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Showing content with the highest reputation since 22/08/19 in all areas

  1. 15 points
    So it’s almost 5 years since I bought my little corner of the national park and for the first time this evening after another weekend of slog I looked back at the house and thought.......shit......it’s actually beginning to look close to being finished. Then I remembered that tomorrow sees the delivery of another 120 tonnes of top soil (that’s over 500 tonnes now!) and the landscaping needs another month of graft. Oh and then there’s seeding and planting, the culvert needs building, driveway....OK just loads still to do 😂 But for just a brief moment in the evening sun I could see the finish line in the distance.
  2. 4 points
    Total of 30 panels (6kW) tracking the sun and heating the covered pool in front of it.
  3. 4 points
    The snag is that there is some sort of universal law that dictates that stuff expands to fill the volume available. Add an extra cupboard and it will just end up full of stuff, so needing another extra cupboard, and so on, ad infinitum...
  4. 3 points
    If this discussion is to continue could you please refrain from bringing it into the realms of personal attacks on another member. You are free to post whatever you like with regards how you think this specific term should be used and measured but constant digs won't be tolerated any more.
  5. 3 points
    I don't see how choosing a different construction method could solve a housing shortage? Any housing shortage is the result of planning policy, and / or the way large house builders land bank land and only develop it when they believe they will be able to sell the houses quickly. It has little to do with the time it takes to build a house.
  6. 3 points
    The reporting I saw a few weeks ago did not see any substantial rise in exports with the post 2008 and 2016 drop in the pound. This was explained due to the need to import materials and elements of the finished product, therefore diminishing the ability to discount. https://www.ft.com/content/0ee55f40-b2c9-11e9-8cb2-799a3a8cf37b A lower pound increases inflation as prices of imported goods rise and UK runs a significant trade deficit - as interest rates are at a historic low to keep the economy from stalling, the BoE has little scope to boost them to reign it back in or to cut further if recession looms. Also the relatively low UK productivity (essentially a lack of investment in skills and technology) is a factor. The current high employment rate (and the recent wage growth) is believed to be a reflection of this - easy to invest in low skilled additional workforce for the short term (boost wages to obtain/retain staff) and lay them off or cut wages when revenue falls, vs a longer term investment in skills and technology which needs to be paid for over many years, whether revenues keep up or not. But heh, I 'm sure all of this can be resolved with a positive mindset and some cheery optimism!
  7. 2 points
    Hi @JSHarris Thanks for the effort. I couldn't wait and just sat on the misses windows pc(🤮 Got the Stroma free version going. Took me 25min to get th hang of it and another 45 to punch in all the data. Got all the results out and saved another 200-600£(depending on who you ask). Works amazing. Just Windows gave me cold showers. How can people work with that? 😀
  8. 2 points
    I doubt there's a single member here who hates trained professionals. I don't doubt that many feel some professionals could do with acting a little more, well, professional.
  9. 2 points
    Here's a rubbish picture of the novy in situ with the extractor on the lowest height position. Each hotspot is in front of the slider control, i.e. parallel with the line of the extractor. I have found it to be very effective; my MVHR extracts for this room are also located about 1.5 metres back from the hob so rising steam isn't a problem. I'm very pleased with it.
  10. 2 points
    The objection to the garage is one of the more comical objections that I have read, people need to get a life. The house is further away than the one you are knocking down and the windows facing the boundary are not habitable rooms. I cannot see any issue at all. Also I think the windows are at right angles to each other although it is hard to tell. Why do they underline that the house is larger. What is the relevance? This is the kind of nonsense we got. What is the relevance of being overlooked by the other neighbour, that is nothing to do with you. The planners will likely ignore the objection. Arguably their house is way too near the boundary and causing the issue. I believe the 20m type rules do not apply when the existing property is breaking the rules. So in Edinburgh there is a 9m distance for habitable rooms to a boundary and 18m total. But I believe if the other house is less than 9 m from the boundary then that is their problem not yours. Basically people want to build right up to the edge of their plot then think it effectively gives them ownership of part of yours.
