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  1. 11 points
    Scaffold down and windows in...big dose of euphoria....feels like a real milestone. We can now get a sense of the completed project. With the scaffold removed the house now looks far more suited to the plot and we hope our neighbours will be as relieved as we are. The window install went well. Our windows are Velfac and we opted to use an approved installer as it extended the warrantee to six years. It cost a bit more but the standard of install was good with great care being taken. A few grubby hand prints on the render but nothing we could not clean of with soapy water. One aspect of doing your own build that we had not considered, is the fact you start out with something perfect and new. It will slowly age and degrade. It’s akin to the feeling of the first mark on a new car. Pat and I have restored a couple of cars in the past and avoided going the whole hog of a concourse restore as it can spoil your willingness to use and enjoy the car. We just need to keep the same mind set with the build. With a house we can lock, our intention is to let the dust settle. We’ll come back to the project with fresh enthusiasm in October.
  2. 11 points
    Four days in and the front part of our drive is done Myself and my good lady have worked hard in the heat Better than rain Just about
  3. 9 points
    Since our last entry we've been concentrating of getting the standing seam roof covering on. It's one of those jobs where it would be nice to do someone else's roof before doing your own. We're using a roofing system from Blacho Trapez, broadly similar to the Tata colourcoat. It requires no crimping and minimal special tooling. It's around half the price of Colorcoat. The HPS200 coating we chose comes with a forty year guarantee. Our first impressions is that it's a quality product that's really well thought out. I'll raise a topic thread on the roof system with detail information from our install.. Here's a link to the Blacho documentation for more info: https://www.blachotrapez.eu/pl/26/instrukcje It was another Buildhub find. Back in April we came across an entry where one of the members @Patrick Who wanted to buy his roof abroad and was looking for someone to share transport cost. Enter Patrick, we exchanged emails and found we were going to need a roof on a very different time frame as Patrick is still in the site clearance phase and we were going to be ready to start in around six weeks. Lots of emails were exchanged and there was much head scratching over which components to order, In the end it turned out that three Buildhub members wanted roofs making sharing transport even more attractive. Patrick had been in contact with Blacho for some while, he's multi lingual himself and has a Polish wife. Without their help it would have been just too complex to sort our way through the parts catalogues even with the help of google translate. Having managed to get a list of parts we thought would do the roof, it occurred to us it would be good to get the guttering from the same source. It proved to be a step too far, we decided against it as the chances of getting all the required components correct the first time round was just too daunting, All is not lost though as it now looks as though there may well be an opportunity to get some steel guttering from them in future to replace the UPVC we have. Back to the roof and installing it. The three roofs were ordered and transport arranged to collect them from the factory on 03rd and deliver them to the UK on the 6th. The other Buildhub member ordering a roof is Greg, who is a builder with a yard with plant to unload and was happy to store the roofs ready for collection. The initial plan was to have all three roofs delivered to Greg's place and then we would collect, again Greg could help out as he has a lorry. The only slight problem was some of our roof sheets are 7.2M long and too long for the lorry. More negotiation with the transport company and they agreed to do a second drop off for a an additional 200Euros. All set for an 11:30 delivery on the 6th, we had arranged to have help to unload, no machinery just bodies. To our surprise and dismay we turned up on site at 7:40am on the 6th to find the delivery lorry already waiting...with just Pat and I to unload...by hand. Help was at hand in the form of the two guys who had come that day to do our roof insulation spray foam. They were brilliant, and between the four of us we had the roof sheets off their palettes and safely stacked on site. In addition to the sheeting there where also two smaller pallets for the other roof components, such as barge boards, eaves edges, screws etc. The lorry driver was getting a little fraught by this stage as it was all taking longer than it should have, not aided by lack of a shared language and the delivery documentation all being in Polish. Having unloaded and sent the driver on his way we started to look at the delivery documentation, this time under less time pressure. It turned out we had most of Greg's and some of Patrick's accessories. No big deal as we had already arranged to follow the lorry to Greg's yard to say