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JSHarris last won the day on September 19

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About JSHarris

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    Wiltshire/Dorset Border

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  1. Best source for back boxes & cable

    TBH, it's jumping the main queue and getting free coffee that wins it for me.......................
  2. Best source for back boxes & cable

    Screwfix happily accepted my 30+ year old 15th Ed vintage G&G as "evidence" that I was a qualified electrician............
  3. Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015

    It's a great idea, but very, very low down on the priority list for most local authorities, unfortunately. We've been trying to get a local scheme off the ground for nearly three years now. We have two landowners who are prepared to make some land available at a much-reduced price, provided that there is a restriction placed on who can buy a plot, that restriction being that they must have been a local resident for several years, the intention being to keep the plots affordable. We have a retired solicitor, a retired architectural technician, several retired/semi-retired tradespeople and a finance chap, all prepared to give their time freely to kick-start a scheme. Sadly, the local authority (same as yours) just aren't interested. I'm not 100% sure of the motives of Buildstore. My experience with them was very negative, they seem intent on profiteering from self-builders by any and every means possible, so need to be treated with caution, IMHO. It's just a shame that there isn't really enough spare resource available within most local authorities, but then again, local authorities make a great deal of money from S.106 and CIL revenue from the big developers, so they have a bit of a vested interest in serving their needs first.............
  4. Plot Purchase - Moving Ahead

    My experience was that the DNO surveyor came out in late February, agreed on the way to make the connection and move a cable and sent the info back to his head office. In March I had a quote, which I then negotiated on, as our ground works guys were going to do all the contestable work (quotes from utility companies should be broken down to contestable elements, that any suitably competent contractor can do, like digging trenches and laying duct, and non-contestable elements, like making connections, that only the utility company can do). We agreed a schedule of work and contract in early April and I was required to pay them in advance for the work, around £3,500 or so. I wanted the work completed by July, but the DNO kept reneging on dates, and held us up for around a month, even though I'd allowed a month of leeway (so in reality they were two months late). We eventually got the cables laid in late August. I would ask the DNO how long they think it will take them to do the work, then multiply the time they give you by three and you will probably be close to reality.............
  5. Council tax

    I know that our LABC didn'r communicate with the council tax people at all, as the council tax people (in Trowbridge) hadn't a clue who our building control body was, plus they had the wrong name for the owner of the plot. Our LABC are based in Salisbury, too, so that probably doesn't help with any possible communication. I'm pretty sure that LABCs run as independent trading entities, anyway, a bit like Trading Funds, and are self-funded from fees, so not truly a part of the local authority. There's also the point that we had an inspection before first fix, when the insulation was being blown in, and then no other inspections until the final one, so LABC would have had no way of knowing when first fix was finished. As our council tax people employ at least one snooper to just break in to sites unlawfully to assess whether they are ready to be served with a notice of intended completion (and they do this unlawfully, without a shadow of doubt, if the site is a still secure and signed building site and they visit outside normal working ours, without making a request) I would guess this means that they cannot rely on any building control body for information.
  6. Important updates to BuildHub

    There are instructions here: http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-the-Cache-in-Chrome on clearing the cache. Not sure about Chrome, but whenever I do this with other browsers I'm careful not to clear cookies that may have useful stuff like login info.
  7. Important updates to BuildHub

    Sounds like it may be a cache problem, where your laptop has stored a cached copy of the forum messages. Flushing the cache should fix it (sorry, can't give detailed instructions as I don't use Chrome).
  8. Our battens were 45 x 45, so not a big enough gap for the rectangular duct. We have one bit of rectangular rigid duct hidden inside a walk in wardrobe, but the main bedroom feed ducts run up inside the eaves apace and come out about 1.2m up on the small walls that separate the eaves storage from the bedrooms. Instead of using the omnidirectional "mushroom" terminals at these locations I used directional terminals so I could point the airflow upwards, along the ceiling. These can be rotated to direct the flow where you wish, and came from here: http://cart.vacuumsdirect.co.uk/index.php?p=product&id=489&parent=66
  9. The terminals don't have to be in the ceiling, unless they are extract ducts. Fresh air feed terminals can be in the walls. We have this arrangement in our bedrooms, because we have vaulted ceilings with the battens in the service void running the wrong way to be able to feed slim ducts into and it works OK.
  10. Cold Spots

