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  1. It’s true ! ? Not complete ( of course ) but after 7 years we actually move in tomorrow. What have i learnt ? . With infinite support and help from this forum you can build a non standard house built by an unskilled non standard human ? . I always felt my journey was a testament to this forum . If I were a plumber , joiner , brickie etc. then that would be a distinct natural advantage. Yet I am an ex software engineer who builds his house bit by bit ( had to get that joke in , sorry ! ) There have been mistakes a plenty ( not all mine ) - many wft moments . The build literally consists of blood , sweat , tears and indeed other bodily fluids . So thank you to all that offer help and advice . Those that tolerate seemingly stupid questions ( usually are stupid actually ) . But most of all to give time to help someone achieve more than they are capable of . This is the power of buildhub . I will now post some witty comments elsewhere ; or some obscenity that will get me a naughty boy badge .
    27 points
  2. We bought our plot over 6 years ago and it took until just a few weeks before the first lockdown to actually break ground. It's been an absolute pig of a time but and we are finally in the house, albeit with still a fair bit to do. Thanks for all the help and advice, going right back to the previous incarnation of the forum. I'll no doubt need more in the coming months.
    26 points
  3. House is far from finished, but it is habitable so after 2.5yrs of van life we've upped sticks and occupied the house. Very surreal! Been lurking on this forum since 2018 now I think. The standard of my build is a direct function of the 'knowledge repository' that this forum is and the assistance of various members. Thank you one and all. Now for the next 2.5yrs of my build - garage, landscape, drive....the list is endless, should probably start with getting a shower room functioning though??‍♂️?
    16 points
  4. Well, it’s been quite a while since my last blog post but we’ve not been idle but I do admit to having been slack in updating the blog. At the end of the last blog we had a superstructure and the roofer was about to begin his journey up the scaffolding. This is where that tale begins….. ’Twas a sunny November morning when all was quiet that a white van man arrived at our site to felt, batten and slate our sloping roofs. And he wasted no time at all in cracking on with it after the site orientation was complete. With his dad along to help with the battening it didn’t take long for the membrane (or ‘felt’ if you’re a roofer) and battens and counter battens to be done. After discussions with our BCO it was decided that we would fully fill our rafters and use a breathable membrane (Proctor Roofshield) attached to the roof trusses and then 25mm x 50mm counter battens and then slate battens which gave us 50mm ventilation. This allows us to not need soffit vents (or indeed soffits) which fitted in to the design of the house better and also meant we don’t have to worry about creepy crawlies living in the soffits. We started with the southern elevation so that the solar PV array could be installed and the roofer (Chris) fitted the first few rows of slates and some flashing leaving it ready for the solar team to arrive before moving on to the northern elevation So while Chris was busy working on the north side of the house the solar installers arrived and fitted our GSE trays. Once done they started to fit the panels. But it was then discovered that the company who did the ordering ordered the wrong size GSE trays and the panels wouldn’t fit. So the solar installers took all the trays down and left site after wasting a day’s work. Meanwhile the flat roofers attended site to single-ply membrane our flat roofs and balcony. A great bunch of guys from a company recommended to me by Chris so I had every confidence of them doing a great job, and they didn’t disappoint. DPM, PIR, OSB then single-ply membrane. First roof which will have a wildflower green roof being overlooked by our bedroom balcony Second roof above our utility room which links the house to the garage which will have a sedum roof They will return a little later on in the blog to install the green roofs. Meanwhile the solar installers returned after the correctly sized GSE trays had been delivered and managed to fit it all in a day. We think it looks brilliant. 28 x 375W LG panels, each with Solaredge optimisers as we have lots of trees around us. And when they’d finished each panel was giving out 1V and was confirmed each was working by being shown the 14V on each string in the loft. Job done for now until we get electrics first fix done and they can come back and fit the inverter. The only real issue we had with the solar is that the panels were resting on the slates making them lift up in places. I created a thread about them (https://forum.buildhub.org.uk/topic/24530-slate-tiles-lifted/) and after much discussion and deliberation I decided to simply use black CT1 to stick them down which worked nicely. A bit of a bodge but you can’t tell from the ground and a lot less disruption to timelines than other solutions. While all of that was going on Chris was busy slating the northern elevation and it was all coming along nicely. During that I had another discussion with the BCO about vent pipes. I asked if I could have one by the STP but she was adamant that I had to have one through the roof. When I mentioned I didn’t want a pipe sticking out the top of the roof she said that they do slate vents. A quick google search revealed what she was talking about and I purchased the item and it was installed. Looks fab and from the ground you can barely notice it which is just what I wanted. And now the solar PV install was finished he could move on to the southern elevation. But while he was doing that the flat roofers came back and installed our green roofs. The wildflower material So that’s those finished although we were still waiting on a Velux roof light for one of the roofs which was delayed but the flat roofers came back to install that for me and finish off that roof a bit later. They also installed our patio paving slabs which we think look ace. So, back to Chris and he’d now finished the main house roof slating and it finished off around the PV panels nicely. He did make a start on the garage roof but as we were still waiting on Velux windows he couldn’t finish that so he left site and would return once the Velux’s were delivered. During that period our windows and doors arrived! We used Norrsken for these and went for alu-clad triple glazed windows and sliders. The majority of our windows are fixed and we had quite a small profile for the frame which means more glass. The installers, Elite Installations Nationwide (https://www.eliteinstalls.co.uk) were brilliant and Jim and his team were a joy to have on site. They brought their spider crane with them which made lifting our windows up to the first floor a breeze for them. We decided to be bold and went for a red front door. We love it. As the window install was done the week of Christmas the installers couldn’t finish them all in time before the Christmas break so we wished them a safe trip back to York and would see them in the new year. Happy new year!! (Belated). With the new year came the return of Jim and his team to finish off all our windows and doors. Once they were installed it made the house feel so much more like a house. Closing the front door had a feel of shutting out the outside world and we were (almost) water tight at last. We also eventually received our Velux roof light and sloping and vertical windows. So the flat roof was finally completed and so was the garage roof. So we are very nicely watertight at this point. All that’s left now is the time-lapse video for this period of time. Sadly our camera only shows the south side of the building so we only get footage for stuff that happens on that side but it still makes for an interesting watch and I hope you enjoy it. Until next time.
    14 points
  5. Absolutely thrilled to say our S73 PP was granted this morning, bang on time, with no new conditions. What a fantastic Xmas pressie ☺️☺️☺️
    13 points
  6. Since the basement was finished at the end of June things seem to have been dragging on for ages but we are finally out of the ground and ready for the timber frame. It has taken 13 weeks and we had delays with materials that held things up but when I look back at the photos from the basement being finished to where we are now it is amazing how much has been done and we’re very excited about the timber frame going up next week. When the groundworkers came back post-basement they started by insulating the basement walls externally with 200mm of EPS 100 and then backfilling with clean crushed as per the structural engineers specifications. Then they started digging the foundations for the ‘arms’ of the building as I call them and you’ll see why from some later photos as the main building looks like the body with 2 x arms coming off it. These are a garden room (that links to the kitchen/diner) and the utility room and garage. These are designed as insulated slabs with 300mm EPS underneath which you can see in the photos. Here we see I had to put some Perinsul blocks in, thank you to @ToughButterCup for getting them to me. While that was happening the brickie was also on-site building the internal walls for the basement. We have a 3m ceiling height in the basement so we had to get scaffolding in to build them safely which was another expense I hadn’t planned for (beginners naivety) but something that had to be done. It was around this time that I purchased a DJI Mini-2 drone. It is brilliant and has given us a whole new perspective on the build. Here are a few videos from before the slab pours (please excuse the auto-added cheesy music that DJI added). And some photos of the slab pours. I also put in some VCL between the basement and ground floor as a Tony tray. Once the slabs were poured we move on to the block and beam flooring. This caused the biggest issue with getting materials as the company the groundworkers were using moved their lead times from 15 days to 6 - 8 weeks which would’ve put us stupidly behind schedule. So I sourced some beams from a local builders merchant and paid the beamers to cut them to size on site rather than waiting for the correct sizes to be fabricated and delivered. It was pretty stressful to say the least. But what made it worse is that I decided a while ago to move from precast hollow core slabs to block and beam but no one along the way told me that the beams couldn’t take the load of the walls above like the hollow core could and, by chance, during my conversations with the block and beam company designing it I found out that I had to put supporting steels on top of the basement walls to take those load bearing walls from above ground. Back to the structural engineer to get those designed and then fabricated and installed. And then the beamers tell us that they won’t do the work without a complete fall arrest system across the entire basement 600mm down from the top of the basement walls. Back to the scaffolders to come and put that up at yet another expense (although the safety of the contractors is important to us so I didn’t grumble too much!) and we were finally ready for the block and beam to be installed. So what turned out to be the decision to save a few £k by moving to block and beam has in the end cost me a lot more due to the extra work involved. Oh well, you live and you learn. Anyway, the day came for the beamers to install it and they were a smash and grab outfit but that is, apparently, what all block and beamers are like. They just turn up and smash it out and leave without any due care and attention. To say they were miffed that they couldn’t do that on our build due to the steels on the basement wall is an understatement and comments like ‘if I’d known there were steels I wouldn’t have taken the job’ and ‘I’m losing money of this job’ really filled me with confidence. And if I ever do this again I will probably do the block and beam myself as, although hard work, it’s not complicated and I would’ve done a much better job. Anyway, it was done and they left and we could get on with laying the coursing blocks for the sole plates to sit on. This is where I insisted on precision and I spent a lot of time out there with the brickie assisting with