Nov 11th - Let's not forget

LSB

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I have huge respect and admiration for those who have gone before us, including members of my own family, for what they did in any war to protect us.

At times I think they were conned as much as any of us, but they were there in good faith putting their lives at risk.

 

Thank you one and all.

 

But, back to this blog, this is also so I don't forget.

I'm going to try and update weekly on what I've achieved, or failed at, in the previous week and hopefully on plans for the next.

It's great when others read this and comment, makes me feel less lonely on this long journey.

 

As I have said previously, I'm looking at costs at the moment and as we are on a tight budget (most are) I'm looking at how to save money.

 

There are always the big cost items, roof (40k), windows (30k) amongst many others and I wonder how others have managed.

 

This week I'm trying to look into changing how we are building our cavity wall.

 

Our build is a class Q barn conversion where we have to keep the existing walls, except for necessary new openings, it's 240m2 single story, so there is a lot of roof, twice that of a 2 story one.  It also has to be metal, hence the very expensive estimate of 40k, or is it just me that thinks this sounds like a lot.

 

The existing walls are on 80% of the barn and are block built, but single skin.  We have permission to build the cavity wall outside the existing wall, but my calculations have shown this to be over 5,000 blocks.  This turns out to be a lot of money, and as DIY self builders we are also concerned about how long it will take as we are not able to work full time on this.

So, I have been considering other options, but not getting on very well, should we use ICF or timber frame or just bought in labour.  It's easy to see how blocks will work, but I'm not so sure about building a 2nd wall outside using a different method.

I can just about see how ICF would work, like big lego, but that is still expensive.

The structure is not that important as it is partially clad and partially render, so whatever we use will be covered up.

 

Apart from this I'm trying to get hold of BC re foundations, originally as we are converting they said that they don't need to see any, but as we will have to have new foundations for the 2nd skin, and damp course etc. I need to know how this works.  I guess by their lack of reply that they are not available during L2.

 

A week of questions and not many answers.

I must remain optimistic that things will become clear, but it's not easy.

 

Here's wishing good luck to everyone else taking the same journey, particularly in these difficult times.

 

In the next week I am hoping to continue with my manual estimating and getting the internal costs down to then start of the external elements.

 

 

 

 

 



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As the walls are single skin blockwork couldn't you fit external wall insulation and then use whatever rainscreen you want such as timber cladding, brick/stone slips or render. I would have thought that would be cheaper than building a cavity using blocks.

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2 hours ago, PeterStarck said:

As the walls are single skin blockwork couldn't you fit external wall insulation and then use whatever rainscreen you want such as timber cladding, brick/stone slips or render. I would have thought that would be cheaper than building a cavity using blocks.

but don't you have to have a cavity to meet the insulation regulations, I would love to do the above with the house both timber clad in some parts and render in the other.

that would be so much simpler and cheaper

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I thought you couldn’t change the external size of your build ?

 

sticking 100mm/150mm of insulation to the outside and then cladding it would make it all protrude outside the roof line.


what has your architect recommended?

 

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12 hours ago, LSB said:

but don't you have to have a cavity to meet the insulation regulations, I would love to do the above with the house both timber clad in some parts and render in the other.

that would be so much simpler and cheaper


You don’t need a cavity. - this is how they upgrade a lot of older council houses with solid walls, installing EWI (search the forum for it) as it really is quick and easy. It needs about 180-200mm of EPS or 100-120mm of PIR to be effective but works really well. 

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5 hours ago, Dave Jones said:

I thought you couldn’t change the external size of your build ?

 

sticking 100mm/150mm of insulation to the outside and then cladding it would make it all protrude outside the roof line.


what has your architect recommended?

 

@LSB has already said they have permission to build the cavity wall outside the existing wall.

 

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13 hours ago, LSB said:

but don't you have to have a cavity to meet the insulation regulations, I would love to do the above with the house both timber clad in some parts and render in the other.

that would be so much simpler and cheaper

No you don't need a cavity as @PeterW says. Unless, in your case, a cavity wall has been specified for structural reasons because the original wall is not sound then EWI is a common way to improve single skin walls.