hello and to borrow some roof tools that he had kindly offered to lend us. Meanwhile the delivery of the materials for our render arrived, 72 x 20kg sacks plus 20 x 25 kg tubs all to be shifted onto site..Just got that cleared when our MVHR system arrived, hotly followed by a soffit board delivery. Once done we set about loading the roof bits, only to find the length and volume of bit's overwhelmed the Jazz and we had to borrow a van great for volume but not so good for the 2M lengths and required me driving with my seat fully forward. Two and a half hours of agonizing cramp we arrived at Greg's, said our hellos and exchanged parts so we had the bits we needed to complete our roof. Finally got home around 10pm, oh the joys of a self build. A day to draw breath and it was time to start putting the roof on. The sheets themselves are 540mm wide and supplied to the customers required lengths up to a maximum of 8M, Being just 0.5mm thick steel they are not heavy but they are fragile, picking up a long sheet badly will result it it creasing, so care is required handling the sheets. The sheets had been packed at the factory front to front with polystyrene packing spacers which had stuck to the surface of the sheet requiring it to be cleaned prior to installation. After a bit of head scratching we decided to use a ladder to support the sheets. With the ladder tied to the scaffold we loaded each sheet, one person pulling the sheet from the top and another raising the bottom of the ladder we managed to slide the first sheet onto the front of the roof. All a bit “Heath Robinson” but it worked. Each sheet was then fixed in place and the process repeated. Soon we had a good part of the front roof in place. Cleaning loading and fitting was taking about an 90 minutes a sheet. Doing uninterrupted areas of roof with decent access proved straight forward and the front part of the main roof was done in a couple of days. Then we started on the rear of the house. This part of roof has two large roof lights and requires sheets to be joined as the roof length 10M exceeds the 8M max sheet length. The roof has two sections one slightly shorter at 7.2M, the largest of the sheets we had ordered. It quickly became apparent that there was no way we could get a 7.2M sheet onto the roof from the rear of the house. At this length the sheet is very fragile and requires multiple supports to stop it from folding. We quickly abandoned any hope of using them. Fortunately we had ordered some surplus material, so not the end of the world. We decided to start on the side of the roof with the roof lights to allow us to minimise sheets cuts. Partick had kindly volunteered to come over to get some first hand experience of the Blacho system. We started framing the roof lights. All did not go to plan and found that we had a 10-15mm alignment problem, nothing to do with Patrick just a bad datum line. No easy way to correct this so we removed the sheets and started again from a more accurate datum line. Second time round was a better result all round and we were able to continue across the main roof section. A lot of work but worth it..now we just need a good downpour to validate the flashing. . By good fortune a thunderstorm provided a test for the flashing, all was nice and dry round the roof lights. Sigh of relief all round, the roof is now on.
  4. 8 points
    Our architectural company just rung us today, the Council contacted them to apologise for the delay, they have approved planning and the materials and the full report will be with us at the end of the week (they have a backlog). Couple of conditions (which they think will relate to the ecology, bat boxes etc) but I so pleased the Council ignored the ridiculous comments from the consultancy stage from the Canal and River Trust who basically didn't like anything about the plans! Once we get the report we can then start to look at tendering and crack on with some major research, building reg plans etc and finding a builder for next year...... It's almost 12 months since we approached different companies, architects etc....
  5. 8 points
    Pending a blog update, here's a picture of my new brise soleil that had the rails and fins fitted today. Details will follow, but it's too pretty not to post a picture.
  6. 6 points
    Thanks to @JSHarris @PeterWand all the rest of you for the kind wishes. Everyone is safe. The almighty @Russell griffiths came to my rescue with his mate. Chopped up the tree in no time with their magic chainsaw skills : Now I am just left with a whole in the wall: and a few logs from my chainsaw massacre Wiltshire edition I m off now for a cold one and will update blog maybe later. Russel has a great photo of how I butchered the trunk with my 1st try felling a tree. I have some time-lapse which I might post later on once I found some time to edit it. Might take a few days.
  7. 6 points
    I doubt that you would need permission for felling them unless they had TPO's on, or you were in a conservation area. You can ask @Patrick for felling advice.
  8. 6 points
    Really interesting setup and explanation:
  9. 6 points
    Guttering complete, scaffolding away, MVHR complete. photos!
