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  1. Well it's the second day on week 4. The ground floor screeding is being done as I type this. To date all the walls are up (they come fully glazed, partially rendered and plasterboarded). The roof has been tiled and guttering fixed, the first fix electrics are done, the first fix plumbing is done (wastes and supplies for basins, wc's etc come ready installed in the panels), the underfloor heating is in and the MVHR ducting in place. In the service room is the cylinder, expansion vessel etc for the ASHP and the external unit is here wrapped, sitting on it's pallet. They started on the 8th April and expect to hand over at the end of May. We elected to use Dan Wood as a "half way house" - it's our original design (although with a nod to that sort of style). We didn't go extreme, much as we would like as I wanted a smooth planning experience, which we got. So, some of the standard Dan Wood bits we omitted. They can finish right up to carpets; handing over complete, save for the kitchen (too many choices apparently). We wanted a UK stair with closed risers so it could be carpeted. DW use bare wood, open riser and being aimed at the German market, the pitch is lower so the going messed up our internals too much. We also left out the doors (odd looking with the leaf rebated and closing against the face of the frame) and floor finishes save for the bathrooms. Those are now down to us. We had to provide the foundation (insulated raft for us) and drainage/service connections. However, it's been a dream not having to organise anything once they sign off the slab as ok. Men turn up at 7.00am sharp and work to between 5 and 6. Saturdays 8 till 1 ish. All materials are either brought with them or turn up on time. Electricians, plumbers, and scaffolders are woven into the work and are here at the correct point. The electrician was here until 11pm finishing off first fix because the next trade needed it done. Every single day it progresses. It probably isn't the cheapest way of doing it ( about £1730/m2 ex foundations) but the joy of not having any arguements with individual contractors makes up for it and there is no doubt the polish crew working on this house work damm hard and do a good job. You have to credit their attention to detail too. They obviously do this all the time as all the membranes are properly taped and sealed, the windows being inserted in the factory are done properly, etc etc. It's clear they have designed out issues over the years and have come up with solutions that work - hence the 20 year guarantee. We could buy the plot but needed to sell our house to fund the build. We are in a static caravan at present on site. Having reached retirement the certainty of getting the build done in a sensible timescale so we could get on with enjoying life was a big driver for this approach. Hopefully it'll be a family Christmas settled into a house this year instead of renting a cottage to escape the cold and damp of a 32ft static!
    10 points
  2. last weekend i finished my last bit of plumbing in the house for what will be quite a while! i've still got a few things to do (e.g. dog shower, studio bathroom, basement toilet, outside tap) but they're not critical and can wait a year or two except maybe the outside tap. everything is working (and will hopefully stay that way 🤞). showers are gorgeous and no splashes on the toilet or toilet paper in the master shower in case people were worried. toilets and washing machine are being fed by the RWH tank which gives a great feeling and a lack of guilt when using the large flush option. i just wanted to say thank you to all the contributors on this thread. i couldn't have got it all done without your help and guidance. i think i definitely owe a few on here a few beers. i hope this thread is useful to others who are doing their own plumbing if they're able to read it all. my takeaways from doing my own plumbing? i've saved myself a small fortune but i now hate plumbing with a passion. 🤣
    8 points
  3. Good luck with your project. I can safely say that having the exact opposite experience, e.g. discovering buildhub 3 years before my build actually started. Has made more of a difference than any other factor. I had no previous DIY or building experience. In no particular order here a few areas where BH was instrumental in shaping my house build journey. 1. Insulated slab foundation. 2. UFH in slab, not screed 3. Proper ASHP configuration. People like HeatGeek on YouTube are now advocating this stuff, but back on 2018-2019 BuildHub was already there. I have an insane quote from a Heating company in 2019 pricing my ASHP/UFH set-up @ £40,000+. I would be surprised if my ASHP/UFH install cost me more than £5000. 4. Going from resisting MVHR, to embracing it. The sooner you incorporate the MVHR ducting solution into the fabric of your build, the easier things will be. Every structural decision needs to accommodate how the ducts are going to route through the building. 5. Ducting requirements for ground works and in the slab. The insulated ASHP pipe is a particular pita to install. 6. Getting an electrical supply kiosk/water supply as soon as you own the land. All these services can be changed by you later in the build without involving the infrastructure companies. 7. Do your own heatloss calculation using Jeremy Harris’ spreadsheet. There is also a great MVHR calculation spreadsheet, but this might not be as robust. 8. Manifold approach for domestic plumbing. Also hot return, if applicable. 10mm pipe for certain outlets. I did all of the plumbing in my build, this was only possible because of the discussions here. The manifold photos are just eye candy to me now. I find the best way to search BH is with Google with “buildhub” at the beginning of the search string. For some reason the internal site search is not very effective. I find the best way to catalogue interesting threads is to use the “Follow” thread button, but without email alerts. You can then more easily find topics when you need to go back to them. The “Activity” drop down allows you to filter the site just showing threads you follow using “My Activity Stream”, “Content I follow”. Unless I am mistaken using the heart reputation button on individual posts, does not actually allow you to find them again, it does not function as a “like” button. Just found out this is not exactly true, see edit. *Edit. Thank you @joshwk, just playing about with my profile screen, if you click on the green reputation button, you can see all the posts you have hearted. You can do this on any users profile.
