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  1. 6 points
    So to round off this post. This has been a learning experience for me. I realised I was trying to run the HP like a gas boiler for the first year, at high temperatures and having it runing for the least time possible. During the summer and before winter I made a few improvements. I replaced the seals in the 2 year old patio door, in November I put up the thin plastic "triple glazing " in the poorly insulated extension and I hired a thermal camera and went over the obvious cold spots/draughts with glass wool insulation, forcing it into crevices etc. I also made the upstairs rads 30% bigger. So far this winter I have been running the HP at 30c water temp (lowest weather compensation) for up to about 15 hrs a day. The house has been a comfortable 20c give or take a degree and its cost me very little more than trying to run it at 45c for shorter periods of time. The outside air tem has not really dropped below -6C this winter and mosly been about 3-4C but we have not really noticed the OAT change as I'm leaving the thermostat to do its job and not fiddling with it. We are actually using £300 less to heat/cook and run an electric car than I did in 2018 with no electric car and gas central heating. I switched to Octopus Go in the summer 18p kWh daytime and 5p kWh 0030-0430 so I have been able to keep my spending under 14pkWh/day with an average of about 10p kWh/day. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've realised that trying to run the HP like a gas boiler was a mistake and leaving it on all the time at minimum water temp has worked for us. I hope this is of some use to others.
  2. 3 points
    I have to say I really love this one. Neo-Georgian is very much up my street and was one of the things we had asked for in the initial brief, but the way the design developed - I think its one of those things that got put to one side and never really revisited. I am reading all the comments in the thread with great interest and its hard to ignore the logic. I shall go back to the architect and see what we can do, even though it may mean a month's delay and added cost to their initial quote! Tempted to only change the facade and then leave the internal layout unchanged as a compromise though once the tinkering starts, will be hard to stop...
  3. 3 points
    Fire rated doors should have a coloured inset plug. That way the BCO can easily check it if there is any doubt. Re complex regulations. I find it best to do an old-fashioned printout of the relevant pages, go into a quiet room, magic marker the clauses that appear to be relevant and draw arrows between them. Once the logic is sorted, keep the notes for when you inevitably forget it all. This works especially well if 'discussing' with a BCO.
  4. 3 points
    I am a convert from tiles to wall panels, no grout to go mouldy and easier to clean.
  5. 3 points
    I also found a use for the roofing battens: So many nails! 🤣
  6. 3 points
    Ooh I do like a bit of scrap and skip diving! Rolling draw for steel offcuts: Sheet metal folder: Pallet buster: Tote from a cut down oil can: Pipe de-coiler: Solar thermal panel: Then there's the unfinished ones... Mini scissor lift: Electric wacker plate: Rotary converter:
  7. 2 points
    Hi there, I only joined this forum to say thank you to the above member (@Europa) for the walk through! I had been having real trouble trying to get my Wunda underfloor system with Salus ABA's to work. Having read through the above and a couple of other posts, I noted three main things which helped me get the issues sorted: 1. The instructions are wrong (as Europa points out) and the LED's flash rapidly for the first 2 mins in calibration mode 2. You need to do the valves one at a time instead of doing all of them (5 in my case) at once 3. You need to be v patient (which I was not) and not just give up when they initially open and close again within a minute or so I rigged up a simple light switch on the live lead of each actuator and this allowed me to switch them off and on again independently whilst leaving everything else powered on. Honestly, the key is patience as Europa has pointed out. For me, I would say it took 20 / 30 mins + per actuator for it to be calibrated settled and working as expected. Below is what I did to get everything working as it should: 1. Rig up switch on each actuator 2. Set all actuator switches to off (in my case, this left all actuators in the closed position) 3. Get the system to call for heat 4. Make sure your flow has a decent heat (Mine was at about 50 deg) 5. Switch on the first actuator (LED flashes) for about 20 seconds, then off, wait 2 seconds and then switch on again 6. As above, after 2 mins, actuator LED flashing will slow and it will open fully 7. After about a minute, actuator will close (Don't get annoyed at this point) 8. Go away, leave it well alone for 20+ mins 9. When you come back, you should see that there is flow on the circuit 10. Leave the now calibrated actuator on and run through steps 5 to 8 for each of the other actuators in turn, avoiding the temptation to do more than one at a time 11. Leave the system for a couple of hours and you should find that it is then sorted and the valves as opening and closing to moderate flow I was making two main mistakes: 1. Not waiting for long enough and when the valve does it's initial open then close, I was thinking it was not calibrated properly and doing the procedure again 2. By trying to do all circuits at once instead of one at a time, I think I was letting the manifold temp drop too much and therefore messing with the calibration. Thanks very much for your help folks and I hope the above is of some use. I'm off to lie on my nice warm garage floor...
