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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/06/20 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    I am hoping to start work on site in May, about two-months later than my original plan. Things may well slip further and I am fine if they do. Currently, the timber frame is being designed, by a specialist frame-designer based in Herefordshire that was recommended by (and contracted via) my chosen local timber-frame company. And the frame designer has just sent me the line-and-point loads (see below), so I have in turn just sent those on to my foundations designer in Ireland so that the insulated concrete-raft foundation can be designed in parallel with the frame. (To save on VAT, I also contracted the foundation designer via my frame company.) In parallel, with this, I am in the midst of arranging a fibre-optic data connection to my plot. I already have electricity connected. The fibre connection comes from a local fibre ISP who have been pleasingly helpful. The connection requires a new overhead wire from the end of the access road about 40-metres to the gable of my neighbours house and thence down to the ground and on to my plot. My neighbour is being most obliging, partly because he also gets a connection and can drop VirginMedia, who has been unreliable for him. To my astonishment, the whole installation will be free as I, it seems, am eligible for a voucher from the government that covers the cost. The voucher does not cover the VAT but the company kindly agreed to absorb that cost themselves (!) when I mentioned zero-rating. I am getting closer to choosing a groundworks team and finalising the details of the groundworks. I am pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable for what is supposed to be a "no-dig" build but it will all be done with expert tree-specialist oversight. I need clay heave protection which will be 220mm thick so digging down about 375mm was needed if my final floor level was not going to be high in the air. For my screw piles, I will probably go for a supply-only deal for the ground screws themselves and have the groundworkers install them with a mini digger (in my presence). I am told that installation is simple. For the installation of the insulated concrete raft, I still have not identified who will be the installer. I am tempted to speak to all the local concrete pourers to see if I can find someone who has experience of insulated rafts. The raft design is going to slightly unusual. Because the insulation is not load bearing and because I have a ridge height restriction and want tall ceilings, the insulation will be thinner PIR rather than the usual EPS. To my distress, the local water company has insisted I make a water connection all the way 40-metres back down in the access road to the 5" water main there rather than 2" main directly in front of my plot, citing "the impact of another service". Oh well at least the water pressure will be good! I need now to apply for my drains connection. I had been waiting on the tree matters to be resolved as it has an impact on the trench routes. For the protected trees around may plot, I have just finalised the Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS) with my tree advisers. This unlocks the chance for me discharge my nine planning conditions, all in one go. It took a surprising amount of time to work out how this is to be done, requiring a counterintuitive use of the planning portal to create a new planning application (!). I have paid deposits for my windows and front door (IdealCombi) and my roof lights (Roof Maker, their passive-house-certified product). Bauder, my chosen warm-roof and green/sedum-roof supplier, has been very helpful with advice on matters such as waterproofing when the rooflights are too close to the edge, and on standard roof-edge details for my architect. As soon as the frame-design is ready, I will be tendering among the local Bauder-approved installers. I have identified my brick-slips cladding I will use (Eurobrick P-Clad) and worked with my architect so the corners and window openings are properly proportioned for the brick counts. I have just booked myself on a slips training-day for 2nd April in Bristol. On my to-do list are signing up for building control, warranty company (reluctant purchase) and buying site insurance. I also need to arrange some bespoke aluminium copings and profiles. The intention is that the frame will go up, the roof will go on, and the windows and rooflights will go in, in quick succession followed in short order by brick-slips cladding. With all of these done and installed, I will have a weathertight shell ready for first fix to start, perhaps around mid-summer time. Hopefully. (I am already dreaming about @nod-style metal framing!) I have been continuing to visit other Buildhubbers, with visits to two people installing Fermacell, and one Buildhubber all the way at the end of second fix. As always, I learn so much from these visits and am gratified by everyone's immense generosity. They are truly inspirational. And thanks to everyone at BuildHub for all the advice I havre received (and will undoubtedly receive in the future). The journey is just beginning. Comments, observations, guidance, suggestions welcome, as always 🙂
  2. 2 points
    If you have the headroom it might be better to work out how tall the new joists would need to be if the existing ceiling joists don't carry any of the load. Then put the new ones in 1" above the top of the plasterboard. Dont bolt them to the existing joists (except perhaps at the ends). That way there is no new load on the existing joists and fewer cracks in the plaster in rooms below
  3. 2 points
    Ask for a full quote. that will give you all the prices. That will need to be a large cable for that run, something like Wavecon 95. I have never seen accurate prices but it is about £50 per metre, so there is likely to be £6500 worth of cable. You present house has a single transformer just for your one house. That will likely need to be swapped for a bigger transformer.
  4. 2 points
    We don't have the WiFi module or use the MELCloud service, and to be honest can't see a reason why you would ever want or need to. The system works perfectly without it, or indeed without integration into a home management / automation system. We run our house as a single zone, and it maintains the set indoor temperature without any issue. We have room thermostats in the bedrooms controlling actuators on the UFH manifold so we can turn off the heating in the bedrooms, but other than that, it just ticks along in the background. I use the Auto function which works on a weather compensation basis, only heating to the lowest flow temp required to maintain the set temperature (in our case it's very rare for flow temp to exceed 30C). No complicated setting up in terms of setting heating curves (although you can control by this option if you wish). Controller also allows you to programme on/off times to match cheap electricity rates etc. Master controller records details of energy use and production. I wouldn't waste any money trying to integrate with other control systems or cloud functionality as they simply are not needed.
