Yzzy

Hey from Essex... xx

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Hey guys and peeps...

 

I'm VoH... I've had the 'handle' since the interwebs began, firstly because I saw life as a a vision of what could be, nirvana, and hope..... (I may be a bit of a rock chick hippie)

 

Now it is referring to my inherited home, an utter poo hole (seriously, so much pigeon guano!) and my Vision of Heaven that it could be. 

 

I am 5 weeks in to a complete refurb of a 14 room 1890's detached house. ......... And I have ZERO idea what I am doing. 

 

Is there a 'blog' area? Or how does one go about this archiving of works and asking for help.... and oh my goodness i will be SO asking for help!!

 

Anyway, I am me, I am currently knee deep in pigeon poopies and stupid ground floor (light ring) fuse wires blowing all the time! (will be checking upper floor sockets for piggy backing once I can get up there) 

 

I am UBER full of enthusiasm.... lacking in £££ and in all honesty probably mad to be taking this project on... but here goes!!!

 

HELLO!!!!

 

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Well I can’t be much help to you but welcome. I’m sure one if the wonderfully knowledgable and helpful bods on here will be along soon to pont you in the right direction.

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

 

If you want to start a blog, you need @recoveringacademic or @PeterW to enable that for you.

 

Otherwise just to ask questions, start a new thread in the relevant section of the forum.

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Hi VoH, welcome to the forum. If I were working in an environment with a lot of bird faeces I would definitely wear a good face mask. Some nasty diseases can be caught by breathing in the dust.

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3 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

Does this mean you can export pigeon pie?

 

Welcome.

Hmm well I'm a veggie so no ha ha! 

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8 minutes ago, PeterStarck said:

Hi VoH, welcome to the forum. If I were working in an environment with a lot of bird faeces I would definitely wear a good face mask. Some nasty diseases can be caught by breathing in the dust.

 

Oh my goodness yes indeed.... So far downstairs was minimal guano so a simple f2 mouth mask was worn. But for upstairs I will be getting a fancy shmancy mask with the filters on the sides... yup.. I know all the technical words! lmao :S

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3 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

Does this mean you can export pigeon pie? [...]

 

PMSL, full-on, tea through my nose, dropped the cup, smashed it, still laughing :D

 

Welcome indeed VoH. Or may I guess, dude?

 

I dare ya! A photo would do us all a power of good. @Onoff will be along shortly with soothing words of procrastination and electro-babble. He specialises in wet fingered dabbling in plastic wires that contain smoke.

 

Ian

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Hmm photos will have to wait, I'm half way through brushing my 8 year old dreadlocks out and look like a stressed witch! O.o

Some more info then... I'm a Mum of 5 a 'young' Grandmother of 2 (they call me Bubble though as I couldn't face being called Grandmother in my 40's!!) married to a red neck Arkansan, 3 cats (one preggers we think) 3 guinea pigs and a tiny midget floofy white rabbit..... We did have hens but Mr Fox decided they looked better without heads... they didn't.... so I'm waiting until the garden in the house is ready to build a fox proof chookery and get more. 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Vision Of Heaven said:

Hmm well I'm a veggie so no ha ha! 

 

THat should not prevent exports :D.

 

Just think of all that Guano production which would be avoided

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Electrobabble sounds good! 

 

The house has an old Wylex system and the electrics all work apart from the ground floor light ring, it keeps blowing the fuse wire, sometimes after an hour, sometimes as soon as I flick the main switch on (making me poop myself!).... So I took off all the dimmer switches in the downstairs thinking it may be them, no joy, deactivated the switches to the kitchen tube lights, no joy.... added a MCB to see if that would help for a while and it did... for about 18 hours and it's not working again and I daren't try anything else as I don't fancy a singed barnet! 

 

So now I drag an angle-poise lamp around with me as I clear out the downstairs. 

 

Once I have some ££ I'll 'get a guy in' to figure out what's what. Although I know 'back in the day' they would save time and piggy back upstairs sockets on to the light ring so it might be that??? 

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6 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 

THat should not prevent exports :D.

 

Just think of all that Guano production which would be avoided

 

Actually, I've read that pigeon poopies is highly flammable and is harvested in some countries as fuel! I won't be doing that either I hasten to add! lol

 

Right, I need to grab my DM's and go to the house to put 200 black rubbish bags out for the trash men! 

