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Single Storey Extension (Now with pictures)

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17 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2007 :  17:25:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thought I would submit a post to detail the steps I am currently going through building an extension to my house. Although building work has finally started this week, the initial planning started in March 2006.

March 2006- After drawing up scale plans myself to determine what was feasible, I contact a local architect who had been recommended by a friend. During the initial consultation, he estimated that for the extension (approximately 4.5 metres x 4 metres internal floor area) and turning the existing kitchen into a shower room the cost would be in the region of £30,000. On top of this would be his fee which would be 10% of the final build costs (£3,000) and fees to the council on top of that again. After some pondering we decided that we would go ahead with this and the architect stated that he had work currently in progress and that he would return in 12 weeks to measure up for the plans.

It should be noted that I would ideally have liked to build the extension myself as having previously built a garage and a conservatory, thought that the majority of the work was within my capabilities, but due to a baby daughter, the final year of a university degree course to complete and a full time job, decided that it would probably take me forever to get the thing completed.

June 2006- Still not heard a word from the architect regarding a start date. In the meantime I had been investigating the possibility of producing the plans myself. Having completed the plans for my conservatory I though it would be fairly straightforward for the planning application, but was somewhat concerned with regards to the building warrant application.

July 2006- Finally decided to give up on the architect, if he couldn’t be bothered to appear or even notify us why he hadn’t appeared, then what would he be like with regards to completing the plans or project managing the job.

Following extensive browsing of the internet I came across a company offering a fixed price planning service which included drawings for the planning process and drawings/technical specifications for the building warrant application. With the company being based in Livingstone (near Edinburgh) and with myself living near Glasgow, I decided to make further enquires.

Having contacted the company, ExpressPlans ( www.expressplans.com ), I was quoted a fixed price of £395 for the required drawings. One stipulation of the low cost was that only one set of plans was supplied and as such the client has to make additional copies for submission of planning and building regulations applications. So from an initial cost for plans of £3,000 to £395, I couldn’t really complain about getting a few photocopies done. (A few additional drawbacks with the cheap service will become evident later)

The service offered by ExpressPlans consisted of an initial home visit by a surveyor followed by the production of initial plans for verification, followed by completed plans along with all the necessary application forms for council approval.

July17th 2006- After paying an initial deposit of £80 to secure the services of ExpressPlans, their surveyor arrived and discussed what we had in mind. Having previously produced drawings of what I wanted, it made the process fairly straightforward and he took a copy of my drawings to translate onto the official drawings. After that he spend 20 minutes taking measurements inside and out and taking photographs of the various elevations. On completion he stated that the initial plans would be complete within 28 working days. Before leaving however, he made sure that he took a print of my credit card for the balance of the £395 which would be taken from my card when the initial plans were posted out. So far so good.

28 working days later- Still no initial plans received but after a quick phone call to ExpressPlans, was informed that they were with the Quality department and that they would be dispatched in a few days.

28th August 2006- Received the initial set of plans for the extension which were fairly basic but contained the relevant details in relation to the extension. After some studying, decided to alter the plans slightly in relation to the position of the back door and the size on the rear window, but other than that they were pretty close to my initial request. After highlighting the changes, posted the plans back to ExpressPlans in the handily supplied pre-addressed envelope.

According to the service offered, I would receive my completed plans back with another 28 working days. We will wait and see.

25th September 2006- 20 working days later, a large envelope arrived on my doorstep containing the completed plans. On examination of the contents, the covering letter stated that there were only building warrant drawings enclosed along with the relevant council forms as in their opinion I didn’t require planning permission for my extension.

Having discussed my plans previously with the council planning department, I was certain that planning permission was required as I had exceed my permitted development rights of 20 sq. metres when I build my garage a few years back. (Garage was 36 sq. metres in floor area).

Contacted ExpressPlans who stated that a planning pack would be posted out immediately.

In the meantime I set about getting a number of copies of the plans made, 4 for planning and 3 for building control. In addition I completed the required building warrant application forms and on visiting the council website, got a copy of the planning application forms and the relevant guidance notes.

After a few days completing the relevant documents, I was ready to submit the plans for council approval so on 29th September 2006 all submissions were made along with neighbour notification notices and the relevant fees to the council (£130 for planning and £370 for the building warrant).

24th October 2006- I was recommended a builder who shares the same yard with my father-in-law. After a quick phone call, the builder stated he would be round that night to have a look at the plans we had submitted and discuss what we were after. As promised, the builder arrived and had a look at the plans and the area were the extension was to be build.

Having decided that I didn’t want to spend £30,000 of the extension, I had convinced myself that a good compromise would be to get a builder in to complete the drainage, foundations and the shell of the building and I would complete the wiring, plumbing, plaster boarding etc.

Having relayed my plans to the builder he said he would be back in a few days with a quote having stated that constructing the shell only suited him as then he only needed a joiner and a brickie and would allow him to complete the job earlier than if he was having to do everything.

