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About Grian

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  1. Thank you, a friend used this company as well so I think it is looking a likely candidate.
  2. After getting advice here a while back things have moved on - glacially slowly but now the building warrant application is in and ought not be problematic... They have asked for a few details, including specification of the metal corrugated roofing we will use and I'm stumped. The kit is coming from Scotframe but they leave it to the customer to specify and source roofing. Does anyone have any recommendations for a suitable product, preferably to be sourced in Scotland. It needs to withstand wind and salt-spray on an exposed west coast site, so plastic coating is a must. Has to be black as that's what planning permission has been granted for. We are budget-constrained. Thank you!
  3. Well mum is probably going to choose engineered wood, other than in the utility and bathroom, result! Since her kitchen is coming from Howdens and we have looked at their flooring I expect that's where she will source it, unless anyone can advise differently. I'm going to do the same, but not necessarily source from Howdens as I will be buying a used kitchen. Thanks for the help this has moved things on hugely.
  4. I think polished concrete is expensive too... budget is a constraint so I'm looking for tiles or engineered wood in the £40/sqm range.
  5. Well this is encouraging, I think. What a lot of good info, thank you. Engineered wood is definitely an option then. We are no-shoe households but there are dogs and with my current Karndean I mop regularly, I will look into how well it withstands a bit of moisture. The UFH is embedded in the concrete slab laid before building begins, if that makes any odds. Good point about when heating might be off completely in summer. Thank you again for responses. Now to browse all the wood floor options
  6. My mum and I are both building houses with wet UFH (using an air-source heat pump). Choosing tiles is proving difficult (blood is coming out of our ears), we dismissed engineered wood because it would transfer heat less efficiently but now are wondering, how much difference does it actually make - are we looking at a noticeable difference in heating bills to achieve a given temperature, or just slower heating up if we alter temperature? Any advice welcome as I can list the entire catalogue of several tile outlets and that is not healthy! Also, travertine and slate, are they really onerous to maintain, are they worth considering? Like we need more options! Thanks Kirsty
  7. When knocking our current kitchen and dining room together I was dismayed by the new kitchens in our budget and instead bought one from eBay. 3k bought me a vast number of solid handmade maple units and dresser, acres of granite worktop and a bunch of appliances. I sold the latter, used most of the rest in kitchen and utility, and had some over that neighbours used in their utility! 15 years ago it had cost 35k new, and to have replaced today would be over 50k (I contacted the maker in case I damaged anything bringing it in). Builders didn't seem to have massive issues with fitting. Granite Man (not his real name but defo his super-power title) turned the worktop into our new configuration plus a brucie-bonus of matching upstand using the excess! It is so solid, so beautifully made, the materials are absolutely gorgeous, and it cost so much less than the very meh alternatives! We are looking at doing the same again when we build, and now I've discovered these middlemen companies I hope they take some of the risk out of buying unseen - I think at least one inspects the kitchens they advertise and provides a general condition report...
  8. Thanks for further input. Under a previous planner my parents had a struggle getting permission just adjacent to me when they wanted to move from a tenanted house onto their own land, and other's locally have had difficulty. However I've had a positive response to a pre-app so am confident if I conform to what is asked I should be ok. I've been advised that from a building perspective a simple rectangle is the cheapest way to go and fortunately the 'longhouse' style has become a local norm for new houses. I've tended to see a septic tank as the default as that is what I have grown up with as the norm, with the only maintenance being emptying from time to time. In places certainly the underlaying substrate is bedrock and the guy who does the majority of digger work hereabouts said that he had come across similar elsewhere. Perversely, about 70m away my mum's standard onion tank was easily installed by digging out some boulders and rotten rock. Unfortunately our source of rotten rock has run out so I will have to buy in any infill / hard standing that is needed. @Thedreamer is your build ongoing then? Good luck if so. Sounds as though you are in the same boat with great views and strict budget. @ProDave your words are very reassuring! I made a crude attempt to measure the surface-level difference in height from front to back of the footprint of the house and I concluded it could be in the region of 900mm, and then there is the difference in soil depth... I have dug so many holes trying to figure out what can go where that the site is more hole than land now!
