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  1. Converting a 3 bed very dilapidated 1930s semi into a 4.5 bed modern home. EVERYTHING is being gutted except the joists. Quotes are way over budget, particularly for the underfloor heating. I had specified wet underfloor heating throughout all three floors of the house (ground = 800 sqft, first = 750 sq ft and loft = 450 sqft), with the ground being imbedded into screed and the first and second floors being laid within some high performance extruded polystyrene boards made by Cellecta called XFLO. XFLO is quite expensive, about £26 a square metre, but the reason I had specified them is that they provide good insulation to make sure the heat goes up, are CNC drilled by Cellecta to meet any pipe layout requirements we specify and also feel quite firm underfoot. The other advantage of the XFLO is that you can lay the finished floor directly onto it. Underneath those XFLO boards, I had specified a 6mm dense rubber matting (which comes as a 10m by 1m rolled product, so pretty easy and quick to lay) to absorb impact sound, and underneath that 18mm tongue and groove ply which is nailed directly onto the joists (whereas the rubber and XFLO are just floating). In between the joists I was going to have mineral wool to mute airborne sound travel, and underneath the joists I was going to have the ceiling attached using resilient bars (with market name "Genie clips") to isolate the ceiling from the joists to further prevent sound transmission. The whole system is to be zoned as 9 zones, including one zone for the 3 towel radiators (which will be the only radiators in the house, one for each bathroom), although I'm going to provide Tado thermostats, one for each of the 8 UFH zones and a Tado smart valve for each of the towel radiators. One builder has quoted about £25k plus VAT for all of the above, and the other about £28k plus VAT. These quotes don't include the thermostats (I'm providing those). When I have challenged each of them on why this is so expensive (I was expecting about half the cost) they have said different things. The first builder has said that I could save £2,500 to £3,000 money by losing UFH in the loft and in most of the first floor, and instead having radiators there. The second builder doesn't agree that would save any money and is also trying to respect our reasons for having UFH. Instead he just thinks the system I've specified for the first and second floor is overkill and that I could make two changes which would save about £4k in labour: First, instead of 18mm ply plus 6mm rubber matting plus the XFLO boards (which are about 28mm thick) I should just lay a product sold by theunderfloorheating store calledProWarm ProFloor 22mm pre-routed chipboard. I've looked this up and I see the benefit. Like the XFLO boards, you attach it directly to the joists and it comes routed (though with standard not bespoke routing) and enables you to fix the finished floor directly. It costs roughly the same as the XLFO, but it saves the builder the trouble of having to lay the rubber matting and the ply, so the saving is in the cost of the matting (£6 per sq metre), the ply (about £14 a sq metre) and the labour to fit those two layers. Second, he says that in the bathrooms, I should just lay electric UFH rather than wet. He accepts it's dearer to run, but he says I can have smart timers on it to make sure I only have it on when needed and as there will be wet towel rails in there, I really won't use it that often. I think I'm willing to accept his second point and fir the electric UFH in the bathrooms, but I'm concerned about the disadvantages of the first point, which I see as follows: 1) I lose the impact sound protection provided by the 6mm rubber - is this such a big deal given I have an isolated ceiling and the mineral wool between the joists? If so, can anyone think of a way of combining a fairly cheap but effective sound impact layer with the 22mm pre-routed chipboard? It would only ever be my kids running around, so impact sound is not a major issue, but I want some protection. 2) Chipboard is not as durable or as strong as ply. Although both will feel similar at the outset of their lifespan, what will they feel like in 12 years time? I plan to be at the property for 12 years at least, but hopefully longer and I don't like springy floors. 3) no bespoke pipe channels like Cellecta offer with XFLO. But is this overkill? Maybe I don't need bespoke pipe layouts. Builder says that the 22mm pre-routed chipboard just has channels at 200mm pipe centres and that is a standard construction for first and second floors. Although most of the rear of the house is being extended, so it will have insulated cavity walls, and the loft will also be well insulated, the rest of the house has no cavity walls. Keen to hear your thoughts on the above. Thanks for your time!!!
  2. Hi All, I’ve just had 2 rooms tiled with oak effect ceramics and I feel a little disappointed with the final result. The tiler used self-leveller to even the floor prior to laying but I feel that this should have been done with more care, and that many of the subsequent problems are a result of this… I’ve used the closest thing I have to a 2m straight edge to check the flooring and I’m finding regular deviations of around 5-6mm. Offering up the skirting has highlighted a couple of areas far worse at 10mm & 14mm. The tiler has offered to rectify these two areas but I still have my doubts about the overall quality of the job and feel it was rushed. He spent no more than a few hours on the screed and then 3 days to lay both rooms totalling over 30 sq.m. I worry that in correcting these local defects with extra adhesive or whatever, he simply creates new problems elsewhere. There are also several areas of lipping affecting at least half a dozen tiles in each room of 2,3 & 4mm. The British Standard BS 5385 seems to say that 1mm is the tolerance for such narrow 2mm joints? The standards also seem to suggest a tolerance for levelness of 3mm over a 2m edge? I’ve only garnered this info online and haven’t actually read the specific standards but I’m wondering to what extent I could use this as a stick to beat him with? I’ve already paid £1000 in labour for the job but frankly I feel it isn’t justified. I know he’s legally entitled to try and rectify it but short of ripping it all up, I can’t see me getting a result that’s compliant with the relevant standards? I feel the best outcome for me would be to get him to fix what he can then attempt to get compensation for the rest.. Sadly I’ve already had to sue someone for a failed floor in the past so I’m all too familiar with the small claims process! Any help much appreciated., please see attached photos
  3. Would you be kind enough to run your eye over this, please? The list below is gleaned from a mixture of YT videos, the LABC and NHBC standards and several flooring threads on BH : thanks to @ProDave, @Big Neil, @Simplysimon, @Hecateh, @PeterW, @Mr Punter, @Declan52 , @bassanclan @Oz07 and others. I have 46 sq meters of floor to lay on the first floor on joists which are laid at 400 centres: you know, the ones that de-bagged me Since the floor is a structural member, and the roof is on - we are dry, the sensible choice seems to be 22ml chipboard T+G, (although 18mm will do for 400 centers) laid at right angles to the joists, long edges at room perimeters must be fully supported on either a joist or a nogging in any case, noggins must support the short edge laid ' brick-bond ' (to ensure minimal waste and maximum T+G contact) D4 adhesive : gloves to prevent contact with the glue (thanks, @Declan52) screwed every 300mm, screws 50mm long (at least double the depth of the board) and at least size 8s with a 10ml gap all the way round vertical abutment(s) leave a small loose panel in each room so I can fish wires through later (thanks @ProDave) I'm using sheets that are 2400mm by 600mm and my BM is charging me £8.88 / sheet. Missed anything? As every, many thanks in anticipation. Ian (PS, forgot to ask about screws spec: are there any screws that are specially for boarding out?)