I Have a Question - Volume 197 - Dynamic Dave

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TV without power switch - warning ! - cheddar
We recently got a 15" LCD TV with built in freeview, currently in the kitchen, it is great.

However it has no front panel power switch, only a rear mounted rocker switch that is clearly not for every day use, we have switched it off at the wall when away though otherwise have used the remote as advised in the manual. The TV has a crystalbrite gloss screen and areas of shiny (though tasteful) plastic that attract dust so we have taken to throwing a teatowel over it to keep the dust off.

Yesterday we were out for a few hours and opened the front door to the sound of the TV, there had been a power cut and the TV had switched itself on as the power supply was reconnected.

The TV had been on for nearly two hours (we could tell from our oven clock when the powercut had been) and was rather hot under the tea towel, who knows whether it could have dangerously over heated if left much longer. However aside from the danger of it being covered it could have been on for days or weeks if we had been away from home.

Lessons:

Dont cover an appliance that is on standby.

Always switch the power off if out of the house.

Nevertheless it is perhaps a bad design to have no front panel power switch AND to be on by default when its power is reconnected.
TV without power switch - warning ! - daveyjp
From my experience it's unusual for a TV to go from standby to on due to power being cut. TVs in our house just go back to standby.

I'd be interested to know which LCD TV you have and how much you paid. Our bedroom portable is starting to become troublesome and a new one may be required shortly A small LCD with freeview is what we have been looking for.

I saw some yesterday which said the main power switch was on the reverse - I refuse to buy one which can't be switched off properly!
TV without power switch - warning ! - Dulwich Estate
Please beware:

In my past life (I've now more or less retired) when I was involved in buildings insurance claim work - subsidence, floods and fire etc., the most frequent cause of house fires (and I saw fair few over the years) was a TV left on standby deciding to set fire to itself. Dishwashers were surprisingly high on the list too.
TV without power switch - warning ! - cheddar
This is the one:

direct.tesco.com/q/R.200-2168.aspx

I have heard of a home going up in flames due to a TV being left on standby, we dont make a habit of it though IIRC it was a CRT and they are more of an issue in this regard.
TV without power switch - warning ! - Big Bad Dave
"I have heard of a home going up in flames due to a TV being left on standby"

Haven't switched a TV off by the button since I bought my first house in 1991.
TV without power switch - warning ! - rtj70
I'm not surprised dishwasher's are high on the list - it happened to a neighbour of my mothers too.

Most have an inherent design fault - wiring for the controls go up the front of the dishwasher and over time metal fatigue means the wires deteriorate and break. Ours stopped working so I took the front off and I saw the wires sparking! It was a very old Miele one (had lasted more than 15 years).

Our dishwasher is never left on when out.
TV without power switch - warning ! - Altea Ego
> I'm not surprised dishwasher's are high on the list -

Fire safety officer who visited my mother said its no 3 on the list after TV's.

1 Smoking
2 TV
3 Dishwasher.


I have to say I was suprised, but there you go.
------------------------------
< Ex RF, Ex TVM >
TV without power switch - warning ! - tyro
Interesting post, RF.

Shows how times have moved on. I would have expected chip pans, but the rise of oven chips and deep fat fryers probably means that chip pans are not used so much any more.
TV without power switch - warning ! - Martin Devon
Apparently stuff left on standby uses 80% of the power that it would normally use in on mode. Isn't there some sort of campaign to get manufac's to do away with standby?

MD
TV without power switch - warning ! - SpamCan61 {P}
Apparently stuff left on standby uses 80% of the power that it would normally use
in on mode. Isn't there some sort of campaign to get manufac's to do away
with standby?
MD

>>

It depends totally on the design of the product, some do indeed use much the same power either way, perhaps 'display off' would be a better term than 'standby' for these. It would be nice if manufacturers did have to declare operating and standby consumption, so we could make an informed choice when buying new products.

From a design point of view then many products are processor based these days, every re-boot from power off is a chance for the product to 'hang' so it's no surprise that they're designed to be difficult to switch off properly.
TV without power switch - warning ! - Cardew
Apparently stuff left on standby uses 80% of the power that it would normally use
in on mode.


Yet another Urban Myth that is so wide of the mark to be laughable.

All the major manufacturers signed up years ago to get standby consumption down to under 1 watt. So about 60 pence a year if left on 24/7 all year.

My 3 TVs are all well under a watt on standby and that includes two 8 year old CRT TVs - the 32" Sony CRT being 0.6watt. The Sony Bravias are less than that.

In fact this whole 'leave your TV on standby and you are personally responsible for global warming' hype is just a joke.

I doubt if the average household standby bill for all appliances for a year costs as much as a gallon of petrol.
TV without power switch - warning ! - Another John H
>> Apparently stuff left on standby uses 80% of the power that it would normally
use
>> in on mode.
Yet another Urban Myth that is so wide of the mark to be laughable.
All the major manufacturers signed up years ago to get standby consumption down to under
1 watt. So about 60 pence a year if left on 24/7 all year.


Beware freeview boxes - some of them to stay pretty much fully functioning in standby as they are busy in the wee small hours:

firmware updates
finding "new" channels / moving existing channels
populating a 7 day program guide

Integrated receivers will be in the same boat.

