters off the shelf. Very similar dimensions.
  11. Inside, so much a better look. a couple of years ago I was talking to a lady who had moved to the U.K. from a Central European country. She told me that they laugh out loud at our drainage and soil pipes being slung outside. Where she comes from it gets to -30 and they would all freeze for the winter. She had even sent photos to her father back home to prove we really did it. Think about all those frozen condensate pipes we had here in 2009 and 2010 winters. The drainage pipes froze in our utility room those winters too. I had to put a heater (60W incandescent bulb) under the internal bits to keep the traps from freezing. It was a horrible rental.
  12. Every morning and frequently through the day and evening I can hear to chorus of my own and many of my neighbours oil boilers. I find it hard to believe that the ASHP makes more noise than an oil boiler. Why is planning law putting up unnecessary barriers? Is this MSC employing another market control strategy?
  13. Avoid the small Hikoki. Horrible switch, I have one. My ancient Hatachi 9” (same company, new name) is great, out lived numerous other brands including Makita. It isn’t exactly subtle though.
  14. We have designed and built two SAP A rated homes. The first one no one at all was interested in the energy performance, just STATUS. Yes, a natural stone large 4 bed house on 1.5 acres had STATUS in the North Yorks country. So we sold it pdq. Next was different. Another 4 bed detached but in an urban infill. Relatively low value street and, to be open about it, effing horrible neighbours. There was no status. Only one person who came to recognised the benefits of the energy performance, the feed in tariff, the bus route in the street, schools in walking distance (she had two kids), three supermarkets, doctors surgery, pharmacies, wide range of shops, cinema, restaurants all in walking distance. She was a Polish lady who was able to have a detailed technical conversation with me in English. Husband was British and only interested in STATUS. The two had an embarrassing confrontation right in front of us. They subsequently bought a house in a nearby village that had more status but no local services at all, poor woman.
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