As promised, the quotation arrived a few days later with a price for the shell, which would look finished from the outside but would require completion by me. Price quoted was for a fraction under £15,000. Not included in the price was the work required on the drainage which would not be determined until excavations started but the quotation estimated that £1,000 would allow for the required works. Final good point about the quote was that the builder estimated that he could commence work in ‘early 2007’. He had previously stated that he fully intended to have the work completed by the end of March at the latest.

After phoning the builder to discuss some additional points, it was decided that he would plan our work into his schedule and that we should give him a call as soon as we received our permissions from the council.

30th October 2006- Part of the service offered by ExpressPlans as part of their fixed price was for assistance in answering questions that were likely to be raised by the building control department of the council. As ExpressPlans had supplied a fairly comprehensive 4 page written specification for the extension, the council still wanted details of existing and proposed drainage.

Having sent the details of the request to ExpressPlans, I decided to try to answer the questions myself.

On contacting my builder, he stated that I should approach the council and ask for permission to submit drainage plans retrospectively as we were unsure what way the drains ran etc. On contacting the building control officer assigned to our application, he stated that he wanted a ‘best guess’ drawing to show that what we were doing conformed to the regulations.

On discussion with my builder he highlighted what I should include in any plans, so armed with a pen and a copy of my plans, I set about ‘making up’ a drainage drawing which was dually submitted to the council.

More to follow soon

Edited by - Alan105 on 25 Jan 2008 10:46:55

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71 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2007 :  23:47:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Alan105,

Thank you for your post on the forum - it is great to be able to follow another extension through. The one produced by Vicki has been so popular and a great help to many of our readers.

Keep up the good work and best of luck with your extension.

Thank you again.

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17 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2007 :  13:10:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just to recap, I have been planning a single storey extension to the side of my semi-detached house of approximately 5 metres x 4.2 metres which was to accommodate a new kitchen with the existing kitchen being converted into a shower room.

After waiting for our original architect to return, we gave up and went with ExpressPlans who for a fixed price produced the necessary planning and building control drawings. With the plans submitted to the council at the end of September we set about finding a builder which turned out to be fairly straightforward as the one that we were recommended provided an excellent quote which we decided to go with and he could start work soon after we receive the council approvals.

After re-submitting the amended building control drawing detailing our drainage systems at the beginning of November we finally received building control approval on the 10th November. Now all that was required was for the planning permission to come through.

On examination of the local council’s website, our planning application was listed as pending. However after a further 4 weeks, it was still pending and we were almost at the time limit that the council had to either reject the plans or state that they required further time.

5th December 2006- We received a phone call from the planning officer dealing with our application. She wanted further details of the style of window that was to fit to the extension. On the application, I have stated white uPVC but had not stated that they would also be fitted with Georgian bar inserts which would complement the existing house windows. To rectify this oversight, a letter was required to confirm that the windows would match the existing house which was dually submitted to the planning office.

12th December 2006- Finally received the planning approval from the council although I did find out about the approval from the council’s website first with the official letter dropping through the door a week later.

Overall the planning process was fairly straightforward with only minor amendments required to allow for planning and building control approval. With regards to the ExpressPlans service, be aware that you may have to do a bit of work yourself to get the approvals through the system in a reasonable timescale as they seems to work everything on a 28 working days turnaround which when you have questions from the council could make it a fairly protracted exercise. It should be noted that I am still (Jan 26th 2007) awaiting assistance from ExpressPlans with regard to the drainage issues raised by the council so as you can see if I hadn’t dealt with the matter myself, I would still be waiting. But I suppose for £395 I cant really complain.

ExpressPlans also do a cheaper service whereby the customer completes the initial survey and send the details into ExpressPlans so I would imagine that this would make the service of use nationwide.

With the approvals in our hands, we contacted the builder who stated he would come out and start measuring things up for the roof and discuss the windows and door style we were after. A few days later he arrived and stated that there were a few problems with the plans. The main problem being that the proposed roof would interfere with both the small bedroom window which was sited upstairs on the side elevation and the hall window which was half way up the side elevation.

A couple of options were open to us to resolve these issues. In relation to the bedroom window, we could either brick up the window (there was a second window in the room looking out the rear of the house so bricking up the small window would have been no hardship) or lower the pitch of the extension roof. We decided to lower the pitch by a few degrees to allow the window to remain.

The issue with the hall window was slightly different in that the extension stopped just short of the window but when the guttering was attached, it would prohibit the opening of the window. The options for this were to either reduced the height of the window by replacing the window with a smaller one and bricking up the bottom 150mm or reduce the depth of the extension from 4.2 metres to about 4 metres.

We decided that reducing the size of the extension slightly wouldn’t make a great deal of difference to the internal space and it was the cheaper option.

At the same time we asked the builder to quote for a new double glazed front door to replace the existing timber door. The builder did state that he always bought the best quality double glazing so it may not be that cheap. After a few days he phoned to say that to supply a new front door would be £750 and to supply and fit it would be £1000. Since we were already about to spend serious money we decided to put the front door on the back burner and focus on the extension.

