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BadgerBadger

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  1. Struggling to get my head around what level the outer masonry should be brought up to under my door thresholds - any insights? We're aiming for low/flush thresholds on majority of our entrance doors and patio doors, likely Rationel, but not fully decided. Should the outer leaf masonry be brought to match finished floor level, or should it be left slightly lower down?
  2. We had an objection that tried to challenge our interpretation of pre-application advice and was somewhat selective in the way it was represented the advice we'd been given. You'd hope the planning officer would go to the effort of reading everything in context, but with our architect we decided to take to control of the narrative and set out our rationale behind each of the objection points. We sent this directly to the planning officer. We'll never know if it made a difference....! We didn't comment on any of the other objections and just allowed the planning officer to make up their own mind if they were valid, but intervened on this one as it potentially misrepresented our application.
  3. We have some reasonably sized retaining walls next to patio, the SE details have a land drain running at the base and a 450 wide "granular backfill" behind the wall. What are my options for this? I've costed the volume of ~20mm gravel and it was adding up pretty quickly, are there any alternatives?
  4. We're planning to use clay air bricks for our subfloor periscope vents instead of plastic ones. I bought Manthorpe G960 periscopes as they advertised they could be used with clay bricks, sure enough the clay ones fit snugly at the front. However, we have a brick plinth detail so the vent needs to pass through a 215mm outer leaf. I bought some Manthorpe G935 extender sleeves, which would do the trick except the clay air bricks don't fit. Is it just a matter of trimming the sleeve to length and then butting up directly against the clay brick? Or any other trick?
  5. Our beam & block floor is now in and has been grouted, but the way our site is laid out means space for materials is now quite limited. Is it common to store materials (i.e. pallets of blocks) on the beam and block floor or do I risk overloading it?
  6. Rotating lasers are great but more expensive. I decided to make do with a simple DeWalt cross hair laser with a receiver and staff. Primarily for "coarse" leveling of access etc. but it's been absolutely invaluable for checking levels as contractors are progressing.
  7. Any thoughts on whether off-site cutting of bricks should be zero-rated in the first instance or is it reclaimable? New build so eligible for zero-rating. Ordered our bricks directly and I've obviously paid the VAT on them that will be reclaimed later. We need lots cutting down and if our bricklayers did it on site it would clearly form part of their zero-rated work, but it's likely more cost-effective and less disruptive to do off-site. In which case is it still a "material" and so VAT should be charged? To be clear, this is for the service of cutting the bricks only, the VAT has already been paid on the bricks themselves.
  8. Perfect - thanks nod! I was going to ask you about that too having seen your recent site photos. 👍
  9. Just buying DPCs for our masonry build and have found there are lots of types! Basic polyethylene DPC is comfortably the cheapest, but then there are "high-performance" or "housing grade" variants that use up some more pounds. I had assumed everyone just used basic polyethylene but the wide availability of other types in merchants have made me wonder if I've missed something. We'll be using a wide DPC to form a cavity tray, so are the high-performance ones better suited and offer more flexibility etc.? No radon requirements or anything, but happy to switch if it's the better option.
  10. So the land registry gives the owner's address as the block of flats, but he's not there? If it was me, then I'd get knocking and see if the tenants know any contact details or if there's an agent who would. It can sometimes be amazingly easy to track someone down on Google with just a name, or at least get a clue where to ask next.
  11. Sometimes a long shot just pays off, it's how we found our plot... What's the worst that can happen? Your letter is ignored (try again in a few weeks to show you're serious?) or you get a polite no.
  12. Our build is masonry with suspended beam & block floor, and has some varying ground levels. Some parts where FFL is higher than external ground, some level, and some that are semi-retaining with waterproofing. I'm trying to sort in my head what's going on with the DPC levels everywhere. External leaf is pretty straightforward with DPC stepped up-and-down as needed to ensure 150mm above external ground level. What about on the inner leaf? Do I just need to ensure the minimum clearance above the cavity fill (as in the building regulation diagram) regardless of whether that puts it above or below the external leaf DPC level?
  13. Was this quote direct from the water company? When we did ours I found their pipe-laying rates were, probably deliberately, way over the odds. I think they have to offer the service but don't really want to do it, and would prefer you use a self-lay provider. I found ours by simply googling "sewer connection contractors" and getting a few quotes. Obviously the road and traffic management may push the price significantly.
  14. I'm just about to start getting quotes in for our scaffolding but keen to avoid appearing too naïve! I'm really not sure how to expect the quote to be broken down and what's going to push the price up. Also keen to avoid hefty charges for over-runs so would like to get this sorted from the start. We have a two-storey brick & block build, but the total perimeter is quite long and there's an adjoining single-storey section, so it's probably not the simplest job. Bricklayers are obviously expecting multiple lifts as the walls go up, and then the scaffolding remains an wall plate level whilst the roofing is done. Should I be expecting the scaffolder to quote for each visit they make to do the next lift or make modifications? Plus an ongoing hire charge for the length of time the scaffold is on-site? Or something else? Are regular H&S inspections visits whilst the scaffold is in use typically included, or should I be requesting this separately?
  15. Yep, we've got nominal 15mm but my thinking is this disappears very quickly if we leave the headers protruding into it at all - and they'd clash with insulation retaining clips - so I'm thinking it might end up being more efficient all round if we can get the headers down to 100mm, hence the faff off the double-cut!
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