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jamieled last won the day on January 28

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  1. I will be coming at this from a bit of a biased viewpoint, as I undertake some work on developments (but not for self-build). An alternative explanation to the one you provide would be that certain consultees have consistently had budgets and manpower reduced. Coupled with a reduced technical capability, the onus is now put on the developer to prove there is not a problem, rather than authorities thinking about it for themselves. This has undoubtedly (partly) led to the growth in consultants. I'm not ware of any other data sources. While you may have already considered this, a simple snapshot between two periods will need considered carefully. For example, if you just look at self builds, how much of the additional work now required is down to the nature of the plots available versus a change in actual standards?
  2. jamieled

    Wood Burner and Hot Water

    True if you want to be able to connect any stove. But if you want to be able to connect a wb direct to an uvc you need to use one specified for this purpose as they have additional safety measures such as quench coils built in.
  3. jamieled

    Wood Burner and Hot Water

    While that's broadly true, there are a few stoves that can be connected to unvented systems. The essential bit is making sure the stove is designed for this.
  4. jamieled

    Wood Burner and Hot Water

    As long as your stove is suited to the type of DHW system you have then there are plenty around. Consider boiler stoves, rather than wood burners with jackets as the boiler stoves are far more efficient (take the heat from the flue, rather than the burn chamber). When you say the stove is designed in, is it one of the inset type stoves or is it more a mass heater type thing? One of the more important aspects to consider is the ratio of heat between air and water. Get this wrong and you potentially end up with an overheated house and not enough DHW or a cold house with a lot of hot water. I've seen setups where around 80% of the produced heat goes into hot water, rather than air. This avoids directly overheating the house, and you have a store of hot water to use when you need it (for either heating or hot water). I think if you're using an ASHP, there needs to be a bit more thought as to how the overall system will work together.
  5. jamieled

    NRSWA permits and contractors

    We had a different situation with a council roads department although there are some similarities. Our plot borders a public road, and had some fairly old, overhanging and in some cases rotten trees along the verge. For quite a while the council had been chasing the previous owner to do something, partly as a result of local complaints. We knew we'd need to do work, so it was factored into our finances. The council couldn't have been more helpful - we needed traffic management for the cutting and didn't need to pay for permits etc and they came out to site to look at things quite promptly. While this is a different situation, perhaps encouraging the neighbours to complain might help? I wonder whether it's worth trying a different roads council officer, or failing that, simply complain or write to the chief exec summarising the ridiculous situation - I reckon council officers have little ability to deviate from standard practice unless directed by someone higher up.
  6. jamieled

    Electric mains connection costings

    If it's of any help for comparison, my quote from SSE includes 10m of 95mm Wavecon 4 core for £145.
  7. jamieled

    Building the Timber Frame

    Thanks for posting - we're planning a similar style build with the I beams and a Glulam ridge, so interesting to see it go up. Hope the next phase goes well.
  8. jamieled

    Electric mains connection costings

    Yes, the grant is only available if your DNO is SSE unfortunately.
  9. jamieled

    What type of boarding above rafters

    I've spoken to two structural engineers about this for our house and both stated sarking isn't required from a structural point of view. It's main function is additional weatherproofing. I had a quick look at the Scottish regs and couldn't see anything in the structural section about sarking being required.
  10. jamieled

    Power generation hole ahead.

    There are a few 'subsidy free' offshore farms in development although who knows if they'll go ahead. Subsidy free onshore is a lot more viable.
  11. jamieled


    @scottishjohn yep, it's well stickered and now covered. I suspect we'll need to kiln it towards the end, but time will tell.
  12. jamieled


    @Thedreamer , indeed, the trust website is well squirreled away, we only found out about it when the SSE connections quoter mentioned it. Nearly all of our connection is above ground - t off the HV line, new pole, new transformer. Small bit of trenching from the bottom of the new pole to our box (5m) which I've said we'll do ourselves. I've had a couple of chats with SSE but not really made much headway in terms of finding another approach (though the price has come down a bit since we got our original quote). Other than that it's tricky to see where we might save. Most of the work is non-contestable.
  13. jamieled


    @ProDave we had a lot of chat with them. Their policy depends on how they perceive the risk to their lines. If you go to them and ask them to take a tree down, then they'll do it for free if it's in their interests. If it's not, then you either pay them (and they're tree felling costs are extortionate), you pay a contractor with utility arb tickets, or you just DIY.
  14. jamieled


    Since the last blog entry we've been working away at co-coordinating the paperwork for the building warrant . But progress is slowly being made. Last week we heard we've been lucky enough to get a 50% grant towards our grid connection costs, which is a big help. Anyone else who's thinking of applying, feel free to get in touch if you want to know more about it. I think you need to sit within SSE's (North Scotland) area. As part of our build we're removing quite a few conifers, the condition being that we replant with a load of native trees. One of the constraints on this is that the conifers sit quite close to a HV line, in particular within what the DNO call the red zone (where if the tree went the wrong way it would hit the line). For a while it was a bit difficult trying to figure out how we'd get these down, but in the end we were lucky enough to take advantage of a line shutdown by the DNO a couple of weeks ago. So now most of the conifers are down (only a few remaining), we just need to get them extracted. In other tree related news, we also arranged to mill a few of the hardwoods that were felled a year or so ago. Pretty pleased with the results, these will now air-dry and then probably need putting in a kiln just before we use them. Action shot of SWMBO taking it out on a tree: The aftermath: Logs ready to mill: And some of the results:
  15. jamieled

    Wood fibre board as sarking?

    @ProDave thanks, that's helpful. At the moment we're planning on using structural fibreboard externally that is only ~15mm. I don't need it any thicker as the frame is already wide enough for the target u value. It has the same racking strength as OSB.