  8. 2 points
    Google triton gas and waterproofing materials, it’s a liquid paint on stuff used for waterproofing, but is also gas tight so good for methane and radon barrier. The company does loads of different products. With regards sticking stuff to icf, I had the SIGA rep come out and he applied primer and tape to our walls that worked really good, but it was far to expensive for the linear metres I had to do.
  9. 2 points
    my thoughts exactly give them nothing especially at 1/4 1/5th the price we can buy at!
  10. 2 points
    It's doable for £200K, but that needs to exclude the land, design fees + surveys and the cost of getting utilities to the plot. For energy efficiency you need to look at and understand Passive House designs. A visit to the NSBRC in Swindon is a must.
  11. 2 points
    Designer/draftman & structural engineer combo. Then managed on a subcontractor basis. Two joiners made the kits from the materials I ordered. I had never order any building materials before I started. You are here asking questions, just a lot to learn. We all did at some point! Home builder bible is a worthwhile investment for a tenner, provides a good breakdown of what is required to build a house. My approach was to get the site serviced (utility, water, access) and have a clear idea of what foundations would be required. I then knew that unexpected major costs were eliminated. See above on the book. I've kept a blog here. I kept mine going from the start to end and have tried to be open and honest with costs. But lots of others here if you are planning on other building styles.
  12. 2 points
    As above, open the boundary box. If there is a red (blank) , grey or yellow (trickle) bung on top of the meter manifold, then you'll need to replace it with a standard white one. Eg.
  13. 2 points
    Welcome to the forum. House looks good.
  14. 2 points
    Just an update to this, made up some simple brackets out of 18mm ply and notched out the end. Screwed to the rafters to hold lower part of the OSB in place. Managed to get 8 boards trimmed, lifted and fitted this weekend, slow going but pleased.
  15. 2 points
    I would. 1. Strip the roof and battens. 2. Consider reinforcing any rafters that look poor. If your roof isn't sagging I don't thing they look too bad otherwise. 3. Install a good quality roofing membrane. 4. Batten. 5. Reslate with fiber cement slates. They're about 20kg/m2 Vs 35kg/m2 for welch slate and 45kg/m2 for concrete tiles. The fiber cement slates (asbestos I think) are 71 years on my parent's house still going strong. A lighter roof will give the roof timbers a good chance. 6. Sell any welch slate you have left over.
  16. 2 points
    Two BH members knocking lumps of one another: how about helping @CotswoldDoItUpper instead ?
  17. 2 points
    One day I hope to have enough free time to #£&@ about like this. Not jealous much …. Honest .
  18. 2 points
    Yes, in my experience tossers with a limited vocabulary of - massing, bulk, form, scale, incongruous and discordant used for refusing applications.
  19. 2 points
    Tell them you have gone for oil. get the £3k connection and fit the inverter ASHP.
  20. 2 points
    Lots of great views expressed here. For me the test to apply to your design team is this... Ask them where they see the risk to you in the design. That could be on the Architectural side.. say bespoke materials price fluctuations.., the SE.. where is the risk.. is it in the ground or some where else, the folk that are maybe providing services to the plot. Where they are confident that say the doors, windows, roof will perform in the long term and where they are less sure about long term performance. It might sound a bit odd but a good professional will explain to their Client where the risks lie, inform them and let them make their decision. They will also explain / outline how they are going to save you a fair bit of money that will mitigate their fee maybe make it cost neutral!.. but they won't tell you how until you sign on the line. It 's a case of seeing if they are open on honest about the whole design. You too need to accept that if you want something special you'll probably need to take more risk if you want to keep the cost down. In summary just have an open and honest conversation. If you don't hit it off then find someone else, even if their fee is a little higher, in the grand scheme of things a good designer can save you thousands sometime tens of thousands on a self build. Also remember that designers love working with engaged Clients who communicate with them too! often you'll find that they don't bill you for every hour they work and that when you look at it in the round your shopping about has been fine up till now to enable you to get a feel for the cost but has now become counter productive in the relationship?
  21. 2 points
    If I were you I'd be wondering whether or not to tile at all and use wall panels instead!
  22. 2 points
    Another vote for a proper tractor. Get an old Ford or Massey. They're reliable, cheap to run and go forever. Also you can absolutely abuse them and they just take it and take it. Our Ford 3000 is almost 50 years old, has had little love and I still use it on the farm for all the job's that aren't too big for it. As far as i can tell it need's to be refuelled about once a year! They're probably cheaper to own than a compact utility type and certainly cheaper for parts. Also I'd like to see a baby kubota try and pull a 3 furrow plough!
