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About MrSniff

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  • About Me
    Accountant by profession, living and working in Luxembourg for the past few years... DIY maintainer and updater of a 1920s semi in South London and a 2009 end of terrace "townhouse" on the banks of the Moselle in Luxembourg.
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  1. Maybe some more information would be helpful: this is for an extended 1920's 3 bed semi (UK) with two radiator zones and 1 zone underfloor heating (12 year old kitchen extension). Hot water usage is not overly high. Boiler is currently mounted in the loft and with a small vented cylinder in an airing cupboard below - there is not enough room in the cupboard for even the smallest UVC. The primary circuit is closed with a pressure tank set to about 1.5bar. Incoming cold pressure is very good (although I don't know the actual pressure). I saw a post recommending the Vaillant EcoTec 938, which seems to have a built-in hot water store, but I don't think that's the same as a buffer which I understand I may need for the UHF? Although I've used BG for the previous boiler, I'm not sure their service is that great and getting a "proper" set up for the house seems from an independent sounds like a better long term option. Any thoughts much appreciated. Ian
  2. Hi all, Our 15ish year old British Gas system boiler is now fairly regularly giving us problems, so although I think a boiler should last rather longer than 15 years I'm thinking of replacing it with a new combi boiler. Are there any brands I should look to and anything else I should consider, such as a buffer tank? Many thanks!
  3. ++ see an accountant: inheritance tax has quite a lot of nuance and looks not only at the estate on death, but also the value that has been removed from the estate over the previous 7 years, and can also interact with capital gains tax. High level (and simplified), a sale at undervalue is still a gift for inheritance tax purposes: it is a potentially exempt transfer which means that if the donor lives a further 7 years the gift is not counted as part of the IHT calculation on death. However, if the donor dies within 7 years, inheritance tax is payable on the value of the estate plus the value of the land gifted (less the amount paid) over the threshold of £325,000. A sliding scale applies on the tax rate from 3 years to 7 years.
  4. I can’t comment on the Aluclad, but we used Allan Brothers for timber flush casements and a stable back door 10 years or so ago. Very happy with the product and good customer service and delivered on time, although part of the stable door had to be replaced for a reason I can’t recall now - this was done with no fuss.
  5. Looking at our UFH system I suspect it has not been looked after so well in the past, so at a minimum I guess I need to check the pressure, bleed and top up as necessary. The entire circuit from the heat exchanger is in plastic (apart from the manifolds obviously), so running a cleaner through the system and then adding inhibitor seems unnecessary: is this a false assumption? Heat is provided by a district heating system. On the subject of bleeding, I think the knurled bit on the top of each rail on the right is a bleed valve, but before I undo something I may regret does that seem likely? Is there anything else I should consider? Many thanks Ian
  6. I like Dulux Trade Quick Dry Gloss, which has a decent gloss level and pretty hard wearing (although still a little behind traditional oil paints) and brushes out nicely. The others I’ve tried tend to have a sheen that is closer to satin as well as being difficult (for me anyway) to get a smooth finish.
  7. Might be worth checking if the BC department has a tame certifier, either in-house (becoming more unlikely) or a firm they use? Our BC sign-off after replacing the bathroom included the Part P checks and certificate for the electrical work I did, although that was fairly simple (lights and bonding etc).
  8. Thanks, that at least confirms my thoughts (unfortunately). So electric or ethanol it is then, do any Buildhubbers have experience of these, or thoughts on pros and cons of either (and the longevity or otherwise of the Dimplex Optymist fires)? Many thanks.
  9. Sorry, I could have been clearer. We have one of the houses on the development, which consists of terraces of six houses along the river Moselle and blocks of apartments about 10m behind. So although the house is three stories, the apartment blocks behind are five stories, so in direct line of the top of the flue I guess. We love the ambiance of a real fire, but would not want others breathing in the by-products of course. Outside of the bigger conurbations, and certainly Luxembourg City, which have quite a high housing densely, most Luxembourg housing is in groupings not much larger than villages - our development is on the edge of a town, but we face the river and open space (German vineyards mostly, producing some quite agreeable wine) beyond.
  10. As autumn threatens to come calling, I’m looking into installing a focal point fire/place. As an end of terrace we have the opportunity to run a flue for a solid fuel fire, as some others in the development have done (concerns over the health impact of wood burning haven’t reached Luxembourg yet), but the flue would be at a height where I suspect it would affect the top couple of floors of the apartments behind us if the wind was in that direction, which is not what I want. So unless there are stove/flue combinations that are so efficient that simply wouldn’t be a problem (I doubt it, but would be so very happy to be proven wrong), I’m looking at electric or ethanol (no mains gas here), but I’d like it to look real. What have people’s experiences with these been? The Optymist fires look do good, but I’d heard there were some issues with reliability? Thanks.
  11. I believe they can although I haven’t tried it, but I also understood that a Tradfri item needs to be set up on Tradfri hub first. The reason for the two hubs is that the connection between the Hue hub and lamps on one floor and lamps on the floor above was intermittent at best, with nowhere to put an intermediate device to daisy chain it all together, hence a Hue zone and a Tradfri zone pulled together using HomeKit.
  12. Three UniFi access points (one for each floor - concrete construction is not conducive to WiFi signal), printer, NAS, Hue hub and Tradfri hub.
  13. Where we replaced the kitchen adding a return, I laid out polystyrene insulation under the cabinets with the aim of at least keeping the food waste bin from simmering gently. No idea yet if this will make a difference...
  14. We've had a Corian worktop in the bathroom for more than 10 years without issue or stain. Not sure I've ever left a wet copper coin on it though...
  15. Net return is after deduction of costs, commissions and usually taxes. It would normally be used to refer to net return on capital, so excluding the repayment of principal. In this case, I agree with @SteamyTea's interpretation that to me this really looks like total return such that not all the principal would be repaid. Parts of the HAB Mini Bond page on the debt platform seems to imply in a couple of places that 100% of the principal would be returned, but to be fair there is also a warning that there is no guarantee of this. The FCA has a page on mini bonds Not something I would go for - the higher headline (unguaranteed) return reflects the higher risk.