  10. 5 points
    Thought I would post a few photographs of the finished room. We love it and the OH made a brilliant light/mirror after seeing what we could get for £140. luckily it was broken so we sent it back and he made his own. it has a sensor at the top, LED lights around the sides and the toothbrush holder is on the right. The shower itself is great. Aqualisa with a control as you enter so no more cold wet arms. Its is brilliant. And it didnt even take that long to do - a few months........
  11. 5 points
    I know it's been a while but I have decided to go back to working on the stairs. Annoyingly I just couldn't get enough usable timber out of the elm tree to do everything but I managed to get enough for the stairs. 🙂 I'll probably just use ash for the landing handrails.
  12. 5 points
    Reading this and other Sunamp threads, one could be tempted to conclude that Fischer's customer support may be carp, but at least they have customer support 🤔
  13. 5 points
    We are now working our way through first fix for the self build. Our electrician has been busy drilling holes and threading many reels of cables around the house. The other area where we have made some progress is the ducting system. I’ve never ordered ducting before and it took me some time to order all of the parts and then have them to delivered to Skye. This came into two deliveries, both times some of the items were dented and buckled. Some were easy fixed but others required replacements to be sent. I wonder now if this is a common occurrence with others that have ordered ducting online? Once the last parts arrived, I was able to lay it all out to check back to the plan. My plumber will be fitting the ducting which should happen soon. Our brickie will also come back to construct the blockwork for the stove. My next job will be painting the house as the render has now had sufficient time to allow any impurities to be washed away. Although I have been busy with the house and work over the last few weeks, I was lucky enough to be given a wee boat. It was a group effort taking it down the croft and felt great to be on the loch after a few years. Might be the start of a new hobby.
  14. 4 points
    I have this hankering to start a standalone blog, and maybe write an e-book. It needs thinking time. Back in a month or so, though I will keep an eye on messages.
  15. 4 points
    The wall fortunatley isn t listed. It belongs to the council and as far as I'm aware, it has been like that since these last terrible storms a few weeks ago . But as a good citizen i am willing to put it back together myself without making a big fuss about it 😁
  16. 4 points
    S**t the f*****g bed, it’s working.
  17. 4 points
    No so, you will easily get standard concrete blocks to go round with no problem and no need to cut the blocks. Given your diameter of 20m, the building circumference is 62.83m, so 279 blocks per course. The difference between the inside and outside of each perp join will be about 2mm and the maximum deviation in render thickness will be about 1mm.
  18. 4 points
    Nexgen heating– Desktop performance comparison with electric wet underfloor heating Nexgen ( @Clive Osborne ) claim in their advertising that their electric resistance heating system uses, quote: “around 55% less energy than a Water based system”. This desk top analysis seeks to examine that claim, using known data. Example used for comparison For simplicity, and because I have hard performance and heat loss data to hand, the house used for this comparison will be my own. This has a wet underfloor heating system, that covers about 85% of the floor area. It is an electrically powered system, so is a fair comparison with the electrically powered Nexgen heating system. In terms of energy efficiency, in the context of primary energy usage versus delivered heat energy output, our electrically heated wet underfloor heating system is comparable to using a gas boiler as the heat source, and slightly more efficient than if it used an oil fired boiler or LPG fired boiler. Primary energy efficiency factors can be found in the BRE definitions that are used in SAP (https://www.bre.co.uk/filelibrary/SAP/2012/Emission-and-primary-factors-2013-2027.pdf) and are: Mains gas = 1.28 Electricity = 3.28 For example, for a house heating system that consumes 1 kWh of energy at the point of entry of the energy source, then for mains gas that would be equivalent to 1.28 kWh of primary energy required, and for electricity it would be equivalent to 3.28 kWh of primary energy required. These ratios are roughly equivalent to cost, so mains gas is currently about 1/3rd the cost of electricity for any given amount of energy. I have a fairly accurate thermal model for the