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  1. It's been a while since my last blog, but we've not stopped, the days are shorter and the weather skipped autumn🍂 and dived into winter with a few storms and loads of rain. Our windows are budget friendly triple glazed UPVC, and composite doors. The external EPS was sealed at the cill with EPDM airtight tape, the tape has reinforcement in it and can be moulded, it does crease but creates a water tight junction and sticks like the proverbial to the EPS. We created a cheek reveal with an additional layer of 50mm EPS and sealed the upvc frames against this, I then ran a bead of sealant against the face and edge of the EPS giving two seals. Then when clad a third seal. I used soudal air tight foam and I thinks it's LMA sealant, soudal's airtight solution. The winds gave good opportunity to test for air leaks when had several days of 35mph winds. This proved a good test with a smoke pen. The internal frame was sealed with soudal sf40 which adheres very well to the upvc and timber blocking, when cured it is like rubber. The cladding is larch boards in 2 widths 150mm for the bottom layer and 100mm for the top. We finished the top of the windows with a custom palistol coated drip The bottom of the EPS footing was finished with reclaimed slate. Inside we are having a cold roof. We needed to add 25mm pir under the truss cord to satisfy the tightened regulations in Scotland. We tapped the foil boards with foil tape, and the perimeter boards were pushed to touch the wall plate. Then used airtight foam between the PIR and internal IFC wall creating a seal. Under the PIR I used plastic membrane that I spray glued to the PIR, and this draped down the perimeter walls. The under ceiling was battened and counter battened, this created a service void for the cables and not penetrating the loft. The plastic was jointed with EPDM airtight tape on joins and walls. Cables were put inside Flexi conduit that was cut into grooves in the ICF. (All water pipes were run under the slab.) This picture shows the detail for the airtightness and the service void. MVHR ducts (7 plenums ) were run in the loft, and under 400mm of loft roll. The manifolds are also under the loft insulation. I made these airtight using the same EPDM tape. I made gaskets out of the plastic with a circle cutter and stretched it over the plenums, then air tight tape to seal everything to the plastic/ PIR. The walls also needed some IWI to meet the tighter regs, so decided to go with 25mm PIR. This also added another seal for the plastic airtight layer and walls. The poly steel ICF has these metal plates at 150mm ctrs that allow the cladding battens to be secured externally and the plasterboard internally, we used self tapping drywall screws and insulation discs to hold the PIR in place before installing the plasterboard. Picture for detail below. At this stage we've got a large airtight box. Now it's a case of installing the stud work. I lined the plant room with pre painted 12mm OSB, and the bathroom with 18mm OSB ( a Scottish building regs requirement needing the ability for future hand rails etc) Electrics are simple, a few Ethernet points and sockets and spotlights. One pendant over the dining( and if I get my way, and budget allows pool table). The only penetrations from the loft are a light, PV cables, TV aerial, and 4g antenna cables. These are in conduit and sealed both ends. All other cables run in the ceiling void or stud work. I've put a few sensors in the studwork for future Arduino projects to accompany the in slab sensors. The plant room is compact, and work in progress. The PV is up and running and to date produced just shy of 300KwH in 5 winter weeks With the first fix complete it was time to plasterboard, we got 80 boards delivered Wednesday midday, just as storm Babet hit, it was too windy to bring them in, I tried, I failed so it had to stay outside 😭, covered in plastic, tarpaulins, scaffold boards and the obligatory ratchet straps. 3 days of constant 35mph gusting 50mph gave opportunities to check for airtightness. I managed to install the flush shower tray during this downtime. Once the storm blew though we got the boards inside and cracked on, the open plan lounge, diner, kitchen was boarded first and as soon as it was complete I skimmed the ceiling, 11 boards was too big for me and my tennis elbow, that coupled with not plastering anything for several years. I split the room in two and used several layers of scrim tape to plaster up to, then remove the scrim tape and skim the 2nd part. It worked well, and it's painted and the join is seamless. The next few days we mixed it up skimming in the morning and boarding in the afternoon for the next day. Today is day 182 of the build, this is basically from the cleared site that was down to rock with the pecking already done. Currently the house is fully skimmed, most of the ceilings have been primed and painted white and we started the kitchen install today. All the bathroom is here waiting to be installed, and some appliances are here most arriving this week. This has been pretty much 7 days a week, with only around 12 to 18 days off to earn some money and pay off some labour debts. We're hoping to move in, in 2 weeks with a working bathroom and kitchen 🤞, the static has now reverted to ice box during the night🥶
    14 points
  2. I like to close threads off. The one thing that annoys me a little about some threads on here is people start them, lots of people contribute suggestions and you never find out how it ended and it’s helpful to know for the future when other folk have a similar problem. They replaced the window and the tint matches perfectly. However, they also damaged all the aluminium cladding and window beads in the process so I lost my rag a bit about that. They have all subsequently now been replaced too. This all started back in April when the windows were delivered two days earlier than planned and just before the scaffolding went up. I didn’t want to take them as the likelihood of them getting damaged was high. But Heb Homes knew better and said they’d accept the risk. Sure as eggs is eggs a window got smashed and everyone on-site denied it was them. The scaffolding company said it’s what insurance is for 🙄 I pointed out that it wasn’t the money as the timber kit company were covering that. It was the consequential hassle this would generate for me trying to get this fixed and I was right about that as it took 6 months and wasted hours of my time. No idea how much this cost Heb and Nordan but a lot. The good news the two incorrect glazing units were put to good use in some garden rooms in the local town.