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Hi and welcome. 

Have you had a professional survey done yet ? 

First checks have to be for anything fundamental that needs doing, as you don't want to do any other jobs twice ;)

 

3 minutes ago, Vision Of Heaven said:

So now I drag an angle-poise lamp around with me as I clear out the downstairs

 

:/ 

If it's blowing 'fuses' do you mean the rewire-able ones or trip switches? If you don't know the condition of the electrics then you need to get those safe to use before you plug anything in, like extension leads or power tools. Buy an extension lead with plug type RCD and ONLY use that for anything hand held. Stick to that religiously. 

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North of the river! >:(

 

Greetings & welcome! :)

 

Has this only just started happening or is it a long standing thing? As in have you done any work that might have screwed through or crushed a cable? Coat hooks, picture frames, cupboards, shelves are all contenders.

 

I am assuming you have an old Wylex board with rewireable fuse carriers? You've then tried adding a plug in MCB made specifically for upgrading Wylex boards, like this (albeit 6A):

 

ae235.jpeg.58e200d18ac1254d09fb851ebc0c30fe.jpeg

 

The fuse / MCB is doing what it is supposed to be doing almost certainly.

 

Do you have any leaks anywhere or vermin damaged cabling? You have a point of "low resistance" somewhere most likely. Could be anything; a crushed cable that has to heat  (over time) to expand to then touch something it shouldnt and cause the fuse to pop. I've found junction boxes partially filled with water that you can hear crackle / buzz before the fuse blows or MCB trips. 

 

Your lighting circuit is likely on a 5A fuse wire. It is likely wired as a radial circuit rather than a ring which is generally for wall sockets. You mention "piggy backing". If you mean by that that socket outlets have been wired onto the lighting circuit then aside from being a huge no-no does the lighting circuit fuse blowing coincide with any "plug in" in or hard wired appliance coming on? Do you tread on a certain floorboard etc?

 

You can do some basic checks with one these types of socket testers, colloquially known as a "Martindale". 

 

https://www.toolstation.com/shop/Electrical/d190/Electrical+Test+Equipment/sd3348/Socket+Tester/p82826

 

Turn the lights off and go round each socket plugging it in. That'll give a good indication nothing is fed off the lights.

 

An Electrical Inspection Condition Report by a scheme member  (NICEIC, ELECSA, STROMA ETC) would be your best best.

 

Edit: Any idea how old the wiring is, black and red cored twin & earth is it? Any of the cables black rubber or lead covered? 

 

Edited by Onoff

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TIme for a serious comment, @Vision Of Heaven.

 

I am surmising that your house is perhaps 3500sqft if it is Victorian and 14 rooms.

 

I am not clear what you mean by Complete Refurb - are you replacing all th windows, taking the walla back basically to brick, and digging up the floors to insulate underneath or put floor slabs down? IF you are, on your own this is a 2 year full time, or 5-6 year part time project, and you are facing a total bill of perhaps £100-150k.

 

Unless you mean something different to me by Complete Refurb?

 

If you are paying someone to do the work it will be quicker but more expensive.

 

JUst a new set of windows will be perhaps. £15k in upvc or £30k for 3G or wood. IF you are looking at greenish heating systems, that will add another 10-15k over something conventional, though you will get most of that back.

 

The most important thing you can decide now is the quality of fabric you put in. You need to decide whether you want your future energy bills to be £1000-1500 in 2018 money, or £4000-5000. TO achieve the former, you need to renovate your basic structure to a standard substantially superior to that required by building regulations as applied to refurbishments, and need to start asking those questions. I have just renovated a 1966 bungalow to a standard where energy and water bills should be about 55% lower than before. IT is not difficult,  but you have to decide early on 

 

There is not much point going green unless you are going for a highly efficient fabric for your building,

 

Once you have put finishes on your floors and walls or boarded them out to a lower standard it is too late.

 

Looking forward to your comments.

 

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand

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22 hours ago, Vision Of Heaven said:

Hmm photos will have to wait, I'm half way through brushing my 8 year old dreadlocks out and look like a stressed witch! O.o

[...]

 

No, I meant photos of the house. Phhhhh. -_- 

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+1. 

Attention to detail needn't cost that much more, but I guess it's knowing your enemy ( draughtiness and poorly insulated floors / walls / roofspace etc ) is where we can help. ;)

Ask lots of questions, THEN crack on. 

