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  1. 12 points
    Sorry for the delay since the last blog. Things have been very hectic keeping a track of everything that is going on with the build and holding a job down ! As we approach end of January and move into February there are lots of things going on simultaneously on site including battening the roof in preparation for the roofers, finishing of fitting the smartply in preparation for blowing in the insulation and fitting the windows and doors. The first window goes in on 30th January. Many of the side reveals to the windows have splays to help spread the light from the window. We are using Green Building Store Progressions windows and Green Building Store Ultra doors. The Progression windows are expensive, but the narrow sight-lines give a lovely contemporary look and very little of the frame is visible outside, so it should be as maintenance free as you can get and seems like a good investment. The Ultra doors look very similar to the Progression doors and are of a similar thermal performance but are more cost effective to purchase. From the 12th - 15th February, the Warmcell insulation is blown into the frame. I hadn't realised, but you can do this before all of the windows are fitted, as long as the boarding out is completed inside and out. By 21st February all windows and doors are fitted. A lot of time has gone into ensuring the windows are fitted properly and are as airtight as possible. In parallel, the brick plinth is built. Whilst you won't see all of this once the ground levels are built up, I am really pleased with the quality of the job. Next job is and fitting the Aquapanel in preparation for the rendering. The roofer we had lined up pulled out at the last minute, but we are able to get a local firm with a good reputation to take their place at short notice. We took a lot of trouble selecting the roof tiles and we are particularly looking forward to seeing the tiles laid. The roofers are on site beginning of March after a small delay due to rain to do the counter-battening and lay the tiles. The roof is a pretty simple shape so the roofers make quick progress. We are using plain clay smooth machine-made tiles made by Dreadnought tiles and supplied by Ashbrook Roofing. We found out about them at a self build show we attended and have had great support from both Dreadnought and Ashbrook. We are using two colours - 70% staffordshire blue and 30% blue brindle mixed randomly. Before you know it, the roof is in place. Big Day on 8th March as it is our first Air Test. We'd put 0.3 air changes per hour (ach) @ 50pa into phpp so we were hoping for something similar or better. Results were: 0.08 ach @ 50 pa 0.11 m3/hr/m2 @50 pa Absolutely delighted with the results. Given building regs are 10 m3/hr/m2 @50 pa and Passivhaus standard is 0.6 ach @ 50 pa, this is over 90 times better than building regs and over 7 times better than Passivhaus standards and a great testament to the attention to detail shown by the build team. Flashings between the wood cladding and the render are fitted. These were made by a Herefordshire based fabricator. Work continues fitting the cladding. We are using Douglas Fir, supplied by Ransford which is literally 5 minutes down the road. Once the roof has been laid and the weather allows, the rendering starts. We are using the Weber system, with a base coat applied first followed by a thin silicon based top coat which will be sprayed on. The roof and detailing around the dormer window are completed Once the cladding is complete and before the scaffolding comes down, we need to treat the cladding. The gable ends need a fireproof coating due the proximity of other houses, so it's one coat of primer, two of Envirograf and two of Osmo. The front and back of the house get one coat primer and two of Osmo. It's one of those jobs that costs more and takes longer than expected. We hadn't planned on having to to apply so many coats of product and in my naiveity I thought it would be a layer or two of fireproof coating on each gable. The wood looks a little orange at the moment but that is typical when new and it does weather down nicely which is what I plan to allow the wood to do. Hopefully to osmo will help even out the weathering but I have no plans to keep on applying it. The guttering is attached whilst the scaffolding is still up (Lindab galvanised) The scaffolding on the house comes down and goes up on the garage to allow the roof to be completed on the garage. The second coat of render is sprayed on and the shell of the house is now complete.
