CD Hood's Building News

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Sep 16

Finding the right floor levels

Posted by CarlHood in floor levels , CD Hood Ltd , CD Hood Builders Cambridge , CD Hood Builders , building , builders East Anglia , builders Cambridge , builder Cambridge

Commercial Cambridgeshire builders CD Hood Ltd are familiar with the problems of leveling floors as part of a renovation or part of a remodeling or extension. If you have created more room in your home by extending your side return or building into your garden you will know how important it is to make sure you have matching floor levels.

For many extensions removing a wall is part of the process and it can be surprising that once a wall had been removed how apparently similar floor levels can be quite different.  Floor levels from the conjoined rooms either side of an extension or development can pose real problems if they aren’t perfectly aligned.  They may be very close but because they were never designed to meet even a small difference of a few millimetres will stand out.
If you are completely rebuilding a new concrete screed can be laid to match the extension to the existing floor levels. When you’re remodeling, rather than extending, any differences in floor level can be overcome by building up using a quick-setting silicone floor screed. If the same levels can’t be easily achieved in either circumstance, it is best to create a full step, (H)19-22cm, rather than a small difference that could end up being a trip hazard for children and adults alike.

Commercial Cambridgeshire builders CD Hood Ltd like to work backwards from the finished floor level in the existing property to ensure they will be identical once they’re linked. Setting out floor levels for an extension is important to work out before the other building is done.

Sep 16

Making the most of a renovation

Posted by CarlHood in CD Hood Builders Cambridge , CD Hood Builders , Cambridge construction companies , Cambridge commercial builders

Cambridgeshire Commercial builders CD Hood Ltd have worked on many renovations, rebuilds and extensions and are always up for a challenge. If you are looking for a property to renovate the first thing to do is check how long it’s been on the market, often a property that's been for sale for more than a few months suggests there might be issues.

If you are buying a much older poorly maintained property you should be prepared for anything, including half the wall staying on the wallpaper when you strip it or great holes behind the paneling. If you want to try and make sure it’s not a complete disaster don’t be afraid to make as many visits as you want with every type of tradesman or you partner builder in order to know what you're letting yourself in for.

When you are trying to estimate how much work needs to be done your local commercial Cambridgeshire builder can also come in handy. If the property really does just need renovating and it is just a bit of a dated property rather than a wreck you could reasonably expect to have to put in a new kitchen, bathroom, central heating, carpets and re-decoration.   Whatever you plan to do it is a good idea to have a good go at budgeting it before you start any work and building in a contingency fund of about 15 per cent of the total cost is always a good rule of thumb to cover those unforeseen eventualities.


Sep 02

Sharing a Party Wall

Posted by CarlHood in party walls , extensions , Cambridge roofers , Cambridge home builders , Cambridge drain repairs , Cambridge commercial builders

Commercial Cambridgeshire builders CD Hood regular help with renovations or extensions that involve Party Wall agreements. Since 1996 if you carry out work on part of your property in England that adjoins your neighbours, you must comply with the Party Wall Act 1996. This act covers any wall on the boundary line of two or more properties and it also includes garden walls as well as the walls of buildings.

So if you were wanting to build a kitchen extension into the side return area of your property you are likely to need a Party Wall agreement as you will be building up to maybe even on top of adjoining wall. Any building work, which might have an effect on the structural strength or the supportive function of a shared wall, or anything that might cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall must be officially notified to the affected neighbour. A Party Wall notice must be served at least two months before the intended start date of the building work, giving details of what you are planning to do and the work that will be carried out carried out, building work can not start until all neighbouring parties have agreed in writing to the notice.

If your building project might have some impact on your neighbour’s wall it is normal practice to record the current state of the neighbouring properties and inspect again for any change at the completion of the work. If anything happened you are responsible for making good any damage caused CD Hood Ltd can talk you through the Party Wall responsibilities.



Aug 23

Looking to create a knock-through

Posted by CarlHood in CD Hood Ltd , CD Hood Builders Cambridge , CD Hood Builders

Many builders refer to internal wall demolition jobs as ‘knock-throughs’, commercial Cambridgeshire builders CD Hood Ltd have delivered many a knock-through on a renovation or extension project. At its least extreme a knock-through might just mean cutting a new door but in other cases it can mean the complete removal of an entire wall.

For a major knock-through Building Control will normally require a structural engineer to specify an appropriate beam or lintel to support the new opening. It is not a bad idea to involve a structural engineer at the same time or before quotes from builders are finalised so you are clear what it will cost. With a big knock-through you can never overestimate the amount of dust involved. Most indoor demolitions are pretty messy, so it’s worth having dust screens across each room as part of your quote. CD Hood Ltd like to make sure we protect the rest of the building and your family while we work.

For new door or window openings, the upper part of the old wall will be left in situ above the new opening this is known as the downstand.  When a wall is taken out, the new steel beam has to have something to rest on at each end, so a small end section of the original wall called a ‘nib’may need to be left in place. If an entire load-bearing wall is removed, a ‘clean sweep’ at ceiling level may not be possible as the new beam will normally be visible. It’s good to note that steel beams need to be boxed in with plasterboard to comply with fire regulations so if a continuous ceiling is aesthetically important, you might need to consider further options.

Aug 23

What makes working on an older building different?

Posted by CarlHood in CD Hood Ltd , CD Hood Builders Cambridge , CD Hood Builders , Cambridge commercial builders

When CD Hood Ltd, commercial Cambridgeshire builders work on a Victorian house or homes built before 1919, without cavity walls, they can deliver an amazing array of extensions or renovations. But some builders do not realise the consequences of using modern materials and techniques on older brick-built, solid-wall houses.

Solid-wall houses perform very differently to modern housing, which can mean treating a traditional building the same way you would a modern building can be a big mistake. At this time of year people are often thinking how to make their homes more cosy for the winter but some modern improvements can only serve to increase issues like moisture and condensation. Many modern houses with cavity walls and waterproof external render provide impermeable barriers to water and moisture. A more traditional, solid walls made from brick or stone however tends to ‘breathe’. Bricks are permeable and porous as are the lime mortar joints on older buildings that also allow moisture to be absorbed and released.

So if you are looking to extend or renovate your Victorian or older house and want it to be warmer and more energy efficient take be careful. Some of the solutions that work for modern houses and seem so simple such as using non-permeable materials and renders can actually end up causing more problems than they solve. The last thing an old house needs is more condensation or more damp that can develop if you stop an old building from breathing more naturally. Commercial Cambridgeshire builders like to take the age of your property into consideration before recommending materials used in any extensions, improvements or renovations.

Source: Federation of Master Builders


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