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  1. 6 points
    https://www.bere.co.uk/assets/NEW-r-and-d-attachments/Lark-Rise-Self-consumption-study-by-Energelio-160429.pdf is worth reading deeply if you're seriously considering going off-grid. It's the calculations for how close to autonomy you can get with a ~200m2 Passivhaus in the southern UK with 13kW of PV and a battery of varying sizes. Even with a very big battery (40 kWh in this case), in December it's still importing ~60% of electricity demand from the grid. Per PVGIS for Aberdeen, you'd need at least a 30kW ground-mount system to meet demand in December, which is the hardest month to handle - in the process producing 27,000 kWh nearly all of which would go to waste. You could probably downsize a bit as you're looking at a smaller house, but given how well insulated the example given is you're going to struggle with getting a 50% reduction without going full Passivhaus. Going off-grid with only PV and batteries in the UK is exceptionally hard. Assuming you need 500 kWh in December to give you some margin (most of the power coming from PV throughout the year), you only need a steady-state power of 700W to keep things going which isn't huge. Small wind turbines are very site-specific and a bit of a lottery though - average capacity factor seems to be in the 15-20% region (inferring you'd need ~5kW installed power), but can be very high or low. One interesting note - heating demand is 1000 kWh of electricity a year in this model and DHW another 800 kWh/year. Take that away and over an **average** year, you'll be able to run everything else 100% on PV. In the model the COP is assumed to be 2.8, so heat demand is 5100 kWh/year => equivalent to about 400 kg of Propane. So an LPG boiler plus standby propane-fuelled generator in case you get a week of miserable weather might be a decent option in your case. As noted the power draw will be very low from it - it's only there as a backup for the few times a year that the batteries run out and need a top-up, so fuel burn and running hours will be relatively low. Resale value is going to be higher on-grid and running costs a bit lower, but not shockingly so. It's really important that the house is very low-energy though - the cost per kWh of off-grid energy is much higher than on-grid. If it was my build, at £30k I'd go for a grid connection (mostly considering resale and the faff-factor), but if it ended up being a lot more (£50k+) then off-grid is feasible.
  2. 3 points
    It's a tough one, where and how do you spend your money? I have / do wrestle with this. One starting point is to ask.. what do you want the windows to do for you! Do you need lots of light, do you want thin frames, (say a set of sliding doors with thin 20mm thick mullions) do you need to comply with planning conditions, reduce noise or are you trying to use your windows to achieve a certain U value to make your scheme work? How long do you want your windows to last.. in other words is this your forever home or are you doing this as a step to something else? I'll leave it to you to moralise.. The windows/ doors are a big ticket item. Considerations for me are: 1/ Do you really need 3g? Is this for insulation or sound? If sound insulation then plus point, if just for insulation then can this be achieved with less long term risk..(say by spending your money on insulating elsewhere go for the simple stupid option) beyond the glass guarentee. Put three panes of glass together and they are heavy. The inner pane can heat up like fury as it is in it's own green house, lots of thermal expansion which stresses the seals. Then you probably have some argon gas that is supposed to not behave like a gas does and just stay put! 2/ The hinge and locking technology.. look carefully and you'll see that this has not developed as fast as we would like. Again fine for a few years but look at the size and embedment of the fixing screws in the hinges. It's a weak spot. Three panes of glass? Remember that some windows and doors will be opened a lot.. some on few occasions. Seriously have a look at the screws.. you can have some really high end windows with "tiny screws " .. it's a serious weak spot! 3/ What level of adjustment do you have in the locking mechanism. Take a tilt and turn window/ casement.. can you as a home owner adjust them yourselves after reading the instructions? 