Snowbeetle

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  1. That's brilliant to hear. I think the first thing that I take away from it is that perhaps whatever I choose will do the job broadly speaking so the dilemma isn't majorly risky in terms of making a bad choice. The size of your first example is very close to the size of mine - we're 152sq m. So, that's good to hear, I think I'm mostly concerned about the oil boiler short cycling on and off when warming the UFH so not being very efficient, and not keeping up with shower demands. Maybe the showers aren't so much of a concern. 🤔 Your second choice is interesting, the idea that immersion is a useful back up is definitely an advantage, and the picture helps to visualise. We will only be one bathroom and a second toilet so probably wouldn't need to Go Large on any similar system which might make it easier.
  2. No, I haven't looked into that - food for thought... I'll have a rummage around and see what that's all about. Ta.
  3. Thanks Temp, that's good food for thought, always useful to hear the rationale behind someone else choices - real world example to help sort the wheat from the chaff and decide what applies to us. Ta.
  4. Seriously distracted with the shed! 😂😂😂 The walls don't get any wet coming in! there are no doors on currently so we do get a lot of condensation on them at this time of year with the temperatures meaning we have 99% relative humidity. The pointing on the outside is a bit dodgy in places and yet the walls are dry on the inside. They are two leaves of stone with loose stone infill so I think there are enough capillary breaks and that is even on the side of the prevailing weather! Prior to us working on it the walls were wringing wet through, but that was because the land drainage was terrible and gutters in a state so the building was sat in a puddle most of the time. Then the concrete slab floor and wall render just forced all the wet up the walls and into the stone with no escape. as soon as the drainage, gutters were sorted and the concrete gone it dried up a treat - was lovely to see it come back to life like that. 😍 Walls will be boarded over with wood wool board (breathable equivalent to gypsum plasterboard). Then lime plastered. Floor layout is open-plan lounge kitchen diner at one end and three bedrooms and a bathroom down the other end
  5. Thanks ProDave, Is it all combi boilers you think are not good or just oil ones? Thanks for clearing up the confusion over immersion / system boiler - that makes more sense now. I liked our old mains gas combi boiler because it kept up with hot water demands well and you never got the tank-water-gone-cold experience of which I have treasured memories from my youth. Does the system you lean towards avoid that problem somehow? Size of tank maybe?
  6. Hi there, I am doing my first self-build project and am learning as I go. I am going round in circles online with a plumbing dilemma and think it might be because as much as anything I don't know the right questions to ask. 🤔 We had early in the project decided that oil fired combination boiler would be the most efficient way to heat our UFH and provide hot water. Now we are reading further, and getting to the point where we will need to do plumbing first fix, we aren't so sure. We could still change our mind at this point so want to see if we are shooting half-cocked. Factors we are working with: Bathroom will have ceiling with storage space above it so we could put an immersion tank up there. We have laid plastic coated copper piping specced for oil supply and reading up on oil piping it seems we could (?) swap that for propane if that was better. Build is a single storey barn conversion with water UFH pipes in the floor slab. We intended to use oil because there is no mains gas here and it's cheaper than electricity (for now). We had a combi boiler in previous house on mains gas and it was brilliant for heating and hot water. We are now worried that the oil equivalent won't cope so well with demands and won't provide enough hot water at speeds required for showers etc. We have been told recently that oil combo boiler won't keep up with a series of showers and that an immersion tank would be better for hot water which would mean we would only need UFH heating for boiler in which case an propane gas one would be more efficient. Heating water using electricity is more pence per KwH, but if oil can't keep up maybe I should look at it. I am not at all informed enough on this to be able to sift through the mountains of (sometimes seemingly contradictory) information on all this and would be really grateful to get some collective wisdom and pointers so I can start making final decisions. Any advice greatly appreciated.