  5. 2 points
    DIY OAK door frames MK2: The upstairs ones based on engineered oak floor boards ended up good, apart from "that join" Try as I might I could not find any engineered floor boards long enough to not need a join, and it has been decreed there will be no join in the downstairs door frames. I looked at buying planed oak and making my own, but it is hard finding it large enough and the cost, and the chance of it warping or cracking. In the mean time I bought strips of 12mm by 70mm solid planed oak for the door stops, and got experimenting with the offcuts. And came up with this: First build a "door frame" out of 22mm chipboard making it 24mm over size in width and 12mm over size in height. Then glue and screw (where possible) a 70mm by 12mm strip of planed oak each side. In this case the door will be fixed to the right hand of the two strips of oak. Then when the door has been hung, a third strip of planed oak will be fitted (depicted here by the short strip) to bridge the gap and act as the door stop. I am awaiting the joiner to fit the first door and try this. If it works I have 2 more to make each for a double door set.
  6. 2 points
    Aaah, I thought it might be from Cumbria because of the blue-ish colour, it'd be from the Borrowdale volcanic group. With such rock being formed from a random series of massively violent eruptions (the likes of which we don't see these days thankfully) small local imperfections/interruptions are not uncommon; my pals who work in the quarries here are always cursing them as they spoil a nice run of stone that would otherwise make a huge kitchen worktop they could sell to some WAG for her kitchen for £££££. I'm sure the vast majority of other bits of similar stone in your build will be fine.
  7. 2 points
    Just thought I'd feedback. I used P150 sandpaper and sanded only the top layer off - not much at all. I applied Osmo oil after and it's resulted in a incredible finish. It was better than before which makes me think the worktop installer used a suboptimal product. The colour has really come out and the stains have gone.
  8. 2 points
    Usual form is to make sure they split out contestable work i.e. things you can sub out vs them doing it such as trenching, road crossings etc. When I had a similar OR survey, the local guy encouraged me to get my own people to do it as their sub contactors were over generous in their billing.
  9. 2 points
    There's probably a truism here: the biggest discounts will be offered by the places with the biggest markups to start with :-)
  10. 2 points
    As usual @Russell griffiths beats me to it. I'll need to get up earlier to put one over on him. Just waiting for the right 🤓 moment....... And as usual, he's right. Let me explain. You know how if you ask a random historian to explain (say) why Brissol is so linked to the slave trade, you might well get the response ' Not my specialism' or 'Not my period'. Same with SEs. They need the work, they've got expensive professional insurance, they have some experience - go for it sunshine!. Need to pay the mortgage. Your SE might well have some cursory experience with piles - just enough to do some sensible - over cautious / slightly well-informed / it'll do / work to pay for her partner's new toutou / brogues. In brief, get (a)nother opinion(s). Here's why. Just like you, we had the ground profile done. Just like you dismayed. Just like you inexperienced. Just like you worridtohellabouththecost. Standing on our newly cleared, levelled off site stands a man who's just stepped out of a spanker of a Merc. Trophy Dolly Bird in the passenger seat. Lipstick applicator out, mirror adjusted to suit. Blousy smile. (But nice blouse - suitably immodest and straining at the seams) "Yer maaaate, that'll be £22 grand fer piles: ye'll not get away wi' less " Really? Have you seen our soil profile? "Wa? Ya paid fer a soil profile. 'Ow mooch?" About 2 and a half.... "Mert, ah wood a dun it fer tewundred" Thats interesting. Thank you so much for your time and interest. I really appreciate the way you get straight to the point. Rictus smile. 'Nother glance at trophy bird. Tea and medals. Cue posts to BH. And a slow realisation that with effort and careful research, we can get a sensible, well thought through idea about how to do the job both well and at a reasonable price. A raft can be built in a very wide range of situations. Do the background reading. Hillard has written a paper about it somewhere. I'll try and dig it out. In brief: lots of reading, lots of help on BH lead to Hillard Tanner, and Town and Country Vibro. Have a look at my (now mostly disused blog on BH) And a piling cost of £6500ish. Hillard Tanner's enagement with our problem and his depth knowledge saved more than double his fee. (£2 grandish) Nobody can tell when Refusal (the depth at which there is sufficient resistance in the pile to take the point load plus a safety factor added to the dead load - in our 2.5 times the dead load) will occur. Thats why I was very impressed with TC Vibro. In addition to the soil profile, we (together) dug a deep pit to feel (grab some soil and mash it into lumps) the quality of the soil at a series of depths. (I had a digger in those days ... sob.... ) Refusal occured almost exactly where TC Vibro said it would. Between 3 and 4 meters. Ultimately it's all about risk reduction: reducing the risk to your bank balance. All of the above -loads of hard preparation work- saved roughly £17k. Do the legwork, network, accept no experts answer as definitive - yes even Hillard's. And do come back and test your ideas on BH.
