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Showing content with the highest reputation since 24/07/19 in all areas

  1. 12 points
    We have just finished the drive 410 mtrs of paving 30 ton of sand My wife has pulled most of the paving on her little truck A monumental effort considering she is on 9 stone wet through
  2. 8 points
    A very very long and difficult history to our self-build that we will compact into as short a space as possible to save readers much of the grief we have been through. We have always lived in (and renovated) old, cold, draughty and character-full houses, and our last house (a Victorian vicarage) had lots of glass and double aspect rooms and was full of light. We wanted to downsize but couldn’t find anything with similar light and space, and some of the new build ones we looked at were really poor quality. So we decided to self-build and started to look for land – and as some of you already know it’s not an easy task. Then we came across a tired 60’s bungalow on a 1/3rd acre plot about 2 miles from where we were living – perfect location. All the other bungalows on our side of the street had been developed to reasonably dense new build developments with a real mix of styles and sizes, and outside the conservation area – perfect for knock down and rebuild. Piece of cake we thought – how hard could it be to get Planning (little did we know!!!! and if only we had known then what we know now ....). So after a small round of bidding, that was won; not on the highest bid, but with our throw away line ‘offer not subject to anything’. We won the day, we were the proud owners of a somewhat tired bungalow, and then the fun started! First problem was selling the Victorian vicarage in a downturning market which took about 3 years. So finally sold, and knowing how much cash we had, we moved in and started on the long winding road to PP and self-build nirvana. We started with the German kit houses – fantastic quality and build process, and after a few trips to Germany we decided we really liked the modern sharp style that typifies much of new European houses today (or, rather, doesn’t in the UK). As a tip if you want to see literally dozens of show homes visit one (or more) of the (19) Fertighauswelt (think this translates approximately to “ready built house world”) sites in Germany (https://www.fertighauswelt.de/ ) – the best 5 Euros you can spend if you want to look for design ideas. Sadly over time and a Pound sinking against the Euro the German kit house was never going to work. And also working with the site and the budget it really started to make sense to build two houses and sell one to subsidise the one we wanted to live in. Unknowingly we had just created the perfect anti-PP scenario:- cutting edge modern design in a street of pastiche estate type houses; being greedy enough to want to want to build two; and being the last bungalow standing and surrounded by FD&H NIMBY neighbours. Rather than taking you through the gruesome blow by blow story here are the statistics:- Total time from first App to final Appeal decision:- 4yrs and 10months 1 Pre-App – which was a total waste of time and money 7 Planning Applications (inc 3 CofL/ PD apps) - 2 Approved 6 (or perhaps 7) different Planning Officers 3 Committee decisions:- 2 Refuse & 1 Approve, all with prior Officer Approval 2 Appeals:- 1 Refuse & 1 Approve (sadly we didn’t win costs) 105 letters of objection & 1 of support (from a London Architect who loved the design – bless him for that ray of sunshine It was a dreadful process and the main reason for the time and grief we suffered seems to be that we are surrounded by vile neighbours who have friends in high places. The public comments generally had very little planning relevance but included phrases like ‘peeping toms’, ‘covert surveillance’ and even likening our design to ‘Grenfell Tower’. We were stoic and kept turning the other cheek but we sent this last one back to the Chief Planning Officer as ‘offensive and defamatory’ – he said it was perfectly acceptable (to quote Joe Walsh ‘You Can’t Argue with a Sick Mind’)! If we thought the public comments (sometimes called ‘solicited hate mail’) phase was bad then let’s say the Committee phase was much worse. Firstly it seems that the decision is made before you even walk into the room, and that nothing you say will make any difference, or even be listened to. Then the Committee infringed our copyright, accused us of greed and telling lies, and told us that they didn’t care at all that we were planning to build low energy houses. If we had any faith in local democracy and politics we have much less than none now. We are certain that the only reason we got one through the Committee is that one of the esteemed Councillors really upset/insulted the Chair (we decided we really shouldn’t print the exact comment); at which point the discussion divided on party lines and incidentally we won! As mentioned the Pre App Advice was a complete waste of time and money (for us). We offered the Officer 3 options and he agreed what he thought the ‘best’. He also gave us a lot of ‘advice’ which we incorporated to the letter in the Application. He then proceeded to keep changing his mind and we did 3 major re-designs over 12 months until he ‘approved’. It finally went to Committee and was refused. The subsequent Appeal which we lost was true goldmine as it contained real data on what was acceptable and what wasn’t. We then built the subsequent Apps on this and the Officer(s) really couldn’t disagree with the previous Appeal comments. Also in the second Appeal we seriously questioned some of the proposed Conditions and the Appeal Officer took out most of them. A real win and we saved our Planning Consultants fee in having a really onerous Design and Methods condition removed. Certainly worth a shot if you ever go to Appeal. If any of you have been through this sort of process then you will know how personally depressing and demoralising it can be – and we have heard worse war stories! We had great and very patient designers and a superb planning consultant and some amazingly supportive friends and family. Also after the initial setbacks we did have a very focused plan on how to get to where we wanted to be in incremental steps, with a workable Plan B. However our advice would be: only ever buy a plot that has PP for something you want to build (unless you have lots of time, very deep pockets and skin much much thicker than a rhino). So finally we won at Appeal, and we are staring to build two really interesting low energy houses – more in future posts. We will try and keep up a Blog as best we can, and having got that backstory out of the way everything should be easy from now on!!!!!!
