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  1. Before I managed to get the roof on my extension we had a deluge of rainfall and now I have a few mm of excess rain water pooled in various points in my extension. I have tried using a water butt pump (as that was the only pump I have) and that worked for a short while. But now the water is so shallow that the pump can't suck it up any further. I need to get my celotex boards down so I can move along with the project. Does anyone have any hints and tips for removing pooled water in your build (aside from drilling holes into the floor for drainage) TIA
  2. Hi guys, Doing my extension and the foundations are in as are the blocks upto floor level. Hoping to get the slab done next week. Im planning to run two lengths of 25mm mdpe blue pipe through the hardcore that goes under the slab and out through a gap in the blockwork. One will be a conduit for running an electric cable out in the future so we can have power in the garden. This will come up by the fuse box. The other is to allow a water supply to the garden. This will.be connected in just after the stop cock. Is there any problem going 15mm (main feed) 25mm (under the slab) 15mm (outside tap). Was just wondering if this sounds ok? Or if I'm missing anything? Thanks Paul
  3. My planning says that we must have a sprinkler system because of the distance from our nearest fire hydrant and because a fire engine would not be able to access the house due to the driveway and the restrictions placed on that. Please can someone explain to me how they work, in simple terms, how do they get the water, how do they know when to run, are they all linked so if the one in the snug goes off will the one in the master bedroom 20m away also go off. Do they need electricity. Do they ever fail, we will have a wood burning stove and sometimes the smoke 'leaks', will that set it off. If they go off, will insurance cover any damage done, assuming it is an accident and not a fire, which is obviously covered. TIA Jill
  4. I am in dire need of some help. Quick background info. Originally from England where good builders and tradesmen are plentiful but living here in Nth Ireland there is a scarcity of decent tradespeople. Due to Covid 19 (can't get a mortgage) and the local electricity company charging me £20k+ to move electrical cables underground I am not able now to build a house so instead building a log cabin where we can live over the next few years . Planning was passed for an ICf house and we intend to build it over the next few years when the money comes in (being optomistic here). So far we have had 5 tradesmen (before lockdown) come to the site over the last 6 months and 1 last week come out. I have a pre fab garage ready to go once I have paid the other £5k (5K paid as deposit). Currently I cant get hold of them because they are still shut and no response to phon or emails. Before Christmas we hired a local groundsman to do the foundation. Instead he did everything but the foundation just piling up earth with his digger. He then charged us £1k for what he called rock but turns out it was road waste that should have gone to the recycling plant first. Having 3 young boys I don't want any potentially harmful waste on the site. So after that we tried again. Those that did come out to the land not one got back to us with a quote. Only this morning after 2 weeks did one turn up and say he's off to England to do a job but if we can wait 2 months ? Ok so what i aim to do next is post the job on a site like find a builder or if anyone can recommend a site? but what I need is a description of what needs done. I would appreciate any advice on how to build a garage in an area which will get waterlogged when the rain comes (see pic). I know I need to build high but how do I raise the foundations up? I have some rock on the land which I can dig out as I have done already. I have attached images of the finished garage along with the foundation drawings by the garage company. Any help / advice would be greatly appreciated.
  5. We have an outside tap (temporary) situated not far from our boundary boxes. Our house 32mm MDPE supply is ready to connect. It can’t get to the boundary boxes (yet) as there is a caravan in the way. What advice please for connecting, potentially to this outside tap (a 15mm copper pipe)? And what should we lag the MDPE with - it’s going to probably be overground for these 5m all winter. Thanks
  6. I'd like to run the slightly vague ideas I have past the forum-mind: How do you bring in mains water through your wall(s) and up through the slab? My hazy idea is that I run the blue alkathene through a suitably lintelled hole in my (solid, 215mm) wall, sleaved in 110mm soil pipe that is in turn surrounded by 'pea gravel'. Then presumably the alkathene is directed up through the slab to a stopcock (under the kitchen sink in our case, just the other side of the wall). Does the pipe run un-sleeved up through the slab concrete? How is airtightness maintained? I'm a bit clueless here, all info gratefully accepted.
