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About Carrerahill

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  1. It really depends on many many factors, the simplest obviously is to have the window of the room facing the sun - generally we say South facing however it depends on the use of the room. Often a well designed building will make good use of natural daylight (where requested extensive 3DS Max (or similar) daylight modelling is carried out) for the particular room in question, hotels may have breakfast room facing East and evening dining areas West. The next thing is overhangs, a high summer sun may be partially blocked by deep roof overhangs but a low winter sun may penetrate well - the size of the opening and the placement within the wall is important to counteract a deep overhang on a sun facing wall. So it's a how long is a piece of string sort of a question. Your possibly better to suggest your requirements and or parameters and then it can be answered from there. Your room is already built, but are you looking to add remove change doors, windows, skylights etc. can you improve natural daylight by adding glazed doors? Light finishes on surfaces help to reflect light, natural or artificial. Also bear in mind that a domestic kitchen shouldn't really need to think too much about glare as you are not likely to be sitting working at a PC or watching TV or spending long periods of time sat in one place with the sun bothering you so my thinking is include loads of natural daylight, get it all in and then design in appropriate shutters, blinds, curtains etc. to suit.
  2. Carrerahill

    Topographic survey — non RICS?

    All of these 'professional memberships' and "councils" are just clubs to make money for the boys. I have spent my entire professional career avoiding them to the best of my ability. RICS and Engineering council etc. are slightly different as they allow professionals to be chartered, but if I don't renew my subscription am I any less of an engineer? They offer nothing in return. Not being a chartered surveyor will probably be cheaper as he is not paying membership fee's etc. ask what his credentials are, maybe he was with a firm, went out on his own and decided not to sign up to the "clubs" I bet he is just as qualified, potentially better, than someone who comes with all the RICS stamps and accreditation. Look at the background of almost all these associations and it started out with a couple of people deciding to set up an organisation for "insert profession here" and offer some so called "service" for a fee once a year - then with good marketing have people believe that they must have said membership or they are no good.
  3. I am sorry to read this, this sort of thing can indeed cause someone a great deal of stress and anxiety. Sadly this is a fairly typical story in the construction industry be it domestic or commercial projects. Usually it starts with the client asking for the highest quality build with lots of high spec fittings and fixtures, then through budgeting (QS), planning etc. it can get whittled down to what can actually be afforded but sometimes, it all makes it through to near completion before the client starts to take an interest in costs and invoices for things - contractors love this as they just go for it and do what they were told, sadly they also often neglect to tell the client what it is now costing (they don't want to cut off their open bank account), so they just keep spending your money. I think it is safe to say you didn't have a strong grip of this project and it sounds like your main contractor (single all trades?) or contractors have just gone for it to get it done for you, possibly, they thought, in your best interest or possibly they just want to take as much money as they can and give you the spec you asked for. I would not worry too much about some brushed chrome sockets and switches as in reality the cost increase from a decent quality white socket/switch is not massive - overall in the whole build it may cost you an extra £300-600 depending on what they bought you. Here are my thoughts on what your immediate actions should be. Call a meeting with your builder, I would also call in any other professionals you have appointed, do you have an architect or any engineers? Just tell them it is a Progress Meeting - give them an agenda and put into it anything you want to discuss and slot in Cost Reports into the itinerary somewhere! You can also discuss 'Issues that may impact on costs' 'Warranties' all sorts. Kick off the meeting, you are in charge, I don't know your background but this meeting is your chance to be CEO at a boardroom meeting and get some answers, tough but fair attitude. Don't show your cards, don't outright suggest budgetary issues, when it comes to costs you can bring up the garage, why is it costing an additional 8k and can anything be done to mitigate these costs. Why are things going over budget and work through them all - frankly they always do and no plan survives first contact, unless it is a very well detailed and quantified program has been put together, but even then, there are factors beyond our control. Make sure you give them an agenda say today and call the meeting for Friday AM or Monday next AM - by telling them you will want to hear a cost report you are effectively asking them to bring budgetary information - make sure they know this - i.e. suggest they bring all supporting documentation as you don't want any "I'll need to find out answers" they MIGHT bring quotes and invoices for materials but it depends if they are incorporating a cover for themselves into them, then they may not want to. Take all your budgetary information, your quote from the builder etc too and have your facts and figures hand written in front of you in a big A4 note pad - this is a good trick as people often cannot read handwriting easily across a table, it also looks like it may just be your notes and that you actually know all the information you are discussion off the top of your head putting you in a stronger position.
  4. Carrerahill

    Extractor fan keeps breaking!

