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About Me


Found 17 results

  1. I'm building a new timber frame home. Walls will be osb on the outside so will need fishing with vapour barrier, battens, render boards, render. I'm considering installing the render boards myself (with help from family/friends). A local company that has also quoted for the render has advised against this so I'm wondering if this is something that's beyond the diy job or not? I realise boards will be heavy but from what I can tell installation isn't too difficult. I'm pretty happy researching and trying my hand at most things. Does anyone have any advice or experience of doing this yourself? Thanks
  2. Been a builder for near on 40 years and done a little bit of everything over the years. Lived around the world a bit, from various countries in East Africa to New Zealand, and now pretty settled in Norway. Favourite work is the restoration of old brickwork using lime mortars, oh and fixing stuff, from cars to boats and everything in between. Was a silver trowel awarded bricklayer at college many moons ago. Love helping folks sort out their stuff, be it repairs, restorations or improvements.
  3. Apologies for making a topic just for a single question, did a search but can't find a decent answer. Sealing PVC ductwork... taking a look at the data sheets for the proprietary duct sealant products (e.g. Soudaduct), they just appears to be decorators caulk, with a little more flex. Has anyone just used caulk instead? In a domestic set up I can't imagine the sealant is under very much pressure. I would also be taping. Alternatively I could use general purpose silicone, which will seal anything.
  4. 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.
  5. This info relates to a DIY rainwater harvesting system, not a commercial system, and therefore the water must not be drunk! You should be careful using rainwater not to mix it with mains (Potable) Water as it is not suitable to drink and you could poison your house supply! To be clear birds poo on your roof and then it rains. However there are ways to elevate the problem in a DIY system so there is no smell or colour problems but it still cannot be drunk! You should not use the recycled rainwater for cooking, bathing or showering. SHMBO will not allow it to be used for clothes washing either. The main uses are for garden watering and toilets, and some people use it for car washing and some for clothes washing (we do not have enough storage). How much rainwater are you going to use on loos? Rough estimates suggest that you use about 70 litres a day flushing loos for 2 people. That's about 25m3 a year. More people more flushes more water... How much rainwater are you going to use in your garden? Well that's a good question and trying to work that out is basically a waste of your time because when its raining you won't need to water the garden. Is it going to rain when you need it is the impossible question to answer. so we used a pessimistic view. Our calculation about storage volume went like this: The averages on the isle of Wight where we are suggest typically 4 rainy days in each month from April through to September, however the actual events over a year are much more uneven. In 2 months, it was assumed no rain for 6 weeks: So 2 people 70 litres a day for a 6 week drought = about 3000 litres or 3 cubic meters. and Garden 200 litres a day for a 6 week drought = about 4200 litres or 4.2 cubic meters. (This was based on 200 drippers supplying plants (no lawns) 0.5 litres a day each) Total requirement about 8m3 Well, we don't have room to store that amount of rainwater so for us it came down to what we did have room for which was about 4.5 cubic meters. If we had the room I would have gone for 10 cubic meters. So this is what our loo water looks like after 4 years: No smell, no clogging up valves no discolouration. and the garden: Yes we run out of rain water, and have a backup from the mains. Based on the volume of water used and the cost of, our DIY installation, we will not save money doing this for many years, however it will reduce our bills going forward for as long as it works and we prefer to use rainwater on the garden. Good luck M
  6. Hi All! Glad to be part of the community, I'm keen to give back just as much as I am to learn from all of you. I've just taken the leap to buy a 1960's 3 bed semi which looks like it hasn't been touched since it was first decorated! I've got a lot of work and a lot of learning ahead of me, and besides my poor Dad, I'll be looking to gain advice from all of you helpful people here too Hope you're all doing well, Cheers, - Harry
  7. 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.
  8. Hi everyone, thanks for having me on the forum! I’m in my mid 20’s and have just bought a semi-detached 1950’s house as my first home, although it’s more building site than home at the minute... I am more than capable with a lot of DIY tasks but could really do with the expert advice of many members here. We’ll be posting before and after pics of all rooms once each room is complete and hope to have an extension next year. I look forward to chatting with you all and hope to also be able to give some advice and ideas Rob
  9. 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!
  10. 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. http://tintabernacle.blogspot.com/2020/05/rc-beam-or-ringbeam-preparation.html 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.
  11. 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
  12. "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?
  13. 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
  14. 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!
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
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