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Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4502
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 17 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re plug sockets - do your plan, then double it. I tend to leave chargers etc in situ (but switched off at wall) to avoid losing them

Downsizer Moderator

Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 42189
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 17 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dpack wrote:

do we need to consider moving the boiler ?, as a new one is required for the price of a few pipes and a 5" core drilled hole it could go in several other locations.

Our house in London was built out of engineering brick. The plumbers had to hire a special super-duper drill thingy to make the hole for the boiler. One of them dropped it off the ladder and bust it. Fortunately for us after they'd cut through the wall.

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 14626

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 17 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would leave chimney breasts if you can. Don't forget someone in the future may want to use them again. As you say, it is also all of nothing with chimney breasts, which was sadly forgotten by some people in the 60s and 70s when a lot of modernisation was going on, sometimes with disastrous results.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 43405
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 17 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4 chimneys will be ventilated and either in use or ready to use at short notice

tis the ex scullery one that is in the way, once i have had a poke about in the area and above it i can establish and price the options for the new kitchen.

just for fun i will tell you a chimney story, are you sitting comfortably , outside might be best

once upon a time in the late 80's i was doing some admin when the phone rang ,after a few tentative preliminaries from the other end he said " there is a builder in my sitting room taking out the chimney from the bottom, is that right ? "

after a gulp i said "where are you? " he was very local so i said "tell him to stop and both of you wait for me in the street"

anyway ten mins later i have sent the bloke in a pair of wellies and a very old suit back to the man who sent him, i even gave him his hammer and chisel back as he promised to never use them again, and sent the householder off to the caff while i ordered and installed a dozen acrows and lots of scaff planks.

that done i told him to pay the hire shop and thanked him for the excitement and told him to call a structural engineer before finding somebody other than me who was willing to start to defuse it from the top

i couldn't invoice him even though he offered as if i had i would have felt that obliged me to fix it which i wanted no part in and perhaps made me liable if it fell in while awaiting removal safely but mostly i felt rather sorry for both of them.

the old boy in a suit was treated appallingly by whoever sent him there and had been rather scared for the half hour he was there removing most of the bottom 6 feet of it and the householder had been scammed.

fixing cowboy jobs after the fact is everyday stuff in the building game but that sort of extreme nonsense is fortunately fairly rare as it gave me a rather scary hour or so .

compared to that trying to fix damp and chill but causing them to get far worse than it, probably, was or just chopping out part of the supports for the stairs as the sole plate and lower end had rotted off ( best guess as to the "thinking" ) and/or it was in the way of a "door" cut through the rather nice side panelling is fairly tame

on the theme of the cowboy/amateur, tis best we never turned the leccy on (never mind we will have 240v and 30a fairly soon ), the person who failed to put all the screws back in the gas fire having changed the pots and whoever installed it so as it was not flue gas tight in a room without enough ventilation for a gas fire in perfect working order should all be made to do the walk of shame before being formally stripped of their tools and sent for re-education with safe tings like plasticine or straws.

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 14626

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 17 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That experience was all too common in the 60s and 70s Dpack. A combination of cowboy builders and unsafe DIYers. Doing up our first house taught us a lot about the standards of building in the 1870s too, and it wasn't too good then. The damp course was wrongly installed, there were holes in the fire wall between us and the next house, and the internal walls gave the impression it was an afternoon job after imbibing at the pub at the end of the block over lunch time.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 43405
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 17 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

now 6 cubic meters of stuff is in a skip we can get back in the kitchen

it looks like the hearth space can be expanded to give room for a cooker and ventilation

the original pantry can be returned to service with a bit more ventilation and sensible shelving/baskets etc

the door to the existing bathroom is rotten so putting the replacement in a more usable position makes sense

with the intended position of the door from kitchen to hallway it looks like it will make a decent if compact kitchen space with a step in pantry/store cupboard

the pantry has a quarry tile floor, it looks as though it might extend over the whole kitchen under the rubberoid screed and very worn lino/glue combo surface.
even if it does it might be too uneven to use although the slope might be in the screed/lino rather than the actual floor structure
however it turns out it is probably easier to remove the screed and lino rather than get the lino off the screed .

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 14626

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 17 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will be lovely if you do have a good quarry tiled floor under there. Sounds like good progress.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 43405
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 17 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yesterdays meeting with the chap from building control was useful.

we agree on causes and remedies for the state of the front elevation brickwork, sorting yard drainage/floor ventilation, the planned arrangements of stair support/ door frames for the kitchen etc and the approved window specs cover those proposed.

he was also helpful with general advice re paperwork and a possible expansion into the loft space at some time.

the kitchen fire place is partially opened up giving a decent sized hole without structural alterations, a wider hole would be expensive but a few bricks higher would be a few hundred quid.
there is a bit more that can be easily and safely removed and imho the space available from that is usable if properly planned into the new kitchen layout.
sorry about the soot