setting out to make sure everything was spot on for the sole plates and checking that the levels throughout were within 5mm - 10mm across the building. It was time consuming but I think the accuracy will pay off in the end. While that was happening and with the timber frame imminent the scaffolders came and put up the required 2 lifts around the entire building and by 5pm the Friday before the frame was due it was all finished and we were ready……or so we thought. The timber frame ended up being delayed by 4 days due to the chippies testing positive for Covid-19 (the first time we have been directly impacted (not including the material shortage etc) by Covid) and during that 4 day delay the contract manager attended site and noticed that the garage (which is 120mm below the main house) had it’s coursing blocks below the main house. After a quick email exchange it was pointed out to me that I’d misread the plans and that those blocks, and the sole plates, need to be at the same level throughout so I needed to raise the coursing blocks by 120mm in the garage by the end of the following day. The groundworkers have moved on and I couldn’t get anyone to do it so I knocked up some pug, borrowed a disc cutter, bought myself a trowel and got laying. I’ve never laid blocks before but I did spend a lot of time watching and helping the brickie so I had a good idea as to what to do. I started after work on Wednesday (sole plates due to be fitted Friday) and finished half of it well after dark and then got up early the next day to finish the rest off. And it worked! Level and straight (ish) and still standing the next day. Phew! And this is where we’re at right now. Timber frame ground floor wall panels are due next Tuesday so we should really start to see things happening rapidly now and within 4 weeks our superstructure will be up. But that will be the subject of my next blog. Here’s a time-lapse video of this part of the build. I had to speed up the footage x10 and each day is about 4s long so things happen at quite a speed but it’s amazing to look back and see what has been done these last 13 weeks. Thanks again for reading and I hope you’re enjoying this journey as much as we are. Until next time…
    13 points
  7. We moved into our new build mid-December 2017 in time to host an extended family Christmas. We are now over 4 years into living in our new home. We have lots of accumulated experience and made a few small tweaks. However, we are delighted about how the house has turned out, and we love living here. There were no material cock-ups, or regrets on design decisions, so we have probably fared a lot better than most new purchasers or self-builders. Maybe a general experiences post should be on the to do list, but what I want to focus on here, and a couple of follow-ups, is a general topic that others on the forum have asked about over the years: that is how our central heating system works in practice, and how I control it. The system as currently implemented is still largely the same as when I first commissioned it, that is a now 5 year-old RPi-based custom control system directly controlling the CH and DHW subsystems. This is a pretty minimal headless system running Node-RED, MySQL and MQTT client for control. The three material changes that I've made since moving in are: I have followed my son and son-in-law in using Home Assistant (HA) for general Home Automation. My server (an RPi4 in an Argon One case) uses an attached Zigbee gateway, and I have a lot of Zigbee devices around the house: switches, relays, light sensors, etc. and I do the typical home automation stuff with these. There are loads of YouTube videos and web articles covering how to implement HA, so please refer to these if you want to learn more. My HA installation includes an MQTT service for use as a connection hub for these IoT devices. I also have another RPi4 acting as an Internet-connected portal / Wireguard gateway/ file-server for caching video snippets from my PoE security cameras. Note that none of my IoT devices directly access the internet, and the only in-bound access into my LAN is via Wireguard tunnelled VPN, and my HTTPS-only blog. All other ports are blocked at the router. Before moving in, we assumed a target internal temperature of 20°C. In practice, we have found this too cold for our (fairly inactive OAP) preference and so we have settled on a minimum control threshold of 22.3°C. As you will see below, because we largely heat during the E7 off-peak window the actual room temperatures have a ~1°C cycle over the day, so the average temperature is about 22.8°C. This hike of 2.8°C increases the number of net heating days since my design heating calcs and the increased delta against external temperatures in turn increases our forecast heating requirement by roughly 18% over our initial 2017 heating estimate. Because our UFH is only in the ground-floor slab, we found that our upper floors were typically 1-2°C cooler than the ground floor in the winter months. We also need more than the 7 off-peak hours of heating in the coldest months, so I have added an electric oil-filled radiator on our 1st-floor landing; HA controls this through a Zigbee smart plug that also reports back on actual energy drawn during the on-time. HA uses MQTT to pass the actual daily energy draw back to the CH control system. This radiator provides enough upper-floor top-up heat, and does so using cheap rate electricity. Note that all servers are directly connected to my Ethernet switch, and the CH/DHW system has all of its critical sensors and output controls directly attached. It can continue to control the CH and DHW subsystems even if the HA system or Internet is offline. There is also no direct user interface to the system, with all logging data is exported to MQTT, and key CH/CHW set-points and configuration are imported likewise. This integration with MQTT, enables user interfacing to be done through the HA Lovelace interface. If there is sufficient interest I can do follow-up posts on some more of the "Boffins Corner" type details on these implementations, or if this turns out to be more of a discussion then it might be better to move this stuff to its own BC topic. However, for the rest of this post I want to focus on the algorithmic and control aspects of the heating system. In terms of inputs and outputs to the control system, these are: There are ~20 DS18B20 1-Wire attached digital thermometers used to instrument pretty much all aspects of the CH / DHW systems. Few are actively used in the control algorithms but were rather added for initial commission, design verification and health checking. Some are also used to monitor and to trip alarms; for example, there is a temperature sensor on the out and return feed for each UFH pipe loop. These were used to do the initial zone balancing. However, the average of the return feeds is used as a good estimate of the aggregate slab temperature. One of the temperature sensors is also embedded in the central hall stud wall to act as a measure of average internal house temperature. There are two flow sensors on the cold feed to my 2 SunAmp DHW storage units to monitor DHW use and to help automate during-day DHW boost. There are 4 240V/20A SSRs used to switch the power to my (2-off) SunAmps, my (1-off) Willis heater, and my (1-off) circulation pump. These and the rest of my 240V household system were wired up and Part P certified by my electrician. These SSRs are switched by a 5V 50mA digital input, and so can be driven from an RPi or similar. (I used a I²C attached MCP23008A multi-port driver to do this, as this can drive 5V 50mA digital inputs, but its input I²C side is compatible with RPi GPIO specs.) There are many ways to "skin this cat", but whichever you choose for your control implementation your system will need to control some 240V/12A devices and take some input temperature sensors. My preference was to directly attach all such critical sensors and outputs. My heating algorithm calculates a daily heating budget in kWh (each midnight) as a simple linear function of the delta between average local forecast temperature for the next 24 hrs and the average hall temperature for the previous 24 hrs. This budget is then adjusted by the following to give an overall daily target which is converted in minutes of Willis on time. heat input from the heater mentioned above. a simple linear function of the delta average hall temperature and the target set-point (currently 22.3°C). This is a feedback term to compensate for systematic over or under heating. I initially calculated the 4 coefficients of the two functions using my design heating calcs and an estimate of the thermal capacity of the interior house fabric within the warm space. After collecting the first year's actual day, I then did a regression fit based on logged actual data to replace the design estimates by empirical values. This was about a 10% adjustment, but to be quite honest the initial values gave quite stable control because of the feedback compensation. The control system runs in one of three modes: No heating is required. Up to 420 mins of heating is required. The start time is set so that heating ends at 7 AM, and the slab is continuously heated during this window. More than 420 mins of heating is required. 420 mins of heating is carried out in the off-peak window. On each hour from 8 AM to 10 PM, if the hall temperature is below the set-point (22.3°C), then an N-minute heating boost is applied, where N is calculated by dividing the surplus heating into the 1-hour heating slots remaining. Here are two history outputs from HA showing some of the logged results. The LH graph is the slab temperature over the last 7 days. The general saw-tooth is identical from my 3-D heat flow modelling discussed in my earlier topic, Modelling the "Chunk" Heating of a Passive Slab. The 7 hr off-peak heating raises overall slab temperature by ~4-5 °C; well within UFH design tolerances, and no need for any HW buffer tank: the slab is the buffer. The RH graph is the hall temperature. Note the days where on-hour boosts were needed. (Also note that the CH system only updates the MQTT temperature data half-hourly, hence the stepped curves.) So the approach is fairly simple, and the system works robustly. ? And here is a screenshot of my HA summary interface, which gives Jan the ability to control everything she needs from her mobile phone or tablet.
    12 points
  8. Well our builder was a crook and we lost a lot of money. Happened just at first lockdown. Luckily enough that meant working from home for 18months so de camped to the site and built it myself and skived work as much as possible. Doing video calls whilst in a building with no roof in the rain.... Said wifi was too slow so did voice only lol. 2years on and next week we are getting BC in for final sign off. Looking back, I now know the original quote was miles too low, if we had paid a proper builder it would have cost a lot more than we have spent even allowing for the money we lost from the original crook. Oh and we were renting locally, they decided to sell and wanted it empty so we moved into the house in Oct 2020 with no heating, no internal walls, no plasterboard, temp stairs, temp electrics and a site toilet.... Didn't even have any cladding on the outside, so it looked like a giant purple quality street with the vapour wrap on. That was a Grim winter huddled around a couple of electric radiators. But, and for us this was critical, we never fell out of love with the site. 2 acres of woodland, our house in the middle and a 10 min walk to the centre of looe and the beach. Oh, and access is via a very narrow and steep road, I can just, and I mean just, squeeze my Toyota hilux onto site. So everything had to be brought in on that. I will never forget putting in 240 sheets of 18mm OSB on my own. And plasterboard, my god the fireproof stuff is heavy for 1 person. 140mm woodfibre external insulation, also bloody heavy. Never had any scaffolding on site, as I was on my own I worked of a decorators platform, dodgy as hell but never fell off! Never had any skips, cant get em on site lol. And as of last week told work I am taking early retirement at the end of this year. I can afford it, just. Retiring poor, but just affordable. Going to enjoy the building and location this summer for the first time, all worth it! I can certainly say, without this site I wouldnt have known half the stuff I do now and sharing pain is great ?
