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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/03/18 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Not wanting to hijack Peter's post This just landed on the mat What a lot of hassle to get to this
  2. 2 points
    Ive been researching the many different ICF products on the market recently and have complied some data for comparison. A lot of the info is available online, but details from some manufacturers aren't so easy to find. The spreadsheet is far from complete or exhaustive, the products with the most detail are the ones I've been personally interested in and have sought quotes. Ive settled on a product now and my motivation has moved on to the next pressing decision! Hope this is some help to anyone thinking of building with ICF
  3. 1 point
    Well, at last we have finished our renovation and have had an offer that we have accepted. It took longer to get here than we ever thought, over 17months, but I think it was worth it. After Christmas and our little party, we had the estate agent in who had already sold one of the neighbours houses and before we knew it, the photographer was there and the next day it was online! we still had a few snags to sort out but we soon had those done, apart from the wooden mantle for the lounge fireplace, which we hadn't found yet. After a couple of weeks, we had a good offer and so we are now in the hands of the solicitors. I am hopeful to have it all completed by end of April. Our buyer was in the middle of selling her place to a first time buyer so I am keeping my fingers crossed that there are not too many problems. We did say we didn't want a chain, prefering a FTB or cash buyer. So here are a few of the photographs of our amazing house, together with the origonal shots, if I have them. The dining room. The lounge. Our lovely bathroom - Am very pleased with this The back bedroom. I am so proud of what we have acheived. it was our first big renovation and we had to take on many challenges that we had not done before. But apart from the builder (who did the structural work on the side gable wall and removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room) and the plasterers, we did the lot ourselves! Poor OH has still not recovered, although his knees are much better now that he is no longer crawling round the floor doing plumbing/electrics/boarding etc. Whenever I mention another nice place I have seen on Rightmove that needs renovating, he turns a strange colour of pale and goes to lie down. I think I shall have to wait for a little while before looking too seriously. I hope you have enjoyed sharing this experience/blog with us and maybe have learnt some things on the way; I know I certainly have. I shall be sad to see the house go - it has always felt a friendly /warm house, even in the middle of winter. But onwards and upwards! Maybe we will eventually find a plot and can build our own house or, if not, a renovation for us rather than for profit. And whatever, I shall make sure there is a blog on Buildhub! Cheers, The Mitchells.
  4. 1 point
    ....because we have clay, and lots of it. A soil test was carried out on the site today as MBC need to know what they're building on to do their sums for the foundation. I used a firm called Mini Soil Surveys (South West), run by a chap called Martin Shirley. My selection of which firm to use was detailed and exacting - they were the cheapest. Or should I say, least expensive. Actually, I had no idea what was involved in this other than punching a few holes in the ground and looking at which flavour of mud comes out of it. That's broadly it, but in a much more sophisticated manner and it took a fair amount of time, too, starting at 9.30 and finishing some time around 2.30 in the afternoon, which was much longer than I anticipated. I rang 4 different companies, both in Dorset and a little further afield, with prices ranging from about £1,400 (inc VAT) up to about £3,000. A mini drilling rig (my terminology is probably entirely wrong here, so please excuse my ignorance) gets trundled onto the site and 3 locations, roughly triangulated on the extreme points of where the new build will be, are chosen. At each site, 3 sample cores at increasing depths are taken and then bagged up for lab tests, if thought necessary. Unfortunately, mine are due to a lot of clay coming out in the samples. The main reason for the lab analyses is to find out whether the clay/soil is shrinkable because this could have a major effect on what gets built on it. It will take about 10 days for the lab tests and report to be done, so I just need to wait this out and then let MBC know the results. It's not essential for the client to be there, but Martin was keen for me to attend if possible as, in his experience, other things often come to light that may be relevant to other plans for a site apart from the main build. Although it was a little repetitive towards the end, I did find it interesting and it brought up another job that is time critical and needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later. The urgent task is to deal with a large amount of hedgerow that runs around the existing bungalow and to do it before it all gets going