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  1. 13 points
    Woke up this morning in our new home! Now sat on the sofa watching tv in my new home, waiting for a full day of rugby TV to start so I can sit and sip cold beers in my new home! Can you tell I’m pleased?! Facts and Figures 1 year, 1 month, 14 days (Breaking Ground to Moving in) 4 Double Bedrooms 3 Ensuite 1 Family Bathroom 1 WC Open plan lounge kitchen diner Utility Room Double Garage Workshop Land: £120k Build Cost: £200k Size: 300m2 Cost per m2: £666/m2 (This figure is slightly off as a large part of my ground floor is garage / workshop space so can’t really be counted as fully costed m2. However I’ve also got a £30k retaining wall in the ground floor section that wouldn’t usually form part of the cost per m2. Either way I think I can happily say I’ve built for approximately £800/m2 which I’m very pleased with) Photos below of all the finished areas. Garage and outside space an ongoing project!
  2. 10 points
    All the lighting circuits are on, the thermal store is hot. The kitchens in, bathrooms tiled. Glass for the stairs has been delivered and there is only the chimney to plaster. Dare i I dream that the end is actually in sight?
  3. 9 points
    At the moment I have done stress & am now advancing rapidly on to full nervous breakdown Having suffered nearly 2 years of hostility & harassment from some of our neighbours who we had previously counted among our friends, we commenced our build last January. Just as we had finished the ground works my husband was diagnosed with cancer, inoperable & incurable but he has had some really intensive treatment & we are waiting now to find out if it has been effective and what the next step is. This has meant that I have needed to continue working full time as it is our only income. Along with dealing with illness, financial pressures, a demanding full time job and trying to manage a self build, when I don't really know what I am doing half the time, I am spread pretty thin at the moment. Still, it has given us both something to focus on. However, we have had to adapt and changed our method of building to a closed panel timber frame system. The timber frame company PYC have been great. They pulled our project in really quickly and have been so supportive. My husband really wanted to see the house built & as we may be short of time & I cannot thank them enough. The roofing contractor has not been great & has caused me a lot of sleepless nights over the last couple of weeks. Also the neighbours reported us to planning enforcement saying we had not built to the permission & had built in the wrong place, extended the footprint & built too high. Enforcement were very surprised how accurate our measurements were & wrote back to them saying 'The development as constructed is in accordance with the plans as approved.' I think we are now back on track. The windows arrive on Monday & PYC are coming to fit them & finish the airtightness detailing & a few bits of insulation that could not be completed until watertight. I think I will then be able to breathe again. I think the camaraderie & support on build hub is so helpful. It is stressful & there are times when you just want it all to go away. But there is also excitement & sense of achievement and knowing that lots of you have said it is all worth it in the end. Good luck to everyone!
  4. 9 points
    Tomorrow, 2 days short of 28 months since we broke ground (and 3 years since we bought the plot), we're finally moving in Happy days!
  5. 6 points
    OK, a week has passed so I'll come clean. I left a batten leaning up against the wall after unscrewing it to reposition. As I was packing up to go home, I knocked it over and one of the protruding screws pierced a full can of no-effing-nonsense squirty stuff. So, having created Santa's Grotto in the master bedroom, I went home to drink beer....
  6. 6 points
    So I asked my 15 year old twins what scary thing we should carve into our pumpkin this year and they said...
  7. 5 points
    So, after the last entry - we had a clear site, filled with many, many tonnes of compacted hardcore. All was well. No more digging, the wobbly wall hadn't fallen down, angry neighbours had been pacified with cake. Onwards and upwards! Well, not quite. We still didn't have our building warrant. We had applied for a staged warrant for foundations and frame, naively thinking that this would be quicker that going for the full thing. We had submitted the MBC plans, MBC engineer drawings/calcs, SAP calc, double checked Scottish engineer drawings and the engineer certificate that is required in Scotland. We were ready! Our local council gives the building control department 20 days to respond to applications. 20 working days. We had worked with a chap in that department before on a previous house who is very nice, helpful and reasonable. He had been giving us informal advice and help throughout our nightmare planning process. Surprisingly, our application didn't get assigned to him. Nevertheless, we were optimistic - it was early February, and we had a provisional date with MBC of the 18th of April for starting the foundations. Everyone thought that was a reasonable lead time; helpful BC chap, the architect, the planner, the engineer, MBC..... After all, we had the SER certificate, everything had been checked and triple checked, and we were only asking for the Stage 1 warrant. I could say a lot more about this process, but I will restrain myself. Let's put it this way - towards the end, my husband and I gave up using words in text messages and communicated about the build solely in memes. We got a list back of queries (after the first 20 days). Fine, we were expecting that. This consisted of points such as why some documentation was printed in A4 when it should have been in A3, a page numbering error, the mention of a standard detail in the MBC drawings that is not standard in Scotland.....the list was 3 pages long. And not in an unreasonably large font. So, we responded to the points. All of them. Another 20 working days pass - we get a response to the first point, and another question. We send the answer back. Another 20 days - a question about the second point arrives. You can see how this went. Frustrating is not the word. There aren't really words to express the level of rage that existed within our house during this time. Hence the memes. We got our warrant on the 6th September. We eventually worked out that there had been a mix-up somewhere and our application was being assessed as if it were non-staged, hence all the seemingly irrelevant questions about electrics and MVHR points. So, the staged warrant was reissued as a full warrant on the same day as I got confirmation that I'd got a new job after redundancy. That was a good day, and the hashtag #ginforbreakfast was born.
