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  1. 6 points
    https://www.bere.co.uk/assets/NEW-r-and-d-attachments/Lark-Rise-Self-consumption-study-by-Energelio-160429.pdf is worth reading deeply if you're seriously considering going off-grid. It's the calculations for how close to autonomy you can get with a ~200m2 Passivhaus in the southern UK with 13kW of PV and a battery of varying sizes. Even with a very big battery (40 kWh in this case), in December it's still importing ~60% of electricity demand from the grid. Per PVGIS for Aberdeen, you'd need at least a 30kW ground-mount system to meet demand in December, which is the hardest month to handle - in the process producing 27,000 kWh nearly all of which would go to waste. You could probably downsize a bit as you're looking at a smaller house, but given how well insulated the example given is you're going to struggle with getting a 50% reduction without going full Passivhaus. Going off-grid with only PV and batteries in the UK is exceptionally hard. Assuming you need 500 kWh in December to give you some margin (most of the power coming from PV throughout the year), you only need a steady-state power of 700W to keep things going which isn't huge. Small wind turbines are very site-specific and a bit of a lottery though - average capacity factor seems to be in the 15-20% region (inferring you'd need ~5kW installed power), but can be very high or low. One interesting note - heating demand is 1000 kWh of electricity a year in this model and DHW another 800 kWh/year. Take that away and over an **average** year, you'll be able to run everything else 100% on PV. In the model the COP is assumed to be 2.8, so heat demand is 5100 kWh/year => equivalent to about 400 kg of Propane. So an LPG boiler plus standby propane-fuelled generator in case you get a week of miserable weather might be a decent option in your case. As noted the power draw will be very low from it - it's only there as a backup for the few times a year that the batteries run out and need a top-up, so fuel burn and running hours will be relatively low. Resale value is going to be higher on-grid and running costs a bit lower, but not shockingly so. It's really important that the house is very low-energy though - the cost per kWh of off-grid energy is much higher than on-grid. If it was my build, at £30k I'd go for a grid connection (mostly considering resale and the faff-factor), but if it ended up being a lot more (£50k+) then off-grid is feasible.
  2. 3 points
    It's a tough one, where and how do you spend your money? I have / do wrestle with this. One starting point is to ask.. what do you want the windows to do for you! Do you need lots of light, do you want thin frames, (say a set of sliding doors with thin 20mm thick mullions) do you need to comply with planning conditions, reduce noise or are you trying to use your windows to achieve a certain U value to make your scheme work? How long do you want your windows to last.. in other words is this your forever home or are you doing this as a step to something else? I'll leave it to you to moralise.. The windows/ doors are a big ticket item. Considerations for me are: 1/ Do you really need 3g? Is this for insulation or sound? If sound insulation then plus point, if just for insulation then can this be achieved with less long term risk..(say by spending your money on insulating elsewhere go for the simple stupid option) beyond the glass guarentee. Put three panes of glass together and they are heavy. The inner pane can heat up like fury as it is in it's own green house, lots of thermal expansion which stresses the seals. Then you probably have some argon gas that is supposed to not behave like a gas does and just stay put! 2/ The hinge and locking technology.. look carefully and you'll see that this has not developed as fast as we would like. Again fine for a few years but look at the size and embedment of the fixing screws in the hinges. It's a weak spot. Three panes of glass? Remember that some windows and doors will be opened a lot.. some on few occasions. Seriously have a look at the screws.. you can have some really high end windows with "tiny screws " .. it's a serious weak spot! 3/ What level of adjustment do you have in the locking mechanism. Take a tilt and turn window/ casement.. can you as a home owner adjust them yourselves after reading the instructions? 4/ How flexible are the seals? Well as a lay person unless you have a good knowledge of the materials that are used to form the seals you won't really know and your window supplier is not likely to tell you! But as a lay guide. Imagine you are sealing a shower tray on a bouncy timber floor. Put in a tiny bead of silicon (aka a small seal) and that tiny bead has to stretch a lot over a short length, put in a big thick bead ( heavy seal) and the stress is less as you have a longer length of bead. Same with your window seal, don't ask it to compress too much and it will return the favour in the long term. 5/ Overcladding timber with aluminium. All sounds good, warranty for say ten years.. but what about the windows performing for say 25 - 40 years? Like say a timber sash and case window that can be maintained with ease. It would be good and I would welcome info from the "Aluclad" type suppliers on their recommendations for long term durability and low cost maintenance in the long term. What do you do when you need to replace a hinge and have lost fixity / embedment of the screws? Yes these composite frames may be fine in Scandinavia but hey.. this is the UK.. we just don't get the low temperatures in the winter