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alastairkennedy

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Everything posted by alastairkennedy

  1. The law is crystal clear - you have a legal duty to manage asbestos (or materials suspected of being asbestos until this is proven otherwise). You don’t have obligation to remove it, but if retained, it must be managed safely. The product, condition, and location will all lead to a conclusion on a management strategy. Cost for removal hinges upon volume, material and condition. Material is critical to this; cement board as a garage is straightforward, whereas AIB or thermal insulation are noticeable, licensed, and far more onerous (costly). I would recommend having it inspected and sampled by an Analyst (not a contractor).
  2. They may accept a list is agreed, but accepting a list as agreed is very different to agreeing remedy in a stipulated timescale (ideally with funds/retention held). Unfortunately, if there is no incentive, there is often no action.
  3. If you are clear in instruction engineers will/can produce hand sketches with calculations if you are looking at individual elements (eg. new isolated beam or floor opening, etc) - these will satisfy build ctrl. However, it requires the engineer to visit site (cost) or you to take liability on dimensions/construction provided to them; and if it’s more complicated than a single elements, it will likely be cheaper getting plans/sections drawn than relying on the engineer to draft it all up (most aren’t geared up for survey and producing existing plans). If all three propose the same course of action having spoken about the scope of works… it might be the correct course; money spent planning often saves cost in delivery.
  4. I’d certainly advise having Contract, even if just to set out payment terms, formalise the programme / completion, and procedure to introduce variation. However, the Contract is only as good as the documents forming the contract; without a design/specification of what you are getting there is a lot of wriggle room in interpretation. Also, being introduced after tender/quotation, it may be resisted. hope all goes well.
  5. All properties settle (within the first 10 years typically), and many/most will move further over time. Slow progressive movement is generally fine and good design/workmanship will accommodate this without problem. Eg. If slow progressive stepped cracking in brickwork has been repointed and no further cracking/movement is recorded, the movement has stopped or is within the tolerance of the brick/mortar to accommodate - sometimes this initial movement can be significant, but 50 years later it remains stable. If the crack forms again, this you need to consider the rate of further/progressive movement and potentially act. Fast/abrupt movement caused by the ground (eg. historic mining, water table/tree removal, etc), is where you can end up with a problem you need to address. Regarding new buildings; I see a whole host of issues arising from design, materials and workmanship - buildings and materials are now very complex and are all too often missed in the gaps/coordination between specialists (just look at Grenfell, it’s unfortunately not uncommon) - all will keep me gainfully employed and I’d personally rather buy something that’s of an older generation.
  6. Not enough information to be specific. Need to see outside, the roof, and what cracking/damage is occurring outside. I assume this is first floor, if so, and there is no cracking at ground level masonry, you can almost rule out ground conditions/mining. I’d start with the roof - is it straight / level or visible sag / deflection - causing outward pressure on the wall plate, especially if it’s hipped on this corner. The lower cracking, this may be symptomatic if it is the roof, but id also want to see what way the floor joists span and how that ext wall is restrained (are joist parallel to the cracked wall?). However, a lot of caveats with the level of information. Eg. If it’s an extension or loft conversion or non-trad, etc, you have a lot more to consider.
  7. It depends on your appetite for risk. You should be able to determine the probable cause of movement from inspection; and from decorations/finishes/skirtings/etc the approx age of repair, and if further movement has occurred. All without opening up. To understand what repair was done, you need to open up. But, do you honestly care about fully understanding the detail of repair if all evidence points to the repair being successful without further movement over a significant period of time. If effective, you aren’t going to be changing it.
  8. If you have raised the concern with the surveyor pre-survey and they aren’t willing to open it up, are they the correct surveyors ? (I’d stick with a surveyor re: diagnosis as opposed to an engineer). You want to know; what caused the movement and when (as in recent or historic); has the cause been remediated; and is the remediation of a sufficient standard. Regarding a ‘fix’, if the slope is tolerable and the movement has been remediated, is work justified ?
  9. MS Project and PowerProject are the easiest to get to grips with, but I’d honestly not bother. Consider the works required, list them, identify what the prerequisites to each are, then pull them over to a simple excel list. Don’t be afraid to split items (elec first and second fix etc).
  10. My personal view, I’d rather do it myself as landlord to know it’s done the way I want. It’s an improvement so not concerned with the cost, and keeps the tenant happy. Zero downside.
  11. I’d tell them it’s freshly plastered and painted, is going to crack, you will be back in 12 months to redecorate when it stops. You have given them a freshly finished building, it’s a positive.
  12. Plaster shrinks, this looks like typical shrinkage cracking. Rapid drying out can make it worse, and it can continue fir ~12 months. you can patch it up now. But if it’s only been a few months I’d expect further cracking, although the extent will diminish over time.
