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  1. 18 points
    Big day today. Scaffold finally down. I’ve still got a few outside jobs which I’m going to have to do off my tower, just couldn’t justify any more weeks hire! Still soooooo much to do
  2. 17 points
    Some of you will know that we've recently completed our build and moved in. What you may not know is why we built the house we have, and why it is quite literally proving to be a breath of fresh air. Mrs NSS has had various health issues all her life, not least chronic asthma, but a little over 4 years ago things got a whole lot worse. Cumulative damage from the asthma had left the lower third of both lungs in shit shape, and this had led to a 6-weekly cycle of chest infections and antibiotic courses. This vicious circle eventually resulted in hospital admissions for pneumonia and pleurisy, and a diagnosis of Bronchiectasis, a degenerative lung disease for which we were told there was no treatment/cure. My first and only question to the clinician was, "Okay, so what can we do to slow the progression?" The answer, "in an ideal world, live in a hermetically sealed bubble". Essentially, eliminate as many of the irritants (airborne particles and allergens) to her condition as possible, and that's what I set out to achieve from our new home - not so much building the dream as building the bubble. Four years on, plot found, research conducted, house designed and built, and the news is so far so good. We've been in for about two months now and the difference has been remarkable with her reliance on inhalers significantly reduced, and sleeping much better due to reduced congestion. This week she had her regular respiratory check up and her breathing was found to be the best it has been for several years. Yes, it's early days, but if this house enables me and Mrs NSS to enjoy quality time together for longer than may otherwise have been the case, then it will have been worth every sleepless night, every bead of sweat, and every single penny. Whatever your motivation to self build, take a deep breath and go for it - you won't regret it.
  3. 10 points
    Today was d-day for us as far as planning permission is concerned as it was the decision deadline. Approved, no amendments, exactly how it was submitted. I had hoped for the best and prepared for the worst and got the former. Now the real work begins!
  4. 8 points
    2017 ended with me being in a cast not a pub New Years resolution : work more with my brain and less with my back. That initiative both encouraged and helped along by the generous, kind natured folk here Happy new year to all of the buildhubbers, old and new, and a big thank you for helping to make this the best forum for the home building community. Best wishes for 2018, but most of all......."keep the dream alive!" . Also, a big thanks to my fellow staff and BH founders who continue to give their time, effort and personal resources to keep the forum online. A particular thank you to our admins and system admins @TerryE, @recoveringacademic and @PeterW for the constant care-taking and software upgrades / ongoing management. This place does NOT run itself, and without you guys BH would not be here. 🍺🍺🍺 Bonjour!
  5. 7 points
  6. 7 points
    All done - just need to keep cars off it until we get the entrances paved next week. Then I can render wall, hang gates, plant hedge, turf front etc... I keep telling myself that we’re almost done 🙄
  7. 7 points
  8. 5 points
    During 2017 we carried out some works in the garden so we wouldn’t be hit with a long list of jobs when the house is finished. The first job was to replace the fence between our property and the neighbours. It was falling down and for two winters I had nailed battens across the posts to stop the panels being blown down. It was put up in the 1980s so had done well. What we discovered was that the posts had been put in holes around 700mm deep with concrete around the post at the bottom. At a later date the posts had rotted at ground level and angle iron had been screwed to the post and a lot more concrete poured around the angle iron. The posts took a lot of digging out which was made worse by the fact that our oil tank had been installed right next to the fence. Fortunately there was no one living next door and the neighbour was happy for me to work from his garden. It was very overgrown, so I cleared a metre wide strip to allow me to put up the new fence. I managed to move the oil tank about 0.8m which made it an easier job. It was painted with Creoseal when finished. Our planning application showed the garden area with hard landscaping and planting plan. So we dug out the areas for paving and laid 100mm compacted type1 sub-base. This was for a patio area at the rear of the house connected to the area under the side verandah. There is a separate paved pathway from the driveway to the front door which slopes up to the front door to meet building regulations. The paving is Indian sandstone, which is calibrated, square cut and honed, it is a mixture of pinks, greys, creams and browns. We bought two pallets in a sale and had just enough to do the areas we wanted done with three slabs left over. It's interesting to see how the colours are brought out when the slabs are wet. Another job we did was to replace the temporary edging for the grassed area with galvanised steel edging. When we had the front of the driveway laid, the edging used was ExcelEdge AluExcel 150mm. This was very expensive and so for the rear of the driveway and for the front grassed area and side border we used EverEdge Halestem. We planted a Star jasmine and a couple of planters with lavenders. We also dug over and graded the soil and laid turf at the front of the house.
  9. 5 points
    Cladding is going very well I am pleased I did a last minutes swerve from cedar to larch. Although you cant see it in this photo with the sun on it we do have a sacrficial coating of new age gris by Silva (we bought pre finished). It looks more grey without the sun directly on it. Still got to sort the leaking Internorm sliders!
