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Iceverge last won the day on September 27

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  1. If you have knowledge of the building process or can access the knowledge easily and importantly you have the time and ability to be on site often I'd self manage it. Nobody cares more than you about your house or money. Beware though it's not a matter of just pressing go, handing over plans to trades and walking away. Its takes time and attention and if you can find a good builder or project manager they're worth paying. I was drawn towards ICF in the beginning but settled on cavity walls in the end. I think if we were to start again we'd go timber frame.
  2. @Mr PunterPunter yup. 13.5%
  3. @LSB there's a first time buyers/builders grant. Vat is 13.5% for anybody to supply and fit. 21% for supply only.
  4. If they're not putting any lateral pressure on the stud I can't see the problem. I imagine that if you leave gaps you willing not improve the sound attenuation much. I have heard of filling studs with a tamped hemp/earth mix to reduce sound transmission.
  5. Have a look at the passivehaus database. it gives a like for like comparison of units with regards to heat recovery and importantly unit noise. No surprise the better units are more coins.
  6. I had them dug until they were completely root free. The main issue was the over exuberance of a fledgling digger owner determined to get the better of a 3t Norwegian spruce butt with a very willing but ultimately undersized digger.
  7. Go for it! Find a wide open space and crack on. You can't really do any serious harm as long as bystanders are far far away. I've had a 7.5t excavator ( sumitomo s160) and now a backhoe (Massey 860). For outright digging the tracked machine will probably do a job 3 times as fast as a backhoe and never get stuck. A shower and a slightly muddy field might scupper a backhoe especially a 2wd one. For big tree stumps I failed and broke a good couple of heavy duty chains with my tracked machine trying every trick to dislodge them. Don't underestimate how awkward and heavy they can be. If it was my money I'd probably hire a 13t+ (bigger the better) tracked machine and an operator to do the major excavations and site clearance. The speed with which it will happen will shock you and in terms of paying people to work for you, digger drivers are some of best value. Then by all means get your own digger for small jobs and poking around. Its worth looking for an extendable dipper for that extra reach both digging and lifting. 4wd is a must for wet ground. I'd prioritise reliability over price. Nothing more frustrating wasting a couple of good building days covered in oil, skinning your Knuckles fixing a wreck.
  8. Local contractor in Ireland affiliated to Energystore Belfast. Don't think they cover Britain.
  9. +1 We intentionally build and insulated the cavity for 500mm below dpc with bonded bead to mitigate bridging.
  10. A mini split is our back up plan if our passive House needs any heating at all ( none currently installed). I did a little bit of reading and although most sales people will happily tell you any unit will work well one salesman warned me against buying a unit focused on cooling as it will ice up in cool damp weather when providing heating. A unit also sold in Scandinavia with a focus on heating would be a safer bet. More expensive unfortunately but some great COP numbers. Panasonic Heat-charge has,prevent cool air during defrost.
  11. I used an airtight hatch but it is only 550*550 so no space for a ladder. It was ok but it did leak a little on my diy depressurisation airtightness test. Some extra sealant fixed it but it does not have the robust seals of a door or window. I like tony’s idea. I toyed with the idea of using a standard hatch and a pvc window as the other side of the airlock, perhaps a chunk of foam in the void for insulation. It would be a more robust option I feel.
  12. I've just bought Kerradeco panels, About €40 per m2. Will let you know what they're like when they arrive in a few weeks althought the sample looked much nicer than the hollowcore PVC ones.
  13. Welcome to the forum. I really like your layout. It works well and should lend itself to a practical modern house to build and live in. Credit due to your designer. My 2p, a small window in the NE of the study will make the room feel a lot larger. Assuming there is no overlooking issues etc and it doesn't compromise the furniture layout. Alternatively move the window away from the internal wall to give more balanced light inside. I would ditch the underfloor heating upstairs. You won't need it. Be cautious of the south facing roof light for overheating. Like Tony says a good model will pay for itself many times over. I used PHPP, if you have the time and interest it's realitively straightforward to DIY.