  23. 2 points
    I like cutting in. Do it right it makes the rest of the job a doddle.
  24. 2 points
    Yup, she works on very luxury budgets and projects manages them too, so she prefers not to have clients who worry about money. As Saveasteading has said, you need to clarify things properly, there are always hidden/not hidden extras. You might need many things like ground surveys, Ecology, SuDS etc etc which could be put on as extras by the planning department as conditions. Non of this will be covered by the architect's fees.You will also need building control drawings, or more likely construction drawings and structural engineer's calculations. It's hard to advise you of an exact price, which is part of the risk you are taking. eg I know someone who spent £20k on fees and didn't actually get planning permission... I have spent more than £25k on fees (£6k in total on bats!) for a tiny 80m2 stable conversion. The build itself can be hugely variable, especially the ground conditions. Also the price of materials has been affected by Covid in the last couple of years which has stuffed many budgets. It does stand to reason tho' that if you are expecting a luxury, up market result, you will need to invest in the right people and it's unlikely to be cheap. You don't want an architect whose main experience is doing extensions, they are not all created equal (and some are excellent, but not architects, in the sense of the protected title). And it's true, once you are committed and the price goes up, you do just have to pay. I'm sad that most of my money has gone and after all the pain, I might end up with B & Q fittings 😂 Keep asking and researching. See other discussions about how we self builders don't always add the same things in when letting on how much everything cost.
  25. 2 points
    It is a few years since I used them. They were wary of blurring the line between trade and customer, and it is best to be straight with them. If you explain the relationship they may then tell you if there is any further discount. Not the sort of thing to shout out to the whole shop though. They used to have 2 different price books, so the professional could hide some margin (or realistically allow a sensible margin and risk). That may have changed. Also I once found that there were sudden changes in the discount structure, for example adding a £20 plinth (that I didn't want) caused a jump in the discount applying to the whole order, and the price dropped a lot.
  26. 2 points
    What are you “painting” anything inside a stove or boiler soon burns off or acts as an insulator.
  27. 2 points
    Welcome @SBMS, unfortunately @Dave Jones must have had a bad experience with an ASHP as he is very negative about them, and don’t we know it? however there a quite a few here that have them and are very happy with them. Yes they are not like gas and produce hot water slowly but if designed correctly work very well. For example my house is well insulated but not quite passive levels and my 5KW ASHP keeps the house at 21’ with UFH downstairs only and a couple of electric towels rads upstairs. You will need a larger DHW tank and mine is full of 48’ water which is too hot to shower under and quite adequate fir all other uses. Mine can hardly be heard. Yes teamed up with PV would be a good as well. I bought my ASHP on EBAY cheap and installed it myself. Others will be along shortly with their experience.
  28. 1 point
    Our gas pipe runs through insulated Posi rafters and is run in Copper (22mm). New gas boiler circa £500 to £1k, make the heating system low temperature, to future proof. You may need a buffer tank. Combi or system boiler up to you. If you do use a combi, get one that take preheated water such as an Atag, then you can have a cylinder upstream of the DHW that allows to use to solar preheated water later if required.
  29. 1 point
    Mine was 1.4 which I was disappointed with, I wanted under 1, but they guy doing the testing nearly wet himself with excitement proclaiming how good it was.
  30. 1 point
  31. 1 point
    This is where a little EV would be good to consume the energy. Issue is my EV would be away from home during the main sunshine hours 3 days a week. I worked out I could get a little VW EUp on lease for the same money I spend on diesel a month, I considered it, but was put off when I realised I would not get rid of my diesel car, so I would end up paying out more albeit some of my motoring miles would be much cheaper.
  32. 1 point
    Well if you want to do as little as possible structurally I would just screw and glue 4x2 alongside the existing 3x2, level on the bottom at the lowest point and level across the room in both directions, no point in fixing to walls etc . Do this on every one, will strengthen them a lot and give you a flat surface to plasterboard too.
  33. 1 point
    NodeRED uses connect-the-block pre defined modules to implement control. Lots of YouTube videos on it. You can do complex stuff in JavaScript which is pretty straightforward if you've ever done any programming.
