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Showing content with the highest reputation on 09/01/19 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Here are some photos I've just taken showing the small magnets being used to find the centre of a stud: and this is one of the pencils I made up with a magnet in the end to find screws, pick up dropped screws etc, plus some of the small magnets:
  2. 2 points
    Just to put the floatation aspect into perspective, we have an 85m² slab, which is EPS that's 300mm deep. If the water level rose to the top of the slab (DPM level) then the upward acting buoyancy of the EPS would be around 242 kN. The mass of concrete and steel in the slab is around 14.5 tonnes, so that exerts a downwards force of around 142 kN. The mass of the house built on top of the slab is around 30 to 40 tonnes, so that exerts a downwards force of between 294 to 392 kN. Summing these forces, using the minimum house mass, we end up with: Downwards forces = 142 kN + 294 kN = 436 kN Upwards force = 242 kN So, even if flooded up to the top edge of the slab, the point where the house would start to get flooded, there is zero risk of the house being displaced upwards by the buoyancy of the EPS, all that would happen is that the force acting on the ground beneath would reduce from around 436 kN to around 194 kN.
  3. 2 points
    Some of ours (EPS300) took flight in a gale: hence aviation anti-collision lights too
  4. 2 points
    Welcome. Our experience of the early phase of the process was that our opinion of what we wanted changed - almost by the month. As our opinions became more and more informed, so our ideas adapted to encompass those ideas. A bit like the way that wine consumption over time tends to change your palate: you start to prefer drier wines - sweet white is fine, but a dry crisp white is better with fish. Your hands-off approach is highly likely to change once you've been hit in the bank balance once or twice. (That is if you realise you've been had) The best thing to do is to read the wailing and gnashing toothed stories here - and stories of the sheer delight on moving in. Self building doesn't discriminate by bank balance or personality or approach or intelligence or experience. It's uniformally challenging. Your experience is highly likely to be something like the one described by the commentariat here. It's pure skiing in front of an avalanche. ( @TerryE Jan 2019)
  5. 2 points
    Sorry, that was a typo, should have read MOT Type 3 - I've corrected it now, thanks for highlighting it.
  6. 2 points
    Perhaps passiv slab house owners should fit marine navigation lights to cover all possibilities.
  7. 2 points
    Just for clarity, MOT type 1 includes fines, and isn't free-draining. I think the stuff specified by MBC's engineer is something like "18-35mm, no fines". We used recycled railway ballast. If you choose to do this, make sure you're getting stuff that's been steam-cleaned. Ours was filthy with god knows what, but it was delivered and laid while I was at work so there was nothing I could do about it.
  8. 2 points
    If you want to find the studs after the plasterboard is up, and you haven't marked the floor, then magnets work well. I have some pencils where I fitted neodymium magnets to the end, and these are great for finding plasterboard screws and a lot more accurate than using a stud finder. I also have a dozen or so left over magnets (small ones, around 6mm diameter x 6mm long, IIRC) that I use as markers. They will just stick to the wall wherever there is a plasterboard screw, so I can put several in place to show where all the screws/studs are without marking the paint finish.
  9. 1 point
    We have a water table that varies from road level down to 2.3m below. We had an Isoquick insulated raft foundation installed in 2010 which was the first in the UK. It consisted of 200mm compacted type1 sub base with 50mm granite fines on top. The insulation was 300mm Peripor EPS with 200mm thick upstand and 200mm concrete raft. We had soil tests carried out and it is essential that a structural engineer who has a good knowledge of that type of foundation is employed.