  11. 2 points
    Drama broke out earlier today with the discovery of our water pipe. Discovered by the digger going though it.... A few months ago in the absence of locating our internal stop tap (likely because it's somewhere behind the fitted kitchen units) the water company came out to try and locate the external one. Three house after they arrived.... No.such.luck They did say it's somewhere between the houses the other side of the bridge and us - but there is a canal and bridge in between us and them and they couldn't locate it. Strange but true. They did say if the builders found it they could then come out and try and track it from the pipe so Severn Trent are back again Friday. So just over a week in and we have partly dug out footings for the kitchen extension, office and Airbnb bedroom/ensuite. After 2 years of seeing everything on plans it's all very exciting actually seeing the space.
  12. 2 points
    Chinese are cheap rubbish Italian Spanish Portuguese -Some Turkish China India Malaysia In that order I buy 1000s of m2 per year I can tell an Italian tile without looking at the back
  13. 2 points
    I'd like to see the people who want to farm on a small scale for their own self sufficiency and profit be able to do that without draconian planning legislation assuming that they are there to build a secret mansion in the countryside. We could really energise rural communities with thriving local markets and local deliveries that rival the big supermarkets.
  14. 2 points
    In the last few months work on the house was on hold because of the COVID 19 pandemic. With the rules starting to be relaxed we have now been able to make some progress. A few months ago I posted on BH about being a bit concerned about the bath being a tight fit as it’s 1800mm and the distance between the wall was 1802mm. Not sure how the plumber got it in but happy that it fills the space. The bath is made from Carronite so it should feel more rigid when showering. Our joiner fitted the hydro lock panels and the plumber came back to fit the shower fittings. The Joule Aero tank has now been connected up. The tank holds 260 litres and utilises a heat pump which draws air from the bathroom, utility and ensuite. We visited a couple of properties that utilised this set-up and although they were happy with the efficiency of the system the feedback we got was to consider potential vibration noise from the tank. We took some steps to do this, firstly sitting the tank in a cupboard in the utility room, using a thick anti vibration mat with 22mm plywood on top. The ducting throughout the house is metal but we switched to flexible ducting for the last bit to ensure any vibration would not travel through the ducting. We also fitted a silencer to reduce the noise travelling through the ducts particularly to the ensuite. These steps have had the desired effect. Because we have yet to move in, I was able to monitor the electricity consumption of the tank when it heated the first 260 litres. To get the water to 50 degrees it used 4 units of electricity which would be about 50p. The tank also has a dual immersion which could be used to heat the tank more quickly if desired. After the air has gone through the system it passes through an external vent through the utility wall. In the last entry I mentioned that we wanting to prepare the ground for grass seed. The first job was removing a lot of stones. I’ll probably use the smaller stones to extend the parking area slightly and it would be good to use the larger ones for a small wall or some other feature in the garden. After the stones were removed, we raked the ground and then sowed the seed. The grass is starting to come through which is promising but we will need to fill in any patchy gaps. I can see why people go for the more expensive option of turfing but a big bag of seed is very cheap and although it takes some time and effort it’s satisfying to see the grass come through. I guess this is a good analogy for our self build! We had a sunny weather spell which allowed me to finished off some painting and my wife put some oil on the cladding. This had been previously left to weather but as this is on the southern elevation this could now do with some oil. We chose one which had a slight pigmentation and after applying the finished result was that it looked very similar to the pre oiled look but helped to even out the upper areas that had yet to sliver as they are shaded by the soffit. We plan to work our way around the house with the oil. We have used various tins of Osmo throughout the house and although it is quite pricey it does the job well. This is the tin what we used on the cladding. What is next? We had hoped that we could order some furniture from Ikea to furnish the downstairs but I think the pandemic is affecting stock issues and delivery. We now need to decide whether we want to move with limited furniture or wait a few more weeks. The next jobs: - a little bit of electrical work, lighting fittings, connecting up cooker, towel rails etc - BT due to connect us up on Tuesday - need to get some tiling work done for splashbacks - order some chips to spread around the site. - need to decide what to put as a finishing layer on the access road. - need to order materials for ramp, decking and downpipes for guttering. I hope everyone is keeping well and thanks for reading.
  15. 1 point
    if it's not visible, and bco don't know it's there, i certainly wouldn't enlighten them. if your conversion goes ahead and gets signed off the 'problem' will be too late to do anything about.
  16. 1 point
    At least one power cable and one control cable. It is very much dependant on make. I have a 50mm duct through my wall. Two 20mm conduits pass through that, one for power and one for control cables.
  17. 1 point
    Most likely steam/water ingress. What type of door is it? A foil wrapped or laminate door will show this with foil wrapped doors very susceptible. It could be due to a couple of reasons. A Dishwasher is usually next to the sink so check that there isn't any water splashing on the door. If not, this eliminated water and makes the most likely cause the dishwasher. Check that the dishwasher seals correctly. A dishwasher that is out of level sideways and front to back can cause this. If its a BSH dishwasher, this could be a particular problem as they make them with 3 legs and more susceptible to movement. If the problem isnt an out of level item then the problem is likely to be a damaged or perished seal. Posting photos may help.