  8. 5 points
    I'm getting more used to the range of reactions from visitors to the site. Its the range of reaction that interests me. The thinly veiled sneer. Yer doin what? How much? How yer doing the roof then? Shakes? What, vaulted roof? Haven't done wun o they fer 20 year od. An' ahm a rewfer. Yer wanna trussed rewf mert... Well good luck with that then The visiting BM Driver It takes a BM delivery lorry driver about 10 seconds to say, Whasatt stuff then? Followed by 'Looks like sponge' (Durisol block). The visiting mate Got the keys to yer digger? Need owt lifitin' ? Need an ole dug? Has Debbie got the tea on yet? Ya haven't done much since I was last here. The visiting BH member I'll get my kit out the van, won't take long. The architect Well, the SE will be able to tell you that. The passing cyclist(s) We are on a National Cycle route) I've got no time for NIMBies; seems to me you've just gone and got on with it. JBDI is my motto too. The passing local councillor How come its taking you so long then? The long, slow drive by There are two sorts: the builders' van, and the Sunday driver (every day at least two, never mind if it's not Sunday) Builders: two blokes, one feet on dashboard, 'tother forearm on wheel craning to see of the wall's come down again (UP YOURS pal) Sunday driver: two old biddies, of, though not yet in the grave, ashen-faced smiling. Judder past in the wrong gear because they're driving so slowly. Kindly. Walkers in groups That curious dynamic that makes groups of walkers oblivious of their surroundings, pass by without so much as a flicker. Single walkers How's it going? yabber yabber yabber. Let's have a look then! Cheery, joke-filled minute or two. The precocious child Mummy, what's the man doing, he looks like Darth Vader? (Welding - er sorry writing braille with a welding stick) The local retired super-nerd We chat happily for an hour or so at a time about minutiae, when I repeatedly refer him to read @JSHarris on heat decrement delay, @Temp for planning matters, @Nickfromwales for saucy one-liners. "Well, I have to say (no he didn't) yours is the most over-engineered house I have ever seen". Some locals Studied avoidance of gaze: the sort I used to get in the 1970s as an Officer Cadet when a senior (but arsey) NCO deliberately avoided saluting me. (The NCO was right) Headstrong Old Biddies Well now what are you making the roof out of? What? What's that then? Harumphhhh. I could forgive you if the roof was going to be slate. I may be working on my own at the moment. But there's a committee of watchers out there. I'm starting to sell tickets tomorrow.
  9. 5 points
    Scaffold down at long last. still need to have the oak porch and oak balcony fitted
  10. 5 points
    Here is CGI of my Italian kitchen, handleless with rails. Have got handles on the large double opening unit. I have honed granite worktop (with bora hob inset) and spekva oak for the breakfast bar. Overall length of island is 5.2m. This build us taking so long its just never ending kitchen is in storage and is now rebooked for January installation. This image keeps me going through the interminable delays and endless problems with this build.
  11. 4 points
    For me, FF is everything before the cavity is closed with PB. Broadly agree with the services priority above but rather than taking a strict linear approach, after doing some preliminary planning for each set of services, we got the electrician and plumber (boss) on site at the same time and did a walk around of the site identifying any places where there would be a contest for space (I represented MVHR ) and we agreed alternative routes for a few things to make life easier all round. Because of steels, etc, we had a few 'highways' where lots of services needed to run but it got figured out in the end. MVHR can take up a lot of space if you have a high concentration of ducts coming together and the required bend radius can be a challenge - a poorly placed soil pipe can really bugger your plans. What you want to avoid is giving one trade carte blanche to do what they want and leaving the follow-on trades to figure out how they can live with what has gone before. Of course, if you have a detailed mechanical plan for all services prepared at the drawing stage then you can ensure that your construction has been designed to remove as many conflicts as possible - however these can be expensive to prepare so not everyone does it (and not every trade follows it) - plus you may change your mind about some things as the true internal shape of the house comes together - I know that our ensuite bathroom layout was constantly evolving until first fix commenced. Other things to consider - Data & AV requirements - cat 6 cabling for entertainment, media and old fashioned networking (computers, printers, wifi repeaters etc..). Don't rely on wifi to connect everything - if something is unlikely to move (TV, printer, workstation, STB, xbox etc..) and it supports wired ethernet then put a hard wired connection in - especially if its a high bandwith and delay intolerant service (like video). - Ducts for HDMI cables - we have a TV and media cupboard with trunking in the wall between them to avoid cables on the wall - speaker cables for surround sound (consider new innovations such as Atmos, 7.1 etc..) - Telephony (super old school but handy to have) Socket location for occasional or seasonal use like hoovering / ironing / xmas tree lights) etc. Guarantee is that however many 13a sockets you make provision for, there will always be one missing right where you need it. Double check your door opening orientation and make sure your light switches are in a logical place. Security system (sensors, alarm unit & keypads) Security video (perhaps use cat 6, is PoE a requirement?) Doorbell / Intercom / access systems (esp. if there are gates to be opened) Electric UFH power and control -( a last minute decision for us, had to pop some already tacked boards off over a weekend to make provision) Heated mirrors in bathrooms Drawstrings if the ducts are not dead straight (even if they are), always amazed at how hard it can be to thread a relatively stiff cable down a duct without it getting stuck. The old bit-of-sponge-tied-to-fishing-line-and-sucked-through-with-a-hoover trick is very useful. Noggins/ply for wall hung items such as mirrors, sinks, TVs etc - unless you are using fermacel or are plying/osb the whole wall. Double check the furniture measurements too - I totally cocked this up for bathroom sinks as I didn't check where the fixings actually were and despite putting in a huge noggin, only just caught the top of it. Pocket door frames. Support for stairs & banisters if fixing to wall is required. We had to rip out a slice of the hall wall, reinforce and re-plaster after realising that our chosen stairs were effectively cantilevered on one side and needed substantial support. Another part of FF that I forgot to budget for was joinery to enclose pipes, ducts, cisterns etc that sat proud of existing cavities in the studwork - turns out there was a lot to do there. Top tip - measure everything you ever want to find (or avoid drilling into later) and mark the dimensions clearly with a sharpie, making sure you allow or discount for FFL. Then photograph everything. Then photograph it all again and once more for good measure. Maybe take a video too and pan around. Can't count the number of times I have consulted these images to check what's where. Inevitable the detail I really want to see is just out of shot. Luckily our electrician is practiced at his and I've called him for help finding something totally unrelated I need a cup of tea and a lie down now - this thread has resurfaced a lot of trauma...