    6 points
  3. This thread is about trust, not plumbing. @Dee, Forgive the change of focus to my experience: I write this to illustrate the point about trust. I paid my way round my first degree by cleaning the windows of the Great And the Good in Oxfordshire. Often, I (stupidly) gave a year's credit impressed as I was -then- by customers' status - many of them landed gentry. Think of the largest estate in Oxfordshire - it's an offical palace linked to Wellington. Well I cleaned there, and the Lord Lieutenants, a very famous bankers house(s), and a good few Peers of the Realm, not far from where Clarkson lives now. I had been working there for two or three years. At the end of one year, I asked for payment. The non-resident owner (he lived in Charlbury nearby) asked me how much it was. I've forgotten how much now..... He grunted, took a large roll of £20 notes out of his back pocket and peeled off £100 LESS than he owed me. "I'll owe you the rest" he said looking at the floor. I looked at him and his wife who was standing nearby. Her face flushed red, and glared at him . "Your Grace," I replied, "Gestures like that are designed to remind me that I'm down here, and that you are up there - and we knew that before I stated cleaning your windows: could you pay me the rest please" He hadn't heard because he had disappeared down the corridor. His wife silently took out her checkbook and wrote a cheque for double the difference. Next job, that day was the The Lord Lieutenants place - as it happens right at the end of the estate private drive. I was still angry when I got there. He sensed it and asked what was wrong. I told the story. "Hmm , he grinned " he just wants to make sure you come back: had he paid you in full, you might never go back. And he knows half the Board at St Cross (my college)- if you put one foot out of line, you'll never work in Oxfordshire again - you're not just cleaning windows - youre selling TRUST AND clean windows. Now, pop down to the wine cellar and choose yoruself a good claret" Top bloke. Sir Ashley Ponsonby that was. When I got my degree, he put on a silver service tea for my whole family at his private residence. Taught me an unforgettable lesson. Unless you have come to know and trust a tradesman, initially retain an appropriate amount. For the first time someone works for us, I usually ask for the trades day rate, and pay promptly for the labour. And pay for the materials after 30 days if all is well.