27th December 2006- During a wander around our local B&Q we came upon a double glazed front door that almost matched our size requirements exactly. While the door wasn’t exactly what we wanted in terms of style it was only £149. As the door was also protected by external storm doors we decided that it wouldn’t have to be the greatest quality and so decided to go ahead with it. I phoned my dad and asked if he was available to help me collect the door. This had 2 benefits, it made it easier to handle and with my dad being over 65 he held a 10% discount card for B&Q.

After collecting my dad and returning to B&Q we loaded our trolley with the door, a handle and some wood to assist in the fitting and made our way to the checkout. After totalling the purchases they swiped my dads card which resulted in a 20% discount being taken off our purchases. As a result out £149 door was now only £120.

The following day I set about fitting the front door which turned out fairly straightforward. As I was fitting the door in a slightly different position I required an internal facing to tidy up the job so after some careful measuring, went back to B&Q and got an 8 x 4 sheet of plywood cut to the required lengths and set off out to the car. On loading the car I managed to catch the back light with one of the bits of wood which resulted in a large MOT failure style crack appearing!!!!!. There goes the money we saved on the door.

After a few days fitting the wood, sealing, priming and painting, the new door was fitted with the total bill coming to £190 plus a new rear light for my car!.

More to follow soon

Edited by - Alan105 on 30 Jan 2007 12:43:35
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Posted - 29 Jan 2007 :  12:08:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
16th January 2007- Builder phoned to say that the roof trusses were being delivered to the house. He stated that he had hoped to make a start before now but due it raining almost constantly, he decided that he would focus on making up the timber frame kit in his workshop. Hopefully this would speed up the actual build when he got started at the house.

Our timber frame delivered and stored under a tarpaulin

18th January 2007- After investigating what boiler I should be fitting I came across an advert for B&Q for an ‘A rated’ 32KW (111,000 btu) Condensing Combi boiler which was reduced to £586. Although the overall rating was higher than I needed, the hot water output was 14.5 l/min which would be ideal for the thermostatic shower that I intended to install in the new bathroom downstairs. Being a Wednesday it was time to take my dad out again and utilise his discount card. Another offer that B&Q had on at the same time was 2.5mm T&E cable in 50 metres drums for £21.83 so after collecting what was required we went to the checkout where again a 20% discount was given using my dads discount card. So for the boiler, 2 reels of cable and the flue for the boiler we got a total discount of £131 giving a total cost of £523.

20th January 2007- With the help of my 2 brothers-in-law we set about lifting the slabs which formed the patio and where the extension was to be built. Although the builder said he would lift everything, I decided that as I wanted to keep the slabs and re-lay them to the rear of the extension when it was finished it would be best if I lifted and stored them. After lifting 80 600x600 slabs in about an hour our arms felt about 2 inches longer. After the slabs were lifted I decided that the Whine dust that the slabs were laid on would be suitable for re-laying the slabs later, so after some additional hard labour, we filled 2 x tonne bags that I had. An additional reason for lifting the patio myself was to uncover the armoured cable that supplied power to my garage and that ran under the slabs. This meant that the chances of the builder slicing through it would be minimised.

22nd January 2007- Builder arrived this morning with his mini JCB and set about digging to make a new connection to the main drain. Almost immediately he came across the mains water pipe that run in from the side of the property. As it was made of lead, I intended on replacing it later on in the build but I would prefer if it stayed intact just now. Luckily he only managed to flatten it a bit with the JCB bucket and the water pressure was still ok. Just in case he cut through it he decided to check the toby connection on the pavement, but on examination he found that the cable company had managed to half fill the access point to the valve with concrete.

I phoned the local water company who stated that they would put through a job sheet to get the toby cleared but they had no idea when this would be.

When the waste drain was finally uncovered about 1.2 metres down, the builder set about cutting the drain and taking a branch off to form a new soil stack. After examination by the building inspector, the hole was then refilled and a new soil stack was brought up the side of the building.

At the end of the day the builder set about tidying up and swept up all the dirt to leave the site more than usable.

23rd January 2007- Builder now set about digging out the trenches for the foundations and in no time had completed about half the work and had filled the first skip. As he couldn’t get another skip today he stated that he couldn’t carry on and asked me to phone him in the morning when the skip was removed.

Foundations being dug with the aid of JCB and Wheelbarrow

24th January 2007- Skip was replaced by about 10am so after phoning the builder, he arrived a short time later to commence digging. The builder stated that the concrete for the foundations was booked for 3pm with the building inspector coming out at 2pm to examine the trenches.

Trenches dug, Ready for Concrete

As I wasn’t about at the time, I arrived back to find several tonne of concrete filling the trenches and a large tarpaulin over the concrete to protect it from the frost.

Foundations poured

Again, on completion, the builder made sure the site was cleared and that all paths were swept. Certainly can’t complain about his work rate and his tidiness.

26th January- Builder phoned to ask where he could store the first load of breezeblocks and sand that were being delivered. Arranged for him to call in this afternoon for his initial payment and to discuss the plan for the rest of the build.