  12. 4 points
    Well, long day. But we're in and we have a sofa to sit on and a bed to sleep in tonight.
  13. 3 points
    So we have a dummy thermostat in a building I manage - you turn it up and hear the “click” but it does nothing .... and no-one ever says it’s cold..!
  14. 3 points
    Don’t go too cheap I've been doing these type of render systems for over thirty years We are not particularly expensive But have been undercut by as much as 50 % on some jobs Dave is very near the mark with a £100 per sq mtr you're going to be looking at it for a long time This is the house that I’m self building. Two of us, four and half days applying two coats of k rend 300 bags Last March
  15. 3 points
    @Ferdinand A little history on how we ended up here which may explain the outcome. I’m 31, this is only the 2nd property I’ve ever owned. The first being a shared ownership flat I bought 3 weeks before the recession hit and 8 years later I sold for less than I bought it for. I had a 5 year sharesave plan with work that was due to pay out in July 2016, I had made a good profit on it and the amount was enough to allow us to leap the property ladder a bit, looking around we couldn’t find anything we wanted to purchase should the money have been in our pocket. Anything we did like was way out of our price range £300k - £350k. We saw this plot of land with planning permission for sale, liked the house and saw enough potential to change things to make it a home we could love. So the brief was always to get my wife and I a house we simply couldn’t afford, in size and spec. The planning permission was originally submitted in 2000 and was reapplied for several times, so many things were not included that may have been part of it had the design stage actually started from 2010 onwards. 1 - Passive house or any particularly environmental facets were never really considered, MVHR wasn’t part of the design and I wasn’t even that aware of what it was until I was well in to the build. I had brickies on site 3 months after completing the purchase of the land, so there was no dwell time to consider things like that. Remember the brief above, we NEEDED a house! I did quickly look at solar panels, but the capital expenditure just wasn’t an option we had. Briefly read up on 3G, again was disregarded due to cost, although I can’t remember what that was now. 2 - yes traditional block built house, trussed roof. We did consider block ground floor due to retaining wall and then timber frame on top but due to access issues and overhead HV power cables a crane was unlikely. Plus the 3 little pigs came to mind and I wanted a house made of bricks! I got 3 quotes for the watertight shell and all came in around £75k - and the end my chosen builder did say to me he believes he underquoted by approx £10-13k, so it could be argued that this cost should be factored in. 3 - as above the build is on our absolute limit of affordability of capex, however we do have a reasonable monthly income between us - may sound daft but I can afford a monthly gas bill more easily than I could £10k for a heat pump (this may be an age related perspective 😁). If we added in many of the features that people here like to include the house would simply not have been an option to us. Either make it smaller or go back to the drawing board and pick up associated architect and planning fees - none of this was an option. 4 - Doors were Travis Perkins, £90 for a FD30 and £70 for a standard door, this was well under budget and proved to be a big cost saving on what I had expected. Flooring was £42/m2, so a reasonable cost, I think the wide board again makes it look like more than it is, link posted in a previous comment. The grey floor tiles in small en suites are indeed Wickes, the grey wall tiles are from TileMountain.co.uk @ 9/m2 and look much better than that price. The large format 900x450 black tiles were also from tile mountain and were only £25/m2 they don’t photograph well but look great in real life, a kind of rusted iron look to them with a slight sheen/glimmer that really shows off when wet. The tiler thought they cost me £60m2 upwards and couldn’t believe what I paid for them. 5 - Labour. Electrician was £3500 labour only, he used my site as a “hospital job” doing a couple of hours on odd afternoons when other jobs ran shortness or cancelled, or on Fridays when he wanted to finish up close to his home. I pestered him to ensure he always stayed ahead of where I was and his slower progress never ever impacted anything I needed to be doing. He was an acquaintance already and we ended up with a good working relationship. For example it took him about 4 months to complete first fix 100% but as I say this never mattered as any room I needed to board or progress onwards was always completed. - Plumber - friend did boiler room and snagging of my work for £1000 all in, this figure came about as I told him I only had £1000 for plumbing labour, so that was that. I did all first and second fix myself. - Plasterer / Renderer - £6000 labour only for external render, internal scratch coat and skim. Cousin of mine so no other quotes were obtained because I know his work his top quality (he works on a lot of the ridiculous houses being build in Rock, Cornwall - Gordon Ramsay’s place included). I probably did get some mates rates here but I don’t actually know to what extent, 4 plasterers on site at one point who I didn’t know so they all had to be paid out of the total. Tiler - £160 a day, my advice is don’t be afraid to use day rate, if you trust the tradesman you could both end up with a better arrangement. When you ask someone to quote on price you are offloading the risk and paying a premium for this, my advice here would be to de-risk the job as much as possible yourself then get some one in on day rate who will be happy to do a good days work for a days pay. Joiner - £100 a day, this was a bit of luck on my part. Skilled joiner had some health issues and couldn’t drive at the time I met him, was getting himself back in to work after an extended sick period so was willing to work quite cheap. At first I was picking him up each day but he got his licence back during the build. I’ll agree this probably saved me a fair bit, I’ve had him here working for the final 4 weeks. Ah the jack and Jill bathroom - I think my first post here which I remember your good self replying to offering advice. Well we took it and now have 2 separate bedrooms with 1.8 x 1.5 en suites, 1 with 1500 Bath 1 with 1500 shower. It’s the ones with the light grey tiles. Much better than the jack & Jill so thank you. The drive retaining wall is just standard blockwork, only completed the day of the photo so still very green. Further down it will transition to Gabions to keep costs down. We we do have space for another property, actually several more but the guy I bought it off, who is now our neighbour placed a covenant on it that a I could only build 2. Ground is slightly made up at that end of the site so I don’t think footings would be easy. As I said before I think some sort of lodge garden room structure on a slab may be what happens there, and may look at the possibility of Airbnb’ing it. However I liked this plot as it’s private and I don’t think I have any sort of knack for customer service. I may still build the lodge but use it as a Cigar and Whisky lounge!