    7 points
  4. I appreciate that I am most likely speaking to the converted regarding this topic, but we are currently renting a property on a large Persimmon built housing estate, and I honestly find it so depressing and cannot understand why anyone would choose to purchase one of these houses. Not only is the build quality shocking, but each house is orientated 180 degree relative to the house in the parallel road. Eg, you would never sit in your back garden, as you are overlooked by about 6 houses. You have to always be mindful when looking out your windows, for fear of staring directly at someone who is looking directly at your house. If nothing else, it will make us get on with our self-build, and make us appreciate that we are fortunate enough to be in a position to do a self-build.
    6 points
  5. +1. They are being idiots. Foundations are commencement. You don't need a LDC. Just carry on.
    4 points
  6. As its actually nice today, tried out running the heatpump in reverse to cool the house. To keep above dewpoint (home assistant takes care of this) set at 16C, had the slab down to 16 within 4 hours and the house is noticeably cooler when walking inside. Have 5 panasonic fancoil units in the bedrooms which will test once the painters are done.
    4 points
  7. Loxone panel up and running. Thanks to @Rob99 for the panel. Very neatly laid out with easy to follow instructions and easy for the sparkie and I to wire it up. Had a few cabling issues largely caused by a few things not yet connected, some cable wiring issues and a cable fault outside. Loads still to do as I’ve just quickly added all the devices to rooms and routed the lighting circuits. But at least we have lights
    4 points
  8. Both skimming and taping is likely to look bad if done by an Amateur Once the lights go on or the sun hits it It’s one of those jobs that your better paying someone to do I’m 62 and skimmed our six bed room house out in a week with the help of our son It could tie a novice up for weeks and still look rough
    4 points
  9. <Stands up> We live in an estate - a Persimmon one in fact - and love it here. <Sits down to a reassuring ripple of clapping from the amassed circle of new friends, and nods of acceptance now that I've finally been able to say such a thing out loud> Joking aside, having spent many years renovating various Victorian properties and developed skills, knowledge and experience of pretty much every aspect (including, unexpectedly, building construction photography which found its way into the Haynes Victorian House Manual!) we never expected to end up in a new build (or rather 3 years old at the time). However, an estate agent suggested we had a look round even just to rule such a property out so we did and something just felt 'right' to both of us when we did. We bought it and 14 years on have absolutely no regrets. Indeed, I can easily see us staying another 14 as it suits us (small family now) perfectly. Perhaps we've been lucky with having the show home but the house is very well built. Having extended it and retrofitted MVHR I've seen almost every last inch of the building fabric - inside and out - and the build quality is absolutely fine. I'm a fussy bugger too - non-aligned screw heads are all that's required to keep me awake at night. Compared to every single one of the older properties we've renovated it is world's apart. People say 'They don't make them like they used to' and all I can say is 'Thank God for that!'. It performs well and is an absolute dream to work on. It turns out things can be built square after all. We're not overlooked, although others are so of course not all plots are the same, and we've always had great neighbours so again maybe we've been lucky in that respect too (currently a vet one side and dentist the other so I want you to imagine a family photo hanging up in the hall showing our gleaming white smiles, even on the cat! 😂). For those that can't understand our choice I wonder what the alternative is that is being compared with? Presumably the same general location and cost, otherwise does any such comparison make any sense?
    4 points
  10. I've gone through the whole "elderly parent" thing, watching them struggle with sockets just above the skirting, or having to let go of their walker and reach up to "high" switches. Most sockets or switches I fit or move now are put in / back 450 - 1200mm. Seems very practical to me.
