Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Finding a good builder (Part 2)


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Finding a good builder (Part 2)

Finding a good builder (Part 2)

In Part 1 We said finding a good builder is said to be notoriously difficult to find and if you unwittingly obtain the services of a cowboy builder in it can turn into a nightmare.

You've had the architects in, the plans and building regs have been drawn, written, submitted and approved,

You've chosen your list of builders.(Say three) You've looked at their work and thats fine your satisfied.

Their quotes are within your budget (I assume you would have worked out how much it should cost you plus you've added 10% on top for unforseen eventuallities baring in mind you don't know whats underneath. i.e Rock, a stream, sand, a main sewer pipe, Cables, water, gas, old infill, even a mine shaft is possible.

So allow for this and before you start do some investigations yourself, Ask around the locality go to the council offices. Theres one site called Britain Beneath Our Feet  click on the link Hazards!,and you are able to see what lies beneath your feet in your area.

Another clue to whats underneath is to look at the street name or the house name. Trellech springs road gives you a good clue to whats beneath. Where what would you think is beneath Rock Cottage (it's not just the fact that the cottage is built out of rock.) So as you see there's more to it that just  Finding a good builder
Yeap! There's much investigation to do before you even think of signing the contract
Part 3 follows soon
Good luck

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

How do you build in this constant bad weather?

How do you build in this constant bad weather?

       We’re now near the end of the Hot! Dry! summer season.
Erm! Pardon! “What Hot! Dry! Summer I hear you cry???
What Season was it? Answer A warm winter with lighter nights

       I could be wrong but I would say (being the smug clever builder that I am ("Joking")) We have hardly had a clear dry spell this year summer although apart from some snow at the beginning of the year (February I think) there was a dryer period in March and April increase in rain as May and June came along (as indicated by the Weather graph for Thornbury, just outside Bristol).  With all the rain we’ve had, what happened to that barbecue summer that was forecast (Weathermen/woman bashing over… Well we all make mistakes)

       Anyway back to my question: How do you build in this constant bad weather?
  1. Just work out in the wet... well macho man builder can work out in the rain if he wants. I did it for years and got soaked to the skin and the job was a mess, baring in mind it was less wet back then.
  2. Knock a frame up with some 2x2 and cover with a sheet
  3. Well if you're building a house perhaps scaffolding erected and covered with tarpaulins before the walls etc are built same with a an extension
  4. For small jobs use the tubular or folding gazebos (tied down) but these tend to buckle or break if a strong gust of wind catches them
  5. Invest in a polytunnel as wide as 30ft and up to 90ft  maybe longer if you required
       Well I'm going to choose one or more of these (Except No.1). The gazebo for small building jobs and a polytunnel for the march larger types of construction, i.e a swimming pools or ground works like drainage

       It will be worth the initial investment No more wondering day by day what the weather is going to do the next day Although there will be times when it will be unavoidable and we'll have to work outside but as i said it will be worth it. ..
How do you build in this constant bad weather? Buy a Polytunnel

How to get more use out of your swimming pool during the summer season

How to get more use out of your swimming pool during the summer season?
Erm! Run that by me again! “How to get more use out of your swimming pool during the summer season?” What do you mean??? You may think “This guy has flipped his lid” but it’s a valid question

We’re now near the end of the swimming pool season. “What season I hear you cry???”Exactly “What Season” I could be wrong but I would say we have hardly used our swimming pools this year with all the rain we’ve had (not to mention the old credit crunch). What happened to the barbecue summer that was forecast (Weathermen/woman bashing over… Well we all make mistakes)

In the UK there didn’t seem to be much if any of a dry Summer this year unless you count the Five or so days of 30C degrees we had in June or was it May (I cannot remember it’s been so long). I know July was a bit of a washout and it was not much better in August. This week is the beginning of a new month and today is Tuesday 1st September. We have the remnants of a tropical storm heading our way. Oh goody!

So as I and my fellow compatriots work outside (Yes I am a hands on kinda pool guy) We also have had our share of problems with the weather. So I’ve decided to use an old ”polytunnel” frame I’ve got stored away. (it was for growing some fresh veggies but they’ll have to wait a little longer), for working undercover. I may have to modify it of course and strengthen it to withstand a windy day (not sure about an ex tropical storms though but we’ll see when the next one comes along).

But that also lead me to the thought of using a polytunnel as a swimming pool enclosure. The usual swimming pool enclosure can be quite expensive, and during this holding back on the spending to much money period, this maybe a temporary (or permanent) cheaper alternative. The idea is you fix and secure anchor or base plates in position around the swimming pool then cover the polytunnel frame with a sheet of polythene have doorways each end and Voi-la. You have a pool enclosure that doesn’t cost the earth and you could swim in almost all year round.

What are the planning regulations for Polytunnels? In general you do not need planning permission for sheds, greenhouses, summerhouses or polytunnels. However you will need to apply for planning permission if the polytunnel is nearer to any road than the nearest part of the house, unless there’s at least 20m between the polytunnel and a road. You can’t build over 3m high (or more than 4m if it has a pitched roof). A pitched roof has its ridge at the centre, and both sides slope down at the same angle – this accurately describes a polytunnel roof. First Tunnels

Take extra care if your site has a listed building or resides in a conservation area, national park, or area of outstanding natural beauty. There are further restrictions to planning in these cases. Please click here to go to the Planning portal. but also contact your local planning authority to make sure