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curlewhouse last won the day on August 7 2016

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About curlewhouse

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  1. Small room floors with UFH - mesh or fibre?

    Build up is beam and block, sand blinding, DPM, 200mm celotex
  2. So I'm about to start to make the floors and lay the UFH pipes in the ground floor bathroom and utility (for various reasons I need these rooms useable albeit unheated ASAP). I have up to100mm to play with on top of the 200mm celotex now in place. I'm torn about whether I need to put steel mesh in or can do it with fibres alone. I laid part of a private road for a neighbour where I used to live using delivered ready mix with fibres a few years ago and it is uncracked to this day despite bin wagons etc etc. The two small rooms are 2700 x 2500 and 2700 x 3000 - and I've got a choice open to me of 75mm or 100mm with UFH in, which will then have stone/tiles on top. I've looked online to see what is suggested for various depths (i.e when/if mesh is preferred over fibre for certaibn depths of concrete) and TBH its not clear. I'll be self mixing for these two small rooms, so fibre would seem an easy option. I notice the CEMEX web site actually suggests fibre reinforced over rebar for domestic and light commercial use - but the old fashioned part of me cant quite accept that it will be strong enough if only say 100mm on top of the insulation (as presumably with the best will in the world there will be movement). I plan to do the biggest rooms with mesh (don't know why, just seems to me that the bigger span needs it?). Any experiences/thoughts? I know some on here really prefer mesh, but I'm interested to know what peoples experiences are between the 2 (not mutually exclusive) options.
  3. Floors, horses and UFH

    Bought 2 lots of Seconds on eBay after all - unfaced stuff, to go on the bottom, and using the the good foil faced stuff I've bought on top to give us our 200mm - you've got to watch though as some of the seconds on offer is sloped/angled, and you could miss this if not paying attention to the listing. It was considerably cheaper, and I've never seen the advantage of 2 lots of foil face to face in the middle anyway really, if using more than one layer. The top face yes, makes sense of course, but not having on the very bottom I can't see making any difference really, so given the price saving, I went for it.
  4. Shopping Around

    Yes, I just got them to price match online prices for insulation this last week, so got it quicker too.
  5. Floors, horses and UFH

    Disappointed with Seconds & Co as I'd planned to buy a lot from them, but I think they've jumped on the increase as their seconds of foil faced Kingspan/reticel/etc. are currently priced higher than I can source perfect condition ones! Their unfaced are still cheaper though.
  6. Shopping Around

    After I posted on our local market town FB page warning someone who had asked where to get something, not to use the local Jewsons unless they were a millionaire (I called in once for something for work and got offered prices which were so ridiculous that I asked the guy to repeat it as genuinely thought I'd misheard, it was so insane). The new manager saw the post, contacted me and said to me that things would be different now he was there and to give them another try- he was right. It seems the branch managers must have a lot of leeway open to them. It made good business sense too as I've spent several thousands with them which they would never have seen otherwise. I have to say my local MKM branch gives Joe public quite decent prices in my experience. I rang TP early on in the build having opened an account with them, but they didn't even attempt to give decent prices and I've never bothered again. It seems it might be more down to local management than actual firms.
  7. So apart from the long running saga getting the Northern electric network to understand their own reson d'etre, I've started to do the utility and downstairs bathroom, so as to give us facilities as soon as possible. Coincidentally the two houses to the North of us have been bought and are being renovated and the guy doing the building work called in to see me and very kindly told me that there has been a 14% or so rise in insulation costs and another forecast for October according to his BM. He realized I'd be buying quite a bit so had popped in to warn me - which was nice of him. So I checked online for the best price I could find and rang my local Jewsons branch with my account number and asked what their price was - it was about £6 more per sheet - so I told them the price I could get it at and they said they'd match it - so since that meant quicker delivery I just ordered 20 sheets (it was celotex I was after but they only have a different brand so I thought I'd only order a limited amount until I saw the quality). It seems fine, though being 100mm it has made me realize that I need to think a bit more about the floor build up as it still leaves me about 150mm + to the door level (disconcertingly, on the ground floor I find the beam-&-block level to door opening levels to be different at different entrances!) , though that does mean I can squeeze in another 100mm of insulation - a pity that for some reason it shot up in price recently. So my plan is to buy seconds unfaced insulation and put that on the bottom, and the foil faced on the top. I had planned to buy it all from a seconds supplier, but found that I can now get better prices for new in the foil faced versions than their seconds are priced at! After getting a few quotes, and reading peoples comments I chose Wunda to supply our UFH kit. I began pricing it all by buying it individually via eBay and so on, but found Wunda to be very competitive, so went with the easy option and got it all in one go in the end. We bit the bullet and after months debating have gone for only having UFH on the first floor in the bathroom, though obviously the whole of the ground floor will have it. Although I know the calculations say we should not need it, I am tempted to fit "just in case" background electric panel heaters in the bedrooms. My daughter bringing her horse to visit!
  8. Services.... or not.