    4 points
  11. With any self build, unless you can afford an Architect/Builder to oversee the whole project, you're going to be chasing people, materials, answering questions and more. My own project is up to roof stage, timber frame is finished, roof finished but outer brick/block leaf is next, then soffit, fascia, gutters, then porch, then windows & doors. Each have their own challenges. On top of my day job! I've a delivery of lintels tomorrow and I only thought to ask what size rigid truck is it to find out it's a full Articulated Truck with a moffet (look that up in goggle!!). Won't fit in my housing estate!! cue plan B, C and D !! We're going to offload it to a footpath outside my house on the other side of a council wall and I'll use a hand truck to get them one by one into the site through a gap some teen made wider last year and it was never fixed by the council! I'm sure each self builder has a raft of such stories. My house needs 2500 bricks and 1280 blocks. The brick supplier I'd booked and paid for in full, was meant to deliver this Friday along with the block supplier providing all the blocks, sand, cement etc. They gave away the bricks to another (assume larger) customer and it's 2 weeks to get a new order in from Belgium. I tried the other supplier I found in google for the same bricks and got through to the same woman I'd been dealing with, same company, one's a shell I'd say. Tried the supplier and they only supply to this one company in Ireland. Anyway, as a one off house they can bump you down the list so I tend to like to get things onsite a week or two early to avoid this added hassle. I've very tight for storage but if you have a brick layer onsite and no bricks you'll be forced to buy something, anything and have to live with it forever. Time management - getting answers to questions is one thing, learning on the job is another. I want to nail in about 200 nails by hand but after realizing my initial attempts were leaning tower of Pisa'esque, I purchased a first fix nail gun, my first! Wow! 200 nails in 3 hours, all batons attached to the window openings. I can sell it later but the right tool for the job for sure! I've to install my first express nails tonight after learning about them from a neighbour - fixes wood to concrete. The roofers left 6 Velux boxes behind with BBX on them. What are they for? An extra? Do I need them? I think they are to act as a vapour barrier and possibly air tightness according to initial google searches. Something else I've to figure out later on. The roof has turned out well hasn't it! They had to finished the Oriel Window Metal / Trocal flashing before they finished roof tiling. It has a ventilated ridge and those plastic covers at the edges all the way along the roof line instead of cement they used to use. I've about 40 spare tiles stored away! The outer brick/blockwork is my next major hurdle. There's a few items I need to buy, figure out and get onsite: 100mm DPC for above 1st course of blockwork above foundation 18" DPC for around windows Expansion ties - Ancon PPS200 ebonded Safety Tie - box of 250, at least I have spares! I can return the unused ones. Wall vents - using Timloc Cavity Wall Drill Vents - you drill a 25mm hold angling upwards and then plug this into it. This absolves the brick layer from having to install them as they go Wall ties - the timberframe supplier provides 4 boxes of these and marked up where the studs are to get good purchase Stop Bead and Drip Bead (plastic) for render, Weber OCR, Weber paint (I'm doing this job once the blockwork is finished), Mitre bond glue (2 part glue) Gutter Brushes for later Expansion Joints - I've two 10 meter gables, each require two expansion joints. There's an awkward window and ESB box on one end of one side so thankfully we're putting the expansion joint past both of these even though you should have one every 6 meters and within 1/2 of this distance from the corner, ours will be 3.8m from the corner. the timberframe amazing team marked up the best positions for expansion joints and identified this one before the Structural Engineer signed off on it. I've taped up all the Solitex on the outside of the Timber Frame, plugged the side door up with timber, OSB and more Frontex WA. We're still installing a lintel in the blockwork but will ignore it otherwise for the block course and if someone wants to open it later they can with an angle grinder! It saves wasting a lot of space in the utility room having a door there with no purpose. There's no sink = reason to not make it a boot room really. I'm lining all the window openings with insulation over the next week or so and adding batons to take the window straps. They want a strap within 100-150mm of any corner and no more than 700mm apart. The Straps are 1mm thick and come inside the window about 100mm. I've sourced wood to exactly match the insulation thickness which can be hard but avoids trying to plane / table saw wood onsite. This Friday I've to hope everything fits onsite as it's delivered and we've room for a telehandler afterwards for when the brickie's start! That's a snapshot of my week! I'll do a post about powering electrical devices onsite without a generator using an Electric car & Anker 2kW battery soon I think, some lesson learnt there!
    4 points
  12. Just another picture of the shed. Not finished yet but done the cladding, just need to finish of some bits and pieces.