  3. 7 points
    ... for our visiting hedgehogs 🦔
  4. 7 points
    Well it's as close to a lawn as it's going to get. I'm pretty happy with it to be honest. It's took a lot of work to get it to this standard from a cow trodden tufty field but it's well worth it. Best advice I can give to anyone else wanting to do this is keep mowing it once a week, start on a high blade setting and work down as the grass improves. Chain harrows work wonders to pull all the dead grass out and smooth out lumps and bumps . And roller it plenty as well.
  5. 6 points
    I'm currently painting. So Iv been watching a fair few pretty repetitive how to roll x.. Videos. But I thought this one was short and informative enough to share.
  6. 6 points
    Home Farm. I feel for you and am not surprised the local RSPB were unhelpful. You will need to lobby at a higher level. If they are wishing to remove hedges you might have some leverage there. You need to raise specific objections. Objecting to fertiliser spreading will not get you anywhere, access for lorries delivering/taking away stock, delivering feed might. You might want to contact George Eustice (back as farm minister). He has quite strong views on sustainable farming. This link https://www.cornwall-aonb.gov.uk/blog/2018/5/1/the-future-of-the-farmed-environment-in-cornwall contains a talk he gave over a year ago on his vision for the future of farming and CAP payments AB, worth watching, it also explains how the present system works. Tom Tolputt's presentation also worth a look at. It is possible to farm without antibiotics. My son has a pasture fed organic dairy herd and doesn't use antibiotics (except in very rare circumstances poss 1 or 2 cows a year, they are not milked if he has to), his cows are outside, they don't get mastitis, they are milked once a day only, they will milk for many years not the usual two lactations of many commercial herds. He uses breeds that are hardy (largely jersey crosses) and that don't need to be fed grain/soya. His farm is a carbon sink, they have also introduced beavers to control local flooding downstream. He does not use any synthetic fertilisers and because he mob grazes he fertilises as he goes rather than creating a slurry pool. I have never used antibiotics here, I breed poultry (all sorts) for meat and eggs, beef, lamb and pork (admittedly I am very small scale), my cows and sheep have only ever been fed grass. The biggest issue around food production today is food is just too cheap, there are also too many in the chain between farmer and consumer, all taking their cut, the result is some producers looking at the best way to maximise their profits, large scale IPUs are one way of doing this, if you are only going to make a few pence (it really is pence) profit on a chicken you need to produce an awful lot of them. If you live in the country then buy all your food direct, it's easy, and eat seasonally, do you really need fresh tomatoes or strawberries in January or apples in June?
  7. 5 points
    With the rough casting having completed its two month cleansing period, I was keen to get painting. I started with a roller but found it to be ineffective in getting into all the nooks and crannies, therefore this was going to be a brush job. Most of the time was spend dealing with the edges near windows, cladding and soffits. The use of insulation sheets provided a good screen to any paint gone in the wind. I concentrated on the gables first and was able to use trestles to paint the rest. A good few weekends, evenings and days off later we were able to take down the remaining scaffolding. I have a bit more to do but will have the levels brought up around the house first. Tiring but satisfying work and it was good to see how the white contrasts with the cladding and windows. The next external job will be fitting the treatment plant and bringing up the levels. A separate entry will deal with our progress inside.