  10. 5 points
  11. 5 points
    Could you set it that the pm function is locked until you have 5 comments. Have been on similar forums where you have to post a min amount of times before you can pm or post pics.
  12. 5 points
    Worked: making a plan of what to complete in 2017 Didn't work: fulfilling said plan......
  13. 4 points
    Are you still sitting comfortably? Really? I admire your patience. Have you read the others in the series? [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Our Sheepdog Tess thieves. She always has an agenda. She is always plotting something, no, several things at the same time. It may not look like it, but she is. Molly, her kennel mate, on the other hand is an opportunist. Cantering along the canal me following on a bike, she merely inhaled the fisherman’s sandwiches. She didn’t break stride. I nearly didn’t notice, and by the time I did, we were out of sight round a bend. The tell-tale lick round her jaws. Rollo takes fashion seriously and that trait extended to turning up late: fashionably late. And always with a Spa plastic bag hooked nonchalantly over a little finger: sandwiches, fags, lighter, can and crisps. Yer late, mate. Oh ya, mama had her jewels stolen last night: pretty awful really. Hmmm, that's bad, but what’s that got to do with being late? I swear I heard a snigger from Liam. OK boys, I have something new for you today, so listen in please. Rollo put his plastic bag down on the bench outside our kitchen. Stuck 15 feet up in a tree was Tess’ football. Hanging from the rope attached to it. Over the year that it had been stuck there, occasionally she’d look up at it and then at me, but moved on after a few seconds. Lots more thieving planned. Wonder if the chickens have laid any eggs outside the hutch? See that football lads? Well I want you both to work together to get it out of the tree. The key thing is I need you to work together - as a team - to get it down. Use anything you can find on site to get it down. But do so together, right? Tess sat at their feet: she knew what was up. Rollo promptly picks up a piece of dead branch and starts throwing it at the ball. Obediently Tess fetches it and the whole thing repeats. Liam stands, arms folded and watches. Rinse repeat. Give him his due, he was at it on his own (well Tess helped) for a good ten minutes. Knackered, he stopped. Finished ‘ave ya? Asks Liam. Well ya.... With that Liam trotted happily off to the timber rack, took down a 4.8 meter bit of 2 by 3, walked back to the tree and nudged the ball off its hook; it plopped down neatly at Tess’ feet Not doing too well at this were we? How about a coffee - and a time for me to think. By the way anyone seen Molly? She was outside the kitchen, by the bench, ears flat, just the tiniest bit of her tail wagging. Own a dog? You know what that means. Oi! Who’s had my sandwiches and chewed my fag packet in half? Well, it can’t have been Tess now could it? Thats decidedly uncool, nay really decidedly uncool
  14. 4 points
    Are you still sitting comfortably? I admire your patience. Have you read the others in the series? [1] [2] [3] [4] We left Rollo hopping round the site fervently hoping is mama would polish his boots when he got home, and his workmate Liam muttering darkly about Rollo taking the food from his mouth. Things took a turn for the better as soon as Rollo spotted our Land Rover. A beaten up Oaf-Mobile; full roll cage (no need for it) over-size off road tyres (no real need for them), late 1980s vintage. Oh! Soopah! Can I drive it? Got yer license? Nay, not quite; but we’re on your estate (!) so I can drive legally here. Liam stood watching glumly. Before I could say knife, Rollo jumped in; a few seconds later she was fired up and tootling gently round the ‘estate’. Liam glared. He’d been driving farm machinery round farms and ‘estates’ since he could sit in a relative’s lap and reach the steering wheel. But I hadn’t allowed him to drive the Landy. Rollo hadn’t asked; he just did it. Ever towed a trailer? I asked Oh nay; can I try? I’m used to hooking up our loose box up when we gay to the races at Cartmel and Cheltenham. Well , I said, your mate Liam has been towing trailers since before you were born. He’d better show you how to hadn’t he? Crestfallen, Rollo slid out. Liam took his place, silent triumph all over his face. Phew, that was close. OK Liam, turn her round and hook the trailer up to the front tow hook. Wordlessly, he did a fifty five point turn, and slid the front tow hook neatly under the trailer tow point. I say neat: what I meant was ‘exact’. Millimeter exact. Only later did I notice the leading mark Liam had made on the bonnett. Clever lad. With the mark in place he could judge the approach to the trailer almost exactly. I admired that. Right then Rollo, hook her up. 10 minutes later he admitted defeat. Liam sitting behind the wheel like a Cheshire cat watching. Sid the cat, dogs Molly and Tess watched silently; apparently worried that I wasn't driving. Ears flat, tail tips wagging (of which more next time) Success with the front tow hook meant that I thought it was worth training him how to hook up at the rear tow point. That took about 15 minutes of patient coaching, standing close to him behind the Landy, making sure he was safe, until he felt confident. And Liam had lost the urge to run him over. OK Rollo, you got it? One last time then, you have to direct the driver on to the tow hook. You need to stand where you are able to see him in the mirrors all the time, and you need to give clear directions. And it's your responsibility to make sure the driver doesn’t crash into the tow hook. OK? Sure? Okey Dokey...... Neither Liam nor I could understand why Rollo promptly climbed into the passenger seat and shouted “Where’s the reversing camera in this thing?” Special, that lad. Special.