    A 240V supply is a 240V supply regardless of how it gets there so the flexed up to a plug option is a perfectly acceptable test means for this device. Sounds like a PCB issue if it will not go through self-test - take a look at it - often damage will manifest as corroded solder joints, blackened components etc. One thing I would consider is how you have installed it and the associated ducting. Have you installed it as per an approved method, reason I ask is often these fans can die if condensation can run into them from inappropriately angled/connected duct runs etc. In some of these circumstances a 12V version with remote PSU is a good idea as the fan is then just a simple 12V fan - but try and iron out any install issues first.
  5. We need more details on your Honda genny. Check the rated load (i.e. continuous), it may be 1000W - but they often con you and say 1000W but that is only peak and the rated load is 850W or something. Now, the mixer will be 550W load, however startup will probably be about 1100-1200W for a split second for a motor of that size as I doubt they will have soft start so it is quite possible your Honda will trip out or go into over-current on startup meaning you can't get it going, however, if you are lucky and the Honda can take that load for the split second (it probably will actually as it's not going to overload the winding or inverter circuit - assume it has one as it's a suitcase gen) during that length of time it will start it and once spinning even if you load it, the mixer should not pull more than 550W as that is the loaded motor rating - it will run at much less during empty running.
  6. Carrerahill

    Static caravan = no probs. Humble shed = noooo.

    This is a good idea. I have done this. My garages first job is to serve as a extension build storage area and workshop.
  7. Odd comment, frankly very odd! Bit of a chip? It seems you have an issue with professionals in the construction industry, the professionals who design aspects of of the built environment. I was approached a couple of weeks ago by a women who wishes to build a large extension, she is unsure how to go about it and the way to get best value for money. I suggested that I would have her planning permission drawings produced and I would have various details drawn up by our structural engineer and the building warrant drawings I would produce using the material produced from various sources including the "standard text" which is part of our library (roof makeup, renders, fire stops, drainage etc. which as you know is not detailed as a drawing but often just provided as text which specs the makeup). We would then obtain her permission/warrant. This will give her a full design and PP and building warrant when complete and will cost her little more than £1500.00 for our fee. She is not buying a comfort blanket, she is buying security and she is buying detail that we will insist her extension is built to. This gives her a high quality well designed build without "professional builders" erecting some cheap tat with poorly or non-designed aspects. If anything goes wrong due to the detail provided then it is our practises liability, for which we have insurances which will protect her and she is aware of this. We as a firm would protect her and would even step in to cover costs if we made a mistake that cost her or her appointed builder due to our negligence - we will also plan to PM the build for her and provide a site PM who will keep an eye on details as the build commences and allow for variations to be produced if anything must change due to our error or factors beyond our control which we may or may not change for. What you possibly don't understand is the RIBA/CIBSE stages and how a building design evolves. Clients will have ideas and this allows a design brief to be produced, the client will then agree or disagree with this and it is revised until the client is happy - this then may end our involvement and gives them something to go and tender the design stages to several firms. Then the original or new firm will undertake a concept design which as the name suggests is just the concept then the process goes through similar stages as the DB and if all is approved will go onto detailed design - at this stage it is entirely possible things will be designed and detailed that will never make it to the final building but that is due to many many factors, almost always the client seeing something new they want during the design stages. What may end up on construction drawings may not resemble the concept design at all but that is how buildings evolve, if everyone knew what they wanted from stage one then we would go directly to construction drawings but the chances of us designing exactly what the client wants would be slim, therefore we have stages. We do not aim to rip people off and often trades resent professionals because they don't like being told how to do their trade - I can see this from both sides of the fence, but a consultant engineer sitting with for example with a DuPont technical representative and discussing precise use of a product and specifying all the sundry products to go with it will often ruffle the feathers of your roofer who wants to go and use Fakro Eurotop because that is what he uses and he can get a deal on it at his favourite merchants. The client then may end up with a mongrel of a roof. The roofer may be a brilliant tradesman with excellent skills but they might not actually know how all the materials precisely go together for that guaranteed 30 year roof. Pro's might not be able to fit it, but the chances are we know damn well how it should go together. The roofer can go about this the correct way and ask if they can apply for a variation but they often don't and if they are met with resistance by the engineer due to DuPont being used for a particular reason they go in a huff. It's an age old issue. Designed detailed building built to spec should and in almost all cases will work properly, most issues we read about on this forum and see in shows like Grand Designs you will often note are due to lack of design and planning. Pro's and trades will never see eye to eye, simple as that. I argue with very skilled electricians weekly - usually because they didn't read a spec properly and or made a colossal mistake. Look at Grenfell, penetrations in service riser fire stopping... 1 of two things happened here: 1. Someone didn't read the spec or neglected the spec, written by an engineer. 2. A "pro builder" decided to undertake it himself with no design and decided not to carry out remedial work on the penetrations or simply didn't understand what it was for.
  8. Carrerahill