  11. 2 points
    I'd be painting that table to match...
  12. 2 points
    It's perfectly possible to do everything yourself, it's what I ended up doing. I will say that it's pretty damned time consuming though. I had about a year's delay, caused by the plot boundary problem, and used all of that year reading up on design, building regs, researching methods of construction, doing drawings, making scale models, tearing the models up and making new ones. The only transferable skill I had when I started was a background in design (albeit of light aircraft and boats) and around 25 years or so experience of driving AutoCad (a significant benefit, as I didn't need to learn how to produce drawings). I've no idea how many hours I put into the house design in total, but it must have been several hundred, spread over the best part of a year. I wasn't working, either, so I had pretty much all day, every day, to dedicate to research, learning and designing the house. If I'd had to pay myself a reasonable rate I wouldn't have been able to afford my services...
  13. 2 points
    More insulated slab laying.
  14. 2 points
    A few items I added recently: Ceiling sprinklers (fire) Outlet for christmas lights under eaves Hidden Safe, ideally in hallway so you can grab important stuff while running out (fire) Switched outlets for lighting in garden Outside faucet with hot water for washing the dog, filling swimming pool gas line to shed for that BBQ Extra Water supply line for irrigation Floor drain in bathrooms Floor drain in garage (washing the car, boots) Dumbwaiter Hidden Power Sockets in floor of larger rooms. Don't want to run power to center - trip hazard Light + Jamb switch in closets Roof Angle: 32 deg for optimal solar Mini secondary staircase - safety and also convenience Micro Shower in garage. If you ever want to convert to airbnb, but also to wash the kid, dog. Tiny hidden room - ok this is just for fun, but there could well be tiny spaces left over, and I wouldn't mind a 1.5x2 room with just a comfy seat, some bookshelves and a TV stapled to the door (obviously ethernet) Integrated Pest Control - lots of design choices are possible to stave off pests Pests Building Guide Led lights on some switches - we keep on forgetting the light in the garage, for example. Psychology knows why
  15. 2 points
    I'm simply not going to argue with you, as there's no merit to the forum community to do so. You have made your view clear, hopefully I've made my view clear. Others can decide which view, if either, to believe.
  16. 2 points
    I'm pretty sure that installers have yet to pick up on this. AFAIK, it's probably only members of this forum that have discovered that floor cooling can be pretty effective in hot weather. Perhaps we're pioneers, in which case I suspect we might be collectively recognised as such when installers catch up with some of the things we are doing, in years to come.
  17. 2 points
    You would have to start with you generally not owning the view. BUT 1 His PP. What does it say? If in breach you may complain. And a nice letter from the PO may work. If it is a dev then they might have done a Visual Impact Assessment, which could be leveraged. 2. Council nuisance. I think light pollution may be addressable that way. 3. Dark skies is a sexy thing these days. Especially in a Nat Park, or if you have local enthusiasts. May help. "They will all go and visit Kielder instead." 4. You could approach them directly. Surprisingly effective sometimes. Perhaps they are nice people who will agree to a change. Most people are reasonable if approached reasonably with a genuine concern. It may be cheap, but they may ask you to pay eg for cowels. Problem here is that ‘will change the bulb type next time’ now means up to 5-10 years if LEDs. 5. Local astronomy group maybe willing to do something. 6. You accept that you now have a permanent conversation starter over your supper time cocoa and shortbread. Imagine 2055. “Remember, Shona, when those buggers installed that lighting back then .. nice people but I sure miss following the mountain rescue team on Ben McSavage by their lights”. Whichever way, leave it 1-2 years and your chances of change may be 80% less. Imo act now to mitigate, or grin and bear it forever. Your call 😮. It may seem strange to mention contributing, however that can be useful if asked .. I find that going halves on fences or materials or shared chimneys (done all 3 in last decade) even when not technically necessary means that I get an input and a decent job. Ferdinand
  18. 2 points
    My neighbour that installs MVHR systems insists on a coarse filter before the 2.5 filter. Massively increases the life of the filter, but more importantly delays the pressure drop as the filter clogs.