    12 points
  9. I'm pleased to say finally we are insulated and have render. Credit to our plasterer who has been brilliant and done an amazing job. The colour is Ecorend marble white so is a very clean white looking colour rather than the yellow/grey looking off whites we saw but we like it. The plasterer came in the early hours before the sun as it was blinding trying to apply it in direct sun over the past couple of weeks. Once we have the aggregate round the house and plants etc I don't think it will look too crazy. Waiting for the anthracite guttering to be fixed on and some of the plastic work and roof edging needs some TLC and if I hear the word 'mastic' again - which seems to be the answer to everything cladding and plastic related I'll strangle the builder. Also need fan covers attaching and our lights putting on which should be next week. Thought I'd share these pics. We have started to apply Bitumen paint on the bricks below DPC and this has smartened up the area where the bedroom/dressing room is where it is the split level inside with steps and rooms are higher than the rest of the house. We haven't finished all the way around yet. Loving the front door now with the render. Despite it being black in a silver frame and the anthracite windows we think it looks fine. This is the back of the house into our utility with the stable door. The hose pipe isn't on the render it's fixed onto a galvanised post. Of course we still have lots of garden work to do, no double garage and no dressing room etc but prices so high we have shelved things for now. Probably the most exciting non-house related news is we bought a boat which took a chunk out of the house budget!
    12 points
  10. On our previous build I built the foundations for the garages and due to an unforeseen delay with the Brickies I built the house foundations as well Having turned 60 recently I vowed I wouldn’t get involved with building the foundations Other than loading them up for the Brickies I set the pins Then heights Brickies arrived Friday and started complaining about the 625 foundation blocks to heavy Then the 300 wide foundation blocks for a 125 cavity I couldn’t get 350 wide anywhere So have to put a 100 mil solid behind each corse Then they asked for loading money It’s now 830 am and nothing is done At that point I said pack your s##t and go With the help of my wife I’ve laid 360 trench blocks in two days They are far to heavy for my wife to lift 7 to a m2 50m2 x £25 cash There's enough there for them I’ve done two 12 hour days and still some trench to go and 360 concrete block before the BB arrives next week My friend who The Brickies work for has limited control over them and the 50 odd others that work for him due to the shortage of labour But has promised me a better gang in two weeks More of a sound off than a constructive post I think the message in there is if your builder is falling behind Be patient with him As his excuses may be real
    11 points
  11. Wasn't sure where to post this but here's our observations after storm Eunice passed through. Initially we watched the storm gather, we could see that that the wind was strong but from inside there was no indication, no sound, no draughts. As the wind picked up something we were not expecting happened, we could hear and feel a draught. We have two fairly large sliders and at the peak of the storm, the wind was pushing against the slider so much that there was airflow between the slider and the fixed pane. Not much and not continuous but it was definitely happening. Our air test was done to passive standards (positive and negative pressure) so we're fairly certain there is no problem with the sliders because if there was then the negative pressure test would have exposed that. Anyone have a contradictory view? A short time later we had a power cut , that doesn't matter. The house is warm, the Sunamp is fully charged (minus two showers), what could go wrong? Well, we're fully electric so there was no cup of tea to sup whilst watching the storm play out. Information gleaned is that the power will be out for over 48hrs And of course there's no heating. But what does that matter because the house is toasty warm at about 21.5° and we've not had any heating on for days. And the house is almost airtight, apart from the few blasts that squeezed through the sliders. Thanks to @Adrian Walker's advice we have a CO2 monitor, well we bought a couple. It was quite amazing how quickly the CO2 PPM started to increase after the power cut. Obviously the MVHR was having a bit of "quiet time", so now we had a toasty warm passive house that was not working as planned. As night drew in it got worse because lots of candles were lit. The only solution was to open some windows and get some airflow. Out of interest, it was only the monitors that informed us of the poor air quality, it wasn't something we sensed. So, we have a toasty warm passive house but with no airflow so a couple of the 'tilt and turn' windows on opposite sides of the house were tilted. That fixed things, air quality wise, very quickly but it also meant the passive house was now going to cool down more rapidly than planned. There are no heating options, apart from the bio-ethanol fire) so we were getting ready to break out the cold weather gear. Fortunately power was restored about 12 hours after the cut. We have a fair amount of PV, and it was quite a sunny storm but of course the PV trips off in a power cut. We were meant to have a battery system but the that didn't happen. The M&E individual who specced that (and didn't provide) had wired in an emergency power supply from which we could run the fridge and freezer in the event of a power outage, which was a pretty smart idea, shame it never happened, but actually my advise to anyone building to passive standards, if they have a battery system then make sure that the MVHR will run off the batteries. That's the main thing we've learned. If you have built to passive standard and have a battery system, make sure your MVHR can run from the batteries in the event of a power cut, I suspect most battery systems will power an MVHR unit for ages. Without that, you're not in a passive house anymore. Oh, and we had the first BBQ of the season this evening. Bit nippy!
    11 points
  12. I'm not sure many can say this, but we've just had the easiest planning journey, despite what appeared at the outset to be fairly complex surroundings. Our plot is a 1-acre garden split, leaving just under 0.5 acre with the original bungalow and just over 0.5 acre with our plot. We are a stones throw from a conservation area, most of the trees in our garden can be seen throughout the village, our pre-plan noted highways access issues that we were only half-heartedly able to 'solve' and there were 27 neighbourly consultation letters sent out. The plot is about 4 miles from the centre of Norwich. Despite this, we sailed through in 8 weeks to the day. No public comments at all, nothing from Highways, nothing from the District Council. Just one comment from the Town Council who said that we have a good design and our approach could serve as a lesson to all. Relieved is a massive understatement, we have been hugely blessed with this opportunity to build our forever home. We attribute at least part of our success to the fact that we weren't greedy. The plot could have sustained so much more, 4 houses, even 6 or 7, but all we wanted was ours. This was never a cash cow for us. So, here is our design... View from the West... View from the South West... It's just over 193m2, plus a 24m2 carport. It'll be built from ICF. The scheme will save 5x 70ft Scots Pines, a 50ft Hornbeam, a 70ft specimen Lime, an 80-year-old Black Mulberry plus various others from the chopper. Despite the whole unsplit plot having 14 direct boundary neighbours, nobody overlooks us. We plan to do as much as possible ourselves. My small niche recruitment business won't survive the pandemic, it's hanging on by a thread now, so this will be my full-time occupation until it's complete. If we play our cards right, we'll be mortgage free and living in our dream home. Anyway, just using this as a means to try to consolidate our excitement. Now to set off on a VERY steep learning curve!
    11 points
  13. Canopy going up this week with bespoke brackets
    10 points
  14. Plot 1 done, my plot done apart from kitchen that was waiting for the worktop template completed today. Plot 2 done in 4 weeks. and externals wrapping up in terrible conditions. 15 months - 3 plots - 7,000 sq. ft at £110 psf to a high (London SW1 spec) in Cambs. Have been self censoring on here as I have been critisised as a bit of a Swearey Mary (in the good times of Viz!) which is fair enough for the community. So this post will pretty much wrap it up for me as coming back from site where every other word consists of 4 letters to post here seems pretty much impossible! All the best lads. Tony
    10 points
  15. It has taken months but we finally have the stair and balcony glass in place. Best of all it went in with no mishaps, chips or scratches. There is still lots to do but this was the main thing stopping us from moving.