  2. 10 points
    So, I know I promised tales of cladding and roofing in the last instalment, but I have reviewed my photo stream and in fact realised that the window install was the next thing. At the end of November (as we all know, winter is prime building time), we finally retrieved our bargain basement windows from storage and brought them to site. Ah, the bargain basement windows, a tale of joy, horror, stress, fury, confusion and eventual revenge all in one. I should explain. When we had secured the plot and had initial drawings from the architect and were waiting for engineering/calcs/building control drawings/services/everything else, we passed the time by getting hilariously large quotes for every aspect of the design. It kept us amused. So, after reading a lot on fabric first design and passive homes, off we trotted to our local Internorm dealer. Lovely showroom, excellent coffee, charming, if slightly oily salesperson. There was much discussion about our options - I asked about passive standard 3G timber aluclad. After a while, a large figure was mentioned. A very large figure. So large, in fact, that I actually was convinced that the salesperson was having a little joke with me. He wasn't. No further coffee was offered. We gathered our coats, emptied the complimentary biscuits into my handbag and prepared to leave shamefacedly, and preferably without admitting that we were FAR TOO POOR to afford these lovely windows. On the way out, the salesman commented off handedly and rather insincerely "Sorry we couldn't help you today. Unless you want to buy the ones in the basement, ha ha ha." Reader, I have little-to-no shame when it comes to sniffing out a bargain. I cannot be humiliated. So, I was accompanied to the basement of the showroom, whereupon I was greeted with a £100,000 wonderland of window-related (expletive deleted)-ups. Results of inaccurate measuring, bankruptcy of developers, incorrect specifying, just general inefficiency. Of absolutely (expletive deleted)-all use to anyone, of course. Apart from someone who had not fully finalised their house plans. And a salesperson who is uncommonly keen on crystallising some value from said (expletive deleted)-ups. It was a partnership written in the stars. Details of hard-nosed negotiating aside (and there was someone in the room close to tears, and it wasn't me), we came away with 15 brand new windows (including 3 large sliders), a fully biometric ex display front door with side lights, a utility door, and a large panel of glass. All pretty much passive standard, some with built in blinds, some alu-clad timber, some Alu clad UPVC. For not much money. At all. A very satisfyingly small amount of money. The architect was somewhat perturbed by this moderately unconventional approach of designing the house around already purchased windows, to say the least. For a while, I had a Quooker tap and approx £80,000 of windows as my only purchases for the house. However, he came up trumps and designed the house in such a way as you would never know that he had any design restrictions at all. The man is a quiet genius. We had cherry picked the best stuff - so all our sliders for the bedrooms are approximately (but not quite) the same size, they vary by about 30mm here and there, but they are all on different elevations of the house so you never see them right next to each other. We wanted to use one particular window in the bathroom as it had built in blinds, but it was a little too big, so we sank the bath into the floor to allow the window to have opening clearance. It looks amazing and like an intended "design feature". So, we purchased the bargain basement windows, and following our cynical, but realistic architects advice - we got a trailer and got them the hell out of that warehouse. They stayed wrapped up and palletised for approx 2 years until that fateful day in November. Now, what we should have done was quit while we were ahead, taken note of the surpassingly large number of (expletive deleted)-ups and run like the wind away from that warehouse. You will not be surprised to learn that this did not happen. We still needed our large feature window - a 5m wide, 2.7m high alu clad timber lift and slide window and matching fixed panels above. This was not cheap. Very very not cheap. But it was lovely. We decided that as we'd saved so much money with the rest of the windows, we could justify this lovely thing. We got a good, although still bloody expensive price on it, paid a 50% deposit, and were instructed to let them know when we were ready to have the window produced - as we hadn't been through building control fully yet, so didn't want to press "Go" just then. So, all well. We got on with what we needed to do, engineering, building control, life etc and gave no more thought to it. We get our building warrant. We phone up the showroom to say "yay! please make our very highly priced window!". Only, there's a disconnected tone. Odd, we think - must have misdialled. We try again, same thing. We google. Website down, emails bounce. A light sweat breaks out. The insufferable shits went bust. No