  19. 2 points
    This made me chuckle: https://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/celebrity/kevin-mccloud-over-budget-living-in-caravan-and-pregnant-20190823188449?fbclid=IwAR3osgx3IdXoPDJoniPIIfXa5V3xjXbMUsKhnaQtTtjkITzPbeWFPvzzBPg
  20. 2 points
    First thing, they are Aico alarms, imho the best you can get. Don't discount that there may have been an issue, did you have any heating on, anything that could be smouldering? They will trigger long before a room is full of smoke. You should really have a heat alarm in the kitchen, not a smoke alarm. Being Aico you can swap the kitchen ionisation alarm for a heat alarm just by sliding one off it's base and sliding the replacement on. No need for an electrician. Aico sell a clever switch that you can link into the system that when pressed will identify which alarm has triggered, it might be worth getting one of those fitted.
  21. 1 point
    We have a fridge magnet we stick on the door of the dirty one 🙂
  22. 1 point
    Thanks @JSHarris. Simply worded and understandable.
  23. 1 point
    And we're done, all installed and working We've not had an oil boiler since May so glad it's in! use in time too by the looks of the news with the Saudi oil strikes. Great that we're fully pumped now and not on the horrible gravity fed system we had - so many air blockages previously! Now to try out the underfloor heating!
  24. 1 point
    Haven't you got a sign downstairs saying No1's only?
  25. 1 point
    I've a foot square panel that does about 10W, but have a 6v wallwart in parallel to ensure it starts in low-ish light. All through the solartwin differental controller
  26. 1 point
    Made by Dulux for Wilko... as is Wickes paint..
  27. 1 point
    Clear is fine. White CT1 goes "near custard yellow" to quote the Welsh Wizard.
  28. 1 point
    We wanted a modern design staircase that looked as though it were free standing but at a reasonable price. After a lot of searching we found an Italian company called Fontanot. They produce spiral and winder staircases from steel and wood. We visited their distributers at Rotherham and chose the Genius 030 winder staircase with white power coated steel work and natural beech treads. We tweaked the design a little and then placed the order. We were given a four week lead time but it was delivered in three weeks. The whole staircase came in a 1.2m x 1.0m x 0.6m crate. Then it was a case of putting together the biggest kit I've built. There was a DVD with the instructions which was helpful but gave the impression that it could be built quickly, which it most certainly wasn't in our case. The parts of the spine. The rest of the kit minus the treads. To build the staircase you start at the top. First tread is screwed to the side of the stairwell. Then you work your way down. The base of the spine is bolted to the floor. On the landing the balusters are fitted into cups that are screwed and bolted to the floor. Finally finished and the treads were covered with a protective film.
