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  1. Too much Christmas food makes your brain really thick. Mine is like pea soup today. And that - of all days - is when I have to finalise my kitchen spec. Now, to kitchen sinks. We are considering a 1.5 bowl sink - either in stainless steel or in Fragranite (or similar). Intended for quite heavy daily use (DH is a keen chef) by a family who stubbornly refuse to be slaves to daily uber-cleaning. We'll have a water softener, if it matters. Can you share your pet hate (or love) re your sinks, please? 1) What is your sink made of? 2) Inset or undermount? 3) Do you like it? Thank you and Merry Christmas.
  2. Hello We have just completed our extension where we have moved our existing kitchen into the extended part of the house. The original plan was to make our existing galley kitchen into 2 small rooms, utility and shower room (shower, toilet and sink). We have decided to not have the shower so considered keeping the room as 1 and having the utility and toilet/sink altogether. As this room will be directly attached to the kitchen (although toilet on the opposite side of the 4m long room) would this satisfy BR? It's not ideal but also dont want the expense and feeling as though we have 2 tiny rooms if we don't need to. Thanks in advance for any advise.
  3. Apart from a lick of paint and a recent bathroom, the house is pretty much unchanged since built: Gas warm-air heating (ducts, and lots of 'em) with electric immersion heater for hot water Parquet floors to lounge, hallway and dining room which needs resanding, filling and sealing (plus filling the gaps left when we remove the warm-air heating outlets) 1970s kitchen, including sliding-door cabinets! Our aspirations are: Immediate - Convert current tiny utility and the end of the double-length garage into a new dining area flowing off the kitchen, plus new utility and (probably) downstairs shower room Immediate - Roof lantern and bi-fold doors onto garden in new dining area Immediate - Replace warm-air heating, ideally with something more environmentally friendly Medium term - New kitchen (self-fitted) Long term - Replace tiling on gable ends with cladding (possibly cement board e.g. Marley Eternit) Challenges are: Three-gabled (T-shaped) chalet roof limits possibilities upstairs unless we put in dormers (which we don't have budget for and which would be tricky anyway due to multiple gables) No space to add a shower to upstairs bathroom unless we make the small bedroom smaller still. Possibly considering downstairs shower Existing ground-floor spaces are concrete floor with no inbuilt insulation Garage floor is about 100mm lower and so when we raise floor we'll have to raise the roof too Extending heating to the converted area of the garage - warm-air ducts can't be extended (and we don't think we're fans of it anyway). Garage floor isn't low enough for UFH and necessary insulation, and we don't have budget for lowering it, so it's going to have to be a combi-boiler and rads Asbestos throughout (we've had a specialist survey) including soffits, boiler flue, roof tile underboard, boiler cupboard door, utility ceiling, Marley vinyl floor tiles in kitchen (only the last three of these areas are likely to be touched though). No asbestos in warm-air ducting - confirmed by survey. Budget for immediate stuff is £30k. Conversion could be £20k, leaving only £10k for heating changes.
  4. Because of our budget, there's some hard decisions and trade-offs to be made. Grateful for any constructive comments! Remaining garage size It's a double-length garage - 9m. We could just convert half of it, leaving the front part as a regular-sized garage, but that will leave us tight on space. Instead we're leaning towards taking around 5.5m, making the front part just a workshop and store (and hopefully, micro-brewery 🙂. Floor will be raised by 100mm using PIR with 18mm chipboard on top, and external walls with timber frame and PIR. Roof to be raised by our tame builder. Shower location Due to the 3-gabled chalet roof, there's not many places where a shower can be put upstairs. There's no scope for an en-suite that we can see (unless we shelled out for a dormer, which is likely to be beyond our budget). The only option for an upstairs shower seems to be to move the bathroom wall into the 3rd bedroom, making it smaller still. The other option is to have a downstairs shower room in the garage, but that's then eating into kitchen/dining room space. Kitchen/dining room configuration The existing kitchen is long and narrow, but we aim to widen the room by taking out the built-in cupboards and moving the door back slighting into the hallway We'll then knock through the current utility room The new space is actually larger than the existing kitchen. Do we move the kitchen into the new space and have the dining room where the kitchen is? Could seem a little odd to walk through the dining room to the kitchen, plus we'd have to install a new kitchen pronto as we'd be wrecking the orginal (and that's not in our short-term budget) Would like big (possibly 4m, 5 door) bi-folds onto garden, and a big (3m x 1.5m) roof lantern in new converted