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  1. 27 points
    Well, folks, that's it. The last nail in the last joist. Its been hammered in HARD. Here's why. For reasons only known to the inexperienced self-builder, I put the floor joists up working from both ends of the room to the middle. 400 centers. That makes a gap between joists of about 328ml. The middle three joist are longer than the others - they had to be inserted closer than the others: 310ish. Tight. Well tight if you are my size. Arms and head above the top chord of the joist - beer gut wedged firmly between the POSIs, but swinging the hammer now like a demon (900 nails down and just a few more to go - all because of you @Pete). Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. Well yeah, until it came to turning round to reach that sodding wedge to help nudge the top chord a mil or two higher. Christ this is tight. Turned a few degrees. Couldn't reach the wedge. Bugger - - Hand in my pocket - - maybe there's a spare wedge in there? Nope. By this time there is a semi painful wedgie though.😳 Dropped the hammer. "Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo" Stumped, and firmly wedged, I realise I am going to have to wriggle out of this. Up? No way Jose. Not strong enough to overcome the effects of the beer years. Starting to sweat a bit now. More from annoyance than anything. Down? No choice. Only way . Now, those of us whose work trousers 'need' braces because our trousers have half a ton of tools hanging off them (all lies girls, just lies) will realise that descending through a really tight space has an inevitable effect on your braces. That partially painful wedgie now got worse. A lot worse. You see the back clip of my braces caught fast on the bottom chord of the joist. The front of my work trousers started to pull hard. My eyes started to water I think. By this time, my hands were in the air, and my head altogether too close to the gap between the joists. And suddenly with one bound (as it were) I was free. PING - THUMP The clip of the braces parted company with the waist band - shot up inside my clothing and hit the bottom of my shoulder. No wedgie pain now, just shoulder pain instead. All of this was happening dear reader at the same time as my T shirt, gillet and windproof were slowly making their way past my beer gut on the way to my my head. Couldn't see a thing. But sure as Hell, I could feel my shoulder. A few seconds later, there I was topless on the scaffold boards. Cold? No. Furiously hot. Just a matter now of jumping down to the floor. Yep, I suspect you are ahead of me......... The jump was elegant. Feet and knees together (just like I wuz taught) Thump. I stopped. My trousers didn't. Normally that wouldn't matter. No need to fuss over a small thing like that. Standing in the doorway way my best friends wife with a grin from ear to ear. I wouldn't have minded but her dog went mad.
  2. 14 points
    Well, finally an update. We won the appeal. The inspector pretty much confirmed what we were saying all along about "overdevelopment" and visibility ("intent observer" wouldn't be able to compare the houses in the row due to vegetation) and the neighbour's houses not being the limit the plot can take. Happy days. Big thanks to everybody for the support and advice during this process. On the back of a recent post by @Big Jimbo and following a quick conversation with Mr Luxton at one of the shows I am seriously considering putting in another application that utilises space behind the existing attached garage to form a gym (ground floor only). I do want to bully the bastards who pretty much stole a year of our time - if I can. More questions to follow :-)
  3. 13 points
    Well folks 11 months of living in this house with hellish low humidity not to mention other problems caused by poor mvhr set up finally seem to be sorted. A week on from the change to enthalpy exchanger and rebalancing the system to the guildlines from you guys in here the house feels good to live in for me for the first time since moving in last April. Humidity in living areas running at 39-40 and bedroom at about 42. Temps pretty constant at 22.5- 23. Co2 levels up to between 500-600 as now not overventilating (I never knew there was such a thing!) The house feels much warmer and ufh is not kicking on as much. We are running on my system Level 2 (absent) which is 70% building regs and using Level 3 (living) which is 100% building regs, as bathroom boost. Level 4 blow your socks off rate is now not used. For the first time I now get what you all have been talking about with the MVHR benefit. Got the same people coming back in a few weeks to help sort out the UFH which has never been set up properly. Thank you lovely people I’m grateful for your help.
  4. 13 points
    Had the air tightness test & EPC done this week. Not really ready but had to do it to meet the deadline for the FIT. House nowhere near finished, just plastered, have 2nd fix to do & MVHR not on yet. Air test result was 0.41 & EPC A rated at 99. (Of course if I fit solar thermal at a cost of £4000 it could score 101 & save £64 a year. What nonsense.) Huge relief. My husband would have been so chuffed.