house used in this example. The key data are: Worst case heat loss (-10°C OAT, +21°C room temperature) = 1,672 W Underfloor heating floor surface temperature (for above conditions) = 23.2°C Heat loss to the underlying ground (ground temperature constant 8°C) = 136 W Basic efficiency of wet underfloor heating (ignoring energy source) = 91.87% Heating power required = 1.0885 * 1,672 = 1,820 W Heat source primary efficiency comparison The source of heat for this wet underfloor heating system is a Carrier air source heat pump, and with an outside temperature of -10°C and a flow temperature of 40°C this has a coefficient of performance of 2.7. This directly equates to an efficiency (in terms of electrical power in to heat power out) of 270%. If the heat source was a condensing gas boiler, then typically the efficiency would be about 88% for these operating conditions, perhaps slightly higher due to the low return temperature and high probability of full condensation heat recovery taking place. If the heat source was a direct electric resistance heating element, such as an electric boiler, then the efficiency would be extremely close to 100%. Applying the primary energy efficiency factors to these three fuel sources/heating types gives the following primary power equivalents for the specified conditions: Electricity, via ASHP = 1,820 W * (1/2.7) * 3.28 = 2,211 W Mains gas = 1,820 W * 1.136 * 1.28 = 2,646 W Electricity, direct resistance water heating = 1,820 * 3.28 = 5,970 W Heating system efficiency comparison In the Nexgen advertising material there is a specific efficiency claim, namely that the Nexgen electric resistance heating system uses “around 55% less energy than a Water based system”. If we take the Nexgen advertising claim at face value, and use this with the data from the known performance for the wet underfloor heating system in this example, then “around 55% less energy” implies that the Nexgen heating system only requires around 45% of the energy input for any given heat output. We know, from the data provided by Nexgen, that their heating elements are resistance heaters, and we also know that (ignoring any loss in the mains voltage to low voltage conversion system) that all resistance heaters have an efficiency of very close to 100% [1] . In the comparison below this upper efficiency limit of 100%[1] is used. If we compare the advertised performance of the Nexgen system, with the known performance of the wet underfloor heating system, then we get the following primary power figures for the example house heating requirement: Electricity, via Nexgen heaters = 1,672 W * 3.28 = 5,484 W Converting the primary power from all systems considered here gives the following relative efficiency comparison, in terms of primary power, with electricity via an ASHP being assumed to be 100% : Electricity, via ASHP and wet underfloor heating = 100% Mains gas, via condensing boiler and wet underfloor heating = 83.6% Nexgen heaters = 40.3% Electricity, via direct resistance heating and wet underfloor heating = 37% Conclusions Is the claim made by Nexgen that their heating system uses “around 55% less energy” supported by this evidence? The short answer is that their claim seems to be unrealistic, and very unlikely to be true. In this worked example, for a house that has wet underfloor heating and known heat loss characteristics, then, at best, the Nexgen heating system might be around 3.3% more efficient than direct electrically heated wet underfloor heating. It should be noted that very few wet underfloor heating systems use a direct electric boiler. A more realistic comparison would be with a mains gas heated underfloor heating system, as this is probably the most common arrangement for this type of heating. The Nexgen heating system is 37.2% less efficient than such a heating system. [1] The Nexgen efficiency claim seems to defy the laws of physics. We know that the Nexgen heating elements are of a fairly conventional resistance type, albeit using a non-metallic film as the element. All resistance heating elements, no matter what they are made from, behave in exactly the same way in terms of their efficiency in converting electrical input to heat output. The Nexgen claim amounts to that for an over-unity device, and such a device cannot exist, as it would contradict the First Law of Thermodynamics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_law_of_thermodynamics Additionally, the Nexgen system operates at 24 V, so must include some form of voltage conversion unit. Any such unit will be less than 100% efficient, so there will be losses associated with that which reduce the overall system efficiency (unless the voltage conversion unit heat losses contribute to the room heating).