    10 points
  16. Greetings! Apologies for the crass title but I am still a kid at heart. ? After a brief delay due to Covid-19 the carpenters were able to attend site and erect our timber frame. Thanks to the accuracy I insisted on and ensured for the coursing blocks the sole plates were a doddle and were done in no time at all although we did have a bit of rain and I had to get the puddle pump out! We used Flight Timber for our timber frame and they have their own lorries with cranes built in and so each stage of the build was delivered by the lorry and then craned in to place. Here’s the ground floor panels arriving. It took them just 2 days to finish all the ground floor external and internal wall panels. The speed of it all is very impressive. Then the posi-joists arrived These took a few days to do but thanks to the 8mm designed deflection and 300mm centres they are rock solid even across the 6.2m spans. It’ll be a bit of a nightmare trying to run MVHR, electrics and plumbing but we won’t have any bounce on the floors! Plus when the sun shines through it creates some lovely lighting effects Next we had a weeks delay as Flight didn’t have any chipboard flooring in stock as they were let down by their suppliers. This was a frustrating delay but with the current material shortages not one that I should really grumble about too much. It was eventually delivered and the chippies got on with laying it and the first floor panel starter plates. And then it was on to the first floor wall panels. These took 2 days to do as well and so within a couple of weeks of starting we had both floors done ready for the attic trusses They were also a couple of days delayed due to Covid-19 but arrive they did They didn’t take long at all to go up and I love the symmetry of them Then it was another week or so getting the roof finished and building the vaulted ceiling in our entrance hall etc and then they were done! It was 18 days on-site from start to finish. Amazing to see. I took some time-lapse footage and you can see the video below: And so we have a superstructure! The roofer is not far behind so my next blog will be about the roof slates and Solar PV array. Thanks for reading and until next time…
    10 points
  17. Today was a big day for any self builder. The day the second most important bit of paper ever arrived, the building control Completion Certificate (The most important bit of paper being the granting of planning permission) This “ends” a long chain of events that has taken way longer than we ever expected. It all started in October 2013, that’s a staggering 8 years ago, when we completed on the purchase of the building plot, though it was at least a year before that we started looking for a plot. Construction did not start in earnest until Spring 2015 when the final design, planning and building warrant was in place. Construction started well with a local building firm contracted to do the foundations and build and erect the timber frame. But that all ground to a halt by Spring 2016 when it became clear there were no buyers for our old house in a stagnated housing market and we had to terminate our arrangements with the builder, thankfully on good terms with them. Since then it has been a slow “build as you earn” self build doing way more of the work ourselves than we ever expected, and building to what turned out eventually to be a very low cost, and somehow against expectations, we finished the house that we could not afford to build. The VAT reclaim was paid out a few weeks ago and that paid off some interest free borrowing we had accumulated finally leaving us with no debt and a very modest amount of savings left. Phew. The house is about 150 square metres in total floor area and the final build cost has come in just a shade under £1000 per square metre not including plot price, services and professional fees. So now the house is “completed” does that mean we are “finished” No of course not. Some things have been left out for now and some not fully completed. So our “to do” list still includes the following: Bedrooms and stairs still need carpets and most rooms still need curtains or blinds. An airing cupboard needs to be formed around the hot water tank and we might still build the pantry in the corner of the kitchen. Outside there is the balcony still to build, some decking and paving, at least one more shed, a bridge over the burn, the car port and the tarmac entrance still needs it’s top coat and some drainage installing. Then there is fencing and making something of the garden. So at least another 2 years work to “finish” which will make it into a 10 year project. No I would never have believed at the start it was going to take that long, and it was not until I typed this and looked up the dates that I realised we had been working on this for 8 years already.
    10 points
  18. Hi All, I thought I share a photo of our selfbuild, well house remodel. It's taken a long time, we fell out with the builder last year and so doing the work ourselves, it's not quite finished yet but getting there. My opinion of builders out the moment is so low, if I ever treated my customers like the way we were treated, I sure there are good ones out there, somewhere. Anyway: Before After
    9 points
  19. Just wanted to extend my profound thanks for all the replies and useful info. Both my partner and I spoke at committee last night - jointly. We spoke about our motivations, how we had made efforts to integrate the proposal into the neighbourhood and the compromises we had made. We also included some brief information about the sustainability of the house we are proposing. Neighbours, parish council and local ward councillor all rallied together and spoke against the proposal. At times their behaviour felt like playground bullies ganging up on us - the 'newbies' to the village, not helped by the fact we are a good 10-20 years younger than them and trying to do something a bit different. They told lies and waffled on about drainage for a while which isn't even a planning matter. The local councillor, which I assume does this a lot, was actually very poor at speaking and did talk about a lot of non planning matters, which was a surprise. Even said the only reason the original planning permission was granted was because the old owner was disabled. That was quickly shot down by the officer. The most obvious and upsetting lie they told was that we hadn't even consulted them about the proposal, when we took round the plans, stood in their kitchen and went through them - with no adverse comments received. I guess they must have developed selective amnesia 🙄 One of the committee members was very negative about the proposal, but luckily the rest of them all spoke up in support and on the vote we had 1 abstain and the rest support for permission. All in all, a incredibly stressful process that I do not ever wish to repeat. I think I read a little nugget on here a while back 'you only find out how unhinged your neighbours are when you apply for planning permission'. i can sure say I 100% agree with that now! Onwards and upwards with our project now!
    9 points
  20. Not gonna lie, was buzzing to see the ASHP come to life so can get the UFH and DHW up and running and today was the day! I did all the plumbing for ASHP, UFH and everything else, got a preplumbed Ecodan which the spark powered up today. Few issues at first getting it going until.i realised that one of the pump valves I thought I'd opened was nearly closed - kept getting 'Low Flow' which as I'd 'opened' all the valves was puzzling until I realised I hadn't actually opened all of them?‍♂️ Not sure how long it will take for the house to get up to 20degrees from 14 but its going at it now. All set for a Christmas move in - few rooms Not finished but kitchen lounge and bedrooms good to go?(may have to shower in the van unless I can get a shimmy on and tile one of the ensuites - can't have it all?‍♂️) As an aside, doing all of the plumbing, ASHP etc as a.self builder really ain't difficult and I would encourage others to tackle it.
    9 points
  21. I am sorry to say the whole house heating upgrade topic is being completely miss handled by the government. They think (at least this is the impression they give) just swap all the gas boilers for heat pumps and the problem is solved and we have all gone green. WRONG. The most fundamental issue with a very large amount of the UK house stock is the fabric of the houses are lousy, no or poor insulation and poor air tightness meaning they need a massive amount of heat to keep them warm. Easy to throw lots of heat into a house with a large gas boiler running on (what used to be) cheap gas. Not so easy ito do with a heat pump. Yes if you do the heat calculations a very large heat pump might work, but what about the radiator sizes? what about the hot water tank? What it the HP needs to be so large you need 3 phase but can't get it at your house? Offering £5K is just going to feed the cowboy "swap a boiler for an ASHP and do nothing else" brigade, result in a lot of poor installs that don't work, and give heat pumps a bad name (which many think they have already) WHEN are we going to tell the general public the truth? If you want your old poorly insulated house to go green, you are going to have to spend a LOT of money upgrading the fabric of the house first and properly insulating it, which will be costly and very disruptive. THEN it might be a good idea to heat it with a heat pump.
    9 points
  22. This based on @Radian's comments what a pita these are to repair. Just done another one and thought it might help someone: First thing to take off is the brass nozzle. Some are a hex and others have two flats. Then clean all the gunk off with a blade. Use a small drill bit, held in your hand, to clean up inside. It's fitted with some type of liquid threadlock but I just replace later with ptfe tape: Then unscrew the knob at the back, take that and the spring out and with a pair of moles clamp around the barrel and unscrew that. Again it'll have threadlock, again use ptfe tape upon reassembly: Barrel off, you can see the pink foam adhered to the long rod that goes up the middle. Gun cleaner for that if still wet, sharp blade if it's dry. Then move to the small nut just in front of the handle: You should be able to knock the rod out with a soft faced mallet. Blast through the handle with gun cleaner as you go: Clean the barrel. I used a suitable drill bit (in the cordless if necessary) then a cloth soaked in gun cleaner and drag it back and forth. Blast any remaining loose stuff through: Imo then wear inside this nylon bush (just below the threaded section) is what kills a lot of these guns. Foam ends up coming out the back, dries and the gun seizes. And/or air gets in through the same point when the gun is closed off and hardens what's in the barrel. You will likely need to pick out the dried foam inside the nylon carefully: My trick is to slip on a suitable rubber O ring: PTFE tape the barrel where it goes into the gun: Tape the brass nozzle too: Reassemble with a smear of silicone grease on the moving parts: Hopefully you're then good to go. Not shown where the can screws onto the gun. You'll likely need to cut/dig foam off around there and have a twiddle up where the ball valve is. I've seen other guns where the central rod is (black), Teflon covered like on a frying pan, that wears leading to the same issues. An O ring might well fix that.
    8 points
  23. Biggest general mistake is not trusting my gut. When you think someone is full of crap or outright lying you are probably right and you should act on it. I found it too easy to trust people to do the right thing and just hope.
    8 points
  24. @Indy I've been plugging away at this for a couple of hours on sketchup. First here are the elevations continuing in the style as before. As before I have no idea if the neighbours will be overshadowed or overlooked badly with this design. The council may be dead set against it too. Obvious points to note are. 1. Same footprint as your existing design. 2. Simplified roof. Just a hip roof with a flat GRP rectangle in the centre. 3. Fake chimneys only. 4. Open porch/balcony added to the rear. BEFORE AFTER Now for the floor plans. BEFORE + AFTER The foot print is the same I;ve done my best to keep the positioning and sizes of the rooms as you had them. Changes to note: 1. I've added side windows to the porch. 2. The hallway is more defined and has built in storage. 3. The study has an additional south facing window, built in book shelves and a glazed door with sidelights to brighten the hallway. The Storage opposite is symetrical. 4. The generous sized WC (wheelchair accessible size) has a south facing window and the door into the hall has a fanlight to do the same. Symetrical with the door to the visitors suite opposite. 5. The Visitors suite enters into a large dressing area with a tall window. The bedroom has an extra window and some shelving. It is further removed from the hallway for privacy and noise. 6. The central hallway is the part of which I am most happy! The staircase is much more of an event, fitting of such a larger house. Storage underneath. The South facing tall window will give tremendous light. Above is a surrounding wrap around landing and in the flat roof 3no 1m2 velux flat roof lights. 7. I've removed the niche for the ASHP. it would be more effective in the front garden with a stylish screen. Where it is it's awkward to build around and might be continuously defrosting due to lack of airflow. Also I'm not too enamoured with such a high current device enclosed on all but one side by the house re fire. Domestic bliss calling here............................................ I'll finish when I get a chance!