  5. 11 points
    Four days in and the front part of our drive is done Myself and my good lady have worked hard in the heat Better than rain Just about
  6. 11 points
    It seems that quite a few of us have had our turf laid this week. My wife loves it, it is so nice looking out on grass and not mud. The guys have done a lovely job. There are just a couple of snagging points left to do and we are done. We also need to have the garden walls rendered and copes put on. We also had a local company round to put various granite and marble shelves on, I was reticent as I thought it would be a pain to organise, but they were a pleasure to deal with. Finally this means that my built in barbecue is in, very excited for barbecue season, actually it is very nice today, we could probably have had one. Front of house Front coming in the driveway Back of house, looking towards pool Terrace off the kitchen Built in barbecue(Still a bit dusty) They used a Dekton top as they said this is the most heat resistant material Marble around Optimyst fire Back of house looking out from kitchen Front looking from kitchen Dressing room Furniture finally delivered for our bedroom, just waiting on a new bed now Decided to frame the hole in the wall fire as it looked too plain just sitting in the wall on its own
  7. 9 points
    Well it Looks like weve got a fixed deadline now. Better get a wiggle on hadn't I.
  8. 9 points
    Exciting weekend for us, the scaffolders dismantled all of the scaffolding on the house and garage, finishing at lunchtime yesterday. Our first view of the house as it is (mostly) supposed to look. Interesting downpipe detail at the moment... The groundworkers were back on site yesterday reviewing the long list of external work still to do, including another retaining wall to keep the drive away from the house.
  9. 9 points
    Back on the subject of washing...... Consider mounting your washer and dryer higher up if you have the room. Makes it so much easier on the back! You need to design the carcass/units well as it’s subject to a fair amount of vibration if you’ve got your big pants on a 1400 spin Heres mine and I don’t think I could go back to ground mounted.....
  10. 8 points
    Our architectural company just rung us today, the Council contacted them to apologise for the delay, they have approved planning and the materials and the full report will be with us at the end of the week (they have a backlog). Couple of conditions (which they think will relate to the ecology, bat boxes etc) but I so pleased the Council ignored the ridiculous comments from the consultancy stage from the Canal and River Trust who basically didn't like anything about the plans! Once we get the report we can then start to look at tendering and crack on with some major research, building reg plans etc and finding a builder for next year...... It's almost 12 months since we approached different companies, architects etc....
  11. 8 points
    Pending a blog update, here's a picture of my new brise soleil that had the rails and fins fitted today. Details will follow, but it's too pretty not to post a picture.
  12. 8 points
    Just had the air test done and we achieved 0.6ach. This is with a temp front door albeit sealed as best we could and the Internorm sliding doors leaking like a sieve. We have one large set that did not leak at all and the two sliders joined together where atrocious. We are obviously very pleased with this result and hope to improve on that as we need to do another one at the end.
  13. 8 points
    I Thought I would do a little montage of pics, showing this summers progress.. another day on the sofa and I think I will go mad, I’ve been allowed to venture down to the garage for an hour, before I get summoned and told to be polite to more bloody relatives descending on us.
  14. 8 points
    Yep, I have everything I need down here - now. It helps that the other house is only 20 m away so if there s anything I need it's easy enough to go and get it. My son stayed last night. He brought a pizza and a bottle of fizz. Had to go back to the old house to cook the Pizza as my oven is not connected down here, but no big deal. By 3 am we had added 4 bottles of my Christmas fizz to the mix. We both slept like logs despite no curtains - and I have done very little today lol
  15. 8 points
    Today is the day, I am moving my body! I have been taking car loads of stuff down every day this week and today some friends are coming to carry the beds and sofas down so tonight I will be sleeping under my new roof for the first time. Not even excited any more, I am just so fed up of it all. Electrician and Plumbers were both supposed to be coming this week to do a few bits - surprise, surprise, neither has turned up. The UFH has air in the system; I have had to top the water up twice already. It is running way too hot and doesn't seem to be controlled by the thermostat, with thermostat set at 15 degrees, the temp was up at 24 degrees, so I have just been putting it on for an hour or two each day whilst I have not been living there. Oh and my 'smart' meter says I have used £1.20 of fuel today, that is with nothing running at all and the boiler switched off.
  16. 7 points
    Guttering complete, scaffolding away, MVHR complete. photos!