If it's sorted out the recent channel changes to accomodate channel 4+1 without action on your part it is using a bit more than 1 Watt.
Decent paper shredder - wemyss
Anyone got a recommendation for a good shredder cross cut or strip type for home use.
The one I have was bought from Staples a year or so ago for only about £10.00 and has never been much use. Supposed to be a 5 page one but anything above one thickness encourages it to go from auto to continuous run. Never get above 10 minutes use before I have to take it out to the wheely bin and scrape out the shreds which are jamming it. A pair of scissors would be just as useful.
wemyss

{moves question to correct place in thread, as per the PLEASE NOTE message at the top - DD}
Decent paper shredder - Xileno {P}
We bought one from Argos a while back. About £25 I think. No problems so far.
Decent paper shredder - normd2
I bought a hand-operated one for £2.99 from The Works as a joke present - turns out to be the best one we've had. The last two ( £17.99 Tesco and £25 Argos) both jammed repeatedly.
Decent paper shredder - cheddar
W H Smiths cross cut shredder bought last Christmas has been fine, says it it OK for 5 sheets A4, appears to struggle a little with 5 sheets 100 gsm paper though gets through it, fine with 2 or 3 sheets or more if lighter weight, also does c/cards, hasnt jammed though has a reverse if required. Auto setting works well. About £20 to £25 IIRC though on offer at the time, perhaps £15.
Decent paper shredder - henry k
I would not buy a strip shreader. They are not too clever with landscape spread sheets. :-)

I find my cheap Woolies one is fine with normal A4 sheets but clogs up when I feed it newspaper. ( which I use to mix with grass clippings)

So can anyone recommend a cross cut shreader that does not moan when fed the daily scribble?
Decent paper shredder - billy25
I have a Fellowes p500-2, which i use to shred newspapers for mi chickens. will comfortably chew its way through 3 sheets of tabloid at a time,(tear the papers in half first, so that they fit the slot!) and up to seven papers before i give it 10 mins to cool down. Its been doing this twice a week for the last 3 years now! think it was about £25 from Argos.

Billy
Decent paper shredder - wemyss
Sorry about that Dave...Thanks for the replies and my next trip to the wheely bin will be the last it makes and it won't be coming back. I've warned it several times as Basil would say.
Thinking on,I imagine the cross cut is preferable not just for the security but would think it needs emptying less as it cuts into tiny pieces and wouldnt bulk up as the strips do.
Your model Billy is now £36.53 off the internet.

wemyss
Decent paper shredder - Dynamic Dave
Sorry about that Dave...


No probs ;o)

Not sure if Henryk's shreader is the same as the one I've got. That also came from Woolworths:- cost £14.99 for a cross cut. I see now though that it is £9.99 (+ £4.95 delivery). Not sure if it's £9.99 in the shop or not?

www.woolworths.co.uk/web/jsp/product/index.jsp?pid...1


Decent paper shredder - henry k
Not sure if Henryk's shreader is the same as the one I've got. That also
came from Woolworths:- cost £14.99 for a cross cut. I see now though that it
is £9.99 (+ £4.95 delivery). Not sure if it's £9.99 in the shop or not?

My shreader is very similar but a pretty off white.
It was half price at £14.99 in shop a couple of years ago, so things are getting cheaper.
It boasts security level 3 and eats staples ( but not happy with newspaper)
I have just shreaded lots of A4 and it worked a treat feding single sheets as fast as I could.
AH! I now see it is "perfect for financial documents, phone bills, business papers" ( but no mention of newspapers )
Decent paper shredder - nortones2
Woolies £15 cross-cut used here. I think the jams are due to lack of lube, so I'm going to damp asheet of A4 with WD40 and test for enhanced performance. Or conflagration....
Decent paper shredder - Pugugly {P}
Let us know you might be on to something !
Decent paper shredder - nortones2
Tests inconclusive, except SWMBO reported less groaning from the shredder. Seemed better on a light application of WD40 than the 0w/30 fully synth, but time will tell:)
Decent paper shredder - FotheringtonThomas
Seemed better on a light application of WD40 than the 0w/30


Isn't WD40 a water dispersant used for instance on damp electrics, and a general degreaser, rather than a lubricant? Won't olive oil, etc, oxidise and form a gum all over the works? Perhaps a quick squirt of 3-in-one would help?
Decent paper shredder - drbe
Woolies £15 cross-cut used here. I think the jams are due to lack of lube
so I'm going to damp asheet of A4 with WD40 and test for enhanced performance.

>>

The nice man I spoke at the HQ of my shredder company said soak a sheet(s) of paper with olive oil and put that/those through.

Seems to have worked fine.
Decent paper shredder - nortones2
Sounds a good idea - plant esters. Group V lubricant?
Decent paper shredder - borasport20
I'll second billy25's fellowes p500-2 - we've had one for a few years, and the only problem is a tendency to keep running if the box is overfull

Maintenance charge for flat - warning or question? - PhilW
Not sure whether this is a question or a warning!
Son bought a flat in a large East Midlands city - his first home (cost me a bit also!!) in Jan 2006. When he bought it he was told that annual maintenance charge was £600 per year and that there were no outstanding charges. After 6 months he received a bill for maintenance for £600 and assumed that this was for the year (paid half way through as it were). 6 months later another bill for £600. He questioned this but was told they had to increase charges because of costs - he paid it. A few months on he received a bill for another £600 for work that had been done in the year up to Dec 2006 (ie 11 months before he moved in and 1 month after he had moved in). At the same time a friend who moved in several months after received a similar bill (she was not even the owner of the flat for the period being charged!) Both contacted the management company and questioned this, asked what the work was that was being charged for etc - the company just said they had benefitted from the work and had to pay to pay it (and by this time interest at an extortionate rate and for a solicitors letter they would receive shortly)
They then both went to their solicitors and have just received advice that the maintenance contract is so vague that this is perfectly legal and it would be better to pay up because every time the solicitor contacts the maintenance company they send a solicitors letter back and it costs another £70.
It begs the questions
a) In 20 years time this company could charge people for maintenance (supposedly?) done 20 years before - can this be legal?
b) The maintenance company apparently do not have to provide accounts etc of the supposed work done - they just ask for payment - can this be legal?
c) How do you get out of this - every delay costs interest, every communication incurrs a further cost of £70 for a "solicitor's letter" - can this be right?
d) Original contract said that maintenance would be £600 per year - but apparently (according to 2 solicitors) it can be anything and there is no proof whatsoever required for work that has been done.