  8. 5 points
    Many times I during the last 3 years I could have happily put a match to the bloody thing & walked away. I had some very dark times & wished I had just sold the plot after getting planning permission. However, now, I cannot imagine not having done it. I walk around the spaces inside with a real sense of pride & excitement at what it will be, one day. I am dog tired & have no money, but I will have the house of my dreams, something I could never have afforded had I not done it myself. Of course, it has cost far more than anticipated, I will be about £50k over by the time it is finished. A result of inexperience, circumstances and yes, optimism bias.
  9. 5 points
    Optimism bias will blot out any negatives that KM or Grand Designs dish up. I've been thinking about @JSHarris point about it here, . I don't think we would - knowing what we now know - have started our build. But then I remembered Robert Frosts poem: The Road Not Taken. Another way, perhaps earthier, would be to say Curiosity Killed the Cat Had we not started - damn the consequences - I for one would never have forgiven myself. So for us it's a bit shitty now, no money, knackered, lots of mistakes to live with. More stress -in spades - to come. I know that now. And how many people do I know would give their eye teeth to be as privileged as we are?
  10. 5 points
    I quite like our big white cuboid or cheese wedge!
  11. 4 points
    Longevity of hardware support would be something I'd focus on. Take something like switching lights on and off. We have standard hardware, with fixed dimensions for mountings, terminals etc, that has now been around for pretty much as long as I've been on this planet (and I've been retired for nearly ten years now). Any automation system has to have a similar long-lived standard, in my view, so that someone can come along in 30 or 40 years and swap out a defective component with a functionally identical one. Anything that relies on a proprietary solution will only have a relatively short life, in terms of the life we expect from stuff built into a house. Will "smart" phones in 20 years time still be able to run the same apps as they do now, for example? Perhaps it's my age, but I'd also look to how people will interface with things as they get older. Most can handle things like physical switches, but some controls become increasingly difficult to use as visual acuity and manual dexterity degrade. An example would be something mundane, like the LCD screen on our MVHR controller. I now need to remember to always fetch my reading glasses before trying to change a setting, as the screen is too small to be read without them. The tiny, almost invisible, buttons on it are another nuisance, as it's hard to feel them and they usually now take two or three stabs with a fingertip in order to activate the desired one. If we were in the market for a house, then I think we'd be seriously put off by one that had a complex home automation system. There's a lot to be said for keeping all the essential things as simple as possible, so lights needed to safely get out of rooms, or down stairs, are as foolproof as they can be.
  12. 4 points
    As Roy Scheider once famously said... "We're going to need a bigger box" Cabin_08_19_2019_1_17_44am.mp4
  13. 4 points
    OK, the board was rather more damaged than I feared. Here are the before and after with the new connector fitted. The two RH pins below had got so hot that the through-hole liners very damaged and partially delaminated from the PCB, as had the RH trace. This is why I bulked up the track between the connector and the next through-hole component (this was the common a.k.a. AC neutral) The image below shows the refitted unit with is working OK. @JSHarris Note the crimped ferrule connectors I've got a DS18B20 taped to the replacement connector to see if I have any thermal issues, but it does seem to be working fine. PS. The 2nd pin (the 240V phase line to the heater) is getting rather warm. I think that this is because this track is probably also lifting near the pin. I will probably need to do the same trick and expose the track to the relay and bulk it up with solder. What I really need is a replacement board.
  14. 4 points
    Use WeTransfer it's a doddle. I use it all the time. https://wetransfer.com/ Your email, his email, upload to 2GB. Recipient has 7 days to download. You don't need to even zip the 260MB.
  15. 4 points
    I've worked Up to 7 days a week for the last 4 years - almost all (except for three months) on my own. Few days off here and there, most weekends I work at least half a day. I'm retired, getting fitter by the year, losing weight, down in the dumps occasionally. But mostly head-down-arse-up-go. The most important thing is having a supportive other half. I would have thrown in the towel a couple of times if it weren't for her. 146 sq m. Roof on, windows in, some carcassing, first layer of plaster on, first fix. Zero experience of building before I started : well, I mixed concrete for my dad and few times - he did have a slipped disk after all. Often I work very inefficiently indeed. Because I haven't got a clue how to do stuff. Takes me about 5 times longer to get things done than anyone else. It's the stress of the c@ck - ups and the lack of knowledge and skills that gets to me most. Its rare for me to be able think and so plan strategically, often, I ' ... wish I'd thought of that last year ...' I could not do this job without Build Hub. Yep, I'm a Mod, so I would say that wouldn't I, but seriously for me, this isn't doable without Build Hub. How the Hell @nod and his other half did it as well as full time jobs I don't know.