  7. Hi all, I'm about to start an extension to our house and wanted to get your views on water conditioners and if they work? I don't want to use a softener as the quantity of salt may have an adverse affect to health - a number of health professionals have said that this may impact blood pressure and possibly diabetes as well. The scientific evidence on this is lacking, but either way it's not going to help! My builder has an Aquabion in his house and swears by it (he's not selling it to me). Did say that you still get hard water stains but easily wiped away. He's had it for almost 2 years now. Anyone else have any other experiences? I've gone through the long thread from 'richi' and the responses from Halcyon and 'Lizzie' but not sure if I should take the plunge.
  8. Mulling over water ducting issue. Can't duct to the boundary because our caravan is in the way, so can only duct up to the caravan (which will mean running the duct under our garage - slab to be poured shortly). To cut a long story short, at 8pm tonight we decided to test a theory - join some MDPE pipe onto our existing (not being used anymore, but only shut off at the boundary so could be opened again) lead pipe which runs from the boundary under the caravan. So we exposed the lead pipe and cut it in half to measure it. This lead to MDPE joint will hopefully do as the water supply for the new house, at least until we move the caravan (after we have moved in) and dig a pit to replace the lead bit back to the boundary boxes. Our question is how to connect MDPE (assume 32mm) to the lead pipe (internal diameter measured at 3/4'', outside diameter measured at 26.5mm which we think might be 6lb pipe (1 3/64'' outside diameter)? What sort of coupling could we use? Can't find anything "standard" in the usual builders merchants (online, tonight). I wish I could post a photo but its too damn dark outside now.
  9. It seems to be my week for thicky questions, or certainly naive ones. I've only ever had one dishwasher and this has finally given up after 18 years of service, so I know very little about all their bits and bobs. The new one is coming tomorrow, so we were taking out the old one this evening. Crack, spray, squelch. The plastic part that is on the end of the water inlet hose and between that and the connector that screws into the dishwasher broke and is beyond repair. Is the part that screws into the new dishwasher a standard thing, or do they vary in size from brand to brand? Can I just walk into a plumbing supplier and just buy a new one, or do I need to order from a supplier?
  10. Well with the trench blocks in its time to sort out my services and stuff for drainage and waste i basically COPIED the paths from an identical house but as I am doing the pipework and paths myself (as much as i can anyway) I wouldn't mind a bit of the usual good advice from the sages on here ! In your guys (or girls) honest opinion 1. does the waste and rainwater make sense ? ....do you think i need to add anymore feeds for RW at the top left? 2. The services (sadly) enter the house on the wrong side (see blue arrow) ...I have to get virtually EVERYTHING to the Blue cross as this trench carries it all 30m to the road Sewage, Water, Electric, Gas and Telecoms (too possibly) How would you lot do it ? ..as in what way? I have some pics below that could help you visualise it a) planned water paths b) roofscape ( the bit on the right is a single storey sunroom c) example of identical house built a few years ago any advice is appreciated
  11. Evening All, Well work is about to commence on Friday ....so at LAST some soil will be shifted, as the council have "discharged" the necessary conditions. But today i received an email from Building control ...asking quite a few questions.... Some of them are straightforward regarding trees (actually scrawny bushes) and distance from foundations ..which of course i know off by heart ! Other questions about Land contamination and stuff ...I have had a soil and site report, so I guess i need to send it over (although planning already have EVERYTHING) ....strange? Soakway information ....well i need to check my calculations as the roofer said the area is 195m2 (it has a 50deg slope So I was thinking Polystorm ...but by god ....it will cost an arm and a leg ...Is there any other way ? The thing that REALLY confused me was the "Water Consumption Report" they want ...I went to some of these online jobbies and its like a maths question from 5th year ! .....and i missed that lesson I mean we have 3 toilets 1 shower 1 bath so of course 3 sinks and we also have 2 sinks in the kitchen and util room but there is only the 2 of us ...so its not like we will be draining the hoover dam How does everyone else work this out ? thanks in advance Ed
  12. Thought I would drag out the 31 year old elements from my old cylinder. They came out easier than expected. The one on the right is the lower 'night' element and lasted 30 years before it went, the one of the left is the top element and is still good. What is that jelly though, have I created a new life form.