one told us. It may or may not be directly related to the basement of (expletive deleted)-ups. Internorm had never heard of our order and had not received our deposit, so couldn't help. Now, thank christ that I am naturally untrusting of salespeople and INSISTED on paying £101 of the VERY LARGE deposit on a credit card. Section 75, how I love thee. We got the whole lot back. Eventually. After a lot of paperwork and phonecalls. But now we have a load of second hand windows, some with bits missing and no-one to fit them. And no-one to order our lovely slider from Help was on the way from an unexpected quarter though. Our house build is being filmed for TV, and we happened to have a filming day a couple of weeks later. Someone on the crew gave us the details of a helpful person within Internorm, who passed us on to another dealer who honoured the original price for the sliders, came up from England to fit the windows, supplied all our missing bits and were generally wonderful. So, we come to November. There are two access points to our site - one at the rear, which we can just about fit an articulated lorry up, and one at the front, on the extremely busy main street, that is cobbled and 2cm narrower than a transit with the wing mirrors folded, and only just as tall. The Internorm dealer had already made a site visit to review the access and made many sucky-teeth noises, but said "it's ok, we'll get a robot handler up from Leeds that can hold the window at 45 degrees while we drive it up." "Ooooh", we think, "A robot! Technology will save this whole scenario". The day started relatively badly when it transpired that the artic driver, instead of turning right when he should have, so he could drive straight down the street and have the windows on the correct side for unloading, had in fact, turned left and was now in the middle of fully reversing down a medieval street so long that it takes approx 8 minutes to walk from one end to the other. At 9am. Also, he was (I think) Romanian, with no English, and there were no Romanian speakers amongst the installation crew. So, when he finally arrived, after monumentally pissing off approximately 14 million local residents, the windows were on the wrong side and no room to turn. So we had to unload the rest of his lorry, stack it up on the street, taking up virtually every parking space in the place and drive the telehandler across the street, blocking all the traffic to get the window off. It is massive. Securing it on the tele handler is not a quick process. There was a lot of shouting. Also, did I mention I'm 6 months pregnant at this point? So, once unloaded, we look around eagerly for the promised technology laden robot. Looking a bit sheepish, the install crew confessed that it hadn't been available, but "don't worry, we brought something else". Great, I think! No problemo. The "something else" appeared, to my untrained eye, to be a couple of skateboards. So, we ended up with our massive window being rolled up the close on a couple of skateboards, being held at 45 degrees by a telehandler and 10 or so guys not all of whom shared a common language. To be honest, it went better than it should have done. The only hairy moment was when the tyre of the telehandler hit a drainpipe and it cracked with a noise EXACTLY like breaking glass. I was at the street end and couldn't see the window, just heard the cracking noise and a lot of a shouting. I was pretty convinced I was about to HAVE the baby. Terrifying. But, all in all ... TADAHHH! Over the next couple of days, all the windows were fitted and we were (nearly) watertight. Exciting progress.
  3. 8 points
    Apologies for the lack of updates on the blog. Things have been quite taxing over the past couple of months, coming to terms with my Dad's unexpected passing. I have struggled to find my feet, and to get anchored in the present again. My beautiful wife Kim and my (mental) kids have been amazing, and I think that I am ready to carry on in earnest. Long story short, I am getting my mojo back a bit now, so expect a big update in the next 48h - there might even be a bit of skin on show! 😉
  4. 7 points
    So, I just remembered that I actually had this blog. I'm killing time waiting for a phonecall, so, updates! Over a year later! Stuff has happened. Lots of stuff. Lots of money. Many tears. Some moments of "FFS, what?!", many moments of "HOW MUCH?" and "how the feck does this bloody shower fit together?" and a few, rare, beautiful moments of "woah, that looks awesome". The last entry ended on a lovely "woah" moment of the successful pouring of our beautiful concrete floor throughout the ground floor plan. It pissed down the next day, obviously. Then MBC went away, laden with cakes, pies and phone numbers of eligible single ladies from the area. A week later, they came back. My new job is a long commute away, and I had to work that day. On my way to the station (hideously early), I saw a truck drive past, laden with bits of house. "That's our house", I thought to myself, I just knew it. I text my husband to share the momentous culmination of our wonderful joint