  15. 4 points
    Roof nearly finished but just thought I would send some pictures of roof as quite a few people have messaged me about using this product.
  16. 4 points
    Yesterday was the moment of truth, and we had our first airtightness test (will do no. 2 on completion). No tears were shed, and I think I should be pleased with 0.84 ach on a 270 sq m build. Can't help the urge to hunt down and fill the offending leaks though!
  17. 4 points
    Are you still sitting comfortably? Then I'll keep going. You might have read about Rollo’s arrival on site here. We left him sitting on the ground in his underpants as the dust from his dads departing car settled around us. No boots; just bordello creepers. Expensive ones. No work trousers; just designer jeans. No jacket; just a fashionably ripped T shirt Hair: think pre-Raphaelite A site induction; safety briefing, a cup of tea and a chat. “ I wouldn’t want your boots -er shoes to get dirty on the site, they look too well polished for this bomb-site” “Oh, they’re fine” Part of our site (Outside the Temporary Amphibian Fence , TAF) is wet, very wet indeed. Stinks. “Know what”, I said, “Let’s both start with knocking the brash back the other side of the TAF” Off we went, all PPE blazing with me looking forward to the next few minutes. Close behind trotted the dirty half-dozen : two dogs (Tess, Molly) a cat (Sid) and a rubble of chickens, ours as well as next door’s. Dogs rooting around for hidden carcasses, chickens living dangerously standing on our boots (erm shoes). Not long before smelly burr-laden water squelched gently through the shoelaced holes. “Next time proper boots eh?” A somewhat weaker smile than normal. “Right then, dry job next, the lane outside the site is really filthy: grab that broom and shovel will ya - and make sure you wear that Hi Viz, and keep a good lookout for cars.” “OKey, soopa!” “I’ll be with you in a minute with the blower: just need to get it fueled up” The piling rig - all 45 tonnes of it had done an excellent job of destroying the verge along most of the single lane on which we live. The road was covered in thick lumps of clay. Some bits of it were dry and crusted. I grabbed the blower and set off up the road. I found him sitting on the verge, back to the roadside, an iPhone earplug firmly stuffed in each ear, rocking gently ‘to-the-beat’, broom and shovel idle . Unobserved, I stood behind him dialling his phone number. “So how the Hell are you going to be able to hear any car coming towards you?” I shouted into my phone when he answered his. In shock, he spun around to find my nose a few millimeters from his face. “Oh that's decidedly uncool Ian. And anyway, the broom doesn’t work properly” “Show me” He picked the broom up and gently caressed the road surface. A month later, I was introduced to his dad in a pub. Beaming smile; “His grandfather is so pleased you taught him to sweep up. He can’t stop talking about it.” he said. “Mine’s a pint, then. TBC
  18. 4 points
    @Onoff makes an interesting point. Here's where @CoopersWMBO rolls her eyes as I strike up my usual two-part rant. 1. It's becoming clear that the microscopic fauna we share our bodies with are an important part of our overall health. We evolved with them (and they with us). Not just the gut biome, but also the little fellas living on our skin, in our nasal passages, etc. If this is the case, then modern, overly-clean lifestyles, sanitised, sugar-spiked food, and overuse of antibiotics will inevitably piss all over our health, in so many ways. 2. The nature of the wheat in our food has changed fairly radically since about 1970. It's now much easier for farmers to farm -- more consistent and shorter -- but there's some evidence to show that it contains proteins that are sub-clinically harmful to many people. I'm not talking about gluten, although a growing number of people are self-diagnosing as "gluten-intolerant" because they gave up wheat and feel much better -- it's more likely to be intolerance to the new proteins, rather than new intolerance to old ones. Ergo: Consider taking broad-spectrum pro- and pre-biotics after a course of antibiotics, don't wash too much, avoid wheat and sugar.