    4 points
  13. The pros and cons of using a main contractor v individual trades are not just financial cost. A brilliant main contractor with a good reputation could end up cheaper than individual trades. If something goes wrong with one trade it could have a knock on effect on others. Any £ savings could be written off if you need to redo work if you subcontract an end up with a bad tradey. a good main contractor will use good tradesmen. however if you have a good knowledge of building work, and a network of good trades, you can project manager yourself and save some money. My advice would be to apply a sliding scale of building knowledge to your decision. The worse knowledge you have slide that scale towards a main contractor. The more knowledge slide towards sub contracting. if this is your first rodeo: Ensure sure you have a written contract or at very least detailed correspondence emails quotes etc. Having an email chain that asks “is there anything that is not included” can be helpful to you. Eg waste disposal. Utilising a trade or contractor without due diligence is risky. Online / social media reviews should be treated as fake unless you have verified them. A good tradesman will have no problem in you wanting to getting references. look after your tradesman. I pay mine immediately as they’re tidying up. They tend to come back. Keep out if their way as they do their job. If you’re delighted with their work drop them a line a week later saying so. trades are not cheap if you get good ones. If quotes are noticeably cheaper than others be wary. don’t forget if you think OMG he’s getting £40 per hour or whatever, I only get paid £15 per hour working at my company / I went to Uni / blah blah, he’s ripping me off. Don’t forget he only gets paid that when actually at the job, not all the other stuff he has to do when he’s getting £zero per hour. Pays for expensive tools. And he’s probably not in a workplace pension scheme, gets 28 days paid hols etc etc. yes some tradesmen are doing ok but few are super wealthy. This forum is good for advising if your quotes sound fair, when you get them in. Oh, and where I say “he” I include the great female tradespeople that are coming into the industry,
    4 points
  14. I think I would send your LPA a very polite but formal letter describing the exact situation with names, dates, appended docs etc. Ask them whether they are planning on issuing an official enforcement notice or are they just making a request. Tell them that stopping your contractor will involve you in significant cost (get your contractor to write a letter with a cost estimate for the delay) and that you will look to the LPA for damages and re-reimbursement of costs for any unnecessary delays they cause. Suggest that your neighbour (name him) doesn't understand the rules correctly. Copy to the head of planning if you're feeling bolshy. Likewise, send a copy to your neighbour - there's nothing like a bit of transparency to shake people up. I expect you will receive official withdrawal and go-ahead within a day, maybe two.
    3 points
  15. Sounds like you are being advised by people you shouldn't really listen too. An ASHP on its own would do hot water and all the heating you need for the house. I would based on kids being in the house do a 300L heat pump cylinder. Then install a heat pump that can 6kW at your coldest temperature. Depending on manufacturer that will be a 6 to 8kW unit. That will give you 3 hrs to DHW on the coldest day. Anything else is too big. Design the system to run one flow temperature. Have electric heat mats and electric towel rail in upstairs bathrooms. Your system becomes very simple - ASHP, 3 port diverter valve. One side is connected to UFH manifold (no mixer or pump or actuators), and radiators (with rtv). The other side is connected to cylinder coil. Use the heat pump controller to control temperature. Gas boiler, if you already had one installed you could use it, but to pay an additional £1000 and have the additional complications makes no sense.
    3 points
  16. Just fiddling around with the window openings. Turns out the window posts I put in for the "big" window got knocked out of line when I compressed the bales, and I didn't correct it in time. So, they're about 2° out of level :S. Squaring the opening off is fine enough - I was going to build a window box anyway - but means the opening is much narrower now - around 745mm instead of the expected 860(!). I'm just going to order a premade timber unit of the right size. Bit of a blessing in disguise actually, since it'll come with a frame and be double-glazed to boot. Still on the fence about whether I should have a top piece of 2x8 for the box, or just let the window go up to contact the roofplate. It'll open from the bottom, so there's no possible issues with clearance. Over on the opposite side, I've got that round window to fit. I've decided to build a mostly-circular sleeve out of lengths of 2x8 offcuts, hold that into the wall with more hazel stakes and/or strapping, then screw the bubble window to it on the outside. Simples. I cut the timber today - 12x 121mm long pieces, 15° angles either side. It's glued up and strapped together now, and is hopefully going to work exactly as imagined. Inside, I can have the wall taper in to meet the timber sleeve, which should help to make it feel bigger than it actually is. I'll need something between the plastic and the timber, and was originally thinking a rubber gasket of some kind, but they turn out to be very expensive. So maybe it'll just end up being a bead of transparent silicone, or maybe some weatherstripping compressed by the screws that'll hold the plastic in place 🤷‍♂️. In parallel, I've had some lime delivered - I went for 500kg St Astier NHL3.5 in the end, from Lincolnshire Lime, on the strength of a phone call with them. More foolproof than the putty and, after accounting for the fact that the bags of premixed rough stuff contain sand and the bags of lime don't, about the same price. A few of the bags were split on the pallet, but they refunded for those without quibbling, and say it should still be good to use. Fingers crossed. I still need to order the sand, but regular coarse sharp sand should be OK and I need to finish sorting the walls out and make sure I'm happy with windows and doors first. It's all feeling pretty close now, though. Oh, and I finally managed to get a persuader - 7.5kg wooden mallet - so the walls will be getting a literal beating as I try to improve how level they are. In particular, the one that's due to take the round window is still pretty far out.