  18. 1 point
    by law they need sight of them now AFAIK. Local factors, or big-ish dealership that has their own machine?
  19. 1 point
    Welcome Steve. Are you at the millionaires end of the street or the other end, the multi-millionaires. Used to work in Marlow, and go kayaking from under the bridge. Have been known to jump off it for a laugh.
  20. 1 point
    I think that's the correct approach. Not sure a high ceiling makes that much of a difference aside from physically getting close enough to the vent to measure the flow. The cross sectional area of the measuring device is the key input parameter in the spreadsheet I used (which I believe came originally from @Jeremy Harris). I made a cone from stiff card that was taped tight to the measuring unit on one end and was a bit larger circumference than the ceiling vent at the other. I topped that edge with with soft foam to ensure I got a good seal on the ceiling when measuring. Still needed to be on some steps as the cone was only about a foot long. Other top tip is to avoid unintentionally triggering boost when measuring - as we have PIRs in bathrooms to do just that, I had to cover them up. You will get some exercise running around the house a few times to balance the vents, remember that whenever you adjust one, the airflow in all the others will alter as well so you need to keep measuring them all to get a consistent view. Good luck!
  21. 1 point
    You need to check which family of gas this is permissible to be installed onto. The advice needs to come from the actual installer, not an Internet forum 😉.
  22. 1 point
    I’ll order up a cheap hatch / ladder to go between the trusses . Stay tuned !
  23. 1 point
    You should know that . Why build above ground when you can build underground Why have a simple doorbell when you can automate and create more work Why have a hatch and a set of steps when you can cut trusses Why? - If it was easy everyone would do it 😎
  24. 1 point
  25. 1 point
    So now find out if the pipe still connects to a drain.
  26. 1 point
    @joe90 has hit the nail on the head - I used the yellow jobby to carry them all around - 15mm sheets are easy with it + the lifter to fix boards. Did the whole house single handed.
  27. 1 point
    What I would do ... Put a piece of timber along the top / bottom of the existing joists to hold them temporarily while you cut the pieces out, cut and then add bracing. If you are really worried you could form the 'box' 1st and then cut to fit this - pop this in place and fix. If it all goes wrong no liability here + anything there of interest to the rest of us self builders?
  28. 1 point
    I understand that only too well which is why we have planning telling you what you can and cannnot build . @RichC was wanting no planning control -so anyone can build anything anywhere --which is where the tinker comparsion came from ,cos thats what you would get if you did away with planning and building control
  29. 1 point
    Cut one of the joists and frame round it to fit a ladder the correct way.
  30. 1 point
    I tend to agree, no point In killing your self . Throughout our build I have had to hand over certain jobs i knew I would struggle with fir the sake of my health and sanity (and I am getting older). If you insist on doing it yourself I would use 6x3 instead of 8x4 sheets, far easier to use. Last job I used one of these And found it much easier. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Heavy-Duty-11Ft-Lifter-Tool-Drywall-Hoist-Caster-Plasterboard-Panel-Sheet-Crane/254474451115?_ Also think about a second pair of hands (no pun intended 😱) two people doing a job is much less effort than half the job. self building should be enjoyed (as much as possible) . Work smarter not harder. 👍
  31. 1 point
    Thank you all for your comments i have decided to do the PM and save me some cash
  32. 1 point
    thats the point ,you need to make them good fit -time consuming, or they will loose insualtion value as well as being leaky which is why alot go for bats as they more tolerant of fit any holes in membrane need to be sealed as would electrical boxs etc --any penetration of membrane
  33. 1 point
    however, a common complaint is that Young farm workers and people already living and working in rural area,s Can’t afford local housing.
  34. 1 point
    It’s the flow rate that the ASHP needs to see on the primary side eg the flow to and from the unit itself. To ensure that is always met on low energy builds I design in a low loss header for most instances, basically just a tiny buffer tank, to achieve hydraulic separation between the ASHP and the load. That allows the pump of the ASHP ( primary side ) and the UFH pump(s) on the secondary side to never ‘meet’ hydraulically, therefore the primary side is nigh on free-flowing. You then just set the primary pump to the desired flow rate, eg the rate that satisfies the minimum unit flow rate requirement, and then it doesn’t get affected by changes with downstream loops opening / closing etc. Plumbers usually follow the MI’s, so if they’re at all worried you’ll probably end up with them wanting to fit a buffer tank.