    8 points
  25. I could post dozens of pictures of projects I have used some recycled materials on but not always recycled from my own build as I am always on the lookout for materials from anywhere I can get them. Owl box made from off cuts of sarking board and a bird feeder made from old brake discs, chimney bird cover and whiskey barrel staves. If this thread runs dry I can add lots more projects………. If your interested ????
    8 points
  26. merry Christmas old friends! Just wanted to update that today we heard we won on our planning appeal against LBHF, and decision could not read as more helpful and supportive - all planners' arguments were dismissed as 'unconvincing' and both extensions can now go ahead ! Wanted to thank everybody for offering constructive and useful advice - probably would not have had the conviction to face the appeal route without you here - THANK YOU! Now on to the next challenge - to build it (without breaking the bank) ? Will be checking back in for more useful knowledge sending virtual Champagne to everyone (if it's your thing)
    8 points
  27. We left you with a poured slab and we were chomping at the bit to get the ground floor Nudura walls up before the end of the year. Well, I am glad to report we got there - almost ? After getting the slab done, I figured I'd get ahead a bit and it would be a good idea to talk to someone about the waterproofing we would have to put on the outside the walls before we started backfilling. To cut a long story short using waterproof concrete in walls such as these is a complete non-starter, so Type-B waterproofing cannot be used. Visqueen's R400 Radon barrier is not an effective waterproofing method and so we now face having to use a Type A and a Type C waterproofing method - basically this will mean for us a waterproof screed being added to the floor with channel ducting where the walls meet the floor and the "egg-crate" plastic material across the screed and up the inside of the walls. That should eat into our contingency ? ? ? But also it meant a dash to get some waterproof slurry to paint round where the Nudura blocks would be laid the following morning and mixing and painting it on under floodlights (it's the dark grey stuff in the picture to the right). Oh what fun!! But, the following day we were up early to welcome out walls, the bracing and two fine chaps (Louie and Harry) from The Fell Partnership who would be helping us Day 1 to get the first row in place. We then scurried around unloading things off trailers and flat beds, and installing the waterbar between those pieces of upright rebar. By 10am we were ready to go. By about 2pm we had most of the first row in and part of the second row (see below). If it hadn't been for some non-standard corners in the design, we would probably have been at Row 3, but that's what you get for following a design religiously ✝️ (FYI - the T-corner is all to do with the design - don't ask yet) On the second day we were left to our own devices, I had to make a dash to collect some extra Nudura parts and some waterproofing equipment (due to the direction our waterproofing system now had to take) so we made a later start but still we were very pleased to get up to 4 rows installed. Day 3 we were ready to begin installing all the bracing system, and after hitting her head SWMBO was made to wear the Christmas present from her children. and on Day 4 it inevitably rained in Cornwall ? , but before our help arrived again we had managed to just squeeze a block on to Row 6 (the final row before the first pour of concrete) After the help on Day 4, we continued to finish things off on Day 5 by constructing part of an internal load bearing wall, and a wall with the only window opening at this level which will be for the family bathroom. FYI - the rest of that side of the house will consist mainly of windows into bedrooms plus some extra small sections of walling (to be determined) Where we were not able to complete things before the pour happened (time didn't allow) was where the internal wall meets the external wall and there are two doorways to construct (this is why I said we almost made it). I will have to do these in the New Year, mixing and pouring the concrete by hand (just under 1 cubic m) so that'll burn off the Christmas pudding ? A week later (during which we had some more high winds) I came back down to finalise a few bits (like lack of scaffold planks and bracing in some places) to be greeted by a snaky ? wall. so that was all straightened up, the rest of the bracing fitted, and the Nudura joist hangers inserted. (Between straightening and the pour we had Storm Barra, but my remedial work held up nicely) I won't bore you with pictures of hunky men doing manly stuff with concrete pumps etc. but suffice to say it all went very well, with no leaks or blow outs so "he who shall not be named from Channel 4" would have been very disappointed if he was allowed onsite. And so, last weekend (after a midweek pour in the remnants of Storm Barra) I was able to deconstruct the bracing and we are now the proud owners of some freestanding, high-wind-proof walls. Really happy at the attention to detail that Louie and Harry paid to ensuring the walls were straight and true before the pour began - right up my street. So now we have a tidyish site again (for a short while) ready for steels installation in the New Year. We have to finish off the internal wall, then waterproof and backfill outside, and install joists and flooring before we can continue with building the upper floor walls. We're hoping that by middle of next year we can start on those upper floor walls. So until 2022, and the inevitable next lockdown, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas ? and a Happy New Year ?
    8 points
  28. An objector had the suggested the motivation for our application was pecuniary gain and we were using my wife's disability to further our cause rather building the dwelling for her particular needs. I strongly objected to the council and asked them to remove the offending and discriminatory comments which they ignored until my appeal was presented. Needless to say, I used the LPA's inaction to demonstrate their unreasonable behaviour to the planning inspector in our cost application, which no doubt help paint the picture of the journey we had with the counsel. It is referenced in our costs award decision, see attached, paras 6 and 12 PPG guidance states: Paragraph: 033 Reference ID: 16-033-20140306 “Can costs be claimed for the period during the determination of the planning application? No, but all parties are expected to behave reasonably throughout the planning process. Although costs can only be awarded in relation to unnecessary or wasted expense at the appeal or other proceeding, behaviour and actions at the time of the planning application can be taken into account in the Inspector’s consideration of whether or not costs should be awarded…” Costs Decision - 3198387[100338].pdf
    8 points
  29. We received the certificate today: EnerPhit plus. Vital stats: 0.6 ACH (target: <= 1) 24 kWh/m2 heating demand (target: <= 25) 57 kWh/m2 generation (target: >= 41) Thank you so much buildhub for a 2.5 year crazy adventure
    8 points
  30. Today my custom folded window Cills turned up, all folded at different depths to match the external cladding. Is it unusual that after I did a trial fit that I did a little dance around the garden whooping like a kid at Christmas, I don’t get out much anymore so I’m easily pleased. Glad the wife didn’t see or I would be off to the loony bin. ???
    8 points
  31. This has been a long time coming for my build. Yesterday me and a helper moved 450 blocks (over 6 tons) into position between my beams. There are still block cuts to do, drainage, and the brickie to come back this week to do the mortar the edges / vents and grout..... but it feels great to have a solid floor after 5 months of commencement, it's been slow going due the complex basement phasing but hoping things can accelerate now.
    8 points
  32. I had a few spare minutes on this lovely sunny Sunday evening and decided to spend it writing up a blog post for our basement UFH install and screed. We have a 250mm reinforced concrete slab sitting on top of 200mm EPS300 in the basement. The slab wasn’t very flat and so we decided to use a cement based liquid screed to give us a nice level base for our finished flooring. So we put down 25mm of PIR to level things out and also to allow the UFH pipes to be stapled to. I did some quick maths and I figured out that it was cheaper to use the 25mm PIR and UFH pipe staples than to use pipe clips fastened to the slab and a thicker layer of liquid screed and so an order was placed with our BM and it was delivered and fitted by my lovely wife and me. We found this is a pretty easy task to be honest and only found we had to put a small bit of sand blinding to level a couple of dips in one room. In the rest of the basement the PIR just took the bumps of the slab out. We taped the joints and foamed around the edges for a belt and braces approach even though there was a DPM going on top. Next came the DPM layer. We found this a bit of a pain to do! Not hard but trying to smooth it out and keep it square so that a constant amount was taken up the walls was just fiddly. In the end we got the laser level out and set it about 150mm above screed finished level and then used that to ensure we had enough DPM up the walls. Then we had to tape it to the walls but soon found that standard gaffa didn’t stick to the concrete walls nor the dense concrete blocks! We painted the concrete with a PVA mixture and that helped a lot for that but just didn’t work on the concrete blocks at all. Off to Google and this awesome forum and I eventually found Gorilla Tape which sticks well to concrete blocks and we were off and running! Following this we laid the UFH pipes. This was a job we actually really enjoyed. It was very satisfying creating those wonderful spiral shapes. We made some spacers and I was laying the pipe according to the layout designed by Wunda and my wife was walking behind with the stapler ‘kerchunking’ down the staples as we went. At the end it looked so good we were sad to think all our hard work would be covered up and never to be seen again. This was my first time running UFH pipes and also my first manifold fitting and I was very happy with how the manifold turned out. I filled the pipes with water and the pressure gauge showed that there were no leaks. That and the fact there water wasn’t pissing out anywhere! With the liquid screed booked in we needed to get a move on and get everything finished off and ready. The last stretch was to fit the temperature probes, perimeter expansion strip and create the expansion joints for crack mitigation at the doorways. Thanks to advice from this forum’s users I ran the temperature probes in UFH pipe with the end crimped down so as to not allow screed in just in case they need replacing in the future. I got the expansion strip from uHeat on eBay. It came with a plastic skirt and adhesive already attached so it was a real breeze to fit. Not much more to say about that The final thing was crack mitigation strips for between the doorways. After speaking to the screeder I decided to use 5.5mm plywood board. It was an inexpensive and simple solution. I was asked to cut them to size but leave them to the side of the doorways and the screeders would add them as they went around. Obviously I had to put them in place first to ensure I got the sizes right! So here are photos of our basement ready for the liquid screeders. On the day of the screed they turned up early before the screed lorry to setup their pump and check on my prep work. They said it was exemplary and that I wouldn’t believe the state of the prep work of some of the jobs they turned up to! They had absolutely nothing to do to the prep work which made them happy and made me happy that all our hard work was worth it. They put down their little tripod level thingies and waited for the screed to turn up. Once it did it was really quick work and very impressive. If it wasn’t for the fact that they ordered 6.4m3 of screed but the company only sent 6m3 they’d have been done in a few hours but, as it was, they ended up having to wait a good 2 or 3 hours for the last little bit of screed to turn up. They were not happy as, in the end, they had to spend the whole day here when they could’ve been on to the next job. But, at the end of the day we had a wonderfully flat looking basement floor. And 48hrs later we were walking on it. 🙂 All in all very happy with the whole process and I will be getting these guys back in to do our ground floor screed. thanks for reading.