4/ How flexible are the seals? Well as a lay person unless you have a good knowledge of the materials that are used to form the seals you won't really know and your window supplier is not likely to tell you! But as a lay guide. Imagine you are sealing a shower tray on a bouncy timber floor. Put in a tiny bead of silicon (aka a small seal) and that tiny bead has to stretch a lot over a short length, put in a big thick bead ( heavy seal) and the stress is less as you have a longer length of bead. Same with your window seal, don't ask it to compress too much and it will return the favour in the long term. 5/ Overcladding timber with aluminium. All sounds good, warranty for say ten years.. but what about the windows performing for say 25 - 40 years? Like say a timber sash and case window that can be maintained with ease. It would be good and I would welcome info from the "Aluclad" type suppliers on their recommendations for long term durability and low cost maintenance in the long term. What do you do when you need to replace a hinge and have lost fixity / embedment of the screws? Yes these composite frames may be fine in Scandinavia but hey.. this is the UK.. we just don't get the low temperatures in the winter with the associated low humidity, we get British weather.. it's a different animal, wet, a bit cold but plenty water in the air. Covering wood with metal which seals moisture in? Really but how do you keep the joint watertight on the aluminium section in the long term when the substrate of timber is doing what wood does..? 6/ Now we all know that for timber to last it needs to breath. We have for a long time used cross laminated timber (CLT).. it's like plywood where you glue films /veneers of wood together. Engineered flooring is a good example.. we often use this when we have underfloor heating. Look at the UF heating specs for engineered flooring and they are quite clear that you need to control moisture, let the CLT breath. But suddenly the window folk are sealing one side at least with an impervious material? Once the water gets in what then? Much reliance seems to be placed on say the glue, how the timber is dried and the fact that the metal cladding will remain water tight. I am at a loss as to how this works in the long term given the different behavoirs of the wood and metal subject to varying moisture contents. Maybe the glue is the thing? The argument does not stack up in the long term for me. Just say you get a leak in your aluclad near a fixing screw for the hinge. The timber will suffer, your window drops.. you don't need to be a technical wizard to work out what the consequences will be for you heavy 3g sash! In summary what I'm saying is this. If you want good looking windows and go for timber over clad with aluminium then fine. But if it is your forever home then we need the manufactures of these types of windows to step up to the plate and tell us how we can maintain them in the long term. If you are just trying to do something that complies with the regs.. well spend a bit more time on build hub.. the cost effective answer is probably here. Calvin. Hope the above helps.. I have laid it on a bit thick but windows and door are a big ticket item so the hard questions need to be asked. If you have a tight budget then look at improving insulation where it is easy and cost effective, cost effective to buy and cost effective labour wise to install. Do a bit of research on how windows should be installed. In particular how you insulate the ingoes and seal the frames. Spend time on getting the workmanship right here and this will pay dividends. A cheaper window well installed will often perform better than an expensive one that is not well installed. Maybe go for UPVC windows, install them well and spend money on the kitchen, or just a nice sofa/ curtains/ just family stuff? Lastly all the best with the project.
  3. 3 points
    I'm trying to workout how anyones life is meaningful. In the end your born, you live, you die. In the gap between birth and death you do something. What's wrong with toy trains? It's as meaningful as being a barrister, having children, building massive status filled houses or doing nothing.
  4. 3 points
    Buy a decent fridge to begin with. I replaced my fridge/freezer a few years ago with an American style Beko model, it was a horrible noisy poorly engineered beast that seemed designed to promote early onset macular degeneration. Appliances Online agreed to take it back and the smaller more expensive Samsung is whisper quiet in comparison, the reviews mentioned a new technology powering the Samsung compressor.
