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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/02/21 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    Today was the day - after a lot of taping etc two years ago we found out today how good it all was. I've not had the paperwork through yet but the tester said the Q50 reading was 1.29 - not sure what this means but the air changes per hours came out at 1.1. Well pleased with that. Not too sure what others on this forum have achieved. I suspected it must be Q good because the house keeps warm with very little heat input. The weak points were french doors (bad - need to see how to adjust them) - 2 pairs of these. And there is a leak somewhere on an internal wall (?) but I've decided that we are not going to try to find them. Just need to move in now. Hope everyone is well, CC
  2. 5 points
    No, but I do live on my own, but 5 adults in neighbours house and they seem clean and tidy. If I needed more hot water, I could fit a larger cylinder, cheaper than a new boiler. Read my rely about the flow rate, it is enough to run two showers as it is, easy to fit another pump to run more, but I would be running out rooms to fit showers into. How well does a combi boiler work in a power cut. At least I have some stored hot water, definitely good for 2 days, probably 3. The flow rate of most, cheap, combi boilers is pretty pitiful. Had one in my old house and it took 15 minutes to fill the bath. This is pretty pointless really, you do not understand, and cannot be bothered to learn the differences in the technology, you just have a very backwards view on heat pumps. You assume they are low powered, only low temperature, are super expensive to buy and install, while any gas combi boiler has infinite capabilities, gives 100% reliable service, costs the same as a week in a Travel Lodge (do they use combi boilers in hotels?) and produce less pollution. I am not going to change your mind, but I will pick you up every time you say 'they don't work' or similar, as that is just nonsense, and I have no tolerance of people that talk nonsense.
  3. 5 points
    Nail hit firmly on the head. So we have to reduce CO2 emissions. That we all understand, but don't let anyone kid you that ripping out a perfectly good working modern mains gas boiler and replacing it with an ASHP is going to reduce your fuel bills. IT IS NOT. I think a lot of companies are going to scare home owners into believing their mains gas is about to be shut off very soon and they have to change for an alternative. There is going to be a lot of grant money sloshing around which the cynic in me says (largely from previous history) that most of that will just end up lining the pockets of the companies offering to rip out your gas boiler and replace it with an ASHP and very little will benefit the end user. An ASHP makes perfect sense for a modern well insulated low energy house in a location where mains gas is not available, and ours is performing well for that application, but I am yet to be convinced they are a viable option for an old poorly insulated house without huge upgrades to the buildings fabric. And a huge percentage of the UK's housing stock falls into that category.
  4. 4 points
    There is a 100% sure fire method to not cut a finger off. Fit the grinder with the side mounted handle. One hand on the trigger one on the side handle, so two hands both in use out of the way. The thing that stops you cutting your self is focus and having your mind on the job. Thinking of bacon sandwiches or that bird that just walked past is likely to end up with a didget missing.
  5. 4 points
    I'm really pleased with the way the solar panels and roof is looking
  6. 3 points
    @Highland girl So you have a number of issues here. First the position of the house, if you have built it in the wrong place (and you have said you and the architect pegged it out), then you have built your house otherwise than in accordance with your approved plans. How your local planning authority views this will depend on a number of factors - there is always a little give and take, but 4 metres is a material rather than non material change, and I would suggest you would be asked to reapply for planning permission to regularise the development. That may come with additional restrictions. In order to remove the development, enforcement action would have to be taken, which has appeal provision in place. The first objective will be to regularise I suspect, if the house is otherwise built in accordance with the approved plans. You could be proactive and go to the planning authority and ask how to regularise now you realise the situation, or wait for enforcement action to be initiated. I would suggest if you are intending to sell, you need to get this resolved. As to you building on land which you do not own, the position with your ex and him 'having' to sign over title, splitting sale proceeds and who gets what etc, you NEED to get professional legal advice, not rely on an online forum of non legal experts. All you are getting here are thoughts and opinions. If you have encroached onto crofting land, then you would need to get a decrofting direction for the relevant area (assuming the actual original house plot has already been decrofted).
  7. 2 points
    They were so crap I didn't bother getting a landline fitted in the end.
  8. 2 points
    This changes the balance significantly! Best of luck. As for green building. Minimise your energy demand. Build your house out of things that were recently plants. Heat it with renewable electricity. Use an insulated raft foundation like isoquick or kore. Minimum use of concrete and thermally excellent.
