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Found 6 results

  1. Any Advice? Any Tips welcome. I'm about to embark on a cellar conversation. The basement is dug into the hillside, and is a 19th century listed building. So it's old. The cellar has an external door and 2 small windows to a small courtyard - so it's not entirely submerged. (Pictures attached). It does also get a nice amount of airflow. My plan is to build a stud wall, insulate and line the space will drywall, covering up some of the shoddy surfaces. I hope to keep the left brick wall for some character. The biggest concern is the far left corner (seen in pictures). At some point, it's clearly been very damp, but today and for the last few months, it seems quite dry. I'm no pro when it comes to fixing up spaces like this, so any advice is welcome. My worry is that by tanking this corner and then building a stud wall in front, it might cut off the airflow to that area and subsequently causes the damp to return. Would this be the case? Should I somehow integrate a vent for airflow to continue, or should I point all the damaged brick work and then stud wall? It's a hefty job, but I really want to turn the space around. If anyone has any advice, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you! Freddie.
  2. It's chucked it down all day here, so the wife is stuck indoors with a pile of house magazines. The problem is she's spotted one of those spiral wine cellars and wants to know how difficult would it be to build one under our, soon to be built, utility room? So not wanting to let her down just yet, I said I know someone to ask, leave it to me. As an aside, the local farmer has three large concrete rings in a field close to us, no doubt I could do a deal with him for them! Over to you.
  3. In our renovation of a Victorian end terrace, we have been replacing the lounge floor beams as they had been rotting where they sat on the cellar wall, which is reasonably damp most of the time. In most cases there was no dpc. as can also be seen, as we removed the flooring, the chipboard was quite damp too with mould. The make up of the floor was as follows: beams, with rockwool insulation squashed between and in some areas, around the front door and alley wall, the rockwool was wet. tongue and groove chipboard - some of which was damp. upside down gripper rods - to hold the insulation in place. foil backed insulation sheets. pine tonge and groove. In two areas, the chipboard was quite rotten and could be pulled away with fingers. So we have removed all the flooring and the old beams, fitted a new extra thick beam across the whole floor and then put in new joists. We have sat them on dpc, with engineering bricks, slate and strong cement used to level them to the correct height. Then we have laid new 18mm T&G chipboard across the whole floor. My question is how to insulate the floor to provide a comfortable lounge without any draughts while avoiding any future damp issues? This house is to sell so we do not want to spend too much yet still want to do a reason job. We want to lay bamboo flooring above the chipboard. but do we need any membranes? and how best to insulate? The cellar could always have damp issues, particularly in that corner, although we have added an airbrick to the front so there is now a cross flow of air to the other airbrick under the bathroom. so if we just add Earthwool between the new joists, will that get damp and eventually rot the new joists and chipboard? Or would a thin insulation go on top of the chipboard before the bamboo? We dont have much head room, only 2.1m in the lounge, so do not want anything that will reduce the height further. Any suggestions/advice.
  4. In our renovation property, we have been having problems with damp in the cellar (who doesnt!). One corner was particularly wet with droplets of water on the Rockwool (I think) insulation shoved between the joists of the lounge floor. We have removed the insulation and increased ventilation of the cellar and plan to fit another airbrick in this corner. The back corner has one and isnt damp at all. Then as part of the renovation, we are either going to replace the joists as most of the ends are rotting where they sit on the external wall. The Structural engineer suggested that we could just cut off the ends and attach new lengths, which will sit on new engineering bricks on dpm on the external wall. Hopefully that will prevent any dampness in the new joists. My question is how to insulate the floor so the lounge is not subjected to draughts from below. I am loath to re-install the Rockwool as I am sure that was causing some of the problems. But we need some sort of insulation. Is there another good insulator that isnt going to cost the earth to pack between the joints or should we look at laying insulation above the joists with the problem than of raising the floor level. This may not be too much of an issue as we have to re-do the floor in the whole house anyway.