  34. 1 point
    Hopefully that might be useful to maintain a pest free space but when I know a mouse is present I'm always going to deploy the humane trap which definitely works. Since I learned that mice like to run along edges and avoid open spaces I can almost guarantee a catch the first night after setting it up next to a gable wall. I'm sure sufficiently high-powered ultrasound would be uncomfortable for mice but it is easily attenuated by the plentiful insulation materials found in a loft. The higher the frequency the more easily it is absorbed. The problem then is that compared to the cold, wet and dangers present outside - once the mouse feels warm, dry and safe then it's probably going to habituate to the noise as soon as it finds a relatively quieter spot. There is some research on the subject but I can't find any I would trust. The majority of online resources that dismiss ultrasound repellents seem to be published by pest control companies that would prefer to sell you a service visit. If I ever get the time I would be interested to experiment on one of my guests to see their reaction. A bit of code running on the camera Pi could generate an Ultrasound sweep while the camera records the response. If there's a particular 'sweet spot' for upsetting a mouse then this might be a good way to find it.
  35. 1 point
    I would be interested to know what they have done to make it a trickle. If still not resolved I would move into the caravan and report it as a "fault" Some heavy handed politics going on here with your water company I think?
  36. 1 point
    I wonder what the penalty is for having a non compliant system connected? It it was just being instructed to disconnect it immediately one might take a risk? If there was some more substantial penalty it might not be worth trying. Anyone care to look that up?
  37. 1 point
    I was given my person's details by one of the groundworkers - they basically do the shopping around, source best price, arrange delivery etc and invoice you for commission on the sale, still works out cheaper than tying to buy it yourself. However for most things, good old internet shopping is the best approach. If you're not looking for a single contractor tender, then you don't need all the detail up front, in fact as its almost a certainty that things will change it may not be a good idea. What you do need is a ballpark cost to pivot off for each significant part of the build. We used a QS to take our planning drawings and do such an exercise. The quantities they calc off the plans should be fairly accurate but their prices will be SPONs or equivalent so reality may be higher or lower. We got a relatively detailed cost plan in Excel which we used and tweaked as the build progressed. To give you an idea of how it went... we got firm quotes for major elements such as demolition, groundworks, basement and the timber frame and locked in those contractors. I was then able to shop around contractors for windows, roofing, render scaff etc and if was a question of if they were available in my timeframe and then getting a quote and refining it based on particular materials etc, then locking them in to follow the frame erection. Focus then moved to first fix - again first task was ball park quotations and availability and then with a selected contractor, firming up the spec, usually by walking around the shell and making final decisions. Once they were locked in, I moved to first fix joinery and plastering, tiling etc. Then ordering second fix items (mostly sanitary ware), decoration, kitchen, internal doors, skirting etc etc. At each stage the build became more 'real' and final decisions could be made in context. We also picked up inspiration as we went and were able to flex the budget and spec.
  38. 1 point
    There was an article in The Guardian last week about the lack of enforcement on fly-tipping and waste sites. The bottom line was that EA are vastly under-resourced and officers have written orders to try to ignore the biggest problems, and that the local officers (planning and EA) are sometimes very scared to act due to the circumstances. I wonder if the planners are ducking this for similar reasons.
  39. 1 point
    Why do you not just go to a broker and seek to re mortgage with a new lender for the existing mortgage amount plus what you wish to release?
  40. 1 point
    Greetings! Apologies for the crass title but I am still a kid at heart. 😇 After a brief delay due to Covid-19 the carpenters were able to attend site and erect our timber frame. Thanks to the accuracy I insisted on and ensured for the coursing blocks the sole plates were a doddle and were done in no time at all although we did have a bit of rain and I had to get the puddle pump out! We used Flight Timber for our timber frame and they have their own lorries with cranes built in and so each stage of the build was delivered by the lorry and then craned in to place. Here’s the ground floor panels arriving. It took them just 2 days to finish all the ground floor external and internal wall panels. The speed of it all is very impressive. Then the posi-joists arrived These took a few days to do but thanks to the 8mm designed deflection and 300mm centres they are rock solid even across the 6.2m spans. It’ll be a bit of a nightmare trying to run MVHR, electrics and plumbing but we won’t have any bounce on the floors! Plus when the sun shines through it creates some lovely lighting effects Next we had a weeks delay as Flight didn’t have any chipboard flooring in stock as they were let down by their suppliers. This was a frustrating delay but with the current material shortages not one that I should really grumble about too much. It was eventually delivered and the chippies got on with laying it and the first floor panel starter plates. And then it was on to the first floor wall panels. These took 2 days to do as well and so within a couple of weeks of starting we had both floors done ready for the attic trusses They were also a couple of days delayed due to Covid-19 but arrive they did They didn’t take long at all to go up and I love the symmetry of them Then it was another week or so getting the roof finished and building the vaulted ceiling in our entrance hall etc and then they were done! It was 18 days on-site from start to finish. Amazing to see. I took some time-lapse footage and you can see the video below: And so we have a superstructure! The roofer is not far behind so my next blog will be about the roof slates and Solar PV array. Thanks for reading and until next time…
  41. 1 point
    No, just fitting of roof sarking and membrane, though I guess that's "wind and watertight" isn't it?. And it doesn't include windows and external doors.