  9. 2 points
    Thanks all, good starting advice. I’m looking at SIP’s for the build, and very much passivhaus standards in terms of being “green” rather than just fitting LED lighting and water saving appliances! I think I’ve already decided that given the spec of the house I’m hoping to achieve, GSHP would be a waste of initial outlay, (but can you really not plant a bush or tree above the pipes??) I’m hoping I can be convinced that ASHP can do what I want efficiently. I understand the convenience and minimal cost of it but I really don’t want to install gas. It’s one service I wouldn’t need to pay for install, the government are scrapping it from new builds in that not too far future, and I’d like our energy to be from renewables. I plan on solar PV on the roof and already use a supplier that is 100% renewables. Yes my gas is currently carbon offset but if I can ditch it’s use altogether, then that’s better for me. My current cottage is tiny (not sure exactly of the top of my head), and it suits me (despite having to keep a lot of my tools and equipment in a storage unit miles away) but it’s not how I would like to being up my children if I can afford not to. I’ve got each of the rooms down to what I think is the smallest they can be comfortably, I don’t see the point in self building if I’m going to compromise to such an extent where I cramp things in and force the kids to share rooms growing up. I may as well buy something already built and save myself the hassle and work! Although, if when I get to the point of showing my drawings to an architect he can show me a way of shuffling to save space then I would of course be open to it. We need a workshop as we often work from home (one of us will be full time once we have children) so included in my estimate of size is a garage and a workshop along with a disabled accessible guest room with en-suite for the MIL who may well become a permanent resident. I guess my point is, I’m building for the future and don’t wish to grow out of the house, I plan on building green also in the sense of sourcing locally, choosing materials wisely etc to minimise impact there. Does anyone have a good source of information on the different types of foundations? I know the plot etc will affect what can be used but I’d like to understand all the different options.
  10. 2 points
    The issue here is gaps in the mortar. Let's say behind one board you have a gap near the bottom and another at the top, so you get cold air coming in at the bottom, being nicely heated to say 20°C by that nice board radiator and cycling back out at the top crack. The net result is that the void behind the board is cycling heat into the void between the brick and blockwork courses. I've seen horror story FIR walk-arounds where external walls are 10° colder than they should be because of this. You can't tell it is happening until the house is built and fully heated and by that stage the cost of remediation is prohibitive. I've also seen cases where it is clear from the FIR camera that whole areas of cavity insulation have been omitted. If this happens, by this stage what realistic remediation or recompense do you have from your builder? As @joe90 says, one option is to parge the wall with a cement slurry to seal the blockwork properly. Another is to go over it with a "fine tooth comb" before it is plaster boarded out, but this level of inspection is skilled and tedious.
  11. 2 points
    Says here it a "plastic body...for bronze model". Comes across that it's a valid substitite, as in plastic won't rust etc? Goes on "Can be used for open circuit / potable". https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WILO-25-6-1-Plastic-Body-Secondary-Hot-Water-Circulating-Pump-for-Bronze-Model-/292505594621
  12. 2 points
    Plumber is on his way we isolated it. I have no idea how long this floor has been wet for as it's not a bathroom in regular use and to be honest it was only as dropped something I noticed it. I'll be insisting at least half the floor is taken up and the plumber can be paying for it to be relaid.
  13. 2 points
    You need professional input to avoid you doing anything that resultsin the house sliding down into a big hole. Can you not repair the garage and use that, it will be by far your simplest form of off road parking. If it has been built properly it will have been built into the hillside with retaining walls. What is to the right of your garage? is it right on the boundary or is there scope to widen it by rebuilding the retaining wall further to the right?
  14. 2 points
    Yes I was referring to the forum we're on and I appreciate that buildhub is a self-build forum. I share the concern that some companies are biased and the risk of unsuitable systems is real, but I've vetted installers as much as possible, spoken to previous customers and read into their over 10-year long histories. Yes, although costing money is not the only cost I think we should consider. When I weigh up the reduction CO2 emissions (I can expect around 67% decrease according to this: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/heat-pump-retrofit-in-london-v2.pdf), I could argue that heat pumps are cheaper all things considered. We need to consider all of the materials we use in building too; there's some excellent progress in Europe with increased timber for example. I appreciate your replies to my thread ProDave, I hope the above isn't read as confrontational - just my answer to the 'why should they because gas is so cheap' question. It's a like the ICE vs. electric car debate, I'd love to drive a 6-cylinder NA monster around but it just seems wrong to me and I hope that the subsidies for fossil fuel will reduce in future. Thanks 🙂
  15. 2 points
    When you sell. Can define all rights, boundaries, obligations etc etc then.