    7 points
  33. Wow, we have finally started, and what a journey. The goal of the last 8 days was to try to make the the stars align. We had planned several meetings / connections deliveries all to happen the 1st week in April, and this was it, lets see what unfolds. Firstly, the plot, being located high up on the East coast in the highlands, which is basically a large un-serviced field has a few logistical issues, the main one being storage, the second distance. We had quotes for containers to be purchased and delivered in the region of 4.5K so alternatives were needed. The initial solution is the back of an Asda delivery waggon, 12ft long, 7ft wide,6ft high, with 3 lockable doors, and racking for the green trays, also a larger roller shutter section. £250 - with working fridge if required - (this may have a second life once were up and running with rare breed pigs🙈). just need to get it from Morecambe 430miles North. Secondly how to get everything to site. We bought an old removals wagon - 7.5Tonne ally box with tail lift. MOT till NOV 515,000KM - 1 careful owner Our hope was for this to get there in 1 piece, and be left on site as storage. the sum of £1200. all in with insurance (which may be cancelled) its has cost us £2K. Talking with my timber supplier, he warned me of impending price rises and possibility of shortages due to the unrest in the UKRAINE. so out of the blue I bought all the timber 450M of 6x2 C24, and 56 off 11mm OSB for the PODS. In addition to this I found a contact selling factory rejects of 120mm PIR insulation. In Scotland the pods need to achieve good U values, so 120mm on roof and in floors was required. Basically this guy buys pallets of insulation that are usually end of production run , or slightly damaged corners etc, and not full sheet sizes. I went to look, as he has had some bitumen coated and fibreglass coated boards. Generally the sheets are all 1200mm wide, min 600 long, most are around half board length, but will need to be trimmed to make them suitable for the warm roof. I did a deal to buy the equivalent of 44 Boards of 120mm some Bitumen coated, some fibreglass for the sum total of £660. This is a massive saving on 'Box Fresh' Now I had a problem, with the insulation tightly packed into the back of the truck and leaving some pockets to slide the timber in I had filled about 2/3rd of the truck, I didn't have room for all the timber or the other stuff I was taking. The revised plan was to cross our fingers and hope the truck will not only get to Scotland , but now return with a view of making another trip. Living accommodation. We found a static caravan, 2 bedroom in V good condition, delivered to site included in the price. The deal was done and he would get the van to site for our arrival on the Thursday, along with the delivery of our other investment an old Ford 550 Backhoe Loader, with buckets and pallet forks. We decided to set off Wednesday evening, with the plan to see where we got before we were too tired, then to sleep in the Wagon / Car. The picture below was us all loaded with 430Miles ahead. Me driving 'Nessie' as Mandy has called her, and Mandy Driving the Car / and trailer. I know we look like 'Travellers' but needs must, what will the new neighbours think when we turn up..... The Journey was horrendous. Setting off at 18.00 the trip was uneventful, with he exception of filling Nessie to the tune of £245 with diesel and not knowing how far these 150 litres will get us. Uneventful until we got to the A9 around Perth, then the snow started. Visibility was poor, and the local truckers seemed oblivious to it. Mandy had a big scare on a dual carriage way where she lost visibility of the edge of the road, and found herself nearly hitting the verge, a stab of the brakes and forgetting about the 16ft trailer saw said trailer try to over take her. Luckily she managed to correct this, and coming to a stop in the dark with snow on the dual carriageway, composed herself and set off again. At 03.30 on Thursday we pulled into a layby just after Inverness. Got our heads down for a couple of extremely cold hours (-4). and set off to the croft, arriving around 8.30.. During the drive we were informed the Static- our accommodation for the week was not going to make it - COVID... I managed to make a few calls and Borrowed a 3 berth Tourer from GOW Plant Hire / Groundworks in Caithness.. What a top bloke.... This is us on site day 1, digger arrived..... The Plot.. So down to it. Day 2 on site Friday. Electricity was to be connected on Wednesday 6th, we needed to dig a 30M Trench and install the cabinet / concrete base. This had to happen. Over to the digger to fire her up.... no go. Quickly the battery went flat. We moved Nessie closer, did a quick 30Mile round trip and bought some jump leads and by lunchtime and still no joy, turning over but not firing..... it was running the day before but they had to jump start as it had been sat in the yard for a few week. Ok looking at the battery it wasn't the correct one, so another 30mile round trip and the owner of a monster battery we tried again. no luck, I phoned a mate mechanic he advised trying spraying cold start into the air intake. ok another trip? , No, he told me to try deodorant as the propellant may well work, one quick spray and the old girl fired immediately. Best smelling digger in the highlands... Now to get to grip with an old backhoe, I've experience with up to 5 tonne 360 machines but never a back hoe, so this took a while to understand how to dig a straight trench next to a fence.. I managed to excavate the connection pit and around 15M of wandering trench by the end of the day. Day 3 Saturday It was cold and no amount of deodorant was working on the digger. The mighty battery was losing power... Time to try Nessie to give a boost, we got the Truck stuck in the mud... FFS. we needed the digger to move the truck, and the truck to help start the digger... This was a testing day, and I know from experience in building game you have days that just fight back, and this day was fighting hard. Mandy set off in search of some supplies and some cold start. By lunch she was back, I had made the shuttering for the cabinet base just needed the digger to get the concrete over to the hole. Cold start didn't work and we both felt deflated... Numerous attempts with planks, stone etc to free the truck were not working. As a last resort as the sun was now out and shining we gave the cold start another go and the digger jumped into life.. Obviously not a morning person... We moved the truck to relative safety of some drier ground with the aid of the digger and concreted in the cabinet. Another 10 M of trench, and we made a start exposing the water main. I noticed the digger was beginning to be sluggish and leaving hydraulic oil pools, when I check the level it was nearly empty. So Parked up the digger, next to the truck, batteries next to each other - just in case. We retired to the un heated caravan, and I went to the Generator to start it, we had a 2KW heater that helped take the chill off, A couple of pulls and the cord snapped😂. the day was going to round 12 like it or not. So tools out and repair underway. Day 4 Sunday. No Hydraulic oil till Monday so left the digger alone, and marked out the position of the pods, and the septic tank, I wanted to do some digging here to confirm the suspicion that the rock level was high, and some breaking out will be required. We hand dug a trial hole for the water main, as we found electricity cables running towards where the trench was going. We hit rock 300mm below ground, so were happy to dig this with the machine on Monday, We also started unloading the insulation and timber from the truck. We sandwiched timber and insulation with visqueen and ratchet straps to create a heavy mass that hopefully wont blow away whist were not there. Day 5 Monday. With Hydraulic oil on board and the shelter of the truck the digger fired first thing, and we were off. Mandy continued un loading insulation. We dug a small trench for the water (we new the main was laid in a blasted trench to a depth of 800mm) we had to breakout our trench with a 110V Breaker to obtain the 600mm depth and hand dig to expose the water main, I left Mandy to this while I dug the septic tank hole, I got to a depth of around 800mm before I hit the rock. This will need pecking out now. We installed a homemade standpipe, and blue pipe, then asked for a track inspection via the online portal. We were given date of 11/12/13April, but we put a note on to say we were on site until the 8th. They responded and the Meeting was set for Wednesday 6th - result. Day 6 Tuesday - the night was very windy and wet. A cold and wet start, We finished off the electrical trench, laid the ducting / draw cord and all was set for connection the next day. Made a start on the pods foundation dig. Day 7 Wednesday - electrical trench was full of water, and the ducting was floating. the heavy rain drains towards the sea, and thus straight into this trench, I was concerned that the Install may be called off. SSE turned up around 10.00 and were not bothered in the slightest. They connected a new length of 95mm Wavecon to the pole and jointed the existing 2 houses and our new supply - 2 core 35mm straight concentric to this 95mm cable. Resin pour joint box, and fitted the 100A cut out in the cabinet. They were done in 2 hours. left me to throw the cable in when the resin had gone off. Scottish water inspected the trench, and this has been signed off and will be added to the works list, hopefully a few weeks. I filled in the cable trench, We managed to rough dig out the pod foundations and found the rock is close to the surface. so the slab foundation will be pretty much mass fill concrete around the perimeter, with some MOT to reduce the thickness to 4" for the slab. This will then have a Radon barrier on top and a floating floor insulation on that, Due to the poor living conditions and more rain and wind we made the decision to leave Thursday morning. Day 8 Thursday, We packed up the caravan and Nessie then dragged the caravan out of the mud with the digger. The trailer was also dragged clear with the digger, but Nessie was so at home she didn't want to leave. I was pushing here through the mud, but she was sinking. Fortunately tour Farmer neighbour saw our plight and came along with his massive tractor and dragged her clear. We left site battered, bruised but happy in the knowledge that no matter what was thrown at us, we had achieved what was required and more to boot. Thanks for reading... its all possible, Mandy made a few videos if you want to see them https://www.facebook.com/The-Windy-Roost-101816829105927, you can follow the progress there as well...