    6 points
  4. After some debate, Jan and I decided that we could press out the sag in the cells if I made a suitable jig, so I made up an H frame that is held against the side of the SunAmp by some tape strapping, and which could hold a pressing plate (a square of OSB3, and with two bars that allowed a set of folding wedges to apply the pressure. I then brought the SA to temperature and used the wedges to load up the pressing plate and push the cells back true. All that remains is to allow the cells to cool back to solid phase and then I can reassemble the SA. A bit Heath Robinson, but simple, very cheap and effective. Job done. Here is a pic (note that the wedges are pretty much at the end of their travel as the cells are back in shape and position :
    6 points
  5. I followed your @TerryE story a number of years ago and designed my system based on your posts. Thanks for all your detailed posts all those years ago. My system: Installed and running 4 years instead of 6 yours like yours Heated by the same 3kw wills heater during the night 100 sqm of polished concrete, 100mm deep and reinforced with fibres not a steel mesh. Self installed Wunda 16mm PERT-AL-PERT PIPE, manifold and pumpset - 5 heating loops with similar double back loop design. The pump is on a low nice quiet setting. I’ve no idea how to calculate how much water it pumps or the flow like you did nor do I feel I need to. It's working so I’ll leave it. I’ve a temp difference of circa 5 degrees after the system is up and running. It’s the basic temperature dials on the manifold so this isn’t digital or recorded like yours. Portable oil heater for the misses for when she thinks she’s cold. We’ve our temp between 20-21 degrees so lower than yours It was a major refurb, not a new build but we did a PHPP for the house which I can compare to. Main differences: I don’t have all the fancy temperature probes or data logging you have. We have temperature sensors but they aren’t recorded. I could fix this by purchasing a few but don’t really feel the need. I have an electrical meter on the wills so know exactly the energy going into the slab. I don’t run the pump after the wills is off to spread the heat like you nor do I do it for a few minutes on the hour. I did play around with this for a while at the start but it doesn’t make a massive difference. This slab is all one large open plan kitchen / dining / living / entrance hall area. You do notice the floor warmer in the hallway nearer the manifold but this is fine as the heat rises in this double height area to the upper unheated rooms. Things I’d change: I don’t have the fancy controls you have nor do I have the coding skills to develop it. It’s therefore a much cruder timed system. Note I’m based in Ireland, not the UK. For the first two years it was definitely cheaper to use a cheap wills than invest in an ASHP but the massive increase of the electrical unit rate has changed this. I've had the ducts fitted for years from outside to the wills heater so it’s an easy swap we’ll have to make soon. All loops are circa 90-100 meters long so I’d like to connect the ASHP directly to the slab avoiding a buffer too. Question: If I were to data log temperatures does anyone have any advice on what products to use that don’t require coding, are relatively cheap and what number would you advise getting and what to record? Do I go all out and record the flow and return temperatures for example? My biggest achievement: For the winter period 2021-2022 when everything was turned off in Spring the total units used was 3,347.1 when PHPP has a number of 3,349.0. Other years were higher or lower but that year was bang on!
    5 points
  6. I listened master. 40mm coming through the block and beam straight in to a 50mm bend and then 50mm all the way to the soil pipe.
    5 points
  7. Sod the courses though Steamy, it's all about just giving a damn about your work
    5 points
  8. Why on Earth would the OP want to do that? Great way to piss off your neighbour, who you then have to live with until one of you dies or moves.
    5 points
  9. Sit rep, garage door finally arrived, looks good, now I can fill it with my toys, and I made a matching window to the rear 😎
    5 points
  10. This is not really an introduction, but I didn't formally introduce myself when I got into buildhub more than a year ago. Work is basically done, and it's now official: my place has gone from having an energy rating of F to having an energy rating of B! In particular, this counts as "bâtiment basse consommation en rénovation". French energy rating is insanely hard; of the roughly sixty places I visited when I was buying, only two had a B - one was new, and the other one had town heating (still a rarity) due to being next to an incinerator. This is just to say that I am very, very grateful to everybody who helped here. I don't know what I would have done otherwise. The diagnostician's only recommendations are: - to install MVHR (not sure that's feasible in a house from 1930?) - to check on airtightness (I'll borrow a thermal imagining camera once it gets seriously cold - is there anything else I should do?). When asked, he also said that installing solar panels and hooking them up to hot water generation could be interesting. (Local peculiarities: it's sunny only in summer, and it is no longer possible to sell excess electricity back to the State.) Thank you again!
    4 points
  11. Can see tap access if it fails will be a dog . So did a mock-up . Cut out the unit to the right for access - washer goes here so no issue .