First payment made which should keep the builder happy and he stated that the brickie would be here next Monday morning to do the block work up to the damp proof level. He said he would leave the blocks for a few days and then come back on Wednesday to complete the ground works and make a start erecting the timber kit that was now sitting in my back garden. He stated that he would like to see the roof on (but not tiled) by next Friday!!!

After talking about the drainage I realised that I wouldn’t be able to position my toilet against the back wall of the existing house as I had intended and would have to position it so that the waste pipe comes out the side of the house and into the new soil pipe that was being run under the extension floor. The builder asked me to decide on the position of the toilet and mark on the outside wall a centre line that would allow him to position a 100mm waste pipe.

So we would have to make a decision this weekend about what size fittings we wanted in the new bathroom so that I could measure where the waste pipe should go.

28th January- After trawling round endless bathroom showrooms we decide that we would go for a 1200mm long shower unit. This allowed me to work out where the toilet would go and so after calculating the correct dimensions a number of times to confirm they were correct, I marked the centre line on the outside wall.

More to follow soon

Edited by - Alan105 on 25 Jan 2008 09:51:22
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Posted - 07 Feb 2007 :  13:58:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
29th January- Brickie arrived this morning and set about setting out the block work. In total it took about 4 ½ hours to build up the 3 outside walls that were 3 blocks high with 2 rows of engineering brick on top and a centre wall to support the floor joists. We can now get a good idea of the floor area involved and it does seems fairly large. As the kit is already made up it shouldn’t be too long before there is some form of structure on site.

Blockwork Completed To Timberframe level

5th February- Builder arrived back to make a start on the new waste pipes that are required for the existing upstairs toilet and bath/basin. At present there are 2 soil stacks that run up the side elevation of the house. As these will interfere with the extension they require to be removed and replace by a single soil stack that will vent out through the extension roof.

After cutting the old soil stacks off, leaving a short connection to the toilet and bath he decided that he would be better off removing all remains of the old pipe and making entirely new connections. To allow him to do this, he had to cut into the side wall of the house to dig out the remains of the old pipe and give him room to make new connections.

In the bathroom he had to gain access to seal the pipes but fortunately he only had to remove the front panel from the bath and 2 tiles at the toilet so all in it didn’t cause too much disruption.

At the end of the day, there was a single new soil pipe running along the side of the house which will exit at the rear wall of the extension.

6th February- Today’s task for the builder was to install the solum, which seals the ground under the floor joists. As the ground level was higher than required he had to dig out under the floor to give sufficient clearance under the floor joists. After completing that task, he completed the drainage pipes which consisted of running a pipe the length of the extension below floor level which has connectors at various points for what will be the new kitchen sink in the extension and the new shower, toilet and basin in the new downstairs shower room.

I have been taking pictures of the various stages that I have discussed. Hopefully I will download them and attach them to the various posts in the next few days.

More to follow soon

Edited by - Alan105 on 25 Jan 2008 09:53:19
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Posted - 12 Feb 2007 :  13:06:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
7th February- First task today was to install the floor joists. After these were installed the timber frame was put up. As this was previously made by the builder in his yard it only took a few hours for all 3 walls to go up. After that the roof joists were lifted on top of the walls. As such when I arrived home from work, there was a rather large looking extension to the side of my house.

Timberframe up with Trusses fitted

Now we can get a better picture of what size the room is and we were not disappointed. Only now do you get an idea of the amount of work (and material) that is involved in constructing the kit. I’m glad I decided to get a professional in for this stage, as it would have taken me forever to get to the same position.

8th February- The sarking was put onto the roof trusses which was then covered with felt and battens to take the roof tiles. In addition the PVC facing was installed all round.

Sarking, Felt and PVC Facing fitted

9th February- The main task today was for the tiles to go onto the roof. As usual, it didn’t take long. With 3 men on the job, it only took a few hours to fix the lead flashing, load the tiles onto the roof and fix then in place. In addition the guttering was fixed to the front and back.

10th February- Brickie arrives at 8 am sharp and set about getting the block work up. By about 2 o’clock when he was rained off, he had 1.2 the front elevation and about 1/3 of the side elevation up.

The builder in the meantime fitted the large front window, the small rear window and the rear door. As such the building is pretty much water tight.

Roof tiled and Windows/Door fitted

All that remains of the builders part of the build is to finish the block work and roughcast the exterior. As I am fitting out the interior, I may actually have to do something soon!!!.

More soon

P.S. Does anyone know how to download images onto the post as I have been taking pictures and thought it may be of interest for viewers to see the various stages?

Edited by - Alan105 on 25 Jan 2008 09:56:55
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Posted - 15 Feb 2007 :  23:28:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
P.S. Does anyone know how to download images onto the post as I have been taking pictures and thought it may be of interest for viewers to see the various stages?

