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Ferdinand last won the day on December 9 2023

Ferdinand had the most liked content!


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  • About Me
    Serial renovator, of both my own and rental properties.

    Current favourite self-build-quote:

    "If it isn't as long as a piece of string, we try a different piece of string"
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  1. I live in the North Notts / Derbys coalfield. It is possible to build on subsidence liable land - eg the entire CLASP system used for schools, public buildings and stations was designed with that in mind. You will need to use sufficient outside advice and eg pre-purchase reports to satisfy yourself that it is OK. But it is certainly possible to build there without excessive extra expense - the main things will be to understand you site and choose appropriate building methods.
  2. I think the best hope here is that interest rates will be going back down again soon, but maybe not as far.
  3. I haven't needed to try so far - not very prominent foxes to date. And even Roland has been less common - I think because of warmer winters and nearby housing estates having done with the fields some time ago. But tbf I've had an entire year and a half out of being able to pay attention to anything but absolute basics. Coming out now, but I'm still regularly sleeping half the day.
  4. @Onoff's is probably made in Scotland. From Girders. On a more serious note, no one has mentioned Amazon Man who will give you 3.45s then chuck whatever-it-is over the top. I'll be looking at an electric sliding gate, but I have no answer to Amazon Man, short of putting the open-to-1m code in the parcel instructions. Currently I say "in the porch out of sight if one answers", and since I can't get to the front door in 3.45s that is what happens. Which has worked so far.
  5. Door height may well be your physical issue, and sealing a space you need as much attention to ventilation as insulation. Try the forum's heat calculator as a place to start written by a member which many have found helpful - including me. 20mm XPS in a floor (unless maybe you control the flat below as well and treat them effectively as s ingle unit) seems ridiculously low. The last one I did (bungalow) was 100mm Rockwool under the existing floor (~equivalent to EPS) + 25mm of PIR on top - and that is less than ideal. Rather than 0.7 R-value, normally for a floor we would be looking at 0.12 to 0.25, depending on the conditions beneath. There may be a minimum value building regulations require you to meet. Have you thought through what you will be doing with the walls (my suggestion from rental renovation experience 50mm->75mm PIR)? Ferdinand
  6. Not having done that very much, though I regularly measure road corridor widths etc arguing that there is space for mobility tracks, how is this Google Earth technique affected by overhanging trees?
  7. This is the sort of thing I am out to measure. This is a 1969 ish vintage footbridge over the M1 where it cuts through communities, which is the only non-motor-vehicle route for several miles. That slope in the middle is about 1 in 12 and 60m long.
  8. Thanks for the comments everyone. I think my Android Phone has a facility (guessing a mercury bubble or something) in the hardware but not the software, but then I am about 4 versions of Android behind, so it may have one by now. Straight edges are fairly doable tactically - eg lay it on a fence rail since rails are parallel to the ground and posts to the vertical to within a couple of degrees. Alternatively I have things like a lightweight monopod or a walking pole I can take around with me to be a straight edge. Cheers.
  9. Can anyone recommend an inclinometer app for my phone to help me measure gradients of pathways? My application is not building as such, but measuring the accessibility of local footpaths, greenways for wheelchair and mobility aid access etc. Some are diabolical - I came across one recently in the middle of the new Greenways around Salford / RHS Bridgewater which is an 8% slope down to a road, with a grit-over-base skiddy surface that means that progress in eg a wheelchair is difficutlt to control, and any attempt tp stop turns into an instant skid. I was able to measure this one via a photo of the fence rails and counting pixels, as they had a datum on the fenceposts when they built it. Accuracy I am after is not that great - I'm thinking +/- a degree or two. I need to be able to tell the difference confidently between say 1 in 8, 1 in 10, 1 in 12, 1 in 15 and 1 in 20. Since I tend to survey such things using a cycle, I'm not up for a 1m or 2m long sprit level. Thanks for any suggestions. I'm on Android at present. Ferdinand * Photos
  10. For that if I recall I just used a normal clear roll, perhaps something like this, which is 4m wide when unfolded so it will do many rooms and lap up at the sides in one piece if you need that: https://www.screwfix.com/p/capital-valley-plastics-ltd-general-purpose-sheeting-clear-150ga-25m-x-4m/71880 I'd suggest going down to Screwfix and having a look to make sure you think it is strong enough. If not there are thicker ones available. If you need to overlap, then you can do it by say 0.5m and tape along the join if you think that matters. One rough check that your subfloor is properly dry is to tape a square of sheet to the surface, leave it for a couple of days and see if any moisture which has been evaportating into the atmosphere has collected underneath. One thing to remember is that if you have one lapped up at the sides, the first lot of water from any leak you have isn't going anywhere unless you have slits - which may be good or bad depending. But leaks are very rare. I get less than one per 50 years of house occupancy in my small set of rentals.
  11. If you need more space around it, one possibly acceptable way may be to have a set of modern hearth rails at a suitable height. In concept think of the altar rails in churches, but made out of eg wrought iron or something shiny. Or a traditional fender if that is permissible. I think the only difference I might have done with the cast concrete would have been to use shiny sheet for the mould to make it very smooth - but that might have shown imperfections.
  12. Is there a high build (eg crack filling) or premixed filler you can dilute that would do it? TBH I think you are forked, and will need to skim.
  13. That's a shocker; they have been a fixture of the North of Scotland for half a century. For those not familiar, they are (were) a major regional timber frame building company, with a turnover of around £200m. Devastating for Stuart Milne himself, who had delayed retirement to try and pull them through the post-Covid trading environment, and for the employees. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-67918029
  14. For shower screens and trays, usually Amazon or Ebay - or outlets of shops or traders on Ebay. Quality is important but brand not particularly for screens, but yes for trays. The difference is huge between such and retail on shower screens. For shower panels brand first then outlet second. Large variations and quality of install is very important. You can now get good quality with no ply, and can expect a 20-25 year life if done properly. For grab handles etc Croydex are reliable. From Screwfix usually. If they get wet, textured plastic or some sort of grippy-when-wet cover - *never* chrome grab handles in a shower. For showers I go with MIRA for electric, or more generic if gas. Usually deals are around. Always shop around, and savings of 20-50% are common across the same item. For wall storage cabinets I shop around and go for ones made entirely of stainless steel. Another one with huge variation from one shop to the next. My experience with iKea is that the metallised legs on their vanity units develop rust quickly, so I am imagining the one in my bathroom two to be Corten steel, grinning and bearing it for a few more years. I do not have a current handle on taps - I am this week replacing a whb monobloc mixer which I think was a Bristan, bought from Wickes at admittedly half price, but which is leaking around the bottom after just 7 years, so a Trade Rated one from Screwfix will be going in as a replacement to avoid pfaff (rented property). If you are dedicated to a single well-advertised well-known prestige brand, you will probably get your nuts roasted on the flames generated by your bank account being burnt down. Have several quality options, then look for a deal.
  15. That I think is very good comment. Without any commitment to supporting a practical and rational level of regulation / enforcement, everything else - all of it - is mere weasel words.
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