    3 points
  17. Well no the caravan wasn't insulated enough but you get what you get - 25mm polystyrene between a metal skin and vinyl coated hardboard. For a 12 month stay it's not worth overcladding the outside (ruining any resale) and it's small enough inside already. So yes you have to suck up the extra cost of using electric heaters. As for a 4x4m shed - luxury! SWHMBO has put up with a 6' x 4' with washing machine and tumble dryer and a small freezer balanced across them. This is a building plot not a sports field. What with a sloping site needing to take a 100m2 footprint house plus scaffold space, a 36' x 12' static, two 20' containers with our stuff in them not to mention two cars which can't be left on the single width track outside; add materials and contractors vans.... As for mud - don't have any! Wish! We did have stone laid but hey as soon as a machine gets digging during wet weather I defy anyone to say their site stayed clean. Just taking the machine from excavation to low loader spreads mud across the access let alone moving around the site. All that lovely stone laid under the sun disappears under a coating of glutinous brown clay that sticks to everything. It's then you find out why you kept all those offcuts of carpet in the loft of the previous house - told you they'd be useful! Throwaway door mats - the latest thing. I wouldn't say these are negative views, just saying as it is. If you can't manage a bit of discomfort (or even the occasional "why the f... did we start this" screaming match) then self building is probably not your thing. Go buy a nice house already done for you. With a clean driveway.
    3 points
  18. First time self-builder who has recently only discovered the forum - I wish I had sooner! We acquired our plot of land on the stamp duty holiday deadline, 30 June 2021, and it has been a "journey". Our project that started with planning permission on a "full conversion" basis is now a "full demolition and rebuild", due to structural issues. Despite losing most of my hair, I'm pleased that we will now be left with scope for a better building. Currently in the process of drawing up our Building Regulations (for the second time) but will be constructing using TEK SIPs. For anyone curious, floor plan/3D model below/attached. Planning to approach the build on an ASHP, UFH, MVHR + Ground Mounted Solar PV basis (if the budget allows) so have a wealth of questions I would gratefully appreciate support on. We're aesthetically wedded to steel windows, despite knowing the thermal performance of aluminium is better/cheaper, but can't seem to shrug it off. I'll divert questions on these topics to the respective threads imminently but grateful for the wealth of information discovered so far and looking forward to discussing more with you all.
    3 points
  19. We lived in a very end of life static, North Highlands, and coastal. It was sh*te- 2 floods, frozen water 3 times, -5 inside, ice on the inside of the windows ... But I would have only done it this way. Ours was a self build in its truest sense, all work carried out by us with little help. The accomodation provided all the motivation needed when times were tough. A lot of the time in winter it was warmer in the build than the caravan. We both signed up for the "experience" so never argued about it, we moaned a lot..now it's just a fleeting memory a part of the project. Hopefully we will bid a fond farewell (good riddance) to the static this summer.
    3 points
  20. Let it be refused and appeal.
    3 points
  21. Two of us and we've been in a static on site for 9 months now. I won't say it's been easy but we got into a routine with some electric heaters on timers and others on remote switches so we could warm up the bedroom without getting out of bed. Only one day of frozen water but that was really my fault as our excavations had exposed our temporary water supply and I hadn't dealt with it. The advantages - on site all the time so it became more like home. It allowed us to do some landscaping/hedging/tree planting and lots of thinking about how we should lay out the exterior whilst sitting in the sun. We could control deliveries and sub-contractors easier as we were there - no commute. We have two cats so we could get then used to the site and settle them in. Cheaper than renting in some town centre with no parking and we'll sell on the static when we're done. Disadvantages - the mud. Make sure you have plenty of hardstanding laid because walking from car to caravan and back was a nightmare during this really wet winter! Also my wife moans about having the washing machine in a shed behind the caravan. Why any woman should complain about having their own laundry room I don't know. Finally, being on site gets you embedded into the community. We now know loads of faces because people stop and ask you how you are getting on. You find out all the gossip and some useful contacts, we had two offers of a house sit in the village over Christmas whilst the owners were away. I'd be on site. Would I do it again ? No but with the end in sight now I'm glad we did.
    3 points
  22. d4 expanding glue, can put a couple screws on the starter row. I never bothered with any more anywhere. Floor is rock solid.
    3 points
  23. I think the market of static vans depends a lot on where you are. Up here, there are very few residential park homes (which I think is what you looked at) and most that are for sale here are built as holiday caravans for holiday parks. Different interior layout and fit out and probably more basic / less well built. but that is all available up here. Ours cost us £4K (8 years or so ago) and at the time was just coming up to 20 years old and coming to end of life for most holiday parks. It is still in pretty good condition now and still on our plot. A winter in a static 'van (especially up here ) can be "challenging" you have to both want to do it and both be prepared for some hardship or at least very large heating bills. But the savings vs renting are massive and you really cannot beat the convenience of being on site all the time.
    3 points
  24. Is it terrazzo surface you are going for? If so then a big chunk of the cost will be tooling for 157m2 you will get through a vast quantity of industrial diamonds and the associated pads.