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37 minutes ago, PeterStarck said:

@LSB has already said they have permission to build the cavity wall outside the existing wall.

 

 

Well that's all the problems solved then!!!

 

The OP says its part Q and he has to keep the existing walls and then says he can add new walls outside ? 

 

Something doesn't add up here. If its part Q approved then it SPECIFICALLY excludes building outside the original envelope so that's the additional wall out of the equation.

 

https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/downloads/file/8236/class_q_guidance_note_–_conversion_of_agricultural_buildings_to_residential_use

 

Could you post your drawing of the build structure you will be sending to building control for regs or dont you have them done yet ?

 

Not trying to rain on your parade OP but you seem to be missing all of very first step ? You don't want to crack on and spend a lot of money only for planning to make you pull it down.

 

 

 

 

Capture.JPG

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Your roof quotes look high. 

I have raised seam metal, installed myself. 

Mines huge. 

355m of roof, materials came in at around £12-14 grand and I had quotes to fit it of a similar amount. So £24-28 for 355 m. 

 

You seem a bit confused with build types, how about putting up some pics of the existing structure so we can come up with some ideas. 

 

Your 5000 blocks does not sound that expensive, £1 per block to buy them and a £1 per block to lay, obviously loads of other stuff needed. 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Dave Jones said:

The OP says its part Q and he has to keep the existing walls and then says he can add new walls outside ? 

 

Something doesn't add up here. If its part Q approved then it SPECIFICALLY excludes building outside the original envelope so that's the additional wall out of the equation.

 

I think you'll find it's very dependent on where you live as to how Part Q rules are interpreted. Down here it's pretty relaxed. There was a small timber framed barn in the orchard next to us which was dismantled and completely rebuilt with new timber and roofed with slate when the original was tin. Roughly the same size but looks completely different. On a farm a mile away from here they are at present dismantling a timber barn and there doesn't appear to much of the original left. As I said it's down to the local planners as to what you can get away with, not necessarily national guidance.

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I'm currently converting a stable and definitely had to have foundation calculations to get through Building Control. Have you spoken a structural engineer yet? 

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@LSB says “We have permission to build the cavity wall outside the existing wall, “
 

so that’s his planners interpretation of part Q,  don’t argue the fact!!,!. Ewi sounds the best option to me, no foundations required, then render or clad as you want.

Edited by joe90

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1 hour ago, Dave Jones said:

 

Well that's all the problems solved then!!!

 

The OP says its part Q and he has to keep the existing walls and then says he can add new walls outside ? 

 

Something doesn't add up here. If its part Q approved then it SPECIFICALLY excludes building outside the original envelope so that's the additional wall out of the equation.

 

https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/downloads/file/8236/class_q_guidance_note_–_conversion_of_agricultural_buildings_to_residential_use

 

Could you post your drawing of the build structure you will be sending to building control for regs or dont you have them done yet ?

 

Not trying to rain on your parade OP but you seem to be missing all of very first step ? You don't want to crack on and spend a lot of money only for planning to make you pull it down.

 

 

 

 

Capture.JPG

Although we are building the 2nd skin outside the original it is because there is currently a large overhang ranging from 0.2 to 1m which is included in the footprint, but is outside the walls.  You are right, we are not allowed to extend the dimensions, but we also have to keep the walls.
See picture here showing largest overhang.

 

I don't have the BC or structural drawings yet, I'm just trying to work out cost and what to use first.

 

rear wall facing south west.JPG

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1 hour ago, Russell griffiths said:

Your roof quotes look high. 

I have raised seam metal, installed myself. 

Mines huge. 

355m of roof, materials came in at around £12-14 grand and I had quotes to fit it of a similar amount. So £24-28 for 355 m. 

 

You seem a bit confused with build types, how about putting up some pics of the existing structure so we can come up with some ideas. 

 

Your 5000 blocks does not sound that expensive, £1 per block to buy them and a £1 per block to lay, obviously loads of other stuff needed. 