  17. 7 points
    Feeling pretty pleased with myself as I have been dreading making this door. video-1558292016.mp4
  18. 7 points
    Following the example of @Weebles last year who we visited, we would like to invite fellow Buildhubbers who would like to come and see our MBC 140mm frame to get in touch and make arrangements to visit. We are located in North Essex about 8 miles west of Colchester. We briefly met @Dreadnaught and @vivienz when visiting @Weebles and we all agreed that seeing a real project was extremely useful. See photos below of the house from the rear + central section - taken just after MBC had completed frame erection and gone home for Christmas (the rooflight is 2m x 1m, triple glazed and weighs just over 180kg - we had fun getting that in place 😯). The photo is a bit deceptive in that the ground does not slope as steeply as it seems, the house is set down in the ground - we had to dig out over 1,500 tonnes of soil due to the constraints those nice planners put on us 😡 - and there is more to come out once we start landscaping: At the moment we are reaching major milestones every month or so. November 2018 saw the slab poured, December 2018 the frame was erected and (most) windows/doors installed and PV array on roof, January 2019 the slate roof was nearly completed (slating should be finished this week). About half the house has a brick skin and brickwork starts tomorrow (weather permitting) and they are expecting to take about 5/6 weeks (weather permitting – I think I shall be saying that a lot in the coming weeks). The other half is rendered and the rendering team should start preparations within the next couple of weeks. We also have a couple of areas with brick slips, just to keep us on our toes (but that's another story for another day). MBC are due back during the second half of February to install the insulation in the roof and then make the building airtight. All the above means that there is plenty to see in terms of how the house is constructed. We have lots of lessons to share as well. We have contracted with MBC for them to deliver wall & roof u-values of 0.14 W/m2.K (achieved using Knauf Earthwool + PIR for the walls and similar for the roof) and the slab of 0.105 W/m2.K. I also have a belated apology to make to @Dreadnaught for not responding on his previous thread about the 140mm system – we have been distracted by non-build related issues in recent weeks as well as having plenty of build related issues to deal with. @Dreadnaught - see the photo below of the panels in situ (struggled a bit with the light I am afraid)
  19. 7 points
    Hi, we just wanted to introduce ourselves and our Red Kite mascot. Our Kite is a life size steel sculpture made by a blacksmith in Pembrokeshire - started out bright steel but is now rusting nicely to a lovely red kite colour. We love it, and its carefully mounted on a temporary post in anticipation of the demolition of our scuzzy 60's bungalow and moving to our snazzy self-build. Well now at last we can join the ranks of the Self Builders - after a 4 year battle we FINALLY won our second Appeal and have Planning Permission (we just can't stop grinning). We can't tell you what a relief this is: 4 years of 'life on hold' and at the whim of an inordinate number of stupid Willy Wonkas who seem to have either egos the size of a planet or brains the size of plankton. Planning has been a complete nightmare and is worthy of a blog post in its own right - a combination of a painfully slow and inconsistent LPA (6 planning officers and counting), being surrounded by some truly VILE neighbours (105 letters of objection!) and vicious local politics with an 'interesting' planning committee ( we made three appearances and vowed 'never again'). So a combination of 1 pre -app (complete waste of time and money), 3 CofL's , 4 Planning apps and 2 Appeals (both with officer approval and rejection by committee), we are there and we can finally move from Dreaming the Build to Building the Dream. It is, as they say, water (and a lot of money) under the bridge, and we are trying to put it behind us but as anyone out there who has been through it will know, it has been a truly unpleasant experience. But now this is where the really EXCITING whirlwind starts - the pace just seems to accelerate, and sure the storm is just starting to build up. So far lots of meeting with Architects, SE's, Timber Frame vendors, Window makers, Money men, Accountants, Services, Groundworkers etc etc. As yet no decisions on build route or construction method but accumulating lots of information, reading this excellent Forum, picking brains and thinking a bit. The plan is to build two contemporary, lowish energy houses and live in the bigger one. The challenges are a sloping clay site with tricky drainage, building into the slope, and a bungalow that we are itching to move out of and demolish! We will try and keep up with a few progress posts and a pose a few interesting questions to the knowledgeable community out there. We are on the Gloucestershire / Wiltshire border so if there members nearby we would love to see what you are doing. Oh and by the way did we say we are just so EXCITED to be building!!!!! We am sure Self Building will have its lows but its hard to imagine it being worse that 4 years of Planning misery.
  20. 7 points
    Updated plans and 3D renders. My parents are over the moon. WC adjusted to add a cupboard. We might lose the other hall cupboard for a larger dressing room.