    4 points
  12. Hello, good morning, and welcome my Fluffy friend ! My comments? 1 - Thinking and reflection time really matters - making mistakes is cheaper if it's in a thought experiment. 2 - Get into a habit of being curious about things outside your current experience - known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. 3 - See Buttercup's advice. Ferdinand
    4 points
  13. Here are a few ideas to get you started. No particular order because everything relates to everything else. A simple eyeball inspection. Where is it in relation to : neighbours (access ownership) , geology (slope, water table, wind, trees, clay, sand, ) all will have an effect on build cost. Services : no foul drain disposal - no house, where's the nearest electricity, water, fiber, phone Trees: TPOs? heave? age - survey them maybe Noise: downwind of a motorway, railway line, airport, Structure: look and worry ,or look and 'feel' its in good nick How far are you from a pond (newts or worse, GCNs) . Or bats, or anything fluffy that ecologists pretend to look after? Technical :by that I mean any dicipline which attracts Professional Indemnity Insurance Structural Survey: choose a surveyor with great care - ask for a fee proposal and an exact definition of the aspects to be surveyed - from at least three reputable firms Law: usual stuff - boundary disputes? access rights Do you need an architect - or architectural technician? Ground around the barn iffy? Wet, dry .... get a reputable ground worker Which surveyour does your mortgage company use (if relevant) Ask around. Who knows what about the history of the place? Estate Agent? Network in the local pub - emphasis on work and listening Best of luck, Ian
    4 points
  14. So I received 2 council tax bills. One for 22-23 one for 23 -24. Total £9k+ The old house that I bought in April 22 was in shit state and was going to be demolished from the start. I ignored them for a while due to being flat out on my build then last week I got a final demand and threatened with court action in 14 days. After a few sleepless nights I took the bull by the horns and spent a couple of hours writing a letter and printing lots of date stamped photos and took on the next battle with my scanner and sent them a lengthy email describing why I think I shouldn't pay any council tax. I sent the hard copies by recorded snail mail then left it a couple of days before calling them. Result !! I don't have to pay anything for the first year and only have to pay for the time elapsed after one year up to demolition date. so effectively 2.5 months. long term empty rate. I will wait for confirmation of the first reductions then go back and argue the toss about the 2 and a half months which wouldn't have occurred if the council hadn't delayed me for months waiting for a section 106 to be printed out. They also said we get 3 months free after completion. This may take a while. 😜
    4 points
  15. Some of the claims in that link are pretty doubtful though. Afinia aluminium radiators are more efficient than traditional radiator materials, such as steel and cast iron Incredibly effective thermal conductors and with low energy consumption, Afinia radiators can help lower energy bills The range can deliver exceptional room comfort, heating up and cooling down very quickly which allows Afinia radiators to respond quickly to any changes in the temperature demand set by the thermostat Except for heat lost from the back via an external wall (which will not vary a great deal) all radiators are 100% efficient in terms of the heat getting from the pipework into the room. The radiators themselves do not and cannot have any intrinsic "energy consumption", low or otherwise. (Even with fan-assisted radiators the motor power ends up in the room.) Claims about warm-up time are I think illusory, the thermal mass of the metalwork is small compared with the water content and very small compared with the room itself. All the usual misleading advertising guff IMO.
    4 points
  16. Insulate them. Not difficult, just needs to be got on with. The question you are really asking is 'who pays'. In all cases it needs to be the property owner. Stop all the grants and incentives and legislate for improvements. Let the market sort itself out, no one is forced to buy a house.
    4 points
  17. I ran the HW (a bath for visiting grandkids) to cold using this SunAmp for its salt to go through phase change to solid, and I then left it overnight to thoroughly cool, before disassembling / removing the OSB pressure plate and retaining frame. The cells were now solid and nicely cuboid, so reassembly was now straightforward. I will do my commissioning tests at midnight (when the Octopus price drops). I recall that some of our members have discussed issues with their UniQ series SunAmps having issues with sagging or split cells. The lesson is quite clear: Do not remove a side panel unless the unit is well below the phase change as the cells do not have internal bracing to retain their shape at operating temperature without the steel casing support in place. If you need to bring the SunAmp up to operating temperature with a side panel removed then you will need use some bracing formwork to retain the cell side shape.
    4 points
  18. Its why, for almost everything, i just do it myself now. Its easier and less stessfull Cant even be worrying about building control anymore. That hopeless too. I can do it right and have no cert, or i can have it done wrong, but get a cert. Lots to do at the new place. Will continue on a DIY basis on almost everything. The lack of pride in your work is the real issue. No one cares anymore. A sad state of affairs.
    4 points
  19. And the repaired section of the bank completed. Land drain pipe still flowing.
    4 points
  20. A clean and touch up paint now . Looks good I think
    4 points
  21. Just been taking a look on the battery stats and heat pump energy usage. GivTCP set the charge last night to 62% (my defined min for this time of year), 00:30 to 07:30 is E7 period, so during that period the battery does not contribute to the house, everything is taken from the grid. Has been a pretty good solar day, 12.9kWh generated. During the E7 period, we imported 17.55kWh, for charging the battery, running heat pump and other house stuff (MVHR, treatment plant compressor etc). By 2pm the battery is at 100%, solar generation has almost stopped by 3pm and battery starts to discharge to the house. We exported 3.5kWh (this will go to hot water next week) From the ASHP electric meter (last 24hrs) we used 15kWh (last night down to zero, today although sunny didn't go over 6 deg), currently 2 degs outside. Heat pump has just ran for 2.5hrs straight with 2 defrost cycles. After cooking our tea, we have 62% battery still remaining.