 

 

Thanks, the block laying quotes we are getting are much higher than £1 per block, probably double that.

 

I am confused.  Before we have done renovations and extensions, but no conversions

I would be perfectly happy to build from scratch, it's all these restrictions that are getting me.

 

I spoke to the LPA re knock down and start again and they said absolutely no chance as it counts as building in the countryside.

 

Here are a few pictures, out planning drawings by the architect are just lines on a page and don't specify any materials.

Our planning approval says that we must use the walls, floor, roof etc to ensure it is a conversion not a new build.

We are already being a bit risky by replacing the roof.  The current one is roofing sheets and leeks, the floor is 4 different levels with concrete on concrete on concrete.  It was for breeding pigs and I've no idea why they had to do this, most of the floors are younger than the walls so they a floating and have a 5m gap between the edge and the wall.

 

Here are a few pictures.  Originally we were going to do some external cavity walls and some internal, but then when I realised how much space that would take up inside and how many blocks were involved we started looking at other ideas.

On the long North side there is no wall at all so that ones easy, but the rest are currently driving me mad.

 

 

 

1678605474_westside.thumb.JPG.617530d65e7f6ee039cba895292ef874.JPG

 

north.JPG

roof from south - in high field .JPG

from east.JPG

DSC_0567.JPG

from north east.JPG

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25 minutes ago, joe90 said:

@LSB says “We have permission to build the cavity wall outside the existing wall, “
 

so that’s his planners interpretation of part Q,  don’t argue the fact!!,!. Ewi sounds the best option to me, no foundations required, then render or clad as you want.

the lack of any necessary foundations sounds good.

 

Some one else said about putting the insulation and cladding / rendering directly on the outside of the existing walls.

Is that possible?

 

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12 minutes ago, LSB said:

Thanks, the block laying quotes we are getting are much higher than £1 per block, probably double that.

 

I am confused.  Before we have done renovations and extensions, but no conversions

I would be perfectly happy to build from scratch, it's all these restrictions that are getting me.

 

I spoke to the LPA re knock down and start again and they said absolutely no chance as it counts as building in the countryside.

 

Here are a few pictures, out planning drawings by the architect are just lines on a page and don't specify any materials.

Our planning approval says that we must use the walls, floor, roof etc to ensure it is a conversion not a new build.

We are already being a bit risky by replacing the roof.  The current one is roofing sheets and leeks, the floor is 4 different levels with concrete on concrete on concrete.  It was for breeding pigs and I've no idea why they had to do this, most of the floors are younger than the walls so they a floating and have a 5m gap between the edge and the wall.

 

Here are a few pictures.  Originally we were going to do some external cavity walls and some internal, but then when I realised how much space that would take up inside and how many blocks were involved we started looking at other ideas.

On the long North side there is no wall at all so that ones easy, but the rest are currently driving me mad.

 

 

 

1678605474_westside.thumb.JPG.617530d65e7f6ee039cba895292ef874.JPG

 

north.JPG

roof from south - in high field .JPG

from east.JPG

DSC_0567.JPG

from north east.JPG

 

I do of course mean a 5mm gap between floor and wall 🙂

We also have to remove the bit of asbestos roof early on in the process.

 

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14 minutes ago, LSB said:

Some one else said about putting the insulation and cladding / rendering directly on the outside of the existing walls.

Is that possible?


yes it’s called EWI.    and some parts diy able.

 

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5 minutes ago, joe90 said:


yes it’s called EWI.    and some parts diy able.

 

thanks greatly, more investigation needed.

we are not sure yet about the damp proof course, will this work with a retrospective injected course, something we had to apply to a previous renovation for a rental.

We think that there is one, but with all the extra floors added and the concrete yard it's not obvious.

 

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Personally I find injection systems very controversial , I would rather cut a new “proper” damp course in. In my first renovation I did this on a cottage with a brick hand saw, took me ages (I was young, fit and broke then).