with the associated low humidity, we get British weather.. it's a different animal, wet, a bit cold but plenty water in the air. Covering wood with metal which seals moisture in? Really but how do you keep the joint watertight on the aluminium section in the long term when the substrate of timber is doing what wood does..? 6/ Now we all know that for timber to last it needs to breath. We have for a long time used cross laminated timber (CLT).. it's like plywood where you glue films /veneers of wood together. Engineered flooring is a good example.. we often use this when we have underfloor heating. Look at the UF heating specs for engineered flooring and they are quite clear that you need to control moisture, let the CLT breath. But suddenly the window folk are sealing one side at least with an impervious material? Once the water gets in what then? Much reliance seems to be placed on say the glue, how the timber is dried and the fact that the metal cladding will remain water tight. I am at a loss as to how this works in the long term given the different behavoirs of the wood and metal subject to varying moisture contents. Maybe the glue is the thing? The argument does not stack up in the long term for me. Just say you get a leak in your aluclad near a fixing screw for the hinge. The timber will suffer, your window drops.. you don't need to be a technical wizard to work out what the consequences will be for you heavy 3g sash! In summary what I'm saying is this. If you want good looking windows and go for timber over clad with aluminium then fine. But if it is your forever home then we need the manufactures of these types of windows to step up to the plate and tell us how we can maintain them in the long term. If you are just trying to do something that complies with the regs.. well spend a bit more time on build hub.. the cost effective answer is probably here. Calvin. Hope the above helps.. I have laid it on a bit thick but windows and door are a big ticket item so the hard questions need to be asked. If you have a tight budget then look at improving insulation where it is easy and cost effective, cost effective to buy and cost effective labour wise to install. Do a bit of research on how windows should be installed. In particular how you insulate the ingoes and seal the frames. Spend time on getting the workmanship right here and this will pay dividends. A cheaper window well installed will often perform better than an expensive one that is not well installed. Maybe go for UPVC windows, install them well and spend money on the kitchen, or just a nice sofa/ curtains/ just family stuff? Lastly all the best with the project.
  3. 3 points
    I'm trying to workout how anyones life is meaningful. In the end your born, you live, you die. In the gap between birth and death you do something. What's wrong with toy trains? It's as meaningful as being a barrister, having children, building massive status filled houses or doing nothing.
  4. 3 points
    Buy a decent fridge to begin with. I replaced my fridge/freezer a few years ago with an American style Beko model, it was a horrible noisy poorly engineered beast that seemed designed to promote early onset macular degeneration. Appliances Online agreed to take it back and the smaller more expensive Samsung is whisper quiet in comparison, the reviews mentioned a new technology powering the Samsung compressor.
  5. 2 points
    Or a terminology one, they should be called convectors, not radiators. I do hope that science lessons in schools start teaching this stuff, it is all very simple, little mathematics needed and could make a huge difference.
  6. 2 points
    I’d say the course just visible is part of the footings brickwork & was never meant to be seen,the fact that it’s stack bond is annoying but nothing to worry about in the scheme of things. Extremely hard to tell if there’s any actual movement occurred locally in the zone highlighted or if the pointing has degraded over time with rain splash. Same with the perpend joints on the partially seen course-no way of knowing if it’s degraded or if the joints were ever full in the first place? Can I ask the significance of tomorrow?
  7. 2 points
    No brainier LA We used LA on our last and next Cheaper No limit to visits Better availability
  8. 2 points
    Bit of everything. The design on the sliders has some fundamental issues in terms of weather tightness IMO. Made for hot climates I think. Sloppy manufacturing for the Uk licensee. Sloppy installation from the installer.
  9. 2 points
    Personally I would never never use Hermes as they have such a bad reputation round here. I sent mine by Royal Mail tracked and signed for, delivery before noon. At least it was in transit for under 24 hours. Ensure that you send it at the start of the week so that the office is properly open when it arrives.
  10. 2 points
    Can you explain how water will track in along a downward sloping plastic duct and won't along a cavity tray? A cavity tray has the potential to prevent proper insulation around the duct (with blown in insulation) leading to condensation. A cavity tray has a much higher chance of catching mortar droppings bridging the cavity completely.
  11. 2 points
    Very sensible approach IMO. You have the opportunity to repair the VCL if it gets damaged too.
  12. 2 points
    Hi new member here. My name is Frank. I have just completed a new build home. And am dealing with BC for sign off. Interesting comments I have read about various subjects. Will comment further when I need some help or when I can give anyone else input from my experience.