and growing in the spring. I had already planned to get the majority of this chopped down (hopefully next weekend) before birds start nesting, but I need to get another long row, an inner hedge between the bungalow and the hedge that separates the site from the lane, as this can have a significant and negative affect on the clay soil there. It seems that the water demand of hawthorn hedges is enormous and especially so in spring when they get going after their winter dormancy, and by virtue of absorbing so much water from the soil, it causes the clay to shrink massively and the whole lot becomes difficult to build on. Having to put in piles is a possibility. Once the diggers are on site, I can get all the roots grubbed out then. The arboricultural report that was done for our planning submission had recommended retaining the inner hedge to act as sacrificial root protection for the outer hedge during construction, but it looks like it will instead need to go and I'll have to get some other sort of root protection in place to satisfy the PP requirements, but I don't think this is particularly tricky to deal with and it's a better course of action than leaving it and having to put piles in. The final point that came up was something that has no bearing on the house, but possibly could on my sewage plant and rainwater reservoir. Between 2m and 3m depth, the sample had lots of sparkly crystals in it which are some form of sulphate crystals. Very pretty and all that, but it seems that these, when water gets to them, can attack and weaken concrete. Both the sewage plant and rainwater reservoir will be anchored into the ground with concrete at just about that depth so I need to make sure that I specify sulphate resistant concrete to make sure that the tanks stay where they are put for the long term. It's a simple and insignificant difference in cost on the concrete spec, but one that I wouldn't have known to do without the survey. Another day, another load of new stuff learned.
  5. 1 point
    The BCO came yesterday for his final visit and to let me know what remaining documentation he wanted. He couldn't believe the air tightness of 0.47m3/m2.h as it was the lowest he had seen and that he usually saw results around the 4m3/m2.h. I didn't think it was especially low, but it was a point in my favour. Today I received the completion certificate, so now I can insure it as a normal house and start the VAT reclaim. I can only praise the experience I had with Building Control.
  6. 1 point
    Thanks Lizzie, yes our grout is charcoal ( mud coloured) but I would hate it to get stained after all the hard work getting it to look good.
  7. 1 point
    @Ralph What are you wanting to achieve in terms of running costs? As others have said, improving the U values of the floor, walls and windows would make a significant difference. Plugging your U values into the heat loss calculations for my house, saw a near doubling of heating requirement. Try dowloading the heat loss spreadsheet from @JSHarris blog: http://www.mayfly.eu/ plug in some different values and try and work out where the best value improvements would be. Our last house used the Supawall system (made by Scotframe - a licenced version of the Valutherm they now produce). It is used a lot up here in Orkney, and is a well engineered system and IMHO a good option, and takes away a lot of the workmanship risk in terms of insulating the walls. On windows, I've certainly found Nordan to be quite expensive in the past (albeit they are nice windows). Have you had quotes from anyone else? In respect of your heating / DHW, we went with a packaged Mitsubishi Ecodan system which you can read about in my blog: Key to using an ASHP is making sure its set up correctly, easy with this system as it has an auto adaptive mode so manages itself, and that you have correctly sized the heat emitters, either UFH pipes OR large (oversized) radiators and pipework designed for low flow temps. We had the latter in our last house, UFH in this, and I find UFH far more comfortable to live with. The master controller stat is set to 21C and it maintains the house at that quite happily, with flow temperatures usually around 26C (albeit the past few days they have been as high as 29C). I'll be posting on the blog soon with how the system has performed over 12 months but just a quick look indicates annual COP for DHW to be 2.3 and for heating 3.4
  8. 1 point
    @Ian D I was looking at the existing planning app, where the Lombardies are a line alongside the common drive/parking area, so could fall into a common ownership of some sort depending on how it is all set up in the new scheme. The trees circled are the ones where future ownership would not be clear, and the back gardens of the houses lose their sunny aspect as they are on the north side. That S106 also looks nebulous - afaics it does not say what the Planning Obligation sum is. That may be to your advantage as you can negotiate it or possibly change your Planning App to avoid it entirely.
  9. 1 point
    I think it's possible to calibrate Heatmiser stats but I thought they could only be adjusted a few degrees? Perhaps I'm wrong and someone messed with the calibration by mistake? Otherwise yes it's faulty.