  19. 4 points
  20. 4 points
    Ed, read this: http://www.mayfly.eu/2015/08/part-thirty-seven-a-long-tale-about-water-and-life/ (perhaps again) and please take heed. Self-build is inherently stressful. Doing a day job as well, and then having fixed targets, make it even more so. It isn't the sort of stress than can be ignored as being something that just drives you a bit harder - trust me, I've learned from bitter experience that it doesn't work like that. I enjoyed stress at work, and would go so far as to say that I was addicted to it, as I felt I performed better when under stress, so would often leave things to the last minute just to get the buzz from having to work harder to meet a deadline. Self-building isn't like this at all. My greatest mistake was thinking it was, and I'm a damned sight older than you - just take it easy. Things will get done when they get done. Treat it like trying to eat an elephant. Anyone can do this if they only eat a little bit every day - it will just take some longer than others.
  21. 4 points
    I thought it was 6 months as well and as I was I out of work at the moment was very stressed. But bigger stress was that my Dad had just been in hospital for a triple heart bypass that had ended up with complications and ended up under anaesthetic for 8 days as they stablished him and a total of 14 days in hospital. I was about a month late and wrote a letter explaining the work stress and stress from my Dads operation as the reason for the late submission. Got cheque for full about with no questions asked. Restored my faith in HMRC in that there are some humans with compassion working there.
  22. 4 points
    What a late Christmas present, came through today!!!!!............. Wokingham Borough Council, in pursuance of its powers under the above Acts and Regulations, hereby Grants Permission for the above development to be carried out in accordance with the application and the accompanying plans submitted to the Council subject to compliance with the following conditions, the reasons for which are specified hereunder. Many thanks for all your help and advice, I was a bundle of nerves when i hit this site but everyone of your replies really helped. Thanks again, have a good new years eve and like the great Arnie, i'll be back...soom
  23. 4 points
    Things that worked Getting into the foul drain by having external soil pipes. I knew our levels were going to be very tight, but until we made the final connection, we were unsure how tight. We had measured the invert level of the drain we had to connect to (which was about 12m from the house) and concluded that internal SVPs were not going to work without a pumping station somehwere. So we introduced external Soil pipes on either side of the house, which would not be visible from the front. In the end, we had about 10mm to spare. This saved us in the region of £3k, as well as avoiding the pain of having to do regular pump maintenance. Always use gravity if you can! The MVHR. With easijoists, it is very easy to install an MVHR system and I think all the benefits far outweigh the costs. No bathroom fans to deal with or trickle vents that lose heat. A managed passive ventilation system that virtually no maintenance is an essential. But you do need good levels of airtightness. Underfloor heating. Although we haven't moved in yet, we've had the heating on a tickover setting and it's clear it is going to be fantastic - consistent, controllable, uniform heat throughout the house Things that we'd do differently Watch out for messy bricklayers. Our brickies were incredibly messy, leaving piles of broken bricks and mortar all over the place. It took me the best part of a day to hack off the snots from the scaffold poles. This would have been so much easier if we had put down down groundsheets and taped the ends of the poles. Try to get subbies to hire in the plant they needed, rather than paying for it yourself. We didn't have a main contractor and ended up paying £1600 of VAT that can't be recovered on plant hire. This goes for scaffolding too. Keep it simple. We used a Jetfloor beam and insulated block floor. It was fairly cost-effective but I'm not sure it has many benefits over a traditional beam and block with 300mm insulation construction. Also think about when your underfloor heating and screed will be installed. Use SIPs for the roof, especially if like us you have rooms in the roof. A traditional raftered roof is time consuming to make airtight and well insulated. I think SIPs could offer a much more simple solution. Make sure to think whether you need any holes pre-cut in your steels. We have one large RSJ running across our living room. As soon as it went in, I thought how are we going to get the MVHR ducts through that! I considered using a magdrill to cut a couple of holes (no room) and even taking it out to cut them (very time consuming and difficult). In the end we went over the top into boxed in areas, but it would have been so much better to have thought about it before, or use a castellated beam. Understand that good subbies will be busy. They'll always have a lot of work on. Hanging onto them means being patient and expecting they'll screw up any notion of planning and coordinating trades that are inter-dependent.
