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Bitpipe last won the day on September 23

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  1. I had a QS draw up a detailed cost plan before starting and it certainly made getting quotes easier as all of the quantities were calculated & itemised. Also was able to use the default costings as a guide and 'price to beat' when finalising quotes.
  2. If you've got planning permission already then you're obviously past the thinking stage Show plans etc and we can help.
  3. Write back and ask him to confirm the qualifications / professional industry memberships that the 'specialist' must have to satisfy him. Did you use a calibrated bit of kit to do the initial testing & measure room flows against the regs? Most of us here wrote up a formal looking report and send that to our BI which satisfied them.
  4. I also am a big fan of Quooker - give them a call once a year and a free descaling kit is in the post that day. An hour's job to get it sparkly clean again.
  5. What doesn't kill you* makes you stronger. *Nothing like a self build to showcase some novel new ways to accidentally kill yourself. Or at least temporarily rob you of your dignity
  6. I recall our electrician just soldering some white two core cable to the end of the strip and wiring the other end into the transformer. Stranded i suspect as its more flexible (was put in at first fix) and easier to solder. In my experience, solid has a habit of snapping off at the end. @ProDave is the qualified person here!
  7. I have the same issue but look on this as part of my fitness regime There may be significant safety issues with a dumb waiter in a domestic setting - what if a child climbed inside etc? Doubt it would be cheap either.
  8. We put a large letter sized mailbox in wall. For anything bigger, Amazon & co slide it under gate or drop it over wall 🙄
  9. Oh no - you’ve unleashed the ‘reader’s kiosk’ genie again. Took forever to get it back in the bottle last time....
  10. Builder looked to be of the stetson and lasso variety, court awarded them £300k damages but he liquidated the company and then started again. Although I fail to see how a demolition costs £350k...
  11. Yes, formwork build & placement is quite labour intensive. With some thought, the same form can be reused on a build (depends on complexity of design) - for us, the shape of our basement allowed the contractor to build one pair of forms (inside and outside) that built a corner with a window and they were able to use it a few time before re-configuring it.
  12. Very similar approach to our build - sub-structure with MBC frame on top. We also went with shuttered concrete - out team did all the steel work first then built the shuttering, they explained that the concrete needs to go off for a good few days before new concrete can be cast against it so we had a similar 'staggered' wall pour with 1m gaps between them which were poured last. You should have vertical water bar in these sections also. Is the water bar channel full of water? Our guys were made to dry it out with a blow torch before using a mastic to hold the waterbar in place (Sika products) the rep, who issued the warranty, even came out to check this and they sent him photos every day from site. They also used nifty expanding rubber plugs to seal the bracing holes, effectively a rubber bung on a thread that is screwed in to compress and expand the bung. Then cement to seal the hole.
  13. Depends, you could still extend normal foundations / slab where there was no basement - would need to think through the insulation detail. No idea - ask a groundworker / SE. Yes, total spend was about 600k so about £1500 /m2 - however this was pre Brexit when £ was 1.45 to euro and we bought a lot of the house from European suppliers - MBC frame (priced in Euros then), Gaulhofer windows, Megabad bathrooms, Hacker kitchen, FSN doors, Sika concrete & resin etc... Only way for sure is a GI with bore holes and measuring water levels over time. If you're prepared to commit a few £k then you will get a good idea whether it's cost effective or not. Yep - Glatthar would have been £90k+50k, I got it for about £100k. Ground workers are always local due to the plant mobilisation and muck away (we had 73 20t lorries). They may sub out the RC concrete formwork but that's mostly joinery & steel work and a concrete pour every 3-4 days. Alternatively the ICF route is possible for basements but you wont see the pour quality (as it's covered in insulation c/f striking traditional formwork) so have to really trust that mix & placement is faultless.
  14. Bitpipe

    Bonded gravel

    Beautiful - we did much the same. Excavated a lot of the temp & original hard standing and put down about 120 tonnes of scalpings, heavily compacted. Then the 50mm of porus tarmac and finally 25mm of the bonded resin gravel, mixed on site and laid in one day to avoid joins. Still looks great 2+ years on, quick jet wash and good as new. Not cheap - £70/m2 for the tarmac & resin (we used a very reputable contractor) and the prep cost a bit also.
  15. Yes - normal house needs a foundation - strip or slab. Basement is a big concrete box in the ground so where it meets the house, no further foundations required. In our case, we'd budgeted £50k for foundations (maybe would have been less) but given we had 2-3m of clay on gravel on chalk, traditional strip would have needed to go down quite a bit. With the full footprint basement we have a passive basement slab, externally insulated basement walls meeting the passive house on top. We decided not to go for a concrete lid but opted for a suspended timber floor instead, that's where the house UFH is located (no heating needed in basement, always consistent temp). We live in SE so floor space is at a premium, site is big (1/2 acre) but planning would not let us expand the footprint of the proposed house (110m2 ish). Planning did not blink at the basement which means we've extended our habitable floor space by 50%. They're currently used as two teenager dens / rooms (xbox, tvs guitars etc) and one is almost a gym (well, has a running & rowing machine, in it plus a punch bag, and lots of boxes). Last room is full of books and will be a craft / reading room. Plus plant room in there too with all the power distribution, gas boiler, UVC tank, MVHR etc... Means rest of house is relatively un-cluttered. We still have loads of garden - too much tbh. But we also have a 3.5 storey house with just under 400m2 of habitable space. Maybe if you're digging out under an existing building but, ground conditions and site access depending, it's not expensive to dig a big hole and put a waterproof concrete box in it. Biggest single expense was muck away. Once built, the additional fit out was not expensive - obv extra electrics, plasterboard, flooring, carpentry (framing, doors, stairs & skirting) plus decoration - but as it was a big house, they were probably an extra 20-30% on what we were spending on those items anyway. It has no heating or wet services and we were able to use just waterproof concrete as low ground water. Basements do get cheaper per m2 as they get bigger as there is a plant mobilisation cost. No idea - very dependent on your site conditions (which you only know after committing to a ground investigation), access (do you need sheet pile to secure the excavation) waterproofing (are you under the water table) etc. Remember our £120k included demolition & disposal of existing plus all groundworks related to services, drainage etc so was probably closer to £100k for the basic basement itself and then we would have spent somewhere between a third to half of that on a raft or traditional foundations - plus it adds significant value to the house and the surrounding area supports that value. Go ask a local groundworker for a quote. That's what I did - if you approach anyone with 'basement' in their company name then expect to pay double - we got a quote from Glatthar (German company, make pre-fabbed watertight insulated basements) and they wanted £60k for a 35m2 basement (2013 price), £70k for 62m2 and £90k for 123m2. However. this did not include any excavation or muck away etc - they needed a fully prepped hole to start work. Local friends used them, very satisfied but they were in much more challenging ground conditions (very close to Thames, very high water table.)