    4 points
  22. I've watched the first part so far and it is spot on. Reply today from LABC "Thank you kindly for your email to building control. I have taken this off of our administration team so that I can explain a bit more detail. You are correct from your email that the works are normally enforced from a local authority building regulations. For example, if an extension had no application. This would be down to us to enforce as the LABC. We would not be able to govern another building control body, such as xxxx xxxx. If you feel there has been a discrepancy or you wish to further your concerns from your complaint, the CICAIR are the governing body of all approved inspectors within England. Therefore, this would be the port of call to obtain further concern. We would not be in a position to involve ourselves between yourselves and xxxx xxxx for example. I hope this helps xx, and apologies we can not be of more help. Kind Regards" We will refer this onto CICAIR but don't hold any hope of a resolution through those channels. --------------------------------- The developer and their main contractor came to visit on Thursday for an appointment specifically to look at the missing insulation. They turned up thinking it was for something else, and end of defect period (EOD) inspection for their main contractor, not our warranty defect period as that runs until July 2024. They have used these EOD inspections for their main contractor to convince most other owners that their defect period is now over, closing the portal with which to report defects and many other residents footing the bill for their own repairs whilst still inside their 24 month defect period. The developer initally lied to us verbally when I questioned them during an earlier defect inspection on how long our defect period is. This is having also phoned us up and aggressively told us we were reporting too many defects through the portal and that they would come visit us and explain what a defect is. Needless to say everything I showed them during the visit they agreed was a defect. I also asked them in writing how long the defect period is which they ignored, but I did get written confirmation from our warranty provider that it is 24 months as opposed to the 12 months our developer was claiming. When they arrived for Thursdays visit they had also lost the list of defects that in March we had previously agreed with them that they were going to rectify. We hadn't taken enough time off work nor organised the house to conduct a broader whole house inspection, so we asked them to rebook but insisted the use our ladder and torch to inspect the insulation in the loft. They took a few photos and said they would look up what should have been there. They wouldn't even go entirely into the loft they just leaned through the hatch for a while. From the March list of 30 odd defects they have so far fixed 1, despite giving us a 28 day timeframe and repeadted emails chasing them. Needless to say we think they are an incompetant and lying bunch of cowboys. I will name and shame once this is all resolved. We've put to the developer we would like them to hire a chartered surveyor, of our choice out of a selection of 3 with no business relationship to them, to draw up a schedule of remediation works for all the main issues with the house (insulation, bowed walls, unlevel screed on ground floor, and significantly creaky floors on 1st and 2nd floor), for the surveyor to also inspect and sign off the remediation works once completed. If they offer anything less we will escalate through their complaints procedure, then the warranty provider and then the financial ombudsman if neccessary. Using the independantant surveyor is one of the resolution models the ombudsman service use, which we have told the developer in the hope they will actually get on with it. However, their main tactics so far seem to be delay and ignore in the hope that owners give up, so we are expecting to have to spend several months escalating this to get any progress. They are frankly a bunch of crooks that thanks to little regulation narrowly stay on the right side of the law. The whole industry needs a shake up.
    4 points
  23. Well, hello to everyone and just wanted to introduce ourselves and our project. Having toyed with the idea of a self-build for many years we have just bought a plot at auction last week! We live in the SW, although originally hail from Manchester and moved South in 1990. Having first lived in Berkshire, then Wiltshire for 25 years we are currently renting in Somerset. We sold our house of twenty odd years a couple of years ago to look for a plot and last Friday were lucky enough to win an auction for a plot of land around a quarter of an acre in size. My goodness what a tense process that was! So, I will in the fullness of time, post some pictures but will wait to complete later this month before doing that. Ever since we were married 40 years ago we have worked on the houses we have lived in, and for a period of time in the 2000's bought a couple of houses to develop. I then decided after giving up my career in IT to do an Architectural Technology degree at UWE, subsequently working for myself designing extensions until I retired a couple of years ago. These forums look like a great place for picking minds and finding answers the many questions that I am sure that I will generate over the coming months. For my part hopefully I will be able to contribute some of my knowledge and experiences.
