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  1. 5 points
    It's 3 weeks since my last blog entry and, as usual, things have been moving at a pace. The difference with the most recent round of work, though, it that the building is starting to look like a liveable house rather than a construction site. This is largely due to the glory coats of plaster and paint, but far more than that has been keeping everyone busy. The boarding started in earnest before Christmas and so the plasterers were in bright and early in the new year. We've got through an astonishing amount of board of various types - I thought I'd calculated reasonably well and had a mahooosive delivery of the stuff a while back, but it all seemed to disappear and the building was hungry for more. I bought all the board from Sydenhams as I found their price to be competitive. I've used standard 12.5mm plasterboard on all external walls, 15mm acoustic on all ceilings and internal walls, moisture board for bath/wet rooms, and pink fire board for the garage walls and ceiling. The garage is attached and so building regs require a fire door (FD30, sourced from Enfield Doors, though I've since found cheaper suppliers when looking at other stuff) and fire board throughout the garage, but only a single layer as there is no habitable space above it. I've had a board lifter on hire as it really helps the team position the boards up onto the ceilings without dropping anything on themselves or damaging either themselves or the boards. Here is the board going up on the lounge/dining area towards the kitchen area. The orange frame is the plaster board lifter. The black thing outside the window is my sewage treatment plant tank, which will be installed in a couple of weeks(ish). Looking in the opposite direction towards the lounge area: There have been plenty of plasterboard offcuts and so we have followed @JSHarris's tip of stuffing as much of this into the stud walls before boarding over. Double bubble - increasing the heat retaining ability of the house and no paying expensive disposal fees on waste plasterboard. As well as the boarding and plastering, Nick has been working away on first fix, getting all the wiring, sockets and switch positions in and running vast amounts of cable through the building for all sorts of stuff. It's not just a case of chucking the cable in, he's done a great job of working out the flow of the building and the people in it, and how the building's circuitry should function best to suit them. It's a pity that it isn't more visual, but suffice it to say that at the last count, something like 2.9km of cable has gone into the building. It's in there somewhere! The room that forms the greater part of the ground floor is the kitchen/dining/lounge area and it's a very large space. From the outset, I've wanted to achieve some form of visual separation of the living area but without putting physical barriers in the way. It seems a waste to have gone to such great effort to create a lovely large space like that to then chop it up and close it in. I had inspiration for the solution from a couple of sources, the first of which is a tiny, crappy image on Pinterest when I was browsing cinema rooms. The second came about from chatting to another BH member, @Dreadnaught and a suggestion someone made to him to vary the heights of the ceiling throughout his proposed build. From this, I decided that I wanted a dropped section, like a frame, on the ceiling above the lounge area, with lighting recessed into the inner lip of the dropped section. Everyone pulled together really well to meet the challenge, and worked out what was needed from the carpentry, boarding, plastering and electrics contingents. The full ceiling was boarded out first, then the studwork frame put over it. The electrics were run through, then the frame was boarded and eventually plastered. Here's the completed framework and the first of the plasterboard going up. They're a cheerful bunch in their work! One thing I haven't skimped on is hire equipment to make the job of the plasterers and others easier. I figure it's a false economy to not get equipment like platforms and board lifters in as it will just cost me extra labour as the guys won't be able to work efficiently and possibly, not as well either. We had scaffold towers upstairs in the bedrooms for plastering and downstairs, we had a really big platform. I wouldn't do it any other way as the quality of the boarding and plastering is second to none. Once the studwork was boarded out, the inner ceiling section was plastered. The inner lip of the frame had an upstand added to it to make it appear more substantial (thanks for the idea, Nick) and to hide the rows of LED lights behind them. We're going for a range of lighting intensity here, achieved by increasing amounts of lights, rather than dimmers. There will be 3 rows of LED lights hidden up there and we've used a car headlight analogy for want of better descriptions - the selection is dipped lights, main beam and rally lights. These are the only ceiling lights in this area as we plan to have floor lamps for specific task