Home Page
About Us    
Latest Articles
SD's new house, the practical stuff
Page Previous  1, 2, 3
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Finance and Property

Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32886
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 17 10:11 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

another afternoon and lots more paper gone along with assorted carpet gripper , rotten skirting, the worm's leftovers and sundry bits of carp.

in rear downstairs room stain gone and wet wormy floor boards gone from alcove and the floor is open in places allowing access to see underneath, this is a mixed blessing.

the boards are ok modernish t and g , lifting them is a bit tricky as they were put down with 3 " nailgun nails ( rather than the more usual floor brads ,hey ho ),

they are layed on a set of joists which have multiple issues, not fixed, wonky pattern, centres random and at times too far apart.

the visqueen under the sole plates and over the entire sub floor isnt helping the damp
as they partially blinded the subfloor with sand it looks like the muppet's abandoned an attempt at prepping for a concrete floor .

the options should be get that up and either do a proper job of a wood floor including ventilation etc etc or do a proper job of a concrete floor.

they both need costing but might be quite close in cost

sorting the height of the yard seems sensible as it is far too high and throws water towards walls rather than to the surface drains
either bash it out until low enough and give it a new base and surface or cut and line gully drains along the walls if there is enough depth to join the gullies into the sewerage drainage
more examination and costings which consider the rear room floor and damp options in relation to any yard work would be wise

iirc 3 window blokes have become one (based on both price and trading style ie this one talks builder rather than at a mark and has a decent price)

building control booked for initial site visit next tuesday (ace to get one that quick but i explained the scale of things in the right words while smiling pleasantly down the phone so all went well. always good to make a nice impression from the off , happy building control are really useful in avoiding delays etc etc etc . )

first spark has sent a quote , i need to have a quiet look at it .
it is a bit lower than i was expecting
my estimate spec might be a bit higher than theirs cos i tend to spend a bit more on top quality materials i might have estimated for more points and circuits as well
plenty of good materials should = a good job
enough ok materials will never be better than an ok job .

the bits of plasterboard offcuts are no longer "fastened" to the friction fitted frame in the return of the rear bedroom ceiling.
they held their panel pins well enough to rip my arm Jurassic park style when they fell at the first exploratory poke. my oops.

no nasty surprises today and the bad stuff was much as expected so overall things are progressing nicely


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43925
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 17 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'd go concrete with some insulation underneath

wellington womble

Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14805
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 17 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Slim wrote:
WW, that's quite a lot of life packed up into a short little posting.

I haven't actually done anything, just dithering about a decision. (Regular readers will know that my practical ability ranges from 'absolutely hopeless' to 'independent light bulb changing'. Rest assured that there will be a proper builder to do the actual building. I will limit myself to design, chivvying, filling in forms, fetching and carrying and making bacon sandwiches. And probably painting. Ime, there's always something that needs painting)


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32886
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 17 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

a week is a long time on a new site, so far things seem mostly much as expected and better than expected in a few aspects
today went well

gas off and capped and handle locked.gas man ace.

damp and woodworm chap seems ok and his price is about right, i will think on it overnight

skip from second choice firm is a lot cheaper but has all paperwork etc

the front room fireplace reveal is opened up and considerable amount of wet bricks/old fireback, soot and rubble removed
that has improved the ground floor ventilation a lot
rear room fire can come out now which should help even more with ventilation and any end any wicking damp should it be as messy as the front one

another glass secondary glazing panel out. 2 more still to be done

2 leads for brickwork builders to follow up.

it needs a new boiler which is a lump of expense but long term the gas saving and the 7 yr gnt will help offset that as do best value alternatives elsewhere

we can patch the rear room floor rather than replace it in wood or use concrete and cut gullies and use snorkel vents rather than relay the whole yard which together cover the cost of a boiler
i will consider the best ways to stabilise the rear floor with sticks and ironmongery and explore gully options.