You can indeed show pictures in your post, using {IMG}Url{/IMG} (replace braces with square brackets). You'll need to upload your images to an external website though (eg Photobucket.com, flickr.com, etc) and use the address as the Url.
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Posted - 23 Feb 2007 :  01:57:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hello allan

i have been reading your post with great interest and look forward to seeing the photos! we used express plans for our job and were impressed with the price. as you say, some minor draw backs but we were not in as much of a hurry as you. on the whole i found their spec to be quite good - they even have some sort of deal with the roof truss company in uddingston - just mentioning express plans got us a 25% discount which was great.

keep updating this page - its always good to read other peoples experiences!

bobby littlejohn.
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Posted - 26 Feb 2007 :  23:45:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Yes please keep posting. I am just about to start on my extension and hope to read as much as I can before I start.

Best of luck.

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Posted - 28 Feb 2007 :  13:59:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
12th February- Brickie returned to complete the block work and without too much trouble, he completed the task within a few hours.

Blockwork Completed

14th February- It was now down to the roughcasters to complete the render of the block work. As the existing house is coated in a wet cast (stones mixed in with cement and ‘thrown’ onto the wall) a scratch coat was applied with would allow the topcoat to adhere to the walls. As the scratch coat requires a few days to harden prior to the topcoat, the roughcaster stated he would leave the topcoat until the beginning of next week.

Scratch Coat Applied

20th February- Roughcasters returned to apply the top coat and apologised for not appearing yesterday, something to do with lots of alcohol and some minor side effects!!. He did state that if it was ok he intended to work until it got dark (about 5pm).

He set out and applied the majority of the topcoat and after working until after 6pm in the total darkness, he finally called it a day. He sated he planned to return on Friday to complete the job.

22nd February- Builder arrived today to finish off his parts of the build which included the fitting of an air admittance valve to the soil pipe and some minor pieces of joinery to the inside.

Inside Joinery Completed

23rd February- Yet again, it was the roughcasters turn to work and as he had completed the majority of the work on Tuesday, it only took a few hours to complete the roughcasting. Have to say, he has done an excellent job and the finish matches the existing house perfectly (with the exception of the new roughcast being grey and the house being white, but that should change at t later date when I get the paint brush out).

As this was basically the last task to be completed, it was agreed that the builder would drop by the get his payment. I have to say that I would without hesitation recommend the builder to anyone. He offered a good price, completed his work quickly and to a very high standard and even cleaned up after himself.

The only tasks still to be completed are for some sealant to be applied round the windows and door when the roughcast dries, a new step to be built at the back door but as I am going to renew the lead mains into my house, we decided that the builder would send his brickie back when I had completed that small task.

The builder even noticed that the soil pipe at the rear of the house was running about 1 degree out of line and said he would rectify that.

If anyone is building an extension to the west of Glasgow and wants the details of the builder, please drop me an e-mail and I will pass on the contact details.

View from front of house with exisitng boundary wall still in place

After the builder had gone, I contacted a local plumber to get a quote for the fitting of the new combi boiler. As the flue for the old boiler was venting into the extension, I thought it may be best to get the new boiler in as a matter of urgency to save being overcome with fumes. After a quick inspection, he quoted £320 for removing the old boiler, fitting the new boiler which I already had and running a gas pipe over to where the new hob would be fitted at a later date.

Before the plumber could fit the boiler, I had to do some preparatory work to allow the boiler to be mounted and construct an internal stud wall while I could access the area. It was agreed that I would phone the plumber when I was ready for the boiler to be fitted.

24th February- Set about constructing the stud wall from 38mm x 63mm CLS timber. This would run along the outside wall of the house which was now inside the extension and would carry the majority of the services. E.g hot and cold water for the new kitchen and pipes for the new radiator.

Stud wall Constructed

After this was completed, I installed a couple of Dwangs to support the boiler mounting bracket and installed the glass wool insulation between the studs where the boiler would be situated. On top of the studs, a sheet of 25mm thick Kingspan insulation was fixed, which when installed throughout the extension and joint taped with aluminium tape would act as the vapour barrier. On top of the Kingspan was a sheet of plasterboard as the final finish.

Although only a fraction of the room was covered in plasterboard, it still allowed me to see what the final finish would be like. The last task of the day was to fix the bracket to the wall with 100mm screws which would take the new boiler. Phoned the plumber who stated he could come on Tuesday to fit the new boiler.

26th February- My plan to complete the internals of the extension is to try to complete about an hour of work each night after my daughter has gone to bed, so tonight’s task was to first fix the 6mm cable that would power the new double oven. Not a difficult task to route the cable but due to the rigidity of the cable, it was not the easiest to bend the cable around obstacles, but after about 1 ½ hours, the task was completed.

27th February- As I had to attend University today, I left my wife to let the plumber in. After arriving, he stated that there would be another 2 plumbers along shortly to help. What he should have said was that he had sub-contracted the job without telling us and after the other plumbers had arrived he would disappear until it was time to be paid.

What followed was, according to my wife, a complete shambles. The first job of the so called plumbers was to turn the water off at the mains to allow disconnection of the old boiler. One of them then decided that he wanted to use the toilet and as he had switched to water off, was unable to flush!!!!!