  13. 2 points
    It goes in on Thursday. I have been worried will it be cancelled if my provider goes out of business but I’m ok so far.
  14. 2 points
    Front door lights now up and look really smart.....
  15. 2 points
    We use about 10kWh per day powering "stuff" that is not heating or DHW and that is pretty constant throughout the year. Some day I will do an appliance by appliance measurement to try and see if there is anything we can save on, but at the moment short of watching less telly I can't see an easy saving. Re the tumble dryer. the compromise we have is it is NOT a "dryer" it is a "towel fluffing machine" Certain things like towels, socks and underwear "must" have a spell in the fluffing machine so they end up soft and fluffy. If they dry entirely naturally they fail the "fluffy" test and get described as "cardboard". So just half an hour un the fluffing machine does it, they don't come out dry, but then when hung on the airer in the utility room under an mvhr extract vent, when dried by that they do pass the fluffy test, as long as they have had the short time in the fluffy machine. One day I will pluck up the courage to see a a period in the fluffy machine on "cold" will have the effect of making them fluffy.
  16. 2 points
    I think this was my second ever attempt at blockwork. I used a Bricky tool and all joints were full filled. I then pointed with a mortar gun and brushed level. I knew nothing about air tightness then but imagine it helped.
  17. 2 points
    Bigger pallets can yield decent lengths of "shed" wood. Can be a bit of a mission to break them up successfully without a pallet buster.....like the one I made: (It now has the addition of a couple of strategically placed springs to stop the angles tipping forward).
  18. 2 points
    The mathematics on this one is important. How much pipe surface is required to change the temprature of the air entering the pipe to exiting the pipe to signifcantly effect the building. It's a bit like a GSHP in that way. I think it's quite a length of pipe!
  19. 2 points
    That depends on how the charger is set up. Chances are it won't work though - the limit is going to be the current pushed down a wire, and 3-phase runs at 415V phase-phase rather than the 230V phase-neutral from a single phase.
  20. 2 points
    It also wants to weaken it's neighbours, especially Ukraine, so rather than upgrading the existing pipeline through Ukraine and Poland and negotiating better payment deals, it has built a new pipeline it will control. All the new pipeline will do is divert supply from the old to the new.
  21. 1 point
    It’s mentioned as a dam. Therefore flowing water, not a stagnant lake or pond etc. Flowing water = abstraction license afaik as you’re affecting the downstream ‘condition’ of the water. Further reducing temps in winter can have adverse affects on nature / pond life etc so best to check ( at least ) before going down this route.
  22. 1 point
    I would suggest a sptay foam carefully applied!
  23. 1 point
    Maybe your correct on that Thorfun, but surely, if they are using a show to promote a product, youd expect a business to ensure the product is showcased in pristine order, to gain as much positive exposure as possible. I found it disappointingly difficult and no matter how efficient it may be, it would drive me nuts if I had it in my own home.
  24. 1 point
    It sounds like the answer is an insulated kettle...
  25. 1 point
    A few scabs are no problem for intumescent painter often erected bare or holding primer steel and it would be intumescent painted later
  26. 1 point
    "for women" I should take that to the high court on sex discrimination because as a man I cannot buy that so they are discriminating.
  27. 1 point
    Could be separate pull-in and run windings? But then there would be a spare aux contact to cut the pull-in circuit. plus not usual on smaller machines, even old ones
  28. 1 point
    Thanks Ferdinand for your reply, I rather enjoyed reading through your thread of the renovation of the bungalow, it turned out quite nice. We also aim to turn the bungalow into a house that doesn't cost a lot to heat. The driving force is more the intolerance of the missus against drafts and cold spots. I take a dislike to damp, and luckily the house seems not to suffer from any noticeable damp. (The MVHR planned for one of the later stages should reduce humidity further.) Luckily we don't appear to have any asbestos in the house. We had 8 samples taken and to our surprise they came back all clear (NADIS) except for a cold water tank in the loft (£250 quoted for removal). The Artex ceiling and the roof tile undercloak came out clear, even though the homebuyer's surveyor was quite sure adamant the under cloak... The rooms are 2.36m high, which is already close to the recommended height of 2.33m, so we are quite reluctant to take any more height away. We don't plan to move from this house, so we are prepared to spend a bit more to get the floor insulated properly. As long as the costs stay reasonable.
  29. 1 point
    Yes, would be best to insulate it with thick walled pipe lagging to avoid getting caught out by the water company and fix or duct it so it can’t move.