  5. Sometimes I wonder if this building lark is the right thing to do - both myself and the OH had a disturbed sleep last night. He was up around 3-4am, unable to sleep and around 5 it was my turn, worrying about the water in the cellar. And we are just renovating; what will it be like if we get to do our self build - one night without sleep and I'm a very grumpy bear, how will I cope with a couple of years! Maybe I should ask how will the OH cope with a grumpy grizzly bear.... Anyway, yesterday I spoke to Building Control for our area as it has become apparent that we need to make several applications for Building Notices and I wasnt sure when they had to be applied for. Seems it is before we do any work - does that include removing what was there....?? Opps. However, a very friendly officer was happy to give me advice. For the electrics we need to apply as the OH can only install, being Part P trained but he cannot certify so needs BC to pass the electrics. Thats a £360 charge. If we move the bathroom, that needs another notice but if we decide to leave it as it is and just replace, we dont. All the plumbing and new boiler will need a Notice but the chap we are planning to use is a Gas Safe plumber so he can certify his own work. the OH will be doing most of the labour but the plumber will be checking everything and providing the certification. The new windows would need a Notice except the company are FENSA certified so can do it themselves. And as long as we dont take off all the render, that didnt sound like it needed anything either. So it sounded like we only need to apply for the Electric work. Its a shame that the OH cannot certify his own installation but until he is doing more elctrical work, then it just was not worth paying the registration fees as they were more than he was making. What a monopoly the electricity providers have. We had to ask Western Distribution to come and check the earth of the house supply as the OH cannot touch their side of the electrical supply - ie the black box on the left. He had been unable to get a good earth in the Cu so installed an Earhting rod into the corner of the cellar and connected it, (the green/yellow wire on the right) to the CU which worked fine. For some reason he then arranged for WD to come out to check the incoming earth, which they did. they used a meter to give a reading (5 seconds work), said it was fine and then changed the fuse from 60 to 80amps. And that was it - £200 invoice to be sent out for 5 mins work, They werre unable to install an isolator switch between the incoming suppy and the CU as the OH had hoped so he could safely work on the new installation. thats not their side of the board - thats the electrcity providers! They only deal with the left side! They completely understood why he would want the isolating switch but could not help. They suggested he just cut off the wires going into the CU and instal his own Isolator switch between the meter and CU. But that would mean dealing with live wires unless he pulls their fuse out, which he isnt allowed to do! Hmm. While waiting for Western Distribution to turn up, I checked the cellar and was surprised to see our new Hygrometer showing a humidity of 99% in the front right hand corner of the cellar. It has always been the wettest area but this time, I could see lots of water drops on the rockwool insulation and the whole area was soaking wet with moulds growing in several areas. Its odd as the rest of the cellar is dry with no sign of water. And as we have had no real rain for several weeks, I would have thought the damp would have improved, not got worse. So now I am wondering where it is coming from. We were told before buying that there had been a problem with the drains between the house and next door, leaking water into the cellar so Anglian Water had relined the drains. However, it does not seem to have stopped all the incoming water. There are no downpipes which could be directing water to that corner of the cellar, so I cant see where it is coming from! Very strange and something we need to sort out. My thought is that we need to start digging down alongside that corner of the house to see if there is a problem with the drains. And ideally before it rains too much so we can see if it really is the drains or something else. ButI dont think we'll be able to get a mini digger in there and as the gas supply runs along there too, I think it will have to be done by hand. Very carefully. The joys of renovations.
  6. I dont know why but the thought of having a cellar gives me great excitment! It has that particular smell that I remember from a student house I lived in at Crewe many years ago. It too had a cellar and smelt just the same. However, it did get very damp and everything put down there rotted or came up covered in mould - so not an ideal comparison. As I mentioned in the first blog post, these cottages all had them and they had a coal shute from the front garden. Ours has now been blocked off and the wall made good. But there is quite a lot of work to do down here. OH is quite excited by it as most of the wiring and plumbing runs under the floorboards so are easy enoght to get at and be easily accessable when he starts changing it all around and updating it. There are storage cupboards at the end. The rubbish bags have now gone. You can see the waste pipes from the bathroom which is above this corner of the cellar. This is looking towarads the back of the house, left hand side. This is the bottom of the stairs at the front and to the rear. You can clearly see the damp in the big post. And the missing step at the bottom. The handrail is wobbly and the treads are quite small. A mishmash of supports. Strangely, the beams across the back half of the house are all much larger than the front and seem in good order. Those at the front are smaller and most have had their ends added to, to give support. These all need replacing. The next problem is that there is water leaking in at the front corner to the right of the coal store. When we had the heavy rain last week, it was running down the walls and it is quite wet on the floor. But as it is a dirt floor, it is soaking away. The rest of the cellar and walls are suprisingly dry and seem fine. We think the first job will be to sort out the beams and see if we can prevent the water entering from outside. One builder has quoted Front room - Take up existing floor and joists and dispose of waste; - Install new 195mm x 47mm treated joists (a Structural Engineer may be needed to establish what size joists to use, I have got this size from a building regs guide); - Lay 24mm chipboard flooring to complete floor; It is likely that the skirting board will need to be removed to take the existing floor up. Care would be taken in doing this, but damage may still occur to plastered walls. Any obstructing services in the existing floor are to be removed by the customer. £2600.00 But we are thinking that we should be able to do this ourselves once we know what to do (obviously) and we are looking to get the OH's ex-brother in law down who is a very experienced builder and specialises in building bridges. He will hopefully help wth what to do and what sizes to use and at what distances. It would be nice to be able to remove the props. Another thing to decide is whether to dig the floor out or not. If we do, the time to do it will be when the front floor is up as we could then lift up the material through the front room, rather than the long carry, up the rickety stairs, round the corner into middle room, through to the front and out the front door. However, there is still the issue of getting rid of all the removed soil which will have to be done by wheelbarrow to a skip on the road, about 100m away. And will it realy add value to the finished house? More investigating to do with maybe a couple of companies coming round to give some quotes. We also hope to be able to visit the other houses in our row and see what they have all done. Cinema room/Wine cellar/kids play area? We dont want to get into the problems of making it into a habitable room as that brings issues of how to escape should there be a fire and complying with all the building regs. So we are leaning towards making it dry and tidying it up and just using it for storage.
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