After having builders in the house for the last month or so, these 2 Muppets (as they will be called from now on) proceeded to make more mess in one day than the builders made in their whole time on site. I received regular updates on their progress from my wife and steadily grew angrier as the day went on.

When the boiler was up and running, the head Muppet (sorry plumber), arrived back and stated that due to some difficulties the job would cost a little more (£350). As my wife was at her wits end, she paid and the plumber left.

Arriving in that night, I was confronted by the mess the Muppets had left including puddles of water over the kitchen floor and under the suspended floor of the extension and food wrappers scattered around along with a fair proportion of the back garden dragged in on their boots.

On examination of the work, I was astounded at the standard of their installation. The main area of concern was the new gas pipe for the hob, which appeared to have been routed by a blind man and although structurally sound, was less than tidy.

Gas Supply to Hob (unsupported over entire length)

Additional faults were as follows:

· The boiler condensation pipe had been directed into where I was intending fitting the drain from the new bathroom sink and as such will need moved/rerouted.

· The old overflow pipe for the old boiler was left protruding through the wall. 2 minutes with a hacksaw would have removed it.

· The control panel for the new boiler was not sitting properly and it appears that it has not been clipped into the side panel of the boiler.

· No certificate was provided to cover the installation. This would be required for the building warrant.

Apart from the above, it was a top class job!!!!!

Thought I would phone the head Muppet to request a completion certificate and voice my concerns with regards the above. He said he will come round on Friday afternoon to complete the certificate and when I mentioned the other areas of concern he stated that he didn’t notice them. Obviously he is as blind as the Muppet who fitted the gas pipe to the hob.

Will get him to complete the certificate first and then tear into him about my other concerns. I’ve got a feeling a call to trading standards and the Corgi organisaton may be in the offing (I checked this morning and the company are registered on the Corgi website). As opposed to recommending the builder, if anyone is requiring work carried out, supposedly by a Corgi engineer, I will be more than happy to pass on the plumber, sorry Muppets, details so that you can avoid them like the plague!!!!

I will keep you informed of any developments!

Edited by - Alan105 on 25 Jan 2008 10:11:10
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Posted - 05 Mar 2007 :  14:52:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
2nd March- Plumber arrived and started off by trying to fix the leak that had developed from the condensation trap on the boiler. After a whole 5 minutes of trying, he stated that it was a fault with the part and that I would have to get the manufacturer to send an engineer out to replace the part.

After that I highlighted my concerns with the gas pipe to the hob. He agreed that it wasn’t to tidiest job but that it was sound. When I pointed out that the pipe wasn’t even supported over a 3-½ metre length we said possibly they should have supported it better!!.

Next up was the roughcast that was knocked off the wall when they drilled through to the outside. He said he could get some cement and push some stones into it. As this is where our new patio will be, and therfore right in front of our eyes most of the time, I thought it best if he kept well away from it

Asked him to fill out the commissioning sheet for the boiler which seemed to annoy him. Spent about 20 minutes filling out the form and signing the boiler off. When completed, I raised the matter of rectifying the faults and he said he would send his two associates round to make the necessary repairs. At this point I told him in no uncertain terms that they weren’t setting foot inside the house and that I would prefer some form of refund and I would make the repair myself. I think the thought of handing back money almost gave him a heart attack but he eventually agreed to a partial refund. My parting shot was to ask him to supply a recipt for the work done which seemed to be the final straw. Moaned that 'that sort of thing takes time'.

Maybe a call to the inland revenue would help!!!!!

As I am due to get some roughcasting done where the boundary wall has been taken down, I will ask the rough caster to touch up the damage caused by the plumbers and I will add additional supports to the gas pipe.

3rd March- Spent today putting in the first fix wiring for the sockets and wiring in the lights. As I was installing 2-way switching in the kitchen, I thought it would be best to get it working properly before I thought about putting the plasterboard on as this would make any faults much harder to rectify.

After making all the connections at the junction boxes, I attached a plug to the end of the cable and plugged it in. And the result……….nothing!!.

After some playing around with the switches, the lights flickered into life. It appears that I had connected to switches in wrongly. I will have to ask my electrician for some advice to make sure it is correct.

Spotlights Fitted and Working

After that I started putting the glass wool insulation between the studs. I had forgotten how bad it was to work with this stuff and even with wearing gloves and a fleece zipped up to the neck, I had to admit defeat and go and have a shower.

5th March- The engineer from the boiler manufacturer called to say he was on his way to fix the boiler. 5 minutes after arriving, he stated that the fault was down to the installer (why doesn’t that surprise me) and that he had removed the offending part and installed it properly.

Edited by - Alan105 on 25 Jan 2008 10:09:37
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Posted - 05 Mar 2007 :  20:41:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hi there

re your electricals,

are you Part P, cause the installation will need to be signed off so that building control will then approve it.

also re the gas pipe un supported, i would read the building regs, as building control again will not sign it off

just opinions



smile when your happy
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Posted - 06 Mar 2007 :  10:46:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I am completing my electrics in line with part P. My wife's uncle is an electrician and although I am installing the electrics, he will complete the final testing and sign off for the building control.