  13. I had a soil survey done on the new site last week and it confirmed that we're on mostly clay; the results have been sent for analysis to find out whether it's shrinkable or not. The new house will be next to a lane and separating the curtilege from the lane is a double hedgerow. The arboricultural report stated that we should keep the inner hedgerow in place during construction as sacrificial root protection for the outer hedgerow, and then remove it once everything is done. However, the soil chap said that the inner hedgerow should be removed ASAP and, in particular, before it starts coming back to life in the spring as it's mostly hawthorn and will be very thirsty, which will make construction difficult on the clay ground after it has sucked all the water out of it. So, ideally, I'd like to get a digger in there ASAP to drag out the inner hedge, but don't want to fall foul of the PP conditions. Currently, development and everything is waiting on a licence from Natural England to do a supervised, soft demolition of the roof as it's a confirmed summer roost for bats. We should have that back by mid March. Any suggestions as to a course of action that won't jeopardise the new house or the planning people?
  14. The first big money was spent today - I signed my contract with MBC and paid the deposit. I think I could use a menopausal hot flush about now, to counteract the cold sweat that comes over me at the thought of spending all that money. I haven't been idle since getting our planning permission through, either, as I know that the clock is ticking on loads of things that would be done later due to the type of build. Stuff like how the cabling from the internet satellite dish will run into the house. I rang the ISP and asked them how they would normally approach things - "well, we will just drill a hole through the wall". Oh no, you won't! I'm waiting for them to call me back to have a chat about cabling requirements. I also found out exactly where the water meter is and the route of the supply pipe. I have been known to be lacking in powers of observation for things I'm not interested in, and a water meter would definitely fall into that category. However, I have specifically looked for it a few times but not succeeded and I found out why today - it's a few hundred metres down the lane, outside someone else's house in what the water company described as 'a large chamber'. All very gothic, but at least I know where to look now. The architect is moving at his usual glacial pace with things, so I have my rockets ready to be inserted in strategic places to make sure he keeps up with everyone else rather than slow things down as I think will happen if left to his own devices. The glowing taper is approaching the blue touch paper. Currently waiting calls back from: Wessex Water Architect His preferred BCO (for a quote and a chat about the house build) Highways management (what we need to do when creating the new vehicular access to the garage) Planning case officer (about the bats and our roof, to agree timing on removal) Time to go and do some paid work now. Sigh.
  15. I am having a 'discussion' with our BR supplier about what sign offs are included, what I can certify myself to their satisfaction and what I have to seek elsewhere. I guess its about having all the paperwork completed before sign off. I have my list but I am not sure it is complete so thought I would put it out there by way of checking: Windows install - so do not need installation by FENSA certified team. Electrical install - so I do not need electrical sign off by electrician (as it happens I will get this done by my brother-in-law) but for completeness it is included here. Gas install - don't think this is ever in the BR peoples scope as needs gas safe qualification. Oil fueled install - I don't have one but it is here for completeness. Solid fuel install - I don't have one but it is here for completeness. Pressure vessel (UVC etc) install - so I don't need a plumber to sign it off. Water install from meter. - not sure there are any regs here but just in case. Sewerage connection - so I don't need involve the water company, other than inform them. Waste water and general plumbing, flows & trap sucking ect - always assumed this was part of the sign off by BR anyway but could be wrong! Ventilation system balance - so I can do it myself. Ventilation system compliance - always assumed this was part of the sign off by BR anyway but could be wrong! Air tightness - So, assuming I can trace the pressure and airflow sensors to national standard, I don't need a third party to do this. Sound insulation - not sure even how to test this but can't be rocket science, can it? So I don't need a specialist again. CO2 Energy Performance certificate - I wanted to do these but as I needed the pre-build one quickly I have already paid for this and the final one. Water use certificate - I wanted to do these but as I needed the pre-build one quickly I have already paid for this and the final one. What have I missed - probably something glaring!
  16. Stupid question alert. We have finally located our water supply (without breaking through it with a digger bucket ) and hope to get some advice on how to run a temporary and then permanent supply. We will be living in the current house still for a few months so need to keep a supply to the house. We need a temporary supply directly to our caravan and outside loo for the duration of the build. We will also need to provide access to water for the build (some sort of tap set up?). The meter / stopcock is not at the boundary (over the other side of the road). We have located the pipe at the boundary. Can we turn the meter off, cut the water pipe, install some sort of three way connector in to take the supply in different directions and then, when we knock the main house down, cap off the bit of the pipe that serves the house? Firstly, is this in any way a sensible thought? If not, what do you suggest? If it is, are we allowed to do it or do we have to notify Thames Water and pay them to do it?