or reading lighting. Once the inner ceiling was plastered, the framework itself was done the following day. This photo is some way on from that, as you can see. By this stage, the whole of the downstairs main room has been done and recesses formed for the spotlights at the other end of the room. Not too long after this, the kitchen arrived from DIY Kitchens. Lovely quality units and everything is going together well. It did mean, though, that I had to get on with the painting up the kitchen end so that a start could be made on installation. A paragraph or two on painting is appropriate here. I put a brief post into the main decorating section here on BH regarding spray painting, but it deserves repetition. I've planned from the outset to do the painting myself. I'm competent and it's nice to get some hands on involvement in the build. But, and it really is a big one, there is a vast surface area to cover in this house, and the vaulted ceilings upstairs are really quite intimidating for a vertically challenged person such as myself. Mind you, I think a vault of 4.7m would make most people ponder their method of attack. I decided that by far the most effective approach for me was to spray the mist coats to seal the plaster and continue with white for the ceilings. I wasn't sure at that stage whether I would also apply the colour coats by spraying, so adopted a 'wait and see' approach. First off, masking takes ages, even with a relatively empty house, as that spray will get everywhere and anywhere. Once the masking is done and you've familiarised yourself with the sprayer itself, though, the speed of coverage is astonishing. I was able to comfortably do one large room per day - both mist coats and a couple of extra ones on the ceiling to get it opaque and full white. It was messy. Really messy! Especially as when I first got going I had the spray pressure a little too high, the mad angles of the vaulted ceilings meant that my nozzle was never going to be held at a constant 90 degrees to the surface, and it's just a messy process regardless. In addition, there is a vast amount of moisture in the air, particularly as we had plaster drying at the same time. I hired a commercial dehumidifier for a couple of weeks to help with this and it was very effective. I bought all my paint from Brewer's Decorator Centre, who are mainly based along the south coast of England. I opened a trade account with them and got 20% off the entirety of my first order, so I put everything I could think of onto that, including my antinox floor protection mats. Very useful they were, too. I used their contract matt white for the mist coat and ceilings. It's white, but not brilliant white and it's lovely. Very chalky, easy to sand and gives a nice highly matt finish. Also cheap as chips. Here's one of the bedrooms, masked up and sprayed. Here's another bedroom with that ceiling. My scaffold tower came into its own for reaching up to those heights. Then, finally, the kitchen area with its mist coat. The sprayer is the little beastie sitting on the plasterboard. I popped over on a weekend to also put the first colour coat on over at the kitchen area, whilst I could still get in easily before the kitchen started going in. I'm having splashbacks between the wall and base units, hence the odd looking finish level with the paint. These were all the kitchen units as they arrived, prior to painting. Everything was really well packaged and came with the doors on and drawers in. The delivery crew were pleasant and efficient, so all in all, a good experience. Moving away from painting and plastering, Nick marked up the ceiling plan for the lights, speakers and smoke detectors on the floor before the boards went on so that there was no guesswork involved in what was running where. Here's his marking plan: This is what the kitchen units look like at the moment. I made a cock up in ordering, purely out of ignorance, and I'm waiting for a few end deco panels to arrive. These didn't even occur to me as they will go between units and appliances to give a better appearance from face on. It made perfect sense when it was pointed out to me, so things have halted temporarily until those and my worktops arrive shortly. In the meantime, it's looking good: We also now have spotlights in place: Finally, for the curious, this is what karndean flooring looks like. It has been laid upstairs and the downstairs will be finished in a couple of weeks. Upstairs, it was all laid on ply that was feathered in at the edges and downstairs will have a latex feathering coat to level the floor and provide an even base. Next up is more of the same. The final session of boarding and plastering, lots more painting, the end of first fix and moving onto second fix. Outside, we need to get cracking on the rainwater goods, perimeter drain and exterior cladding. The cladding is due to arrive next week, so it will be interesting to see that and figure out the system. I hope to be able to report back on over height doors soon, as well, and my endeavours to find these at a reasonable price, but that's all for now. There's painting to be done.