  10. 1 point
    Environmental health weren't the slightest bit interested in testing our supply, and it was only when I pushed them, saying that I wanted to have a chit from them, rather than my unofficial report, that they agreed to test a sample. Even then they refused to accept a sample I'd collected. LA testing is a bit of a scam here, as they are required by law to undertake private supply testing for a set fee, which is less than any of the local labs charge. To get around this they refuse to accept samples and insist on coming out to the premises to take samples themselves, so they can add on a sample collection fee that is way higher than the mandated test fee. I was fortunate in that I had access to an exceptionally good, world renowned, lab... There's a long saga surrounding our borehole, but one major problem is that in this neck of the woods there is an almost total absence of available expertise when it comes to private water supply treatment. I ended up getting a great deal of help from a forum in the USA, where private water supplies are far more common. Oxidation of ferrous iron, manganese etc seems understood here at the commercial water treatment scale, but I only found one company that really knew much about it, and they were up in Lancashire, so could advise over the phone about kit and supply it, but I was left having to design the treatment system and learn from experience. My first degree was in chemistry, but that was over 45 years ago now, and I've forgotten more than I ever learned! With the help of some people in the US I did get a very good treatment system put together, but with what I know now I wouldn't opt for the sand and aquamandix filter, due to it's high backwash requirement. If starting from scratch now I'd opt for the same air dryer, ozone generator and injector system that I ended up building, probably a slightly smaller contact vessel, and a backwashing Turbidex filter. The running cost of this would be a fair bit less, due to the much lower backwash requirement of the Turbidex, plus Turbidex filters down to around 5µ so there would be no requirement for any further fine filtration.
  11. 1 point
    When you say "in the footings", is this to take the water main through the foundation from outside to inside the building under what will eventually become the internal floor? I ask because the accepted practice is to use ducting for the water pipe as it passes through the foundation wall. The Building Construction Handbook 11th Edition page 937 has a diagram showing what is required with a 75mm drain pipe acting as a conduit for the water pipe through the wall and up to the FFL. In their diagram the footing blockwork is as deep as the regulation 750mm depth for laying a water main hence the water pipe and duct pass through blocks rather concrete. I assume your foundation concrete is thicker and the footing block courses will start above the 750mm regulation depth for the water main? The same page then has a confusing extra note "pipes passing under the foundations should be encases in mass concrete". I think this covers a different situation where the foundations are shallow and the arrival point of the mains pipe is completely below the main poured concrete foundations. Your builder should adhere to further mains water service standards as the water main passes up through the floor structure to FFL particularly insulation. The book shows insulation for the final 600mm of conduit up to FFL and where the water main emerges at FFL within 750mm of an external wall I think it recommends the whole conduit is insulated. Here is what an Anglian Water inspector would be looking for: Pipe has ducting and insulation where it enters the building. Ends of the duct are sealed. Within the property oversite, where there is a suspended floor or the pipe rises to less than 750mm deep within 750mm of an external wall the conduit should be insulated. If the pipe runs through concrete it is housed in continuous ducting to facilitate later removal. See page 11 https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/_assets/media/LED645_AW_DS_Connecting_10_steps_20pp.pdf I am a beginner who is about to tackle this on a diy basis so it would be good if @PeterWcould review this.
  12. 1 point
    Ground that has a very high water table or that is prone to flooding would definitely need the input of an engineer before designing the foundations. Take a look at the power of floating polystyrene on a flooded site in this link of a flooded car park in London: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/09/cars-crushed-against-the-ceiling-in-underground-car-park-as-floo/
  13. 1 point
    The bedrooms are all more than 3mx3m so maybe there will be space... although don’t like the idea of jack and Jill en-suite. The shower room on the top floor might help for future years! The eldest is currently only 8!
  14. 1 point
    Welcome! We all start out like that but at the end of the process you'll be an expert whether you like it or not - hopefully for the better but sometimes for worse. Here's the thing - you're committing to spend many hundred of thousands of pounds on a complicated (but not incomprehensible) project that you will quite literally have to live with. Many people only have the opportunity do this once, maybe twice in their lives. It's not like buying a ready built house or car. Do you really want to hand all of the decision making and cost to a third party, who's motivations (making a living, profit, etc) will be different from yours? Your contractors will never live in the house, need to pay for its construction (indeed they profit from it) or ever pay its running bills or try and sell it in the future so however professional they are (and some are more than others) they just don't have the same motivation or skin in the game as you do. The less honourable trade-people (and you will get them) will twig early on that you're not engaged and will take you for a ride. So, you don't need to pick up so much as a broom to be involved in your build but if you're determined to stay 'hands off' then you introduce a lot of risk into the project.