  16. 4 points
    Been a busy few weeks. Following the groundworks, the slab was set out and poured. It was a bit of a warm day, and there was a definite sense of urgency as it went off fairly fast. Now we've got a local joiner putting a frame up for us. It's being built from I-beams on site. I'd planned this all as best as I could, expecting our posi's next week based on what the supplier told us about lead times. It now turns out it will be another 4 weeks. While I'd rather not leave the frame exposed longer than we need to, we can't do much about it now, so we'll have to wrap it up as best we can. At least it's not winter. In the meantime, the tedious business of burying the water pipe continues...
  17. 4 points
    Final shot! House is broadly done, garden under control.
  18. 3 points
    My trusty albeit much abused wheelbarrow. Rotary wire brushed and flap disc'd the frame. Got No2 daughter to etch prime it with a rattle can yesterday. Then in a big clear up I came across some green gloss paint left by the previous owner. Opened it up to an oil slick on top. Mixed it up and it was lumpy like porridge! Today I stuck it through a kitchen sieve (sanctioned) and employed some slave labour: But what to do with the old galvanised tub? It's rotted thru at 4 points. Let's be honest, cutting out a rectangle and TIG welding a new panel in is overkill. Thinking just 4 big square washers maybe bonded with CT1? Quick rotary wire brush and galvanising spray underneath:
  19. 3 points
  20. 3 points
    It’s time to end the two party state and move to Proportional Representation.
  21. 3 points
    Thanks for these ideas. I will have to think about what I will do. Lighting using LED lights is the way to go for sure. The twin fluorescent strip will be near the middle of my planned shelving. So I will augment it with some led once shelving is up. Well the shelving is up and all good. I have been up on the shelves while I was fixing the shelf to the joists and no movement at all. I also hung from each joist and they barely bent at all. in the end I went with 120x47x2400 wall plates and 95x47x2700 joists (cut down from 3000 to fit) using M12x160 resin anchors five per wall plate, 12mm hardwood ply for shelves fixed down with 5.0x40 twin cut multi purpose screws - 6 per sheet. I am very pleased with the result.
  22. 3 points
    I’ve been putting off updating my “actual costs” spreadsheet and have accumulated around six months invoices and receipts. It’s taken me five hours to print them all off, enter the details into my VAT reclaim spreadsheet and to then file them in date order. The good thing is, I’m on target to finish the whole build at around £1150 per metre square. All I need to do now is get a local estate agent to value the place to see if it’s been worth the effort so far and if it’s worth upping the internal specification a tad to maximise final value, not that I’m gone to sell, just interested !?
  23. 3 points
    And he put the phone down. It was starting to become clearer what happened. “MacInnes” he shouted I’ve just had the results back from the Skye case. “What did they say boss?” MacInnes replied. The coroner mentioned some think to do with stove emissions, particulates matter I believe. The case was closed, but something always niggled away at the old detective, why in January would a family be barefooted and dressed in shorts?
  24. 3 points
    Just been reading up on this and according to thehedgehog.co.uk "We also used to suggest chopped peanuts, but recent research shows that hedgehogs eating larger quantities of these, can suffer from brittle bones as the calcium gets leaked out of the system by eating too many." Cat food, particularly chicken flavour, appears popular so may give that a try, but bacon is another no no - presumably they turn into Porkupines 😊
  25. 3 points
    The sparkie had done his bit and we were now waiting on the plumber. Not much to see here just your standard first fix plumbing. We had a couple of dust sheets removed before the scaffold went down. It was great to have our kitchen view back it had been almost a year. Moving onto the ducting I had previously ordered. A 45 degree bend was deemed easier to fit so now I got to get that ordered. We also had our brickie complete the stove blockwork. We were keen to incorporate some meaty concrete blocks around the stove. Next up is plasterboarding and the end of first fix.
