It's been over a year since we finished our home and I thought it would be good time to reflect.

We have not had any major snagging issues with the house.

The only product which required some additional work was the LVT flooring, we found thermal expansion was causing some warping. This has since been resolved with the addition of two expansion joints. 

In my last blog post I discussed how we were heating the house with just a wood stove during colder times of the year. In the first year I had to build up our wood stocks quite quickly, but going into the second year I decided to focus on collecting sticks. I'm still burning home grown split logs but I find that collecting a bundle of sticks to be a great way to maximise the amount of firewood. By the end of the summer I had collected quite a large pile.



Nearly all of these sticks are either dead wood, wind blown trees or from trees needing to be cut down for other reasons. In these times of uncertain electricity and gas prices, it's very satisfying to be able to collect and store fuel to heat my family. 


For our hot water, our exhaust air source heat pump has been very efficient and with no need for electricity to heat our house our usage has been 10-11kWh a day. 

During the course of the self build I collected a huge amount of stones from the ground. I used the smaller ones to extend the parking area. The larger ones I sorted and then had a go at dry stone walling to line the ditch.



In the spring I stumbled across videos on YouTube by Charles Dowding discussing his no dig approach to gardening and I decided that it would be great to grow more vegetables. My take away from his videos was that having access to large amounts of compost was critical to making this a success.


I started to hot compost from lawn clippings, hay and a variety of woody materials. 




I recycled the last of the pallets from the self build to make this four bay system




 By the end of the summer I had a huge pile of homegrown compost. This is now ready to grow some vegetables in the Spring, any suggestions? 





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How has your "pipes only to outside" Joule Aero ASHP worked out?





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On 11/10/2021 at 08:04, dpmiller said:

Spuds, to break up the fresh soil

Tatties are definitely on the list.

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On 11/10/2021 at 08:19, Ferdinand said:

Looks good.


For next year, you should perhaps have started already:


(Though I would be watching the old runs of The Beechgrove Garden, given where you are.)


My gardening has been less productive this year; it feels a little wasted. Though certain projects have persisted.


Thanks. Not quite ready to start planting yet and it might be into the summer next year before we have produce. 

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11 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

How has your "pipes only to outside" Joule Aero ASHP worked out?






Had a quick look over this again.


The system has worked well, only used the heat pump and no expensive use of the backup immersion heater. A few comments were made on the post regarding the amount of air needed to come into the house, even trickle vents howling with the air movement. This has not been issue and we don't notice the temperature in the house decreasing when the system is running. It runs for about six hours a day to heat the water for two adults and two children.


I've said a few times before I don't see why such large external heat pumps are required in a well insulated self build. With no underfloor heating, heat being extracted from the house into joule aero and trickle vents, we never had the temperature drop below 18c since we moved in. Usually around 20c to 21c.






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