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About Me


Found 10 results

  1. Hi. I'm hoping someone can offer some assistance please. I have a front driveway which is approx 14m x 14m. It is currently on a slope and I am planning to build a retaining wall with oak sleepers. The wall will be 1.1m high and will be 2 tiered, like steps. I am going to have 2 trenches for each wall with a horizontal sleeper used as posts in concrete behind each wall. In the trench will be DPC material and then some form of aggregate with then concrete added to make a flat base. I want to sit the sleepers on their narrowest side, 100mm. I will connect the sleepers with wooden dowels for extra strength. To reinforce the walls, I will run deadmen/t-bar reinforcements every 8ft along every row and every other row in height. I will also be laying a French drain behind both walls leading to a dry well at either end of the wall. I have attached images of a very rough diagram to illustrate this with also my driveway currently and how i want the wall to look like. My questions are: 1. How deep should my trenches be and how much of the 1st sleeper should be below ground level? 2. How should I attach the 1st row of sleepers to the base? Rebar or coaches or something else? 3. Can I feed the perforated drain pipe around the horizontal posts? Will that not affect water flow? 4. Is having the 2nd wall 6 sleepers high too much? Will it be secure with the deadmen/ t-bar reinforcements? 5. Should I be connecting the sleeper rows with wooden dowels or perhaps rebar instead? 6. Would corner metal brackets add to reinforce or are overkill? Also, please feel free to offer me any guidance, or let me know I'm on the right track(!). I hope the above makes sense!
  2. So finally managed to update the blog. Seems like nothing happened , but a bit of progress still. Now just have to get this monstrosity past Building Control . Challenging task but I will manage. As always. I can tell I will not become a Groundworker in this life . Or the next. Here are some entertaining pics from this : Above ground shuttering takes a bit of timber Give over - it s gonna be inside a pile of concrete anyways 😋 Let s just assume this will hold.
  3. I am doing a conversion of an old agricultural building and believe I qualify for the 5% reduced rate of VAT under the DIY housebuilder scheme. I need to get the old asbestos roof removed and properly disposed of - can anyone advise if this is able to be done at the reduced rate or whether I need to suffer full VAT on this? Thank you
  4. "How's the build going?" Is the most common question I get asked by people who walk past our build. One gorilla of an instructor once whispered in my ear. "Lad, you have got two speeds: dead slow and stop" So, in reply to 'Hows the build going ' I say. " I'm on my own, and doing the vast majority of it myself: well, me BuildHub and YooChube. " Well, Sergeant Williams you were, and still are right. I'm making slooooow progress. My only 'excuse' is that I'm really, truly doing it myself. And , uncomfortable truth to be told, feeling sorry for myself occasionally. Yes, I have the odd hour or two of help and Debbie always offers to help out. But, there's not a lot she can do. (Lifting a few tonnes of concrete aside) DIY. How many of us (non-builders) are doing the vast majority of their build mostly on their own?
  5. Sometimes it's essential. Especially when you are working on your own. I'm just too tired to do what I need to within the time ' ... allowed ...' Do we set ourselves unrealistic ' ... targets ... ' as self-builders ? Just imagine if we were entirely realistic and accurate in target setting : there'd be no need for procrastination
  6. Hi there, I work for a PR agency and we handle the PR for Ideal Home Show Scotland 2018. We are looking to gather some case studies for a media feature promoting the show. I'm looking to speak with families in Scotland who saved space in their home through innovative design or furniture, and families in Scotland who use smart home technology and feel that it has changed their lives. If you think you can help, or would like further information - please either reply to this post or PM me. Thanks!
  7. I'm looking to speak with families in Scotland who: saved space in their home through innovative design or furniture. use smart home technology and feel that it has changed their lives. If you can help with either of these, please respond to this post or PM me Further details will be provided. Thanks, Louise
  8. After a slight hijack on another thread, I thought it best to start one a bit more dedicated to heating control systems. Some of us like playing with wires and stuff, other are happy to buy in a system. This may be a good place to combine the pooled knowledge, and pinch a few ideas. If I get time today (decorating bathroom) I shall try and post up some thermodynamic theory. But no promise on that.
  9. I'd like to make the battens for this roof. I have lots (60 linear meters ) of 4 by 3 and a load of 4 by 2. Most of it is reasonably straight. It's treated. I have a circular saw. You can see where this is going can't you? I'm doing my very best to reduce the additional costs of having to shutter my Durisol blocks during the last two pours by re-using the stock that was needed to build the shuttering. What should I treat the newly cut battens with?
  10. I know the answer is ours and ours alone to make. Testing my thinking is what this post is about. Am I too involved; missing the wood for the trees, too cross to make a sensible judgement? And if I am minded to go it alone, can I follow through? Writing about it will help me think too. Our builder is being evasive. Over promising. Disorganised or absent paper work. Withholding vital information until a few seconds before disappearing from the site. Some aspects of the work have been excellent, others not. He struggles to retain staff. Some are oafs. (Oaves?) Others the opposite: accurate workers, polite, funny, interesting. We've had some meteorological bad luck. But that hiccup has been overcome to the extent that the replacement blocks are here. Calm analysis and talking to the loss adjuster has been reassuring. I have (until now) had a misplaced faith in the value of a promise. I had a verbal agreement to pay, and did so when I said I would. I accepted that detailed invoices to substantiate the charges would follow. They haven't. In simple terms, we've paid a good deal on account. We are now at least a month behind schedule. "... We'll be down towards the end of the week..." Right. That's been said so often now, it's hollow. I know enough about Durisol to - with the help of this community - to build the shell myself. On my own. Very often there's a gale at the beginning of September. And I do not want the rest of the 'unpoured blocks' on the floor. That's the real driver Do I sack them and get on with it? In an instant I would if I could get one reliable, thoughtful, fit building partner. I'd be pushing it on my own. But it can be done. Just. What needs to be done? Blocks laid to just above first floor: skill level - very easy And then poured. (tricky, but I've seen it done three times now and I am not stupid) Rest of the blocks laid and poured : skill level easy to tricky (trimming the gable will be interesting), but not impossible. If I do it slowly and carefully its well within my fitness and competence level If I do that I will have taken this mess by the scruff of the neck and got on with it. Yes, it's our decision. But poke my thinking, ask uncomfortable questions. My deep instinct is to get on with it, while seeing if I can recruit someone to work with me - for safety as much as anything.