  24. 4 points
    Didn't work: 1. Complicated heating controls, after many months of playing with weather compensation, controlling the house temperature using the floor slab temperature and assuming that the logical link between floor temperature and house temperature would work well at controlling the latter using the former, I realised that, as the heating system only provides a small part of the total house heating, it would never work, so I gave up and installed a very simple room thermostat, which works very well. Should have done this in the first place. 2. Water filled thermal store. No matter how much extra insulation I added around it, the heat losses from it were still very high, over 2 kWh per day (as supplied, with a double layer of insulation, the losses were over 3 kWh/day). This cause the services room to get up to around 40 deg C in summer, damaged the oak door between it and the bedroom and caused the adjacent bedroom to badly over heat. Swapping the thermal store for a Sunamp PV, with it's massively lower heat losses, completely fixed the problem, and freed up lots of room in the services area, too. 3. Complicated ozone injection and flow rate control system on the borehole feed. It worked, but was far too complex and has now been replaced with a much easier to service, very simple eductor, that is far more effective at adding and mixing ozone to the incoming supply and also easier to service and repair. The brass eductor took two goes to get right, but has no parts to wear out, no flexible seals and should last forever. Did work: 1. Choosing an insulation system with a high decrement delay factor. Not only does it significantly improve the comfort level in the house, by helping to keep the internal temperature steady, but it has the added bonus of being an extremely good acoustic insulating material too, so improves the soundproofing and deadens the internal acoustics a fair bit (handy in a house with a lot of hard surfaces). 2. Opting to have UFH inside the insulated concrete slab. This forms a nice big "storage heater", yet responds pretty quickly when needed. Having a heated (or cooled) power floated slab that was flat and smooth enough to lay flooring to directly saved a lot of hassle and money. 3. Choosing the more expensive Genvex MVHR with the internal air-to-air heat pump. It's not massively effective, but does do a pretty good job at keeping the bedrooms a degree or two cooler than downstairs in very hot weather. It also does a great job of drying out towels or washing left on the drying rack in the utility room. 4. Avoiding the use of highly paid consultants etc whenever possible. I found that, with a bit of effort, I didn't need to use many at all. It seems that when you are self-building a house every Tom, Dick and Harry comes at you with their hand held out for more of your hard-earned cash - you can avoid paying out a lot of this with a bit of determination and time.
  25. 4 points
    Our windows were installed about 3 weeks ago very badly by our timber frame contractors. 2 of the frames were damaged beyond repair & have had to be re-ordered from Denmark. The 6m sliding patio doors were installed 25mm too low to achieve the finished floor level & many other problems. They have all been taken out & re-installed this week, properly, by one of Ideal combi's registered installers. The guys who did them were very professional & meticulous. Have to say Ideal combi have been very helpful in getting this sorted out for us. The cedar cladding had been started & looks lovely. The weather last week stopped the stonemasons. We are having ironstone & it was too cold for the lime mortar. Ditto the render, has to be dry & above 5 degrees. We are now weather tight & first fix wiring & plumbing booked in for early Jan. The roofers arrived at 8am this morning & will finish the roof as much as they can until the render is done. We are going to spend the Christmas break putting several coats of osmo on the rest of the cedar cladding before it is fitted. The cedar already on has been treated but we might give it another coat, weather permitting. After lots of delays & trauma we now feel that things are coming together.
  26. 4 points
    Personally I think this is a mistake. MVHR is a £3-4k cost max and delivers significant benefit. It can be installed DIY and self certified, On a house your size (we are similar) it's a rounding error on the budget.
  27. 3 points
    Another view ! At a very high level they are pretty much the same - A cold water input, a hot water output and a 240V electrical input to provide energy. The energy is stored by some means inside to provide hot water later in the day. The difference is:- Once the energy is inside the SunAmp it tends to stay there. They are no good at providing residual heat for an airing cupboard/hot press but they wont overheat the surrounding rooms in summer either The volume of box required is a lot smaller for the SunAmp. If you're short of space this may be a good solution for you. (They are about the size of a large PC case The SunAmp stuff seems pretty much indestructible (AndyT quoted 30K cycles when I asked last week) Your plumber will look at you strangely if you choose SunAmps and claim them to be the work of the devil. I put in a couple of SunAmps a year or so ago and have been very happy. I had cause to call their technical support last October (My problem not theirs as it turned out) and they were extremely helpful. Highly recommended.
  28. 3 points
    I finally got my oak canopy finished today It never stoped raining from start to finish i should have take a photo of the underside I used 18 mil V boarding and painted it gloss white prior to fitting
  29. 3 points
    As I said a couple of posts ago, I thought I'd put video updates on to save time. This one is without much detail, just a quick update on where the build is and a whirlwind tour of the house on a snowy Northumberland day.
  30. 3 points
    Hi everyone, The names AndyT and I work for Sunamp Ltd. - will not be selling on the forum but if you need information or advice I would be pleased to try and help. I have been in the renewables industry for 10 years - my 4 bed detached home with 4 adults is in W-s-M (hard water area) is used by Sunamp as a live test house. Robert Llewyllen (Fully Charged) filmed at my home - you can see the episode here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9upXeTMHUqE Economy measures added to this house originally built by Second City are; cavity wall insulation, 300mm of loft insulation, all external doors and windows upgraded, 3.5kWp Solar PV with excess generation diverted into a 5kWh SunampPV heat battery pre-heating hot water into an Intergas ECO RF30 with weather compensation and in-comfort control. My Miele dishwasher is fed with pre-heated water, I have Economy 10 off-peak and have monthly direct debits of £35 for electric and £10 for gas. You can view my dashboard here http://wattson.energyhive.com/dashboard/AndyT lots of interesting data. Also just started testing OpenTRV / Radbots and Loop energy monitoring. Looking forward to chatting. Kind regards. AndyT.