    3 points
  25. You've nailed it. Sometimes I make note on my drawings to say why I want a something to be the way it is. I made one today.. "we need this small timber strut to stop a big steel beam from twisting" it's £1.00 bit of wood but is essential to make the design economic. Now for the purist I'm deviating from the BS method of detailing. But after 40 years in this game I feel.. why not just put a few extra notes on the drawings to help folk that may not be aware of the pitfalls? In the last few years I've just started writing this stuff on my drawings in plain English rather than being a smart arse and making folk jump though hoops. Contractors, Architect's et al and have a hard enough job as it is. Why do I do this plain English thing.. short story. I had a dispute with the NHBC (not the first or last time) .. big claim several hundred thousand which I won on behalf of the Client. NHBC sent Professor Barry Hasseltine up to Scotland to investigate. Prof Hasseletine wrote a lot of the books that we as SE's use and also had a hand in the design codes we use. The Prof and I agreed and the claim was paid. His report astounded me.. a teenager could have understood what he had written.. his English was very basic but very elegant.. he told a captivating story... evidence based... but at the end he included his qualifications and experience just in case a dafty though his plain English indicated a lack comprehension of the problem.. wow! What a skill and craftmanship in report writing he demonstrated.. that is one of the main reasons I try and write the way I do on this forum... keep it simple and use plain English. Raft slabs, ground bearing slabs, how we insulate them and move more towards making the Passive slab affordable are the things of the future. I got into this about 15 years ago.. it's exciting and I'm still learning.. I've got a grasp of the SE design but still trying to find a way to make it affordable for common constuction. I've got a few local builders getting into it now so the wagon seems to be rolling. I can tell you when and where you need to reinforce slabs on EPS, but I've spent 15 years learning how to do this; firstly in a commercial environment, cold stores and in the very competetive cold formed steel industrial shed market (take this as 700 buildings a year all over the UK!) and much of this happened long before the self build folk caught onto it. Yes.. lots of SE's take fright when faced with this kind of thing.. but many Clients want to have their cake and eat it.. in terms of long term service and risk. SE's are an easy target as lots of folk know we carry high levels of PI insurance. The easy way to explain this.. we as SE's that carry the PI insurance (the important bit) need to make things safe so they won't fall down and kill folk. If things start to bend a bit and your windows, doors, roof, basement starts leaking after say ten years then so long as you the Client accept this (serviceability) risk then we can progress. A big changed happened with the adoption of the Eurocodes which let us "negotiate" the serviceability so long as it does not compromise safety. Clever eh? but for the less "open" type of designer. a way to win your design brief! But for the average self build on BH that needs lending it doesn't fly as you can't negotiate the serviceabilty. The SE needs to make the design compatible with the mortgage lender criteria. @saveasteadingThat is why you may be correct on over designed slabs etc but it just does not fly for the average member on BH.
    3 points
  26. Hi all, Finally, we managed to start the job this morning. They dug out the old curb and installed a new one. Tarmac will be done by this Tuesday. They moved that car last night and replaced it with another one, and after they parked the other car and went inside their house, the only good thing was that I found out which house the car belonged to. It was so dramatic this morning when the contractors came and went to knock on their door, but they didn’t open it. It was 8:30 in the morning. Again, they waited another 10 minutes and received no reply. The contractors said they didn’t think they would move the car, and they were about to leave. I decided to call the police, and today they were so helpful. They called the registered keeper and told them to move the car. By that time, I also went there and asked them to move, and finally they moved the car. Once they started working, most of the neighbours came out, and they were not happy with the sound they caused. They demanded to see the permission from the builder, and the builder showed it to them. Most of the neighbours went in after seeing the permission, but one awful neighbour started arguing with me; he said I checked the council website and there was nothing he could see regarding the permission. Bla Bla Bla, finally, I told him that I didn’t want to explain to you anything; if you have any problems, call the police, and he silently went inside. I have installed a camera there, and now I can see that each time they pass, they stand there, looking at the curb, and moan. I hope they will settle within a few weeks or months. Anyway, I felt so happy.
    3 points
  27. Civil action, very costly and hard to enforce. We used to get cars dumped in our carpark. Tried all the legal routes, took months. Finally, as if by magic, some evenings the cars got moved and placed across a side road junction. No idea how it happened, but on the same nights our fork truck was moved as well.
    3 points
  28. People are where they are in the house-ownership cycle. Maybe their ' push ' to just get-on-the-ladder was (is?) harder than you realise?
    3 points
  29. Thankfully the majority of people consider living in a housing estate box with a small garden and lots of neighbours in close proximity and insufficiant parking to be "normal" and all they aspire to. Right from an early age that was not what I wanted and I am finally living where I want in theo cuntryside.
    3 points
  30. I find this comment a touch patronising to be honest. You are fortunate enough to be able to build a house for yourselves. I don't know your ages but look around you on your estate, and ask yourselves are you the "target audience" for this type of residential living? I would suggest you are not - we lived on such an estate for 30 years before embarking on our self build and I have to say, the location, convenience, price and a certain degree of "maintenance free" work, were very appealling to us as we were a young family. Obvioulsy no one "wants" to live in the type of house you have described but unforunately the choices can be limited - Just for the record, "Residential living" worked extremely well for us, until we found ourselves in a position to move on.