  19. 4 points
    We've just finished our standing seam roof using a roof from Blacho Trapez. The roof cost less than half the quote we had from Catnic for a Tata Colorcoat Urban. At around £15/m2 for the roof sheeting it represents good value. Buy the time you add eaves and barge detail you can add another 1/3 to this figure. Transport will add significantly as a lorry from Poland will cost nearly 2k so sharing transport is important. This post is to let others know how we got on with the roof and hopefully help when they are considering which standing seam roof to go with. This is our first self build and we have no first hand knowledge of any of the other standing seam systems on the market. We came across the roof by chance when another buildhub member @Patrick posted that he was looking for other members who would help share transport costs. Patrick knows far more about the roofing system that we do and is now in the process of formalising an agreement with Blacho so that he can help others order and import roofing products from Blacho. Blacho are based in Poland where steel roofs are far more main stream than here. They have many roof designs, we selected their Retro 25 system which is very similar to the Tata Colorcoat Urban system. Once you have selected the roof style, you then select from a range of 8 input sheet materials. These range from a basic sheet offering just 10 years to a Krupp Pladur sheet offering 50 years protection. Included in the range is Tata HPS200 ultra. The price of the Pladur sheet is not a lot more than the HPS200 and it was our first choice. However the Pladur product is not a know quantity here, so we selected the Tata option which has a 40 year warrantee and widely known so won't cause any undue questioning form building controls and insurance. Here is a link to the roof catalogue:BT-Katalog-2018-EN inch revised.pdf Ordering a roof is more complicated that you might think, with soffits, barge boards , eaves edges, pitch, etc to consider. After a couple of iterations with Patrick doing the communication with Blacho we ended up with a roof order. The roof comes palletised, so you need plenty of hands to help unload if you don't have plant on site. Installing the roof is pretty straight forward, I'm not going to attempt to duplicate the resources provided by the manufacturer. The following is a condensed “lessons learned”: You may think your roof is square, it's not. You can lose small inaccuracies when dealing with tiles. Big sheets of fixed size show every millimetre of any discrepancy. Check you can get the sheets to the area of roof they will be installed on. We didn't and three 7200 sheets we had for the rear roof ended up being cut and joined. If we did it again we would not have any sheets over 6500, they just get too fragile. Get your datum lines right, check and recheck. We used the time honoured and infallible 3-4-5 rule to get our datum lines. For the most part this worked fine but on one section of roof where we started with a thin strip to get the even sheet distribution, we failed. This resulted in a 10-15mm error over 3500. It was the area round the roof lights, which themselves turned out not to be square in the roof either! Avoid sheet joints if you can, they are fiddly to make and add to the installation time. Use string guide lines. We didn't and paid for it with small discrepancies that could have been avoided. The apex of the roof is one area that we found difficult. It looks OK but does not bear close inspection. Use a sheet nibbler. Unless your really skilled with tin shears they make getting an acceptable finish achievable. The devil is in the detail as they say..getting the barge boarding and eaves edges right takes quite a while. We opted for a “Swedish eaves” edge that involves folding the roof sheets over the eaves former. Great for preventing any wind getting under the sheets but makes getting the guttering correct difficult. The rain runs off the sheets at quite a rate and can easily overshoot the guttering edge or get caught by the wind and blown over the back edge. We ended up running flashing to the inner gutter edge. It can't be seen and should be a belt and braces solution.
  20. 4 points
    Re the siting of isolation valves. I wanted each appliance to have it's own isolator in an easy accessible place. But I wanted to achieve this without making the pipe runs, especially the hot pipe run any longer than they have to be. What I settled on was a central distribution point, which has ended up in the space above the ceiling in the utility room. This puts all the isolators together, and it will be finished with a mini loft hatch to lift out to get to them. As this is just the utility room I don't mind having this little loft hatch there.
  21. 4 points
    Units are never included in the data set, other than as a header to tell the CAD package what they are. All entities are just expressed numerically. Back when we first got CAD at work (AutoCad, running on a DOS PC, pre-Windows by a few years) we used the new CAD/CAM system in the workshop at our parent establishment for manufacture. Our drawing office designed a new form of Mk46 torpedo tail nut (which includes the motor exhaust valve) using the new CAD system. They were really proud of the thing, which was to be machined from stainless steel. It's dimensions were such that it should have comfortably fit in the palm of the hand. A few weeks later we had a phone call, saying that there was a truck with a delivery for us, and did we have a forklift available to unload it. Lots of scratching of heads, wondering what the thing was, until the pallet was unloaded. There, in all it's glory, was a beautifully machined tail nut around 3ft in diameter, weighing around 1/4 of a ton. The CAD file had been transmitted to the workshop minus the unit header, so mm had turned into the AutoCad default of inches, making every dimension 25.4 times too large...