  29. 1 point
    If looking at sprinklers (which are a very good idea, IMHO, but also expensive) then I'd look at the water mist ones. Not only do these suppress fire more quickly than conventional sprinklers, but they also use far less water. Using less water has two benefits, it means that getting an adequate water supply to them is a lot easier (it can be a challenge getting adequate water supplies to conventional sprinklers) and there is a great deal less water damage if they operate. Water damage is often more severe than fire damage in many house fires, so anything that reduces this has to be a good thing. Looking at the statistics, 75% of household fires are put out without the attendance of the fire and rescue service. The fire and rescue service attended 29,570 fires in England in the year 2018/19, from a housing stock in England of around 19.811 million, so the number of households that the fire and rescue service attend each year is about 1 in 670. Out of those fires where the fire and rescue service attended, the average area of fire damage was 18.3m², so roughly one room about 4.5m x 4m. There were 196 fatalities from house fires in 2018/19 in England. Breaking those down by dwelling type, far and away the highest number of fatalities is in single occupancy dwellings (people living alone in either a house or bungalow, excluding flats), 136 out of a total of 196, excluding those living in purpose built flats. The number of fatalities from fires in multiple occupancy dwellings, not-purpose built flats or HMOs, (so normal households) was just 19. From the data it seems that far and away the highest risk group are those living alone, either in houses, bungalows or maisonettes (not purpose built flats). The fatal fire risk for those living in households of more than one in England seems to be about 0.0000959%
  30. 1 point
    I remember being mortgage free! Got three of the f***ers now. Wrong turns, roads not taken etc! 😂
  31. 1 point
    There's only one way to remove limescale from water, which is to remove the calcium and magnesium ions from the water, so that calcium and magnesium carbonates cannot form. There are two ways to do this, using an ion exchange resin, which swaps the calcium ions for sodium ions, or use reverse osmosis. The latter isn't well suited to volume water supplies, so that really leaves ion exchange. There are a multitude of different ion exchange systems around, that differ mainly in terms of physical size, whether they uses electricity or not to control the valves and regeneration process and the type of salt they use. The smaller units that don't need electricity are the Kinetico and the Harvey (both of which licence their technology to other companies). We have a Harvey and have found it to be reliable and effective, and it's supposed to have some advantages in its water metering system over the Kinetico, but I believe these are probably a bit marginal. Both are compact units that can fit (just) in a kitchen cabinet if need be, although we have ours in the services room. There are lots of other devices that claim to reduce the impact of limescale, using magnets, special catalytic elements, etc, but these don't actually remove anything. There is some limited evidence that they may slightly change the nature of the carbonates that precipitate out, making them less prone to sticking to stuff, but my own preference is to just remove the limescale completely. Some of the water conditioning devices that are marketed are simply snake oil, and use pseudo science to make them sound as if they are doing something magical. Finally there are phosphate dosing hard water treatment systems. These can work very well to stop limescale sticking to things, as although they don't remove it, they do reduce the impact it has on things like washing machines and dishwashers. They have the advantage of being cheaper to buy then something like the Harvey or Kinetico units, but they do need topping up with phosphate balls, that can be more expensive than salt.
  32. 1 point
  33. 1 point
    siberian larch and cedar are the two most popular around us at graven hill. English larch tends to be less ideal for external cladding as it is grown faster, resulting in a weaker material due to less dense growth rings. As it is already a soft wood that isn't ideal. Fir I have less experience in. We used siberian larch and got it from Mill Works at £3/m IIRC (you'll want to speak with Steven), hence we went with broader profiles to save on m2 costs. they can also supply the wood pained to any RAL colour. an additional £3/m. if your elevations are within 6m of your boundary (or center of the road for the elevation(s) facing the street), you'll need to consider fire protection on some or all the cladding material. thankfully this can be applied in the factory too at £3.50.
  34. 1 point
    Rollers are nearly always custom sizes and are tolerant to variation in height of 80-150mm due to how they are designed. The size of the box is key, as is whether it is single skin or double skin as this can also have bearing on how the tracks are installed. A quick look at the specs and between 290-380mm seems to be the range of gap needed to the top of the opening from the bottom of the rafters. That equates to a block and coursing brick, to a block and two coursing bricks above your lintel. If you have 10 courses of block plus 2 coursing bricks to play with (perfect 2400 ceiling) then your lintel needs to be on course 9, leaving the blocks and coursing bricks above. Easier to do as a pair of coursing rows with a block final. That would give you an opening of 2025 for your garage door. That’s a gnats taller than a “standard” 6’6” garage door.
  35. 1 point
    Even relatively modest houses often have a master en suite nowadays. If there is space for one then you really should fit one. I made the doors to en suite fire rated doors which are heavier to reduce noise transfer. The funny thing is our master en suite doesn't have a door at all and TBH if my wife is running a bath the noise is annoying but I don't notice anything else. All our WCs use in wall cisterns, they are vastly quieter than open cisterns and you basically cannot hear them. Similarly with MVHR you do not have annoying noisy extractor fans. Other things you can do are to make sure that anything noisy doesn't share a wall with the bedroom and try and put the door round a corner so it doesn't face the bed. But it is unlikely someone will be having a bath or s shower when you are sleeping unless you and your partner keep very different hours. I have never had steam or smells from an en suite as an issue ever in a house.