  17. About the only thing I am doing in my garden at the moment is fighting a losing battle with Himilayan balsam that has spread from the banks of the brook that runs outside one of the boundaries of my garden. This year it has spread far further into my garden than last year. Thus far I have been pulling the developing plants out and putting them in my garden waste bin but this is possibly not the best route and pretty soon I will have more than that volume to deal with on a weekly basis. Which leaves me in a quandary, burnt it or weed kill it? It certainly does not seem to be something that would burn without considerable drying and I am conscious of weed killing so close to the brook. suggestions?
  18. You see before you an extremely relieved person. 64 piles in, done, dusted, testing happening now. I'm trying to remember when I was so nervous for so long.... and can't. Tucked up warm and comfortable on our bed, and lying in the crook of my knees, the cat growled - he's never done that before - a car had parked outside the house and stopped at stupid o'clock. It was the pile driver chappie arriving a day early. Swiftly followed by a 42 tonne rig.... thus; and before you could say 'That's Big', this happened The piling probe (called a poker) that sits on the front of the rig looks like this Big innit? So how does it work? The rig picks up the poker (heart-in-mouth-stuff), and when positioned correctly, vibrates the poker into the ground to a predetermined depth: in our case 4m or less if refusal occurs before that point. But the trick is to tip some stone into the hopper at the top of the probe. Pull the probe back up a bit, reinsert the probe (into which more stone flows), compact, and do that a few times until the pile is made. Now, this thing vibrates. A lot. So for fun I did this with a bowl of water and some Vimto. Cos frankly, it worried me.... there's a water pipe running very close to 4 of the piles (2m) Not much, but it's hardly a scientific test. Town And Country Vibro set up a wobble meter (forgotten what it's proper name is) which is connected to a modem so the Head Office can see how much wobbling is going on. For comparison I went up to my office and had a look at my wobble waves there. None, or almost none. That did absolutely nothing to allay my fears of bursting the water main. We had prepared properly, though, thus; Man was I relieved when the vibration stopped. No leak, No fountain, no bill from United Utilities. That's not going to stop me taking photographic evidence of the pipe and pit when the road plates come off on Monday and it gets back-filled. Only to bump into a cliff-hanger on the last pile The probe had hit a glacial boulder smack in the middle and split the stone such that the remains filled the exact diameter of the probe. So none of the stone fill could flow into pile hole. Jammed. Solid. Four lump hammers and one sledge hammer all hitting the probe at the same time. Me hitting it as hard as an old codger can; which was a sight harder than the lads were. Too much invested in this pile.... Plop. Out it fell after 5 long minutes. Angels sang Heavenly music when the 8 litre engine stopped and the foreman jumped down. "Ya weren't worried were ya whack?" he asked grinning like a Cheshire Cat. "Naaah" I lied. Ian
  19. Hello, is that the water board? Yes, I need to talk to someone about our piling: the form I need to fill in asks us to tell you about it in advance by ringing this number. Piling? Never Heard of it Well on Form number (xyz), it says to ring your number and ask for someone to come and do a survey Do you want a new connection? Yes, but that's not what I'm asking about, I need to know if someone will come and survey the water pipe, as is the proper procedure according to your form (xyz) Well if you need a new connection Sir, I'll put you through now (CLICK) Hello? New Connections here, hello Sir Hi! I need to talk to someone about our piling: the form I need to fill in asks us to tell you about it in advance by ringing this number. No, Sir, I'm the new connections person, you need Developer Services (CLICK) Hi! I need to talk to someone about our piling: the form I need to fill in asks us to tell you about it in advance by ringing this number. Oh hello mate, we were only just talking to one another - how are ya? Water Boarding: sounds like a good idea to me. signed FURIOUS OF LANCASTER Tomorrow: let's try again eh?