    4 points
  24. What great posts from all, you all get a "like from me". I used to say when I was a main contractor. If you PM on a self build and work hard you can save 10 - 15% on the build cost. The posts above are great as they show you how you have to adapt and wear lots of hats.. build relationships, network, learn to deal with suppliers, getting let down and go through a big technical learing curve so you know that what you see getting built is right and complaint. There is no free lunch, it takes hard work. However if you put your back into it big savings can be made that are tax free. One big thing is you can do overtime at work, earn extra, save and pay someone else to do it all. But you get whacked for income tax on your extra earnings. Or you can spend less time at work and work on your build.. you'll actually have to work much harder.. but it's for you so you don't log the hours spent, the personal sense of achievement can't often be quantified in monetary terms. The main thing is that you get that quite satisfaction of doing it yourself.. few folk in the UK ever experience this so grab the opportunity and go for it. There is an old saying .. folk that work hard often get lucky!
    4 points
  25. +1 to the above, insulate, insulate, insulate (and airtight) then whatever source your heat (preferably ASHP) your running costs will me minimal.
    4 points
  26. Would a reciprocating saw do the job? Easily handle 4" stems. I find them way more versatile and easier to use than a chainsaw. Unless you need something long reach?
    3 points
  27. That's the main shelves finished, the bottom stone one now the right size and the two wooden ones at the bottm. And now all the shelves are in, the bifold oak door is fitted with the oak door facings both sides. And with the door shut Outside plasterboard and all the trims around the door opening to fit. That won't happen yet until we know what shelves we are putting on the left wall, as no doubt dwangs will be needed to the frame for those before the outside gets boarded.
    3 points
  28. Agreed @saveasteading, but I'm unsure if I'll follow this through as my main concern is the quality of what I have and the general consensus is that its fine. To go for cost rebate, I'd have to be 100% sure of depths in middle of floor, which presumably would call for a couple of drill holes, which is a taking from quality and would rankle the builder if I'm wrong - on balance, I think it's best to move on.
    3 points
  29. My idea worked out so well! 3 perfect cuts and two perfectly placed holes. Small achievement for pros but a massive one for me....chuffed to bits!
    3 points
  30. Agree with @Kelvin ‘s comments. Why hasn’t vendor secured a warranty themselves. Why are they selling after completing a couple of years of completion. I’d be walking away, too many red flags. All the risk would be on you. Doubt a warranty company would provide sufficient coverage to take in the risk.
    3 points
  31. I can't tell you how many times I've had this conversation in the last few years. We just don't respect tradespeople enough in this country. It's (wrongly imo) seen as something that kids who weren't any good at school end up doing because they aren't good for anything else. Absolute bollocks.
    3 points
  32. I had plastic bags tacked to the walls throughout the house and they still chucked empty crisp packets etc on the floor. My other half collected it all up and put it in their van 😂 They never did it again.
    3 points
  33. We often have this discussion about skills - it runs something like ' We need more skilled people for for trade xyz' And I always suggest that skills are just the icing on the cake. We need to give tradesfolk parity of esteem with their non-trade colleagues. Until there is a rigorous and universally accepted Apprenticeship Scheme - one that engenders respect in the pub and the building site, then we'll continue to suck our teeth with irritation. The German model isn't perfect. But it's better than ours. And Apprenticeship depends on an excellent education system: one where those not going to University have the opportunity to get highly respected qualifications as trades people. And there's less than no chance of that.
    3 points
  34. We were getting our utility room delivered. For whatever reason ours was at the back so they had to unload two others to get to mine. They sat some heavy unit up against the aluminium window cill then sat something else on the window cill. I went apeshit at them. They genuinely couldn’t understand the issue. I pointed to the large dry gravel parking area saying wtf is wrong with using that rather than using my window cill as a shelf. My other half told me off as she said I was a bit rude but as I explained they don’t know the grief I had with these window cills so part of my angst was all that so to have someone show such little respect for someone else’s property just pees me off.