  21. 6 points
    Have you a copy of the Home Builders Bible? Pretty much does what you ask, using a model house to base the numbers around. You can also get hold of SPONs to price individual elements. However, may be worth getting a QS to independently draw up a costings worksheet from your plans - we did this (£1500 plus a PHPP analysis) and it was money well spent as I was able to target each individual element and set my self the goal of beating the price. Regarding getting sub trades vs a single contractor, not that complicated really. You just need to break the job into logical stages by trade and then go get quotes to compare. On our build we had the following trades/contractors in the following order (quite a few trades overlapped at end) - Electrician (site prep for relocation of existing power, supply to caravan and container/site office) - Groundworks (demolition, site prep, basement & services) - Scaffolding (design & erect, 12 week hire) - Timber frame (design, supply, erection & return to insulate & finish airtightness detail after doors & windows fitted). - Windows & doors (supply & fit contract) - Roofer (supply & fit, also fitted the velux that I purchased directly) - Render contractor (supply & fit) - Guttering contractor (soffit, fascia, parapets, guttering & downpipes) - Front door (supply & fit) - Electrical first fix - Plumbing first fix - Joiner (boxing in, door frames, pocket door preparation etc) - Plasterer (supply & fit board & skim coat) - Decorators (supply & paint) - Tiling (I supplied) - Plumbing second fix - Flooring install (supply & fit) - Joiner (hang doors, cills, skirting and architrave) - Resin flooring - Kitchen (supply & fit) We then moved in, and about a year later started - Landscaping (laying patio, prepping for driveway and gates, wall building etc.) - Resin driveway and gates were by separate specialist contractors. - Internal & external glass balustrade & balconies (Supply & Fit) - Electrician still coming and going to finish driveway lights, external power etc. As you can see it was mostly supply and fit (that way everything is VAT free). We supplied some of the groundworks material (EPS & GRP light-wells), Velux windows, MVHR I fit), first & second fix timber, internal doors & ironmongery, bathroom fittings (Megabad), bath, sinks, tiles, wood flooring and all the landscaping materials. I'm sure I've forgotten something here but you get the gist. Key to my success was getting a fully insulated airtight timber frame that included felted roof, floor decks and all internal stud walls as this took away any concerns about the structural elements being in multiple hands. We shared the TF design with the SE doing the basement spec - that was my main concern but both elements came together without a hitch. Main frustration was trades getting delayed on other jobs and throwing out your schedule, but you just need to roll with it. It also gets a bit busy near then end with plasterers, joiners, painters, tilers, plumbers and sparks all trying to get done!
  22. 6 points
    Just to say thanks for all the help and advice. I finally got the approval. I'm now having to sort out the conditions, which shouldn't be a problem and then I'll get started. Thanks again.
  23. 6 points
    How time passes and some jobs get bumped to the back of the queue! I'd tried to get the mdf to bend and nearly had it but would have required a lot of attention to sort. Until Craig announced he'd bought curved skirting. I confess to having rolled ze eyes a bit. Until the time came to fit it. CT1 and a sharp knife. Easy as can be, tiny bit of filler required to finished the tiny gap. Jobs a good'un! I don't know how much it was and maybe don't want to know... Anyway, for future curved wallers, this is brilliant!
  24. 6 points
    So, after seeing another job that our joiner had done (with a much larger budget than us....), we fell in love with Jura grey limestone and decided to use it for all our bathroom walls and floors. They were pricey (although not crazy money) and have been an absolute bugger to seal, cut and fix, but they are absolutely riddled with 150 million year old fossils. They are STUNNING and the tiler has done them proud. The one that looks like a dinosaur is my son's favourite (he is dino mad) and was placed specifically in front of the toilet for admiring. The other special ones are on shower walls, windowsills and bath surrounds. My son also found one that looks like a poo, which is the best thing that has happened in the whole of his 6 year old life. It's in the shower at his height for him to show off to his friends.
  25. 6 points
    Although I like woodwork and have many woodworking tools we wanted a “cottage” in brick (although most houses round here are rendered and the planners like “sameness” so had a fight on our hands) I liked the quick erection of TF and having visited @JSHarris was mightily impressed with his build. I also like heavy houses (phew, nearly said thermal m##ss😱). We are very lucky that a local builder with a very good reputation gave me a fixed price on brick and block to my specification (passive principle) with me doing all the timber work, roofs, floors, windows etc. ( my second cancer put paid to me doing the roof tho ). What I like about brick is its lack of maintenance and “cottagey” look. I have nothing against timber frame and I suppose I could have had one with a brick skin but the sums did not add . I am extremely pleased with our build and we have very little in the way of cracks, just windows cills shrinking a little. I did pay a decorator to paint and he commented that our build had fewer cracks than any other new build he has been on 👍 Just had some bad news, the bricklayer who did such a good job and has become a good friend has just had a stroke, he is 6 years younger than me, fit as a fiddle, ex military, does not drink (much). So today’s motto is live life to the full, life is not a rehearsal, we are only here once so enjoy it.