  26. 3 points
    To finish this off... pics taken with a phone so they are not great photos but I’m pleased with the result. no on will be fooled into thinking it’s a window but the light is softer and less harsh than a double fluorescent tube. This last pic is with the main light on too but again the phone camera does not really capture it that well as it’s garishly bright lights £200 frames for wall mounting£72 and £2 for a junction box to wire them together job done!
  27. 3 points
    Yay, I've taken down the remaining scaffolding. 😀 Big effort the last month painting the roughcasting to get this away for good, satisfying to see the house standing proud by itself for the first time. Next job will be tidying the site and emptying storage container to get this gone as well.
  28. 3 points
    Hello all...back from the wilderness of BT broadband...or rather lack of it. It was their problem all along. A cabinet miles away with fibre head issues. Taken them an age to get it sorted, half the village has been off. 2 engineers here telling me all was OK when clearly not, the only way they pursued further was because I showed them the village facebook page with dozens of people with the same problem. That defaulting to 4g hotspot on imac really confused the issue for me for a few days. Thanks for all your help guys.
  29. 3 points
    Most likely I would buy a bungalow well away from the SE England, probably in the West Country. So if you know of any remote, no other buildings within half a mile, bungalow with an acre or two I could well be interested. It's not that I'm unsociable, well I guess I am really, but I would like to live somewhere where the only sounds are birds singing. To make life easier we are both singing from the same hymn sheet .
  30. 3 points
    That's the entrance hall tiles down today. This won't cost me directly, I have some electrical work to do at the tilers house on a labour exchange basis. I will try to explain the sizing issue. The largest tiles are a nominal 60cm by 40cm. Where it works out in the pattern that a 20 by 20 plus a 40 by 40 tile adjoin a 60cm tile, the problem was the 20 by 20 plus the 40 by 40 put tight together were exactly the length of the nominal 60cm tile, leaving no room for a grout gap. A lot of criticising of the "rubbish tiles" ensued today, following by a lot of trimming tiny little slivers from tiles.
  31. 3 points
    We have finished at just under 8oo per sq mtr on a 285 sq mtre build with a detached double garage on top of that I haven’t counted the vat claim in that Of around 30 k But we have just spent 10 k for the outside paving My wife had hoped to spend the 30 reclaim on landscaping But with labour the best reputable quote she got for laying the 420 am mtrs of paving and drainage was £51000 Supply and fix So don’t under estimate how much you can save by doing it yourself The total cost for doing the paving ourselves will be around £12000 It has taken us two years We both worked long days Fri Sat and Sun Every day except Christmas and about a dozen day when we where waiting for materials Every evening I would do at least three hours sometimes til midnight on a Thursday We have a house that is worth £350000 more than we have put into it We both worked full time in between We haven’t scrimped With a large German kitchen and three German bathrooms But if we do decide to sell Cutting costs on these would Have seriously impacted a sale price Hope this helps
  32. 3 points
    The chances are that it will need a pretty high peak current to operate, something that a battery can happily provide, but which a generator or mains DC power supply might struggle with. Best bet might be to keep the battery but just charge it when you use it, so that it stays topped up. Even a fairly tired battery may still be able to provide a fairly high peak current.
  33. 3 points
    Google found some info.. Try contacting.. Timber Decking and Cladding Association.. https://www.tdca.org.uk/ Looks like they have guides with drawings.. No 9: "Detailed openings Vertical Clading" https://www.tdca.org.uk/media/3778/woodcampius_css9.pdf Elsewhere.. About page 13 onwards (pages aren't numbered) http://www.woodcomponents.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MTS-Cladding-Detail-and-Design.pdf Some of the example photos show joins staggered on adjacent boards. On my horizontally clad out building I staggered the joints over at least three different positions so they didn't form an obvious line. Bit of info in here .. https://www.silvatimber.co.uk/media/pdfs/Thermowood/Thermowood-Technical-Instructions.pdf .. mentions chamfering the lower edge of boards (page 7).