  2. 3 points
    Yesterday we had our planning commitee Meeting and after planning officers recommendation for refusal, 21 objectors letters and objectors speaking for 5 minutes at the meeting the councillors talked it over between them in different aspects and passed our site for one self build dwelling!! ( we applied for two but only ever wanted one). We are absolutely thrilled to say the very least and I don't think it's fully sinked In yet and as the site is a greenfield site on the edge of a hamlet it was always a difficult one to please the officers. For fellow self builders who are going through the stress of outline planning my advice is to use a proven planning consultant ( ours is fantastic), get as much support as possible from neighbours (which is difficult), peg out any boundaries before the site visit of councillors, go to the parish council meeting to answer any questions which may refuse an approval from them, send in a letter with your genuine reasons for the application-this is important as you only have 3 minutes to speak in the meeting. Lastly, do your homework, study the planning process and it's policies back to front and inside out and don't give up!!! Now onto the designing bit 😁
  3. 3 points
    Having got all of the groundwork out of the way, it was time to build the timber frame. We were carrying out a stick build, ie: we purchased the i-beams and glulams and the carpenters cut and assembled everything onsite like a huge jigsaw puzzle. We had looked into using a timber frame manufacturer, but we had a good team of carpenters who had experience of stick building a frame, so it didn't seem to make any sense changing a proven formula. Initial jobs were to get the scaffold up and sole plate down. First i-beams were installed on 3rd Dec and by the end of the day, the main i-beams for both gables were up. The work is not helped by the weather which is cold and wet. You need to be pretty resilient to be work outdoors in this weather, nevertheless good progress is made and by 6th Dec the walls are up and parallam beams and ledgers have been fitted. Big day on Dec 10th as we finally manage to get the electricity switched on. No more generators which should make everyone's life a little easier on site. We now have water and electricity on site and only need to connect to the mains drains at some stage in the future. First floor joists together with the MVHR ducting that needs to pass through these joists is next to be installed and state of play on Dec 12th is as pictured below. The first floor is glued to the joists on December 14th. The view from the top of the scaffold isn't bad either. There is no way the big heavy glulam ridge beam is going to be manually handled up to the top of the roof, so on the 17th Dec a crane is hired to help out with this operation. It is the only time during the build that a crane is required. Everything else has been manually shifted into place. The i-beam roof rafters can now be put into place and on the last day before the teams Christmas break, most of the rafters are in place. Following a couple of weeks break for Christmas, the rafters are quickly finished off and by January 9th the skeleton of the house is in place. Over the next couple of weeks the house is clad with panelvent on the outside and smartply on the inside and then wrapped in membrane so that by the 22nd Jan, the house is looking like this.
  4. 2 points
    Going back to bracket spacing I always go 600mm, I hate saggy guttering, causes all sorts of problems and looks rubbish, brackets are cheap. I also hate guttering that creaks in the sun when warming up, then creaks when it clouds over, I always shave a little off the back of the guttering where it goes into a bracket so its not too tight and can move to take up expansion.😎
  5. 2 points
    Just picking up on @PeterW's comment in your other thread, I've used two types of Floplast gutter and on both needed to trim the edge off the actual gutter to get it to fit in the plain brackets/union brackets. Beware.
  6. 1 point
    Vlogging stunts like the youtube video above need to be taken with a pinch of salt. There seem to be quite a few big and possibly misleading generalisations made in it but it did make me want me to learn what is Really going on. Mainly I wanted to know whether it is elevated COβ‚‚ or the (presumed) lowered Oβ‚‚ inside the tent and inside those US studied classrooms that impares brain function? Isn't Oβ‚‚ level also rather important to brain function too? Why no info on those levels inside and outside the tent? My personal experience of reacting to needing more oxygen in my lungs is frequently to feel sick and light-headed - it's caused by physical excercise and apparently it's good for you.
  7. 1 point
    I am a little confused by the process here. I thought the planners had to look at the proposal and either approve it, or reject it. They can impose conditions if they want to So if they believed one dwelling would be suitable, I would have expected a proposal for 2 to have been rejected. In their summary of why it was rejectedthey might make mention of the plot being suitable for one, giving you the nod to try a new planning application. If I am understanding it, what has happened here, is you applied for 2 houses and they have said no, but you can have one. I just don't understand how that can actually happen in practice. Anyway congratulations.
  8. 1 point
    To be honest, I'm glossing over some details somewhat! For example, that 45-degree wall was interesting to brace, mainly because it wasn't exactly 45 degrees. After foaming the wall joints, I was wondering how to brace the wall properly. My builder-come-consultant had a genius idea. We ended up creating a hinged OSB screen (using a bunch of standard door hinges), so that we could form each of the angles independently. Then we screwed the OSB to the webs in the ICF blocks to make it solid. Then we put CLS timbers across the OSB, and bolted together, to give it more rigidity, and bolted the CLS timbers together. Worked a treat. You can see the detail in pictures 4 & 7 above. Lifting the steel beam was a challenge, too. We attached ratchet straps around the uprights for the scaffold system (one in the kitchen side and one in the garage side, and clamped into the web with timbers), and then used spare ICF blocks from the basement walls as chocks to insert every time we got another 400mm up. That allowed us to adjust the straps safely each time, and start again. The problem came when we got to the last block - one ratchet snapped, and the beam dropped at the back. Thankfully we were (sensibly) working from above (on the scaffold) at that point, because if it had hit someone below we'd have needed an ambulance. The final 700mm of lifting for the back end of the beam was done by myself and 2 mates on our shoulders, once we had lifted the front end onto the garage wall and secured with metal strapping so it couldn't fall off. And boy, was it heavy! Now that I am getting a bit of personal time back, I'll start trying to include more anecdotes like these in the blog - it's just been mental levels of stress the past few weeks (Dad in hospital 200 miles away, and my day job looking like it's about to end right when both mortgages are at their peaks...)