  31. 3 points
    Nobody's mentioned "letting your other half tell you about their day"! Works everytime for me except as I'm drifting off she'll remember something else...
  32. 3 points
    Sitting here bored. I found these for you.
  33. 3 points
    Are you still sitting comfortably? Then I'll keep going. Have you read the others in the series? [1] [2] [3] Sartorial is an adjective that was invented for Rollo. But not for the average builder on a building site. And today I knew that Rollo would meet the groundworks crew. Tattoos liberally smeared here and there, piercings , torn trousers, missing teeth, parts of teeth missing, steel toe caps shining bright in their footwear, they were not far off feral. They arrived in a van held together by years worth of encrusted mud. Rollo on the other hand alighted daintily from the latest Jeremy Clarkson-approved Testosterone-Mobile. It still puzzles me why every time he arrived, he did so wearing nowt but his underpants: that and baroom aftershave, and a Spa plastic bag (of which more sometime soon) . That morning, he dressed in the full gaze of four unshockable groundworkers. Well, I thought they were unshockable. Read on. Standing round him, unbidden, they formed a protective honour-guard. I wholehearted agreed with them, womanhood in West Lancashire must be protected from this sort of semi-naked provocation. Think Diet Coke Break ad. Thank God SWMBO was away earning a crust. Picture him: quivering delicately on his hocks like a male whippet, in the briefest of shreddies, pile of designer clothing close by in the mud, surrounded by four growling hulks, knuckles sweeping the ground round him. Was it me, or had I imagined that one or two of the ‘lads’ had started to salivate? I was sure that one way or another Rollo would be sniffed, nibbled, chewed, savoured and spat back out. Just a question of when. The moment came much quicker than I thought it would. It was the bordello creepers that did it. They tipped the lads over the edge. I think. "Got those work boots from the BM yet?" I asked "Oh these’ll do", Rollo replied airily. The consequences were instant. A fairly vicious stamp on his foot lead to a howl of pain and poor Rollo dancing half starkers round the site chanting; “That was decidedly uncool, decidedly uncool” A passing motorist slowed to a crawl for a closer look, she smiled wistfully. “And you want me to ring yer mum telling her why your toes are missing rather than just bruised when that kerb stone falls on your foot, eh?” “Now get off the site and don’t come back until you have some proper work boots” “Erm, can I use your landline? I have forgotten my mobile” Two hours later Rollo re-appears sporting a brand new pair of the cheapest of cheap steel toe capped boots from the local BM. What followed was inevitable. I should have done something about it sooner. I don’t need to tell you what happened; you know dear reader, you know. “I’ll have to ask mama to polish these now....” shocked all of us into silence. Even the gorillas. Oh, the lost innocence. He took it well. No option really. I admired that. If you get one, have a lovely weekend!
  34. 3 points
    There's a thread somewhere where I looked at this, might be on the GBF, as it was ages ago. I conducted several "post mortems" on blown LEDs and in every single case the LED itself was fine, it was the driver circuit in the base that had failed, always through obvious overheating. The smaller the lamp, the greater the failure rate for mains powered LEDs. What I have found is that 12 V LEDs are very reliable. I've had no failures at all running them on proper DC supplies, and we have loads of them. I did have a lot of early failures when using 12 V LED downlights, and traced the cause of this to the bridge rectifier in the 12 V MR16 failing. Every single failure was a bridge rectifier failure. After a bit of investigation, I discovered than the small 12 V "transformers" for downlighters had an output that was 12 VAC at around 20 kHz. The MR16 12 V downlighter design was originally intended to run on 12 VAC at mains frequency, 50 Hz. What was happening was that at 20 kHz the bridge rectifiers in the LEDs were just too slow, as they did not use fast recovery diodes. The result was overheating and failure. Replacing the downlighter "transformers" with proper 12 VDC supplies completely cured the problem and resulted in all the MR16 downlighter LEDs running a great deal cooler, too. Almost all the heat was coming from diode losses in the small bridge rectifiers, that were really struggling to work at the 20 kHz coming out from the standard miniature downlighter "transformers". I should add that these small "transformers" are absolutely fine with 12 VAC tungsten MR16 bulbs, the problem was purely with LEDs. One tip is to see if any LEDs are getting warm and where the heat is coming from. If the LED base is getting hot, then you can expect the LED to fail sooner or later when the driver burns out. There are a LOT of fake marked, far-Eastern made, 230 VAC LEDs around that are not approved to any acceptable safety standard and it's really hard to tell which are the decent ones and which are not. It seems even some of the big name brands have been caught with fake components, so even the name is no sure-fire guarantee that the lamps are approved and will be reliable. Some types of 230 VAC lamps are inherently more reliable by design. For example, the ones that have what look like fake filaments use a series string of LEDs that operate at high voltage, so they often just have a simple rectifier and capacitive voltage dropper in the base to limit the current. These tend to run cool, as they have no dodgy switched mode driver squeezed into the base. There are also some conventional size 230 VAC lamps around that use long chains of LEDs in series behind a diffuser and similarly they have no switched mode driver in the base and tend to run cooler and may well be more reliable.