  16. 3 points
    It's very moving to read posts like these. When the phrase thats not today's problem as in is used , it puts my own insecurity and stress sharply into perspective. And maybe other peoples too. My experience tells me that it takes a high level of persistent stress and anguish to get to the point where just getting through that day is counted a success. Thanks for posting @lizzie and @Moira Niedzwiecka, I am sure you can count on our continuing support. Have an appropriately modest man-hug. (each) Ian
  17. 3 points
    Good stuff. You'll be in in no time if our experience is typical as we found an extra burst of energy for the final push. The nearer the finish line gets, the more eager we were to cross it Okay, we still have some cosmetic stuff to finish off, but two weeks on from moving in we finally have a home rather than a 'site', and it feels great.
  18. 3 points
    Challenging thought. One long bench will look great, but is it really most useful...... How about several separate dedicated benches. One freestanding heavy one with a big vice. A lower one for machine tools. A classic woodworking bench and an electronics bench with a laminate top set for a good sitting height. Dedicated workstations according to the work in hand.... luxury.
  19. 3 points
    I will write about the install of my MVHR system, as this is something I have done myself (with help). Theo house is being built by my contractor, supervised by my Architect and QS (who is the CDM). As I am remote from the location I can only watch what happens on CCTV. When I was last there the old house was standing and we had disconnected the services. 6 Months later, I have a new house, Weather tight shell, Windows and doors in, sarking and felt on, and tiles and PV being fitted. I am doing the MVHR as I couldn’t find a company to design and install what I wanted so I did it myself. Had a slot in the schedule for me to work and got on with it. Internally the team were completing first fix joinery (all the stud work). This was the two-man team who are always on site and are doing the majority of the work, the company bring in others when required, but the two in the house whilst I was there are my main team. My design: This is my layout as planned, 2 x Brink Renovent 400 Plus units, 4 x Ubbink AE 24 port distribution boxes, 180mm insulated duct and silencers for the main runs and 350m of AE48C duct, 50m of AE34C duct with all the associated connectors and fittings. A total of 36 outlets/terminals….. Suffice to say it is a lot of equipment. It arrived on 8 pallets at around 1100 on the Tuesday morning. I sourced all my equipment from CVC who were/are great, arranging delivery slots, supplying additional equipment quickly, and I still have an outstanding order for the vent terminals and some other bits still to complete. I arrived on the Monday lunchtime after 6 days of traveling (not all to get there) and had a meeting with the site manager and the first thing we agreed on was to board out the plant room with MDF (as a final finish) so that we could install the equipment and be done with it (rather than approximately place it and then remove awaiting final plastering) This turned out to be one of the best decisions as work could be finalized and other trades could also finish work in there (First fix electrical could fit the 24 way 3 phase CU)… We also got the loft boarded out at this point to enable the first floor runs to be completed. On Tuesday morning the building team started boarding the plant room, starting on the wall that the MVHR units were to be sited as a priority, this was completed by the end of the day and then started on the attic boards. Once the delivery had arrived and I had checked it I had some initial work to do. First to install the acoustic insulation into the distribution boxes and trim the spigots to the 180mm mark and move 2 of them to the top for the ground floor. I the attached the first 2 silencers to the top mounted distribution boxes (Large jubilee clips (44-217mm) work perfectly). These would then be mounted against the ceiling with the silencers running up into the plant room. (the first floor is 250mm concrete planks and I am having a suspended ceiling to put all the services in). This is where having a builder with all the equipment to hand come in handy. One of the team then worked with me, the manifolds were fixed to the ceiling, simple concrete screws direct into the planks and then we started on the ground floor ducting. (I had pre calculated what ducts from what rolls, but that got altered on the fly when we had longer lengths remaining) The duct was run through the stud work and fixed approximately every 2 meters either with wood screws to the stud work or concrete screws to the ceiling. Rather than buying the Ubbink fixings £15.42 for 10, I used builders band £10.00 for 10m and plumbers felt £10.00 for 20m (you can probably get it cheaper) as the fixings. The above shows the 2 ground floor manifolds and you can see how the builders band and felt was used. We got most of the ground floor ducting done in one afternoon. The terminals were left dangling with about 1m to the previous fixing to allow them to be positioned by the plasterers when the fit the suspended ceiling as they will be positioned either in the centre of a ceiling tile or plasterboard (room dependent). Wednesday started out installing the MVHR units as the main ducts needed to be installed before the attic runs could be done, this also allowed time to continue boarding out the attic. The first unit was positioned on the wall and to support it extra noggins were installed behind the wall, easy when the stud work is still open: We mounted the second MVHR unit then measured and marked out the penetrations for the ceiling. Then the builders simply took down the ceiling boards, cut them out and put them, back up. The ducts then had a perfectly snug fit through the ceiling. The two silencers going into the attic had to be slightly compressed oval to fit due to a double joist. Images of the plant room with the MVHR units fitted. (already painted) Fitting the attic manifolds was a little more complicated, the supply manifold went as planned Here you can see the 2 x 90-degree bends attached to the silencer going into the manifold and all the ducts coming off. The exhaust manifold wouldn’t go in as planned and had to be rotated 90-degrees to fit between the truss webs, fortunately I had plenty of 180mm 90-degree bends for the final connections. Exhaust from below and side (one duct moved between pictures). All the exhaust ducts were relatively easy to run (crawling through the webs). 