Son is moving for a new job - if he doesn't pay it will appear as outstanding charges which would put off potential buyers and apparently he would still be liable for the charge since original bill was sent to him - he is fairly annoyed that it seems that he has to now stump up about £600 for "maintenance" that he has no evidence of plus interest plus a couple of hundred for "solicitors letters" telling him why he has to pay. His friend is even more annoyed to have received a bill for work which was done when she didn't even live there!
Doesn't seem fair to me - seems like a licence to print money- so if your kids are thinking of buying a nice flat in a nice area with a maintenaance contract - buyer beware!
Sorry for long post but I'm a bit annoyed - son is a young man in his first job, loves the flat but someone is taking the proverbial - and it ain't Robin Hood!

--
Phil
Maintenance charge for flat - warning or question? - daveyjp
"b) The maintenance company apparently do not have to provide accounts etc of the supposed work done - they just ask for payment - can this be legal?"

It is not legal - management companies have to provide a full audited account of what money has been spent on and what the bill will be.

I suggest a look at www.servicechargecode.co.uk

This is targeted towards commercial property, but residential managing agents should adopt similar practices.

I suggest a call to Peter Forrester at Savills who has written this book:

www.ricsbooks.com/productInfo.asp?product_id=7272
Maintenance charge for flat - warning or question? - PhilW
Thanks Davey - will follow your suggestions this evening.
Apologies to the rest of you for the long post - I fear I was using you to vent my frustration and have a good rant!
Regards
--
Phil
Maintenance charge for flat - warning or question? - Happy Blue!
The provisions of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, in Section 153, require that:

"A demand for the payment of a service charge must be accompanied by a summary of the rights and obligations of tenants of dwellings in relation to service charges".

This requirement takes effect as from 1st October 2007. Both form and content of the summary are set out in the Statutory Instrument . It must be in "printed or typewritten form of at least 10 point".

Maintenance charge for flat - warning or question? - AdrianM
Sounds like your son is being ripped off. My first property was a leasehold flat and the best we thing we did was buy the freehold with the other owners (though only 4 flats in the property, so easy to manage). Maintenance costs were slashed as we only had work done that needed doing and took care of communal areas ourselves. Also our insurance premiums more than halved.

Maintenance charge for flat - warning or question? - PhilW
"This requirement takes effect as from 1st October 2007"

I wonder if this is why the demands have arrived beforew that date?


"best we thing we did was buy the freehold with the other owners "

Agree, Adrian, but this is a quite large development - over 50 flats? and getting agreement is very difficult. Also son needs to move by Christmas so I think he will have to pay up.
Thanks for contributions though. I think we are resigned to paying up (Mum and dad will bear the cost!!!)
Regards
--
Phil
Maintenance charge for flat - warning or question? - daveyjp
Before surrendering I would take advice from a Land and Property litigation expert. One letter from them could be enough to get the landlord's to change their ways. Service charges are not there as a nice little earner for the landlord and who is saying in 6 months time a bill for £1200 won't arrive - regardless of 1 October date? If landlords can get away with it they will.
DVD Hard Drive Recorders - Noise - BobbyG
I bought a Daewoo DVD Recorder from sainsburys at turn of year for a cheap price , think it was £60 or so.

However its very very noisy, understandably its like a computer starting up with the hard drive and fan going but it really is obtrusive.

Are they all like this or should I take it back and get my money back and put it to something else?
--
2007 Seat Altea XL 2.0 TDI (140) Stylance
2005 Skoda Fabia vrS
DVD Hard Drive Recorders - Noise - Mapmaker
>>or should I take it back and get my money back

You'll be lucky.
DVD Hard Drive Recorders - Noise - BobbyG
No, Sains will refund the money.
--
2007 Seat Altea XL 2.0 TDI (140) Stylance
2005 Skoda Fabia vrS
DVD Hard Drive Recorders - Noise - normd2
when you get your money back go to Woolies. During the 'summer' on holiday I picked up a DVD player for £20 and a bunch of DVDs to keep the kids amused until the rain stopped. Great little machine - tiny, quiet and 'does what it says on the tin' Might not last 10 years but your £60 has fared worse so far.
DVD Hard Drive Recorders - Noise - Chad.R
I picked up a DVD player for £20 .....


The OP's question was related to a DVD/Hard drive recorder - I doubt you'll pick one up for £20 ;-)

My LG DVD/Hard drive recorder (which I bought about 2 years ago) is quite noisey, though not enough to be intrusive.
DVD Hard Drive Recorders - Noise - normd2
whoops - time for an optician's appointment I guess......
DVD Hard Drive Recorders - Noise - BobbyG
Went into Currys tonight, the DVD Recorder that I paid £60 in Sainsburys in January time is currently £120 in Currys.....