  13. You need to ask for more information, the performance of the door will differ dependant on the wider building layout and risk. FD30 is just that, a fire door that will offer 30 minutes integrity (it won’t stop smoke). ‘s’ as in FD30s is the same with cold smoke seals (a rubber/fabric brush in the frame. ‘SC’ is self closer (FD30s SC), VP vision panel (FD30s SC VP) - you need to know what ‘options’ are required, and if the door is required for integrity only, or also insulation (I’d assume integrity, but ask). ironmongery, it all needs to be certified/tested - not just the number of hinges but the type/quality. Extends to locks etc, some may only be effective with an intumescent packer. certification... a can of worms. A separate door, frame, and ironmongery (or leaf in an existing frame), can meet an FD30 (or 20/60 and ‘s’) but they will not be certified. To be certified, it must be tested as a whole, ‘doorset’ (leaf, frame, ironmongery). This may be an insurance requirement, worth checking. installation, just as important - the frame to reveal filling is very often the point of failure. As for a spec of fillers and fixings from the installer (foam is NOT intumescent). honestly, I would write to your TMO, explicitly ask for the name of the ‘responsible person’, and for the responsible person to explain why they believe you are qualified to assess the adequacy of a fire door.
  14. Commercial vinyl or rubber, Altro, tarket, polyfloor, nora etc for kitchen/bathroom; cheap plastic based carpet elsewhere (plastic cleans better than natural fabrics, not so good on the VOC’s though).
  15. Is it correct that the garage wall is your neighbours wall, that it is built up to the boundary line but not on the boundary line ?. In this instance, there would be no right to excavate on your land. If this did trigger the PW act, the sole benifit of the works is your neighbours, and your neighbour would therefore be liable for their surveyor and your surveyors fees. Regarding excavations within close proximity to your dwelling (say within 3m), provided modest, as a general rule they only become of significant concern once they go below the dwellings existing foundations (assuming no water table issues, outside influences, etc). Whilst not your concern, DPM and shingle will alleviate the problem, but as 1/2 brick thick it is unlikely to deliver a dry internal face.
  16. If you want the property dry, Sealability work in the S Yorks and are reputable. I’ve used them on several non resi projects, they will not be the cheapest, but they are straight talking. If water is entering through both the (low) walls and floor, the prime suspect would be the water table, or perhaps a fractured drain. If this is water table, it’s likely to require a new slab and drained cavity if it’s a dry space you want.
  17. As Julia said above, 1-2 with no staining of the coving and higher wall areas point to an issue in the roof void. It could be water ingress, or it could be condensation in the roof void if insulation/vapour barrier changes have been poorly executed. Bottom line, get up there and have a look.
  18. If I understand this correctly as an end-gable wall, solely providing enclosure to your dwelling and not offering support or enclosure to the adjacent building (inc. lean-to or garage, etc); it is almost without question your wall built upon your land. In this case, your neighbour has no right to alter the wall. However, without seeing it I’m going from the information you have stated. This is not a party wall matter as they have no right, however PW and boundary dispute go hand in hand and a local PW surveyor should be able to offer some advise, perhaps to write to your neighbour on your behalf.
  19. When Planning Authorities say very unlikely (article 4 or any planning matter), I interpret that to read ‘no, unless you can demonstrate the need, and put in place measures to address and offset the concerns they have’. Need is straightforward, it’s addressing their concerns that is difficult, as example on the HMO - market saturation in the area, historic anti-social behaviour, parking congestion, etc.
  20. ~2200 excl reinstatement. Obviously very ballpark with the information.
  21. Yes, I’m not sure what field you work in currently, but costs in the day job may differ from those full time in property, including what you can put through the business time/receipts once you are in it full time (may not be relevant to you).
  22. I personally would account for inflation in considering any investment, without it you build in greater inaccuracy. RPI at ~1.7 lands you at ~500/mo or 6000/an (as you stated). 6000/an is a typical BTL. Would anyone be comfortable with accuracy of +/- one rental house ? Seems a stretch to say a whole BTL income is incidental. In practice the real question is do you need 5000 or 5500/mo with a new lifestyle, is it the right benchmark to be chasing.
  23. Tom who replied above is a Planning advisor, unsure of his geographic areas of work, but Planning advisor in my experience don’t limit themselves regionally to fixed areas. If Tom is unable to help, we have work with DPP in London and elsewhere, and would recommend.
  24. ADH gives full details, but assuming you don’t have velux to the rear, or habitable roof void space, this appears adequate in terms of height.
  25. If you are drilling into a Party Wall to take bearing, you are obligated to follow the Party Wall act. Your adjoining owner could take action so far as to halt your works. 3-4 months delay on a project can cost a fair bit.
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