  15. 1 point
    We have a passive slab on dug out ground. Dead easy and quick to install, if done by a team who know what they are doing. Not great for a team who have little experience of laying them. There are photos and a description of ours being laid here: http://www.mayfly.eu/2013/10/part-sixteen-fun-and-games-in-the-mud/ Start to finish the laying of the blinding, insulation, DPM, reinforcement fabric, UFH pipes and pouring and power floating the concrete slab and ring beam took four days. The slab is laid directly on a free-draining 200mm thick layer of MOT Type 3, a bit like clean railway ballast, laid on to geofabric. We have drains around the edges to ensure water flows away. The photo below shows the dug out ground and the layer of compacted Type 1 stone:
  16. 1 point
    Strip foundations and insulated suspended timber floor. The main issue for me is the slop of the site and I wanted to raise, not lower, the ground level. At the back, the house floor is 1 metre above ground level (and that is after the ground level was raised using all the spare soil) To do that with a passive slab would have been a lot of material to import, and would have meant building up a raised platform that extended beyond the perimiter of the house and would not have worked so well with the landscaping plans.
  17. 1 point
    If the distance between us wasnt so great I would say you had the same one as us! Maybe its a tactic that is common to men with diggers!
  18. 1 point
    Normal people do not build their own house!!!!!!!!!
  19. 1 point
    @TheMitchells Thank you! It's a bit of a drive from London, but will definitely explore. @ultramods thanks, glad we were thinking along the same lines and are well into the selection process you listed! Highlight of the Christmas family getaway was a visit to a Porcelanosa showroom 😁 thought-provoking, indeed. Our provisional plans went up for a public forum beating earlier this week and the results were really helpful, working on amendments now! @Square Feet we are demolishing an existing bungalow we're currently living in, so the services are connected to the plot, so hopefully will not be much of a drama to disconnect and re-connect, and we're keeping services entry points almost at the exact spots as current. @recoveringacademic and @Ferdinand - believe me, we are reading it methodically (early stages), but I completely take your point! Nothing is more loathsome than newbies asking primitive questions for a 1000+'s time, can totally relate to the feelings it brings up :)) The only reason why I asked it (whilst reading everything else) was out of fear that there may be some crucial deadline I missed just because I have not yet read up to that page! Anyway, so far this is the friendliest forum I've seen in a long time, and I wholeheartedly intend to obey the rules and not irk the Masters and the Gurus :) bad for karma, they say! Everyone, thank you very much. Now back to reading....😊
  20. 1 point
    How long is the external pipe run from the mains to your property wall? There is an industry recognized threshold at which point 32mm is recommend, I think the number is 40m.
  21. 1 point
    25mm is a decent sized main for a domestic dwelling. You may be having extra bathrooms, but you'll likely not use them all simultaneously. If you think you will use them / have very high DHW demand then I doubt fitting a 32mm main to the existing mains ( street ) supply will make any notable difference TBH.
  22. 1 point
    Would incorporating a breakfast cupboard help tidy up the main worktops? https://www.pinterest.com/pin/359232507770073269/
  23. 1 point
    A new house AND Virgin Galactic tickets! You're spoiling them!
  24. 1 point
    We will be making sure our shower controls are far away from our shower head, no more wet arm turning it on in the morning.
  25. 1 point
    Well I went for block inner and brick outer with 300mm full fill cavity, airtighness should not be a problem because of wet plastering ( no dot and dab here thank you!’) I don’t like render as it so often requires painting regularly, bricks need no maintenance and gave us the cottage look we were after. Also the inner skin was concrete block not thermalite as I have seen too many problems with them.
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