  5. 2 points
  6. 2 points
    Went and bought a small bar to pry the nails out, it was easier than I expected. Instead of cutting down the existing wood I found a few spare bits and screwed them in, then decided to try and smash the hanger sufficently flat. It ain't pretty but it should work. Bearing in mind how much every tiny change from our joiners has cost, I'm very happy with myself
  7. 2 points
    I think if you have evidence that it took 5 months to receive notice of the listing which you clearly do have then you should be ok. It’s pitiful that they can’t work some of this out themselves however! I would take the opportunity to tell them that as you don’t yet have the completion certificate and there are still a few things to finish you intend to submit a supplementary claim at a later date a la the tribunal decision in the linked case below 🙂 Ellis and Bromley tribunal decision
  8. 2 points
    Regardless of the heating system, heat losses and maximum heat demand will be the same. You can't fool nature. The reason that the government is pushing heat pumps is that they are the only practical way to supply thermal energy to home in a low CO2 emissions manner. This is because we are cleaning up our electricity generation. This is expensive, hugely expensive, but in the last decade we have reduced that sector emissions 5 fold. There is an alternative to use resistance heating, like we did between the 1960's and the late 1980's. This would mean we would have to add a lot more generation capacity. This is possibly cheaper, in the short term, than retrofitting heating systems. But there is a land issue. The UK does not like having wind turbines and solar farms on its land. We have convinced ourselves that only the best farming land will be used for this, will kill every bird within a mile of a turbine and the glare from a solar farm will give every child cataracts. It is all bollocks of course, but perception is more important than fact. So it is basically down to us to upgrade our homes. If your roof is suitable for PV, add it. It is cheap to self install and could probably do 70% of your DHW needs (with some diverter trickery) Airtightness and insulation really need to be considered together. External wall insulation is usually the most cost effective and will (should) improve airtightness. It is like putting a windproof winter jacket on. There will always be areas that air can bypass this that may have to be address after the installation. This may well be hard to get at area i.e. between loft space and the rooms below. These can possibly be addressed when fitting PV as scaffolding will be on site. Ideally you would convert your roof void to a warm roof system, then mechanically ventilate your house. This is expensive. So go down a layer and make the interface between room ceilings and loft space airtight, then ventilate the rest of the house. Some internal insulation may be useful. The ground floor is a large area, that is usually connected to the ground, which is cold. Insulating the floor will help a lot. This is not always easy as door and ceiling heights are important, as is the first step on the staircase. Digging up the existing floor, adding in 200mm of insulation, screen and UFH pipework is not really a viable option. But 20mm of insulation will help. Now back to ventilation. You have probably read that systems with heat recovery are not effective unless the ACH are below 3. I have never calculated this, but it intuitively make sense. So get the airtightness sorted out. It is more important than having a wall U-Value of 0.1 W.m-2.K-1. Fitting MVHR is a bit disruptive as it usually requires boxing in some pipework between floors. This does depend on the house layout. Through the wall systems are available, but they are not as efficient as proper systems, but are cheaper. Ditch any thoughts of a log burner. All these do is add CO2 to the atmosphere (what we are trying to avoid), put holes in your walls and roof (what we are trying to avoid), fill the house and street with particulates (there is new WHO guidance on this), cost a lot to run and smell. Fitting an ASHP is probably the easiest option if you have room for radiators (really convectors), but plinth heater can help in tight spaces. All these are, are fan heaters, with the heat coming from hot water, rather than an electrical element. I have no idea how noisy they are in a domestic setting, only experienced them in offices, where I never noticed them. The main thing is to not be tricked into thinking that there is some wonder technology that will sort it all out, cost less to install, have zero running costs and the government will pay for it all, and reduce your income tax to 10p. So if you hear the terms Far Infra Red, Reflective, Nano, Eco, Sustainable, Multifoil, Easy, or other such nonsense, laugh at them and walk away. Yes
  9. 2 points
    I’d say the course just visible is part of the footings brickwork & was never meant to be seen,the fact that it’s stack bond is annoying but nothing to worry about in the scheme of things. Extremely hard to tell if there’s any actual movement occurred locally in the zone highlighted or if the pointing has degraded over time with rain splash. Same with the perpend joints on the partially seen course-no way of knowing if it’s degraded or if the joints were ever full in the first place? Can I ask the significance of tomorrow?
  10. 2 points
    No brainier LA We used LA on our last and next Cheaper No limit to visits Better availability
  11. 2 points
    Bit of everything. The design on the sliders has some fundamental issues in terms of weather tightness IMO. Made for hot climates I think. Sloppy manufacturing for the Uk licensee. Sloppy installation from the installer.