  30. 1 point
    I agree that it doesn't matter whether the energy comes from electricity, gas or oil but I think it's more complicated than that. IMHO it is the temperature of the water that is important and the differential between the air and water temperature. In a well insulated house the differential can be low with very little convection and the environment feels comfortable. In my current house I don't believe that even with a very large surface area of radiators at 45C the house would feel comfortable. I'm not going to spend thousands experimenting, I'll just insulate as much as I can to reduce the oil consumption.
  31. 1 point
    Yes before and make sure they are covered well. Plaster is almost impossible to get out of wood grain.
  32. 1 point
    There are a couple of situations where I'd consider a GSHP: - If I lived somewhere a lot colder than the U.K. (the improvement in efficiency between ASHP and GSHP is greater the colder the climate) - If I has a large property that isn't particularty well insulated. (higher usage in this case means the improvement in efficiency will give a shorter ROI) But otherise, ASHP.
  33. 1 point
    Depends on the size and extent of the holes I would say. I would be inclined to make a stiff mix of mortar or just cement with SBR/Unibond in it as suggested above. But then I suggest it is a hands and knees job with a filing trowel. That way the stuff is pressed into the holes, and you clean the surface off as you go. For bigger holes, for example when lignite is in the concrete, I have used epoxy floor repair. That could be an option for you, but if the holes are miniscule you won't want the kind with sand mixed in.
  34. 1 point
    I was not being specific, just joining in the discussion on how much discrepancy might bother a planner.
  35. 1 point
    I use both Porcelain is much much more durable Ive used limestone on floors But wouldn’t use it on heavy trafficking areas Great in bathrooms though
  36. 1 point
    1 - Congratulations on getting an old house to a 78C. That is about half as much heating required as an E or an F, and is a good figure. 2 - How airtight is it? That could make quite a difference to your heat load as the commonplace is that 25% of heat is lost through air leakage. That may be a good route to reduce gas heating usage. Consider an air tightness test, and a hunt for draughts (see Smoke Pencils)? 3 - We have a heat model ss available on the forum. I strongly recommend that you consider doing your own to further build understanding. 4 - Don't neglect to think about controlled ventilation. Do you have trickle vents? If so, consider alternative strategies. 5 - How is your house humidity-wise? 6 - Can you use those single inlet single box heatpumps that just do one area to cover any gaps? 7 - As you say, don't neglect marginal gains - which is the agenda about LED lightbulbs, lo carbon appliances, low current standbys, washing lines and so on. Suspect you are on quite a lot of that. One option which some have found effective has been a Quooker type hot water setup vs a too-often used kettle. Personally I would consider it, but my insulated kettle is still going strong. 8 - Do you have space for more solar? 9 - Are you paying attention to water usage? 10 - Do you have a number for actual Annual Energy use per sqm of floor area? That is quite a useful comparator. Ferdinand
  37. 1 point
    Lifespan would be +30 years if it wasn't stoodents 🙂. Don't ask me how I know. (Tip: Rent to 2nd years not 1st years.) As it happens I just hav to go and look at a tenant's chimney, who says that bits of brick are landing on her leanto roof and garden table. Been in place since 185x .
  38. 1 point
    Worth pointing out that there are a number of different 'timber frame' systems, with timber frame being just one of them. A bit more detail here, but not a definitive list: https://www.bre.co.uk/filelibrary/accreditation/rdsap9_91/BRE_RdSAP_Manual_5_-_Identifying_basic_constructions_v8_0.pdf https://www.trada.co.uk/start-here/timber-frame-construction/
  39. 1 point
    A mechanical mortar gun which works like a giant mortar syringe is one possibility, trouble is these require a wet mix and the whole job becomes messy. The other option is to us a thin pointing trowel but this is a fiddly job on the vertical perps. With my brickie team this was a 2-stage job. First is the usual extra 3 seconds a block to butter the end with mortar then the brickie's mate went around pointing up both sides of the block wall within the hour and filled in any voids. The cavity had a rougher finish but was still better than your example.
  40. 1 point
    Much easier to get mortar on the beds than the perps. They have done a fairly crappy job. It won't fall down but I would not be thrilled to pay for this.