7 of the supply runs had to cross the attic and not wanting ducts in the main storage area, these were turned down to run along the joist space. On the supply manifold you can see 5 of the 90-degree elbows turning then down and below the left 3 (2 from the side and one of the front ) look like this from below: This was the plan, but on the far side as the came up beyond the truss webs (non-boarded area) I didn’t use the 90-degree bends on the far end just curved them into place. You can see the runs under the attic boards (incomplete) and moving off to the respective locations. By Thursday we had installed all the ducts and terminals (so 3 days with a builder and all the tools). We then decided to fix the first-floor terminals into their final positions (just plasterboard for first floor) so either screwing/banding them to rafters, screwing to the attic boards where available, or inserting small offcuts to attach them to. The decision was made to paint out the plant room so we removed the MVHR units and ducts, bagged the ground floor ducts and the builders sanded and filled all the screws. It was painted on the Friday (advantages of a builder and his contacts). During the week I realised I needed to order some extra circlips (not easy to get large ones) so I ordered them via CVC and also my RH sensors which were quickly delivered. I installed these into the units (whilst dismounted) not an easy task, very fiddly and not to be recommended on a unit that is already installed. And the sensor heads into a short length of 180mm insulated duct. On the ground floor units we had a short length connecting the silencer to the MVHR unit, but one was not planned for the first floor ones, however as the silencers are flexible and compressible I inserted a short length on top of the House supply and exhaust connectors for this purpose and inserted the sensor there. Sensors installed in insulated ducting (simply tie wrapped into place) I then just had to wait for my final delivery. I am planning to plumb my cisterns into the MVHR (Se the previous blog entry) however since then @Auchlossen has done a similar utilising 75mm ducting so I decided to go down that route (hence the roll of 75mm (AE34C) ducting) I did use it for some runs. I ordered 3 x OsmaSoil 3S094G 82mm Reducer to 50mm Grey 860749 to fit over the 75mm ducting and convert it to 50mm plumbing push fit. The plumber will do the rest as detailed in the previous blog. These fit almost perfectly. The first picture shoes one pushed up to the seal, the second one shoes one pushed onto the seal. They are very tight with the seal but will push on and make a good airtight fit. As part of my initial plan I purchased a HB vent terminal for experimentation, just to prove that these systems are interchangeable I fitted an offcut of 92mm (AE48C) duct into the HB terminal, no problem. So, when the question comes up can you mix and match, yes (within reason). On issue I see with the HB equipment is I am not sure how easy it is to unclip the terminals once in place as there does not seem to be a way to easily und the locking lugs. On the Ubbink equipment you can unlick them by twisting the red click ring until it disengages and then remove the duct! The roofers are currently slating the roof and will fit my vent terminals in the appropriate positions with a 500mm length of duct to protrude through the roof insulation. These will then be connected up to the MVHR ducts when a come back to do the final commissioning, fit outlet terminals and balance the system. (next year).
  20. 3 points
    TBH I agree with you. In that model the new one looks very dominant. It would be a surprise to me if It helps in that form. However your Planning Consultant is the local expert and their opinion is far more weighty than mine. I think if presented with that as a Councillor on Planning Committee or as a potential local objector, I would be concerned enough to ask some awkward questions. I think you need to communicate that the house is in a far larger context than that shown on this model, so the extra space is really a very very minor overall change. One way to do that might be to have a small scale model of the landscape showing how small it is in the context of your 19 acres and umpteen lakes, then a model showing the detailed house and no landscape, demonstrating the high quality of the design - so the change is de-emphasised and the old size vs new size is not discussed in the same breath. I might be tempted to get the latter one 3D printed and dismantleable by layer. If you have to have one of house plus some landscape, then I would suggest putting enough landscape in to place it properly in context, and I would turn eg all that brown into green. If the lake moves then I would perhaps model it with the water lower eg in high summer. Never show the two side by side in the form imo. If you make sure to call it an "'illustrative" model In the definitive places even if you call it just a "model" elsewhere, then you cannot be formally bound by it. I would use it as a prop to your presentations rather than something you let people take away. Ferdinand
  21. 3 points
    Special tool? Nah, don't bother. On a long run like that an EMPTY silicone tube is what you want. Put a drop of Fairy in a jug with some water. Cut the end off the silicone tube SQUARE. None of that 45deg b@llocks. Flatten the end a bit and dip the in the soapy water. Go along your silicone and it leaves a lovely neat filet. Excess collects in the empty tube. Periodically re-dip in the water: Maybe I'll do a video! Taught to me by a Moldovan commercial glazing fitter.