  22. 3 points
    You need one of These
  23. 3 points
    My old man's deaf and Mum doesn't know what day of the week it is. Should be fine. 😂
  24. 3 points
    Don't forget lads that they WILL cover any beer glass shelf in tat! Edit: Not that I'm ever drinking again.
  25. 3 points
    I have a wall mounted basin tap, floor mounted bath filler & a freestanding bath. Really pleased with all of them. Most importantly, I also have a solution to the G & T or glass of wine & book dilemma for a freestanding bath, essential to any decent bathing experience. Wire shower caddy £19 from TK Maxx. Just the right height.😊
  26. 3 points
    When flying and working on aircraft, the golden rule was to always tell everyone about any error or mistake. The only really stupid thing is to make a mistake and then keep quiet about it.
  27. 3 points
    That is absolutely ludicrous!!! At the very most, installation might cost around £400 to £500, but frankly I'd have thought closer to around £250 to £300 would normally be the case (half a day's work plus some pipe, fittings and a run of cable). The "25% off" is just classic double-glazing sales technique, and isn't real at all, given the greater than 100% markup on the discounted price anyway. I'm all for people being in business to make a fair profit, but this seems to be just a massive rip-off. Sure the Sunamp UniQ is a good product, and now that the glitches in the controller and sensors seem to have ironed out it does work very well indeed. Whether it works well enough to be priced way, way above an unvented cylinder is very questionable, though. I'd say that, for the majority of people this sort of price makes it very poor value, as the small energy saving made from the lower standing loss is likely to never be recovered through life from the higher price. At a guess, our's saves us maybe 1 kWh/day in reduced loss, and that saving is only real outside the heating season, when the heat loss isn't beneficial to heating the house. For most of the time the Sunamp is heated by excess PV generation outside the heating season, so is "free", but if I assume that we didn't have PV, then that 1 kWh/day for around 240 days is worth between £20/year (assuming E7 tariff) and £36/year (assuming peak rate tariff). If we assume a life for the unit of 20 years then the saving will be between £400 and £720 at today's prices. That doesn't begin to cover the higher capital cost over installing a UVC.
  28. 3 points
    Interesting spin on the cause of the demands by insurers. My take on this is that the insurers have become aware that building inspection has been a sham for years now, with poor/inadequate inspections that have allowed vast numbers of defects to go unchecked (not just Grenfell, there are stacks of examples of construction defects in housing that should have been picked up had there been a competent inspection regime in place). The private inspection companies only have themselves to blame for this situation, IMHO. Had they not been so eager and willing to sell new build sign offs with minimal inspection, in order to compete with each other for big developer business, then they would not be facing this problem. Trying to blame excessively stringent public liability insurance premiums seems to be just a deflection technique, aimed at masking the underlying problem that exists with the inspection system.
  29. 3 points
    We are on with this at the moment, few images to whet the wheels of inspiration.
  30. 3 points
    Here's a list of prices compiled from BH public posting https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10mPQ-4HnTuUbiKmQVn3fPPoVkxDMPgRFNvaji4R8USg/edit?usp=sharing Apologies anyone if I've made a mistake on your prices or missed you out. I wasn't hugely systematic. I'm surprised not to see any Green Building Store ones. As @craig says, a simple m2 hides a lot of detail that affects price e.g. ratio of fixed vs opening windows, doors, cills, coated glass, non-rectangular, airtightness level of the model, etc. I suspect the mysterious discount factor also distorts things. @lizzie I'd previously had you at £390/m2 - was that just for alu UPVC and you went for alu timber at £566/m2 in the end? From https://forum.buildhub.org.uk/topic/1820-alu-clad-timber-or-pvc/?do=findComment&comment=26286
  31. 3 points
    - you smash your Piggery door in. Here's how..... First, you dig trench for a land drain next to your house because the original company forgot to put in that bit of land drain. Then you discover why they didn't do that bit of the land drain : it needs to be deep enough to pass under the foundation of a (non structural) wall connecting our house to the Piggery. Being a little more devious than I was at the beginning of the build, I wait til my son comes over on holiday. Fit lad..... From Canada. Backwoodsman, Tree Planter, muscles coming out of his wee-wee. 'Ere, sunshine dig this trench for us would ya? Yeah, I'll tidy up the mess you make with the digger, dad. Hmm, cheeky. Trench dug.... "Where's this trench going dad?" Under the foundation which you've just hit. OK, Snarl, hiss 20 minutes later, There y'are. That was quick Just needs a bit of tinkering with...... He'd smashed his way through under the foundation with an iron bar and his bare hands - hit a pile (column of compacted stone) and right enough was through the other side. Know how to lay a land drain, then? Yo, ahm 'ahn it man (oh the affectations of the Young: he left speaking normal Queens English) From a distance I watched the fabric lining going in, the pebbles, the pipe. All was well. You can back-fill it all now. No sooner said than done. Debbie casts an eye at the work done and casually asks - "Why is a couple of inches of an iron bar poking out of the other side of the wall?" The little sod had buried my iron bar in the trench under the foundation. And left just enough visible to remind me that it was there. Took an hour to dig out. He's back in Canada now.