  35. 1 point
    in scotland you must have full walls to where the roof would fix and then it is possible to ask to rebuild it with out full walls it is unlikely you will get a simple PP -to rebuild If it still has a roof as well then maybe only building warrant is needed ther are lots of other things they will throw at you . and of course all must be to latest build codes has the ruin returned to nature -eg trees growing up inside it --that will be a big problem if it has --so trying to rebuild something that was last in use 200years ago --will not happen usually ,unless it is of historic interest --don,t go there when was it last habitated? mine was last lived in in 1966 and had a roof till 1975 -there is a cut off point inscotland -not sure of date --about 1960 I think --but check If it is listed, as my other one i have for sale is then you can make it wind and watertight without any permission ,as that is deemed as protecting the fabric -then you would start with PP +BC about what you wish to do One thing I did find out is that if it was built before 1947 ,then you can apply to double the footprint of the building . I certainlty don,t want to make mine bigger --pprobably will be smaller --but remember once you give up foot print you cannot get the unused bit back without more planning and maybe not then and once you have permission to rebuild it --you can then apply for a different build in a different spot within the curtiledge of the the exsisting plot - thats when planning really get involved and the arguments start with them none of above has anything to do with services being avaialbale or in working order . If it could at a strecth it could be classed as habitable --then its only building control -building warrant you need to rebuild whats there to current building spec there wil be lots more things ,so i would always suggest you take professional advice right at the begiining of buying an old ruin -money spent then will be well spent this is all info I have gleened from my chase of this property over the years starting point when was it last lived in ,does it have full sound walls ,got a good access to a road. I know of a nice ruin ,but its old track comes down to the main road A75 ,but there is no actual opening toa75 from the track there cos it was so long ago it was used --and its on a bend no chance of getting a new entrance onto this main road -so you would need to make your own road through farmers field s and then get permission to join a "u" road --so not viable in my view
  36. 1 point
    It has been 3 weeks since the last Blog post and in some ways it feel an eternity and in others it seems only yesterday since Plot 1 TF was done - which is where we left the story. So lots and lots has happened since then so this entry will cover 'lots of stuff' in one go. Our main aim is to get both shell buildings up and then get them wind and watertight as soon as possible. The heavy rain we had just after Plot 1 was finished showed that the MBC OSB roof is not in any way watertight as water poured in through the roof and down the stairs - so we tarpaulined this one and then it hasn't rained since - typical. Anyway a huge push to get to a point where we can (hopefully) draw breath in two watertight houses - hence LOTS OF STUFF (good, bad and ugly!) PLOT 2 Timber Frame So MBC finished Plot 1 and moved over to Plot 2 - another big crane day and the lower floor went up in one day and the joist went on the next and then the boys left us for a long weekend back to Ireland as we fitted the UFH pipes. Having done it once already the UFH pipes went in just fine and this time we didn't have to cut all the metal plates so it was a bit easier. Then the MBC team came back and fitted the floor deck and the sole plate for the top floor and then the crane came back for the top floor walls and roof. The wind came up and so we had to have the crane back the next day to finish off as wind is not your friend when you have to lift big panels up and over a three story building! The boys cracked on and decided to work the Bank Holiday weekend and try to finish by the Sunday. We had already had some comments on the noise and weekend working and had talked to our BCO so we posted a polite notice to say because of CV19 guidance we were trying to reduce travel of our contractors so they would be working through. A couple of neighbours were supportive and sympathetic and one of them even invited the boys for a socially distanced beer after work. We had them stop work for 2 minutes at 11:00 on VE day so exactly at that point one of the neighbours switched on his pressure washer - you cant make this stuff up!. Everything pretty much went to plan and after a heroic effort the MBC crew finished on the Sunday evening as promised and both houses finished to shell level in under 5 weeks - and they look amazing. We did our best to look after the MBC crew as they were in local B&B without the Breakfast (or any food component) - its never ceases to amaze us how well simply treating contractors like human beings goes down. We guess that some of their clients must treat them badly - but why on earth would you want to? After MBC left we had a call from Environmental Health and it seems that some noise complaints had been received - it seems that the latest Government edict on allowing longer working hours on construction to get the economy moving only apply to Planning and not Environmental Health so we were suitably humble and promised to be good in the face of some very vague guidance. Given that we have been working on site since August and these are the first noise complaints its obviously not a serious problem, and as we are self building under loads of pressure we will continue to do DIY at weekends - though as quietly as possible. Yet again we find we really do have one or two vile neighbours. Roofing As we have a flat roof to keep the roof height at the same level as the original bungalow it has an EPDM (plastic / rubber single ply) membrane roof. This sits on a 24mm plywood deck on top of the MBC flat 12mm OSB roof and the MBC firring strips - which slope the roof slightly to get the water to run off. Sounds pretty simple but as with all these things its not so simple. First you need airflow in the gap between the two deck layers so there is no condensation to rot the timber - for this you need plastic soffit vents around the edge to stop the bugs and birds getting in so Joe and Chris fitted all these. Then you need to think how you get over 4 tonnes of plywood 9m up and onto the roof (plus all the rolls of membrane etc) and our roofers said they would do the roofing but not the lifting. Simple solution here was a tele-handler which is a huge forklift that makes short work of this kind of thing - just hire one - simple. But then you need a driver - again simple: one of Joe's colleagues Andy drives one all the time on musical festival sites and is qualified and was happy to come over to help out. So Andy and the roofers turned up and after a bit of delay the first pallet of ply was lifted onto the roof and they were away. Again a good crew who worked really hard and seem to be doing a great job. They have spent a week and plyed and membraned the main part of both roofs so we almost have a dry roof. It was really hot on the roof with no shade so ice-cream went down really well (and for us as we were up there working as well). They still need to do all the fiddly bits like rooflights and soil stack, plus all of the top of the oversail roof