  35. 3 points
    Good morning all, I am building a house with a frame supplied by MBC Timberframe. I have been very impressed with the service so far. We are not finished yet although the frame is up and my windows and doors are in. Roof covering is also on and the render guys are on site at the moment. We are using Parex rendering by the way. I also had MBC install a passive slab and this made me thing about how to finish the works below ground and up to what will be my finished ground level. if I was building with block/brick i would have installed several courses of them agains the insulation. But since we don't have conventional trench foundations that isn't ideal. The passive slab sits on hard EPS insulation as you probably know. I asked Peter Gray who is my project manager at MBC if he had any suggestions and he told me about a previous installation he had designed for a client. I involves fabricating a trim of powder coated aluminium which is attached to the bottom of the frame with a layer of Geotex waterproof membrane protecting the EPS as this is below ground level. Peter was very helpful, sent me a drawing of it and talked me through the process. I had a local fabrication firm (Barnett Engineering in North Wales) make up the metal. They also made me a selection of inside and outside corners which neaten up the corner element of the trims. The cost of the metal came to just over 2K. I applied the Geotex to the outside of the EPS and then attached the metal trim to the bottom of the frame which was very straightforward to do. I have attached some pics and I hope that this might be of interest to others who are self building! The battens in the pics are the carriers for the render board. if you have any questions, I would be happy to help, and I'm sure Peter would be too. Derek
  36. 3 points
    Well we have been lucky although the house took much longer to sell but this was countered by a two year fight for planning permission so balanced out. My builders have been brill with NO oops moments, everything arrived as planned and we are still on target ( ish) for finishing in a few months. However after some Ill health on my part I am finding it harder to do all those simple( ish) jobs ( god there are millions of them😱. ) So I have decided to utilise some of the contingency ( yes I have some left) to get people in to help get the work done. ( especially those jobs I hate like painting) This means that we will be in earlier and be able to enjoy our new home without making it more of a chore.
  37. 3 points
    click the green circle beside the thread title and it'll do that.
  38. 3 points
    If every member here donated a few pence a year it would more than cover the costs, but right now, our last fund raiser (that lasted about a week) raised around 4 years + worth of running and upgrade costs, so money isn't an issue. The moment you accept adverts you become beholden to the advertiser's policies. If an advertiser doesn't like a comment by a poster, then they will yell for it to be edited or deleted, or demand that they get a refund for their advertising. It's just not worth the hassle, and would undermine one of the greatest assets of this forum, that it gives wholly impartial and commercially unbiased advice. If a post here is true, but upsets a supplier or manufacturer, then that's tough - it's far more important that a full and wide range of views are expressed, without the risk of gagging by commercial interests (and ALL sponsored forums are censored or edited so as to keep their sponsors on side).
  39. 3 points
    I have been a bit busy over the last few weeks having finished first fix, plumbing and electrics. Plumbing went okay, although one of the AAV's had a small leak so the pressure test on the foul drain kept failing. Once replaced it held 50mm of water without problem. Had a major with the electrician who walked off the job at the end of first fix as he got a major contract for 10 houses. As we had no formal written contract we were stuck. As all the cables were in, none of the electricians would entertain the work other than as a final testing and inspection. After a bit of negotiation with the building control officer and we can go down that route. Upside is that i have saved a couple of quid as all i have paid for are materials so the final test will be the only labour charge. Plasterboard is about 60% completed and the plasterer is following us room to room. So far we have used 240 sheets including some sound and fire board. we have stuffed rock wool into all the walls and floors and will be pleased when finished as i hate the stuff. Its been a bit of a challenge to board the high points as the plasterboard lifter did not quite reach and i am still working out how to reach the roof of the galleried landing The next issue according to my wife is the colour of the sofa. not sue why when i still have to plumb the plant room
  40. 3 points
    Thought I would wish everybody a very happy Christmas while I have 5 minutes - nobody else is up and I am eating my porridge. It has been a hectic year, I am glad I spent some of it with you lot, and next year promises to be much the same. I reflected this morning, as the kettle boiled, that I probably won't get the main house finished before next Christmas but I hope to have it weather tight - now lets see what I can achieve. Anyway sitting here won't get lunch cooked (my job for the last 32 years!)
