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  1. Hi, I am currently working on a basement extension in my 1890s terraced house. There was an existing basement to the rear under the dining room but I am extending towards the front under the living room. My question is about removing sleeper walls under the living room. A structural engineer has seen the existing basement and was happy that the first wall could be removed and a wooden support be put into the party wall and across as the joists above only support the floor and is not structural. Having taken this wall down as advised and new support put in I am faced with two sleeper walls going towards the front. Can I remove these and replicate the wooden support as the first OR as they are sleepers do the supports need to be steel? The living room, dining room above has no supporting walls internally. The pictures are of the first sleeper I came to and would like to support, remove, replace with wooden beam into party wall either side.
  2. Back in Feb/March this year we completed our small (71sqm internal) single storey holiday home in Wales and I've been checking the meter regularly to record our electricity usage since then. It's been pretty steady at about 29kW per week. We are only using the building at weekends and it seems to make very little difference to the overall power we use. I reckon our background electric load must be about 150 Watts per hour (IE the load when we are not there). I was wondering if any of you have data on the background electric loads of your houses that you could share? Does 150 watts seem high to you? I was surprised when I did a list of the various bits of kit that get left on all the time: Burglar Alarm Sewage Treatment Plant air blower (on 50% on a timer) Edit - this uses 2.7kW per week Combi Boiler WiFi + Hive thermostat controller (don't need this on now we're in the summer) Nest smoke and CO alarm Clocks on oven Fridge Various bits of kit on standby such as Dyson rechargeable vacuum, dishwasher, washing machine