  9. 1 point
    Hold on to the fizz you're feeling now. Guard it safe. Cherish it. Polish it every now and then. Keep it ready for future access. Pub tonight then?
  10. 1 point
    Fantastic news, well done! Looks like a lovely spot. Always surprises me when there are objections by planning to single houses that are clearly right next to other houses (2 can be seen in your photo) but then suddenly a developer gets permission to build an estate full of houses further outside the boundary. Has happened on many occasions IME.
  11. 1 point
    Well done, it is a nice feeling isn’t it.
  12. 1 point
    Well done! We had much the same situation, refused first time around but after a visit to the local councillor and resubmitting it went through no problem, we had an architect do the initial work but at the end of the day it was us who secured the pp, the councillors are The ones to get on side
  13. 1 point
    Ive used automotive double side foam tape for years, once on its waterproof and something like this could work as a nailing strip plus reasonable in 50 meter lengths. Used to get it from tapes direct , looks like they have changed/sold/bust , so found this supplier. The width I've used was 50 or 60mm but haves seen lots of different widths. https://www.psasolutions.uk.com/product/19mm-x-50-metre-automotive-double-sided-polyethylene-foam-tape
  14. 1 point
    Cordless angle grinder is my weapon of choice tbh with a flap disc. You have to be confident with it though and I appreciate they scare a lot of people.
  15. 1 point
    Given how close you are to actually using the shower, I saw this on offer today and thought of you πŸ˜€. @Construction Channel can give you some tips on usage πŸ˜‰. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078J5ZVP2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_DtuxCbH8X5MC7
  16. 1 point
    https://www.guttersupplies.co.uk/guides-and-tips/gutter-installation/your-questions/how-far-apart-should-fascia-brackets-be-installed/
  17. 1 point
    I wish I'd had a chamfer tool nine years ago when doing all my soil pipes. To cut mine square I wrapped a sheet of A3 paper around the pipe, lining up the edges, and taped it on. I cut them by hand and then used a rasp to chamfer the ends. I used a smear of silicone grease on the chamfer when pushing it home.
  18. 1 point
    Whatever the manufacturers spec states would be a good starting point. I fitted rainclear aluminium clic system which asked for 750mm centers. You need more brackets than you think as the snow loading can get pretty high.
  19. 1 point
    If you have any solvent weld stuff to do I'd get the same brand if you can. I've had some grief mixing and matching with too tight/loose. Not insurmountable but certainly avoidable. On the push fit stuff a can of silicone spray is a must and a chamfer tool v.useful.
  20. 1 point
    Got a 2 for 1 offer on slab didn't you?!
  21. 1 point
    I was talking domestic use. We've seen I think @Bitpipe? constuct a 4000L diy system based on second hand IBC tanks for very little money. I'm on a meter here and that would make a fair difference to me in the Summer. Appreciate not all have the land/space/ability to construct such a system and in that specific case a concrete enclosure for the tanks was incorporated in the build. I was just trying to get across that water is and will become more so just another taxable commidity. It'll be fresh air next! I'd I suspect be able to easily do a borehole given I'm in the bottom of a valley and either side about 100m away are capped boreholes
  22. 1 point
    I've not heard about any extension yet. Depending on your budget and looking on the bright side, it will 'only' involve a cost of around Β£236'ish in fees and in theory you've got some drawings already. Then there's the longer determination of around 6-8 weeks, though some councils are having a hard time achieving that (I can only speak for outer London and the South East).
  23. 1 point
    Re the wall ties, our last house had a similar cavity due to the addition of an additional layer of insulation on the outer face of the timber frame. Helical screw wall ties were provided and used. Similar to these: https://www.helifix.co.uk/products/new-build-ties-fixings/timtie/
  24. 1 point
    Yes, that's the standard way of doing it round these parts AFAIK. We'll just go with a flat UPVC board over the timber- colour matched to the guttering and windows- like Dave is doing but not just as deep.
  25. 1 point
    yep, 12mm cement board, have a look at the info for another cement board product https://www.jameshardie.co.uk/product/hardiebacker/
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