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OK this may appear somewhat “ controversial” but you have a huge space there, and I think you are missing a trick. I would be finishing up the blocks as a single skin, and then cladding all round or rendering direct to block. 
 

I’d then build a completely new timber frame structure inside the building - even use metal framing like @nod has recommended - and seal it / insulate it and you have a “conversion” without the structural hassles. 
 

Also, if you have to have a contamination survey done, get them to condemn the current concrete floor due to urea etching (yes this is a thing) so it is not structurally sound .... and then dig it out !!  Drop your floor by 200mm all round the inside of the blockwork, cast a ring beam to support the inside of the outer wall plus provide the edge for your inner frame, new DPM up the inside of your “swimming pool” and then you negate the need for the external injected DPM (that invariably don’t work...) 

 

You may lose 25sqm of floor potentially but it will give you a much better build and much more DIY-able. 

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5 hours ago, joe90 said:

Personally I find injection systems very controversial , I would rather cut a new “proper” damp course in. In my first renovation I did this on a cottage with a brick hand saw, took me ages (I was young, fit and broke then).

how do you cut in a DC without the blocks above collapsing?

 

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In short sections and packed as you go, I am sure there is a u tube on it. Rising damp is also a controversial issue, some say it does not exist!!, with a French drain and adequate clearance from surrounding land you may not Need one?

Edited by joe90

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4 hours ago, PeterW said:

OK this may appear somewhat “ controversial” but you have a huge space there, and I think you are missing a trick. I would be finishing up the blocks as a single skin, and then cladding all round or rendering direct to block. 
 

I’d then build a completely new timber frame structure inside the building - even use metal framing like @nod has recommended - and seal it / insulate it and you have a “conversion” without the structural hassles. 
 

Also, if you have to have a contamination survey done, get them to condemn the current concrete floor due to urea etching (yes this is a thing) so it is not structurally sound .... and then dig it out !!  Drop your floor by 200mm all round the inside of the blockwork, cast a ring beam to support the inside of the outer wall plus provide the edge for your inner frame, new DPM up the inside of your “swimming pool” and then you negate the need for the external injected DPM (that invariably don’t work...) 

 

You may lose 25sqm of floor potentially but it will give you a much better build and much more DIY-able. 

now more options, I think I need alcohol.

The floor is currently on 4 levels, we are already going to dig down to the original floor as the others have just been poured onto that one.

Then we will lay a proper floor on top as I can't imagine it is very even.

The SE passed the floor as fine when we had structural stability report to get planning.

 

The contamination survey was to do with soil contamination and gas as it was a pig farm and pigs produce lots of ****

Luckily the ex slurry pit is on the land of our current house and not in the curtilage of the barn.

This survey took 3 months of monitoring and has just finished, we are still waiting for the report to discharge our condition.

 

We were caught between a rock and a hard place, to get planning the building had to be physically fit to convert, but once that was agreed we can't really say now that it's not.

 

At the moment I'm leaning towards the EWI, hubby just says "tell me what we are going to do when you find out" 🙂

 

Once I have a final decision on this and a better list of what we need then I shall send off for estimates, although being rather OCD I'm also looking myself.

Then I shall get BC and structural drawings.

 

 

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Just now, joe90 said:

In short sections and packed as you go, I am sure there is a u tube on it.

Bit like replacing spalled bricks then, first I need to find out if there is one.

The SE dug 3 holes on the exterior of the walls so I will also check his report and see what he said.

Farmers just do as they wish and what with all the extra floors and the concrete yard we can't see how deep the walls go to know about DC or foundations.

 

But I suspect that even if there is one that we are better doing this as it is likely to be bridged multiple times.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, LSB said:

Once I have a final decision on this and a better list of what we need then I shall send off for estimates, although being rather OCD I'm also looking myself.

Then I shall get BC and structural drawings.


Those two things are the wrong way round. You need to get the drawings done - of existing structure initially - and then work out what can be done. Then get the SEng to agree the structural elements and then you have something to tender against.  
 

Didn’t you say you had an architect work on this ..??? What did they design for structure and externals ..?

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