Maybe just put up with the noise.....
--
2007 Seat Altea XL 2.0 TDI (140) Stylance
2005 Skoda Fabia vrS
DVD Hard Drive Recorders - Noise - rtj70
The noise from the unit can easily resonate in a cabinet or similar. Maybe it needs something to damp it (like better rubber feet) to reduce noise. See if it's quieter out of the cabinet or wherever it is.

My V+ box is a hard disk recorder (and have a DVD Recorder) and it's quiet but have read reports it can be noisy for some due to it transmitting noise to stands/cabinets.
DVD Hard Drive Recorders - Noise - Bromptonaut
Bobby

Our Daewoo HD/DVD is similarly noisy, and began to be so even when apparently switched off. Answer seems to be that it was detecting that the digibox, connected via Scart, was on and then, with AV selected as the live channel, running up the hard drive so as to enable the pause/rewind live TV facility.
DVD Hard Drive Recorders - Noise - BobbyG
Brompton, mine is a Daewoo as well - what model have you? I am DH6100P
--
2007 Seat Altea XL 2.0 TDI (140) Stylance
2005 Skoda Fabia vrS
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - nick62
We recently moved to a 1904 semi which has the original sash windows. These look really nice, but are totally awful with regard to heat-loss and even worse traffic noise from the nearby A road, (the two bays each have four sash windows that are 2.1 M high x 0.9 M wide).

Having trawled the internet, there is at least one company that produces a double-glazed sash window that is apparently approved for use in a Conservation Area.

Question - does anyone have first-hand experience of replacing original sashes with double-glazed units? The appearance would have to as near indistinguishable from the originals as possible, (if this is indeed possible!) I understand that these may be on the expensive side, but the appearance (and quality) is the important issue.

Any feedback much appreciated.

{moves question to correct place in thread, as per the PLEASE NOTE message at the top - DD}
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - henry k
>>Having trawled the internet, there is at least one company that produces a double-glazed sash window that is apparently approved for use in a Conservation Area.

There seems to be quite a few on the net.
Try a search with
"sash windows" double glazed conservation approved
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - RichardW
Real balanced sash windows are a marvel of joinery and to remove them is sacrilege IMHO.... I'm sure there are several companies that can remove and overhaul the original windows, and fit them with daught excluders and double glazed units. I doubt it's cheap though!
--
RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - daveyjp
A friend has just had original sash windows replaced with replicas, but with DG units - all hand made. They look just like the original windows, cost was £1,000 each and he had 16 done. This excluded fitting, which required scaffolding the house and they were unfinished so needed painting. Painting a sash window so it doesn't stick shut is an art in itself.
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - FotheringtonThomas
Question - does anyone have first-hand experience of replacing original sashes with double-glazed units?


Yes.

1) When you replace the original glass and/or sashes with a d/g unit the whole appearence of the outside will be changed. Modern glass has no ripples or defects and the difference is noticeable, especially with the (IMO nasty) "K" glass.

2) If using "K" glass, it will be a little darker indoors.

3) Heat loss will be reduced, but probably not by much. It is unlikely ever to "repay" your outlay.

4) The most significant benefit will be in the reduction of condensation on the inside of the window in cold weather.

5) D/g units in sliding sashes are unlikely to last well, and may need fairly frequent replacement (condensation on the inside of the unit writes them off).

6) Noise reduction will be trifling.

7) Plastic sash windows, especially sliding, but also tilting, are quite complicated, and won't last anything like as well as the originals.


So, what's best? IME/O:

1) Use products from a company such as Mighton to draught seal the windows. This will make a big difference even if you do nothing else.

2) Fit secondary double glazing from a company specialising in 2y. glazing for sash windows, preferably to the inside wall, camoflaging it with a wider sill (cill) and architrave. This will achieve very good noise reduction, heat reduction, and condensation elimination.
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - henry k
4) The most significant benefit will be in the reduction of condensation on the inside of the window in cold weather.

But sometimes there is condensation on the outside of the windows even this time of the year in the SE

>>6) Noise reduction will be trifling.
I cannot agree with that statement.
I have just had Crittall windows replaced and the noise reduction when the last window in a room is closed is impressive.

IMO Secondary glazing is not pretty.
Insulation needs a very small gap between the frames so this is not very good for heat retention.
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - FotheringtonThomas
But sometimes there is condensation on the outside of the windows even this time of
the year in the SE


Not particularly important on the outside, surely? Something I haven't often seen, anyway - the temperature of the house is normally adequate to prevent condensation on the outside.

>>6) Noise reduction will be trifling.
I cannot agree with that statement.


Fine, use your favourite search engine to find it is however true. Noise reduction with the sort of units fitted to sash windows is not great. 2y. D/G generally has a far larger gap, and is undoubtably better for noise reduction. Remember that the OP mentioned sliding sash windows, and the units will be thin - probably 4-6-4.

IMO Secondary glazing is not pretty.


Use specialist sash 2y. glazing as indicated. Good secondary glazing is not obtrusive. See websites of 2y. D/G for gallery pictures.

Insulation needs a very small gap between the frames so this is not very good
for heat retention.


This is incorrect. D/G units should have an air gap of at least 20mm, or their insulation properties suffer. 4-6-4 units are vastly less efficient than (say) 4-20-4.
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - henry k
>>6) Noise reduction will be trifling.
I cannot agree with that statement.


>>>>Fine, use your favourite search engine to find it is however true.
Are you saying my ears do not work ? I do not need a search engine to make me aware of the difference.
I have worked for many years in an office with D/G designed primarily for noise reduction. i.e about 24 inches between the panes. It was only Concorde passing almost level with the windows that we could hear so we were well aware of the noise reduction of secondary glazing.
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - FotheringtonThomas
Are you saying my ears do not work ?