    3 points
  35. Thats ours just before we moved in. from the left, Here's a 2.5 year report. 1. tall sweeping brush cupboard. ( full of crap) 2. fridge and wine(cordial) rack. works well 3. 800mm pantry cupboard. about 60/40 split of useful food storage/full of crap. 4. double oven. top half used once a year. microwave, very good. 5. wide cutlery drawer. works well. other two full of crap. "Mrs Cupboard" on top. Full of crap. 6. 400mm cupboard, works fine. 7. 600mm induction hob in corner, very pleased, drawers for utinsels and pans work well. Extractor fan mounted on MDF diagonal across the corner makes a drumming racket. Not Ideal. 8. 300mm cupboard full of crap. Shelves for tea and coffee above, super useful. 9. 600mm pull out bin, very good. 10. Ikea 2 bowl and drainer SS sink. Very pleased. 11. 800mm under sink cupboard. contains shoe polish, bulbs and various crap. 12. Integrated Dishwasher. 13. Integrated Dishwasher. Above one cupboard full of crap and two for dishes and cups. 14. 400mm cupboard in the corner. Full of crap. We have too many cupboards and the compulsion is just to fill them. Free standing dishwashers would be better in my opinion. I had some issues with the integrated door on one not closing properly and had to dismantle the kitchen somewhat to fix it. Double oven is a waste for us. A boiler tap would have been nice I think. An extractor with the fan at the far end of a very long duct would be much quieter. We used a Laminate worktop. Quite Pleased with it. 600mm cupboards are too deep. The back of them is too deep to access properly.
    3 points
  36. Probably my OCD, was trying to find somewhere for some drawers for cutlery etc without a mismatch of highline and drawer line units on the same wall. Latest revision; Stools look a bit snug.
    3 points
  37. Read the tread about diy plumbing, I think this was covered in detail about a week ago. Changing from hep to copper and then to a brass back plate elbow. Its by @Thorfun I think.
    3 points
  38. So, @DaveAF is the arbour still up - gales haven't dropped it for them ..... ? Locally there's a WW2 relic (coast-guard lookout) that looks much the same as the image you posted, is really Jerry-built, walls thinner, (single brick walls) concrete roof thinner and open to the full force of the winds in the bay (Morecambe). Over 70 years old. Both that concrete roof - and the one next to yours - will take some shifting.
    3 points
  39. Sorted. You can slightly see the cut above the pan so I should have squared the top like I did the bottom. Nothing a thicker bead of silicone won’t hide and I’ll know for next time!
    3 points
  40. Loads of sockets under kitchen sinks, not ideal but I don’t know of anything that says you can’t and it’s far better than having the sockets behind the appliance
    3 points
  41. Been a while since my last update - lots of rain. We had a clear few days this weekend though, and I managed to make some progress. -> (scuse censorship; imagine it's a starry night sky) That's all the bales up now, although I'm eyeing the left corner a bit unfavourably; I *think* it's OK but there's a bit of an overhang situation going on, and the fourth course particularly is dodgy. Worst case, I'll have to take it down and re-size a few bales, but it might be within trimming range in-situ. Worth a try, anyway. Similar for around the door and window posts - they get vigorously trimmed before the lime plaster goes on, which should improve how it looks significantly. There are still 24 bales in the garage - so I over-ordered by about a third. I've got some wall-shaped projects in mind for them come spring, though, they won't go to waste. Next is the wallplate/roofplate - just another timber box beam round the top of the bales, only harder because it's more than two metres up ^^. I got the back wall section put together today, and it's up there - weight was a problem so I ended up doing the timber ladder on the ground (40kg?), getting that up, cladding it with the OSB (30kg/side?) then flipping it so that side was on the bottom. A bit sketchy, honestly. The remaining sections are shorter, so I might be able to get more done on the ground for them. Regretting not at least cutting the timbers back when I had access to the baseplate now, of course, but if I'd spent time on that back then, I might still have straw to do now. I've explored the hip roof idea a bit more but increasingly feeling like I just don't have the vertical space for it. So probably a flat roof over winter, keep an eye on it , maybe explore guy ropes if we get any wind forecasts above 80mph. The roof deck *looks* simple enough, timber-wise - 2x5 joists, use firrings to get the fall, T&G OSB on top of that and finish with EPDM. Maybe add insulation under the joists later. More rain is forecast, but the walls are all tarped up and should be fine like that indefinitely. I can build the rest of the bits of wallplate in the half-empty garage and uncover one wall at a time whenever there's a clear moment to put one up.