enterprise and was mercilessly mocked that it probably wasn't our house, as it was far too early. Ha! How I laughed when the driver called him approximately 10 minutes later to say he was stuck in the narrow road outside our site, couldn't turn the lorry sharp enough to get into the access point and was blocking every single (extremely angry) person in our medieval town from getting to work. That was a brisk drive to site for him. There were many people in hi-viz, a lot of shouting and gesturing, a lot of sharp intakes of breath, a few calls to the police to track down owners of badly parked cars and a huge amount of car horn tooting. Oh, and a LOT of apologising. But, the truck made it into the site. Just. To the never-ending delight of my small son, there was also an absolutely ENORMOUS crane. I was later informed this in fact this is an embarrassingly tiny crane, the smallest one that you can possibly hire and really hardly worth the bother. I feel like the driver may have had some adequacy issues with his crane size. So, whilst I was in a meeting, they just wacked the house together. At lunchtime, I called for a catchup FaceTime and the ground floor was pretty much finished! I mean, WHAT? The speed was insane. By the time I got to site later that evening (about 7.30pm), all the ground floor panels and internal partitions were in. My husband and I just walked around rooms, giggling insanely to ourselves at the ridiculousness of the whole thing. The next day, second storey on. Unbelievable. By the end of the week (in fact, I don't even think it was full week) the whole frame was up. We were a little shellshocked, to be honest. There was a lot of head scratching about how to run the falls on the roof. This had been discussed and obviously designed in, but our roofer had some input whilst MBC were on site. They were very good and spent a lot of time working out the best way to make it work for what we needed (singly ply membrane roof, adequate falls, hidden box gutters) and did a lot of extra work in conjunction with the other trades. Our roofer also risked the wrath of his wife by coming to a site meeting on a saturday and was subsequently late for a family BBQ oops. Oddly, once the frame was up and see could feel the room sizes in 3D, they suddenly felt absolutely massive again. Such a convincing illusion - it's very hard to visualise 3D space from a 2D footprint. Next up? The joys of roofing and zinc cladding And winter
  5. 7 points
    We’ve just done our final concrete pour, in fact two pours in one week. From ground floor to gables in two weeks with Easter in the middle is quick, a little too quick to enjoy. We can now get a real sense of how the house will look. Next week we are ready to start work on the roof. Before building the first floor, a temporary floor was laid around the room perimeters using 12mm OSB. This was done to provide a working area to build the blocks from and allow bracing to be put in place without damaging the final floor. 12mm board seemed awfully thin to walk on! . With our builders now familiar with the wall plans the blocks went up very quickly indeed. In practice it takes longer to do the bracing and shuttering than to do the building. Not having to cut blocks on site is a major advantage, not just from an accuracy point of view but it also makes the site much cleaner. Some ICF sites look as though it’s been snowing with polystyrene. As mentioned in out last blog entry we had the option to do a single pour combining the first floor and gables. We’re really glad it was done in two stages, attempting it in one pour would almost certainly caused major bracing issues and risked the block work due to the higher pressures resulting from the depth of concrete. Never thought I would be happy to shell out £1000 on a pump. Having no experience of other build methods it’s not easy to evaluate the pro’s and con’s of each system. For us, the need to use concrete pumps has to be the worst aspect of ICF. It just seems like you’re never quite ready and there’s another dozen details to attend to before it starts. With multiple companies involved for boom pumps and concrete delivery, it’s both expensive and difficult to get people to turn up when you asked for them. Our last pour was scheduled for 11am and the concrete lory finally arrived a 3:30pm...To add to the entertainment the pump has to be vented after use. This involves a set of guys you probably won’t see again and want to be elsewhere dumping large volumes of concrete on your site. After three pours we have somewhere in the region of three tons of set concrete to break up and pay to dispose of. Some of the last lot got dumped on next doors newly block paved drive. Lots and lots of cleaning up. It’s not too much of a surprise that the builders don’t include this in there list of responsibilities. Definitely the Achilles heel of the ICF build method. Enough moaning, it’s been a long couple of weeks with many disturbed nights worrying irrationally about being a lego brick short at the end of the build. We now have a house, no roof, but hey we have to do something next week.
