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Crofter last won the day on May 6

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About Crofter

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    Isle of Skye

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  1. Crofter

    Structural timber 5

    That's a good idea to use the truss as a template for the gable frame. I came up with the same idea shortly after realising that my roof and my gables didn't quite match. Oh well, I'll get it right on the next one
  2. Crofter

    My kitchen - pricing

    If you have the patience to wait for stuff to come up secondhand, you can save a small fortune on the appliances. E.g. my Bosch single fan oven was £50 and looks/works like new.
  3. Crofter

    Basework on slope/ cabin.

    Screw piles do sound ideal. How do they cope when you hit a big stone?
  4. Crofter

    Basework on slope/ cabin.

    Here's a left field idea. Make a sort of raft/palette from treated wood, that sits on the ground following the angle of the slope. Anchor it wherever possible by stakes, ratchet straps to convenient trees, etc etc. Then fix legs into it, cut for angle and length to create the level support needed for the shed.
  5. Crofter

    Basework on slope/ cabin.

    Like a cantilevered anything. Something supported via a beam sticking out sideways. IMHO you'll probably find that puts too much weight on the top of the slope at the edge, causing it to sink/collapse. Almost certainly not a practical solution unless the majority of the shed's weight is not going to overhang.
  6. Crofter

    Basework on slope/ cabin.

    I wouldn't bother with the mini digger. In fact I dug my holes by hand. Yes you need to go down until you hit something firm- biggest problem is likely to be water from the steam seeping into the hole.
  7. Crofter

    Basework on slope/ cabin.

    Piles, in building terms, are long posts made of precast concrete, steel, or wood, driven into the ground until they can support a determined loading. Generally used on larger projects like bridges, and where there is a deep layer of soft ground. A shutter is a mould that you pour concrete into. Can be wood, plastic, metal, or even cardboard tubes.
  8. Crofter

    Basework on slope/ cabin.

    Not dissimilar to my own build, although a more extreme slope. I went with individual concrete pillars, different heights to create a level support structure. Each pillar was made by digging out an approximately 800x800 hole down to firm ground, then pouring this up to ground level with rebar to tie it into the next pour. The second pour was a 450x450 shuttered column. I cast a 20mm diameter threaded rod into each column, and this holds down the building. My build was made using a hefty Douglas Fir ring beam as a sort of 'chassis' upon which the floor and frame are built. Of course for a small and lightweight structure this could all be overkill. You might get away with big strainer type posts set into the ground, especially if the cabin going on top is a strong monolithic box.
  9. Crofter

    Decking steps

    I'm getting stuck into the design for my decking, the last major part of the whole project. Quick question: the steps will be 1050mm long, and made from 28mm boards. Obviously this will need some sort of extra support, just wondering what would be quickest/easiest/neatest. Could I buy some extra spindles and screw these onto the bottom, running the length of the step? Spindles are only 41x41 section though so maybe not quite enough support?
  10. Crofter

    Powerfix Sealant Gun

    Agree the Powerfix gun is good. I'd always used cheap open frame guns before, and didn't really expect an enclosed one to be any better, but it's been one of my better purchases. The smoothing tools are also very good to have.
  11. Crofter

    It's Business Time

    There's actually been next to no wind! Have had a couple of day sails though, already used the boat more than in the whole of last year. First review is now online, five stars, onto our third lot of guests and so far all looking good. We've only got one space left for the months we have opened up for bookings. Breathing a big sigh of relief here
  12. Crofter

    It's Business Time

    It's been a long journey, but our little cottage is finally up and running as a holiday house. First guests just checked out and left us with some very kind words having thoroughly enjoyed their stay. Of course it's not exactly 'finished' but it's certainly usable. I'd have liked to have had a few extra days to tidy things up, but all the essentials are in place. There's decking still be be built out the front, I'm hoping to get this done in a gap between changeovers soon. I must say it feels pretty good to get to this point.With over three years of very hard work behind us, and a lot of faith that it would all be worth it, we are finally seeing money coming in. And having had to down tools I am going to have this curious thing called 'free time' again... although I'm sure I'll manage to fill it all
  13. Crofter

    Cost per m2 with minimal tradesmen

    Buying smart is definitely worth the time and effort. I'm still a bit annoyed with myself for letting the electrician source most of my fittings- when I saw the itemised bill I was gobsmacked at how much things cost him. E.g. £35 for an isolator for the hob... When a 13A socket would have done the job at about £1 (it's an induction job and came with a plug on it). I managed to stop him buying me a £70 immersion controller and am using a simple timer instead that cost £10. It all adds up.
  14. Crofter

    Cost per m2 with minimal tradesmen

    Of course if you have the time, and you know the detail of the build, you can do a very detailed QS exercise. I did this for my project and was amazed to find that it worked out within a few hundred pounds of the actual cost (ignoring some optional extras that weren't in the original budget). There was an element of luck involved, as some things cost more than expected, and some things I didn't even realise I would need until well into the build, but this was largely balanced out by my major materials costs coming in lower than estimated. This happened because I had simply phoned the nearest BM for one off prices for OSB, timber, etc, but at purchase time was able to get a much better deal due to the size of the order.
  15. Crofter

    Cost per m2 with minimal tradesmen

    There definitely is an economy of scale factor. A simple consideration of volume: surface area tells you that smaller houses need more materials per m2 than big houses. In addition there are many fixed costs such as fees, services, and to some extent fixtures and fittings (you still only need one oven, one front door,etc) My build was at the extreme end of the DIY scale. I designed and built every aspect of it, but had a digger driver at the start to create the access (major work involving rock breaking and building up ground), and I also had a plasterer, an electrician, and a plumber who signed off the UVC. I had no causal labor or any other site workers, so apart from those three guys it was all materials costs only. It has worked out at just shy of £1000/m2 including all fees and services. My site was not the cheapest to develop, thanks to that access issue and an expensive sewerage treatment system that gobbled up nearly 20% of my budget. The spec was reasonably high including 3G windows. If I had doubled the size of the house,I think my cost/m2 would have been slashed. I just couldn't afford to spend any more, and doing all the work myself has already taken me three years.