  16. 2 points
    Welcome. I am new here also but have planning consent for our new build. When we started out the first thing we did was arrange a quick free of charge meeting with the local planning department to discuss the location and basic ideas for our build. Whilst clearly they could not give a decision at that time they did say that they saw no reason why we should not pursue it further. They provided some pointers as to how it should comply with the neighbours etc. Whilst this might be currently difficult during Covid times for a face to face you may be able to get an online meeting arranged.
  17. 2 points
    Thanks all, I really appreciate it. It's been such a rollercoaster, one minute you are very happy and super excited the next minute there are major issues. I think I'll be ok once it's done but boy is it hard work!
  18. 2 points
    The AECB are having another airtightness webinar tomorrow. https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MBqttYnORDyuaE4vyZN-NQ
  19. 2 points
    Cordless grinder, diamond blade, lots of water, lots of mess. I would have a go myself, but I’m a bit of a no guts no glory merchant, so I just get stuck in and wait and see if the shit hits the fan or not.
  20. 2 points
    Don’t you just fit one that isn’t actually connected to the heating system, so SWMBO can crank it up as often as she wants. But you actually just control it from an app. 😁
  21. 2 points
    Installing BiPVCo Solar 358mm PV on SSAB GreenCoat PLX Pro, Colour Mountain Grey (036) from Metal Solutions Ltd with Snaplock(R) Standing Seam at 400mm wide panels Installation in Graven Hill, Bicester. Electrics at the ridge under a low impact profile
  22. 2 points
    Your new top room is your bedroom where you sleep yes? Don't forget how much water vapour you exhale all the time you are in that room, and if in an effort to keep it warm you have no ventilation, that will just build up. If you don't want to ventilate the room properly then try a dehumidifier. They are noisy things so you won't want it running while you sleep, but try running one in the daytime when you are using a different room. Our old 1930's house was always a bit damp feeling and a dehumidifier would always suck a lot of water out from there and we used it from time to time if we thought it was getting a bit damp. A modern well insulated house with mvhr has none of these problems. Your issue seems just like a "problem" we had in a rental flat. the tenant was complaining of "damp" and on inspection there was condensation forming and running down the walls. Also it was cold, they were too tight or too poor to turn the heating on. All the vents were shut and the bathroom fan turned off (before I learned NEVER fit a fan isolator switch in a rental) and there was wet washing hanging everywhere. We never had a "damp" issue with any tenant before that one or after.
  23. 1 point
    For dishwashers it's pretty simple - they've only got a single inlet, but most (not all) will take water at up to 60°C. I switched from cold to hot fill at a previous house where we had a pretty rubbish Smeg dishwasher picked up off Gumtree and it was a revelation - cleaning was vastly better and it ran through cycles much faster. Typically they use about 10 litres per wash for the more efficient ones - about a bucket of water - and if your plumbing takes anything like that before it runs warm you've got a problem. Any cold slug isn't a big deal - essentially they fill up with the required amount of water, and then the electrical heater kicks in to warm it to the temperature required by the cycle (which is why hot fill runs faster). I just teed it off the kitchen sink and didn't worry about it after that. Hot fill washing machines is rather more controversial - it only works if you supply both hot and cold fill to the machine, and there is only one manufacturer I'm aware of who does them (Ebac). I'm not convinced that they're particularly valuable, especially as washes are getting colder over time, but £100 extra for 150 kWh/year is a better deal than £7k extra for 1000 kWh/year: not that either is good or you could keep a straight face describing them as an investment, but the washing machine is significantly less bad. There's an additional problem - the battery controllers out there are the moment are pretty dumb, and don't really connect to what the grid actually wants. If you've got PV at home batteries will try to charge off it rather than export, even if there is a lot of demand during the day with the gas plants working hard but they're expecting a storm with loads of wind to hit that night and drive spot rates negative. Hot water storage makes sense with a very large cylinder, and I'd also argue for a very well insulated house a thermostat which turns up and down in response to electricity prices makes sense too. Well insulated houses - particularly ones with cellulose insulation - seem to have a time constant in the region of 24 hours, and that effectively allows you to use the house itself for a lot of thermal storage. The problem is that for a bigger system you're going to be MCS registered so can be paid for what you export. That means you're only saving the difference between the export rate (5p or so) and the ~15p you're paying, for the 20% or so of your total consumption that your battery can provide - overnight loads in summer, basically. It really doesn't add up to much money. The only way I can almost make it work is the Octopus/Tesla tariff, if you don't have a Tesla car. No standing charge and net metering with any deficit or surplus valued at 11 p/kWh. If you've got a very big PV system and are exporting most of it, the difference between 5p and 11p/kWh might hit the £500/year or so at which you can just about justify a Powerwall. It's worth noting the batteries in that scheme are managed remotely, so will form the sort of virtual power plant required to make batteries actually useful, as per @SteamyTea's comment above. That's reliant on a particular tariff being available for the next decade or more though...