  6. 6 points
    Da Dahhhhhhhhhhhhh!
  7. 6 points
    Although I like woodwork and have many woodworking tools we wanted a “cottage” in brick (although most houses round here are rendered and the planners like “sameness” so had a fight on our hands) I liked the quick erection of TF and having visited @JSHarris was mightily impressed with his build. I also like heavy houses (phew, nearly said thermal m##ss😱). We are very lucky that a local builder with a very good reputation gave me a fixed price on brick and block to my specification (passive principle) with me doing all the timber work, roofs, floors, windows etc. ( my second cancer put paid to me doing the roof tho ). What I like about brick is its lack of maintenance and “cottagey” look. I have nothing against timber frame and I suppose I could have had one with a brick skin but the sums did not add . I am extremely pleased with our build and we have very little in the way of cracks, just windows cills shrinking a little. I did pay a decorator to paint and he commented that our build had fewer cracks than any other new build he has been on 👍 Just had some bad news, the bricklayer who did such a good job and has become a good friend has just had a stroke, he is 6 years younger than me, fit as a fiddle, ex military, does not drink (much). So today’s motto is live life to the full, life is not a rehearsal, we are only here once so enjoy it.
  8. 5 points
    Just to be absolutely clear, this forum HAS NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER WITH ANY COMMERCIAL ENTITY. BuildHub is not connected with any supplier, builder, manufacturing company or whatever, and is run completely independently, by an association of volunteer members. Anyone can help run this forum, and the minutes of meetings, etc are available for inspection on request.
  9. 5 points
    No just not true. If like the vast majority of members here you play nice then your posts don't get subjected to any kind of moderation. It's in the terms and conditions that you signed up to when you joined this forum that if you post something which doesn't adhere to these rules then it gets moderated. It's that simple.
  10. 4 points
    We've just finished the ICF work using the JUB block system. This post is to let others know how we got on with the system and hopefully help when comparing the various block systems. Before getting into the detail, we selected the JUB block as it was the only ICF system we found that does not require cutting on site. The house plans get optimised for the block which can mean the structure dimensions change by up to 75mm. At planning submission time we didn't know which building system we would use, yet alone the ICF block type. Ideally you would select the block type and then design to minimise cutting. As a result our block plan was more complex than it needed to be. Pro's Accuracy of build. As it's a kit manufactured at the factory the blocks are cnc'd to the precise dimensions required. All cuts are square and smooth. We have found that the pour process does result in block movement, for example some of our window opening are approximately 10mm wider than they should be. Over a 3M window it's an acceptable level of accuracy and I doubt it would be better with any other block system. More attention to detail when bracing and shuttering would almost certainly reduce the movement. Less mess on site. Not having to cut blocks has a positive effect on the site mess. It does mean that you have to be very careful with the blocks as if you break it you may have to order another. JUB provided us with a set of spare blocks to help with just this kind of problem. We didn't need them to recover from damage, but we did use some to make up a lintel that was not on our original block plan. Little use of foam. The blocks key into each other meaning that very little foam gets used. For a real self build where you are putting the blocks together yourself it would be a blessing as the foam gets everywhere and ruins clothing. Clean openings. All the window and door openings are fully enclosed by the ICF. Fitting out. The blocks have a strong nylon webbing at 75mm intervals that allows battens to be firmly screwed to the ICF without having to drill into the concrete core. Con's Locating the correct block. With so many blocks involved in our build it can take a while to locate the special block you are after. The blocks come on pallets, each with their own manifest so in theory it should just be a case of locating the block on the a manifest, going to that pallet and retrieving the block. But life's not like that the block you want will be buried at the bottom of the pallet. On a small site this can be quite a problem. It does improves with every block you use and in practice takes a lot less time than cutting blocks. Inflexible once you're on site. The kit approach means it's much more difficult to change details, you can't just change windows dimensions or move doors at will. Delivery to site. JUB will only ship on pallets so you need to have a means of offloading the lorry when it gets to site. From our experience with the JUB system, we would certainly use it again. It may involve a lot more up front work in the planning stage but that pays dividends on site. We only built one gable ourselves but based on that it's a good system for the self builder as it's a straight forward assembly. In an ideal world we would have preferred to build the blocks ourselves and hire in help for the pours. From the point of view of minimising risk, having the structure done by and experience ICF builder was probably the smart thing to do. 646-2018 WALL - Assembly plan 1of2 A1.pdf 646-2018 WALL - Assembly plan 2of2 A2.pdf 646-2018 WALL - Cut elements - First floor.pdf 646-2018 WALL - Cut elements - Ground floor.pdf 646-2018 WALL - Bracing plan A2.pdf
  11. 4 points
    This led to our first post move in disaster. We got in for the 22nd Dec, set up the tree, laid out the presents under it and went to bed. Turns out putting chocolates on a heat source....
