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About StructuralEngineer

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  1. StructuralEngineer

    DIY Insulated Foundations

    Thanks for the cost breakdown. Did you have professional fees on top of that? I'd be very interested in how the SE did the sliding calculation -- did they have a coefficient of friction between the concrete and insulation?
  2. StructuralEngineer

    Millennial don’t need living rooms!

    Actually I think the whole point of the article is that planning and other government interventions need to be relaxed. You might like the article.
  3. StructuralEngineer

    Millennial don’t need living rooms!

    Here's the full article: Only Capitalism Can Solve The Housing Crisis Makes very interesting reading. Essentially he seems to be saying that the housing crisis is basically an "affordability crisis" and that market forces should be let loose on this rather than government policy artificially keeping house prices high by setting minimum space requirements.
  4. StructuralEngineer

    Timber frame or brick & Block

    Thanks @Declan52 for an enormously candid and valuable insight! I'm trying to understand the source of how this went wrong for you. A standard Celcon block weighs 8kg, which usually should be well within the capabilities of someone to lift consistently for a few hours. Also at £2.50 or so per block, they could even be bought ten at a time and transported in the boot of the car, if money was coming in slowly. Am I missing something here? Again, thanks for the insight, and any further details to help me understand this would be much appreciated!
  5. StructuralEngineer

    Timber frame or brick & Block

    A big piece of the debate is about labour -- you can get a brick/block wall built for a reasonable day-rate and no supervisors to pay. At the end of that day you can see what's been built, can fire or retain the brickie, pull it down and start again tomorrow if you want. So there's a level of control there. Everyone more or less understands what a masonry wall does and what it should look like. It's also the ultimate modular system when you think about it -- 440x215x100 units that can be lifted by one person and glued in place. Having said that, I'm no fan. Having every measurement in multiples of 225mm procludes any form of standardisation/repeatability or off-site manufacture, and for me that's a big deal.
  6. StructuralEngineer

    Timber frame or brick & Block

    With SIPS you get a weather-tight frame in no time, and the manufacturer does the design for you if you provide general sizes. For a self builder those two things are a big deal, I think. Trying to tackle a timber frame yourself without being an apprenticed joiner would be pretty much impossible -- or at least a protracted and painful learning experience. Steel is similar -- you decide what you want and someone else takes design liability, delivers and erects it. You then have a stable, plumb and level structure to build your floors & walls around. In comparing timber frame with blockwork I'm assuming the self-builder is the builder, so to learn to put up blocks and then get a satisfactory end result, is achievable. With timber frame, even if you have someone else design it for you, you still have to cut, join, and get it erected plumb. Possibly your experience has been with a timber frame "turnkey" solution provider, and I assume going that route is expensive and akin to getting a kit home?
  7. StructuralEngineer

    Timber frame or brick & Block

    For a self build there's no real benefit in timber frame. Blockwork is much more durable and forgiving, and you could build quicker with block than timber anyway for a single dwelling. Housebuilders use timber frame because they can throw houses up quicker on big sites. Personally I would go with SIPS or a steel frame, or a combination of both, and I would seriously consider not having a brick outer skin.
  8. StructuralEngineer

    Painting steel

    I'll take of 20%, so you save a quid per hour.
  9. StructuralEngineer

    Steel has arrived

    Sounds like a plan. Everyone round here seems to hire them from Ireland.
  10. StructuralEngineer

    Painting steel

    You might balk at my hourly rate
  11. StructuralEngineer

    Painting steel

    I used to design steel balconies and never, ever, powder coated structural steels. One coat primer, one undercoat and one top coat, or a combination of specialist paints should be fine. Powder coating tends to chip and also loses its gloss. As it's plastic it might fade in the sun too.
  12. StructuralEngineer

    Looking to begin my estimate

    I'd +1 on getting spons price book. From what I understand, when you get builders quotes they'll just be using this. The big benefit is that you can then look at contrasting options for each item. Be aware though that this covers only relatively tried and tested building methods. That's £1200/m2. If you don't mind me asking, if you have that size budget, could you get an architect and contractor to handle it all?
  13. An 11kv line will give off significant EMF radiation, and if you are under this wire you will no doubt be receiving well above the guideline amount. If you ring/email the national grid emf helpline and ask them to tell you what the EMF radiation level is at your property, this might set in motion a process whereby you can get it moved asap.
  14. StructuralEngineer

    Smug to Mug

    Does the drive need to be "permeable" as you stated? If laid to a slight fall you could go with tarmac or patterned concrete, and introduce ACO drains where necessary. Permeable drives tend to block up anyway.
  15. StructuralEngineer

    Hello and yes, it's a renovation blog.

    Looks to me like it's only carrying some floor joists and no masonry. This end of the beam looks better than the other end you showed us before. If you're having BC round at some point anyway, just get them to look at it. They probably won't ask for padstones if it's clearly part of the original build and is only carrying floor joists -- and the brick is well bonded below it.