  26. 6 points
    The street are the first 10 plots at Graven Hill, hence why we call them the Pioneer plots. Or more formally, Phase 0. Phase 1A is being undertaken now, with #35-45 in the north east all nearing completion or done, as are most of the houses from #71-95 and #118-135 (wood crescent) in the south east #148 to 177 in the south centre are currently starting, as you can see below from out plot foundations at #156. Neighbour behind (two plots in between, see plinths) with the crescent to the right, and affordable housing done and going up to the left. Yup, far more. These plots were quite discounted I believe to help kick-start the Graven Hill programme so they could start marketing and pointing to active projects. Ours was £255k for just shy of 500m2, which was £20 more than we'd been told when we'd originally approached Graven Hill, and £75k more than estimated back in 2015. Equivalent plots in phase 1B (to the west) have been on sale for a bit now and are about £315-320k, such as #276 for example. They're increasing the number of floor levels from 2 to 3 to increase GIA to bump the price up for the same land. Starting to get a bit too greedy now methinks as the uptake and start of new plots has slowed down quite a bit. Suspect they're having cash flow issues due to everything being much prolonged with them as bureaucratic middle men/women. Have a browse at their plots here: https://www.gravenhill.co.uk/map/ yes, I recall that too. They dropped it in favour of the code for sustainable homes which the government was pushing between 2010-15. Had to have 5 our of 6 stars through some points based system. That died when the government dropped it. They settled on plot passports instead, which have a chapter on the performance and sustainability requirements. See the full thing here: https://www.gravenhill.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/1982-p-p-c-plot-0156-33.pdf No, defiantly not. I was very surprised that Graven Hill allowed some of that to be aired at all. Guess they don't get any editorial say? It has taken us two years between reserving and starting to dig foundations jumping through all the hoops. Not just with Planning, Engineering and Structural control, but also via Graven Hill themselves. Planning was the only easy bit, everything else has an additional layer of bureaucracy one really doesn't need in a stressful self build... We have to file forms for every little bit and pay fees for stuff one would just be able to do normally. We legally own the land, but are treated as if we don't have a right to. Also had to bear significant risk due to Graven Hill, having to spend £50k up front and signed up to a further £100k+ worth of materials and contractors before we even got to sign for the contract on the plot. Stupidly risky. Next self build would be traditional for certain. As for the health and safety, was very taken aback at the living on site. That's a strict no-no for us. Not even a caravan or mobile home. Graven Hill to their credit are very responsible here, enforcing all the CDM rules to the letter, with a full time H&S officer on site every day. It is nice knowing that everyone is taking that seriously and not acting like idiots! Shame. You're invited to come down and join ourselves and our neighbours to hopefully change your mind about us young-uns. Most of us are far from the stereotypical millennial that the tabloids love to hate.
  27. 6 points
    Easily the most immediately satisfying job I’ve done so far - instant results. Prep was a bit of a pain - my fault for letting it get weed infested last summer. Another job down, another dozen to go...
  28. 6 points
    After a couple of weeks of a bit here and a bit there, the turf has finally been finished. Such a difference.
  29. 6 points
    Spring cleaning at the hut today The £250 wood burner can chuck out masses of heat, might have to open the window soon😀 @JSHarris that’s the led lights you gave me sparkling away. The battery didn’t need it’s annual boost this year and is showing 13.8v on the controller.
  30. 6 points
    And I'd love too see a new sister show of GD, it would be called Shit Designs and be a fly on the wall doc of a large volume house builder and show just how rubbish most new built stock is.
  31. 6 points
    Thank you for all the good wishes. Buildhub has been a lifeline for me over the past 2 years. The practical aspect with the shared knowledge & experiences, but, also the support & humour.