    Ironing with generator and ear defenders! Door open to avoid CO poisoning!
  9. Services.... or not.

    Yes, she emailed me as soon as they passed the file to her, apologising for the delays (though it was none of her fault personally as she'd not been involved until that moment) and asked me to ring her. Just as she then promised, she then went next day to see the guy in person about the wayleave agreement to save the time it would have taken posting the forms out and getting them back, and took one of the engineer guys with her to look at the site. I can't speak highly enough of her, credit where it is due, and I emailed a thank you to her, copied into other people who've been involved (perhaps her example might rub off?) in the issue.
  10. Services.... or not.

    Well the lady from the wayleave department has been great - turns out she is local and had seen our house going up and wondered why she had not received anything about it. Because of the delays she went in person to see the neighbouring landowner with the forms and got them done there and then next day after I spoke to her. What a shame the rest of her organization wasn't like that. The generator is playing up and cutting out so my poor wife got in from a 12 hour night shift wanting a shower (she's a nurse and the NHS being the way it is the shower for staff has no curtain or privacy and is used for storage) to wash the many germs she's no doubt exposed to off, and was unable to get one because of the lack of electricity, so we are fed up now with the lack of a connection. I think she wasn't far off tears when she went back to work last night. I emailed all the contacts I've had at Northern Power Networks last night about the situation, pointing out that we still have not been given a date for connection, only a verbal promise of "as soon as possible" - which given their 6 month delay so far could mean 1 day or 1 year! I mentioned that I had no doubt that they would all go home to hot water, showers and electric lighting, but we are not far off living "like tramps" thanks to their "losing" the paperwork from March (they claim it was "lost in the post", but since they also will not answer their phones ( we tried repeatedly - you get a secretary who says they are all too busy to take your call) I smell a large rat and increasingly suspect it was "lost" as a way of avoiding the work. My wife is considering if we should go and look at renting a house again as we have absolutely no idea at all when they intend to do anything. We certainly can't keep buying generators. I think the model we got has been very good, but I think it's obviously not made for the amount of use it's been getting. At least I do have the MPAN number now and have sent that to our would-be supplier. They tell me it's a 3 to 5 week admin process between being connected and the supply being on - so by sending it to the supplier early, I hope to limit this as it allows them to get on with the process whilst Northern Power Networks still dither. The thought of October/November with no electricity for showers/heating etc in Northumberland is too grimd to contemplate, so if there's no progress these next few days I think we'll have to start looking quickly for a temporary rental somewhere or some other answer to the generator issue. I've asked Northern Powergrid if they have a generator loan scheme for when they cannot supply properties which we could borrow while we look for a short term rental. Trouble is if I buy one, they could connect us next day - or in another 6 months, we have no idea, so a loaner would be good. .
  11. Hardcore

    I was pleasantly surprised during our SIPs construction when we got heavy rain (that's not the bit I was pleasantly surprised about) and had to get something to firm the place up - road planings at £8 per tonne delivered from a local farmer who has a side business in this sort of thing, so just £80 for 10 tonne. I've found water drains completely freely through them despite the telehandler etc. running back and forth and compacting them a bit. Going to get some more as a sub base before final site leveling.
  12. Levels of floor.

    At the height of the door thresholds in the SIPS construction they are actually over 100mm above the DPC so my floor build up would have to go that high anyway somehow (I've already got the full UFH kit with the perimeter insulation etc. from Wunda) - I cant think of a physical reason why my screed should not be higher than the blocks, given that the perimeter insulation should absorb expansion movement thus not transferring it to the SIPs, but it just sort of feels odd/wrong. No advantage in making it thinner PeterW as if anything I need to take up more space in the build-up as even with 100mm PIR in place I've got about 150mm still to reach the door thresholds. Given the height of the door thresholds (they have the sole plate then another piece of wood on top, so the SIPs are in effect on two soleplates so to speak) actually, I'm not sure I've actually got any other option than building the floor up other than maybe remove the top layer of wood in the doorways. (but presumably its there for a reason).
  13. Levels of floor.

    So, I'm putting in UFH on top of a beam and block floor and so the build up is: beam and block, sand blinding (about 1-2mm) DPM which is turned up the walls at taped to the DPC, then 100mm insulation then polythene. Looking at it now I'd like to uprate the insulation from our original spec, but to do this would mean the screed would be up higher than the outside DPC and would be thus up beyond the blocks on which the SIPs construction stands and albeit separated by polythene and insulation permieter, up alongside the OSB board on the SIPS - is this OK? Is it even relevant? I can't find anything to say it is or it isn't, (it leaves 76mm from top of the insulation slabs to DPC level at present but 130 to the bottom of the door openings).
  14. Contents of a Grab Bag

    Oh, the joys of defaecation drill ! I made my mind up I'd just fill my suit up rather than expose my backside