I am saying that the noise reduction resulting from fitting D/G units into sliding sash window will result only in a very small noise reduction compared to single glazing, peripheral sound leakages being equal.

I have worked for many years in an office with D/G designed primarily for noise
reduction. i.e about 24 inches between the panes.


This is far more akin to secondary glazing than D/G units fitted to domestic windows. These sort of things are built in, often at least triple rather than double glazed, and a whole different specification to units fitted to house windows. Whilst the noise transmission is very greatly reduced when this sort of glazing is utilised, I'd bet against 2' D/G units being available anywhere - house walls aren't that thick, anyway.
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - Mapmaker
Replacement double glazed sashes are hideous; even wooden ones. Don't do it. You will knock the cost of redoing the glazing off the value of your house.

The noise reduction as a result of the double glazing is minimal. Whilst noise will be reduced, it will not be the double glazing per se that effects this. Have you not noticed that just like kitchens and insurance it is a product that is sold by sharp salesmen in suits; don't trust it!

I suggest a 'refurbishment' of the current sashes with a product such as reddiseals which puts brushes around the edges of the windows in order to seal the inevitable gaps between the sashes and boxes. Any good chippy can instal it - or you could. Or you could pay ventrolla a lot of money for their excellent system, but negotiate a 25% discount on their prices.

Then get some secondary glazing as others have said. Storm do some really discreet secondary glazing that fits within the area of the staff bead.

And because the gap is more like 2 or more inches, rather than the 5mm you will get with double glazed sashes, the noise reduction is much better than with double glazed units.
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - ajs
Mapmaker is correct that refurbishment is a very good option. I had mine fully refurbished throughout and it cost up to about £500 per window, depending on the level of refurbishment required (although mine were still in fairly good condition). I would suggest that you get a specialist in to do it, however. There are some really good ones out there, I used Sliding Sash Solutions (www.slidingsashsolutions.co.uk I think), but there are plenty of others out there.

What they did was refurbish the windows with new weights, pulleys, locks, etc as required and installed draught excluders throughout. These help retain a bit more heat and do help with noise (although not a huge amount). My view is that this refurbishment was well worth the money. You may find that it is even possible to convert the windows to double glazed, but I am not sure. You could also consider only replacing the windows front/back if noise is only a problem on one side.

I suggest you visit a shop that sells glass up to the relevant Building Control standards and look at it really carefully before doing the same with your windows at home. Unless yours have been replaced at some point, you will notice the imperfections in your windows that add character. For that reason I have avoided raplacing glass, even though I have a couple of slightly cracked panes.

I believe that if you replace windows you must meet current building regulations standards, but if it is repair, you don't have to. Unfortunately I am not sure what degree of work constitutes replacement rather than repair.

In terms of Conservation Area, I believe that if you live in a house (as opposed to a flat or building in any other use) you probably won't need planning permission for replacement windows. The exception to this is if the Council has served an Article 4 Direction, when you will need permission anyway. Again, if it is repair rather than replacement you are unlikely to need any consent. I know of circumstances where permission has been refused for replacement windows (although on a flat), so it will be worth checking what the Council might need before progressing too far. As someone else said, even replacement wooden windows don't always look right.
Replacing sash windows in Conservation Area - deepwith
I agree with those who say refurbish rather than replace - the look is rarely as good with replacements. A hotel in the New Forest had to replace all the new units on their sash window as they did not meet the approval of conservation body - very expensive mistake.
I did some research on acoustic insulation as part of my degree which, I recall, showed that four inches was the best gap between glass for sound in a domestic property. Mind you, that really is delving into history!
Suggest me a washer dryer? - PoloGirl
I'm hoping as I put a question mark at the end of the subject line, it counts as a question, as I'm getting sick of looking at websites!

Criteria are:

Must be a washer dryer
Must not use too much water (spotted one that would be ideal but it uses 170l per wash!)
Ideally in grey/silver, but white wouldn't be the end of the world
No more than £450
Not too energy inefficient, ideally a B (I know you don't get an A with a dryer)
Must have a half load setting.
Not a Hotpoint

Thank you!

Suggest me a washer dryer? - bathtub tom
Don't !

Everyone I know who got one of these combinations ended up regretting it. First the dryer packs up, the repair costs more than a stand alone dryer, but because the washer dryer cost so much in the first place they feel they have to get it repaired. Then the washer packs up.......

When it's drying, you pay not only to dry the clothes, but also the washing machine. Hardly enviromentally friendly, but what the .... we all drive pollution machines.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - Pugugly {P}
tinyurl.com/2cuxnb

PG,
I can only recommend John Lewis direct. Their customer service is second to none. They may not be the cheapest, but they usually have a "free Warranty" offer which can save a couple of hundred quid.

Their own brand is good.

Co-Op is also a good supplier and more competitive. But as I say JL is second to none.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - pmh
One thing to look out for is whether the 'drying load' is the same as the 'washing load'.

If you need it for unattended operation it means that you can only half load the washing machine!

I don't believe in complex multifunction devices but daughters flat is so small there is little choice. And we did promise a moving in present.