    Garage Build Start - slow

    So, here we are as of just now... As of last night I had 10 tiles fixed. The garage is now at least bone dry!
  9. Carrerahill

    fire in the house

    What a worry! Let me try and answer the electrical question. I understand your not a fire investigator but can you say with some certainty that the point of ignition was the hairdryer? Can you tell from the burnt out wreckage where the hottest part was? Coffee machines, laptop and phone chargers etc. I will always try and switch off - as an electrical engineer I know all too well how electrical things can go bad and how quickly they can go from bad to worse. So, my issue with your hairdryer is that assuming it was a fairly standard dryer, it should have a main power switch which assuming it was off, it really should have been safe, or was it one of these digital controlled ones? I don't like anything with digital or single touch button control that is not a great big switch that kills all internal power. Coffee machines are the worst, the little blinking LED lights and things mean that internally there is a power supply, as soon as something has a power supply in it, which is not killed by the main switch then you now have an appliance which is A a parasitic load and B a potential catastrophic failure point. People think it is off because it is "off" but neglect to consider that these little "light-touch" control buttons are not mains, they are simply waking the appliance up - firing up the circuitry. Anyway, if it was a fancy dryer and the point of ignition appeared to be around the main body of the dryer then my money would be on a failed power supply or some other live when plugged in circuit. If it was a good old fashioned dryer with a switch then the fire is more of a mystery. Had you used it recently? Filter caught fire? These switches are often double or triple pole, mains for the fan and then a feed to the element but only when the fan is on so the element cannot overheat, if the switch was damaged or faulty it is possible that the dryer switch went to the "off" position but didn't disconnect power to the heating element which then remained on, got so hot it ignited lint etc. the thermostat would have kept it from getting very toasty but even cycling constantly it could get it stinking hot. Got any photos? Regarding "Doing the right thing" I think you did do the right thing, I think had you run out the house and waited a lot of people would not be wondering if you were mad. There is a common misconception that we should just run out a building and let it burn, all fire training states that if you think it is safe to do so you should fight the fire. In your case possibly fighting it from the window would have been better so you could inhale fresh air but I think you did the right thing. I think had you been in the kitchen in Grenfell that night 72 people would still be alive as the fire was apparently nothing more than a small fridge fire but the fool ran off! Anyway, I am glad you are OK and you saved your house. Well done!
  10. Carrerahill

    Basic kit superstructure erection

    Sounds far too long to me! Even the original 3-4 weeks seems too long!
  11. Carrerahill

    Building Costs - Profit Share?

    The way these projects work is you are either the investor or the builder or you are a builder with capital (developer). If you don't fall into any of these categories you are not going to have as much success or you will not make the profit you want. If you can afford the plot but not the build then you don't have enough capital obviously so really you are handing the can to the builder who will probably think to himself well I would rather just find my own plot and do it myself for full profit. Also, if you cannot cover the build and anything goes wrong then you may be left with a plot of land dug to pieces or with half finished buildings on them. You may do better here if you raise some capital via private investors and then simply appoint and manage a builder or as you say go smaller and do the lot (that is how I would start out in this game). It is a nice idea, but be careful, you are asking some basic construction/development contract questions so I suspect you are not well versed in these matters and could end up burnt.
  12. Carrerahill

    Light not working

    Your understanding here is slightly flawed so tread carefully. Those voltage pens are a bit limited in that they only show there is AC electricity present not continuity of wiring etc. and should only be used as a basic check and test - they also don't tell you if there if full 240V etc. so they can actually detect e.g. 50V and will still imply there is voltage - there is but not enough to do much on a 240V circuit. If you meter across the switch (Com and L1) and there is an open circuit elsewhere (probably is as your light doesn't work) you would see 0V between common and L1 - which in your current thinking would probably cause you to think there was a fault there. First thing I would do is see if you have 240V between Live and Neutral at the terminal block of the light fitting, or 240V at the lampholder assuming it is a standard B22/E27 lampholder fitting (take care not to short the lamp holder with your probes) if the fitting is an LED etc. then you will need to probe at the terminal block or feed to the driver etc. It matters not a bit if you use the red or black probe on live or neutral. If you see no voltage between line and neutral then try between line and earth - if you see voltage between line and earth then you probably have a break in the neutral or a loose/pulled out connection. If you see nothing there try between neutral and earth (just in case!). If the supply at the fitting seems totally dead then assume a broken wire or missing/loose connection somewhere before the light. At that point go back to the switch and prove voltage, if it is just a switch drop then you may only have feed and switched lives with no neutral, in which case you can meter between the live and the earth to prove a feed - check for 240V. If this checks out you will need to find the junction box where the switch drop is taken from and start to meter out the supply and check the neutral. Don't undo or move anything at this point - assuming it worked before then moving things will not help if you don't know what you are doing you could create a dangerous situation.
  13. Carrerahill

    Greenstar 24i/28i Junior

    Not necessarily a plumber only job - could just need reset for example. Why did it stop working is the question - it may just have gone into lock-out. The light on these will usually flash a sequence or colour to indicate the fault and display a letter or number in the temp gauge like F1 or something. I have seen this boilers bigger brother go into lockout for a low pressure issue - cycling the main power with a 30 second pause sorted it, other issues can be high pressure, over temp, flue issues etc. If the manual is in the front panel then the faults should be listed.
  14. Carrerahill

    Moving first fix electrics

    Hats off! Nice work. Yes to the drill bits but hopefully people would stop and think if they hit metal in a solid wall... maybe me just being hopeful!
  15. Carrerahill

    Moving first fix electrics