    7 points
  34. This is a bug bear of mine on this forum - I have two. The first is how some go on about how 'perfect' and 'precise' their slab, frame whatever is. This caused me a.lot of stress early on when things weren't quite perfect. I now know enough to know that building ain't perfect - it doesn't matter as long as the end result is correct. I.e. insulation, air tightness and look. The second is costs. I think people like to delude themselves/be able ro brag how little their build costs and kit all sorts of things such as plot etc. How can that not be included- its a build cost. Yes it will vary depending in region (which is the excuse most use for ommitting) but then so do labour costs, do they omit those? Nope. People on here love to massage the numbers. Not many will give you a true 'total' cost. My dislike for this stems from the fact that the unwary will.read this and factor it into their costings and come a cropper. For myself, every single spend I have that would not have arisen if I wasn't self building is a 'build cost'. Simple. 'Sat quietly now waiting for the I built my house for less than £1000/m2 people to pipe up?'
    7 points
  35. 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.
    7 points
  36. This blog is for me to look back over time to see how things have changed and to assure myself that we are making some progress, albeit very slow. I appreciate all help and friendly comments, but appreciated that this is not an exciting blog. Looking through my diary for the last month it seems to say, work / work / work and not on the conversion. Moving to a new factory seems to entail lots of extra hours. Good to add some OT to the budget, but by the time the taxman etc. have their cut it's not as much as hoped. Anyway, this weekend 7th / 8th August is the server move which means the rest of the office staff can move so one more busy week with them and it should slow down. The factory is a different story, but that's not my responsibility. Anyway, back to the conversion. After looking in more detail when replacing some blocks we realised that the crack in the middle of the long back wall went from top to bottom and was not level, but luckily hadn't cracked the somewhat limited existing foundations. Thanks to BH and advice we went from the plan to stitch to removing the whole section to replace. So, from this To this, and hopefully soon the gap will be no more. To provide access for drainage and just add more space on the back, which is south facing, we have been removing rotten sleepers and the steel girders which held them up. This picture is back before everything started growing, now the whole bank has been covered in bracken as you can see in the picture above. So again, from this To this, which will ultimately be retained by gabions and cleared the whole length. Getting out all the tree stumps, rotten sleepers and metal girders is quite a labour intensive task, thanks for diggers. As of 2019 this stretch was completely impossible to get through with lots of weeds and tree branches growing through what is now our windows. I didn't think at the time to take any pictures, but I'm beginning to become part of my children's generation and trying to remember to take photos daily of everything that does and doesn't move. Not something that was ever done when I was young. So, onwards to August, building up the gap, extending some internal walls and if we can get a floor saw then breaking more concrete, hopeful at an auction tomorrow. Good luck to everyone on their build and back at the end of August. Jill
    7 points
  37. Well we finally started on 23rd of June and the groundworks are done ✔waste and water drains are in and quite a bit of (un budgeted) stone everywhere, brickies start tomorrow morning . I know many who have had ,and those who are having issues with builders ( and you have my sympathy) are quite right to call them out on this forum but i would like to say so far the trades have been spot on so credit where credit is due .
    7 points
  38. Yes the weather was dreadful.
    6 points
  39. The next stage of the setup of the site took place over the last 3 weeks. with some good progress. The trip up North, 433mile from our current rental in the NW of England. I set off on Wednesday morning in the 7.5T truck, and the 2 dogs for company. I took some materials with me, and had a gut feeling I was overloaded. I had worked out the approx. weight of what I was taking, but was unsure of the TARE weight of the truck. so I didn't take all I was planning. Luckily the nice guys from VOSA, At Carlisle (Todhills check site), confirmed my suspicions when the invited me in for a check. I was over weight, but the truck and my paperwork were all in good order, and they give the truck a thorough looking at. The upshot of this was me renting another 7.5T truck for storage, offloading the excess weight, driving the remaining 333 miles, unloading, returning the next day with the empty truck, re loading and driving back to site. 1100 miles in 38 hours. not what was planned, but you live and learn.... I arrived back on site on early Friday morning, 02.30am. and slept in the cab of the truck, until I was woke up at 05.10, by the guy delivering the Static, he was at the end of the road... Here's a screen grab of our new home arriving to site, this was 05.25 am... I hired a contractor to carry out the highway works for the site entrance, basically as he had the correct insurance and RAMS it was easier to get this stage subbed out. The idea was he would open up the site, with a 5 T digger, start the initial road and stone this up with around 60T of type 1. I would then meet on site and hire his man for a few days to assist with the pecking of the treatment plant. This didn't go to plan, they had to use a 13T machine, as it was available, so when I eventually get to site on the Thursday, due to the size of machine, the operator has completed the initial works, then pulled out approx. 60M of the road, and pecked the treatment plant hole, and I got this for free... 😁 Having a 13t machine on site, with operator for the Friday, I needed to make the most of it, as I was only paying for the rental of a 5T machine. Mikey the operator, made short work of pulling out the remainder of the road up to the location of the house, in total this road is around 90M. Next I had him strip the area for the house. The house is around 13M x 7M, so I wanted to strip back a working area around the house, my thought was we would hit the bed rock so this was the plan, we marked out a 16M x 11M rectangle, and he set to it, it took him about 2 hours to strip the land and scrape it clean. The above is the bedrock where the house will be, and the road coming up the side of the house. (I used a geotextile as a separation layer for the road, although in sections the road is on bedrock anyway,) You can make out that there is a fall from the top left falling to bottom right, this will be made up with type 1 stone, raising SW corner of the house around 700mm, I will raise the road in this section and use some of the top soil to level this out a bit and soften the impact. The last Job for Mikey was to dig me the trench for the services, he dug a 600mm wide trench about 8M short of the Treatment plant (to allow me access to move the spoil, and a similar distance short at the other end for me to connect to the water. just shy of 60M. Friday was a busy day on 3 hrs sleep. The treatment plant also arrived as can be seen above, I went for a Tricel unit, this was based on cost, treatment, dimensions and availability. Last job for the day was to move the caravan, Mikey helped me with this and we stripped a bit more land and located here temporarily for the night North / South. Saturday I decided to get the water connected to the caravan, for this I needed to complete the trench from the standpipe to the large service trench. I never dug this on the first trip as I was concerned about the electrical supply to my neighbours property. Cables seemed to run across my field at around 300/ 400 mm depth. I used my contact at SSE and he arrange to get the cable moved / deepened. This was carried out a few weeks prior and we discussed the position of the new road, and he made a site visit and we talked about me extending the water pipe trench in both directions so that I could also lay a utilities duct to the road for broadband. So to say I was a bit surprised, and p***ed off when I cut through the neighbours supply cable. The cable was as I was worried about 400mm deep, and the marker tape was next to the cable.... How to upset your new neighbours by having their electricity supply stopped two times (1 for the initial connection, 1 for the remedial works), only for me to cut the cable for a third time.... At least they were very prompt, they arrived after about 40mins, and it took him around an hour to re-joint the cable. I then removed the water standpipe and ran my new water main up to the caravan. It will tee off for the pods at some point, and then continue up to the house. SO now I had running water in the van, and gas for the water heater and hob / oven. Sunday was glorious, so I caught up on my sleep, and had a restful day. Scottish Power were due to fit the meter on the Wednesday, so I needed to get my service cables from the meter box into the service trench and up to the caravan and to the pods. I dug a trench across the road and through to the service trench. I used a 125mm Duct, and inside here I ran some 6mm SWA to supply the pods and some 50mm Duct to run a service cable to the caravan and ultimately up to the house. I pulled the cables through, and I have put a caravan hook up point next to the static. Tuesday / Wednesday, I had 80T of Type 1 MOT delivered in stages, I spread this out using the Back hoe, and vibrating roller. so by the end of Wednesday I have the base in for the road. which will give me good access for deliveries. Scottish power were a no show..... Discussing the caravan with the neighbour they advised turning the caravan 90deg, so it was end on East / West as the stronger winter winds tend to blow from the West, and being side on would ultimately be unstable. I dug out another section of land next to the caravan with the idea of swinging the van around at weekend when Mandy Joined me for the last week. It took me and Mandy all Saturday to move the van, using the backhoe to pull it around. and most of Sunday to get it jacked up off the ground and levelled. We dug 4 pits later on in the week and concreted some anchors in to chain the van down. The van in position with Mandy getting the best job of the week to squeeze under the van and start to insulate the water pipes... Scottish Power let us down again with a missed appointment on the Tuesday with a promise of Friday.... They actually turned up late Thursday and fitted the meter, so we had power on the Thursday night. We spent a couple of days moving spoil around the site to create a mound of earth to shelter and soften the impact of the pods, this was also a planning requirement for the neighbours amenity. Still work in progress and there's 10's of tonnes more to move. Last job before packing up on the Friday was to level the base of the treatment tank pit. At this point we were still waiting for the building warrant. so couldn't actually install the plant. We end the week by getting the Building warrant approved, and the certificate for discharge for the treatment plant both on Friday. Thanks for reading..
