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About Ralph

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    Angus, Scotland

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  1. We got planning for our 1 acre plot of woodland through the architectural merit route. The rules here used to be that as long as the plot had an existing and long established boundary on 4 sides and was less than 4,000 sqm it would be considered if it was of merit. This has now been restricted and there would be no chance of getting it now.
  2. I take the view that if I have to ask it's probably too much for me and I don't bother. We we're invited to a cooking demonstration at high end kitchen place. All very cool kit but I got a fit of the giggles when I was told the built in coffee machine was over £5 grand.
  3. There has been a couple of occasions in architect meetings when I've looked like I know what I'm taking about only because I'm armed with advice from here.
  4. This is probably not the correct term but with regards to value and perception is this forum not a bit of a self selecting group? On here people are generally willing to get there hands dirty and DIY most things, even professional services and design so the perception of value is possibly slightly skewed.
  5. It's staged so we have the option not to engage them for stages as we move through.. They have taken us through planning consent, building warrant and now tender administration. We will probably use them for contract administration then have discussions about surveys and inspections etc.
  6. I have a full service contract based on the RIBA plan but on a fixed price. I would guess it would come in at about 7% of the build cost and they are considered an expensive but very good practice locally. No one there is getting rich, certainly not off me.
  7. We paid a lot of money to our first architect and he designed us a cracking house that we loved. Unfortunately it would have been at least 100% over our very clear and definite budget even with cost cutting. We also wasted a load of time trying to get it within budget or trying different builders. All the way through it he kept insisting it could be done for our budget and builders were just taking the piss. I should say that this was quite a well regarded local practice who had worked with a lot of the builders who basically laughed at our budget. Second architect has cost even more money and has designed another house that's more modest and simpler but we again love. The difference this time around has been marked. Everything is talked about in the context of the budget and we often get told no when we ask for something or at least yes but it will add £x to your budget, he would then suggest a cheaper alternative. It's been a much better experience this time round, although we're a long way from finished for now the new architect has been worth the money.
  8. From what I remember Scotframe quote a 60 minute fire resistance, 30 minutes per sheet. I would also have thought that having the cavity completely filled with injected insulation would help on the closed panel systems.
  9. Everyone's a critic but few will have the mettle to do what you've done. It's a cracking looking house. We've had our plot for nearly 4 years and still have not broken ground. When I see people finishing it gives me a boost so thanks for sharing.
  10. Great effort an well done. My mortgage would be much less sphincter twitching if I could get near £812.
  11. You would be in the minority building traditionally here in Scotland though. While TF accounts for about 23 % in England it's 83% in Scotland and rising (2016 figures)
  12. We went back on forth on this. The 3 installers I've spoken to tell me that most people avoid it because the hassle and cost factor when compared to a few radiators is not really worth it, especially if you are fitting any carpets upstairs. I have been told by one person who had it fitted that they get pops and squeaks from the joists but breaking pipes seems like a stretch.
  13. We put out an invitation to tender a few weeks ago and have had all the contractors apart from one ask to be included in the tender. Our architect was quite surprised as they normally get quite a few declining due to current commitments. We're assuming this is down to a slowdown in work but you never know. I'll see what it does the prices in the next month or so.
  14. +1 on asking him, he's a good guy, although I'm still having a conversation with him on price.
  15. I've decided to give them a go and sent out as much detail as possible. I'll be interested to see what they come back with.