  22. 3 points
    @JSHarris Wunda just supplied me with a new manifold for a customer to replace the mess that some goon fitted. They recommended the Salus auto balancing actuators which open with stepper motors, a lot quicker than the wax heated ones. Literally open to closed in a few seconds. Manufacturers patter Wundas patter and cost These have a pair of capillary wires, one for flow and one for return, to sense temp differentials and balance accordingly. Under max flow I'd say the longest I waited for fully open / closed was around 30 seconds as they struggled a bit against full pump force on one circuit open. Much quicker when the pump potential was divided.
  23. 3 points
    Headwinds blowing for us at the moment. But how many people would give their back teeth to have our problems?
  24. 3 points
    How can starting soon ever actually result in starting? "Tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace" In writing these few, now famous, words it is well known that the bard was having a bathroom installed - one of the first in England, as it was known at the time, by an infamous mate with whom he was having an Onoff relationship because the pace was lente and the confabulartio between them, in the form of sonnets sent by post horses, helpful, exciting, inspiring and supportive just grew and grew.... but, inter alia, no bathroom was forthcoming. Mox, Mox.
  25. 2 points
    This is the Part II roll up of a couple of earlier blog posts and forum topics which provide the groundwork and context. Plumbing Design – Part I Heating the Slab – an overview Modelling the "Chunk" Heating of a Passive Slab Another DHW / DCW / UFH design. in summary, so far into commissioning and early use, everything is at least achieving our expectations and the house might in fact perform better than my predictions. The key design points that I listed in part I seem to be spot on. I want to compare a figure that I gave in the modelling topic with a corresponding plot during commissioning and testing to underline this: The first graph is a theoretical model based on a few simplifications, and the second live data, warts and all, and complete with hiccups as I test and restart the control system. The bottom line is that the slab is reacting exactly as I modelled in overall behaviour, though one of the parameters is different. The UFH pump at its medium setting is under half the modelled flow rate, increasing the delta temp between out and return from 2°C modelled to 5 °C measured. However, I decided to stay with this setting because the pump is almost silent at its medium setting, and the system and its subcomponents are still operating well within specification at a delta of 5 °C. So in my view, if you are building a house with near Passive performance (wall, and roof U values < ~0.15; windows < 1 and not too much area; well sealed warm space and MVHR; decent insulated slab), then you should expect heat losses of less than 40kWhr / day in worst winter months. You therefore need to put roughly the same into the house. You only need to input the net top-up, because your occupancy, normal electrical consumption and solar gains all contribute to this input; this net is going to be 1kW or less on average. Given that a cheap and simple Willis heater can provide 3× this, using something like a gas boiler capable of 16-20 kW is just crazy, in my view; in our case even the economic case for considering an ASHP is marginal at best. Yes, in terms of running costs, the electricity unit cost per kW is more than that for gas, but you also have to factor in other running costs such as boiler maintenance. In our case, the British Gas boiler maintenance contract in our old house is less than our total expected heating cost in the new house so unit price comparisons are irrelevant to us. As I commented in the Boffin's thread, you need to limit the heating going into the slab: one way (the one Jeremy currently uses) is to throttle back the heating rate right back (e.g. using a buffer tank and an accurate thermostatic blender) ; the other way is to use a chunking approach and simply heat the slab in one (or possibly two) chunks per day. In the chunking case you instead limit the total heat injected into the slab per heating round (that is the integral of the power rather than the power itself). Doing this might seem awfully complicated, but in practice you can let the slab physics do this maths for you. You can use any moderate heating source that has a reasonably consistent but limited heat output; this could be an inline heater like a Willis heater or an ASHP with the flow temperature and rate at present set-point giving water at, say, 30°C. The slab itself slab acts as the buffer, so no additional buffer tank is needed. The algorithm is simple: Turn on the heating at a fixed time. This could be the start of E7 or in the window of peak power if you have PV installed. Turn it off when the average return temperature from slab reaches a specific set-point threshold. The actual set-point (which in my house is going be around 27°C in winter) does vary by season because what you are doing is control the total heat put into the slab, and it will need trimming for any specific house and heating scenario, but it is largely self correcting for short term temperature variations in that if the house gets a little colder due to greater heat loses in a cold snap, then the slab will require more heat to reach the set point. At the moment we are using a twice a day heating cycle. This is settling down to ~6 hrs overnight during the E7 window about £1.50 and a couple of hours top up during the day (another £1). This being said, we are still warming the house from a pre-commissioning temperature of around 13°C to a pre move-in target of 20°C as as you can see from the graph, we are currently increasing the house temperature by ~0.5°C / day on top of the sustain heat losses. This in itself takes a lot of energy as we have approximately 17 tonnes of slab, 5 tonnes of plasterboard, 11 tones of wood inside the heated zone of the house and 8½ tonnes of cellulosic filler in the insulation. Plugging these numbers and their Cp's, it takes roughly 25 KWhr to raise this fabric by 1°C, or 4 hrs of Willis Heater to raise it by ½°C. So at the moment roughly half of the heat input is maintaining heat loses and the other half is slowly raising the temperature of the house fabric . This maintenance heating element is less than the JSH spreadsheet estimated for current average outside temperatures. So another way of thinking about this is that if we do without heating for a day, then the house will drop in temperature roughly ½°C to compensate for heat losses. The daily ripple in temperature with a single heating chunk will be less than this. If we only heat the slab during the E7 time window, say from 2 - 7AM, then the house temperature will peak roughly 3-4 hours later late morning and then fall by maybe ½°C during the rest of the day. I feel that a ripple of ½°C will be barely noticeable to the occupants, and given that the heating during the E7 window is effectively half price, it is better to accept a midday peak (and possibly set the target temperature half a degree higher) than to pay double for an afternoon heating top-up to reduce the ripple.