  32. 6 points
    I disagree with that ... it’s no harder than taper edge boards with a tape and skim finish. In some instances it’s easier as you can create clean edges with a router and bearing bit - especially on corners. Right .... depends is the answer ..! Firstly it is very heavy - it needs two people to manage boards and you also need a board lifter to do ceilings. You can’t do it on your own ..! One of the benefits is that you don’t need to join on a stud - you use JointStik to bond the edges together, this is a cross between D4 glue and Gripfill and comes with a custom nozzle that puts a bead on the edge of the board. These joints are strong, but you need to leave them to dry properly before you do anything else. There are two ways to fit Fermacell to timber, either using the correct screws or by using crown staples. Screws hold better when the timber is uneven but leave a larger hole to fill. Staples are quick and easy and leave a very small gap to fill - very easy to do but if there is stress on a board they may move with only staples. Fermacell is very easy to repair though. If you cut a hole in the wrong place with a hole saw, or even cut an access hole, you can just glue it back in place, filler in the gap, sand and it’s done - you can’t tell it’s been removed. It is also surprisingly easy to cut. Fermacell sell a knife designed for the job and it works on the the score and snap method and is very good. It leaves a slight ragged edge but this takes filler really well so isn’t a problem. When it comes to filling all the screw holes or edges, you will need their filler. It’s much better than anything else and sands to a fine finish too. It’s better put on with a wide spatula or trowel, and it goes a long way. FST - or fine surface treatment - is the oddest product I’ve ever used ..!! Fermacell show it being applied with a squeegee, I use a 12” plastering trowel and you can do a 5m wall in probably 15 minutes. You put the thinnest coat possible on - the boards change from light grey to a slightly darker grey and that’s it ..! A quick sand over with a 120grit sanding board and you can be painting less than an hour after applying. The wall will look like it’s full of filler and screws etc, but a coat of paint and it’s all gone and you have a perfect flat wall. I’ve gone from a stud wall to ready for paint in 24 hours - that’s impossible with board and skim, and pushing it with TE/taping. The downsides are that the dust will destroy any power tool that you use to cut it. Circular saws or jigsaws create a lot of dust, routers are magic for cutting holes for back boxes or making perfect corners but all of them will die in a ditch with the dust. Buy cheap Titan ones and keep going back for the warranty claims ..! Fermacell is very good for perfect square and flat surfaces - anywhere that you want curves or anything that needs blended angles then you possibly need to look at something else or look at how to get skim coats applied to certain sections. I priced a job recently that would have been £4K in Fermacell, and was just less than £2k in plasterboard and skim in terms of materials. When it came down to it, the labour costs were double for the board and skim as there was a lot of curve and detail work but the whole lot came out about the same price in total. If you can DIY and have square rooms etc then you can get a very good finish with Fermacell that is comparable to a skimmed plaster finish with no wet trade delays.
  33. 6 points
    This thread (as great as it is) reminds me of my time spent with a religious community.... I was very intrigued by their way of life and was trying to see if I had any give in my very atheist tendencies...... one day I was standing on top off a hill with the leaders wife and there was a beautiful rainbow...... the lady asked if I knew how a rainbow was created, yes I said and started telling her how A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicoloured circular arc.... she looked at me like I was daft....... no no no she said and proceeded to explain that God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: .... I looked at her like a stunned mullet. This is all in good faith or good humour ..... whatever ‘I enjoyed thread.
  34. 6 points
    That's the Geberit wall drain in. Push the brushed st/st plate in, bring it down onto 8mm packs, take the plate off and lock in place with the Allen key. Push plate back in. The brushed finish doesn't really match the chromed mixer, riser rail, flush plate etc but hey ho. Tbh the simple look belies the work that went into this and what's hidden in the wall & floor: Geberit never cease to amaze me. I invariably look at the instructions and first think WTF? Then I figure it out and think how bloody clever albeit simple. It's just good design.
  35. 6 points
    Well, it’s been a momentous day today. It’s taken us a couple of years to get to this stage but we finally broke ground today. All watched over by an archaeologist and in the grounds of a listed building, I’m pleased to say that nothing was found apart from a few copper nails and a few fragments of no significance. Groundworker didn’t encounter any problems and will be back at it tomorrow. Visit scheduled in from Building Control (using Stroma) scheduled for Thursday. Limestone ridge at about 1.5m deep, so a nice solid base to sit on. Here’s some pictures taken by the Groundworker. I’m working away at the moment unfortunately but can’t wait to see what’s been happening this weekend.