  41. 1 point
    I see that this is published by the LABSS (Local Authority Building Standards Scotland) which claims to be "a not-for-profit membership organisation representing all local authority building standards verifiers in Scotland. Our members are dedicated to protecting the public interest delivered by public sector expertise to ensure buildings are safe, accessible, dry and warm." To me, and I my be wrong, this looks like protectionism, because they are not saying that you can't use these systems, they are saying "any proposal should be considered only as an alternative approach with full evidence submitted to prove compliance". It's a way of generating fees for their members. I knew that for an open plan system with no fire door separating the kitchen from the entrance hallway and bottom of stairwell I would need a mist system or a fire curtain. But my BCO won't accept a mist system without a fire engineering report. The fire engineering report is going to cost £1200 plus VAT. Absolute bonkers. Given that I'll be going down the mist system come what may, I thought I would report what I've learned: A 6 nozzle system that will cover the 80% or so of my ground floor which is open plan is going to cost about £4k plus VAT. Crazy for six nozzles, some pipework and a pump. But their customer service seems very good and they are going to provide me with their stats on false alarms to reassure me that their system really is decent. Works on a heat sensor that needs to sense a temperature of at least 68C to activate the mist. Mist goes for a maximum of 30 minutes. Apparently, even if there was a false alarm, the amount of moisture released by the mist would only take a day or two to dry out from most things. But one thing I didn't like was the annual service charge of £250 a year. Seems excessive. It's not like a boiler that is constantly being used and so might need the occasional tune up. The imist nozzles are 88mm in diameter, so small but not tiny. If anybody knows of a mister system with smaller nozzles I'd be interested to know.
  42. 1 point
    I don't really understand the question. Do you mean removing the brick corner and replacing with a steel column? Underpinning is horrible and expensive. Much easier to dig a hole from above.
  43. 1 point
    Your M&E guys must be assuming the energy losses of the FF (and basement) are then being covered by another heat source. I can't imagine you want to use the electric UFH and towel rads to fully heat the FF, but rather to top up those rooms if the GF heat has not permeated sufficiently. Your ASHP needs to cover the total energy losses for the house and the GF UFH needs to emit sufficient heat for the whole house. This will then permeate to the 1st floor via convection, conduction and MVHR. In a well insulated and airtight house, DHW is more likely to be the energy requirement that drives ASHP sizing. What size UVC have you spec'd? I have a slightly lower energy loss than your calculation, and a 500l UVC. I went with an over-sized 12kW ASHP for a quick reheat time on the cylinder. I could probably have gone with 8kW ASHP and not noticed the difference as the DHW usage is not as big an issue as I expected, even when both space heating and hot water are being called for simultaneously. Over-sizing the ASHP does of course require a decent size buffer for space heating.
  44. 1 point
    Which you can confirm with a multimeter
  45. 1 point
    I just don’t like aerated blocks, medium solid for me every time, I like solid fixings into a solid wall.
  46. 1 point
    Oh this is an interesting one. Dave certainly has the best idea of asking the charger manufacturer, looking at your block diagram 3 phases IN phase would appear to be OK but it it is only an assumption and need confirmation from manufacturer. Please tell us what they say.
  47. 1 point
    Life’s a gamble, I would T off the seller, instal a meter at your boundary and get a legal contract written in case seller moved on. At a previous house I had a neighbours drain connected to mine at the boundary and deeds included clause regarding maintenance. My parents lived in a Victorian terrace for 50 years with a shared supply (no meters) and had no problems (apart from shared stop cock but vary rarely an issue.)
  48. 1 point
    I found a brilliant way of getting rid of site waste. I have a list of everybody that made my life a misery over planning, and on bin day I drive around in the night and fill all their wheely bins up with off cuts of plasterboard and pir insulation, it takes a fair while to drive around all of them but gives me a warm contented feeling inside.
  49. 1 point
    You do know you don't have to have the supply moved. You could do as many of us have, and leave the meter there, and just run your own cable from that box into the house. At those prices it will probably save you a lot of money.
  50. 1 point
    They look good on films, etc., but I suspect that making one in real life will be troublesome. A lot of firedoor-rated sliding door gears will be heavy duty enough to carry a light book case, but if you want it to carry non-trivial capacity then you will need a bottom rail as well or some form of casters if you are rolling over a hard surface such as tiles. There are also lots of fun details such as the wall to the side of the case will have skirting and the door will need to clear this, plus you will have a top rail to the side that you will need to hide somehow if you want the door to be "hidden". The sliding case will not only need to slide, carry its load but also have extra racking stiffness to say structurally sound during opening and closing. So entirely doable IMO, but the devil is going to be in the detail and it is going to involve a lot of work. There is also the safety issue as well -- you need to be sure than said door can't come off the mount and flatten said person in the wheelchair. This is one where if you don't want to say "no" to your nearest and dearest, then you "future facilitate" the project by having an simple opening and leaving the wall to one side clean with the suggestion that "we do the door itself a year after we've completed the house, moved in and done the million and one other jobs that really need doing".
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