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Crofter last won the day on April 1

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About Crofter

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  1. Thanks everyone. Not often things come up cheaper than you expect! I thought it would cost a few hundred.
  2. Our wee cottage has never had its own phone line- we just provide broadband via an extender from our own house. It's always been a temporary arrangement and I think it's about time we did something more robust. Does anybody know off hand what the basic cost of getting a phone line installed would be? There is a BT pole and junction box on our land about 30m from the cottage.
  3. I just used the term 'one bedroom dwelling'. The notes that came back from the planners said that they were assuming that it was prefab, but they noted that this had not been specified either way. PP was granted with no conditions or objections.
  4. Our Scottish larch was 75p/m at 100mm widths, direct from the sawmill. Substantially cheaper than any other option. If there are problems with it, I will just replace individual boards as necessary. If you want a painted finish, I would definitely consider a cement fibre board- no ongoing maintenance, and should last almost indefinitely.
  5. I used screws for the battens, mainly because of the length involved. A 50mm batten on top of a 50mm counter batten, then through the osb sheathing, and finally into the stud- it's a long way. You can't get nails that long, and even if you could, you wouldn't know whether you had hit the stud or not. For the larch, I used stainless 70mm nails in a coil nailer. This has several advantages over a stick nailer: longer between refills, cheaper nails with no gas to buy, and most importantly nice full round heads on them. These look much better than the D-shaped clipped heads on a stick nailer, and you don't get the imprint of the hammer, because none of it protrudes past the egde of the nail head. I didn't pre-drill except for nails within say two inches of the end of a board- for these I pre-drilled and hand nailed.
  6. This made me chuckle:
  7. Yup a vee belt. There is no way of adjusting tension, so I don't see how I could ever get a particularly tight fit, as it has to pass over the pulleys. The one that I'm using just now is such a loose fit- zero effort to force it over the pulleys- that I'm amazed it works at all!
  8. I've been lent an old whacker plate. First time out, the belt spins off, stretched and frayed beyond use. No numbers or identifying marks on either the belt or the machine, so I measured up as best I could and bought a couple of belts cheaply off eBay. The smaller belt does fit, and the machine works, but it's pretty loose. So how much tension should there be?
  9. When I asked for cement fibre backer board (and gave a few brand names like Aquapanel, Hardie) the guys at the BMs just looked at me blankly. Eventually the manager was summoned, he scratched his head, and then went and found some in the racking at the back of the shop. So clearly the vast majority of builders aren't using the stuff, and must be using PB instead.
  10. Static caravans are temptingly cheap but they do not take well to being altered. A friend of mine tried to reconfigure the inside of his, and discovered that the bedside cabinets were actually vital structural stiffening elements! There's no way you could bank earth up against one, it would collapse. Also, burying your house into the ground doesn't really make it insulated. It might work for a rabbit, it doesn't work so well for humans who want their houses at 21 degrees. The cost of the retaining walls, tanking (a form of damp proofing) and the additional work required for an earth-covered roof, will make conventional insulation look so cheap that it's almost free. My 50m2 house is insulated to twice building regs requirements, and the total insulation cost was about £1k.
  11. I'm sure that would depend on the individual planners, and the people who might wish to draw it to their attention. I've known people to get away with fairly significant alterations- e.g. a house where the builders omitted the dwarf walls from the founds, which meant that no internal walls could be load bearing, and subsequently the roof structure had to be altered, changing the house from one and a half storey to two storey. This raised the ridge line above what they had permission for, blocking sea views for the houses behind, and annoying the neighbours a fair deal. Not everyone really believed it was a mistake at all. But the house is still standing. Anyway, do you really want to go down the route of having diagonal cladding?? It's going to be more work and more wastage.
  12. Thanks all. I've delved into the datasheets for each of the suggestions, none of them list viscosity but some do have minimum joint sizes. So I think I'll rule out the Sika EBT, which states 10mm minimum. The others are all 5mm. CT1 don't give a figure, annoyingly.
  13. Yes plastering and rendering are more art than craft. I didn't even attempt to do either of them. It's funny though how most people instinctively want to use professionals for all the big 'scary' jobs like erecting the frame, and go DIY for the fiddly stuff at the end. Wrong way round in some respects!
  14. I'm normally a big fan of CT1 but does anybody have a suggestion for something of similar performance but a bit runnier? Something that will be easier to squeeze into a narrow gap. Has to be weatherproof/waterproof and preferably remain flexible. Primarily needed as a sealant rather than an adhesive.
  15. In general I completely agree, but there are some jobs on a build that are relatively straightforward to do if you are prepared to do the research. You'll never be as fast as a pro, though. I found the first fix joinery pretty easy, and fast- I bought in a big pile of 6x2 and sheets of OSB, and a couple of months later I had the shell of a house erected. Installing insulation, partition walls, and plasterboarding were all quite simple. It was the second fix stuff that I found more challenging- everything you do is on display for all to see, and in the case of things like door linings, a wonky mitre or a 2mm gap can look terrible.