  10. 1 point
    Welcome what sort of consultant have you approached for the price you’ve been quoted..? Planning..? Architect ..? It will make a difference as to what you will get.
  11. 1 point
    I think that £600 will get about 1.5->2 days of time as a maximum unless there is a special factor involved, and 25-30% of that will be writing, so I hope you wouldn't expect too much. Unless it is a very simple, focussed brief I would be concerned about the thoroughness that is possible. If t is a general brief, he will need nearly a day to get to grips with your planning app and the history. With such a small quote the precision of your brief and telling the consultant what not to do will be crucial.
  12. 1 point
    What would you expect of any of these outlets * I'm being kind here* to do the fcuk about any of it? Investigative journalism has almost died in the mainstream media, not extinct completely but the titles you quote are unimpressive to put it mildly...
  13. 1 point
    I was fortunate to be able to visit recently and whilst there is some work still to be done it is a credit to them both, it is luverlly.
  14. 1 point
    It will if you get the air infiltration rate down. We’ve spent about £250 on Gerband tape and it’s made a massive difference. There is no perceptible draught anywhere in the build, and the 3G uPVC windows are holding their own. In fact we have snow sat on the outside pane and the inside is reflecting the warmth of your hand. It was time consuming and fiddly job but it’s made a “standard” brick and block build remarkably warm and comfortable - even with no heating ..!!
  15. 1 point
    Congratulations to you both. I saw it part finished and it was fantastic. I'm sure it looks even better now. Hoping that everytime I use my wall mounted wc I'll think of you and it'll inspire me! (To those unaware Peter kindly gave me a couple of his surplus Geberit fittings )
  16. 1 point
    Great news well done fantastic achievement. Have a well earned glass or two now!
  17. 1 point
    While I have only just seen some of the questioning posts on this topic, I agree with Jeremy's comment - I think we need to give the FMG a bit of space. Personnaly I am happy to accept their decision and if a post has been removed, there must have been a good reason for it. We all agree that this is one of the best forums on the web and I would hate to see this issue spoiling such a good thing. Can we let it go, please.
  18. 1 point
    Well done, house looks spot on. you have probably got another pile of paperwork to deal with when you start the demolition. ?
  19. 1 point
    Was in my local builders merchants and got onto the subject of how little insulation was in my house and how i needed to sort it asap as today the pipes are frozen in the loft..... they sent me away with 15 packs of insulation for free ! Happy days.
  20. 1 point
    Hey, @Nickfromwales and @PeterW dinnae be coming oop the day. It’s fair jeelit ootside but bonny enough tae get the washing oot . I’m fair scunnered wit the snow.
  21. 1 point
    It's starting to feel like the finish line is in sight now. Since my last entry, I've largely finished the interior including all the flooring, the doors, most of the kitchen, the windowsills, and the huge and daunting task of the bathroom (big thanks to @Nickfromwales for answering my hundreds of questions on that one!). I got a plumber in to install my UVC (sorry Nick, forgot to get a photo of that). I've also done a bit more of the cladding, but the exterior work has been on the back burner. I've also gone back to work full time since my last blog post, which is why everything has slowed down so much. Still managing to get a bit done in the evenings and at weekends. You'll notice some furniture has appeared, some of this was given to me by a neighour and was very handy for storing all my tools etc; the bed and sofa were in storage with family and eventually I exhausted their goodwill and had to take delivery of them! The shower has had a couple of test runs, and SWMBO reports that it is very nice indeed. The plan is to be open for business in April, which should be tight but doable. I expect that at that stage I'll still have some outside jobs left to finish but the inside is only a few days away from completion now. Sorry for the crappy image quality- will have to do a bit better when the time comes to do the proper marketing shots
  22. 1 point
    I'm in North Dorset Vivienz. At an early stage of works I accompanied my groundworker to Sydenhams and Bradfords, places he favoured and had a rapport with. His introducing me made a significant difference I believe and i've had great service and good prices from them both, compared to other merchants where i've just made solo contact as a self builder. My Blandford branches are constantly accessing Verwood's stock for me. Even if I went into Verwood for something i've already had before from Blandford, they'd check to ensure I didnt pay more than I previously had. I think it all comes down to what 'discount tier' the merchant group chooses to put you on, and for me that was significantly affected by how I was introduced versus my cold calling for 'best possible prices'.