  9. An architect neighbour a couple of miles along the road has done just that! Well, they are partly into a bank and it is extended over the top with a turf roof. It is well up a hill track and invisible from the road. Very clever job and all done themselves, a lifetimes work though. I checked the lottery numbers this morning just in case
  10. I own to the top of the steep bank behind. The view? Priceless!!! I know there are more spendy solutions - and what wonders could be done on this site if there was money to throw at it, but I am absolutely scraping together the budget for the lowest-cost approach. It is in a National Scenic Area so a further consideration is that the view imposes costs in terms fairly limiting constraints on design and siting. A pre-app has had a positive response for this style of house in more or less this position and I was advised to be as close to the bottom of the bank as possible.
  11. Thanks John, it has been considered. This seems to be the lesser of evils - unless I use this layout I need a pump, and even a biodisc type system would require rock pecking out elsewhere on the site. Probably more significantly, SEPA have agreed to this approach and there is no watercourse available that would satisfy them for discharge.
  12. Video now accessible, probably of little use though, hard to know how I could make it so unclear and shaky! The base of the holes viewed are covered with soil as it was so long since I dug them but give an idea of soil type. The two photos show new holes dug yesterday. The shallow one is at the highest point, you can see smooth rock on the base. The other one was too taxing to fully dig out at this point but it is solid at the bottom, it is at the low end.
  13. Thanks for speedy replies. I hit rock at the bottom of all the holes. It is agricultural land, rough grazing, so nothing done previously. Rock in some places is a little friable but solid and in others clearly smooth bedrock. I will try to fix that video. The intended house is a longhouse style (15.6 x 6m) and only one floor developed, but with attic trusses to allow for upstairs later if funds allow. If the costs of the levelling are really significant maybe I should be thinking of making a smaller footprint with bedrooms upstairs instead... as I said, endless speculation with no knowledge at all to curb my wildest imaginings!! The architect who will draw the site plan is getting me quotes for the survey - a friend on nearby mainland paid £700 so I'm expecting this as a ballpark figure. The waiting at each stage is excruciating! Budget is limited and once I finally have all the information, foundation design etc the builder will produce the figure which reveals whether I can go ahead or not. I wobble from optimism to dread on an hourly basis!
  14. Hoping for general information regarding foundations on a sloping site. I'd previously been worried about septic tank and soakaway as I have shallow soil and drains surrounding my site (thank you for responses to my question on this a couple of months ago). This week an experienced consultant visited and he has advised that I could locate the house on the highest point of my site and this would provide enough drop to avoid using a pump, plus there would also be enough soil depth in the lowest area for a low-profile tank and mounded soakaway without needing to peck out rock. I was so relieved to have a solution after months of worrying!! This solution moves the house back a few metres to the base of a steep bank and euphoria quickly turned to new concern when I looked at what I'd previously considered to be a negligible slope across the site. I was even more concerned after digging test pits in the region of the house corners - the greatest soil depth is at the low end (1000mm) and soil is shallowest at the highest corner (550mm), that can't be good. I need to have a site survey done to map the levels and without that I realise my question is really vague, but I'd be grateful for any idea of what foundations on a sloping site entail. I am guessing the high point is scraped to rock and a retaining wall built around the lower parts to that same level. Then what fills the bit in between - rock type material (expensive on an island) or soil...? I'm hoping to use air-source heat pump und underfloor heating, I imagine this is relevant. I'm attaching a pdf showing test pits and their depths, and a link to a shaky video which gives an idea of the site (I look in test pits relating to a previous and now discounted house position - this has been a long process already!). Any input would be very very welcome! Until I have a site survey done and a response from builders my imagination is running wild! Thank you, Kirsty Site_Info_19th_Feb_2019.pdf
  15. No, that isn't included. Just connecting and the cable.