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About Me


Found 9 results

  1. Hello there, my wife and I are exploring the idea of building our own house. We have spent a year looking for a house to buy, but there is sod all on the market that is both a) affordable and b) in the right location. I watched a few episodes of Grand Designs and thought - Thats what I should be doing! Problem is, I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, how to do it or even how to start. We are looking for a plot somewhere in Oxfordshire around the Wallingford/Watlington area, and would want to build some sort of eco-efficient kit house. Size wise - three bed would be ideal, preferbaly with a garage. Garden is not that importnat, alothough some outdoor area for summer barbies would be nice. Any and all help, suggestions, advice, informarion, tips and dos and don'ts gratefully received.
  2. Hello everyone, I would really like some advice regarding the quality of work we have just received from a roofing company contracted by the builder carrying out our single storey extension. I am not in the industry, but having seen the work I feel it is not to a good standard. We are speaking to the builder about it later this morning and I would just really like to be armed with other people's opinions before confronting the builder. My main concerns are the strange plastic verge edging along the main edges of the roof and the tiling around the Velux windows. Should there be a gap that big between the tiles and the Velux? Any help would be really appreciated. Thank you. David Scott
  3. Background – I live in a 3 bedroom bungalow which was built in the 1960’s I moved in over 4 years ago and we have planning permission approved in Feb 2019 to convert this into a 4 bedroom house (this is the last bungalow on the street all others have been converted) With my mother-in-law falling terminally ill and a large proportion of our funds going towards making her what was her final year more comfortable, construction has just been pushed aside. As Covid has started to subside somewhat my wife and I (and newborn son) have started to pick this up and explore our options. I am looking for advise as Im unsure on where to start and im getting/reading conflicting information. Issues: · We have a 90m extension approved (45m2 downstairs and 45m2 created upstairs) the house is passed its sell by date – its in good condition build building old with new is concern. · Foundations are non-existent, but we have designed the property so that we would only need to underpin 5m on one wall. · Our funds are only half 90k of which I know this is half of what I would need. My wife has stopped working to look after our son too. – I have 2 years left on my 5 year fixed mortgage. · Planning permission expires in Feb 2022 I have had a couple of builders come and have a look at the house and they have commented that as we are having a complete new roof – gutting the whole house – side extension and rear extension then it would be easier to knock the whole house down and start from scratch. As I would save on the VAT and also a newbuild would be worth more, if a apply for a replacement dwelling I would also have another 3 years on the planning permission. For the funding side we will just board out the top living space for now until we have the funds to complete this and focus on the ground floor. I could just spend the 90k on renovating the whole of the bungalow but with the location I live in and the plot of land the house sits on this would be a wasted opportunity and Im determined to make this into something amazing for us to live in and also financial gain. If anyone can give any advise on what I should do, I have attached some of the drawings from our architect and structural engineer. I feel my options are as follows. Continue on the same path, start groundworks and the extensions despite not having all the funds and building old with new ( this is too risky in my eyes) apply for a replacement dwelling and redesign new plans (something more space efficient and cost effective to build) Knock my current house down and start a newbuild with he current plans from scratch with a budget of 90k and (2k a month from income) Do a considerably smaller extension (10m2) gut the whole house and regret not being able to maximise the full potential of the site? I welcome your comments and feedback and really appreciate you taking the time to read my post. Thank you. 01_Existing_Proposed_.pdf 03 _Proposed Driveway Plan Rev A.pdf
  4. Morning all, We have recently been busy getting quotes for aluminium doors and windows and are due to start our new build in January after spending the past couple of months preparing the site. As you can see from the attached image, there is a considerable amount of glass in the design and the windows and doors will be a considerable chunk of our budget. This is our first (and only!) self build and we want to ensure we make the right decision regarding the window manufacturer. The installer we would like to use (based on providing an excellent service over the years for other properties we have renovated) installs Smart aluminium windows and doors and we are keen to use him if we feel the product is of good quality. Has anyone had experience of Smart aluminium products? The installer has quoted for aluminium frames with 36mm triple glazing, which will achieve 1.4W/m2K. The back of the property will be SW facing and is in a very sheltered spot, so I would also value any advice regarding reducing solar gain. We have also been quoted for a Fortis aluminium front door and garage door by the same installer if anyone has experience of this manufacturer. Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Jenny
  5. As the title suggests I am lost! I am a mother of 2 soon to be 3 kids homeschooling and a husband who dropped this idea on me roughly a month ago! We are looking to build a 2-2500 sq ft 4 bedroom 1.5 story family home with double garage on a green site in Northern Ireland. We have full planning permission For a 3000sq ft 5 bedroom modern home (plans from seller of site) but we want to build something to suit out taste and budget so will need to redo plans. But here is where the problem lies. We had a brief meeting with an architect and my husband is too easily swayed by modern looks but it’s not to our taste. i would love to be able to view houses with plans before going to an architect so we can show him what we like not the other way around but I’m really struggling. Pinterest isn’t great as when you click into view most are gone or not available to view in any detail. We are complete novices to this and a lot of it is being left to me as my husband says I’m the artistic one! There’s one thing being creative and a whole other thing designing a family from scratch with literally no experience. We have started to watch channels 4 building the dream for inspo. Has anyone got advise or tips on what they have learned from experience. My list is short and sweet: * 4 bedrooms all with walk in closet (nothing too big or fancy needed) * master bedroom downstairs with walk in shower en-suite (open to pros & cons of this being down stairs) * open plan kitchen dining living area (walk in pantry) * family bathroom * W/C downstairs * Utility * plenty of light and storage space Any advise would be greatly appreciated as I am pregnant and home schooling a 6 & 4 year old so really want to get started on this so we can get things moving. Thank you
  6. I am a new member and I am looking for some advice. I need to know how far you need to go before a job is signed off by Building Control. All the services must have a certificate but do I need to fit out the kitchen, bathroom etc and finish all painting, tiling etc. I am sure that someone on this forum will know. Thanks Richard P.
  7. Hi all, hoping someone may be able to offer me some advice on an issue I have? We have just bought a 1930s mid terrace house from some elderly relatives. There are two chimney flues that run down the front and back of the house that converge in the attic. The breast has been removed in the front bedroom and we think this was done some time in the 70s or 80s. In the attic the remaining stack at the front ends close to the floor, and is supported by some solid chunks of wood that are connected to one of the joists that cross the attic floor. There is absolutely no sign of give and it all looks stable and healthy. The neighbours still have their chimney breast intact. However, I do know this isn't compliant with current building regulations. We are in the process of doing the house up and I suppose my question is what more experienced people advise that I do about it? It's going to cost a lot of money to get this redone and get steel support put in. I suppose I think it's unlikely this is suddenly going to come down without any kind of warning, although I'm no structural engineer! However we will want to re-sell eventually and I dont know how much of an issue this would be in any future sales process. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  8. Could someone advise me on what these red bricks are running along the front of my house wall? They look like vents maybe however i already have air vents at the bottom of the wall if you see the picture. I want to remove the red bricks but not sure if i should or not. All the houses down my street are the same style/design however mine is the only house with these odd red bricks vents. Please advise. Dean
  9. Hi, I have installed a Villavent mhvr system in my new build a few years back and it’s been running fine. I never got my final ticket, due to a lack of funds and had to just move in. I now desperately need my final ticket , so I can try to claim vat back. Do any of you clever people know the cheapest, easiest way for me to get a commissioning certificate passed on my system for building control. Im in Conwy, N.Wales. Appreciate and look forward to any help. Thanks Paul
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