I second the JL route, having just bought a JL own label (made by AEG) dishwasher, it came with a 5year warranty. Worth paying a small premium.
--

pmh (was peter)


Suggest me a washer dryer? - commerdriver
Not a Hotpoint

Not a suggestion PG, but number 1 son is setting up first home and liked the look of the hotpoint
what do you know that we dont?
thanks
Suggest me a washer dryer? - BobbyG
PG, I bought a washer / dryer via Sainsburys website last year and it was over £100 cheaper than the Argos price.
--
2007 Seat Altea XL 2.0 TDI (140) Stylance
2005 Skoda Fabia vrS
Suggest me a washer dryer? - Xileno {P}
This is the place to go: ukwhitegoods.co.uk
You will even find me there...
Suggest me a washer dryer? - RichardW
We had a Hotpoint washer /dryer - it was a disaster from day 1 (OK, it was about 20 years ago!). Hang the budget and buy a Miele - the upfront cost might be a bit higher, but it will last 20 years + and almost certainly never break down.
--
RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Suggest me a washer dryer? - rtj70
We know a friendly and honest washing machine repair guy. When asked what he would buy he said either pay lots and go for a Miele or pay little an expect to replace a lot sooner. Anything in between probably not worth it.

As others have said though, John Lewis do good extended warranties on most things for free.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - flunky
We know a friendly and honest washing machine repair guy. When asked what he would
buy he said either pay lots and go for a Miele or pay little an
expect to replace a lot sooner. Anything in between probably not worth it.


£1000 for a Miele that has a 10-15% chance of breaking down, or £500 for an Eletrolux that has 17% chance of breaking down in six years? I'll take the £500 option thanks.

Although I'd certainly avoid Hotpoint/Hoover, a third of those break down.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - Xileno {P}
I would be careful about getting a Miele. They are undoubtedly excellent machines but I remember speaking to someone a few years ago who had one and they said that once the warranty is up, parts are very expensive and only a Miele technician can fix them as they need a laptop with the Miele software on to reset things. Maybe someone in the trade can confirm.

Also do you really want a machine that will last 15 years? OK if you intend staying in the same property. When we moved our excellent old Bosch wouldn't fit in the space so we had to buy new again.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - Dynamic Dave
£1000 for a Miele that has a 10-15% chance of breaking down or £500 for
an Eletrolux that has 17% chance of breaking down in six years? I'll take the
£500 option thanks.


Does the Electorlux come with a 10 yr warranty though? Some of the Miele washing machines do. Others come with a 5 yr warranty.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - flunky
Must be a washer dryer


Washer/dryers are not as good as separate machines.

You can get free 30-day Which online membership here

www.which.co.uk/


This is the best option after the £1k Miele
AEG-Electrolux L16830 (Lavamat Turbo 16830)

This machine washes quickly and well, spins effectively and has lower than average running costs. Rinsing is very poor but you can choose an extra rinse option.

A drying sensor chooses the drying time for you and it dries quickly and evely, although as with most of the washer-dryers we looked at, creases are bad - using its lower spin speed options will help with this too.

It has good energy and water consumption levels for the washing cycles, combined with excellent energy usage for the cotton drying programmes.

Energy Rating B

Best Buy 65%

www.aeg-electrolux.co.uk/node146.asp?ProdID=15141

£479 inc delivery and 2 year guarantee from John Lewis

Water consumption 51 litres, but no half-load, but you'll struggle to find one that does.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - PoloGirl
Thanks all.

I do need a washer dryer as there is only one hole in the kitchen, and it's a flat, so no nice garden to hang stuff up in and not really room to dry large sheets, towels etc.

I will definitely look at John Lewis, thanks to all who suggested that. Conveniently that's where I'm getting my bed from so if they can bring both at once, all the better.

Bit worrying that even the best buy on the Which? report scores only 65%!

And yes, I would love Miele appliances, just as I'd love a smeg fridge. Maybe one day!
Suggest me a washer dryer? - rtj70
Don't know about washer dryers, but my friendly repair man recommended Bosch/Siemens to me when we needed to replace the dishwasher. I managed to get a Siemens for less than a good Bosch and the clincher was free 5 year parts and labour offer. And it's really good - versatile, near silent. So for other appliances I'd consider this brand again. Basically the Siemens = mid range Bosch.

Something to bear in mind is many washers etc. are built in Italy these days and not as well made or engineered as say German stuff.

e.g. our Indesit washer dryer has a brilliant design flaw. There is a hole in the top of the heater element of the dryer (why?). If there are too many suds they can come out through that hole, run down the back of the washer and short-circuit the electronics. We found out when washing net curtains. But the washer/dryer has a sport shoe programme which can do the same. Whilst under warranty they just fix them without question... Via our friendly engineer I got an "independent" visit from an Indesit engineer to replace the board ;-)

Also aren't John Lewis = AEG Electrolux? But the other Electrolux brand that seems reliable is Tricity Bendix but I hear Zanussi not so good.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - bathtub tom
>>And yes, I would love Miele appliances, just as I'd love a Smeg fridge

Have you looked up the definition of smeg in a dictionary?
I'd never buy anything with that name out of principle.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - malteser
I concur with the majority of posters here - a washer/drier is (a) Expensive to buy, (b) very expensive to run, (c) dreadfully inefficient, (d) takes hours to finish drying a load, (e) you can't wash a load when drying another, (f) costs a fortune to repair, - could go on, but been there, done that and got the tee shirt. I would rather hang clothes on airers and radiators on wet weather than suffer one of these abominations!
Our was a "good" make, too, Bosch - much warranty work and a £90 call out with the nearest repairer being 90 miles away in Cardiff.
--
Roger. (Costa del Sol, España)
Suggest me a washer dryer? - cheddar
We have a Smeg dishwasher and Smeg hob and oven though we have had two Ariston washer dryers since 1994, the first lasted 9 years, they have been fine as washing machines and although the drying function is only used on occasions it is most useful, particularly the ability to be able to put a few things in to wash and to come home and they are dry and ready to wear. You cant do that with a separate dryer.