  34. 3 points
    Well lets say it has evolved and been shaped by the titanic forces of nature and the planning process. Its not quite what we initially wanted and has been compromised and compromised over its various iterations and has sadly lost some of our ‘must have’ features. But it is kinda cute, and we do really like it! The site is about 1/3rd of an acre slopping up from the road and has a shared driveway to our neighbours at the rear. In the middle of the plot is a 3 bed 1960’s bungalow which has seen better days – habitable but not great (and don’t mention the asbestos). The site may look big and easy but it is actually quite constrained – with a shared driveway down one side and a shared sewer running across the plot. Together with the slope and trying to keep the ridge height down to appease the Planners (even though the houses on either side are all 2 or 3 story) it is a tricky site. We wanted lots of light and a feeling of space and openness – so that cliché of lots of glass and open plan. We also wanted an Endless Pool and garaging for a collection of RX7 sports cars. We also wanted a crisp contemporary exterior and don’t like wood cladding much. We also wanted low energy – but not hung up on achieving Passive Haus per-se. Oh and it has to be low maintenance and a lifetime house. We initially used a designer who was really great and had an amazing ability to use space in a really efficient way. However for the final design shown here we used a real Architect (with a capital A). There are those who would argue its an unnecessary expense but firstly he came up with a very creative design in a very constrained environment. And secondly the quality of his work probably helped with Planning. We get on very well and he is doing a fab (but not cheap) job. As we are downsizing we would actually like a smaller garden than 1/3rd acre, so that and the economics, has led us to two houses on the site. We have had a few different arrangements of this over time but have come to two side by side. They are different sizes and layouts but they distinctly read as a pair. Height dictates a flat roof – much hated by our neighbours – and supported by the Officer. Our house is bigger and is cut into the slope with the front out of the ground and the back completely in. It has the entrance hall, garaging, plant and an Endless Pool in the partial basement. The 1st floor is mainly open plan dining, kitchen, living areas, with the Sitting Room opening out to the rear garden at the back. Top floor is 4 beds and bathrooms and is topped by a flat roof. The eagle eyed among you may have spotted the Lift - not needed at the moment but designed in and will be fitted if and when we have the cash. It seemed like a good idea with a 3 story house and us not getting any younger! The other house is smaller and split level. Again cut into the slope but only by half a floor. So entrance hall and kitchen dinning hall are level with the front garden and parking area. Up half a floor to the rear living which opens out onto the rear garden. Then up another half floor to the front two bedrooms at the front, and then up half a floor again to the rear master bedroom. All topped by a similar, but split, flat roof. It is just so neat we almost wish it was ours! The overall design responds well to the site and makes the most of it, and the Architect has done his best to make the front façade broken and not monolithic, but simple (and cheap) it aint! It will be mainly off-white silicon type render with some Rockpanel grey cladding panels and grey windows and EPDM roofing – so sharp and contemporary but not the classic white sugar cube. You may be reading this and thinking its not what I would have gone for and its not my taste - our neighbours probably thought the same. Our answer is that if you feel strongly then go find your own land and build exactly what you want - just put your money where your mouth is (and keep it shut unless you do). Though in the true spirit of BuildHub constructive criticism is always welcome! We have spent a lot of time refining the design and hopefully we make the most of the space but as we all know its always a compromise! So having got this through and arrived at something we really want to build its now time to start - more to come in future posts.
  35. 3 points
    this is one of my favourites, been featured in a lot of magazines/websites over the years, but traditional materials used in a contemporary form... I've pm'd you a link to my pinterest too 👍
  36. 3 points
    Just finished cleaning and post-curing my first test print: Pretty impressed with the result, especially as this printer is very much a budget machine. I did the test at 50µ resolution, rather than the 20µ maximum, as increasing the resolution massively increases the print time. This took a bit over 4 hours at 50µ, at 20µ it was predicting a print time of over 15 hours.
  37. 3 points
    Just got the first draft of our completed pre-construction PHPP and I did a little happy dance on opening the PER tab: What this says is our 8kW of self-generation (vertical axis normalized to ground floor footprint) is enough to offset our energy demand (horizontal axis, normalized to total inhabitable floor area) and achieve their new-ish "PH Plus" category. So far there's only one in the UK that has achieved this (that I know of) so exciting times ahead! (if all rather arbitrary I'll admit, sure). Anyone else gone through PHPP and got PER charts for comparison?