  23. 1 point
    You need to find out what adhesive the layers will use to see if they'll react to each other. I don't see you needing to do much more than mastic all around the wall / ply junctions to seal up the gaps. Sealing the vinyl to the wall afterwards is a no brainer. Will there be skirtings sitting on this junction or tiles / other ?
  24. 1 point
    Amen to that. The trouble is (well it is for me) the assumption that due diligence is enough to filter contractors with a poor record. In my case, it did. But it couldn't filter for poor management of staff during the build. Couple that with the pressure we all feel to get the job done (code for reduce-the-stress-of-the-build-process) and you have a significant brake on that reinstatement process. Where do you draw the line? 2mm out of plumb? 6mm over 3 vertical meters? C25 not 35? How does a domestic client know the difference? Who out of all of us has done a slump test on delivery BEFORE pouring? Bird's mouth beautifully seated on the wall plate, or one which would accept a 50p piece? Well, not to worry, it'll settle. @nod knows his stuff. I don't. And every trades person knows he knows his stuff. (But, he tells me that occasionally they still try it on - quite a relief that , in a masochistic sort of way) And they know I don't know my stuff. Buildhub is the mainstay for me in bridging the gap between complete naivety and a fighting chance of getting work done to a reasonable standard.
  25. 1 point
    We had wanted to build our own house for many years and then suddenly the opportunity presented itself. What sort of house should we build though? We wanted to reduce our household outgoings, so a house that used less energy and had low maintenance costs was needed. This was the start of a long process of research into low energy buildings. We designed the house ourselves. The local planning department were not helpful and in total the detailed planning process took three attempts, but after taking all the various planning officers comments into account the final design was approved unanimously by the planning committee. The design had evolved and the look had changed considerably by the third design. When it's built hopefully it will look something like this and this. During the research process decisions on whether to use a low or high thermal mass building were considered. We decided on relatively low thermal mass as this is England and when do we have long periods of hot weather! We considered different types of timber frame and in the end chose a portal timber I-beam frame design. This was when I found out about Passivhaus (PH). It was amazing, this was exactly the concept we were looking for. We bought a copy of the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) and after reading the manual a couple of times we started to enter data into the package. Although the software was quite complex, inputting correct data was essential to obtaining meaningful output. It took many months to finish getting everything spot on, but eventually the design met the PH criteria with a space heating requirement of 12kWh/(m²a) and a primary energy demand of 51kWh/(m²a). We managed to source all the major building components which were certified by the Passivhaus Institute(PHI). The type of insulation to be used was narrowed down to ‘Icynene LDR50’ or ‘Knauf Supafil Frame’. Icynene was decided upon because of its better airtightness qualities. The concrete raft foundations are a German PH certified system called Isoquick which incorporates 300mm Peripor polystyrene insulation giving an overall U factor of 0.1 W/m²K. The walls and roof are constructed using 350mm Steico I-beams sheathed with 15mm OSB3 giving racking strength. In addition to the 350mm internal Icynene there are 50mm high density Rockwool batts fitted to the outside of the OSB3. This gives an overall U factor of 0.09 W/m²K. The roof covering uses the Nu-Lok system of black ceramic tiles and the walls are clad in untreated shiplap cedar. The entrance doors are PH certified and manufactured by Internorm. The windows which are also PH certified are triple glazed and triple sealed and manufactured in the UK using Rehau Geneo profiles which are made of fibre reinforced plastic. The high airtightness requirement of PH means there is a heat recovery and ventilation system. The compact unit we have decided upon is the Genvex Combi 185S. This incorporates an exhaust air heat pump to provide hot water and duct heating. A 2.8 kWp PV array will be installed on the South facing roof. All interior and exterior lighting will be LED. Aerating taps and showers will reduce water and energy use. We used BuildDesk U to determine U factors and any potential interstitial condensation problems. WUFI will be used to accurately determine the need for an internal vapour membrane. The local building control department were very interested in the design and have been very helpful.
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