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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Birmingham
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Some great ideas here, thanks - have subscribed to this thread so I can refer back to it when I have a refurb to do.

    There's also a very good blog entitled "Repair-free Rentals" written by a builder/landlord whom I know through another forum. Google it and it'll come up.

  2. #42

    Default Solving the Washing Drying Condensation Problem

    I'm doing a refurb on a small semi.

    Downstairs there is a living room at the back, with a door to a previous 10'x6' kitchen built on as a single story extension behind the living room. Access to the back garden from the former kitchen is via a further lobby (ie two doors to the outside from the existing kitchen so it can be kept draught-free).

    The plan is to turn the living room into a kitchen diner, and the old kitchen into a utility area.

    I want to persuade T to dry washing in the utility to prevent any condensation issues as far as possible in the house.

    I'm wondering about providing a mini-drying room facility as part of the utility:

    a - Provide sites for a washer (ie plumbing) and tumble dryer (ie pre-installed through the wall vent ready to accept the vent pipe from a tumble dryer should T have one) in the utility room.
    b - Fitting a big bathroom-like towel-rail radiator in the utility (currently 1100x600mm is half-price at Screwfix) to encourage T to dry/air washing on it, with a Thermostatic Valve for easy control by T.
    c - Standing space for a drying rack near the radiator, or maybe something not unlike a traditional airing cupboard.
    d - A heat recovery fan in the utility, with an always-on trickle setting, and ideally a humidistat for the boost. The always-on will also provide some perma-ventilation for the house.

    I make the extra cost a couple of hundred only plus a little carpentry, and with appropriate education and reinforcement in the Agreement (no clothing on radiators, no unvented tumble dryer etc) it should work.

    I'd welcome any comments.

    The washer location is not particularly important, as that does not generate condensation itself, and may well live under the sink in the kitchen if T does not install a dishwasher in the hole I always leave under the drainer.

    The only fly I can see in the ointment would be a washer dryer which didn't use a condensing dryer mechanism, but I think those don't exist.

    ML
    Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    5,057

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by midlandslandlord View Post
    a - Provide sites for a washer (ie plumbing) and tumble dryer (ie pre-installed through the wall vent ready to accept the vent pipe from a tumble dryer should T have one) in the utility room.
    One slight 'gotcha' there is that if you'rer looking to install a wall vent for a tumble dryer, beware that if it's going atr below worktop height, up close to where the dryer is situated, then there's no 'standard' position for the vent to be on the dryer in relation to the hole in the wall. Needs to be done 'generically' so that some form of conduit will fit easily between the two.
    Fitting a big bathroom-like towel-rail radiator in the utility (currently 1100x600mm is half-price at Screwfix) to encourage T to dry/air washing on it
    Not sure about that. A towel rail works fine for warming up one or two towels, and that's about it - it's not really big enough to cover with lots of washing without continualy changing it over; furthermore once it's covered with a few items the heat is effectively insulated too, so it then doesn't warm up the rest of the room very well.
    Standing space for a drying rack near the radiator, or maybe something not unlike a traditional airing cupboard.
    Or what about one (or two) of those Sheila Maid affairs, if there's enough head room?
    A heat recovery fan in the utility, with an always-on trickle setting, and ideally a humidistat for the boost.
    An alternative might be a stand-alone dehumidifier for the room? Chez ericthelobster, most of the washing gets dried on coathangers suspended from a rail in the airing cupboard, which has a dehumidifier in there.

    The only fly I can see in the ointment would be a washer dryer which didn't use a condensing dryer mechanism, but I think those don't exist.
    No, pretty sure they don't.

  4. #44

    Default

    Thanks, Eric.

    I'll avoid a portable dehumidifier due to annual PAT testing, and I just ordered my heat recovery fan for £100 from Vent-Axia.

    I think if I provide a through the wall vent, then at around 450mm above ground it should be OK. But I am a bit tight on that side for space, though. I have 1.8m width, with 500mm one side and 600mm the other side of a door. I'd have to fit the hose plus the tumble dryer into 500mm plus a poke-out so I may drop that and go for a pulley plus towel radiator.

    BTW Sheila Maid looks pricey for what it is to me. There seem to be equally good similarly made alternatives for 30% less.

    ML
    Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

  5. #45

    Default Kitchen Lightbulbs

    I'm looking for light fittings for a kitchen diner, and I wonder if anyone has a specific recommendation. 'Tis a 9ft ceiling in a 4x4m room. I'm looking to do 4 or 5 fittings at a cost of perhaps £10-£20 purchase price each.