  7. Greetings fellow builder bods, Having solved the problem of how to secure footer plates to a friable lime slab floor (with the marvellous help of you brilliant people) we have rocked on with putting the start of the stud walls up and dry lining the barn. Sheeps wool insulation (from Cosywool) will go between the uprights. We will also be studding out the roof rafters in order to give us the depth for the insulation we need to achieve building regs U-values and for our own warm home wishes, so we are holding off the internal partitions until we have done the first part of that so we don't have unnecessary scaffold faff. We have framed up all but one of the 9 windows, but still got 3 of the 4 doors to do. But not bad progress in one week especially when one of us was poorly and should have been in bed really. Self-build fun and games! Handling wood is SO much warmer than handling stone which is a welcome change in this weather! It sort of seems a shame to cover up the stone walls which represent a good few months work for me. But they aren't the prettiest of their type given that we have kept the old lime wash on in places where it was sound and didn't need attention, and we do want the house to be warm when all is said and done. If I want to see stones I'll have to go outside. 😉 We had to choose between setting the footer plate further out from the stone wall and losing more floor space but not needing to trim anything... or tailoring the uprights around the irregular lumps and bumps if they protruded too far. We picked the latter, of course, so the uprights are truly bespoke fitted in places! We did have one run of a few meters where we didn't have to use the jigsaw at all - we liked that bit. We are currently 2 years into this build and it is nice to be doing something so immediately visually obvious. Up until now we have mostly been altering/making good existing structures / features which isn't the same. I spent a fair chunk of a year repairing the stone walls (while the kids were at school mostly, so not the same work rate as a full time labourer would be able to do) and when I was done it didn't look a whole lot different (though structurally certainly was)! But now everything we are doing from this point is adding fresh new stuff and as such feels like more progress. If anyone is curious or thinks a question about any of this would be useful please feel free to ask. 👍
  8. Thanks for the input all, it was great to check out all the suggestions cos we were properly stuck! Stewpot's solution won! 😃🏆🏆 So the checks revealed - Any variety of social drill bits of screws with particular threads etc doesn't get over the fact that the slab contains aggregate of variable sizes (1-10mm) which are only loosely gripped compared to concrete, so any forces carving out a hole will always rip the aggregate out before it cuts cleanly through - thus giving a hole of unpredictable width. You could seal and stick, but again as the slabs surface is only loosely bonded to itself it is a solution that would not necessarily hold indefinitely against lateral forces. Whereas the chemical anchors were fantastic - great to hear about them as hadn't come across that before. 👍 Is completely fills a hole of any and even variable size (unlike rawl plugs) and sets rock-hard, meaning that once in, the wall can't be pushed sideways at all. We used Fischer as they had one which was chemically compatible with the lime so there would be no adverse reaction preventing a good set. Because we are screwing a wall footplate down, the fact that if you *really* tried hard enough you might be able to rip the resin plug out of the slab is not an issue because all forces will be downward or horizontal not upward. Also Stewpot, thank you for the warning about seals and lime functionality. Luckily we out the lime floor in so were alert to that issue but it's still great to have a friendly warning to pitfalls of a job.
  9. Just be careful when you put your gallet stones in the foam that you don't go right through it as that could allow the odd drop of water through.
  10. So I suppose, my answer would be that I don't think it is alway necessary but you have to consider the specific circumstances of the sill. My own choice is based on my circumstances so hopefully giving you my reasoning means you can see if it applies to you.
  11. We didn't as we are using all breathable materials and we took the view that the conjunction between a non-permeable material and permeable is where you are going to get water (condensed / vapour) potentially sitting trapped. We had a good look at the existing windows which had no DPM and there was no water ingress at all, so we decided that provided the fall on the windowsill was sufficient the water will only head out not in (we went for a 10% gradient but depending on if the sill faces prevailing weather / is very exposed you could do up to 20%). Obviously there are conditions of driving wind/rain which could, on odd occasions, mean some water thinks about going the other way, but with the window reveals being deep (giving some shelter from such conditions), the window frames being in good condition and pretty thick, the mortar around the window being in good condition and all the stones of the wall having an outward fall that there will not be a damp problem. We have no reason to regret this and the windows have been installed for over a year, through the seasons and we still have complete visibility of what is happening on the inside as we have yet to cover over the internal walls. HTH
  12. Thank Goodness for some helpful replies - phew! Really grateful for the suggestions, was going round in circles without fresh perspective and starting to wonder if we would just have to have Extreme Open Plan. 🤣🤣 I will explore all of these suggestions and see which one stands out as best solution.
  13. Sorry autocorrect changed gallets to pallets! Gallets = flat-ish pieces of stones used to plug into larger expanses of lime mortar to prevent shrinkage / give key. Sometimes they are used decoratively also sometimes covered over and unseen, depending on style
  14. Hi Roz, We have just put mortar fillets over our foam edges exactly like yours. I had an old boy who has worked with lime for years give me a hand and he trimmed the foam back to give a neat face slightly set back / flush with window frame face. Then he pushed pallets into the foam at regular intervals (thin pieces of stone / slate - so it kinda looked a bit like he had pushed 50p pieces in). This gives a key for the lime to bond to. Then the lime was applied to cover the foam. Slight overlap with window frame - enough to seal it but as it didn't have a key to the painted wood not so much overlap that the lime would pull away from the frame. Cover as much of the reveal as you wish. care for the lime as you would normally as it sets. You can do the square set as in the pictures we had a tapered fillet as it was more in keeping with our old barn character.
  15. Hi there, We laid our lime floor slab just over a year ago. It is 100mm thick. We have been repairing walls and fitting roof windows and now come to partition up our internal space into the rooms we need. We are doing stud walls and need to screw our floor plates onto the floor slab. We expected the lime slab to be more friable when screwed into than concrete so expected to need rawl plugs for the screws. However as we drill into the slab the drill bit is tearing a wider hole than we need and we aren't sure how to resolve it. We need to find a way to avoid that or take a different approach to the partitions altogether. The drill rips the aggregate out of the slab so makes a wider hole than you are drilling for - you don't get a clean hole like you would with concrete. We have tried using a narrower drill bit but the width is still uncontrollable, partly because the drill bit can move around in the hole and partly cos the aggregate is torn out. Also the drilled material is not exiting the hole properly so the depth is spoiled by it falling into the hole also. Bit of a head scratcher at the moment... any sage words from the wise?