  12. 2 points
    Personally I would never never use Hermes as they have such a bad reputation round here. I sent mine by Royal Mail tracked and signed for, delivery before noon. At least it was in transit for under 24 hours. Ensure that you send it at the start of the week so that the office is properly open when it arrives.
  13. 2 points
    Can you explain how water will track in along a downward sloping plastic duct and won't along a cavity tray? A cavity tray has the potential to prevent proper insulation around the duct (with blown in insulation) leading to condensation. A cavity tray has a much higher chance of catching mortar droppings bridging the cavity completely.
  14. 2 points
    Very sensible approach IMO. You have the opportunity to repair the VCL if it gets damaged too.
  15. 2 points
    Hi new member here. My name is Frank. I have just completed a new build home. And am dealing with BC for sign off. Interesting comments I have read about various subjects. Will comment further when I need some help or when I can give anyone else input from my experience.
  16. 2 points
    It goes in on Thursday. I have been worried will it be cancelled if my provider goes out of business but I’m ok so far.
  17. 2 points
    We use about 10kWh per day powering "stuff" that is not heating or DHW and that is pretty constant throughout the year. Some day I will do an appliance by appliance measurement to try and see if there is anything we can save on, but at the moment short of watching less telly I can't see an easy saving. Re the tumble dryer. the compromise we have is it is NOT a "dryer" it is a "towel fluffing machine" Certain things like towels, socks and underwear "must" have a spell in the fluffing machine so they end up soft and fluffy. If they dry entirely naturally they fail the "fluffy" test and get described as "cardboard". So just half an hour un the fluffing machine does it, they don't come out dry, but then when hung on the airer in the utility room under an mvhr extract vent, when dried by that they do pass the fluffy test, as long as they have had the short time in the fluffy machine. One day I will pluck up the courage to see a a period in the fluffy machine on "cold" will have the effect of making them fluffy.
  18. 2 points
    I think this was my second ever attempt at blockwork. I used a Bricky tool and all joints were full filled. I then pointed with a mortar gun and brushed level. I knew nothing about air tightness then but imagine it helped.
  19. 2 points
    Bigger pallets can yield decent lengths of "shed" wood. Can be a bit of a mission to break them up successfully without a pallet buster.....like the one I made: (It now has the addition of a couple of strategically placed springs to stop the angles tipping forward).
  20. 2 points
    The mathematics on this one is important. How much pipe surface is required to change the temprature of the air entering the pipe to exiting the pipe to signifcantly effect the building. It's a bit like a GSHP in that way. I think it's quite a length of pipe!
  21. 1 point
    House looks braw, well done As you did it yourself, what would you have done differently?
  22. 1 point
    Yes completing those early entries was a job I never got round to. I must do that. I shall be pouring a glass of the good Whisky later, and we will be going out for a meal at the weekend.
  23. 1 point
    Wilo Yonos 25/1-6 does around 3.3 cubic metres / hour on full so would expect it is closer to 2 on a normal setting. In 15mm pipe that would equate to around 3.2m/s flow rate.
  24. 1 point
    We had a lot of hot air ducted heating systems installed in the 1960s/1970s that came out on skirting or floor vents. As children we loves sitting in front of the vents. Making a comeback?
  25. 1 point
    Arpie sorry to read about your husband. I can't help you with the above enquiry but I thought I should tell you about something I recently discovered. She sheds. The one in our area runs courses that help with joinery, electrics/white goods and upholstery. I have heard others do plumbing. TBH it's brilliant because for whatever reason, women are best to be able to do some basic fix's if they can, life can throw some of the most unwelcome curve balls. Most of all it's fun, gets you out of the house and you get to meet other humans!
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    I would suggest a sptay foam carefully applied!
