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Bathroom refit into new extension

Thanks to the relatively mild weather this winter i decided to start chipping away at the bathroom project, which is being extended into part of the extension which was finished over a year ago. This gave me the opportunity to install the bath, sink and toilet in the new bit, at which time I’d totally disconnected the old bathroom allowing me to strip it out and that’s worked really well for my as I struggle to do more than 4hours in a single day so I could keep doing a bit and stopping when I’d

Water management solution and completion

My initial plans were to have rainwater harvesting, build hub taught me no.. so with that scrapped I needed an alternative, soakaways are difficult due to bed rock levels. In addition to this we have lots of run off on the croft, and the track to the house floods. We have already installed a pond for the ducks and this has a large berm to the back and sides so that the runoff is held back and slowly soaks away, but this winter has proved it overflows regularly, that's around 3000L extra. So

Water management solution and completion

HiMy initial plans were to have rainwater harvesting, build hub taught me no.. so with that scrapped I needed an alternative, soakaways are difficult due to bed rock levels. In addition to this we have lots of run off on the croft, and the track to the house floods. We have already installed a pond for the ducks and this has a large berm to the back and sides so that the runoff is held back and slowly soaks away, but this winter has proved it overflows regularly, that's around 3000L extra.

Roof Cutting in

This week the roof was cut in. Can see the spaces for the Velux rooflights and get a different picture of the inside - the vaulted ceilings in the rear living area in particular. The builder recommended a ceiling in the upstairs  bedrooms at around the 3 meter / 9 foot mark which is high enough even if you're bouncing on the bed! Still leave a bit of space for storage so may leave a small hatch and floor this area after setting it up. It's a warm roof so this is all conditioned space. Next week


mike2016 in Roof

Timber Frame arrival & erection!

The timber frame arrived this week from the factory. There was a large crane onsite all day yesterday. Got decent weather, no wind and only a bit wet in the morning. The lads have the walls fully up, 1st floor done and a ridge beam in place. They are starting cutting the roof today as that is built in situ. Really surprising walking around the rooms after looking at drawings for years! The window openings are a LOT bigger than I ever thought though, huge would be the description! Had a lodger ar

Architect advice. Do we need this or not?

After my OH's reluctance to go for PV  soon, I needed a plan.  We had already talked and visited a local Eco Architect company when researching for our planned Passivhaus for the time we thought we had a plot.  I therefore got in touch to see what they offered.  We had a zoom meeting when i explained my plans.  Basically i wanted someone to help me plan the stages we could do now to help improve the parents comfort, with the intention to do the whole extension renovation when they don't need the

Solar advice.

While my parents are still in the bungalow, we are reluctant to do any major work as they would not cope with it.  However, I am keen to make improvements if possible.  The heating system is a large very old solid block in the centre cupboard, heated by electric coils overnight (economy 7) and then blown around the place.  It works fine and is quickly heats the place up, which they like.  There is gas in the road but not to the property and when they needed a new hot water tank, we installed a n


TheMitchells in solar

The story so far.

We bought the bungalow in 2018 to move my elderly parents closer to us following Mum's stroke.  While she recovered, they needed help most days, i was spending a lot of time travelling back and forward so it made sense to move them closer.  As they lived in Windsor, we could not afford to move that way and I was very suprised when they agreed to our suggestion to move closesr to us.  But it has proved very valuable in the years since.    I think we were very lucky in that when we start

2nd Foundation Completed!

Finished the Kore Passive Raft Foundation this week. Just in time as it's currently sleeting it down out there! Cold enough to make a pour more difficult. they set in a 70mm rebate for the lift & slide door and also cut out the kore to let the concrete out to the edge (up to shuttering) for a steel post to carry the blockwork over the two corner windows. We'll insulate around that later. the Kore went in really fast, then rebar, ductwork for the kitchen island and getting it finished before

SWMBO returns!!

Apart from the “picture from the mound” timelapse blog entry, there’s not been much of an update since mid September 2022. So, get your preferred hot drink (maybe a SteamyTea), and settle back for the next instalment.   Where were we? SWMBO was still in recovery from her foot infection - you remember? The one that might have killed her? The second floor ICF had been installed, and the concrete poured. I’m still going to spare you any pictures of the foot, but here is a concrete pump tr

Adding extra mass to buildings

As many of you know, I have been sceptical that adding extra mass to a building will stabilise the temperature.  This basically comes from when I studied this back in 2008. Just to reconfirm my suspicions that regardless of construction type, the air in a building will react more to external inputs than internal inputs i.e. solar gain, ventilation and a heating system versus thick stone, brick or concrete walls. To retest this idea, I worked out the amount of energy that is needed to c