    3 points
  42. Except there is a power difference between the flap being closed, partially open and fully open, as well as the power loss though the casing. When the units are charging up at night, the output flap automatically closes. If the unit is blasting out heat first thing, then it is faulty, get it fixed. During the day, there are incidental heat gains most of the time. If the output control, even on old heaters like mine, is set correctly, then it tracks the inside temperature nicely, i.e. as the room natural warms, the heater is loosing energy, but not in a linear fashion, it follows Newton's Law of Cooling. This keeps everything in equilibrium. There is, therefore, no need to adjust for the evening. Now if you have a heat load of say 30 kWh/day, and your storage heater only has an effective capacity of 20 kWh, then you will have problems, but that is incorrect sizing, not useless technology. If people cannot get storage heaters sized correctly, and learn how to operate them, there is little hope that heat pumps are going to be successful. They are much harder to set up. But as I have said, a heat pump is a better option, but there is going to be a steep learning curve, so steep that most people will fall off it unfortunately. Cross post, same sentiment.
    3 points
  43. Looks nice. See you have two supports for the balcony section, increase to four and the huge expense to cantilever vanishes. Not sure how you get passivhaus energy performance with all that glazing? You are also going to need to add plenty of additional insulation to the sip to get to passivhaus standards, so somewhat defeats there advantage. Although you have an overhang for shading watch out for low eastern and western sun, as it will find its way under and overheat the house, if you don't plan well.
    3 points
  44. No, I'm on a boat, so I follow the sun. Currently in the Caribbean...
    3 points
  45. Hi all! Been lurking for a while, high time I introduced myself properly. We bought our 1930s house in Woking in 2021, it's our first place and definitely not the forever home, but we wanted to make it comfortable. It was already extended downstairs, although they did a lazy job of it, so since then we've taken an internal wall down to open up the kitchen living area, put in a new kitchen and added low pitch veluxes to get some light in. However our biggest project by far has been the garden studio. I'm a software engineer by trade, fully remote, and my wife is a massage therapist, meaning we are both home most of the time. Pretty early on we realised we needed a little more room, so I started researching timber framed garden buildings. After seeing the price of having a professional build done, I quickly committed to doing the vast majority DIY! We agreed pretty early on that it would make most sense to maximise on the permitted development size of 30m^2, and split the space into two rooms - one side for my wife's massage studio, and the other for a shed/man cave. After having a (slightly dodgy) groundwork guy put down a slab in summer 2022, I began framing in October 2023. Fast forward to now, after a fair old slog and lots of learning curves, my wife is finally able to start using the studio side! Still got a fair amount to do in the shed side, and the garden now needs a load of work, but so happy to be at this milestone. Here's a few pics of it now, and from along the way.
    3 points
  46. Well when I was in Building Control I inspected every new house on completion and all other statutory stages. Upon the very first visit to the site I had been taught to make it clear to the site manager that BC needed to see every foundation excavation and every drain run. My colleagues and I would help them out by making two or three visits a day during the initial busy groundworks phase but we needed to see it. Inevitably one would find a plot concreted before inspection. Having to excavate down the side of the concrete to expose it usually meant it only happened the once. Once the superstructure was up though I agree it's hard to see behind plasterboard and paint but I made a point of looking in every loft space because it's there you can see the bones of a building. We insisted on every plot having a drain test as well. You can usually get a feel for how well the site is run as it proceeds. A good site manager can be trusted more than a poor one but ultimately it was my name on the file as the officer signing off the plot. I should point out that this was across all the LA's I worked for. The change in style of the 1985 regulations made everyone's life easier, but the fragmentation of BC into private and public systems hasn't helped at all and the overall standard has fallen away over the years. But a sample??? how's that work?
    3 points
  47. This was on a cold night and we’ve gone from waterfall windows to mist! So mvhr does help with condenstion in an old leaky house!
    3 points
  48. Let’s be honest the developer will blame everyone else in this matter, you will get stressed. they will put more effort into not doing the work, this will go on for months/years they will then realise they have some retention monies from the original contractor held back and use this against them and the same muppets who fitted it will come back to rectify it, blaming more people. it will still be rubbish and then the arguing starts again. might be better to try for a cash settlement and find a decent handy person yourself/diy.
    3 points
  49. You can make any window into slimline appearance externally by overlapping external insulation and render over the frame. Improves thermal performance and can help with airtightness too
    3 points
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