  12. 4 points
    Regarding cracks, here is my tip fir the day regarding wooden windows. I built angled reveals (cottagey) and suggested the plasterer put a stop bead next to the wooden window, filled with non setting mastic to stop any cracking, he said it was not required......I wish I had insisted.
  13. 4 points
    I'm hoping this site will be both a source of inspiration and a shoulder to cry on over the coming months, if not years. My partner Helen and I purchased a disused Severn Trent Pump House and DSR (Distribution Storage Reservoir - great big concrete water tank) back in February 2018. The half acre plot came with full planning consent to renovate the existing brick Pump House, build a new section to link the Pump House to the concrete water tank and to convert the tank into living accommodation. It was a very contemporary, flat roof design, not really us, so we've spent the last year coming up with a new scheme and starting to clear the site ready for the build, once planning have given their seal of approval. This is the first time Helen and I have taken on a project like this. We've both undertaken extensions and small alterations in our separate lives, before we met, but nothing on this scale. Whilst a slow start, this has given us time to think. I can't count the number of visits we've made to the plot with a picnic in hand, to sit on the grass roof of the tank and get a feel for the place and to imagine what it would be like to live there. We've also had time to look into the history of the site and helped by John Simpson from Severn Trent Reunited - http://www.st-reunited.org.uk, we've been able to find out quite a lot. We've even had the pleasure of meeting the children, who's father worked there and his father before him. Some of the old photos have also been passed on, a lot of which are on the reunited web site, but I'll post some of these as we progress. I've attached a few images of the site, as it was when we purchased it back in 2018. We've since removed the earth banks from two sides of the tank, so I'll upload some more recent shots later. We're both very excited about the build, but realistic about the challenges ahead. We couldn't have wished for a better location and the opportunity this has given us. Happy days! Dave & Helen
  14. 3 points
    I can empathise with your feelings. Part way through our build my father in law died. We were both hoping he'd live long enough to see our house finished, but it wasn't to be. I did put a small memorial to him, and my late father (who died back in 1972) right up at the very top of our house:
  15. 3 points
    Those are two very different photos (or 3d models of your proposed kitchen?), and I want to go on a perambulation before talking about kitchens. This is something I am thinking about this AM, in the context of marketing a student property. I thought I would do my thinking here, if that is OK. These are musings, and I am quite open to being shot down in flames. One is perhaps a good example of a cheap-and-cheerful which can be replaced by 2 in a decade. First of all - DRESSING AND PRESENTATION. Need to filter out the presentational differences before looking at the substance. How much is the presentation affecting your perception? The light is different in the pics. The first looks washed out and with less variety of colour. Compare the histograms - (this is luminosity, but colours all also have a far narrower depth of palette in the first than the second). Your "next level" piccie is on the left. What does that mean? You can see the difference in the histogram. To me the one piccie looks like a snapshot, and the second looks dressed (in addition to the furniture differences) fro eg Instagram or Dezeen. I would say that is an artefact of our culture now being more universally visual (as opposed to in islands and subsectors such as Architects or Artists or Photogs or Models). In a way the first looks like an aspirational room from Ikea Gen 1 (say 1975 in design environments, as popularised by early Ikea). The second is more sumptuous with a greater range of colour, which we are now getting perhaps ith the 1940s/50s (rather than 1960s/early 1970s) being in fashion. I think that just with a small adjustment to the 'old gen' kitchen makes it more attractive to 2019 eyes. All I have done is dialed in richer colours via changing the Gamma for