1st Foundation Completed

Concrete was poured via a pump on Monday. Finally have a Concrete sub foundation!  Took delivery of the Kore insulation for the actual foundation. Lots of angles sheets, L shape and other ones. I've 88 silver EPS boards too in packs of 8. They needed 2 men to move, the others could be handled one by one. The delivery driver helped offload as getting a forklift and driver for 4 Pallets (@150kg each) was going to be expensive and on too much short notice to arrange insurance for me to drive o


mike2016 in foundations

EPC, Air tightness, snags and a push to finish

Around 11 months ago, we started from a stripped site, the treatment plant was in and running the cabins / static so drainage just required connecting up. we had to wait for the warrant to be amended (change to the certificate of deign) this  held us back ma month or so until the BCO just said "get on with it, we can sort that later"- top guy!!  If we had waited for the amended certificate of design we would still be building, it took him 5 months to get it to us.    I've document


Jenki in Finished ?

new year - it was supposed to get better

I really hoped that now we are progressing after our suspended floor saga that things would get better, but something somewhere is determined to make sure that doesn't happen.   The only change is that this time the things that have gone wrong are not build related. Firstly, my brother, only 63, died of a heart attack with no history of problems.  I spent 5 days with him and his wife / kids in intensive care hoping against hope that he would pull thorough, but at 6am 6th Feb his h


LSB in Jan 2024

Battery Storage Update - 2 years in

Where on earth has that 2 years vanished?   So coming up on the 2 year installation of the inverter and single module battery, and as with most things these days, the gradual improvements to firmware over time have made a huge difference.   So at the last update I'd managed to get the power leakage down through an offset, and the whole system was a lot more accurate, but nonetheless still had a small amount of leakage throughout the day which was averaging around 0.5-0.6kWh,

2M² Plant room

Just a very short blog to show the windy roost ( not fully finished, is a self build ever?) plant room. I'm quite chuffed I got it all to fit, and I think it's quite neat. It's full DIY and house's the UVC and combined buffer, UFH manifold, MVHR unit, inverter, consumer unit, network hub.  All in 4M³. Plus storage to come. Yes, the printer doesn't fit, but it's coming to its end of life so that's all it's getting for now. Jobs to do: Ceiling Insulate MVHR ducting / box in


Jenki in Plant room

Heat Capacity; What it is.

Heat capacity is a really simple concept, confusion comes about because it get mangled beyond belief. Some of this mangling is actually physical i.e. we change the shape of a heated object, and other mangling is with words i.e. not knowing much about the subject.   I like to stick with the physical, it is easy and, more importantly, you can put descriptive units to it.   To start with, let us look at the two types of heat capacity.   Specific Heat Capacity

Insulating Panels; Part 2

It has been a lot warmer this week, which is nice, but not so great for doing comparison testing.  While my house stayed within half a degree (17.4°C instead of 17°C) the outside air temperature was 8.5°C warmer (8.3°C compared to -0.1°C) over the test period (20/01/2024 to 24/04/2024). But no matter, I still run the tests with just an air void and the void filled with a product called Fillite, which is hollow microspheres made from silica.   Basically the same pattern was observe

Insulation is really easy

Why do people get so hung up about thermal insulation, it really is not difficult.   The main thing to remember is that the power, in watts (W, J.s-1) that passes though a material is approximately proportional to three things, conductivity (k, λ), temperature difference (∆T) in kelvin (K), and thickness in metres (m). In arithmetic terms, the thermal conductivity of a material is written as W.m-1.K-1, or W/m.K (as I have never found a way to write a superscript negative sign on m


SteamyTea in Insulation

Groundworks - muck out, hardcore & Foundation Screws

Everything kicked off on January 8th 2024 finally after 8 years of faffing about and trying to line up finances, finding someone to sign off building regs and a year of selling the old house eventually succeeded.  There was about 120 tons of muckaway judging from the number of trucks. The guys brought a 17 tonne digger and were glad of it. The big roller they didn't use in the end but went with a more compact diesel unit. hardcore was added and leveled.  The trickier element was gettin


mike2016 in Groundworks

Insulation Panels

It has been a cold week, so just after 12:30 on the 15th of January 2024, I started a small, but limited, experiment. This was rather prompted by a comment by @Garald who wanted to insulate at the back of his book shelves, and mentioned our favourite insulation, multifoil.  @Gus Potter also has a project that may benefit a thin, easy and cheap to make, insulating panel.  I think I also made a comment to @saveasteading about this experiment, but can't remember in what context. Now I hav

Building Control

After obtaining planning, i got my building controll aplication under way. I had 2 options - Pay £1100 for Building Notice - Pay £900 for Full Plans.   Everyone on here recommends full plans, and it was a cheaper fee. I knew i'd have to either pay for the plans or do them myself. I opted to do them myself after loads of research on this forum (particiularily inspired by @HerbJ )   Here's my version of Herb's spec.   Building Regulation Specification Redac


LiamJones in Planning


I used the knowledge of this forum to help me work out what i wanted to build. I was told repeatedly to knock down and re-build, and i kinda wish i'd of gone down that route now, but i decided to stick with what i had and make it work. With that said, i'm not paying much VAT, i'm doing a lot of the work myself, and the trades i do employ aren't VAT registered anyway. The 0% VAT incentive of going new build wouldn't have been quite as much as a game changer as i thought it might be.   I


LiamJones in Planning

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