  36. 1 point
    I'd first cut a fillet of pir to go along the top and infill (or gun foam) where the sloping board meets the ceiling. I can see a gap! 😂 I'd do horizontal battens top and bottom then at 400 ctrs on the rafters. You want to support where the slope end's boards meet the wall & ceiling and back up the joint tape/scrim. Even then you might be wanting a flexible filler later on if you get any cracks.
  37. 1 point
    If the lighting is efficient, then there won't be any significant heat to recover from the control cabinet, so it wouldn't be worth the effort of trying to recover wasted energy from it. As an example, our 130m2 house has a total lighting power input, with all lights on, of less than 250 W. I'd expect any switching system to be at least 95% efficient, so that means that, with all the lights on, the wasted energy in the switches/control system would be around 12.5 W. Apart from this heat loss being very low, it ends up directly heating the house, so there is no real merit in trying to pass this through the MVHR.
  38. 1 point
    I've got a very straight forward and cheap set up for multi room audio, I've got google chromecasts in different places which you can group together... you only need to set them up and plug them in once as you then manage them from the app - I like the idea of sonos but not the cost... I have ceiling speakers in bathroom, utility room, then bookshelf speakers in bedroom and decent(ish) hifi speakers/amp in the sitting room. In the bedroom and ceiling speakers I've got tiny amps hidden (bought from ebay for about 15 quid each) which have the chromecast plugged into them - obviously easier to do if you have everything wired to a central location! It's very easy to use from your phone
  39. 1 point
  40. 1 point
    Just think of all that extra time you are getting to enjoy our company. Do you not feel ... er ... personally enriched? As for the winter, my posts make excellent firelighters. 🙊🙉🙈 🙃
  41. 1 point
    True . Walk on glazing ( for example ) already available in the UK is a good bet .
  42. 1 point
    We went with the pure white (rather than warm or natural) as we wanted a more clinical light.
  43. 1 point
    All this to end up with a Ford Focus MK 1?
  44. 1 point
    Snowcrete is just a trade name, I'm actually planning to use whatever white portland cement the builders merchant has. From the Tarmac website... Blue Circle Snowcrete Tarmac Snowcrete Cement is a white Portland cement suitable for architectural uses, and provides attractive and durable concrete, rendering and mortar. Strength Higher early and later strengths than Portland Cement CEM I 42,5
  45. 1 point
    I was given a free shed and didn't stop to think! I merrily went ahead, picked a spot out and excavated it. I build a base with a decent slab with a DMP underneath. I then built dwarf walls from some left over stocks and Celcon blocks and erected the shed on top. Tbh I should have chopped the thing up for firewood and sold it at the gate in bags putting the cash towards a proper shed! Given the available area it's not big enough to swing a cat in. But we are where we are... Looking then to, as cheap as possible, add a small side extension on. (Tbh I want to knock down the treehouse and wendy house elsewhere and build a 30m2 passive esque shed come garden room with green roof but that's for another thread). I'd put the little extension in the excavated bit where the water barrel is: The site slopes so I was thinking maybe cast a waterproof concrete wall on 2 maybe 2.5 sides and key a new slab into the existing one. If I cast the base first with some rebar sticking up around the edges then the walls later I assume I'll get seepage through between the new L shaped wall and base? Or do I cast floor and walls in two hits then just paint the outside with a liquid DPM? This is tbh only to store a few garden tools, old knackered cement mixer etc. I'll strap a sturdy door post to the existing shed side and make some double doors. As to how I integrate with the existing felt roof...