space on flat garage roof. Lowest u-values we can afford. Leaning towards keeping the kitchen location where it is, sink relocated to window, and with a small utility room in old garage space Insulation Uninsulated concrete ground floor - which might be tricky to raise and too expensive to lower for insulation. VIPs too expensive to do throughout (but considering 10mm for kitchen) Cavity walls are already insulated Roof insulation needs topping up, and lap vents installing in roof fabric Heating and hot water Existing system is warm air, with electric immersion and cylinder for hot water. Boiler replaced within last 12 months, but the system can't easily be extended into the new conversion space. So we'd need a combi-boiler just for the conversion. Floor drop in garage isn't enough for the insulation that would be recommended for UFH House isn't well-enough insulated for ASHP As a result we're leaning strongly towards simply a new modern combi-boiler and wet rads throughout
  5. Have made a start to mvhr. It's all in the loft, just need to tape and insulate all the pipework for the distribution boxes etc. All the upstairs room plenums (grey units that the extract/air intake adjustable covers fit to - bpc call them that so apologies if it's the wrong term) are in place. I am using the semi rigid ducting with 2 ducts going to bathrooms and kitchen and main rooms and 1 to WC etc. My other half cooks, bakes, makes jam, the lot really so will 1 extract point in the kitchen be enough? Have a powerful extractor over the hob that will be converted to recirculation only. Should I consider a second extract ? Kitchen is around 4.5m x 3.1m if that helps at all? Thanks James
  6. Open plan kitchen. How could I reduce the noise of fridge freezer's compressor (while keeping the back of the fridge ventilated of course)? Ideas: A short stud wall section beside the fridge freezer? Sound-absorbent foam behind Any better ideas? (By the way, ignore the kitchen design. Its just a rough draft.)
  7. Hi, I'm new here and have a building regs question. My Dad needs a full time helper in the house so we are setting up the spare room for this person. They will not be renting the room, just "living in". We would like to give them some possibility of cooking in their room, so that during their private time they don't need to use the main kitchen, but I'm worried about coming up against building regs ie fire doors, electric certificates etc. and incurring major costs. So my question is: How much can we add to the room like fridge, microwave, cooker, kitchen sink etc. before the bedroom becomes a kitchen according to the law? In other words what is the definition of a kitchen? Cheers Justin
  8. New kitchen has been installed so looking to protect as best as I can whilst other parts of the house are plastered and painted (late Jan). Last plastering was done 3wks ago (in hallway and a small area in the kitchen where a doorway had to be blocked up. Kitchen floor also had self levelling poured 2 weeks ago. Kitchen installer mentioned covering the units with cardboard to protect it from the 'damp'. Is this wise? I would think that would just attract/absorb the humidity and bugger up the mdf.... My thought was to just take the plinths off and allow the air to circulate around the units (there's a 50mm gap up the sides). House is sealed up but has no heating yet (Sunamps should get here in Jan/Feb). Any thoughts? TIA!
  9. My oven housing is 600 wide, external measurement with an internal width of 570mm but it seems that most single ovens say they are 600mm wide. I want to assume that means they fit into a 600 wide unit as the housing doesn't come in a wider size but can someone please confirm that or otherwise for me please. I can't afford another expensive mistake
  10. Hi, I'm selling in January to fund my self build but the estate agent recommended upgrading the kitchen if I was able. I'm happy putting down new flooring (the existing has lifted due to previous leaks) but am debating if I should replace the existing kitchen doors or get them repainted? I'd like to get the countertop changed also - they have that cheap metal strip in the joints. Not sure I want to have to take out the sink but that's certainly doable. Anyway, the doors are coated with plastic something - might be PVC. I can clean them up and paint them myself to keep costs down but would the finish be worth it? There is also a resin you can pour onto a countertop I've seen people use, would that be an option? Anyway, any ideas welcome. Initial research shows that a professional respray is over €1K, or new doors about €540 based on my current research. I can install doors/soft closers etc myself and get new handles. Not sure about the end carcass facings / shelves etc and if these can be left or should also be touched up? I'm not set on any particular style, just one that refreshes things and caters to most tastes? Thanks!
  11. My personal Internet search engine (Debbie) has for a while been dropping hints (bricks) about this place. Our chippy says we will prolly (?) need to buy more than we need to make the necessary allowances for our kitchen. Anyone used them, or know anything?