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 14626

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 17 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old chimneys always seem to have soot. No doubt you have also found a good bit of dust above ceilings and general debris in 'cavity' walls. We took out all the old iron gas pipes from our first house and amassed quite a collection. It had been lit by gas at some point in its existence, possibly from the beginning.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 43405
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 17 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a little time has passed and things are progressing.
although these reports are specific to this job i hope they serve as an example of a "how to" for the right ways to go about major refurb projects that can be applied to those undertaken by any of us.

my spark chums are well into first fix and should have most of that done by next weekend. layout for leccy established with the necessary bells and whistles such as heat/smoke detectors ,extractors etc .
note do you want a electric shower , if so we need to add a supply for it.

the windows are ordered from a firm who know how to measure and put in a very good price of £4.2k for 8 decent windows.
note put date on timetable as we need wet trades finished first.

the roofing chap is coming this week to sort chimney caps for 4 ,gable pointing,chimney pointing flashings and gullies along with a few slates and any odds n ends that need fixing on high such as gutter joints and popping the tv aerial/phone wires into the roof void.
note take rods and sweep em tomorrow.

the gas man will be quoting for new CH rather than just a new boiler. the existing was horrible in both layout and installation quality. he can also quote for all domestic plumbing

most of the floorboards are up for leccy and woodworm and inspection of timberwork ,structure etc, all is well with joists and etcs.
there will be a fair bit of 2nd/3rd fix carpentry ( woorms ate my skirtings etc ) but that sort of stuff is easy.

note i will get the rest of the boards up this week and drill a few holes for the sparks

note dont worry about the holes in the joists ,i will plate them as required once 1st fix wires and pipes are in , we can reuse quite a few pipe notches and wont need many new ones as the new pipe runs will go in sensible directions ( unlike the abomination of plumbing under the floors and up the walls )

the pantry walls are in the yard along with most of the plaster/render that needs to be off for the damp proofing, the old CH system is mostly out but there are a few more bits to dump.
most of the wormy wood is ready to go ,the rest will follow as it gets found and ripped out

the chimney in the kitchen is coming down this week ,note need to hire angle grinder with diamond disc to make a tidy job. as it is relatively simple and i will just do it getting the extra space in the kitchen will only cost £60 for an extra week on the breaker and a grinder + about half a big skip to lose the rubble.
this gives a rectangular kitchen about 16 ft by 9 ft which is a pretty useful size and shape

note we need to chase up bricky re front elevation and remedials to bomb damage as we need them in asap ie before damp man and wet trades.

we need to extract the staircase before damp man and reinstall either during or very soon after he finishes. spare man available but needs booking we also need materials for stairs/new support system on site

understairs floor needs examination with a distinct possibility we need to rag it out and do a proper concrete job

note ask if damp man's wet trades chaps will do a few extras and perhaps do whole house skim plaster. if not we need a spread, i could do it but i would rather not if i can avoid it.

note i need to remember to cut concrete in yard while i have grinder and breaker ready to dig a bit and fit snorkel air bricks and gully system whenever we get chance

note we have at least a 8 cu m skip's worth outside at the mo and i will add about another 4 cu m this week so a skip on friday aft/sat am is needed before we run out of space.

overall things are going well but we need to :
chase bricky so as we can get the forms for building control submitted ( note i can do the bomb damage stuff but i don't lay pretty bricks )
we need to put dates for wet trades and windows on calender so as to coordinate other tasks.
you need to decide on bathroom layout with gassy man

note in the morning first task is order grinder and find out when my hatchet saw is back from hospital ( it made a very nasty noise and stopped reciprocating but they recon they can mend it asap )

i have probably missed a few things off this report but we will get to them as and when.


Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 6379
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 17 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that half ton of plaster we hauled out of the basement last weekend doesn't seem so bad any more!


Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4502
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 17 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By "wet trades", you mean plumber, plasterer...literally anything messy/liquidy?


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 43405
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 17 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

in this example wet trades means brickwork, damp proof render and plastering which are wet and messy ( in another context it might mean something very different this is not the place to discuss the Steele dossier )

thinking of brickwork the remedial stuff to the rotten lintel/ front elevation and bomb damage to the party wall/front elevation need fixing before the 23rd oct and the quote we just got seems rather high.
this mornings job is to seek alternative quotes from competent folk before we give somebody what is imho a sweet little job.
if i had the tower and props in a lock up, a strong lad and a half decent brick layer on site i would just do it but i've not been kitted up for the brickwork since the 90's, the bomb damage stuff i could do easily (and might have to if i cant improve the price we have so far.)

grrrr what a way to start a monday, that's building works hey ho .


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 43405
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 17 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the extremely good builder who did tt's loft conversion is popping over to site 2 pm to have a look at the remedial brickwork jobs

the chaps mending my demolition saw are going to call back with a triage report this aft, grinder will arrive today here or there so things are getting back on track.

tis monday again but it has become a normal monday for this sort of thing

wellington womble

Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 15051
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 17 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am rapidly going off houses. I can't get a flipping builder until April to do about a fortnight's work and building control won't come out and sign it off anyway. Bloody house.

Your sounds a lot more productive, Dpack.

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