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AliG last won the day on April 4

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  1. Basically build costs are up about 20% over the last year. Big increases in insulation prices, so it becomes chicken and egg. More insulation is needed when energy costs go up, but insulation needs energy to make so it is also up in price. Build costs are surely one of the big drivers behind house price inflation. Much as I think house prices have peaked and need to fall because of cost of living increases, builders need prices to stay up to cover cost increases. What really has to fall in price is land. A plot in my street just came up at offer over £650k. I assume they want 700. I would expect them to get it as self build plots are so hard to come by. We had someone put a letter through the door offering to buy my parents' plot as we hadn't started building. My suspicion is that people are overpaying for plots as they are not correctly factions in rising build costs. Land if anything should've fallen in price as build costs have been rising much faster than house prices recently.
  2. Planners can give advice but they don't have to and you cannot necessarily rely on it anyway. It is basically up to you and your architect to figure out what is normally acceptable in the area. At first I thought your architect was crazy with the ridge heights, but when I see the drawings, this is basically another house. Without knowing the size of your plot and so on people cannot comment on whether or not this is likely to be approved. When the planning officer says it is "too large", they may well mean it is too large, not just too tall. A similar building passed recently that is not in the conservation area is not very relevant from a planning perspective. What have they allowed in the conservation area and what the conservation area character appraisal says is key. The planning officer cannot know that you intend the garage to mean that a replacement house will not need its own garage, even if you told them that they couldn't take it into account as it may never happen. they can only look at what they have in front of them. It may be that the lowering of the height is enough to get it approved. If not I would be considering making an application for the whole site. It will be much easier to see it all in context. Also if that is ultimately where you want to end up, what you don't want to do is find you get approval for this and cannot get approval to replace the bungalow. Replacing a single storey building with a two storey building will possibly be even more controversial.
  3. You'd have to seal it around the joist and any light fittings. A really difficult job. My only other thought is that it might be better to put the membrane or some other airtightness treatment on the walls with the insulation inside it. Stops the insulation being bypassed by cold air.
  4. From what I can see online the issue of annexes, council tax and planning can get a little messy. You are likely to get permission but it will be for use as an annex only and you will not be allowed to rent it out. This would need further permission at some point in future, the same for a separate dwelling. It will probably get its own council tax bill which you would be exempt from if using it for an elderly relative, but again if you wanted to rent it out or have someone not exempt like a teenager live there then it would become liable for council tax.
  5. I agree, summer bypass works like this on my system but makes little difference. Opening windows works much better.
  6. I would take up a board and see what is underneath them before doing anything. If there is no insulation under there and you remove the underlay and carpet you are going to lose a lot of heat through the floor even if you fill in the gaps. If there is no insulation I would consider taking up the floor and insulating it first. This will clearly cost more although it would probably pay for itself eventually in lower bills and increased comfort.
  7. Planning objections are comedy gold. Do they really think that the planning officer would meet with them to discuss change of use of a garage! I agree with the other comments here. The only other thing I would note is that the door to the north side and the gate/ separate garden area suggest that this has been designed to be totally separate accommodation with its own garden. I think that would raise the concern that it is to be rented out at some point in the future. Of course your neighbour has not mentioned this and planning may or may not think of this. I don't consider the overlooking relevant. They don't say you will overlook them, they say they will overlook you. If you don't mind this then it is not an issue. Generally if you are at ground level issues of overlooking are not an issue, assuming that there is a fence or hedge between the gardens. It may be worth noting this on the plans.
  8. I think taping the joints in the insulation works better than the membrane. If cold air gets between the membrane and the insulation it reduces how well it works but is still airtight
  9. The easiest way to put an airtight membrane under the loft is to put it under the ceiling joists holding it on with battens. The plasterboard is then connected to the battens and the wiring runs in the space between the battens and plasterboard so that you don't have to try and seal holes in the membrane. You then drape the membrane onto the top edge of the walls and attach it there so you don't have to worry about sealing up around the joist ends. Personally I would not recommend putting membrane on the inside of your exterior walls. I would try to wet plaster them or use some sort of large coat over them if you have insulation going on the inside. The membrane is difficult to attach to blockwork and you will get cold air blowing around behind it.
  10. I am curious about this. How does a neighbour's soaraway end up in your garden? Is there some mention of it in the deeds? I don't see how they can be on your property without it being mentioned.
  11. I just pay the normal one. Maybe there is some special circumstance where you pay more but I am not sure when. Could some people have more than one meter?
  12. Yes they do but that’s mainly a time saver. If you filled the kettle it would cost the same to heat the water as in this application it’s unlikely you heat more water than you use. Just reinforces that really they are a convenience item. The boiling water tap would be more efficient at heating water than the stove top although more expensive than a gas hob. @Russdlis right that your PV can heat it for free. One benefit is that they have a smaller element than a kettle so it is more likely they don’t use more than your PV is generating. However a lot of the time it would be running it will be dark.
  13. Tesla Model X. There’s no justifying the cost but we love it.
  14. Actually an interesting thing to do is consider how often you use an item versus how much it costs. iPhones are supposedly expensive at £1000, yet I use my iPhone a lot more than my similar priced Quooker and my car which cost 80x as much. The running cost of the average car is now around 50p per mile. Clearly some things just have to be more expensive as they cost more to make, but there is not alway a lot of logic in people's spending decisions. Basically people spend money on things they like and don't particularly study the utility. How could you possibly explain people spending £10 a day on a packet of cigarettes! Enjoy your tap. I am sure it does the job you wanted of it, which is all you can ask for.
  15. Each time you boil 1l of water it uses around 0.1kWh so this is using the equivalent of 6 boils per day to keep the water hot, whereas a Quooker is using the equivalent of 2.5 boils/day. Assuming an average boil is around 1l. We have a Quooker, but I am under no illusions that it is simply a very expensive and convenient kettle. I would note that almost everyone I know who has one loves it. If something does the intended job and you find it useful then the expense is less of an issue. They try to make an argument that it saves money over a kettle as people tend to boil too much water. If you boil the kettle 10 times a day this would be true of a Quooker. This less well insulated device would probably need you to be boiling the kettle 13-14 times a day to save anything in terms of running costs. We certainly would never have boiled the kettle more than 10 times a day. The reality is that no one should be buying these for running cost savings. You might save 10p a day in electricity, but only if you drink a lot of tea/coffee, but they cost the best part of £500-1500 to buy and install which more than offsets this. For most people they also actually cost a bit more to run than a kettle.
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