Some basics to be going on with in the meantime.....

1) You doing it up to sell?

2) Do you have a budget?

3) If the pigeons are resident is this totally derelict?

4) If so, when was it last lived in?

 

As number Johnny 5 would say..."input!"

 

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I was treated in my 20's for Psittacosis. I was working in roof top plant rooms sometimes quite literally 6" deep in pigeon sh!t. The regard for H&S wasn't what it is now. Apparently if it progresses it can be really nasty but I got as far as coughing up blood and feeling like I was dying! :) First GP suggested it was anxiety and "Had I been rowing with my wife?" when I went complaining of severe shortness of breath. By the time I saw the 2nd GP things had progressed to "Look what's on this tissue!" and it was straight to hospital, X-rays and massive doses of antibiotics. We had then locally a (long gone) Infectious Diseases hospital where I was seen. 

 

I was doing up my 1st house at the time which I bought with half a roof and again lots of pigeon debris so I couldn't 100% say where I got it from.

 

I think that 30 years on I've still been left with a left side weakness as I've twice since had shadows on my left lung where chest infections have taken hold. 

 

EDIT: Just remembered one of those really sh!tty sites was in HARLOW...Essex! :) 

Edited by Onoff

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Oh my word so many questions! lol OK I'll try and answer them all in one go.

 

The house has been empty for 3 years, pigeons have squatted there for at least 18 months. The house was literally left with everything in it, and more as the previous resident (Mother) was a mega hoarder.

 

Doing it up to 'hopefully' live in again. :/

 

I have no money apart from £2k and no idea where I can get any more from, either way, the house HAS to be emptied of everything regardless of if I carry on and refurb' or sell. So regardless of what people call me, crazy, deluded etc I have to carry on going there every day and shovel everything out until it is empty. 

 

The fuses are the old wire ones. Yes I plugged an MCB in. I wasn't at the house when it tripped so nothing that I 'did' tripped it.... however, as I clear out each room I am finding every conceivable electrical item the previous resident had is still plugged in and ON, some of them plugged in to extensions plugged into another extension box... seriously insane but I'm not going to make myself ill trying to figure out why and how she didn't burn the place down, I'll just get my head down, empty the house and unplug stuff haha... 

 

I've not done anything that would disturb any of the wiring yet so it's not that. There is a serious leak in the flat roof conservatory area so it may be water in that light fitting / switch? I've only just emptied that room (well I have one more wall unit to empty) so the switch there hasn't been disconnected yet. 

 

Piggy backing... I was told that back in the day as more electrical items entered homes lazy sparks would pull up floorboards and wire plug sockets for upstairs to the downstairs light system rather than chase out walls or whatever. This is what I have been told to look out for upstairs but I haven't cleared my way to any of the rooms there so have no idea if this is the case or not. 

 

As far as my memory serves me I believe my Dad had the whole house checked / re-wired as needed when we moved in in 1979. The only 'incident' I can think of is back in about 2010 my eldest was in the house talking to Mother when the dimmer switch behind her started to spark and it blew the fuse and it was never fixed / touched again until I had the dimmer switch removed a couple of weeks ago on my quest to figure out the light system fault. Mother also says she had the water turned off as there was a leak "from upstairs in the loft" but she isn't any more forthcoming with ideas of where this was or where it leaked to. I'll not be able to figure that out until I break through the crap and find the upstairs! (The lighst work up there though!)

 

The house will need some new floorboards to the ground floor, central heating fitted throughout, I think all the ceilings upstairs will have to come out as I don't fancy 'cleaned up' pigeon poo wood above my bedroom, it stinks as it is and I should imagine it's well in the wood.

 

Eventually I'd like new windows but that isn't a priority. That will be a 'once we get a mortgage' type job.

 

My mission by December is to completely empty the house, remove all floor coverings and wall coverings, then once I have the skeleton to get someone in and asses the condition of the house / electrics / waterworks / gas. Once I can see how bad or good it is I can then decide on my next move. 

 

This used to be my home, my Dad died in that house, it's a very emotional process I am going through having to bag up mountains and mountains of rancid rubbish, memories, photographs, ... I have to do all of this while not thinking about why she did this to the house or how could she live that way or worry about chucking ruined photographs away.

 

I have to block all emotions off and set my mind to EMPTY mode.