  28. 1 point
    Find out why such a difference. It may be that you like a hotter house, or you have an underperforming house. The EPC assessor probably used default values for when the house was built i.e. no insulation, single glazed windows, high air infiltration. Solar Thermal, is not only a 1 trick pony, it also needs servicing. PV does not. The electricity from the PV can be used for many different things, including warming up the sauna (though a simple, small greenhouse would almost get as warm). So rather than try and integrate two wet systems to work with each other, and in reality, there is little difference between an ASPH and a GSHP, let PV power the ASHP during the day. Or charge the car, that will give you the best return (compared to an ICE powered one). All this RE business is really playing with averages and probabilities i.e. Most likely time of maximum generation is between 10AM and 2PM, the weekly mean generation will drop in the winter, and rise in the spring, peaking in the summer. Take advantage of that, don't think that a box of electronics will make it produce more than it can. But work on the house first and reduce those losses, then look at what you can buy the kit for. Subsidies and grants have skewed the market.
  29. 1 point
    No, I was just trying to help you out in case you end up with 'must insist on a calibration certificate even though I did actually see you do the test and so you might have made the figures up anyway' type of BCO! 😉
  30. 1 point
    Our renovation spiralled due to "unknowns" - rotten floor joists, rock solid walls meaning the chasing out for the rewire took the electrician significantly longer than initially expected etc. Make sure you have a contingency budget. If you're doing a lot of the work yourself, make sure you time manage appropriately - we had a digger sitting around for an additional couple of days doing nothing, but costing us money, because my full-time job got in the way. Shop around! For trades - for our rewire and new heating system we had quotes come in wildly different. Most extreme example - £5k - £12k for the rewire - for the exact same job! We needed some hardcore and decorating stones, looked around the well known local/online companies which were extortionate - managed to get them both at a fraction of a price from a local aggregates company. Ditto on PIR insulation, we managed to get our 100mm PIR for £38 per sheet whereas at the time the majority of places were asking £50-60!
  31. 1 point
    A heat pump is more like a system boiler than a combi. You need a hot water tank with a heat pump. Most of them will only run heating or hot water at any one time and switch between them, and most allow you to set different temperatures for each. Mine is set to run hot water heating for 30 minutes at a time when the HW tank says it needs some heat, but you can adjust the parameters to either give priority to hot water or to heating. And most of us run the hot water at about 50 degrees or slightly less which plays much better with the way heat pumps work.
  32. 1 point
    The gap left at the bottom is for droppings of motar. It's a standard detail. When you say your going to have to cut the PIR insulation what do you mean?? Are you buying 8*4 sheets and cutting these up as that will be disastrous. If you intend to use PIR insulation in a cavity then you buy the cavity boards. They are 450mm high so suit wall tie spacing. Plus they are tongue and groove. Your never going to be able to cut sheets up and somehow tape the joins up with the outside skin already built. If the brickie doesn't push any motar out when bedding the wall or setting down the block then the cavity boards will be tight but being realistic not every board will be. For this build your best bet would be getting beads blown in.
  33. 1 point
    This from the Wunda website which is the one they supplied https://www.wundatrade.co.uk/shop/home/quick-shop/wundatherm-quick-shop/controls-quickshop/touchscreen-thermostat/
  34. 1 point
    What is in the garage? What do you use it for? Machine tools etc.? if nothing special the just get a garage consumer unit with a breaker for lighting and one for sockets
  35. 1 point
    I am another one that shunned the ASHPs programmer as WAY too complicated. So that is set to 24/7 and just used for setting and reading parameters. I use a bog standard 3 channel central heating programmer, something that just about anybody knows and understands and feels comfortable with. 3 channels heating downstairs, heating upstairs (bathrooms only) and Hot water. Below that is simple room thermostats so 3 downstairs and one in each bathroom.
  36. 1 point
    Any help you can borrow it.
  37. 1 point
    Then get a new decent one, I have an 12volt deWalt with two batteries and it does everything I ask it, torque is so strong if a large drill jams it can hurt your wrist. Other good ones are available, that and a good hammer will do you well. There is a lot of difference between a cheap hammer and a good well balanced one. https://www.screwfix.com/p/dewalt-dcd701d2-gb-12v-2-0ah-li-ion-xr-brushless-cordless-drill-driver/422hp https://www.screwfix.com/p/magnusson-claw-hammer-20oz-0-57kg/7689v I recommend a 20 ounce hammer for framing 16 ounce is too light.