  24. 1 point
    Sheathing boards cover the frame. A racking board is sort of the same but has a more important role it provides the racking strength to stop the building folding like a pack of cards. So a sheathing board might just cover up your frame. But a racking board covers the frame but also adds structural stiffness, racking boards should have a fixing schedule it’s normally a nailing schedule so one 50mm ringshank nail will be provided every 150mm apart on all studs and sole plates and top plates. Some walls that need need a lot of added stiffness might have racking both sides. If I was building any frame I would fully board both sides.
  25. 1 point
    You can do it yourself. 4-1 sand cement and mix to a slurry. Cheap sweeping brush and a big plastic box and just dip, sweep, repeat ..!
  26. 1 point
    fresh air .... and the condensation disappeared
  27. 1 point
    I turn the stats down to circa 35-45oC depending upon the type of dwelling / emitter. It won’t pump 6kW in unless 6kW is required, the stats will simply allow the arrangement to crudely ‘modulate’. As I install these systems for Joe Public, I have to show diligence so I always aim at around 50-100% redundancy where it’s not cost prohibitive. The heating controls do of course need to be robust fir one, and I say that with the fact that I always fit low temp suited UFH setups to manage / regulate heat input to the dwelling ( ergo overheating has not ever been an issue ). You can drive a Ferrari to the shops at 10 mph I would agree with an ethos of fitting one, and buying a spare to sit on the shelf ready to go, but if Mrs Public loses the heating whilst the hubby / household plumber is unavailable, the double setup will be appreciated and understood
  28. 1 point
    Your Help to Buy ISA will be used for the purchase of the land, not the completed property, as it goes.
  29. 1 point
    Thanks for the replies alll. Turns out I was worrying about nothing - temperature was 7 degrees @ the pad and wasn't particularly well ventilated which I guess made it take a while to set. Annoyingly the sika instructions are silent on what temp the cure time is, but from looking at the same product from Weber it seems normal stated times are at 20deg, the 5deg times are 3 times as long. Thankfully gone off like a rock now.
  30. 1 point
    https://www.appliancesdirect.co.uk/p/eiq-12wminv/electriq-eiq12wminv-wall-split-air-conditioner?refsource=apadwords&mkwid=sTq41ApBF_dm&pcrid=316375285866&product=eIQ-12WMINV&pgrid=60291385853&ptaid=pla-446815102020&channel=googlesearch&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIodGs_r-A7wIV8IBQBh2LDAtCEAQYAiABEgJ-Y_D_BwE what about one of these?
  31. 1 point
    The tenders were very detailed as it happened - just very expensive! They were based on the full set of drawings from the architect - one builder said he'd never seen such a comprehensive set of drawings. We didn't provide any more information than that TBH. No CIL where we are and building regs approved on drawings. We're just south of Totnes - whereabouts are you?
  32. 1 point
    Check the easy bits first, connections to taps / toilet cistern? if its not an in wall cistern, check the threads that connect the cistern to the toilet bowl.
  33. 1 point
    How about stacking a couple of pallets of lightweight concrete blocks in a ramp shape then covering in concrete to form the slope? As @nod said, cover the top of the blocks in a sheet of DPM. You could break it off later and sell / reuse the blocks. As for handrail...3x3 timber posts banged in the ground?
  34. 1 point
    Then that’s the best reason to use them. 👍 crack on!
  35. 1 point
  36. 1 point
    On my daughters gaff, i ground out all the cracks and splits, after stripping off all the paint. Then over filled all the cracks with epoxy resin. ground back flush to the stone, then finished with p45 car body filler. Sanded, and then painted with three coats of masonary paint. Still look good after 4 years.
  37. 1 point
    Unless the UFH pipes are directly under the finished floor, in aluminium spreader plates or other such purpose made diffuser, this is not going to improve ever. Ive seen umpteen ‘builder executed’ UFH fack-ups, including UFH pipes just loose under the floors in the joist voids, boiler set at 80oC and TMV set to max flow temp etc. It’s really unbelievable that anyone thinks they can just throw this in ( especially when it is a heat pump install ) and it’ll work. This is a ‘floor up’ job by the sounds of it.