When moving into a new house we had cupboard put in the space that a seperate tumble dryer would otherwise go, useful extra storage.

MiL wanted a washer dryer and we found an Indesit (same manufacturer as Ariston) Redhill Appliances were the best price and delivered to Somerset for £5! Pretty sure it is this one.

www.redhillappliances.co.uk/Products.aspx?PRODUCTI...3

Great value.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - nick
When you decide on the model you want run in through a price comparison website like kelkoo, it might save you a few quid. Watch out for delivery costs though!
Suggest me a washer dryer? - GregSwain
But the other Electrolux brand that seems reliable
is Tricity Bendix but I hear Zanussi not so good.


My washer (not washer/dryer) is Tricity Bendix, and it's been spot-on in the 3 years I've had it. Most parts are the same as Zanussi so any independent engineer could fix it if it ever went wrong. Definitely worth a look for Tricity washer/drier.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - PoloGirl
I have ended up with a Bosch, thanks all.

Some of you might not know that Boots do kitchen appliances, so not only did I save £30 on the Comet price, I also got £15 worth of advantage card points too.
Suggest me a washer dryer? - Vansboy
Can't you get one of the worktop sized dryers & maybe fit it in a cupboard.


VB
Suggest me a washer dryer? - rtj70
If it is as good as our Siemens (i.e. Bosch/Siemens 50:50 joint venture company) dishwasher you will remain pleased.
Buying property in France - PhilDS
I'm thinking of buying a house in France

Initially we will look at using it as a holiday home and will let it out to friends. In the long term we may look at moving my wife and two children out there and I commute in and out on a weekly basis.

I'm after websites, forums, books and magazines that will allow us to get a grip of the basics of how the market works and and get our heads round the protocols required.

Any help or advice greatly appreciated

Thanks

Phil
Buying property in France - Gromit {P}
Rules and regulations will vary by department (county), so I'd suggest you make contact with the Prefecture/Mairie in your preferred location(s) early on.

Would you finance the house using a French or UK mortgage? French rates tend to be higher, but there are all sorts of rules about mortgage assistance, ministry-of-housing loans etc. which may (or may not) work in your favour. If you borrow in the UK, you have to concern yourself with interest rate fluctuation.

Three suggestions, if I may:

1) Don't rely on low-fares airlines for your commuting link in and out of France. Ryanair, for example, are notoriously fickle about changing routes depending on what deal they get from regional airports. Make sure there's a ferry, rail or Air France connection (which will typically be via Charles de Gaulle or Orly, not direct).

2) Consider whether anyone other than another expat UK buyer would buy the house off you if you needed to sell. Employment in parts of regional France isn't plentiful, so there are tracts of the country all but dormant.

3) Practice your French, and remember that the old adage of "when in Rome, do as the Romans do", applies even more among the French!
Buying property in France - pmh
What area are you looking to buy in? What area do you live in?

There are several regular contributors on here who have existing houses, some full time, some part time.

Try visiting the FPN site www.french-property-news.com/ for good info, a subscription is probably worth while.
unfortunately you have just missed the annual London exhibition.




--

pmh (was peter)


Buying property in France - Dulwich Estate
PhilDS,

Before buying in 2004 I spent hours and hours looking at:

www.completefrance.com/cs/forums

www.totalfrance.com/france/forum/index.php

There's a wealth of information to be had by simply reading the threads.
Buying property in France - barchettaman
The book ´Living and Working in France´ would be useful.
www.survivalbooks.net
Buying property in France - PhilDS
I live currently near Leighton Buzzard but work in Southampton.

My thoughts are to sell up and move nearer the office finding somewhere to rent long term. The proceeds from the sale will buy a house in France outright - if Primelocation is to be believed.

We are thinking north west France as it's accessible via ferry, tunnel or plane. For the first couple of years we would rent it out to friends to cover basic running and set up costs with a view to my wife and kids moving out there permanently.

We are not in any rush to do this. We will rent anyway in the short term when we move to the south coast 'til we decide where we want to be. The house in France gives us a mortgae free property with some earnings potential and a possible place to live if we want to escape Gatso's, 96.9 per l, etc.



Buying property in France - Dulwich Estate
Sounds all well and good. But don't even think of working in France unless you have a very, very special skill. The chances of employment in France in any meaningful way, even if you speak french well, are close to zero. As far as renting goes - 12 weeks in peak season is about as much as anyone can do unless you have a special place.

In summary, please do your research and read as much as you can on the two sites I pointed out before you take the plunge. French costs can be low and incomes can be even lower.
Buying property in France - Mapmaker
Nobody* ever* made any* money from property in France.

Nobody* ever* finds themselves a job in France; even the French struggle.

_________________________________________

* OK, so it's possible, but not like it is here.



France has more gites than people who want to visit. Every rural Frenchman has a barn that he has converted into a gite but cannot rent out even for 12 weeks. France has an oversupply of property hence low prices.

France has the most extraordinary employment laws; you cannot get a job, and if you do it is a job for life - hence unemployment is high as you don't hire if you can help it.


IMVHO, stick to it being a dream. Retire there when you are old and wrinkly.