  36. 6 points
    The driveway has been laid and I think they have done a fantastic job. I have also finally got around to putting up a postbox and a doorbell. I got the doorbell from a company called Metzler Trade that sells on Amazon and its own website, a lovely quality item. It always disappoints me when people have little plastic doorbells. I forgot to include power for the bell so put a Grothe wireless bell behind it. All the gutters, soffits and fascias are finished. We also framed around the garage doors in matching aluminium. This is an area that is usually just painted wood and starts to blow after a while. The builder just has a smallish list of things to finish off. Finally we can get the walls and doors washed down, I didn't see any point before the drive was down. The landscapers want to start in a couple of weeks now also which is good.
  37. 6 points
    Welcome Welcome to sleepless nights Welcome to frustrating builders Welcome to "Christ that was close" Welcome to " How much? Do you think I'm stupid?" Welcome to "Darling, can we move that window 3mm to the left - no - right please?" Welcome to the doctoral thesis on Bathroom Tiling by @Onoff Welcome to one liners by @Nickfromwales Welcome to @Temp's caution Welcome to nerds R Us Welcome to obsession.
  38. 6 points
    Same saying goes for car sales men.
  39. 5 points
    I know it's been a while but I have decided to go back to working on the stairs. Annoyingly I just couldn't get enough usable timber out of the elm tree to do everything but I managed to get enough for the stairs. 🙂 I'll probably just use ash for the landing handrails.
  40. 5 points
    Timber frame started arriving today from PYC. Frame up this week and probably into early next week. Windows from Green Building Store installed by the PYC team next week so, all going well, watertight in a couple of weeks. At last, it's finally happening!
  41. 5 points
    It's easy with hindsight to say he should have paid someone to do the work, but I bet he never thought for one second things would take as long as they did. I'm definitely guilty of that and I'm sure I'm not the only one lol
  42. 5 points
    Oh, sorry to hear that! This is going to be interesting. If I were Sunamp i’d beloading the van right now with a replacement and calling in my senior technician to pack a suitcase and hit the road to Wiltshire ASAP.
  43. 5 points
    that single lass has got some bottle. Its a lot to take on when you're on your own - I often come home at the end of an evenings graft / whole days graft and its good that the missus is here - cheers me up, who did she rely on for some emotional help? Hats off to her.
  44. 5 points
    I'm fresh from mist coating using the Lidl machine. You need to get the nozzle a lot closer for ceilings as gravity has a noticeable effect on the ability to spray directly upwards. I needed to use a step ladder to get close enough to get a decent coat on the ceiling, but I'm only 5'4", so you may have a longer reach and be okay with a hop up. Even on the vertical walls, I found that you need to be relatively close. You need to get the hang of making sure you hold the machine at 90 degrees to the surface you are spraying - it becomes very inefficient if you're even marginally off this, so learn to be flexible with your wrists. I found it to be hard work on my wrists, but it's perfectly doable. Don't worry about the nozzle getting blocked - it's quick and easy to clean out. 30 seconds will do it, with the brush and pokey thing that it comes supplied with. You will need to dilute your paint down, as per the instructions, to be sure that it runs freely through the cup that indicates viscosity. I chucked my contract white into a standard bucket, diluted as much as necessary and poured it into the machine reservoir direct from the bucket. If the paint is freshly opened and the bucket is clean, I found that there was no splatting or blocking. If you leave the paint overnight and it forms a bit of a skin, these bits will splat. However, they were easy enough to sand once dried and I figured that was much quicker than straining endless litres of paint. Finally, get yourself a respirator. Not one of the nasty little chuck away masks, but a respirator with a filter. And wear it. You will get a nasty headache if you breathe paint fumes for a day.
  45. 5 points
    I built one on my cabin, it’s been a great success and was a bit of fun to build. It’s a total DIY and I used basic materials. My build up from the inside out was. Large internal vented gap 22mm sparking board X1 layer of old carpet underlay x2 layers of DAmp proof membrane heavy gauge black plastic x1 layer of pond rubber x 2 layers of old carpet x 1 layer of ground fabric 25mm gravel and some insulation to save on cost of gravel and weight. X1 layer of ground fabric 50-70mm turf cut from an old lawn I did not want it works great and has been up for 4 years without fault, due to it not being specific sedum plants it does dry out in summer droughts (I don’t bother watering it) but regrown very quickly at the first hint if rain. I have a 150mm gravel perimeter round the edge of the grass. During storms it makes the whole cabin really cosy as it sits up there like a big stable hat and you don’t hear the rain on the roof, just hitting the big window sideways at 75 mph......... I put hidden Gravel gutters in that feed to a down pipe, all works well. I would do it again.