but the bulk is done. One wrinkle here is that the rear bay on Plot 2 has the same oversail detail and MBC couldn't fit this because the scaffolding is in the way, but we couldn't take down the scaffolding because we needed it for roofing the main roof on the floor above. So when the main roof is done we will have the scaffolders back to take down the back corner and then MBC will fit the roof and then the roofers will come back and fit that section of membrane roof. Oh how it all gets really convoluted and complex really quickly. Finally to add to the simple / complex plan we had the roofers and the window fitters start on the same day - what could possibly go wrong! Windows The EcoHaus Internorm surveyor came out and lasered around and said that the rear bay window on Plot 1 was 30mm too low and the three windows wouldn't fit. Some checking and it was an MBC error that they happily agreed to fix and Brendan popped over and spent a morning cutting 30mm off the underside of the 3 sided glulam frame in situ and in mid air with a skill saw. We were apprehensive about the sort of job he would do but skill saw is an understatement when it comes to Brendan: two saw cuts one from each side that met perfectly in the middle - truly fantastic work. So one week after MBC had finished EcoHaus Internorm arrived to fit the windows (same day as the roofers - but the windows arrived first!). Their plan was to fit all of Plot 1 windows and then move to Plot 2 - but they were all over the place fitting windows at what seemed like random. We had some of the scaffold moved to make space for them and they seemed happy - and we said if they needed anything at all just to ask. So we were working around the back of the house when we heard an almighty crash and ran to see what had happened. They had asked Andy to lift a huge pallet of windows up above the garage level (about 2m) so they could load them through the window opening. During the unload one of the fitters stepped off the scaffold onto the pallet. The load slipped and the windows fell. Included in this fall was the fitter who had stepped onto the pallet. Ongoing discussions with EcoHaus preclude us from saying much more about this except to say that mercifully the fitter was only bruised and a load of windows were damaged (no glass broken though) and will need replacing - it could have been much much worse. They carried on and then discovered than one of the huge panes of glass for Plot 1's rear slider was cracked in transit from Austria, and also that there were no bolts to fit Plot 2's Juliet balcony. Finally, and this is my fault; the front door for Plot 2 is handed wrong and will need a new frame. So they finished fitting what they could but we have three gaping holes awaiting replacements and a bunch of other stuff that needs rectifying. We have to say that the quality of the actual windows is fantastic, but the experience has not been good so far. Just to contrast this with another MBC issue: we discovered that the kitchen window on Plot 1 didn't fit and there was a 300mm gap above the head of the window (window surveyor didn't spot this one). Well after MBC had left site we discovered a 300mm panel that didn't seem to have a home! Quick call to MBC and yes this was the missing piece, they apologised and Mike came over the next day, apologised some more, fitted the panel and problem solved. If only all the people we deal with had the same attitude then it might all be simple! Rooflights, gutter, soffits and facia Since we have been on a cost cutting mission we have taken on much more of the 'doing' ourselves and keep trying to cut costs where we can. One of these is the guttering etc. the original plan was powder coated aluminium. However this would have been about 3x the cost of plastic, and given the really complex oversail roof detail this would have been really expensive to have fitted. So, and with some real reluctance, we have gone for plastic gutter and soffits and facia. We would be the first to admit it doesn't look as good and will not last as well as aluminium but it is 9m in the air and nobody will examine it in detail. Its likely we will compromise and fit metal gutter to the rear bay (when its finished) as this will be almost at eye height and will look much better. So a mad rush as the three of us have been busy fitting all this and trying to keep half a step in front of the roofers who need the gutter fitted before they can membrane the oversail roof. The reality is that the plastic looks really OK - though we are somewhat mystified by the physics of fitting a flat gutter all the way round the roof - anyone done this? We had to call a stop on Saturday as the wind was really strong and the plastic panels wanted to take off and it really wasn't safe. Also as part of the roofworks we have 4 rooflights on the roof :- 3 fixed pyramid lanterns, 1 on Plot 1 over the stairs and 2 over stairs and landing on Plot 2, plus one flat sliding opening rooflight over the en-suite on Plot 2. The fixed lanterns were flat pack so we have just brought all the parts up onto the roof and built them in-situ ready for the roofers to flash the membrane roof around them. The sliding light was ready built and is really heavy and a 4-man lift so MBC helped unload it and store it and the roofers moved it to the tele-handler and we hoisted it up to the roof and they moved it to a point where its a really simple install. We have had to build the upstand / kerbs for all of these so they fit exactly into place - and we were able to test this with the empty frames. We have just placed the completed unit above the landing and it really looks great - the one above the stairs will look great but at the moment the hole is covered with ply as there is a 9m drop below it and we dont want to leave that open for obvious reasons! MVHR Joe decided he was going to fit his own MVHR system as its not too big and complex and he is desperate to save every penny as he doesn't imagine he will be back on live music lighting until next year so has no income and a lot of time. We have all worked on this install and its not too hard, but the sheer volume of ventilation pipework is mind boggling and routing it is a real challenge. Plot 2 is more complex and since we no longer have an M&E person will get CVC in to install and commission - though having done one we could probably do this one as well! As you can see a lot of stuff in the last few weeks - and a real mix of good, bad and ugly! And still not wind and watertight as planned, but certainly a lot drier! Next steps will be to sort the insulation (Plot 2 is really complex) and screed - which needs doing before MBC can test for air tightness and we can start first fix, and also to get the render done so we can get the scaffold down and finally see the houses for the scaffold. On the insulation and screed front we has planned on 150mm of PIR insulation and 100mm of screed, the thick screed to get some thermal mass and delay into the heating/cooling system. In the interests of cost reduction it looks like 100mm EPS + 90mm PIR + 60mm pumped screed will be much cheaper and have similar U value but lower thermal mass - any thoughts on this plan? Or even 200mm EPS + 50mm screed - which has slightly worse performance but lower cost? One nice moment last week was when we were up on the scaffold and a couple walked past, stopped, looked at the build and said 'wow that looks amazing!' . So nice to hear that others agree with us; it really is starting to look amazing!!!!
