Archive for the ‘Plumbing’ Category

Something a little different for my next few blog entries. I’ll be logging the progress of our current project – building our own home. For anybody building their own home, or looking to in the future, I’ll try and flag up where we went wrong, and what we’d have done differently in hindsight, to save time and money.

June 12th 2013
After much back and forth with the council, fighting a hefty Section 106 Agreement, we finally broke ground on our site.



Getting to this stage was a long time coming. So it was nice to finally get underway with the ground works. We’d dug a ‘trial hole’ for inspection to confirm standard metre deep foundations were sufficient. The local building inspector was happy with the ground, so the ground workers went about digging the footings.


After the footings were completed, our LABC warranty inspector came out to do his first inspection of them. Here comes the first problem!! He wasn’t happy with only a metre deep footings, due to old tree roots on the site, so we then had to dig down a further 600mm deep, and add ‘clay boards’ to the sides of the trenches. This was our first additional cost that wasn’t in the budget, a further £4500, to cover extra concrete, clay boards, labour and muck away.


What could we have done differently to have prevented this extra work?
Looking back, it would’ve made sense to dig several trial holes, across the site, and get the warranty inspector out to check them as well as the building regs chap, as the site had once been home to several older trees (originally the neighbours front garden). Although we’d have had to still pay for the extra concrete to fill the trenches, the labour figure would’ve been slightly lower as the trenches could’ve been dug in one go.


Total Overspend for first stage = £4500

So footings now completed, on to the next stage………. (more…)


Just a short post following on from my previous entry. If you’re looking to get some work done by a professional tradesmen/women. Please be aware that we’re not all equal! So it isn’t simply a case of getting three quotes and comparing the prices. Experience levels can vary massively in the plumbing and gas trade, so it really is a must to consider this thoroughly before making your decision. It’s not as straight forward as comparing the same book title, for example,from Amazon or Asda, where you’re comparing the exact same product, at two different prices.

They say it’s always best, where possible, to pick a plumber using ‘word of mouth’. Find out if your friends or colleagues have used somebody, if they’re willing to recommend them, that’s always a good place to start. That doesn’t stop you doing your own homework though, have they got their own website you can use, to look at their showcase of completed works?

As well as varying standards of work, you’ll also have to consider the different boilers each of the quotes will more than likely have listed, not only makes, but the type of boiler. Do you want a Combi? A System boiler or a Regular boiler? Confused?! It can easily get too much to take in. Try having a look at the Worcester Bosch Guide to Choosing the Right Boiler for your Home

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog – be sure to keep popping back, as next time I’ll go into what’s involved in having your boiler replaced at home, and a few tips that could save you a bit of money, to prepare the house ready for the installer’s visit.

Aqua Tackler

My first post on wordpress! Welcome to you all, thanks for taking the time to stop by.

I’d just thought I’d jot down a few of my observations about some of these various sites that offer a paid service for Gas Safe Registered Plumbers to buy potential boiler leads. Having browsed some of the plumbing forums in the UK, it appears that a lot of these sites are just out to make a quick buck. Let me give you a quick example of how they work:-

Potential customer signs up to the site looking for a quote or three, to have their old inefficient boiler replaced with a nice new ‘A’ rated boiler. This part is free for the customer. The site then takes the customer’s details and advertises the partial address of the lead for plumbers to view. The plumber can then purchase the lead for a fee (typically £15 or thereabouts). That sounds great – I hear you cry!

Here’s the recurring theme I’ve noticed from a quick bit of research. It seems the customer is just using the site as more of a price comparison site to get a few quotes to mull over and not act upon. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, from the customer’s point of view. But from the plumber’s point of view, they’ve just paid £15 for the ‘privilege’ of it! As well as the cost of their fuel and their time, (travelling to the merchants to get prices, travelling to the ‘customer’s’ house to view the job, writing the quote and delivering). I’ve also read stories of the plumbers paying for the leads, not being able to get in contact with the supposed ‘lead’ and then not being able to get a refund of the £15 they’ve paid for the pleasure! So being left out of pocket this way as well.

The few plumbers that have managed to quote, seem to find themselves being undercut by other plumbers. If there are plumbers out there working for extremely low rates, please, please, please make sure they are fully qualified and registered with The Gas Safe Register . Also ask to check their public liability insurance. According to the Gas Safe Register, there are thousands of ‘cowboys’ doing illegal gas work without qualifications. Training to become a gas engineer isn’t cheap, neither is public liability insurance. Ask yourself the next time you get a really cheap quote, why is it so much cheaper than the others?

In my opinion, these boiler lead sites won’t be around for much longer as many plumbers and gas fitters are rapidly realising how unreliable they are in this current format.

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Work Harder – Be More

Aqua Tackler