Home DIY

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  • Are you telling us that, spookily, you've never bought/worn any Rapha clothing?

  • Given the UPVC windows, it's possble that it's been messed with.

    Worst that could happen is the curtain track* is pulled out though, I guess.

  • Totally possible, given how this house has seemingly been abused in every conceivable way, the masonry on exterior seemed fairly untouched, by which I mean it was as fucked as the rest when we had it repaired, but I guess the lintel could have been replaced from the inside.

    Speaking of lintels. How much height could I gain in a doorway by replacing what's probably a concrete lintel with a catnic one? I have a window at the back, cavity wall, that would make an excellent patio door on to my garden, but it's only about 1.8m high.

  • How much height is there to the ceiling? Which way do the joists above run?

    Were the original windows a wooden bay? As TW says it’s very possible a new lintel was fitted when those were changed to UPVC

  • How much height is there to the ceiling

    About 1'. Slightly more than you can see because there's a false ceiling now.

    Which way do the joists above run?

    Front to back, it towards the window

    We’re the original windows a wooden bay?

    I assume so.

  • You can certainly move the lintel up by enough to get good head clearance, a Catnic (other brands are available) will allow you to have a soldier course above opening.
    You’ll need to get proper specs for load etc.
    Would you do the work yourself?

  • Oh no, this is far beyond my skill set, and a little way off. Was aware of the need to BC sign-off and will consult with an engineer nearer the time. My thinking with a Catnic was that it would be less destructive than knocking out a course of blocks, though maybe I'm misunderstanding a) my current setup and b) how much height can be gained from using a Catnic rather than a concrete lintel. Rendered blocks I'm fairly sure so the aesthetics isn't much of a concern.

  • Fair enough.
    It’s quite an operation tbh. Nothing a decent builder can’t get done in a day or two though.
    Wall will need supporting- possibly inside and out with needles & acrows maybe just outside with Strongboys.
    Catnic make all types of steel lintels but ime the term is used as a generic for a lintel with a ledge to support bricks in cavity wall construction.

  • Whoops, my mistake, and thank you for the reply. I'll look into that Polyx oil.

  • Builder has been sent a put up or fuck off message, so now I'm weighing up what I can do myself. Boarding over the exposed brick chimney breast, I'm thinking timber frame and plasterboard. What timbers are appropriate for such a structure?

  • Did they even reply to your other email or message. You dont need anything mental 4x2 would be fine, insulate and board on top. You could dot and dab the plaster board straight on the wall though if its pretty square as thats another option.

  • You could dot and dab the plaster board straight on the wall

    This is what I’d recommend.
    Or you could teach yourself how to render a wall

  • Not yet, only just sent them today's "WTF mate!" message.

    For the frame, I need to make the fireplace opening smaller so there's nothing there to dot and dab to. I'd still probably need someone in to skim over it anyway, just thinking about bits and pieces that I am comfortable to do to even try and get shit moving.

  • Planning to render bits of it anyway to compensate for uneven brickwork before framing.

  • Oh yeah, I forgot the massive hole.

  • Apparently one of the new guys did try and turn up today, but when we were out dropping the wein at the childminder (we don't normally both go, but today was different, because reasons). Why we weren't called at the time and had to chase is another negative mark. But by all accounts a full schedule of works will be with us this evening.

    I've already mentally sacked them, so it will need to be good to change my mind.

    In the mean time, bits I think I can do if they do end up in the sea;

    framing/boarding the chimney breast
    building a new hearth (self leveling compound and tiles)
    hardboarding the living room and mini_com's room ready for carpet (this will be once other decorating work is done.
    building access panel for the F&E tank - currently just a big hole in the plaster board
    replacing ripped out architrave in my office

  • Is there a particular reason to need them to get stuff done asap? Obviously your job is the most important to you, but if they are doing multiple jobs for multiple clients, some of which may seem more urgent than others, they may not understand why you are in such a rush. I think it's normal for builders to have different expectations on communications than office workers - for example I wouldn't hold out much hope of getting a quick reply to an email. In fact I would avoid email whenever possible in favour of speaking to them on the phone.

    Of course maybe yours are just shit. But also maybe they are unaware you're in a particular rush and that you need them to prioritise your job over others.

    When we had work done recently we told the builders up front, and repeatedly, that if they couldn't make a hard commitment to getting it all done before our baby's due date, we would be mega pissed off. That seemed to help (and by extension meant they had to delay/deprioritise some other jobs, which probably sucked for those other people).

  • They've been made well aware that their half finished jobs are having a significant impact on us and it needs done ASAP. Half the rooms in the house are unusable currently, most of our shit from the other rooms is crammed into the dining room, which is now serving at least triple duty as shed, storage unit, living room and dining room. Trying to entertain a 2 year old, on a rainy weekend in a room so full of boxes that all you have is an armchair and a folding garden chair for furniture, is not what we signed up for when buying this house, or when engaging this builder.

    I've been promised a schedule of works today, if that doesn't materialise we're going out to find others. Even if it means it will take a couple of months, at least we know. For example, if we knew the living room wasn't going to be worked on for a couple of weeks, we'd clean it up and start re-using it. We thought it would be completed (the building works at least anyway) last week, so have totally decamped from it.

  • It is shit living in a house while you've got builders in, you have my sympathy. I didn't mean to suggest that it's in any way your fault for not having been clear.

  • It was just about manageable before we took the living room out of use last week as that's the biggest room so there was plenty of space to chill out at the end of the day or for mini_com to smash about the place. Now it's also my office out of order, which means I'm working out of the spare room, which means we can't use the spare room to put ms_com's shit in to decorate her office. Mini_com's bedroom is out too, so even though she would likely have been sleeping in with us anyway, all her shit is either in our bedroom, the spare room (my temp office) or the dining room.

    #1stworldproblems, I know. But I'm not a huge fan of paying the mortgage and council tax fees we are paying for less than half the house when it should have been resolved ages ago. Eating my dinner off my lap on a folding lawn chair next to boxes of sandpaper and assorted tools, is only manageable when I know it's going to be for a set amount of time.

  • Bathroom mirrored cabinets, I need a couple. Does anyone have any recommendations? I have just been looking at the merchants and John Lewis, Heals etc. Would rather have something in stainless or Alu, hoping to buy once.. Thank you

  • Does anyone on the forum know much about Building Regs for open plan kitchens? Or can suggest a friendly surveyor who could give some simple advice (N7 area).
    I've no problem with supporting walls, it's just fire escape rules I'm trying to decipher.

  • Depends on whether you're in a house or flat and how high above the ground. Generally speaking you want to position the kitchen/cooking so that (if it's on fire) it doesn't obstruct escape, since that's where fires are likely to start. Part B approved doc is here - sections 2 and 3 may be useful (bearing in mind approved docs are only guidance and there are other ways to meet the regs).

  • I had a chat with a building control company (as they are the ones that will ultimately be signing off) when I had similar queries.

  • In need of a slim double glazed panel, 3mm toughened glass I think, any order online places do this? Or recommendations, the local window place took nearly 2 months to supply a similar panel recently, I need it a bit quicker this time.

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Home DIY

Posted by Avatar for hippy @hippy