  37. 1 point
    The ones that tell you that you are lucky are the ones going down the pub while your working your nuts off!,!!!!!!!
  38. 1 point
    Good review, but no matter what tge failings tge design was sufficiently good to sweep Miss Elizabeth Bennett off her feet!
  39. 1 point
    I have nothing good to say about council planning. All tossers.
  40. 1 point
    @Joth - it's a Daikin Altherma low temp split EHBH08CB3V indoors and ERLQ006CV3 outdoors It needs to be EHBX for heating /cooling
  41. 1 point
    I built an extension 7 years ago The base had been a large conservatory 25 mil insulation The customer was on a tight budget and wanted to retain the base We full filled the cavity and put and loaded the roof joists with kingsman BC suggested we use the 18 layer multi foil on the underside of the joists If you are intending 50 mil screed you will have to use liquid screed or reduce the floor insulation further to allow for 75 mil semi dry screed
  42. 1 point
    Building regs don't take account of the higher floor heat loss when UFH is installed, but perhaps they should, as warming the floor always increases the heat loss, so needs more insulation to counter this.
  43. 1 point
    No, but I talked to our plumber about it (he plumbed in the ASHP as well as the rest of the house) and he said it just wasn't worth the cost and paperwork hassle. Perhaps he hadn't considered the potential installation premium?
  44. 1 point
    Only the minimum possible. You wouldn’t want to bury the uprights as it would compromise the concrete strength and thickness and you’d end up with lots of disconnected core segments. Whats the issue with doing it properly and using a wall plate and then cladding the outside of the stub walls ..? Would be easier and less to go wrong.
  45. 1 point
    As usual, when talking about heating systems, there is a lot of bollocks spoken about the details. There are two basic ways to heat DHW. Directly when needed or heated and stored until needed. Directly heated when needed requires a large boiler, the more hot water needed, the larger the boiler. Stored until needed can use a much smaller output boiler, but it needs to run for longer to recharge the DHW cylinder. All the rest, that nonsense about vented or unvented, large cylinders or thermal stores, thermostatic valves, heat exchangers etc is just the detail bollocks. Similar with space heating in a way. You can heat the air directly or heat some water, then pump it around the place to radiators A radiator is really a convection heater, but an UFH systems is really just a large radiator. The theory is the same e.g. how much power will it deliver. All the rest is detail i.e. gas, oil, solid fuel, heat pumps, solar, PV. What it really comes down to is how easy it is to install and how well you can insulate the parts that need insulating and place the parts that are hot. One of the problems is that we have got used to combing and system gas boilers and most plumbers are only happy to use these. They are not really that efficient, just that natural gas is so cheap that it looks that way. But I think it is about time one of the plumbers did a few sketches of different wet heating systems and explained the differences between them. Trouble is that prejudiced comes into it and to the unwary that can cause problems and confusion. My view is keep it simple and split the space and DHW systems if possible. One size does not fit all.