  12. Looking to bamboo my open plan kitchen/living area. Should you run flooring up to the plinths in a kitchen, or all the way to the wall, prior to kitchen cabinet being fitted? Can't seem to get a clear steer on this Scott
  13. I'm going through the horrible, brain frying process of looking at kitchens for the new house. Initially, I was thinking about limiting wall units to only the internal wall separating the utility from the kitchen area, but it seems that I'm going to end up with a slightly boring kitchen. It would, I suspect, look better if I could have the units going around the corner towards the window, as well. However, I'm spending a lot of money and effort on this passive type build, so I really don't want screws to be heading into those carefully constructed MBC walls. I'll need to find a fix for this as the problem applies equally to plenty of other walls that I need to attach things to. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  14. Finally!! At last there seems to be light at the end of the renovation tunnel. We had planned to have the house finished and up for sale by spring 2017 but that did not happen. Then the deadline was summer but no such luck , everything seems to take twice as long to do than planned. But at last we are nearing the finish line. The kitchen arrived at the end of October from Howdens and I thought we'd have it all fitted within a couple of weeks. Yet here we are nearing the end of November and its still not finished. Its half in but we cannot fit the breakfast bar and units till the flooring is done. We decided to keep the kitchen tiles for two reasons. A - they arent too bad - slate tiles which do clean up quite well and B - I tried taking one up and it was a nightmare. They have been concreted in, with underfloor wiring. So I agreed that we would keep them. However, that meant there were a couple of places where our new units did not match the position of the old ones and we needed some extra tiles to fill in. I found some similar tiles at Topps Tiles which should be fine. Apparently the slate tile is quite 'on trend' so it just shows that old things eventually become trendy and are worth keeping. ( I wonder if it applies to the OH??) This is the old kitchen before we took out the wall on the right hand side. That was half of the kitchen with a large range cooker taking up the other side. The breakfast bar is going where the old house wall was, which was taken out and replaced with rsj's. Once the rest of the wall was removed, we were left with a large hole as well as a lump of concrete. We worked out where the units were going and using an angle grinder, we took out the excess concrete so I could add the tiles. This was a really dusty job which the OH was not happy about doing but after covering everything up with sheets, as he cut, I hoovered up as much dust as I could and it wasnt as bad as we thought. But then when the units were placed in position, we'd got it wrong and we had to cut some more out! The OH was not impressed but in fact it only took half an hour and I had the area all cleaned up and ready for tiling. Unfortunatly that was when I came down with the flu bug which has meant no work for nearly a week, and then we are away for a few days at the weekend so its into another week before I can get the tiling done. Thats the way its been and why the renvation is taking much longer than planned. But never mind! We are getting there slowly. So here is the kitchen to date. The new sink and tap has been plumbed in and the oven (Ikea) and induction hub (Howdens) are in and working. Two sections of the Rustic Oak worktop are in place but now he is waiting for me to get back to work and get the additional tiles in place so he can add the breakfast bar units and top. The single unit on the right faces into the middle room and next to it will be a 700mm wall unit under the worktop and accessed from the main kitchen side. These units are where the wall was and it makes the kitchen much bigger. The compromise is that the breakfast bar takes space from the middle room but we think the kitchen was the important part and it does give much more storage than it ever had. The OH has been quite impressed by the Howdens units. The quality and fit have been very good and there have been some improvements made since the last kitchen we bought, ten years ago. Okay, it is not a top quality kitchen but we are very happy with it. Little things are much better. For example, the small bits of metal that support the shelves now have a little sticky up bit which locks the shelf in place so it does not slide out. And the legs were much better to fit and adjust than the old ones. The only issue occurred when he went to fit the legs onto the drawer unit (far left) and realised that the base had been put on upside down so the holes were actually inside the carcass. I rang the lcoal store and explained the problem but they did not seem to believe me (a mere woman - what would I know!!) and decided to send out a sales rep to see what the problem was. He turned up within the hour and was very good in arranging a replacement the following day once he agreed withour diagnosis. And we got to keep the old one as it was of no use to them - it would be impossible to turn the base round without damaging the unit. So all we need now are some drawer fronts and we have another drawer unit for free. In the rest of the house, the carpets and doors have been fitted to the bedrooms and stairs. The rest of the house has been plastered and I have been busy getting the garden sorted. We had pushed the garden back in front of the house to give ample room for sitting but I wanted to create a proper wall and border (I am a gardener after all). So I installed concrete foundations, then a twin wall using concrete blocks at the back and reclaimed bricks from the house. It took a lot of work but I am very pleased with the result. I did think that as the bricks were all odd sorts and colours we may have to paint the wall but it looks brilliant as it is. And we got the concrete blocks from a skip in BIcester so the only materials were the sand, cement and the coping stones for the top. I have used driveway pavers for the lawn edge and have now planted up the border. The only job now is to level the lawn and re seed where necessary. By the time we come to sell - probably in January or February now, it should all have settled in and the bulbs I have planted will be coming up - snowdrops and Narcissis. So what is left to do - finish the kitchen, clean and tile the kitchen floor, lots of odds and ends with CT1 and Filler, much painting, finish the coving in the lounge and then lay the bamboo flooring. Not much at all......
