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    Driveways and drainage

    Agree with "freddie". You definitely need permission form the Highways Department to alter the highway (which includes kerbs and paving). There will be an inspection fee (roughly £180) and usually the work can only be undertaken by approved contractors for which your local council will have a...
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    What do I need re: loft changes

    As a structural engineer, those horizontal members will be working quite hard. As tony1851 states steel purlins at mid-span would work. Depending on the span between your gables, you might get an engineering timber purlin to work. You will also need something to pick up the ceiling joists as...
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    Driveways and drainage

    If your driveway exceeds 5sq.m and is in tarmac (non-permeable), you will need planning permission. The rules changed in October 2008. From 1 October 2008 the permitted development rights that allow householders to pave their front garden with hardstanding without planning permission have...
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    Cracked exterior bricks

    I agree. These are cracks caused by the kilning process and are quite common in thrown bricks.
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    Green Oak Gazebo Design

    It would help to know what timber grade your oak man can supply. Sometimes these will be stated as Structural Grades, eg D24, D30, D35 or they may be stated using THA, THB, TH1 or TH2. THA Grade is equivalent to D40 but usually quite expensive. THB is roughly equivalent to D30 and is probably...
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    Brick pillar?

    Piers should be about 3m centres, so would expect a mid-pier.
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    Green Oak Gazebo Design

    Quick calculation shows this is going to be deflexion controlled. A 200 x 150mm (D35 grade) is fine in bending but the beam would deflect by about 35mm, spanning the 4.8m length. The knee braces help but really just add some frame action to the connection in the corner. You could go with a...
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    Brick pillar?

    Sounds like the piers are not properly tied to the external skin of masonry. It is however, common to build these separately as it means the facing bricks can run through. You could retrofit the ties by using a proper retrofit wall tie, in order to tie the external leaf to the pier. The...
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    Garden Room At End Of Garden

    Why not an off-the-shelf product eg Tiger Sheds or Garden Life?
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    Deliberate Gaps in Vertical Mortar Jints.

    I'm with the putlog holes still.
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    Removal/ variation of conditions and bats advice

    A Section 73 application is to remove or amend a current planning condition. You might be able to get away with this and insert the new drawings to replace the old drawings. Worht having a chat with your LPA.
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    Deliberate Gaps in Vertical Mortar Jints.

    Photos would help. Why would they be weep holes at 6 feet above ground and why would they run all the way upto eaves. Usually you would expect weep holes just above the DPC and only one brick course high. Sounds odd! They could be the putlug holes from the original scaffolding build, in...
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    structural calcs

    Partition allowance looks high at 1kN/sq.m. This is unlikely and could be reduced. Have you got any partitions loading the floor? Not sure where the "Additional roof load" is coming from based on your sketch. Span is going to be the issue as the timber size will be driven by deflexion. You...
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    My small extension and cdm regs

    There is no CDM Coordinator under the 2015 revision. It no longer exists! That was the whole point of changing the regulations and the justification by the Government's Impact Assessment on changing the regulations. I'll admit the IA is a bit of a laugh to read in places but that is what we...
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    My small extension and cdm regs

    CDM 2015 gives protection to Domestic Clients (as they are not experts). The HSE guidance for Domestic Clients is quite clear on these arrangements. If the Domestic Client fails to appoint anyone, then the Contractor in control of the Works will be the Principal Contractor AND will also take...
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    Building a new brick wall

    There is some great advise in the BRE Good Building Guides GBG 14 and GBG 19.
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    Jaguar XF - DSC Not Available - Restricted Mode

    Hi All, My car has developed an intermittent error message. After a few miles driving, the message DSC Not Available appears on the dashboard and it jumps into Restricted Mode (no acceleration). If I switch off and restart, the fault disappears but reappears after a few miles. However...
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    Contiguous piled retaining wall

    Depends on the size of the development and depth of piling required. For small scale work this is going to be expensive as simply the cost of mobilising a piling rig to site can be in the order of £8k and that is before you have done any piling! If it is small scale, I would suggest...
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    Removal of internal wall - could structural engineer be wrong?

    I am presuming the roof construction is a "cut-roof", ie individual rafters, ceiling joists, binders and purlins. If it is, then I would not expect the ceiling binder to span much more than about 2.5m between supporting structure, unless of course it is actually a nominal tie and the ceiling...
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    I need to find a replacement part for a shower door

    Tricky to identify. You could try sending the pictures to I have always found them very helpful in trying to identify these little things. Being a curved screed there are not many around. Trying using a standard google search but looking through the images returns rather...