  46. 1 point
    I went with a "keep it simple" approach to zoning and control. Been meaning to do proper write-up but want to get through a winter and still experimenting a bit. approx 2,000m of UFH buried into our slab, split across 3 manifolds (and I think about 15 loops) manifolds do not have any pumps or blending valves. Each loop is generally at max flow to reduce resistance in the circuit - have throttled a couple of loops a bit to prevent overheat (e.g. in the basement) 7kW ASHP with onboard compensation controller linked to intelligent thermostats from the ASHP supplier i have created 2 zones as we wanted separate control in the annexe, to permit warmer room temps. Zone 1 covers 60m2, zone 2 covers 160m2. No UFH upstairs, we use direct electric towel rails in bathrooms and I have a 1kW heat coil in the upstairs MVHR as a backup.. each zone has a room stat, pump and valve to operate it. Pump running at lowest speed. small 50l buffer for space heating - I do not consider this to be essential as we have 2,000m of pipe but put it in anyway - if zone 2 switches off then we have less than 500m in circuit the buffer is heated direct from the ASHP, and flow from buffer to UFH is direct as well - no heat exchanger or coils One of my objectives is to run the flow at the lowest temperature possible as this has a big impact on COP - so there are no blending valves or heat exchangers in the system. I think compensation control is a must for max COP - the flow temperature adjusts according to outside temperature (and hence heat loss from building). e.g. external temp of 10C gives flow of about 24C and external 0C gives flow of about 30C. The ASHP controller and intelligent thermostat work well together to calculate the optimum flow given the room setting, room and external temperatures. The ASHP modulates to meet the flow temp. I generally see a return temperature 2-3C lower than flow. I keep heating on 24x7. The ASHP seems to run mostly at the lowest setting (I think approx 2 to 3kW heat output), when very cold outside it ramps up and in these warmer months it switches on and off as it cannot modulate so low - the 50l buffer must help in reducing the cycling, but I have no way of telling for sure. Have set the controller to turn off the space heating completely at 16C external temperature - too early to tell if this is OK. Blending valves are a compromise, in my view, as you would set them for a static temperature (e.g. 35C based on a very cold day) and hence rely on cycling on/off to maintain the correct room temp. Asking the ASHP to heat to 35C is inefficient if your flow needs to be at 25C. Same with heat exchangers - you heat the water about 3-4C warmer to maintain the same UFH flow temperature.
  47. 1 point
    This is why your ASHP is cycling. In essence there are two broad strategies for heating the slab. If you want to put a chunk of ΔQ joules of heat into the slab in a controlled fashion you can either: limit the power going into the slab, and you do this by limiting the ΔT of the heating water and hence you can allow the heat to be added over an extended period. If you do this and run your ASHP at a higher power output, then this heat has to go somewhere and that's the buffer tank. You heat up the buffer tank at a quicker rate and then trickle flow this heat into the slab. limit the energy going into the slab, and you do this by allowing the dynamics of the heat transfer dictate the ΔT as I explained in my modelling topic. You don't actively control the ΔT at all, except that you might want to set the maximum blend temperature as a safety stop. If you aren't controlling the ΔT then instead you need to control the Δt for which this power is applied. You compute this and apply the heat as single "chunk" (or possibly two chunks) per day. In the case of my electric heater, putting in a known ΔQ is easy since the power output of the heating element is known and fixed. In the case of an ASHP, even if I don't know the exact power response of the ASHP, it doesn't really matter since where ΔT is the temperature difference across the manifolds, cpthe specific heat of water and s the flow rate through the UFH. In other words since s and cp are fixed, the only thing that you need to control on is the integral of ΔT. For example measure the ΔT once per minute and add these up. Turn off the ASHP once this total exceeds some preset N Ks (degree seconds). This is easy if you are willing to use one of these instead of one of these . But even if you don't want to use an embedded server to carry out control, then simple alternative asynchronous control strategies could be used for example: Simply run the ASHP for a fixed but settable time period. This will heat the slab by some overall temperature increment. Keep the pump running but then have a dead window to allow the slab temperature to even out. Say 4 hours. Trigger the next heating cycle when the water return temperature from the slab drops below some fixed but settable temperature threshold. Say 21.5°C By a process of trimming set the ASHP on-period (as per the first bullet) so that the heat pump only cycles one or twice a day. I realise that my whole approach has been documented as a set of evolving discussions on various topics, some of which includes maths which will lose some readers. But my core approach is that it seems sensible avoiding having to buy and install a 100 ltr buffer tank when I already have a 10 tonne slab that I can use for this purpose. Let me do a summary write up as a blog post.
  48. 1 point
    I'd 100% be using the ashp for DHW uplift. Why have such a good resource and not use its full ( good CoP ) potential? A buffer with DHW uplift coil ( so actually a TS ) is a no-brainer afaic, unless you have a good PV array where the argument becomes less one sided. With a typical target 'set' buffer / TS temp of 40oC, and showering requiring 38-40oC max, most of your DHW production can then be from low grade / high CoP heat energy, rather than having the ASHP running in DHW mode, at 55oC, with zero or negative CoP.
  49. 1 point
    @dogman, you've got an MBC frame and slab. You will need to put maybe 1kW of heat on average into the slab in the coldest and darkest months. By all means use 3 or 5 pumps but why? Likewise you can pump heat from zone to zone or you can take the simple path of running all loops in one zone at a comfortable temperature. Yes, you can make you heating design complex, or you can make it very simple. Your choice. @PeterW did you follow my Boffin's corner topic? I can see why a buffer tank will work, but I don't understand why you need one.
  50. 1 point
    The problem with doing away with a buffer - as I am finding - is that the heat pump has to push all of its heat into the water. They tend to have a minimum flow rate on the circulation pump so that dictates your floor flow too - with that you will also have to use the HP to control the water temperature and not directly the floor temperature so any solar gains in one area may skew the temperatures I plan to use a cheap indirect copper cylinder as a buffer and heat that to 35c and then let the floor draw off that as and when needed with the HP controlled by a tank stat half way down. This means there is a bulk of water for the HP to work on, and with using W Plan it allows the HP to concentrate on hot water if needed and have the backup of around 1.6KwH stored in that (if I did the maths correctly..) which should be fine.
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