  15. I recently came across a Facebook article on kitchen design tends for 2018...well according to the article, there doesn't seem to be any new ideas. A larger sink was mooted, but the one illustrated was long but single...what? Surely that's pretty old thinking (You have a sink full of washing up and somebody waltzes into the kitchen with half full teacups, and err! I'm not a fan of dishwashers, especially for small loads...that's not my point: double sinks minimum please. I suppose there must be a good mark-up on kitchen fit-outs given the number of dedicated magazines, leaflets and dedicated shops (we have one in this tiny Yorkshire village). Generally they all seem to offer the same stuff, perhaps with different doors and handles. However, I'm not about to stun you with a "but have you thought of this?" type of article. But have you thought of this? Why do we have so many have wall cupboards and ghastly cooker extracts? Wall cupboards always make a room appear smaller and create a cascade effect. Picture any of the 'sexy' glossy images of a kitchen with two glasses of wine and a few carrots on a chopping board and imagine the space without wall cupboards...calm? So where do you handily store everything? In a dedicated stack or run of of full height cupboards, only 250-300mm deep along one wall...OK along with an inset 'coffee station'! (I think a coffee station was a potential ground breaking trend for 2018). That way you can lose everything and know where it is. If you (or SWMBO) insists on 'Away' then the doors can be opaque, or any combination of openness and opacity. Remember herbs and spices rather lose their flavour if exposed to light and heat, so they must be away, or in a larder. I'm a fan of larders, fitted with slate or granite shelving and good ventilation for storage of jams, pickles, vegetables, fruit, beer wine, cheese, eggs etc...many foods don't sit very well in a fridge, losing their flavour and absorbing the wrong flavours from other foods. Ideally a larder should be on a North East corner, vented high and low, and with a sealed door to warmer parts of the house. Is that potentially a 2018 this space.
  16. We're trying to hide our toaster. Why? Not much work surface. And clutter annoys me (us). Has anyone found a way to hide a toaster? I think we can sort out our microwave, oven, dishwasher, coffee maker, easily enough, but has anyone found a way to 'disappear' a toaster in a way which allows everyone to use it easily? Of course we can just stick it in a cupboard: but how do you deal efficiently with the inevitable smoke, crumbs and usability issues?
  17. I have my eye on a redundant showroom kitchen at nicholls which I think will provide a large part of our renovation kitchen at quite a good price - it includes a Neff induction hob and double oven, dishwasher, and all the extra's which would probably add quite a lot to our quote of £2k for the basic units from Howdens. It has a lovely Corian worktop which would need altering so my question is:- How easy is it to alter the worktop fit our use. I think most of it could be cut to fit two of the sides of our u shaped kitchen and we would need to buy the third side which would be a breakfast bar. But is it possible to join separate bits and still look good?
  18. Before considering which kitchen to fit, get a good, reputable kitchen firm or free-lance fitter to come and measure up. This will give you an idea for a basic layout, based on the size of your room, and your requirements / needs. That'll help you to stay focused when visiting the various showrooms, and ensure that you get the most out of your chosen kitchen supplier and chosen range of units etc. Ask your questions here, for impartial, free advice to help you make your decisions.
  19. A bit of a spinoff from my other thread. I am replacing a back galley kitchen in a 1900 terrace house due to damp over a decade having stained the back of 2 base units. Date is approx 1960-1970 (based on different bricks from house and knowing when my local council did grants), so probably a mix of solid wall and cavity. The plan is to strip out the kitchen, and do some protection against what I expect to be rising damp ni the walls. I can see 2 options: 1 - Strip plaster at bottom and Inject DPC. 2 - Do not strip plaster, and attempt to seal with eg "Damp Seal". My inclination is to do both 1 and 2, but I will not have the option of leaving the walls exposed inside for more than 24 hours to dry out as it has tenants in situ. I get a clear week to work but more will be awkward. Potential problems: 1 - One wall is external, one is party. Are there difficulties injectnig a DPC into a party wall? Do I need to do a PWA notice etc? 2 - I would like to insulate the external wall as much as is practical, but what is the method? I reckon I can lose only perhaps 25-30mm off the kitchen width, and I really don't want to take it all back to brick even on one side. Can I bond PIR or PUR backed plasterboard directly to the existing plaster? Any comments are welcome. Ferdinand (Aside: may be off line for a bit due to antipodean holiday, or may check in if the marsupials are boring).