Outdoor Taps

The builder just asked me if we wanted to add a hot water tap outside. I quickly checked online if it’s viable or not. Apparently, it’s quite common to have one for washing the dog, car, bike, filling the paddling pool, etc.

We have gone ahead with it. It’s something that never crossed my mind in the past. Keep note.

Example of how it will function.


Loft Opening Boo-Boo

The builder decided to create a loft opening on the side wall in the landing. It was a good idea at the time and in all fairness, the builders meant well. I was never 100% sure about it as I thought it looked like crap and could not imagine how the door opening would look.

We got to a stage where we felt the project was running away from us and called in our architect to cover a few pointers that we found puzzling. I’ll explain that episode in another blog. Anyway, she straight looked at it and said it will not pass building regs (inspection). There is a solution, however, when I received the details and looked into it, the costs were not worth it.

One reason why the builder did it was that he didn’t like the idea of the loft hatch being positioned in a bedroom. He had no choice to backtrack as there’s no way I’m paying the amount of money it cost to get it passed building regs and the fact that I never asked for it in that position.


You can see the concern. Anyway, I’ve had to order new ceiling loft openings. I’m sticking to the building regs version of our plan that the architect supplied. She put in amazing detail. I’m a bit concerned that I’ve ordered the wrong item, nevertheless, we won’t know until we receive it and try fitting.  We have two loft openings. One I know I ordered is correct. The other to replace the large side opening, I’m not so sure. The builders have already plastered the bedrooms and the one I’ve bought for the bedroom requires it to be plastered. Before you judge me, let me explain something. The contractors plastered way too early on in the project and it has caused headache after headache. I was quite vocal from the beginning about being unhappy with plastering really early. We have four plaster-in light fittings and plaster-in coving. How the hell can they plaster before fitting these items?

That’s why I’m going ahead with the loft hatch type I’ve ordered. They will have to figure it out as it’s their own doing. The reason I got a plaster in loft hatch is that it’s in a bedroom and I don’t want it to stick out. I’ve actually bought a service hatch. You can stick insulation to the top to make it function as a loft opening. It also has a strong lock.

Plasterboard Door – https://www.accesspanels.co.uk/product/900-x-600-mm-premium-range-plasterboard-door-beaded-frame-rpt-fr60/

Loft hatch

The other ceiling hatch is a standard picture frame.

Speaker Cable quality control

Here’s the difference between a crap speaker cable from eBay and a high-end cable. Look at the thickness and protection. World apart.

Mind you, the price is also a world apart!

We’re wiring one room for 5.1 speakers. We’ve also put an additional four cables in the ceiling to future proof. I don’t think we will ever have ceiling speakers though. You never know.

Check out my wire cutter from Japan.


Essential Tools

There are three items that I religiously carry with me day-to-day. I wouldn’t be able to cope without them during the renovation. I wish someone had told me to buy them at the start of the renovation as it would have made things a lot easier to understand and figure out. Here they are:

  1.  Tape Measure: what would I do without this. It’s used almost every day. You might not think you’ll need it much as the client, however, it’s turned out to be my most valuable tool. It’s essential.
  2. Scale Ruler: this is a bit of an odd one. I didn’t really know much about it until someone at Howdens showed me how they use it. You can use it to draw out any future floor plans, check the measurements, plan your kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, etc. Keep in mind to print your plans of with no scaling applied by the printer (e.g. print within margins).
  3. Laser Distance Meter: I love this tool. It allows you to measure large distances with good accuracy. It’s good to use to measure any new construction and check against the plan. Once the structure is up, you can get an accurate measurement of the space and start laying out your fittings/furniture using the scale ruler.  There’s plenty of features. You can calculate the m2 of a room and volume. Great tool.


It may seem a bit odd that you go around checking the measurements but trust me, don’t put your trust any builder. If they say they have checked it, you go and double check. Builders do what’s easy for them and could never face being wrong. check it, if it’s good, at least you have peace of mind. If it’s shit, go nuts.

You can also have a mini leveler, however, the builder will always have one onsite. Not essential unless they don’t like you handling their tools.


Missing the Architect :-(

We decided a while back to stop the services from the Architect due to costs. That leaves the builder with a lot of power and me needing to get to grip with learning the technical side of the build.

The builders made out it was an easy build and they could handle, however, it clearly has not been as easy as they initially thought. After talking to a few experienced people about the subject they all had the same opinion, “All builders think they know best and they are the dog’s bollocks”. It’s important to keep this in mind when tendering to builders and not be fooled by the builder’s spiel. Stick to the details of the build. This is where the architect is handy. A good architect knows when the contractors know what they are talking about and if the calculations make sense. It’s worth having an architect onboard to help in this process.

I also miss asking the architect for advice. The build would have progressed further to date if the architect was still onboard as they would have checked the build at certain stages and made sure the builder had the materials needed to schedule.

I’m still in touch with the architect for situations where I’m really stuck.

Here’s an example of how the architect can think out of the box. It’s based on the article ‘Panic Button‘.

I messaged the architect asking how we can resolve the depth issue for the kitchen units and counter to fit between the window and wall. We were short of the 60cm needed. Ideally, we really we needed the depth of 65cm.

The architect replied with an easy fix.

‘You bring the plaster in so you don’t see the frames of the windows internally…you only have to do it to the large Windows, you can do the bay if you want’

Make the windows frameless.

scetch sent in what’s app

Frameless window design

Brilliant Idea. One I would never have thought off.

Architect Details

Company Name: Edite

Tel: 0208 133 7446

Website: http://www.edite.co.uk/