On the other hand, the Telegraph had a series (which looked pretty good) on buying a property in France a couple of weeks ago; bound to be on their website.
Instant Electric Showers - any good? - johnny
Are these any good, or are they a bit feeble and prone to furring up. Top of the range ones seem to require a 10 sq mm cable which is pretty heavy - how can I tell if the consumer unit is up to it?
Instant Electric Showers - any good? - billy25
They are bound to be better than nothing! ;-) but my experience of them is "feeble". We had a 7kw model, and even in Summer, to get a hottish spray you could only open the flow control about three-quarters, in winter you were down to a trickle to get it hot enough. They also (like other electric water-heaters) gobble up the electric!. If you have a gas multi-point or combi, why not go for gas-heated one? - much better flow, proper jets of water as opposed to feeble spray, and a much more rewarding experience!. Furring is usually only a problem in hard water area's, and is usually confined to the shower-head, because of the stronger flow on a gas shower, furring is more prone to happen on the gentler electric showers.
Our electric model had to have it's own consumer/fusebox installed, fed from the main input wires from the meter to the house consumer unit, (but not through the house unit).

Billy
Instant Electric Showers - any good? - Cardew
Depends on the wattage. They range in power from 7kW to 10.8kW in the popular ranges.

A standard 40 amp RCB will cope with a 9.5kW shower.

If you get larger than that you are into heavier wiring and a non-standard RCB

I have a 9.5kW which relplaced an 8.5kW and it is quite good in the summer when the input water temperature is higher; adequate in winter. The additional expence to fit a 10,8kW(for 14% more power was considerable). Heavier wire, and the larger RCB would not fit on the consumer unit.
Instant Electric Showers - any good? - SpamCan61 {P}
I use an 8.5 KW at home; great in summmer, OK in winter. Living in a hard water area I find it best to regard these electric showers as limited life items, they get furred up relatively quickly and there's not a lot you can do about it other than replacement. Hence I buy cheap ones ( about 60 quid) and expect to replace them every 4 years or so. I've avoided the 9KW+ ones due to the extra expense of wiring in with beefier cable.
Instant Electric Showers - any good? - Stuartli
I would never like to have a shower using an electrical shower, no matter how safe it would appear to be...:-)

We have an Aqualisa shower unit which is used in conjunction with our gas multivalve heater - the Gas Board claimed we would need a power unit to provide enough water flow for showers.

This proved to be nonsense and the Aqualisa delivers a strong flow of water at all times. It wasn't cheap, but has lasted many years and only had one replacement cartridge (to control the hot and cold water), which is probably down to the fact that we used to have very hard water in our area.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Instant Electric Showers - any good? - Mapmaker
>>I would never like to have a shower using an electrical shower, no matter how safe it would appear to be...:-)

I take it you never use an electric kettle either.

Instant Electric Showers - any good? - Stuartli
>>I take it you never use an electric kettle either.>>

I don't stand inside a kettle...:-)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Instant Electric Showers - any good? - cheddar
We also have an Aqualisa shower in our ensuite as well as an 8kw elec shower in the bathroom, the latter is fine, particularly good when we have been away and the water is off and we want to get the kids to bed straiught away.
Help look for Steve Fossett's plane with your PC - Billy Whizz
Many of you will be aware that Steve Fossett is missing and aircraft are out searching for him but that the area they have to cover is truly massive. Well, Richard Branson asked Google and they have taken some new satelite images of the area and now volunteers are being asked to help search these new images for plane wreckage from their PCs. Several previously unknown wrecks have been identified but not that of the famous aviator.

In order to improve the efficiency of the searching Amazon have donated their Mechanical Turk program to split up and divide out the huge satelite images into bite sized chunks about 85m square. I have found that these can be checked for wreckage of a white plane in about 10 seconds (I have just completed 200). I believe there are around 100,000 of these small images that need to be checked. There is also a link to Google Earth.

Full info and a better explanation can be found here www.stevefossett.com

Now I know there are a few Backroomer who enjoy technology and also have a bit of time on their hands (like me :-)... Every little bit helps.
Bread Makers - Robbie
What is the best model to buy and what should I look for?
Bread Makers - Bromptonaut
Panasonic SD 253

Does excellent white/brown/wholemeal - including some quick recipes. Timer facilitates a warm loaf for brekkie and fruit hopper a pretty good bun loaf.
Bread Makers - daveyjp
Robbie - buy one off e-bay. If you are still using it after a month go and spend on a decent one. Been there done that got the t shirt, no longer got the bread maker!
Bread Makers - drbe
Robbie - buy one off e-bay. If you are still using it after a month

>>>> no longer got the bread maker!
>>

Ditto. Got the bread maker - no longer use the bread maker.
Bread Makers - deepwith
They appear quite frequently on freecycle too. We got ours at a general auction - £10 unused - and go through cycles when husband uses it then puts it away for a month or two. He occasionally uses it just to prepare the dough then bakes in the oven for a better result (tends to produce quite a dense loaf in the machine).
Bread Makers - Clk Sec
The wife bought a Morphy-Richards bread maker about six years ago which she uses two or three times a week. This produces both wholemeal and white loaves , in my opinion, to a much higher standard than you will ever get from a supermarket.

Clk Sec
Bread Makers - Mapmaker
You can buy them for under £20. Woolworth's Value line etc. They all (afaik) have timers - allowing fresh bread at breakfast time. I use mine pretty much the whole time.

The only feature I've ever envied from the more expensive ones is for a small loaf. Some come with two sizes of bread tin. How large is your family?

Use vegetable oil, not olive oil, otherwise you get a strange flavour.
 

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