  42. 1 point
    Picking up some threads in the hope of helping: It sounds here as if you intend to use a single contactor, acting as main contractor. If they are a hands-on, owner 'on the tools' contractor, then they can't possibly know everything about everything, and their time is best spent making rather than buying. We all have different skills, so the great builder is unlikely to be a great researcher and buyer...that is a specialist skill and takes time. As above, they will tend to go to one supplier for everything as the service is good, the prices always reasonable, and they have an account there. You can shop around and get better prices for some major purchases. Insulation, timber, masonry. But then the builder has to handle it, and there can be arguments about wastage and damage. Whose responsibility if it is delayed/ delivered incorrectly? Who prepares the schedule of sizes, details and quantities? If he drops your toilet pan, who pays for a replacement? And who decides the specification? When you see the contractor's rates they are building in wastage and risk as well as a handling charge. (for example a very good and trusting client once asked why our internal doors were £300 when they cost £30 at Wickes. After explanation (as above) and ironmongery , frames etc all was well but it caused short term mistrust.) Therefore your consultants should specify everything. If it is a standard building they may have their lists already, hence mentioning the required glue isn't an over-requirement) (example again: only recently on this site did I learn of floor glue that expands to fill every gap and stop creaking: perhaps your builder knows and would use it, perhaps not). Also, if there is a standard list, all competing contractors are on the same terms. You can also welcome suggestions from them, but do respect their ideas and don't share them out....that really annoys them and they may walk away. Trust and respect are needed 3 ways here: client, consultant, contractor.
  43. 1 point
    Habito are currently offering up to 7x multiple of you take one of their lifetime mortgages (up to 40 year fixed)
  44. 1 point
    All On 15 Dec Govt issued the new Approved Doc L for England. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/conservation-of-fuel-and-power-approved-document-l Also new version of SAP, Part F (Ventilation) & Part O (Overheating). All becoming effective in June 2022. Does not look to be a big change in U-values apart from tightening of worst case values. Air tightness tightened and use of solar PV used in Notional Dwelling. I am waiting for the new software from Elmhurst to assess the impact in more detail. One good point is plenty of practical guidance - not read it all so not sure how relevant. One big change is information gathering - documentary and photographic evidence required of almost all construction stages (insulation being fitted, junctions, windows, boilers, controls etc, etc....... ). These will be required by Building Control and the SAP energy assessor to assess the 'as built' dwelling. I can see this increase in red tape increasing the cost of assessments considerably. Personally I do want to spend the majority of my time chasing this data knowing its probably not available (I tend to deal with self builders and small developers) so will cease to be a SAP assessor for the new version of the Regs. I'll switch to 2D thermal modelling of junctions for bespoke psi-values. Plenty to read in the new ADs and SAP - perhaps 500 pages! Get your Building Reg application in before next June!
  45. 1 point
    Why did you knock the old house down before embarking on this journey?
  46. 1 point
    With future legislation on Green Energy I thought it worth posting an image of the Integrated Solar Modules installed on this staining seam this Self-Build at Graven Hill. increasingly popular
  47. 1 point
    The problem with gas prices going up Is the other energy suppliers will follow suit and raise there’s to keep pace
  48. 1 point
    £11bn/GW. If it lasts 60 years, and generates all the time, that is 2p/kWh (I think). Strike Price was about £92.50/MWh, 9.25p/kWh. Still a good deal if I have worked it out right (for EDF).
  49. 1 point
    Took it all out. Trying to "blend" the plaster afterwards seems to generally be considered a bad idea. The lime is significantly thicker, and it will crack along the join. Also then allows you to use one of the lime based insulating products. Ours isnt listed which obviously makes things easier. Pics below as it stands today. As you can see, its had a chemical injection applied at some point. ABOVE the floor level. Which stopped precisely nothing.
  50. 1 point
    If you set up what you are proposing, you are doing what is generally known as dead reckoning. Even if your system as you suggest is perfectly balanced and heat input = heat losses, how id it going to cope when you have a party and have 20 people in the house and do a lot of cooking? it will overheat. and how will it cope when someone does not shut a door properly and nobody notices for half an hour? it will cool down. I can't see the opposition to simple thermostats and a basic number of zones, it copes with most eventualities like that.
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