    6 points
  40. Time for an update! Here is how it looks now. Just the lower wall to finish off on the left hand side. Apart from the roof tiling, all DIY by myself and the Mrs. Before:
    6 points
  41. here's my install. so much nicer than on-roof!
    6 points
  42. Stairs going in now, upgraded to oak in the end as thought it was worth spending an extra 1k in this area. Limestone tumbled floor now complete in hall, kitchen and utility. These have really hurt the budget and taken up all of our PC sum for flooring. 22mm thick so lots of extra grout etc. Now it’s down I think it was well worth it, it’s much lighter in person and gone with a matt sealer. Downstairs toilet area now formed, quite small but enough for a toilet and small wall and slim vanity unit Our slush fund is now gone which was 20k so really need to try and stick to PC sum to completion.
    6 points
  43. I got the same type of response from a the builders of some flats in Lancaster: right on the riverside by a main road to Morecambe. I told them that, if the builder hadn't got the issue sorted within the week, I'd have an advertising-type banner made up so that all the commuters passing by could see what sh1te service the company was giving. Monday morning the banner was up for thousands of people to see: the local press were due to come round later that day. Lunchtime Monday work started on the repair. Banner cost me £50. The best £50 I ever spent.
    6 points
  44. So to round off this post. This has been a learning experience for me. I realised I was trying to run the HP like a gas boiler for the first year, at high temperatures and having it runing for the least time possible. During the summer and before winter I made a few improvements. I replaced the seals in the 2 year old patio door, in November I put up the thin plastic "triple glazing " in the poorly insulated extension and I hired a thermal camera and went over the obvious cold spots/draughts with glass wool insulation, forcing it into crevices etc. I also made the upstairs rads 30% bigger. So far this winter I have been running the HP at 30c water temp (lowest weather compensation) for up to about 15 hrs a day. The house has been a comfortable 20c give or take a degree and its cost me very little more than trying to run it at 45c for shorter periods of time. The outside air tem has not really dropped below -6C this winter and mosly been about 3-4C but we have not really noticed the OAT change as I'm leaving the thermostat to do its job and not fiddling with it. We are actually using £300 less to heat/cook and run an electric car than I did in 2018 with no electric car and gas central heating. I switched to Octopus Go in the summer 18p kWh daytime and 5p kWh 0030-0430 so I have been able to keep my spending under 14pkWh/day with an average of about 10p kWh/day. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've realised that trying to run the HP like a gas boiler was a mistake and leaving it on all the time at minimum water temp has worked for us. I hope this is of some use to others.
    6 points
  45. Anyway, good news. The council are going to remove the offensive comments.
    6 points
  46. Welcome. There is an easy answer 1 and 3/4 hours. The better answer is to understand what it all means. I shall start with the ASHP power, the 5 kW (that is lower case k for 1000, and upper case W for watt, watt is lower case, unless at the start of the sentence or referring to James Watt). Now a watt [W] is a joule per second. A joule, J, is the SI unit for energy and is named after James Prescott Joule. Any SI unit that is in capitals like W or J, is a derived unit. A joule is derived from the kilogram (kg), the metre (m) and time (s). The kilogram is the odd one out in the SI system as it is the base unit, even though it is made from 1000 grams. So 1 J = 1 kg.m2.s-2 So all that is really saying is that you are moving energy with respect to time. 5 kW = 5000 J.s-1. This may seem a bit pointless, until you get to the bit about specific heat capacity of materials. Which is coming now. All materials have the capacity to store energy, so if you heat up a stone in the sun, it has absorbed some solar energy and increased in temperature. Always remember that temperature not energy. You can look up what the different amounts of energy that are needed to raise a material by 1 K or 1°C (note that it is an upper case K as it is named after a person William Thomson, better known as Lord Kelvin). It is generally better to use the kelvin scale, even though the scales match, once the offset is taken into account, 0°C is 273 K, well close enough). Now liquid water is a strange material in that it has a high density compared to its solid and gaseous states, 1000 kg.m-3 (at 277 K, 4°C). This works out nicely, and close enough for all intents and purposes at 1 kg per litre. The energy needed to increase water 1 kg, by 1 K is 4.18 kJ. This is usually written as 4.18 kJ.kg-1.K-1 or 4.18 J/kg.K. Now you have 200 litres of water at mains temperature (we shall call that 283 K or 10°C) and you want to raise it up 38 K, to 321 K So now it is just a matter of doing the arithmetic. Energy (kJ) needed = 4.18 [kJ.kg-1.K-1] x 200 [kg] x (321 [K] - 283 [K) Energy (kJ) needed = 4.18 [kJ.kg-1.K-1] x 200 [kg] x38 [K] Energy (kJ) needed = 31,768 All those letters, except the kJ cancel out to leave just the energy figure. So that is the energy required, assuming perfect energy transfer and no losses. Now remember that the power of your ASHP is 5 kW, which is 5 kJ.s-1. If you divide the energy needed, 31,768 kJ by the energy input, 5 kJ.s-1, you get left with the number of seconds. So Times (s) = 31,768 [kJ] / 5 [kJ.s-1] Time (s) = 6,353.6 Now we know that there are 60 seconds in a minute, and 60 minute in an hour. Time (minute) = 6,353.6 / 60 Time (minute) = 105.89 Now as that is below 120 minutes, or two hours, if we take away 60 minutes, the remainder is the minute part of the second hour. 105.89 - 60 = 45.89 Call it 46 minutes. Now add on the 1 hour. 1 hour 46 minutes. You will find that people often talk about their water cylinder storing some number of kWh (be careful with this one, it is as typed, not Kw/h, KW per Hour, or kill wot our). All a kWh is, is a constant amount of power, the kW part, multiplied by the time it is delivered, or consumed. That is why it is kWh, 1000 [k] x power [kW] x time [hour]. Now there are 3,600 seconds in an hour (60 minutes x 60 seconds). If we divide the kilo joules needed by 3,600 seconds, we get the kWh needed. kWh = 31,768 [kJ] / 3,600 kWh = 8.82 If you divide 8.82 [kWh] by 5 [kW] you get 1.76 hours. Which is 105.89 minutes. In reality, there are losses, and the closer the sink temperature (the water in the cylinder) and the source temperature (the water from the ASHP) get to each other, the less energy is transferred, so it will actually take longer, but that is another lecture in thermodynamics. (as usual, I may have made an error somewhere, and I am sure others will pull me up on it)
    6 points
  47. Hi and welcome to the forum. From what you’re saying here, and above, you may already have the horse and the cart the wrong way ‘round MVHR cannot be ‘on the table’ if the intention is to go for air tightness that is excellent. You’ll choke on your own fumes without MVHR, for one, plus to be “green” or “eco” ( terms often used very loosely, and more often with a complete lack of understanding of what that is supposed to deliver to you in this reasonably unique build ) you will 100% need to be actively recovering waste heat for re-introduction through the MVHR system! Building control will demand your as built air tightness ( ventilation / infiltration ) results to be sure you have adequate numbers of air changes per hour. If all the above is known, how do you propose to meet those requirements? Make the house AT and then fit loads of trickle vents? ?. All these questions need firm and robust answers BEFORE pressing ANY more buttons. I’m currently providing M&E for such a dwelling ( pool etc ) and the design work was enormous. The pool hall will need its own envelope as the dehumidification and heat recovery system typically runs at a slight negative pressure to preserve the build fabric, therefore it should not be able to ‘share’ the air volume of the residential section of the dwelling. Forget recovering heat from the pool hall, as every ounce of that will be absolutely needed to maintain the temps in the pool hall!! How big is the pool? Is it a pre-fab that you are “dressing” into the house Lots and lots of things here will impact on the others, so measure twice cut once ?
    6 points
  48. Hello Loz. Sorry to hear about you dilemma. Your starting point here is to take another step backwards and understand what the implications are in terms of what happens to the declared strength of the timber when you rip a bit off the top / bottom / sides along the length. Typical structural timber for extensions and the like comes in grades.. you'll often see it stamped C16 or C24. When it is produced each length is put through a stress grading machine which applies a force. Sensors measure how much the timber bends or if it just snaps. If it comes out the end of the machine with the correct reading it gets a stamp to say what grade it is. Now timber has knots / wane / the grain weaves about and so on. You could say have a piece of timber with two knots near the centre but good grain top and bottom which passes the grading. Cut 40mm off the top and now the knots are in the high stress zone for bending so the timber can fail. In summary if you rip a bit lengthways of a stamped piece of timber the grading is no longer valid. You can notch it but there are rules which apply to where and how much you can notch timbers. Point this out to the SE / BC officer and see if they will still pass the joists given that the stress grading is probably invalid.
    6 points
  49. Done. Mortar was a bit sloppy on the second cap so the bed is a bit thin (but we were rushing cos of the lightning! ? ) Drip bead feature seems to work! Waiting for the storm to pass as so we can wheel the scaffold up the road back to my neighbour.
    6 points
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