  38. 1 point
  39. 1 point
    My Dad also told me to always touch something with your right hand first even if you think it is isolated. Mind you if it's a pylon then it's just a question of which side of you is rare, the middle well done and the rest a dusting of fine ash? Do they teach this still to sparks.. When did the United Kingdom start going wrong? When we started to loose our common sense.
  40. 1 point
    Did you ever resolve this @pocster? It's not as straight forward as some might think but it's not difficult either tbh. You just need to know what you are looking at. The four red are effectively hinge securing screws, you can loosen these to increase/decrease height, then adjust the greeen circle for the height increase/decrease requirement. Tighten the red again. Yellow are compression against the frame, you can increase/decrease this without having to loosen the hinge. The Orange is left / right movement but is actually on the door side of the hinge. If you look closely, you should see the arrows on the hinge (repeat steps for height adjustment).
  41. 1 point
    Not easy to answer specifically as we don’t know what, span etc of the joists. what is the section and span of the purlin? might be easier to turn the purlin into a trussed member to enable it to span without support. If you definitely want to remove the whole wall you could add a steel and the prop sit on top of that in the loft space (steel to bridge wall to wall)
  42. 1 point
    From this your water heating energy use is 2598 kWh/year. Note they assume that you also use 1720kWh to top it up with the immersion, something many people on here do not do. Anyway that is 7kWh/day from the ASHP. The space heating need is 4908kWh. This is likely only over around 6 months, so 27kWh a day. Peak days would probably be around twice this, so 50-60kWh a day. Thus your maximum requirement from the ASHP is likely around 60-70kWh/day. A 5kWh pump could do this comfortably. Often the pump will be oversized to 8kWh to give more capacity for heating hot water and to help it run at a slightly better COP.
  43. 1 point
    Which is why I parged/rendered/plastered the internal block (even parged between ceiling/floor before flooring/plasterboard installed)
  44. 1 point
    Worth pointing out that there are a number of different 'timber frame' systems, with timber frame being just one of them. A bit more detail here, but not a definitive list: https://www.bre.co.uk/filelibrary/accreditation/rdsap9_91/BRE_RdSAP_Manual_5_-_Identifying_basic_constructions_v8_0.pdf https://www.trada.co.uk/start-here/timber-frame-construction/
  45. 1 point
    I like the idea of the prep sink. Getting glasses of water, or a cuppa while somebody is rushing around in the main kitchen. I used silestone at my daughter place with a 350mm overhang to one side, and One end. When i used to do a lot of granite they never wanted overhangs of more than 300mm. Quartz is much more flexible than real stone. I think 300mm for me is the minimun for stools and seating.
  46. 1 point
    All of the resin ones I come across don’t have up-stands But the fiberglass ones do We always run the board flush with the up-stands We normally wit for the trays to land on site as they can vary by a few mil Most site mangers want to see the board overlapping by 10 mil We normally board them and cut the bottom 450 off and screw it to the back wall for the plumber to put in after he’s fitted the tray
  47. 1 point
    Yes, we are about to reopen all the fish mines. And all the girls in Ilogan are as horny as Demelza, even allowing for her hip displacement
  48. 1 point
    I've installed one of these and seems to do the job fine. https://www.laddersandscaffoldtowers.co.uk/acatalog/Wooden-Loft-Ladders.html
  49. 1 point
    Tiles made in Italy are fired for longer and are the best prints Tougher and better to work with Spanish tiles are the next level Then comes Turkish and Portuguese Some of the Turkish are on par with Spanish Stay away from tiles made in China Brazil UAE also
  50. 1 point
    I found a brilliant way of getting rid of site waste. I have a list of everybody that made my life a misery over planning, and on bin day I drive around in the night and fill all their wheely bins up with off cuts of plasterboard and pir insulation, it takes a fair while to drive around all of them but gives me a warm contented feeling inside.
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