the photo. Here is the luminosity histogram for this pic: Content Differences However, there are also some photo / lighting differences - the second one is photographed to include the snug, and more sitting places. The first one says "kitchen with nowhere to relax", like something out of a Hall of Residence which is primarily functional; the second one is clearly a home. (This is one way my letting agent describes their philosophy of designing / marketing student houses). These are probably subliminal, but communicate a different environment where the viewer might be ore comfortable existing. (A great example of this was when digital artists started displaying their Gicle images on Ebay as if hung on a wall behind a sofa by plonking a floating sofa at the bottom of the pic. I first noticed that in about 2005 when on Ebay when a photo-printing blogger pointed it out). There is also (not sure whether intentional) the classic "before and after" manipulated photograph thing as you saw on Trinny and Susanna. Compare those 2 kitchen piccies to this weightloss before and after: There is a weightloss, but also mucho photo-shenanigans. On the left - flat frontal lighting, no highlights to give depth or definition (eg rh picture, lighting from rhs giving a halo to skin and boob), body and bounce in rh hairdo not there in lh piccie, stomach on rhs tensed (LH to me looks relaxed), rh picture has model smiling and engaged (lh has just been told her puppy got run over), variation in colour/tone on rhs and depth of colour palette ( not on left) etc. It may be instructive to compare the colour histograms. And those arms and waist look Photoshopped. There is a lot similar going on in your 2 piccies - especially eg flat colours in the first compared to the second, and perhaps lighting. But that is also true of the design. Not saying that it is deliberate as in the model piccies, but it could be affecting the subliminal perception (does with me). So, where are we? Underneath all of that, to me the second one looks about twice as expensive eg compare the material for the island worktop, or the designer staircase. But there is a big difference bewreen the 2 piccies before we get to "what is in the kitchen". So my comments are: 1 - Visit as well as look at pictures. 2 - "Klotzen nicht Kleckern" - don't spend on everything. Work out the bits that matter to you (eg by working out where you spend your time or use most, and spend money on that). Spend the money where you will often touch the quality. 3 - Focus on reducing price for a given quality , not on buying cheaper things with extra gewgaws. 4 - Think about external factors - how you use the rooms etc, layout and so on. Fabric.First. 5 - Really pay attention to the detail. 6 - As for Designers etc, you need someone to facilitate your process with their skills, not someone who will tell you what to do. 7 - For colours, a limited range of contrasting colours with different tones, rather than a range of shades of similar colours. The current Renovate Don't Relocate does this well (I think it is a product of murderous Stamp Duty in London). You also get to see a TV series with Sarah Beeny not pregnant. For an example - I have an expensive (£600 bought online for £400) sink with a non-standard drainer-sink-halfsink arrangement as I use it a lot, and like to be able to flap around with guts and gore in the halfsink *away* from the drainer. I think you start with your own philosophy and perhaps a "statement of needs", then evaluate different things against that. "Next Generation Kitchen" is not a statement of needs - unless you are a Boutique Hotel. Buzzword-driven kitchen design (which I do not think you are doing except a list as a way to provoke debate) ends up with a lottery-winner's gin palace or a City-Boy's never-used swank pad kitchen; it's a kitchen version of a trophy-wife. Sorry for the long post. Hope it was useful. Ferdinand
  16. 3 points
    If you look at the detail of the EPC it is a joke and shows what an utter waste of time they are in the present format. The house has ground source heat pumps and mvhr - nil points for either on epc score. Stick a solar panel on at a cost of 5k and it ups the epc rating - cost saving on energy usage nil. Utter nonsense its a very energy efficient house but because it doesn't fit the tick box system it gets a lower score than a lego box.