  41. 3 points
    +1 to juliet balcony. We incorporated them in all of our bedrooms. We used 12mm toughened glass and they balconies are nearly invisible, inside and outside.
  42. 3 points
    Forget electric showers unless you like showering under a dribble. If mains gas is available then it's a no brainer. Decent size combi or system boiler and unvented hot water tank. I would go UFH Wet UFH downstairs, radiators everywhere else with individual trv's so can be turned up / down / off as required or even UFH throughout on all floors. Remember a key feature of UFH is an individual thermostat for every room so unused rooms turned right down and your bedroom set to your cool temperature.
  43. 3 points
    You mean you don't do handstands in the shower?!
  44. 3 points
    Not sure if this is a useful tip or not, but I chose to completely floor our kitchen before even taking delivery of the units. Instead of fitting skirting boards where the units were to go, I bonded on 50mm x 50mm white PVC internal angle, with neutral cure silicone. This effectively sealed the stone floor from the walls all around, so if there's a leak water can't get to the plaster or under the stone (I hope!). It also makes for a very clean area under the kitchen units (I know you can't see under there..........) and hopefully it won't become a haven for woodlice, spiders etc. In the utility room, where the non-built in washing machine fitted next to a unit that had a side panel that went down to the floor, I did the same trick and lined the floor to wall/panel area where the machine slides in with the same 50mm x 50mm white PVC angle, again so that any water that leaks can't get at the walls or unit.
  45. 3 points
    I had already factored in for this going full circle twice, but glad we're on the same page I wonder if the van that delivers the grout will be driverless. 🤔
  46. 3 points
  47. 3 points
    I am really hoping that this will be the penultimate blog on our renovation! The Kitchen is finished (apart from a couple of things) and the place is really starting to look nearly finished. As we aproached Christmas, we decided to have a nibbles and drinks for the neighbours on Christmas Eve, to give everyone a nose around and say hi properly. we say hello as we pass but thats usually as far as it goes. It was a good thing to do as we then had the incentive to crack on with the tiling and finish the kitchen as well as tidy the place up. The OH did two runs to the local tip with his car choc-a-bloc with wood/plasterboard/rubble. We think there should only be one more tip run before we sell - unless we can just keep adding it to the wheelie bin. He had a huge session in the cellar with his DeWalt Chopsaw and chopped up all the spare wood into little bits for the woodburner. All the treated stuff went to the tip but he filled a builders bag! Then he tidied up the cellar and took quite a lot of the stuff home - we're hoping that we will not need it as it will be a pain to bring things back. He also fixed the handrail into the cellar and rubbed down the paintwork before giving it a coat of paint. what a difference a lick of paint makes! So here it is ready for the neighbours. The kitchen flooring cleaned up really well and once we had coated it in Topps Tiles Enhancing Oil, it looked great. we also used the oil on the fireplace, which has eventually had the back painted too. Still not sure about whether to fit a mantle over it?? And this is the view from the lounge corner into the kitchen. before it was a very tight, solid right angle corner but opening it up has made such a difference. the light from the front door gets into the middle room and I love the way the view opens up. The oak posts are great - still deciding whether to oil them or leave them as is...... So now I have to get on with the coving in the lounge and fixing the stone fireplace. We have always planned to use bamboo flooring on the ground floor but now we are having second thoughts. Our Interior designer (sister in law) thinks we should just put carpet down. It will be cosier, possibly cheaper, and means we can get on with fixing the skirting without worrying about gaps due to the uneven floor. The carpet will cover any gaps. Hopefully the next post will be all the finished photographs. And hopefully it will be in the next month................................... or two.......................
  48. 3 points
    For those that may have missed it: https://www.ebay.co.uk/deals?_trkparms=%26clkid%3D707877382797726552
  49. 3 points
    This thread reminds me of a loo in student digs that was so small it had knee holes cut in the door.
  50. 3 points
    I believe MVHR is apart of a larger philosophy of 'materials first' as my architect likes to say. That is, put your money into the insulation and air-tightness of the structure to reduce your heating bills in the long term. Depending on the insulation you may also have significant performance in acoustic reduction. As an engineer I am quite fond of the philosophy as it focuses on simple and low maintenance technology rather than complex systems that would be higher maintenance and prone to breaking... I really don't like moving parts! An MVHR not only provides ventilation but it is a good combo to further reduce your heating outlay whilst providing you with an improved environment (fresher air, filtered, quicker to dry towels/clothes etc...). For us it's a no brainier as all the above are #1 to #5 on our top 10 list of priorities. Out quotes have varied from £2k to £4k for the MVHR unit and the various ductings required too. Installation is often on top of this, but half of the suppliers wont even offer it. But as many will point out, installing a MVHR is a right of passage for many of the self builders on the forum!