  32. 3 points
    From a design blog, a stencilled patio using masonry paint. Interesting idea for a shortish term makeover to concrete slabs. But stencilling is real attention-to-detail stuff. We had a stencilled border on a floor to detract attention from the floor material, and it took a lot of care to do. The design here looks to me to be intolerant to slight misalignments, though the curved shapes and space in the design at tile-edges would help. A bold random texture might be an easier alternative. Credit: https://iamhayleystuart.com/2019/07/04/my-patio-makeover/ . Worth a quick read. I do not understand keeping the fence; that looks like the cheapest form of panelled fencing you can get, and may disintegrate when coughed on by a goldfinch. Unless it is next door's, in which case it formally needs permission to paint it.
  33. 3 points
    Hi Clive. I'm afraid that is not the case, and have real-world experience of fitting wet heating systems in 'passive' standard dwellings ( so speak from experience ). The heat output from UFH in a decent sized slab is very mild-mannered and very easy to control if set up correctly. You would, for eg, have less overall comfort from a heater that switches on / off vs one that stays at a chosen set temp, plus not having the slab means you cannot load-shift off low rate electricity as you have no thermal storage from such an emitter as the panels you mention. You are a slave to whatever rate of electricity is available at any particular time when you heat via such mediums. Any inefficiencies from the wet system are soon absorbed by the many benefits of it, load-shifting for one, but also a house with a cool / cold floor is not very pleasant in a residential dwelling IMHO, but the panels would have some appeal in other retro-fit situations I'm sure ( where the higher running costs are outweighed by convenience ). In short, you would also end up with "too much heat", locally to the panels, when trying to heat a whole room with them, so 6 and two 3's I'm afraid. We will always have 'thermal mass'.......... Hmmmm, is that Jeremy's drone I can see from my window. "INCOMING!!!!!!!"
  34. 3 points
    OMG, Thermal mass, everyone duck 🤭
  35. 3 points
    If your neighbour is moving, now's a good time to do what you want. He's unlikely to want to start some sort of neighbour dispute that might affect his sale, and he probably no longer gives a toss as he's out of there. Your new neighbour will just accept what's there when they arrive.
  36. 3 points
    Here are a few photos of the refurbished bathroom when done, including the 'ease of use' items such a shower seat, except for a few finishing touches. (There are a couple of 'before aids added' photos which I have left in.) There is one more post to follow in this series, which will talk about a couple of final touches, and detail the costs of the project. [Edit: Added bonus video from the "Recommendations for Bathrooms for Elderly / Disabled" forum thread created for this project]
  37. 3 points
    Free Pre-App advice is worth every penny in my experience
  38. 3 points
    No. I'm going to mount it horizontally and moan about it at every chance I get like the stubborn git that I am
  39. 3 points
    Prison then executed for certain . Farewell
  40. 3 points
    I'm beginning to wish Id never heard the name SunAmp. The idea and the theory is so appealing. The reality is niggly, piggly lack of attention to detail. If ever there was a case for the application of boring, clumping Teutonic thoroughness and attention to detail, this is one. Scheiße ist das alles.
  41. 3 points
    After quite a bit of hot sunny weather recently the window film we had fitted last autumn has now been tested properly. I am very pleased with it - given we had a serious overheating problem and this was the only really practical retro fit solution to it I was keeping everything crossed it would work. Well worth the money.