Again in relation to the gas pipe, the corgi 'plumber' has signed it off, I just need to add some additional support to it.

Thanks for your comments,


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Posted - 25 Apr 2007 :  14:13:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Apologies for not keeping my diary up to date but any spare moment is either taken up with entertaining my daughter, completing assignments for University or working on the extension, so completing the diary was well down my list of priorities. But now that I have 5 minutes to spare I will give you an update.

9th March- The work this week has focused on installing the drains for the kitchen sink and the washing machine. Due to the lack of space, I decided to go for the 40mm waste pipe with solvent joints as opposed to the compression fittings. A word of warning, when you are gluing the joints, make sure they are lined up correctly as you only have a matter of seconds before the connection is made permanently. Apart from that it was a fairly straightforward task. After leaving the joints 24 hours to dry I tested the system with a couple of buckets of water and all the joints appear to be sealing with the water running away freely.

10th March- Now that the drains were sorted, I started cutting the Kingspan insulation for between the floor joists. The depth of insulation required beneath the floor was 110 mm but as the insulation is not manufactured in that depth, I ordered 60mm and 50mm thicknesses which put together will meet the required depth. To cut the insulation I had bought a fine tooth saw which made very easy work of the cutting. All in it took about 3 hours to cut the insulation for ½ the floor area. I can put the insulation under the other ½ of the floor just yet as I still need access to the put in the connections for the new toilet and shower.

Insulation fitted between floor joists

11th March- Put down the chipboard flooring. As specified on the building warrant, I used water resistant P5. Although 18mm thickness was required, I decided to go for the 22mm as I felt it would offer a more solid base. Although only ½ the insulation was in, I completed the full flooring as it is my intention to start plaster boarding the ceiling next weekend and as such a flat surface is probably recommended for using step ladders.

17th March- With the assistance of my brother-in-laws, we set about fitting the plasterboard to form the ceiling. This was pretty straight forward with the exception of having to take down the odd board to trim it, but as I wasn’t the one trying to hold the board above my head, I didn’t have a problem with this!!!. I had the much easier job of driving in about 600 drywall screws.

Plasterboard fitted to form ceiling

18th March- With the plasterboard on the ceiling, I moved onto installing the insulation to the walls. This was to consist of 100mm glass wool between the studs and 25mm of Kingspan over the studs, which would also act as the vapour barrier.

Insulation fitted to Walls

19th March- Next task was to put the loft insulation into the roof space. This was to be 100mm glass wool between the roof joists and 170mm glass wool at right angles running over the joists. I would have to say that this task was possibly the most unpleasant experience of my life. Being in a confined space, with the glass wool fibres floating about with a jumper on to cover my arms from the glass wool and gloves on, was not my idea of fun and due to the awkwardness of moving about, it took me 2 nights to complete the task. On completion, I made up a loft hatch from MDF and fitted it in place in the hope that I never have to cross the threshold and enter the loft again!!!.

24th March- With the insulation on the walls I was now able to focus on the plasterboard. As I still had to run the hot/cold water pipes behind one stub wall, could only complete the plaster boarding on the remaining 3 walls. As with the ceiling, it was a pretty straightforward job apart from slicing my fingers on the drywalls screws, but I’m sure the resultant blood loss will not impact on my health too much.

Plasterboard to Walls

6th April- My original aim was to tape and fill the joints in the plasterboard on the walls and get a plasterer in to skim the ceiling but after some thought I decided that, if I could get a reasonable quote for a complete skim on all the surfaces, it would give a sturdier finish. The first plasterer who came round had a look, said that if I put the mesh tape over the joints and finished plaster boarding the remaining wall by Sunday, he would make a start on Monday (the Easter bank holiday) for the total sum of £290. As this would save me the hassle of taping and filling the walls and cutting and fitting a facing round the windows and doors, I thought it would be best to give him the go ahead.

7th April- As I now had to finish of the plaster boarding, I set about routeing the hot/cold water pipes from the boiler over to the proposed position of the sink. To save time, I decided to use the plastic tubing along with the push-fit connectors and have to say, it is definitely easier (and safer) to use than copper and a blowtorch. After testing the joints to mains pressure without leaks I attached the last few sheets of plasterboard and finished by taping the joints.

Final Wall with Plasterboard fitted

10th April- Plasterer arrived yesterday and started the ceiling before returning today to skim the walls. Have to say he done a reasonable job with the exception of a few corners that will need some polyfilla to tidy them up and the general mess that all plasters seem to leave.