  26. 2 points
    @ProDave have you considered the possibility that you may actually be a robot?
  27. 2 points
    Probably means their online service isn't that's secure so it's down to you to protect THEM from fraud . BH Top tip : NEVER leave home without your debit card as S-Fix usually have a Greggs near by and you never know when you may need a pasty. .
  28. 2 points
    Well, as I stand here on my island cooking dinner with a glass of wine in hand, I thought I d double check and confirm that my expensive, Liecht German kitchen did nt have thin hardboard backs. Unfortunately it does.
  29. 2 points
    I’m looking into whether I can override the displays of the heatmisers in code. So they say 24c at about 19.... that should do it :-)
  30. 2 points
  31. 2 points
    @Russell griffiths A couple of extra thoughts with regard to metal roof sheets is to - make sure you design the roof so that you can span from ridge to eaves using a single sheet to avoid the potential corrosion and leak issue inherent in trying to joint the roof sheets mid-span. - penetrations through the metal roof sheets for things like flues and vents can be awkward to detail and construct properly so best avoided if at all possible.
  32. 2 points
    There are loads of ways of demonstrating compliance, but you often need to do a fair bit of work to track down enough information to keep BC happy. Bear in mind that, as mentioned above, what we loosely refer to as the "building regulations" are really the Approved Documents that suggest some ways that the building regulations may be complied with - the Approved Documents are not the regulations, just guidance, in effect. For example, for structures, then Approved Document Part A gives guidance based on standard details that are known to be OK, but equally you can use very non-standard details (like our passive slab, that sits on load-bearing expanded polystyrene) and show that this meets the regulations themselves. In that case demonstration of compliance with the regulations was by a structural engineer's report, plus the specifications for the EPS, concrete floor and steel reinforcement. When designing light aircraft (a hobby job I had for a time) I constantly had to battle a similar problem. The UK CAA has a set of regulations, and a set of guidance documents, that are exact parallels to the way the building regulation system works, but maybe a couple of orders of magnitude more comprehensive. I regularly had to show that materials and components imported from other countries, that did not have a recognised UK CAA or EASA (the European equivalent of the CAA) approval were OK. Sometimes this was easy - for example AISI material specifications ( the US standard) often had a near-enough direct read across to European or UK standards. An example would be that the common US structural light alloy, 6061-T6, was accepted as being equivalent to the far more common in the UK 6082-T6 alloy. Sometimes I had to go back to basics, and compare tests showing material properties undertaken in another country with tests that would be more normal in the UK. The most challenging job I did was convert all the data for a Hungarian aircraft design (before Hungary was in the EU) into the equivalent UK spec - it involved a fair few hours translating Hungarian to English and convincing a UK CAA surveyor that the materials used were equivalent to UK materials. I doubt that there will be any significant problem if you are importing building materials from anywhere within the EU, as they will almost certainly have some form of specification and certification that can be read across. There are a lot of agreements in place to accept certification from other countries as being equivalent to BBA. For example, the Irish certification scheme, NSAI is almost always accepted as being OK in place of BBA certification (just as well, as our entire house and garage only carries NSAI certification for all the structural materials!). You may need to provide evidence to show things like this, though - our building inspector wasn't aware of the read across from NSAI to BBA, for example, until I pointed it out.
  33. 2 points
    Warning. This thread contains serious house porn. Likely to create envy amongst self builders who are a long way from finishing. Looks fantastic and your price per square metre sets a target for the rest of us to aim for.
  34. 2 points
    I have a feeling this may well be a Grenfell Tower backlash. I'm hearing rumours that some building control organisations are significantly tightening up on anything that may possibly, under any sort of definition, be called a "new method of construction". Basically they are arse-covering. They are, apparently, running scared because the potential liability where non-standard details have been approved and it's then backfired (as in the Grenfell Tower cladding) might well be massive. Nothing has changed, but building control has been exceedingly lax in some areas in recent years, and this may well be a company, or perhaps the warranty company they are tied to, being excessively cautious as a knee-jerk reaction.