    Important points I am after are:

    a - Ceiling surface mount (no intention to chop holes in the ceiling). Wiring can be from above at present.
    b - Lightbulbs that last a fair time - ie non pop-every-3-minutes dificult to replace spotlights for the sake of looking zeitgeisty.
    c - Attractive, and inexpensive to install and run.
    d - Ideally dimmable as it is a diner, but that is a desire not a requirement.
    e - Not intricate fittings that needs constant dusting, for T convenience.

    I think what I am after may be something with a standard bayonet fitting so that I can use low-energy compact flourescent bulbs, but these seem to be thin on the ground.

    I would consider LED spotlights, but I don't think the reliability/cost balance is there yet.

    I'm not convinced by my experience of G9 type halogen bulbs.

    Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    ML
    Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

  6. #46

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by midlandslandlord View Post
    I'm looking for light fittings for a kitchen diner, and I wonder if anyone has a specific recommendation. 'Tis a 9ft ceiling in a 4x4m room. I'm looking to do 4 or 5 fittings at a cost of perhaps £10-£20 purchase price each.

    Important points I am after are:

    a - Ceiling surface mount (no intention to chop holes in the ceiling). Wiring can be from above at present.
    b - Lightbulbs that last a fair time - ie non pop-every-3-minutes dificult to replace spotlights for the sake of looking zeitgeisty.
    c - Attractive, and inexpensive to install and run.
    d - Ideally dimmable as it is a diner, but that is a desire not a requirement.
    e - Not intricate fittings that needs constant dusting, for T convenience.

    I think what I am after may be something with a standard bayonet fitting so that I can use low-energy compact flourescent bulbs, but these seem to be thin on the ground.

    I would consider LED spotlights, but I don't think the reliability/cost balance is there yet.

    I'm not convinced by my experience of G9 type halogen bulbs.

    Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    ML
    I ended up using Wickes Geneva fittings, which take ES fittings with compact fluorescent bulbs, at £7.99 each, for kitchen plus utility room.

    Spares are not available, so I bought about 3 extra.

    ML
    Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

  7. #47

    Default Water Supply Cutoff Valve

    I'm looking at installing an automated stopcock as part of a refurb.

    I see 2 varieties:

    The type which are an easier-to-use Stopcock, such as the SureStop
    (http://www.surestop.co.uk/). £20 (£40 with remote switch).

    Benefit: T is more likely to use it more often, and it is easier to turn the water off in the event of a leak with T present.

    Downside: Leak when T is not there (most expensive) will still leak.
    Loss of water pressure?

    The type which self-cutoff when a leak-detector is activated, eg when the water flow is not interrupted in a period of say 45 minutes.

    Extra Benefit: works when T is absent.

    Examples are WATERSAFE or Autostopcock, and there are various types of facility - eg a one-hour disabling switch if you want to run a hose.

    These are usually battery powered and have a remote control box fixed to the wall nearby.

    I suppose that one could also wire in a traditional motorised valve.

    Does anyone have any experiences?

    I'm tempted to go the motorised valve route as it would be maintenance free.

    Rgds

    ML
    Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Stevenage UK
    Posts
    1,243

    Default

    I use a motorised valve from this company, it cost about £40;

    http://www.floodcheck.co.uk/for-your-property.htm

    The valves they sell now are more advanced than the one I have (and about 5 times the cost), however I connected mine to my home security / monitoring system which I built, and that gives me the ability to monitor water flow and control the valve from a local computer and/or via the internet, I can turn off the house supply from my mobile phone. I would say for a rented property that may be subject to unoccupied periods these types of auto valve are well worth the money (and maybe tax deductible?).
    I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    4,986

    Default

    I hope it's okay to post a question of my own here:

    Have you guys come across shower trays that have thin flexible upstands on three sides? I have one in a rental flat, and I have had a lot of trouble with leaks.

    I think the idea is that you are meant to tile over these upstands, so that all water is directed into the tray. For the 2nd time now in four years these tiles are coming loose and the grout is falling out.

    Should I replace this shower tray, or am I doing something wrong?

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    5,057

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JK0 View Post
    Have you guys come across shower trays that have thin flexible upstands on three sides? I have one in a rental flat, and I have had a lot of trouble with leaks.

    I think the idea is that you are meant to tile over these upstands, so that all water is directed into the tray. For the 2nd time now in four years these tiles are coming loose and the grout is falling out.

    Should I replace this shower tray, or am I doing something wrong?
    I think the quality of these varies considerably by brand... some of them flex all over the place which would cause the sort of problems you're seeing.

    I fitted a Coram one in my own bathroom about a year ago and it's absolutely brilliant: far easier to fit than a conventional stone-resin type (which weigh a ton and require bedding in on mortar) and has proved utterly reliable since.

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