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MRG Building Contractors

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Ask a Tradesman answers

Below are this tradesman's answers to questions posted by our community.

Moving a radiator...

This question is hard to answer really depends on how capable you are at basic plumbing. First you need to empty the heating system, relocate the existing heating pipes to there new position, hang the rad and connect again.

Depending on what type of system you have there will usually be a drain of valve on one of the rads on the ground floor preferably near a door. Make sure your heating is off and attach a piece of hose to the valve and drain your system down.
However this is depending on your heating system, if you have a gravity fed system you will need to isolate the tank usually in the loft (the smaller one) easiest way of doing this is to tie the ball valve up this stops it filling up while draining.

Once drained you can cut and relocate the pipes to there new position, fix your TRV's and plumb the new rad back up. Fill your system back up ensuring to bleed your heating system of air if you know you do this with the first rad off the heating system. A pressurized system is a lot easier to bleed.

I know that's a bit of a vague tutorial but it really does depend on how much knowledge you have of plumbing. As to how long this will take again depends on the situation are the existing pipes under a timber floor, coming out of a masonry wall, under a screeded floor? the time is taken up in how easy it is on pipe relocation for example if under a wooden floor then its easier than a screed floor that will need pipes to be chased in and hair felt lagged with new screed covering them.

To summarize getting a plumber in might be the best option its not overly expensive and will ensure the jobs done correctly.

I hope that helps


Answered 7th Feb 2012

squeaky floor boards


Best plan of attack here is to take a couple of boards up and take a look to see where, if any pipes are running. Another option is to locate the existing nails and remove with a nail bar and in there place use screws.

Another little tip when screwing down floor boards is to make sure you use a small pilot drill hole, if screws are simply screwed straight into the board they tend to split. Were as if a pilot hole is used this does not happen, it also gives a better fixing.

Hope that helps


Answered 6th Feb 2012

we have just bought a bungalow,we want to knock 3 walls down to open up the main bedroom and box room which we then want to turn into our lounge,


I recommend both.

You will require structural engineer to asses whether any of the walls you intend on removing are load bearing or not. Load bearing walls as a rule are generally brick/concrete block construction and not stud, but this is not in all cases!

If they are indeed load bearing then a steel beam will be needed in order to take the load the wall was once taking. The structural engineer can then make a steel calculation for what size beam to use along with the correct pad-stones.

As you have purchased a bungalow the main load if any will be your ceiling joists, the best way to check this yourself will be to get into your loft space and actually look to see if the ceiling joists are actually bearing on the walls you intend in removing.

Any potential builders you call in to quote should be able to give more advise on whether or not the walls are actually load bearing or not. If they are do make sure a steel calculation is obtained from a certified structural engineer. A good builder will not touch the job until this information has been provided.

Answered 5th Feb 2012

Connecting kitchen waste to 110mm underground pipe

Your best option is to use a reducer for the waste pipe, or easier a strap boss. There is no need for a trap as you will have a trap below your kitchen sink as standard.

Hope that helps


Answered 6th Feb 2012

New door furniture and door, new skirting, re skim plastering, coving, new window board

Hi, the order should be window board first so plasterer can skim to this, then as mentioned the skim will go next. Once plaster has dried mist coat the walls using a good emulsion mixed with water usually 50/50.

Then I would get your coving done, this then leaves the remaining work for a chippy skirting, door and ironmongery.

Hope that helps


Answered 6th Feb 2012

Hi. How do I know what size radiators to buy if the rads aren't there? Thanks

I recommend you use a BTU calculator a good site can be found at http://www.radcalcs.com/

Hope that helps

Answered 6th Feb 2012

hi, we have been having a small extention built to enlarge our hall, the builder is nearly finished.

Hi, what you describe sounds fine to me, the notch you refer to is the door rebate the piece of metal on the sill creates a weather-strip ensuring a good seal, this prevents water entering under the door. There should also be a weather bar fixed to the bottom of the door, this throws of any rain water pushing it away from the bottom of the door.

The wet patch is most likely due to rain water splashing on the step and up against the door. By the sounds of things the weather bar may not be fixed yet this can solve the problem of damp at the base of the door.

Hope that helps

Answered 7th Feb 2012

Due to start our loft conversion on Monday in a victorian property. The roof is slate, unfelted, do we need to fit a breathable membrane?

Hi there,

Its very typical of that age property to not have felt and those that do have been done in recent years.

Felt is a back up for reasons such as tiles slipping or breaking over time, also in severe weather I have known water to rise up roof in strong winds and into the roof area especially with slate as there is no lap/ridge like there is on concrete tiles.

Once the loft is converted it will be difficult to know that you have a problem until you start seeing damp patches on the new ceiling or walls. Many un-felted roofs stand the test of time and do not leak, however my advise is as you are having a new conversion I personally would get the roof felted. It will give the peace of mind an ensure there will be no problems in the future.

Hope that helps


Answered 6th Feb 2012

cracks in neighbours house due to chimney removal

The cracks that appeared i'm guessing are hair line. this was most likely due to hammering or breaker while taking the chimney out. We have had such problems before and the simple option was to rack out and fill the cracks for the neighbor its not a lot of work and keeps the peace.

However when undertaking such work its best practice to inform neighbor of what you are having done and that they "may" notice some small cracks, its nothing to worry about and if they do appear it will be put right.

Hope that helps you

Answered 6th Feb 2012

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