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Crofter last won the day on April 1 2019

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About Crofter

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  1. My ten+ year old 'Parksde' (Lidl) SDS drill seems to have finally bitten the dust, in a literal sense I suspect. I've re-bushed it once, but the new bushes didn't last very long and in use it is very, very, sparky, or just fails to work at all unless given a tactical thump. I've resorted to opening it up and pushing the brushes into place a bit more firmly, but that gets very tedious and I now only get a few seconds of running time. I could probably buy new bushes again but they weren't all that easy to find last time, and given what I spent on them, and the time it took, not really worth it. I've got a medium-sized job coming up- replacing a bunch of windows and doors- so need something to chisel away mortar. Doesn't have to be anything too fancy, but just thought I'd ask if there were any particularly good buys to be had at the moment?
  2. Welcome aboard- sounds a bit different! I sort of see the appeal of a tower, although it obviously won't be the easiest or most cost effective way to go. Maybe think about a big utilitarian shed with your PV on top, and keep the tower house separate?
  3. Welcome aboard. Whereabouts are you building? Must have been a good holiday for you to want to stay permanently
  4. Whether it's worth doing lots of DIY depends on how much your time is worth. I wasn't in regular work for the duration of the build, so my time was more or less free. Bear in mind that an experienced tradesperson will work much faster than your average DIY builder, so if you are considering taking time off work to do jobs yourself the sums might not add up. But then there's also the hassle of actually finding someone. I've hardly employed any trades on any project I've done, because it worked out quicker and easier to just get on with it myself. On my wee house my build route meant I wasn't subject to building control, and was able to do almost everything myself, including: - drawing the plans, submitting the planning application, organising all of the service connections - surveying the site and setting out - digging the founds (by hand!) - doing road trips to collect materials where necessary - stick building the frame on site, erecting it, installing the windows, membranes, cladding, entire roof structure - interior insulation, vapour barrier, partitions, plasterbooarding, painting, doors, skirtings etc, bamboo flooring - kitchen design and assembly, tiling, painting What didn't I do? - most of the groundworks was done by a contractor, although I did hire a mini digger at the end for tidying up - septic tank and treatment system was installed by the supplier in combination with the groundworks guy. This was the only bit of the build that was signed off by building control and was the aspect I had the least involvement with. It was also the only bit of the project that failed- I had to dig up some pipework six months later where it had been improperly back-filled. - I had a sparky who planned out the wiring and installed it, although I laboured alongside him to speed things up and lower the cost. - I had a plumber to install the UVC, as that's a legal requirement. I did all of the other plumbing myself. - I was fortunate to find a plasterer whose contract had fallen through and was looking for work. It was an extra £900 that I hadn't budgeted for but worth every penny, and he took less than a week. I would have taken much longer to tape and fill and achieved nowhere near the same standard of finish. In hindsight I think it would have been worth buying a digger. It would have been incredibly useful to have one on site all of the time. If you're lucky, you sell it for the same as you paid, but of course you might get unlucky and a major component fails during your ownership. I also wish I had sourced some or all of the electrical components myself, the 'trade' prices I was invoiced by the sparky for basic stuff like light fittings and sockets was eyewatering when compared to even readily available MK gear from Screwfix. With a bit more shopping around you can save hundreds of pounds.
  5. Hard to tell from the photos, but does the current wall buildup have any sort of vapour barrier? Assuming it does, my concern would be that simply adding extra insulation on top of what's there would lead to condensation forming behind the dot and dab PB, and you can't add a vapour barrier on the inside of the new insulation because that would make a sandwich, trapping moisture. However if there is no vapour barrier in the existing walls, then possibly you could insulate on the inside of them. I presume you intend to dot and dab a second layer of insulated PB. There might be a limit as to how much weight/thickness you can hang off the previous dot and dab layer.
  6. Yeah I see all the read-made stores use planked roofs... I'm not convinced it's a good idea, especially at the size I'm aiming for. I'd expect it to warp/shrink and start letting in water. They look nice on the smaller stores, though.
  7. I don't think it's going to sag... there will be a beam back and front, giving a span of around 1.4m. But maybe I should stick a third beam in. Or just use steel... I think I'll get prices for both options and go from there.
  8. Thanks... steel might be a bit OTT I suppose! I'd searched the forum and found references to bitumen sheets sagging in hot weather etc, but that was in the context of a garage roof with much longer spans. One mark against bitumen is that it comes in a standard sheet size of 2m... which almost certainly means throwing away a good chunk from each sheet (I probably need about 1.5m, so the off-cut is a bit small and fiddly)
  9. SWMBO has had enough of my shanty-town of log stores made from a motley collection of scrap (my favourite one is my Truckman pickup canopy mated to some pallets!). She does have a point since they are right outside the front of the house. Rough plan is a 16ft long open fronted free-standing structure. I'll probably use sarking timber as it's fairly economical and is pressure-treated. I'm swithering about the choice of roofing material. I was going to use corrugated steel, but maybe corrugated bitumen (e.g. Coroline or Onduline) would make more sense. It might be easier to get hold of, it's lightweight, and perhaps most importantly it's not going to take out anybody's eye if they walk in to it. The roof is going to work out reaching about eye level. In favour of steel is that it seems a better product for about the same money, and I've used it before. Thoughts?
  10. Is the estuary subject to charges for even transient anchoring? Normally the actual right to anchor remains, but charges can be levied at pontoons/jetties. And it would be pretty hard to live on a boat without having somewhere suitable to get ashore. Of course it's a different matter if you start discriminating between being anchored and laying a permanent mooring...
  11. A family near me are doing this- bought a derelict house (not much change from £100k mind you) and are living in it off-grid. PV, big log pile, veg garden. When the weather's like this it looks idyllic, but I felt for them over the winter. They're sticking it out though, must be hardy.
  12. The existing boards are wood and are not standing up well. Obviously at only 5mm I can't use any sort of solid board. Maybe I could go for marine ply but tbh if I'm going through the hassle of replacing them I'd rather than choose something totally rot-proof.
  13. Just getting back to this- looks like I may have some time on my hands this summer to do jobs like this... if I can get hold of the materials. I can't find uPVC soffit boards any slimmer than 9mm so that's out, unless someone can point me to a source. Cedral/Hardieplank cladding seems to be around 12mm. @Russell griffiths did you just use tile backer board and then paint it? How has it stood up to exterior use? I imagine it would take a few coats, it must be quite thirsty? I'm still tempted to use Foamex because it would be so easy to work with. It's supposed to be resistant to both water and UV for 7yrs... may be that's not long enough... and I'd worry that my preferred choice of slate blue would fade quite badly.
  14. Better thermal performance, because of reduced thermal bridging. It's also likely to be lighter, for ease of handling, and more dimensionally stable.
  15. Welcome aboard. Another Sgianach here. Having spent most of my school years in East Sutherland before moving west as an adult, I couldn't imagine going back- but maybe that's just me! For anybody self building in the Highlands, get used to the tedium of choosing suppliers based on their delivery fees. For those of us outside of easy reach of Inverness, monthly road trips become a fact of life. It's amazing the quantity of building supplies you can fit into a car...