Walls and Ceiling Plastered

11th April- With the plaster needing a few days to dry we decided that we should see about organising a kitchen. Having designed a kitchen using the Ikea kitchen planner, we went to the local Ikea and had one of their ‘experts’ have a look at it and amend it accordingly. Surprisingly, there was very little to change. We were given a rather long list of units and accessories that we were to collect from the warehouse. 3 trolleys later we struggled our way to the checkout and had the items scanned before loading everything into my father-in-laws van, which we had borrowed for a few hours. After getting all the cabinets, we then had to go back in and collect the doors and end panels from the other warehouse. After paying for them, we were informed that there was a shortage of one size of end panel and that we would have to go and get a refund for these items. As I was now sweating like a mad man, I was not best pleased at having to cue to get my money back for the missing items.

After the journey back home and unloading about 50 boxes of various shapes and sizes in the garage, I was well and truly knackered. A word of advice, for a not unreasonable £40, Ikea could have picked the items for us and delivered them to our door so saving all the hard work in the store but as this would have involved a wait of 10-14 days, we decided to do it ourselves as we were keen to press on with the installation. If I had been better organised, I would have been in Ikea a fortnight ago ordering the kitchen and paying the delivery charge quite happily, but you live and learn.

14th April- With the plaster now dry and a quick sand to smooth off any marks etc, I started painting the walls and ceiling. The first 2 coats were with a cheap emulsion to seal the walls followed by a coat of white to the ceiling and magnolia to the walls.

Room Painted

When the paint had dried I clipped the recessed spotlights into place for hopefully the final time. Have to say that the room is looking pretty good and I am now desperate to crack on and get at least the kitchen finished.

16th April- Now the fun begins. The building of about 15 flat packed cabinets that made up the kitchen.

24th April- The kitchen fitting has been going reasonably smoothly with only minor niggles which are associated with all flat pack furniture, but once you decipher the instructions and are on the 5th cabinet, it starts flowing reasonably well.

To date all of the cabinets are in with the exception of the island unit that cannot go in till after I have finished connecting the drains to the new bathroom. Next stage is to get the worktops and cut the holes for the sink and hob.

Kitchen Taking Shape

As I said before I will try to get the pictures that I have been taking onto the diary but with the current lack of time, don’t hold your breadth.

Edited by - Alan105 on 25 Jan 2008 10:44:03
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Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  17:11:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Again I must apologise for not keeping my diary up to date but due to other commitments my diary was well down my list of priorities.

April/May 2007- Having completed the fitting of the worktops and the plumbing in of the new sink, we were keen to start the transition from the old kitchen to the new.

Before we could complete this we had to get the new kitchen electrics connected into the main consumer unit. This was to be completed by my wife’s uncle who if a qualified spark. As the old consumer unit didn’t have sufficient breakers we upgraded to a larger unit which would allow us to add new breakers for the kitchen ring circuit and the new double oven. In addition the new unit has room for any future additions that may be completed to the electrical system of the house. A wise move if you are considering upgrading your consumer unit to the miniature circuit breaker design as a few extra pounds spent now on a larger consumer unit could save you a considerably larger amount at a later date.

As such with the electrics connected and tested we were ready to move into the new kitchen.

One aspect of the new kitchen that wasn’t yet functional was the new gas hob. As such we removed everything from the old kitchen with the exception of the old hob and its surrounding worktop and unit. This allowed for the Corgi engineer (not the Muppet that I had previously used for the boiler installation) to come in and in one visit, he could disconnect and cap the old hob while connecting the new hob. I would have to say that his work was excellent and fairly priced(£70) and he informed me that a certificate from Corgi would be through the door within the next few weeks.

In relation to the Corgi certificate, this got me thinking about my boiler installation in that I had not received any certification from Corgi for the work carried out. On contacting Corgi, I was notified that they had no record of them being notified that any work had been completed in relation to the boiler installation. They informed me that I had two options open to me, 1) Contact the installer and ask them to inform Corgi who would then issue a certificate or 2) put in an official complaint to Corgi. As I couldn’t be arsed dealing with the plumber again, I decided to put in an official complaint.

This resulted in Corgi writing to the installer and asking why they weren’t notified when gas work had been completed. It was of some concern when Corgi replied to state that the installer hadn’t responded to their letter. As a result Corgi decided that the best way to progress my complaint was to arrange a site visit by their engineer and to invite the installer along. This was duly arranged for the end of May and the day before the visit I received the installation certificate through the door. Obviously the plumber decided that it would be best that Corgi didn’t get to see his work first hand and as such the it would be easier if he submitted the relevant paper work to Corgi which would allow me to get my certificate.

So with certificate in hand we were now using our new kitchen and enjoying the additional space that this afforded us.


Kitchen now Operational (Hob to be fitted)

The next stage to focus on related to the old kitchen which would now be transformed into our new downstairs bathroom with a sink, toilet and shower. Additional tasks that will have to be completed before this can be done include the renewal of the lead water mains which would then allow me to lay the new patio among other things but more of that later.

I promise that I will try to update my diary within the next few weeks and let you all know how the lead renewal and the fitting out of the bathroom went. I may even try and download a few pictures.

Edited by - Alan105 on 25 Jan 2008 10:46:27
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the plumb
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 15 Jan 2008 :  21:39:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
this guy sounds like a penny pinching prick
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