  38. 3 points
    I've been watching prices for a year or two now and they are steadily reducing, but not by enough to make them viable, in terms of paying back the investment through lifetime cost savings. Not far off, though, the 9.6 kWh system I recently had a quote for is within about 10% of break-even, and with the added benefit of providing a backup power supply (for us, we get lots of power cuts) it seems worth investing in. I've no doubt that prices will continue to fall, though, as most of the price is in the battery packs, and the prices of those seems to be falling as a consequence of the increased popularity of electric vehicles. I'm not yet convinced that electric vehicle cells are best suited to home storage, though, because of potential cycle life issues. Redox flow batteries seem to be a promising home storage technology, as they potentially have a long life, if the capacity loss issues that have been seen with electrode degradation can be resolved . The snag is that they aren't suitable for electric vehicles, which seems to be the mass market driver for battery development, and so not a lot of development cash is being spent on them. Redox flow batteries are about at the same stage of development as lithium ion chemistry was around 15 years ago, when they were also suffering from problems related to electrode composition.
  39. 3 points
    of course @Nickfromwales. @Luke Salter I have met Andy and he has been to see me. You have PM.
  40. 3 points
    My vertical cladding goes to soffit and stops just short. I have metal drip over windows. Fabricated and powder coated to match window frames.
  41. 3 points
    This is another example of so called professionals milking you for every penny they can Joes experience pretty much mirrors ours Our Architect has done a drain layout showing Treatment plant and top water running to a soak away We also where Clay So no go there I did pretty much the same as Joe BC was ok with it But asked if it could be on a proper drawing The Architects assistant spent 20 mins putting it on a drawing and emailed to me o charge The reality is your Groundworks company may well find a better solution and tweak things anyway Or find you may have to add an extra manhole or two and sort this out with BC while the drains and foundations are going in Everyone has to earn a living but theses fees are unreasonably
  42. 3 points
  43. 3 points
    Grow some moss on the roof?
  44. 3 points
    digger swings round and oops, sorry. we'll rebuild as it was with proper foundations. happens all the time.
  45. 3 points
    Okay, I have solved this. It took a phone call to LG tech support as the manual is far from being clear. Interesting before he would answer any questions re cooling, he first asked am I claiming the RHI. When "room thermostat" is enabled by the DIP switch on these LG Therma V units, the electrical connections have 2 thermostat inputs, one for heating and one for cooling. So I have tried it this morning. I have just connected a manual switch to the cooling thermostat input and lo and behold the ASHP fires up in cooling mode. In order to get the water to flow around the UFH and open all the right valves, I have had to turn the "heating" on and turn up the room thermostats. This of course now means that both the heating and cooling thermostat inputs to the ASHP are active. I am happy to report that cooling seems to take priority in this situation and I now have water at 18 degrees flowing through my UFH pipes. I will leave it running for a while and keep a check for condensation etc and see how cool the actual floor temperature gets. Now I know cooling mode works and is after all easy to initiate, my longer term plan is to get 2 small fan coil units, one for each of the main bedrooms. It will be easy to tee into the flow and return in the plant room above the garage via another motorised valve and then run the pipes through the ceiling above the main bedroom. If anyone comes across 2 small cheap Fan Coil units please let me know.
  46. 3 points
    Don't do it... I would leave that stopcock alone, and then clean off the pipe above it with some fine emery paper and add in a full bore lever ball valve. Use that as your isolator, and leave the existing well alone.
  47. 2 points
    Yes, several here have done DIY install and commissioning. Not a difficult job, but the commissioning and balancing is a bit tedious. Better to DIY simple and tedious stuff, IMHO, rather than pay someone a lot of cash. I probably spent around three or four days on the MVHR installation and commissioning.
  48. 2 points
    The timber has shrunk (not expanded) as it has dried out in the sun, a not uncommon problem nowadays, even with merchant bought gates. Pity he didn't form a full length tongue instead of biscuits. Won't do any harm to cover over the gaps with something like tile lath and just stain in to match. Best to only put fixings into one side of the lath and then it will still allow movement as necessary.
  49. 2 points
    We went for a stepped skirting board as I hate anything curved. Builders like to use curved skirting as it is harder to chip the edges so they can bash it about. I had always thought we would have wood but I decided I like the contrast between wooden doors/floors and white frames/skirting. It is way neater to put the flooring down first. I did a bit of research and it seems that a lot of the yellowing is due to using oil based gloss which goes on slightly easier for the painter. We used water based gloss which should not yellow as well as making cleaning up a lot easier when you paint. An issue we have had is that the painters did a really bad job on filling and painting the joints. The builders will have to redo quite a few of them at the 12 month point.
  50. 2 points
    @pocster is the person you need to discuss this with
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