  17. 3 points
    old pair of tights stretched over the F7 as a prefilter?
  18. 3 points
    I have just finished watching this and feel bizarrely annoyed. So one couple without an architect managed to design and build their own house using fairly standard construction methods for a reasonable cost and well below the market value. It was a very nice house. The other couple with the advice of an architect built an "experimental" house which despite being small, cheaply finished and supposedly built with volunteer labour ended up ridiculously expensive. It was of an entirely non standard construction method that looked insubstantial and prone to perhaps needing excessive maintenance. It would be very difficult to remortgage and resell. Building a house at 24 you would think this would be an important consideration. So who is responsible? Did they want to build using this method or were they badly advised by the architect. Why did they not know that they needed sprinklers. They had built an open plan wooden box. The architects specialise in this, you'd think they would know. I would really like to know who's fault it is and think Kevin perhaps needs to ask some more probing questions sometimes. I also don't understand why he is so enamoured with unusually built houses sometimes. A house is most people's largest asset and not a piece of art. Of course if you can get it right you can get something that turns out both beautiful and a great investment, some houses built on the show over the years have been stunning, but being different for difference's sake is not a great idea. I really cannot comprehend how that house cost £200,000 to build.
  19. 3 points
    That confirms my view that the plot prices are now too high, you could not buy a plot and build one of those 2 for what they are on sale for now. It is a great shame as GD keep telling the mass viewers how cheap the plots were and how good value the finished house is. There will be a lot of disappointed people when they find out the current asking prices for the plots now.
  20. 3 points
    Dara, as ever, is on the money here...
  21. 3 points
    I needed 35 packs of Rockwool sound slab for acoustic insulation in my partition walls. Ex. VAT Prices obtained: BuilderDepot £25 / per pack http://m.builderdepot.co.uk/rockwool-insulation-td-multirock-100mm-x-600mm-x-1200mm-pk-6.html Wickes £33.33 / per pack Travis Perkins £38.88 per pack The BuilderDepot price had a big discount at 15+ packs. So, that is £500 saved on the BuilderDepot price compared to the original Travis Perkins quote for 30 minutes work.
  22. 3 points
    @Oz07 We used smart ply propassiv https://www.buildingcentre.co.uk/news/smartply-propassiv-sets-industry-first-standards-for-airtightness which is the airtight version. The joints were all taped. @Russell griffiths Fabricator who did the flashings was ACL Sheet Metal in Hereford. https://www.aclsheetmetal.com/ I would recommend them. If they had any questions they asked, the order was turned round quickly and we were pleased with the quality of the final product.
  23. 3 points
    Your as well ordering the screed with fibres in and making sure you have a joint at each doorway
  24. 3 points
    As they should be if your not aware of how to prevent them from being dangerous, my first apprenticeship was as a forest worker and i received full training through the forestry commission, later in life I spent two years wielding them on a daily basis for six months at a go cutting everything from fully grown hardwoods to commercial felling. Seen a few nasty injuries but thankfully never injured myself. Can’t think of another common bit of machinery that is more dangerous.
  25. 3 points
    Paul is a great guy and very into his house build, particularly the eco credentials. He way very persuasive in his use of clay as a render, even though it'd have been far easier to get a traditional plasterer in. He was the first one Laura and I met in fact, us wandering onto the street when it was strictly a private area and still being warm and welcoming despite our ignorance. I think his materials first philosophy isn't as far removed as mine or the rest of you, it is just that he values the natural sources and processes above performance which we tend to favour instead. I am not going to fault him after having seen him spend three months hand making and filling in his walls with hempcrete. That is a dedication to a cause irrespective on philosophy.
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