    The temperature reading depends very strongly on the emissivity of the surfaces being measured. IIRC, all these IR imagers are calibrated at an emissivity of around 0.9, using a grey plate emitter with that surface emissivity. So, if you have something with a higher emissivity, say something that is darker and close to a perfect black body emitter, then the reading will be higher than the true value, and if you have something that has a lower emissivity, something like a shiny bit of chrome handle or hinge, the reading will be lower than the true value. This effect can be quite large. A perfect black body radiator (emissivity 1.0) will produce an over-reading of a bit over 10%, a chrome door handle, with an emissivity of around 0.1, will under-read by over 90%. There is a table of emissivity values for different materials here that may be useful: http://www-eng.lbl.gov/~dw/projects/DW4229_LHC_detector_analysis/calculations/emissivity2.pdf One cause of the Seek Thermal (and the FLIR) readings drifting off is if the calibration shutter sticks, or needs cleaning (not an easy job to do!). Every time the camera clicks, that is the noise of the calibration shutter moving across in front of the bolometer sensor to re-calibrate for changes in the sensor temperature. In essence, it's a constant emissivity plate that slides across the whole sensor and allows the sensor to self-calibrate for changes. This self-calibration is never perfect, as there will always be some difference between the sensor temperature and the shutter temperature, and this is especially true of the Seek Thermal, as if the plug-in camera module is held in the hand when in use then the sensor will tend to warm up faster than the calibration shutter. I should add that the hand held IR thermometers are subject to the same errors, but usually they are a bit greater, because they don't have a calibration shutter.
  11. Self building stress

    I had something similar with a neighbour. I wanted to keep him on side, so went to a great deal of trouble to minimise the damage to the edge of his garden and restore everything, including some carefully dug up and potted shrubs, afterwards. I'd budgeted for erecting a new timber fence along the boundary, to replace the 30+ year old broken down post and rail fence that had been there, so went around to see him and let him choose what type of fence he preferred. He said he'd rather have a stone wall along the boundary, so I bit my lip, had the retaining wall redesigned to accept a stone wall on top, and spent around £4K on having it built (I'd budgeted £1500 for the fence). We restored his garden, replanted the shrubs etc and when doing this he asked if he could have some of the left over coping stones, to make a set of steps in his garden. I got the guys to lift around 30 big coping stones up and over the wall, and stack them on his side for him. A few months later he asked when our landscaping guy was coming. I told him and he asked when his steps were going to be built. At this point I reminded him that I'd given him around £100 worth of stone for the steps, as a good will gesture, but hadn't agreed to have the steps built for him as well. At this point he got a bit shirty, saying that we'd caused him a lot of inconvenience, and it should be the least we could do to do some odd jobs for him. I lost it, pointed out he'd bought his house knowing there was a building plot at the bottom of the garden, knowing that the plans included building a big retaining wall and that I'd already spent a few thousand pounds more trying to keep him happy, but enough was enough. The funny thing was that he just waited until I'd stopped ranting, smiled and said, "well, you can't blame a chap for trying, can you?" and wandered off.
  12. Council tax

    Some links that may help:
  13. Cold Spots

    I ran the camera around our build in a few places. No thermal bridging except where expected, the window frames, but even then the temperature difference was small and barely showed up on the image (the frame was less than 1 deg C cooler than the walls, IIRC). I have a Seek Thermal camera, the Android version, that just plugs into my Sony tablet and seems as good as some of the more expensive kit, although I imported mine from Canada before they were on sale here and it was a lot less than the current price. To get any meaningful result you have to wait until the outside air temperature is low, the colder the batter. No real point in doing anything until it's at least 15 deg C colder outside than inside, preferably a fair bit more. Nice, cold, frosty nights are ideal. Thermal imaging during the day is not a good idea, as even on a cold day the sun will warm up the outside walls that it's shining on. I can try and take some more images later in winter, when the outside temperature has dropped to below 5 deg C or so, as a benchmark for what a pretty thermal bridge free build looks like. The most significant thermal bridges, the door handles, don't show up well though, as their surface emissivity is very low. This is something else that needs to be taken into account, a thermal imaging camera only measures the radiated heat from surfaces. If a surface has a low emissivity at the long wavelength IR that the camera bolometer is sensitive to, then you will get a false reading. This means that the camera will "see" something like a chrome finish door handle as being at a very different temperature to that which it's really sitting at, for example.
  14. Important updates to BuildHub

    I presume this may be a response by Invision to the use (or more commonly abuse) of the term "Like" on Facebook. Not sure what "react" means in this context, though. With my background this word has very negative connotations - 99% of the time it referred to some form of active counter attack. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to re-programme myself to view the word "react" in a positive way, after all these years.
  15. Important updates to BuildHub

    Thanks for all the hard work to get us updated, much appreciated.