the spraycote does not have to go for the damp gnt ( but it is a good idea if we can get rid of at least some of it at a reasonable cost )


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32886
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 17 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

although these reports are specific to a particular property the basic principles should be applied whenever a wreck needs fixing.
the details will change but the standard operating procedure is very adaptable

today went well,
gas fire out , it was criminally installed on 3 grounds i can think of as a non expert .
no gas fire , no problem.
"hearth" slab of composite "marble" saved as a potential garden table

with that out and the upstairs middle bedroom fireplace opened up and the soot , rubble , 1974 daily mirror and original fireplace's rubble infill removed the ventilation is greatly improved.
i needed a proper roman style bath after that.

the last large sheet of glass from the secondary glazing is awaiting the skip, dangeroos kit considering the elderly plastic hinge pins were rather fragile.

my sparks are up for the temp supply and quote for the new wires etc, they will have finished the school job by the middle of next week so a cunning plan of roughly what you definitely need would be useful.

next to do is a tidy up, gather a few more choice bits of skip bait from where they are and fill a skip on monday

decide on some end game things that can be decided upon

hopefully the input from building control will be useful for briefing potential contractors and to help clarify the design issues re the stairs, new kitchen door, cupboard area regarding both structure and fire integrity.
drains and the gully will be another topic but primary job needs to be the front elevation between the windows and it's bond to the party wall brickwork
to that end try to "pencil" the two leads on brick happy remedial builders to come and have a look from wednesday onwards

as mentioned the old front windows could go back in as a temp or we sitex it with a couple of hired panels if needs be between brickwork and window fitting .

getting the new windows after the damp render, and most of first and second fix makes sense. there is a delay between order and delivery but at the mo there is no rush based on best first guesses of how the messy stuff will progress

as mentioned a breaker of a suitable size for ragging off render and perhaps assisting in making a gully would be well handy, a week is more than enough time
best not ordered til we know more about the potential for vibration issues at the front and have a drainage plan for the yard .

note to self , take bubble and a few masonry nails to go with tape , hammer and snapline to establish yard datum level

note to others, having a datum level at the rear inside and outside will allow for calculation and design of surface and domestic drainage.
i am hoping that all the domestic wastes can be directed to the existing soil stack position freeing the surface drain for yard surface and gully use therefore only needing minor drainage alterations below the existing yard level
i hate drains even if they are rather useful.

tidy up, take stock of what we know so far, identify the priorities and plan and initiate the order and execution of the next actions seems to be about right for this stage .


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32886
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 17 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

parking place for monday's skip secured

2 replacement batteries for the demolition saw ordered

we need a rough idea of layout of plugs, points and lights etc for a sensible chat with sparks ( no rush but before we get the temp supply fitted would help )

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.

once we can get to the kitchen again i will explore the tank in the chimney (ditto sizes re pantry ,door/window positions and understairs options) and find out how much useful space can be found at minimal cost.

removing the chimney and fireplace is fairly easy but labour intensive and would require roof, ceiling, floor/ceiling and wall repairs and a skip of its own .
guestimate removing it would be 2 to 3 grand above using whatever hole is between the sides of the chimney breast and leaving the structure intact.
adding steel and taking out the bottom section is possible but a bad idea on several grounds not least that if done properly it would cost as much or more than removing the whole thing from top down.
done badly or on the cheap is not an option with chimneys

pantry wall exploration might give useful data re gaining more space but might present structural issues against removing it especially as the steel for the door to the existing shower room is very close by and there might be a bathtub over it fairly soon.


Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4270
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: 41682
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: 8736

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: 32886
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: 8736

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: 32886
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: 8736

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: 32886
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: 8736

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.

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Finance and Property All times are GMT
Page Previous  1, 2, 3
Page 3 of 3
View Latest Posts View Latest Posts


Powered by php-BB © 2001, 2005 php-BB Group
Style by marsjupiter.com, released under GNU (GNU/GPL) license.
Copyright 2004 marsjupiter.com

<-- -->