  46. 1 point
    check out the trend unit --for use with big routers etc -1.5kw vac +2kw tool --no problem https://www.trenddirectuk.com/t31a-class-l-wet-dry-1400w-dust-extractor-240v
  47. 1 point
    Let's be clear - your building inspector will look for a bit of paper that says the MVHR installation is compliant with Part F. This paper can be complete fiction or the result of a highly skilled calibration exercise - it does not need to be issued by a professional / qualified person. BC will never check that its correct (doing so would be impractical anyway). Now, as the inhabitant of the house you have a legitimate concern that the system is working properly. You can either pay someone to do this or do it yourself - depends what you think your time is worth. If you go as far as installing the system yourself then this last step is pretty trivial - commissioning sounds complicated but essentially it means turning it on and balancing the intake / extract airflow at plenums plus setting the fan speed at the unit to deliver the min / boost airflow. Now, I installed my system DIY and it was almost 2 years later when I bothered to check that it was balanced (needed to create that bit of paper for the BCO). So I borrowed the measuring tool from the forum, read the posts that explained what to do, ran around and took measurements, tweaked plenums and fan speeds, measured again and satisfied myself that it was good enough - wrote it all down and gave bit of paper to BCO who never mentioned it again. A few hours work including tea breaks. TBH - there was no noticeable difference at all before and after (even the measurements were only 15% or so out initially) so how you could ever tell that a paid installer had really done their job correctly is beyond me. Airflow from MVHR is very low by design. What's more important with a MVHR system is regular cleaning and replacement of the filters - put reminders in your calendar as it's easily forgotten once you're busy with normal life again
  48. 1 point
    It seems to me that for moderately complicated household wiring and plumbing you need lots of diagrams of three sorts: Logical: nice layout to understand the logic of the system with high voltage/pressure at the top, current flowing downhill, cause and effect going from left to right as is often used for electronic circuits. Mechanical: showing the actual wiring with some indication of the layout, e.g., if there's a row of MCBs in a box then they're shown in a row on the diagram, as in @JSHarris's diagram in his water-treatment shed. Geographical: showing where the wires actually run throughout the house. At the same time software will need to know configuration information about the system. E.g., 1-wire sensor 28E3F2C7010000 measures the study radiator flow temperature. A key tenet of software engineering is the DRY principle [¹] = don't repeat yourself. If there's one file to update when a change is made it might actually happen; if there are three or four then it's likely some will be missed some times and the whole lot will degenerate into a mess. So, what I'm envisaging is a single text file (maybe actually split into multiple files but processed as one) which sets up the software configuration and also produces various diagrams which could be printed or viewed online. The online views could be “live” in that they'd show actual states of temperature sensors, valves, pumps, batteries, etc, at least as far as the main computer knows them. E.g., I think somewhere on her web site Elke Stangl had a version of these diagrams which showed the actual temperatures and flows in their heat pump system live but I can't find it now. Thinking about this sort of thing is why I'm not overly interested in the existing home automation systems. [¹] I shared an office and house with Dave Thomas when I was a postgrad student.
  49. 1 point
    If you buy white sand, white cement and lime and mix the mortar on site so no storage issues. I think you should be able to produce an acceptable colour without any grey and if you shop around the cost should not kill you. I think it is important as it is so focal. Beware idiot labourer using it for blockwork! Are you doing anything fancy with the brickwork - like stack bond or flush or raked horizontal joints? Spend a bit of time and make up a panel or two. What bricks have you gone for?
  50. 1 point
    It might not cut it for you personally but for others it might be more useful. E.g., a friend of mine and his wife both flew for different airlines so had weird schedules and, of course, possible delays getting home at odd times and likely somewhat jet lagged. Running the central heating for other than frost protection while they were both away, sometimes for quite a few days, would be a waste but getting home to a warm house would be very welcome so either of them being able to turn up the thermostat from Heathrow was something we talked about. Just for giggles I wrote a prototype shell script to watch for their flight numbers on some website or other with the idea that it could see when they landed. It amused me to think of directly (i.e., without human intervention) controlling the central heating off a 767 boggy tilt switch.
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