  38. 1 point
    As far as I'm aware (and I don't work much in England so take this with a pinch of salt), you will need to attenuate the 1 in 100 year, 6 hour event so that post development runoff equals the greenfield runoff rate. In terms of meeting the planning condition you'd just need to detail aspects of the calculation showing how you come up with the greenfield runoff rates for the site. If the online tool works and allows you to do this (I don't use them so I can't confirm one way or the other) then you can probably just extract the outputs from this. Alternatively, I have heard of a standard 60mm rainfall depth being used for this event but you'd probably need to confirm with your BCO before adopting this for design. Obviously there are many ways of providing the attenuation, some more aesthetic than others and some have been referred to above.
  39. 1 point
    If its a partial vacuum your own AAV should be able to deal with it by opening to let air into the stack. That is assuming it in the right place on the pipework and not sealed into air tight boxing.
  40. 1 point
    100mm panels were Amvic supplied. It was a 150mm stainless screw and black plastic 'washer' that was used to fix them to ICF block webs, as pictured above.
  41. 1 point
    use 22mm tongue and groove, glue every joint and screw not nail. You can get it that wiill withstand weather for 6 weeks if your not watertight. Once you've used the expanding glue in every joint and screwed it at 150 centres it is solid. not worth skimping on as a bouncy squeeky floor will be with you forever.
  42. 1 point
    my stat has a 3’ hysterisis , means it switches when 3’ difference is felt. Set to 21’ it switches off at 22.5 but switches on at 19.5, really need to find one that’s got a 1’ hysterisis. Yes, I have little temp devises around the house to PROVE it’s warm enough (she still asks me to light the woodstove tho).
  43. 1 point
    Just read your blog Peter brilliant! thanks for sharing.
  44. 1 point
    Yup, it's that R² vs R³ thing, and the time integrates up. It works well for stores the size of a car park or warehouse but not on a domestic scale. I've seen some builds which put a concrete keel with say 30cm structural EPS around it down the centre of the slab / foundation with a few pipe loops in it to act as an independent thermal store / buffer for the daily cycle but seasonal is a completely different scale.
  45. 1 point
    Thanks, we've benefited immensely from the build hub ourselves, don't think we would have got this far without all the help and advice members have provided.
  46. 1 point
    I have used neither. But I have learned that whatever the fabric - it's the quality of the work that is the key issue. I suspect you can get U values pretty much the same overall for each build method. Its the focus on detail and pride in accuracy that repays. Just one slapdash worker is enough to cause lots more downstream work, and therefore cost.
  47. 1 point
    I think you already answered this. 1/ for whatever reason, the evidence is that people regularly install poorly designed systems that under perform 2/ so we can deduce it's hard to design a system that is guaranteed to work well 3/ most lay persons (and self builders) lack the skills and experience to be sure they can design their own system. It's probably the only system they'd ever design so not worth formal training on how to DIY it 4/ there's a dire shortage of professional system designers with proven track record. RHI is explicitly designed to solve #4 (NOT to reduce cost of ownership, as people tend to think) which in theory is the way we (as a country) get out of this conundrum BUT it puts up the "up front" cost of ownership, which combined with the drawbacks listed above makes it extremely unattractive idea to the cautious customer
  48. 1 point
    I made some concrete worktops for the kitchen and utility, 40mm depth, two with under mount sink. Kitchen sink worktop is 3.6m, utility 2.4m and the island 1.2m x2m with hob. Major challenge was the weight but they are in. Tiles are temporary. I had a quote for 5.4K so thought I would give it a go.
  49. 1 point
    its Scottish roofing practice to nail slates direct to sarking board.
  50. 1 point
    The frame is an unusual portal I-beam timber frame design which reduces thermal bridging to a minimum. The sole plate was laid on 29/9/10 with the remainder of the frame being installed over the following two weeks. This shows the construction of the individual frames. The first floor decking was laid to make the frame installation easier. A crane was needed to lift the remaining frames into position. The 15mm OSB3 racking was nailed up covering all the openings which were to be opened up later. Almost finished the racking. The racking was covered with a Glidevale Protect TF200 membrane. The front verandah and porch roof are added. The rafters are fitted. It's 29th November exactly two months after the sole plate was laid and now ready for the roof covering.
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