    3 points
  31. I have a passive-class house with a 70 tonne MBC "warm-slab" within the heated fabric of our build. I went for the deferred option of putting in the 6mm radial from the CU to an outside wall box and a insulated double pipe run from the UFH cupboard to where I would put the ASHP, but held off installing an ASHP and used a 3kW Willis as an interim means of heating the UFH loops so that we could size the ASHP based on a year or two run rate. The issue that we have is that going from using the Willis (plus Oil filled rad top up Dec/Jan) on an Octopus Agile optimised heating schedule to an ASHP at an average CoP of 3½ say might save us perhaps £300 p.a. in electricity costs. (We have a handful of days a year when we put in more than 30 kWh heat.) I'd want at least a 10 year payback so would want my install costs to be at most ~£3K. And then you have the issue that the typical life of an ASHP can be ~10 years. It's just easier to pay the extra £300. 6 years on, and I still can't make the investment case.
    3 points
  32. Cracking insight from Jilly here.. so much info in seven lines of text.. Folks read every line of Jilly's text, learn and digest the deep knowledge she is imparting. To get the best out of this you'll need to go and do your own work.. Jilly is saying.. here is where you need to look out for your own benefit. Just a quicky for any doubters here.. Jilly talks about underpinning.. she has been there and worn the tee shirt in terms of piling etc on her domestic project.. she knows her stuff. Or bluntly.. if you don't take her advice then don't come back on BH complaining later if it goes wrong.
    3 points
  33. You need specialist advice. Sometimes crown reduction is advised instead, to prevent heave which could happen if the trees were removed, due to the sudden extra water under the house, so they may have got another opinion? Could it be in a Conservation Area and the trees have TPO's? Or they don't own the trees? Removing the trees might ruin the character of the house/area? Lots of houses have been underpinned, it's not the end of the world, but it scares people and lenders. If you proceed, you must stay with the same insurance company, the policy can be transferred and you must confirm this will be the case as part of your due diligence. Other insurance companies won't touch it.
    3 points
  34. Brilliant news! I've past Building control! Best news for a very very long time. Thanks everyone, could not have done it without you!
    3 points
  35. The whole charging structure changed on 1st April 2023 - you have to pay for extension assets (connection) but should not have to pay for reinforcement assets (cable and transformer upgrades). https://connections.nationalgrid.co.uk/significant-code-review/
    3 points
  36. Cart before the horse. You can't have a soakaway design until you have a percolation test result.
    3 points
  37. Impossible to get a fully compliant staircase there. It would fail on insufficient headroom on the "landing" (and the top few stairs) If you are going to do that, do it AFTER BC sign off and keep quiet. If you sell be prepared to remove the fixed ladder and call it a storage platform that you access with a portable ladder.
    3 points
  38. If you can only install internal wall insulation, then you will probably want to install a vapour control layer on the room side. This VCL stops the water vapour condensing as it hits the colder structure if the house. "Insulation" or to use the proper term, thermal conductivity has 3 measures. The intrinsic material properties, the k-Value. This is measured in W.m-1.K-1. When the thickness is taken to to account, it becomes resistivity, thickness (length) in meters divided by the k-Value. R-Value = length / k-Value. The size nits become m².K.W-1. To get to the more useful U-Value, W.m-2.K-1, the reciprocal of R-Value is used. U-Value = 1/R-Value. It is generally easy enough to get the k-Valueb of a material, but realistically you need to be looking a foamed phenolic sheet. There is no reason why you cannot mix and match insulation types, as long as moisture transmission is thought about and catered for. So you can put IWI (internal) on the front, and EWI (external) on parts that the public don't see. The biggest problem with EWI is size of roof overhangs and around window and door openings.
    3 points
  39. Pay someone for a days work Your going to be looking at messy render for a long time
    3 points
  40. haha. Funny, but not pleasant. I am going to be doing the installation myself for this very reason.
    2 points
  41. Well for starters the manufacturers warranty wont be valid. That appears to be a slimline tray ? I can only assume it’s been placed on a timber frame to make it easier to run the waste pipe above the floor boards ? If so that’s lazy work. I am not a plumber but did my parents bathroom and installed a slimline tray and lifted the flooring and waste pipe noticed the joists and laid 18mm ply and bedded the tray into that flat surface which is I’m sure the proper way to do that. why has the installer done it that way ? You’ve posted elsewhere regarding the dodgy screen support arm. Is your installer a professional plumber both these things are raising red flags for me I’m afraid. Sometimes waste pipes may need to run above the floor level, in which case there is no point in buying a slimline tray that’s why deep trays exist.
    2 points
  42. Shower trays are normally bedded on mortar (or flexible tile adhesive for thin beds). I believe this is to reduce the risk of the tray cracking by providing distributed support. If your installer hasn't bedded the tray you have to wonder what sort of job he is doing elsewhere.