  20. Sometimes I wonder if this building lark is the right thing to do - both myself and the OH had a disturbed sleep last night. He was up around 3-4am, unable to sleep and around 5 it was my turn, worrying about the water in the cellar. And we are just renovating; what will it be like if we get to do our self build - one night without sleep and I'm a very grumpy bear, how will I cope with a couple of years! Maybe I should ask how will the OH cope with a grumpy grizzly bear.... Anyway, yesterday I spoke to Building Control for our area as it has become apparent that we need to make several applications for Building Notices and I wasnt sure when they had to be applied for. Seems it is before we do any work - does that include removing what was there....?? Opps. However, a very friendly officer was happy to give me advice. For the electrics we need to apply as the OH can only install, being Part P trained but he cannot certify so needs BC to pass the electrics. Thats a £360 charge. If we move the bathroom, that needs another notice but if we decide to leave it as it is and just replace, we dont. All the plumbing and new boiler will need a Notice but the chap we are planning to use is a Gas Safe plumber so he can certify his own work. the OH will be doing most of the labour but the plumber will be checking everything and providing the certification. The new windows would need a Notice except the company are FENSA certified so can do it themselves. And as long as we dont take off all the render, that didnt sound like it needed anything either. So it sounded like we only need to apply for the Electric work. Its a shame that the OH cannot certify his own installation but until he is doing more elctrical work, then it just was not worth paying the registration fees as they were more than he was making. What a monopoly the electricity providers have. We had to ask Western Distribution to come and check the earth of the house supply as the OH cannot touch their side of the electrical supply - ie the black box on the left. He had been unable to get a good earth in the Cu so installed an Earhting rod into the corner of the cellar and connected it, (the green/yellow wire on the right) to the CU which worked fine. For some reason he then arranged for WD to come out to check the incoming earth, which they did. they used a meter to give a reading (5 seconds work), said it was fine and then changed the fuse from 60 to 80amps. And that was it - £200 invoice to be sent out for 5 mins work, They werre unable to install an isolator switch between the incoming suppy and the CU as the OH had hoped so he could safely work on the new installation. thats not their side of the board - thats the electrcity providers! They only deal with the left side! They completely understood why he would want the isolating switch but could not help. They suggested he just cut off the wires going into the CU and instal his own Isolator switch between the meter and CU. But that would mean dealing with live wires unless he pulls their fuse out, which he isnt allowed to do! Hmm. While waiting for Western Distribution to turn up, I checked the cellar and was surprised to see our new Hygrometer showing a humidity of 99% in the front right hand corner of the cellar. It has always been the wettest area but this time, I could see lots of water drops on the rockwool insulation and the whole area was soaking wet with moulds growing in several areas. Its odd as the rest of the cellar is dry with no sign of water. And as we have had no real rain for several weeks, I would have thought the damp would have improved, not got worse. So now I am wondering where it is coming from. We were told before buying that there had been a problem with the drains between the house and next door, leaking water into the cellar so Anglian Water had relined the drains. However, it does not seem to have stopped all the incoming water. There are no downpipes which could be directing water to that corner of the cellar, so I cant see where it is coming from! Very strange and something we need to sort out. My thought is that we need to start digging down alongside that corner of the house to see if there is a problem with the drains. And ideally before it rains too much so we can see if it really is the drains or something else. ButI dont think we'll be able to get a mini digger in there and as the gas supply runs along there too, I think it will have to be done by hand. Very carefully. The joys of renovations.
  21. A visit to the NSBRC taught me that I should ask the various Utility companies to come out and mark their services for me - rather than poke around below ground myself and see if there was smoke in these pipes or wet stuff in those. Got the paper work sorted out, got the official map for the water pipes. Asked for Mr Water Utility to pay me a visit, which he promptly did. Me: Hi, I'm keen not to put a digger bucket through your pipes - would you be kind enough to tell me where the water pipe is? Mr Utility: Sorry mate, can't do that. Have you got our official map? Me: Yes, I have: it's a bit vague. But you high-tech Utility people have got things like CAT scanners and stethoscopes and diving rods and all sorts like that. And, the key thing is you know what you are doing. I don't. Mr Utility: Nahhh, we don't do that, 'aven't got a scanner and I gave away my last pair of diving rods the other day (I am not taking the pi55 here) Me: so what are you suggesting then? Mr Utility: Just dig an 'ole son. (I'm an old codger of 63 you know!) Me: But the point of me asking you here today is to get an authoritative opinion on where your water supply runs. What happens if I discover a pipe which isn't a water pipe, and, as a result of the misidentified pipe, I dig through yours? Mr Utility: Ah, well..... Just dig an 'ole..... it'll be reet.... Two days later, I get a receipt from United Utlities thanking me for prompt payment for £50. Deducted from my account. Is my crossness justified?
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