 

Why did I join this forum? Because I will be wanting to tinker with things and I will need expert help and after looking at various sites I deced this one looked the friendliest and like somewhere I could ask daft questions and not get too ribbed! :D

 

My first action was to sit down and write a year plan. I assigned a room to a month. I started January 1st.  So far I have already completed 3 rooms, almost done the kitchen and conservatory and have one room untouched downstairs. So I am roughly up to where I thought I would be in April... not bad considering it's me on my own during the week and with hubby for 7 hours at the weekends!

 

Below is an example of one corner of the kitchen.... The whole house is like this and worse. 

You can just about see the stove, the cupboards from the wall behind the stove fell off and the ceiling above has fallen in, I haven't even tried to go in to the bathroom above as the floor looks sunken.

 

 

Kitchen.jpg

Edited by Vision Of Heaven

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I forgot to add.... The stuff that was hoarded was pilled up in stacks. The chaos was created when asshats broke in and raided the place twice. The turned everything over, ripped through boxes and bags and basically trashed the place. Couple that with damp and pigeons and we have the Mother of all Messes we see now.

 

 

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I feel your pain. Went to do a bit of minor electrical work at my elderly parents house the other week. Hoarders you say? I know that well. So deep in piled clothes and tat upstairs I did everything in self adhesive trunking in the end. Things smell and are often wet or covered in "stuff". Sadly this isn't down to leaking roofs or pigeons! :(

 

Well worth getting yourself a copy of this if you're planning electrical work. Will at least give you a good insight and help you avoid making silly mistakes.

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Electricians-Guide-To-The-Building-Regulations-4-th-Edition-IET-Wiring-Regs-2015/182864053326?epid=209582606&hash=item2a938c044e:g:gCgAAOSwIJlZ9j1K

 

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Looks like you have made a good start, always great to be ahead of schedule.  

 

On practical note any building works you get done, should only be charged 5 % vat as property empty for more than two years.  You may need to get confirmation from the council, to give to builders etc.  Many help stretch funds a little.

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I think I'll leave the services side fo things to professionals... I don't fancy turning on the tap one day and getting electrocuted or gassed!

 

It's awfully sad isn't it @Onoff? I wish it was just clothes and tat, she literally didn't thrown ANYTHING away from 2001 until I forced her to move out in 2014.. every newspaper, every letter, every magazine, every food container ever emptied and washed was kept... just in case.... if a supermarket was selling something at 50% off she would buy 20 of said item, even if she didn't need it... it would be stored... just in case... everything wood was brought back to the house and stored in the front room... just in case she needed wood for the fireplace. So far no 'body fluids' though so i really feel for you there :-( Tackle it now! One thing I said to Mother when I demanded control of the house was I didn't want to one day be not only dealing with losing her but also having to empty my childhood home of ruined belongings.... I doubt it has stopped her hoarding (she wont let me in her flat) but it convinced her to hand the house over. 

 

My one joy is the refuse collection guys, they are utter DARLINGS, they spotted me outside the house at the beginning of January putting black bags into our car. After asking me what was going on I said I was clearing the house out and had another 100 bags inside the house and they all jumped up, ran in and grabbed the lot for the truck!!

Now every week I put out between 100 and 200 black bags on my drive and they are more than happy to trash the lot... I do however furnish them with boxes of biscuits! 

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3 minutes ago, Jml said:

Looks like you have made a good start, always great to be ahead of schedule.  

 

On practical note any building works you get done, should only be charged 5 % vat as property empty for more than two years.  You may need to get confirmation from the council, to give to builders etc.  Many help stretch funds a little.

 

Oohhh what's this? I've never heard of that before! 

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3 minutes ago, Vision Of Heaven said:

My one joy is the refuse collection guys, they are utter DARLINGS, they spotted me outside the house at the beginning of January putting black bags into our car. After asking me what was going on I said I was clearing the house out and had another 100 bags inside the house and they all jumped up, ran in and grabbed the lot for the truck!!

Now every week I put out between 100 and 200 black bags on my drive and they are more than happy to trash the lot... I do however furnish them with boxes of biscuits! 

 

You are very lucky there!  Usually they only take your allocated bin's worth.

 

Also constantly going to the tip can get you banned as a trader, as others have suffered so again lucky, the other option would have been skips and looking at that I would be quite a few!

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