    2 points
  43. if you want a street gate it will have to be a slider as you will not be allowed a gate opening onto the pavement/road. I have just built one using kit available on the internet.
    2 points
  44. Hi all, As the title suggests, I'm a DIY enthusiast and have worked on every house I ever owned and discovered life is just one huge learning curve! There's never a better afternoon spent than with a hammer and chisel (a wall that needs to not be there), some decent music and a cold cider to quench a dusty thirst! 😂 I've been reading (and reading) this forum about solid walls and the thorny topic of insulation 🤯😳. Never did I ever think such a simple sounding proposition would be such a biblically huge can of damp worms! Having done 2 things I've never done before: 1. Buy a house at auction 2. Buy a solid walled house with no cavity. I've now realised that it's not going to be the sailing off into the sunset cider glass aloft that I thought it was! 😂 Heading over to the other bit of the forum shortly to see if you knowledgeable peoples think I've made a big booboo or not.
    2 points
  45. Not complicated, just surprisingly difficult. I can't make it smooth so have settled for the Mediterranean rustic look of deliberate trowel swoops. If you want flat, then for a pro it's quick and easy. They do that and only that every day, and get good at it.
    2 points
  46. If your thinking of a new electrician then use this https://niceic.com/find-a-tradesperson/?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjw57exBhAsEiwAaIxaZll6AVV04VztOTTJQfczT8BO4CBYuAh4_aTWx4D1Hui2-Vc7d8WicRoCLZwQAvD_BwE you would be best with someone approved not just domestic as they are more likely to understand 3 phase, I’m not sure yours does. Explain your a new build as it will make a difference. We are approved and only work in commercial and industrial we don’t do domestic as too many times the electrician is called in after plastering or we are told can we do it without making a mess. Luckily we’re based in Trafford Park Manchester so can still pick and choose our jobs. Depending on your area an approved contractor who also says domestic next to the search results is your ideal contact. if the annexe is virtually self contained ie own kitchen, washing, lounge etc then think of it more like a small house on its own phase. If you only have one meter the solar can reduce the metered units for everyone as they are all set for net metering. also worth considering a time of use meter e.g. economy 7 not sure about the wait time for these meter installs (3 phase economy 7) our was more complex and took a long time, due to lack of competent installers at EDF.
    2 points
  47. For peace of mind, personally I would want the intake up-wind unless the separation was say 3m or more. I would not be too concerned about duct resistance assuming you're using big fat ducts. My MVHR uses external insulated Ubbink foam ducting that is 160mm internal diameter (190mm external diameter), which is comparably huge. The resistance is such ducts, which falls by the square of the diameter, is quite low. I roughly calculated the internal flow rate within those ducts in my case to be 1.9 m/s (2.1 m/s on boost) which I considered acceptably low and should not cause problems of either pressure-drop or noise. You could do a similar calculation.
    2 points
  48. Welcome aboard folks, just scan the forums and ask questions in the right sections please, and the answers will flow by the bucketload. Ask away!!
    2 points
  49. I must emphasise how much you don't want this to happen. PIR floats. The screed keeps coming. Seal any laps or tears.
    2 points
  50. I installed the MVHR unit this week and got someone to commission it. It’s very quiet. You can hear a gentle hum from the kitchen terminal when standing underneath it but the others are silent. The external terminal isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to look but it’s still by the front door. I regret a bit not changing the whole floor plan of the porch/lean to bit of our house putting the plant room on an end elevation. In hindsight I ought to have combined it with the utility room with a wall separating them. The benefit of where it is that’s it’s right in the middle of the house though. The other small issue is the board on board cladding creates a void behind the terminal where the inside cladding board is which could allow rainwater to sit. I’ll need to add a block to fill it in. The board on board cladding has caused similar issues like this across a few areas of the house. Worth thinking about for anyone else considering board on board. Downstairs bathroom nearly finished. The Aqualisa shower was straightforward to fit but we pulled the speed fit hose out of the connection inside the rail which was a bugger to get back in. Bit concerned it came out so easily. I’m not massively impressed with the Aqualisa Optic Q shower control given the cost of it. It all feels a bit loose and plasticky. We have two and both the same. The rest of it is well made. The mixer and diverter are in the coomb upstairs making it really easy for future access as I made the coombs slightly wider and higher by removing the coomb completely on the opposite side of the roof. We gained a bit of floor space and it allowed me to widen this coomb by 150mm. I did this to make fitting the shower controls up here much easier. It would have been very tight otherwise. Doors and skirting fitted. Doors and hardware are by LPD. Unfortunately they don’t do smaller doors to fit the wardrobe. However Deanta do a very similar door (looks identical in the pictures) which can be custom made. Not cheap unfortunately and the lead time is 20 weeks. Also removed all the dust protection from our lights in the vaulted ceiling so it’s the first time we’ve seen them up properly.
    2 points
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