  35. 2 points
    Just out of interest for those that want to compare "real-world" results to the model shown on the previous page, here is a plot take from our commissioning runs where I had our Willis heater running for 6hr at Economy 7 low tariff (cost ~£1.40). The house is still warming, hence the slab is still dumping heat into room space. But it's already got to the point where I am stripping off jumpers when working. The overall conclusions are: The slab is reacting pretty much as I modelled it. The output of the Willis is easily enough to heat our house. Our actual flow rates through the slab on the pump's middle setting are about half what I estimated, hence the out:return delta temp is nearer 5° rather than 2° but this doesn't matter. At this cost even if I use E7 electricity to heat my house the annual running costs will still be less than out BGas maintenance contract on our current boiler. The Willis is simple cheap and effective. Even if you have an ASHP or alternative, then it;'s still worth considering fitting one as a fallback heater Trust the physics, but validate your assumptions.
  36. 2 points
    Just cut the ends off the old HDMI and use it as a fancy drawstring
  37. 2 points
    If I was there with my digger I could find that pipe in two minutes flat🤣💦💦💦
  38. 2 points
    When I did the drawings for the duct and pipe placements where they were going to come up through the MBC slab, my ground works bloke thought I was nuts, I'm sure. I specified a fixed reference (a steel peg we'd put in the corner of the plot, that was easily accessed and had been very accurately surveyed using a Total Station) and then gave offsets from this for the pipe and duct positions. On the drawing I put a tolerance of +50mm -20mm on the critical vertical pipe locations, and the ground works chap thought I was going completely OTT, and that they would normally stick them within about a foot of where they thought they should go. On the last day they were there, when all the pipes and ducts were poking up out of the ground, I insisted that we measured the locations of all of them to check they were in the right place. One was out by around 30mm, and they were not happy at me getting it moved.............
  39. 2 points
    I found that the waste fitting in the basin for one of ours was a lot longer than it needed to be, and poked down so far as to take up space from the shelf in the unit. My fix was to stick the chrome-plated threaded bit in the lathe (with some masking tape to protect the finish) and turn off about an inch of excess. This worked well, and lifted the trap up so that it's almost tucked up under the unit fascia panel. It may be that they make waste fittings in different lengths for just this reason - ours came supplied with the basin, so I didn't think to have a look around.
  40. 2 points
    Cr@p photo there Dave! Is it one of these: http://www.toiletspares.co.uk/compact-inlet-valve.html
  41. 2 points
    Okay then, it's a common misspelling.
  42. 2 points
    Oh well that's the first row and a half stuck on so guess I've made my choice (would have done more, but the baby woke up and I had to down tools). In the end it did come down to a bit of trial and error, seeing what starting point would avoid funny little bits of tile anywhere. With these wee tiles, with their bevel, and with the brick bond, there's precius little room for manoeuvre It must have been something I said to her. Oh hang on I forgot to buy her a bday present this year, that'll be it By the way it turns out that my sketchup model is way off- the window has actually worked out to be exactly, to the mm, centreline between the LH wall and the edge of the shower tray. So I'm going to end the tiles on that line, and it will look as though I planned it that way all along!
  43. 2 points
    Frame up and just getting right into all things self build!. Been doing some airtightness taping and find it very addictive!! It is true that when you are doing it for yourself you really take care and never seem to get to down at how much work is involved (me thinks). Ask me again when we have finished. Will try and get some pictures up soon but I am not to great on computers , prefer the more practical side of house building. Just as an aside what part of people's build did they enjoy the most?
  44. 2 points
    For those interested apparently tonight's episode on grand designs has a Sunamp system in the project
  45. 2 points
    I appreciate the wry humour. You do not need to defend your discipline here. The odd tasteless comment is exactly that, and should be ignored.
  46. 2 points
    you might as well stick a little lime in it, 2 bags will probably do the whole lot. or you could use this......... which looks more impressive
  47. 2 points
    A quick update on this. I needn't have worried - Wooden Stairs delivered and fitted the stairs on time and budget. We're very pleased with the result!
  48. 2 points
    Here's a selection of photos so far. Loads more if anyone's interested just let me know. I'm slightly photo crazy and have taken about 2000+ pictures so far.... some for the fun of it and some so I know where things are, e.g the drain runs! B519 16 31D House Plans_proposed A1.pdf
  49. 2 points
    Handleless in kitchen termonilogy really means recessed handles where channels are rebated into the carcase and metal trims inserted. Doors close on these trims. The recess that is formed is effectively your 'handle' so it could be argued that it is a bit of a misnomer. Handless kitchens require different carcase construction and door sizing to work so not every company can do it. English companies that mostly make up carcases and buy in off the peg doors have got around it my either putting magnetic push latch or spring activated drawers and removed conventional handles and called it handleless which IMO is just a daft idea. The other option is doors with grooves on the top of the door, also not very clever as there is no grip available on appliance doors. Handleless is not for everyone, especially is one suffers from arthritis. For a well made handleless kitchen, you will have to look at the Europeans, particularly German or Italian kitchens. Not many of them do curved units. This is a typically British thing and the best argument I have ever heard against curved units is from a German manufacturer - Tetra Pak designed a square container for fluids that can take any shape for efficiency and you want to buy cylindrical containers for rigid objects. So aesthetics apart, the case for curved units is weak. They are horrendously expensive as well. Remember, only a fraction (typically 35-40%) of your kitchen price will be furniture so when you compare one supplier to another, you need to look at the relative differences between the furniture costs.
  50. 2 points
    The bottom newels are slid onto the tenons and then doweled in - currently unfitted to make the glass fit easier. The heights of the two newels is correct - they vary as the stairs rise up - makes more sense when the handrails are on. The problem is more fundamental than that.. some pillock has decided to start oiling from the bottom up.... starting at the top and going down would be much much easier!