The Tenantproof House

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  • #31
    I had to cut it down to fit the internal measurement of window recess and instructions are faulty saying you need to cut 2 inches less than the recess size. Anyway it went in the bin. I revise my statement - blinds are OK where not alteration needed.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

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    • #32
      We usually put in wood effect venetian blinds. They are comparatively cheap and dont absorb smells however malodorous may be the tenants culinary efforts. Likewise laminate floors are favoured, over sound attenuating foam in flats and heat reflective foil covered foam in houses.

      One interesting thing we have learned is that insurers will pay for replacing laminated floor if destroyed by an insured peril under the buildings policy as it is considered part of the fabric of the building whereas carpet is never covered under buildings policies and regarded as an item that should be insured under a contents policy.

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      • #33
        Someone mentioned installing shower cubicles instead of shower above bath - is that appealing to tenants? I hate showers above baths but worry about narrowing my property's appeal too much by only having a shower.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by JulieJuls View Post
          Someone mentioned installing shower cubicles instead of shower above bath - is that appealing to tenants? I hate showers above baths but worry about narrowing my property's appeal too much by only having a shower.
          In an ideal world you would have a separate walk-in shower cubicle and a bath, especially for tenants with children. However, not all bathrooms have the space for that, so a shower above a bath is a good compromise. Whatever you do though, make sure the shower unit has a glass shower screen, not a shower curtain, which are a recipe for unhappiness/wet floors/leaks, etc. The kind of bath which is wider at the shower end than at the head end is good (called a shower bath?), as it allows the person having a shower more 'elbow' room. This sort of design:

          http://www.plumbworld.co.uk/ceramica...ath-3484-20392
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          • #35
            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
            In an ideal world you would have a separate walk-in shower cubicle and a bath, especially for tenants with children. However, not all bathrooms have the space for that, so a shower above a bath is a good compromise. Whatever you do though, make sure the shower unit has a glass shower screen, not a shower curtain, which are a recipe for unhappiness/wet floors/leaks, etc. The kind of bath which is wider at the shower end than at the head end is good (called a shower bath?), as it allows the person having a shower more 'elbow' room. This sort of design:

            http://www.plumbworld.co.uk/ceramica...ath-3484-20392
            Not a specific recommendation, but I notice that Wickes currently have a full bathroom suite with that type of bath for under £500, including soft-close loo lid to impress Mrs Bucket of Campbell Magna.

            It's twice as much as the more basic takeaway bathroom, though.

            Nor does it include a mini-loo-rug.

            ML
            Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by JulieJuls View Post
              Someone mentioned installing shower cubicles instead of shower above bath - is that appealing to tenants? I hate showers above baths but worry about narrowing my property's appeal too much by only having a shower.
              I think you're right to worry about that; though to an extent it comes down to your target market; eg a very old person perhaps can't even use a bath any more, so would never rent a property with no shower; whereas a young family with toddlers to bathe wouldn't dream of renting somewhere with no bathtub.

              Unless you've got space for both bath and separate shower cubicle (which is optimum in an ideal world), I think it's hard to beat a shower-over-bath combo for a rental property. Needs to be a proper, plumbed-in shower though; none of your rubber-hose-on-bathtaps tat.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by midlandslandlord View Post
                Nor does it include a mini-loo-rug.

                ML
                That's a relief.They are riddled with urine-related-bacteria.
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                • #38
                  To fireplace or not to fireplace?

                  I'm removing 1960s gas fires in 2 reception rooms, and will be gas centrally heating the house.

                  Would you take out the fireplaces behind the gas fires, or make them a feature?

                  And if you made them a feature, what would you put in there instead?

                  I have a couple of reasonably attractive fire surrounds available which would do the job, but I'm not sure what to put in the fireplaces.

                  Leave them blank?
                  Little wired in electric flame effect heaters for a focal point?

                  eg: http://www.aldi.co.uk/uk/html/offers...uys3_22588.htm .

                  I'm not keen on putting another gas fire in. One arrangement I have that currently works well is a non-connected pot-bellied stove, but that is a special situation.

                  Personally I find the obsession with taking out fireplaces so as not to live like miners in the 1920s, and then to put them back because we want to pretend we are living like Hugh-Fearlessly-Eats-It-All in River Cottage in the 1920s eating raw pheasants with wild horseradish and Yak udders, a little illogical and perverse.

                  I must lack empathy with modern nestbuilding.

                  But if it's what the customer wants who am I to ask awkward questions?

                  ML
                  Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by midlandslandlord View Post
                    Leave them blank?
                    Little wired in electric flame effect heaters for a focal point?
                    As in my own home, I would install an electric heater. When it's really cold, the fire can be used to supplement the central heating. Or when it's warmer, it can be used to just heat that room without having to use the central heating

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Mrs Mug View Post
                      As in my own home, I would install an electric heater. When it's really cold, the fire can be used to supplement the central heating. Or when it's warmer, it can be used to just heat that room without having to use the central heating
                      Agreed - my 'standard' model rentals (2-up-2-down terraced houses) all have gas CH and fireplaces fitted with inset electric flame-effect fires. They provide a focal point for the room, and on 'flame effect' mode only cost as much as lightbulb to run; however they have built-in electric fan heaters which are really worth having, if nothing else just for the day when the central heating breaks down!

                      If you've currently got an unwanted gas fire fitted, it would also be much cheaper to remove that and replace it with an inset electric job, than to rip out the whole fireplace, and then replaster and redecorate the 'blank' chimney breast.