  46. 5 points
    I am planning owl boxes around us, we have at least one barn owl that is resident near us and I want to encourage them. We already have bat boxes built into my workshop and many bird boxes dotted around, we enjoy having breakfast watching lots of different bird types on our feeders. Next year I am looking forward to sowing the meadow (currently a soggy bog) with wild meadow grasses and flowers 👍.
  47. 5 points
    ROFL. I strongly suggest you wind your neck in a little there. Jeremy is just stating that concrete isn't always as perfect as you may like to think. Let's all play nicely shall we 😏
  48. 5 points
    OK...whoever said it'd look better with grout might have had a point. From a distance that is... Just the bath to do now, tiling wise.
  49. 5 points
    OK, so we have a hole in the ground. It's a biggish hole - the basement is only half the width of the house above ground, but it's still 20m front to back and around 5m wide at the bottom (and battered slope on 3 sides at around 30 degrees). By this point, I have also spent over 8 weeks arguing with my structural engineer about some of the steel he's put into the ICF parts of the build. Arguing to the point that I get my builder-turned-consultant to meet the engineer to explain what he wants by way of reinforcement is neither possible nor necessary. The engineer refutes this opinion, so I get the ICF manufacturers to tell him he's mistaken, whereupon the engineer withdraws his services and threatens legal action if I use his designs... Even at this point, he hasn't twigged that I couldn't use his designs any more than I could fly by flapping my arms a bit. (In case anyone thinks I am being harsh here, the engineer has specified 16mm steel every 150mm vertically in a Logix ICF block that spaces the steel every 203mm. There is no physical way to insert at least 5 of the steel loops because they fall in exactly the same place as the plastic webs that hold the ICF blocks together, without which the blocks simply fall apart.) The next engineer took 3 days to spec the steel reinforcement for the same columns, and came up with calcs that justified 12mm steel every 203mm - fancy that! The lesson here is to find an ICF specialist engineer not just a regular structural engineer - it will save time, money and possibly your sanity in the long run!) The 300mm slab gets poured - another mistake: we should have insulated under the slab. However I didn't think it'd be cost effective because we were 3.5m below ground and therefore insulated by Mother Earth already. If we had insulated under, our energy bills would likely be quite a bit lower, but you live and learn! Oh, and maybe I should have paid more attention instead of getting all giddy like a teenager at prom, because if I had I would have noticed the groundworkers slopping waterproof concrete (that cubed as C68) into the sump pit at the back, where the perimeter drainage emptied into! Have since had to break that slipped concrete out with SDS chisels and a breaker bar... December 2017. We build the ICF walls for the basement. 10" thick with 2 faces of 12mm steel debar at 200mm centres both horizontal and vertical. Our onsite training in ICF construction has the boss of the ICF firm himself on site, helping to build the walls... Except he misread the plans for the house. At the back of the basement, we have a lightwell, which serves as a 2nd means of escape from the basement, but it's clearly an external area because there is no house above it... Only our onsite training guru treats this as an internal wall, and has us construct a T wall joined only by pockets of concrete, instead of a full joint that would be watertight... My fault - I should have realised at the time that this was idiotic, and would completely negate the point of using waterproof concrete because there would be a gaping hole in the back wall of the house (which we are still fixing now, though having internally tanked the basement at least the water isn't visible any more!). January 2018 arrives, and we pour the rest of the footings for the house (the basement is only half width). All goes well, apart from a tremendous excess of concrete dropped into the concrete pump hopper. He dumps it in the front garden (and nearly a year later, it is still there - I call it "the monolith" for no other reason than it's about 2m long and weighs around 5 tonnes). Then the house starts to fly up (comparatively!). Well, once the ICF blocks arrive anyway... But at this point in the build, I am getting very used to delays, even if it does take 11 weeks for the blocks to arrive from Dorset...! Tune in next week for another thrilling instalment!
  50. 5 points
    Do you have a link? To be honest I’m not too concerned about the stiffness issues, I’m more concerned about my ability to use as much of the available PV generation. Given that mine is a none feed in tariff (DIY) installation, any generated energy is a “GIFT” to the grid and a financial loss to me. On reflection it’s a double wammy, I’m not being paid for anything I export and I’ve then got to buy it back to charge the Sunamp! To be honest, I would not of placed an order for a Sunamp if I’d been aware of the new versions inability to charge using avalable PV generation. I really dont want to have to be adding a DIY Willie heater system to something that should ‘work out of the box’.
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