  42. 3 points
    There's an old adage: "Follow the money...." Review sites are funded by advertising in the main, and their advertisers are the very companies that are being reviewed. Are they likely to be impartial? As heck as like! It's a bit like trying to discuss the negative health impact of burning stuff in stoves to heat homes on a certain "green" (what a joke that is) forum that is sponsored by wood burning stove manufacturers... There's a very good reason that the founding members of this forum have a pretty rigid stance when it comes to remaining free from commercial influence, and relying on volunteers to run the forum and donations from forum members to keep things running. It's to try and ensure that views expressed here are a fair representation of the views of members, free from any commercial influence or bias.
  43. 3 points
    I like paved drives, but did you have a case of the Merkel's when taking the pictures.
  44. 3 points
    FGS don't buy a curtain to match that blind!!!
  45. 2 points
    I would not export a PME earth to a metal shed. I would treat it as a "caravan" (for the same reasons) and connect it to a local TT earth (earth rod) with the metal of the shed bonded to the TT earth. In this case you connect the SWA to the PME earth at the origin with a normal SWA gland and Banko, but use a plastic gland at the shed end so it clamps onto the SWA sheath but makes no electrical conection to the SWA.
  46. 2 points
    Yes, I have my own system. Most of the work happens on a Raspberry Pi. Basically, various sensor inputs around the house get flung into an MQTT broker then some Python code reads it from there, stores it in a SQLite 3 database and serves it via HTTP (and websockets though I don't use that except for experiments, yet). Sensors talking via Wi-Fi are a few ESP8266 devices made by VAir (http://shop.vair-monitor.com/) who doesn't seem to be coming back from the break in producing these devices, unfortunately. Two do temperature and humidity in the study and kitchen. Another does temperature, humidity, CO₂, pressure and light level in the bedroom. There's also an ESP32 which I coded myself in the living room measuring the temperature there and a Sonoff TH16 in the kitchen (again running my own firmware) logging the temperature in the fridge salad tray and controlling power to the fridge (because its thermostat seems poor). Directly attached to the Pi is a DS18B20 1-wire sensor on the study radiator flow pipe and the desktop part of a CurrentCost meter which measures the current into the house (clamp round the feed between the main fuse and the meter). Part of the Python code queries checkwx.com for data from the nearest airport (Wick) once an hour and adds that to MQTT to be logged. There are also a couple of associated Python programs which query the database via HTTP. One (houseplot.py) takes the data and feeds it into gnuplot to produce the sort of plots I show on here. Normally I have an instance of this program running in the background showing the main data for the house, updated every 30 seconds, on my second monitor which is handy for lots of things, like seeing what the heating's doing or when the washing machine's finished. The other (httpreader.py) gives a more numeric output, typically a CSV list of one or a few sensor topics which can be piped into ad hoc code for more detailed looks at particular subjects (e.g., for this: https://edavies.me.uk/2019/01/continuous/) but it can also do integration, averages and so on producing a JSON result. It all just grewed and I think of it as the prototype to throw away. I like Python but it does get a bit unwieldy as code evolves and I'm currently thinking about a re-write in Rust but I need to get a bit more familiar with that language before diving in.
  47. 2 points
    Just a slightly wacky thought, but I wonder if it would be possible to set up a dead vertical scaffold pole in the centre, firmly set down into the ground so it can't move, and then have a 10m long arm that pivots from that to provide a reference to help keep the blocks following the curve? Some sort of adjustable stand might be needed to hold the arm at the right level for each course, but I doubt it'd take more time to set something like this up than it would to set up a line several times on a conventional build.
  48. 2 points
    No not our Loch. Waterfall just increases in flow when water levels are higher.
  49. 2 points
    Quick vid showing how I use a rubber faced block or blatt to level tiles. After spreading and notching the adhesive (not shown!) I place tiles in rows. Then one end of the block is placed on the "previous tile" and the other end is tapped/pressed on the "new tile". On a wall you normally work upwards in rows from a batten, on a floor you work towards yourself so you back out of the room. Normally I would also use tile spacers to get uniform grout lines.
  50. 2 points
    The boiler will short cycle, but life will go on. Do you want any more ideas on how to best mitigate, or are you at the "ignorance is bliss" stage yet?
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