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                      • #41
                        Some great ideas here, thanks - have subscribed to this thread so I can refer back to it when I have a refurb to do.

                        There's also a very good blog entitled "Repair-free Rentals" written by a builder/landlord whom I know through another forum. Google it and it'll come up.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Solving the Washing Drying Condensation Problem

                          I'm doing a refurb on a small semi.

                          Downstairs there is a living room at the back, with a door to a previous 10'x6' kitchen built on as a single story extension behind the living room. Access to the back garden from the former kitchen is via a further lobby (ie two doors to the outside from the existing kitchen so it can be kept draught-free).

                          The plan is to turn the living room into a kitchen diner, and the old kitchen into a utility area.

                          I want to persuade T to dry washing in the utility to prevent any condensation issues as far as possible in the house.

                          I'm wondering about providing a mini-drying room facility as part of the utility:

                          a - Provide sites for a washer (ie plumbing) and tumble dryer (ie pre-installed through the wall vent ready to accept the vent pipe from a tumble dryer should T have one) in the utility room.
                          b - Fitting a big bathroom-like towel-rail radiator in the utility (currently 1100x600mm is half-price at Screwfix) to encourage T to dry/air washing on it, with a Thermostatic Valve for easy control by T.
                          c - Standing space for a drying rack near the radiator, or maybe something not unlike a traditional airing cupboard.
                          d - A heat recovery fan in the utility, with an always-on trickle setting, and ideally a humidistat for the boost. The always-on will also provide some perma-ventilation for the house.

                          I make the extra cost a couple of hundred only plus a little carpentry, and with appropriate education and reinforcement in the Agreement (no clothing on radiators, no unvented tumble dryer etc) it should work.

                          I'd welcome any comments.

                          The washer location is not particularly important, as that does not generate condensation itself, and may well live under the sink in the kitchen if T does not install a dishwasher in the hole I always leave under the drainer.

                          The only fly I can see in the ointment would be a washer dryer which didn't use a condensing dryer mechanism, but I think those don't exist.

                          ML
                          Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by midlandslandlord View Post
                            a - Provide sites for a washer (ie plumbing) and tumble dryer (ie pre-installed through the wall vent ready to accept the vent pipe from a tumble dryer should T have one) in the utility room.
                            One slight 'gotcha' there is that if you'rer looking to install a wall vent for a tumble dryer, beware that if it's going atr below worktop height, up close to where the dryer is situated, then there's no 'standard' position for the vent to be on the dryer in relation to the hole in the wall. Needs to be done 'generically' so that some form of conduit will fit easily between the two.
                            Fitting a big bathroom-like towel-rail radiator in the utility (currently 1100x600mm is half-price at Screwfix) to encourage T to dry/air washing on it
                            Not sure about that. A towel rail works fine for warming up one or two towels, and that's about it - it's not really big enough to cover with lots of washing without continualy changing it over; furthermore once it's covered with a few items the heat is effectively insulated too, so it then doesn't warm up the rest of the room very well.
                            Standing space for a drying rack near the radiator, or maybe something not unlike a traditional airing cupboard.
                            Or what about one (or two) of those Sheila Maid affairs, if there's enough head room?
                            A heat recovery fan in the utility, with an always-on trickle setting, and ideally a humidistat for the boost.
                            An alternative might be a stand-alone dehumidifier for the room? Chez ericthelobster, most of the washing gets dried on coathangers suspended from a rail in the airing cupboard, which has a dehumidifier in there.

                            The only fly I can see in the ointment would be a washer dryer which didn't use a condensing dryer mechanism, but I think those don't exist.
                            No, pretty sure they don't.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Thanks, Eric.

                              I'll avoid a portable dehumidifier due to annual PAT testing, and I just ordered my heat recovery fan for £100 from Vent-Axia.

                              I think if I provide a through the wall vent, then at around 450mm above ground it should be OK. But I am a bit tight on that side for space, though. I have 1.8m width, with 500mm one side and 600mm the other side of a door. I'd have to fit the hose plus the tumble dryer into 500mm plus a poke-out so I may drop that and go for a pulley plus towel radiator.

                              BTW Sheila Maid looks pricey for what it is to me. There seem to be equally good similarly made alternatives for 30% less.

                              ML
                              Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Kitchen Lightbulbs

                                I'm looking for light fittings for a kitchen diner, and I wonder if anyone has a specific recommendation. 'Tis a 9ft ceiling in a 4x4m room. I'm looking to do 4 or 5 fittings at a cost of perhaps £10-£20 purchase price each.

                                Important points I am after are:

                                a - Ceiling surface mount (no intention to chop holes in the ceiling). Wiring can be from above at present.
                                b - Lightbulbs that last a fair time - ie non pop-every-3-minutes dificult to replace spotlights for the sake of looking zeitgeisty.
                                c - Attractive, and inexpensive to install and run.
                                d - Ideally dimmable as it is a diner, but that is a desire not a requirement.
                                e - Not intricate fittings that needs constant dusting, for T convenience.

                                I think what I am after may be something with a standard bayonet fitting so that I can use low-energy compact flourescent bulbs, but these seem to be thin on the ground.

                                I would consider LED spotlights, but I don't think the reliability/cost balance is there yet.

                                I'm not convinced by my experience of G9 type halogen bulbs.

                                Any recommendations would be appreciated.

                                ML
                                Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

                                Comment

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