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Bitpipe last won the day on September 6

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  1. Bitpipe

    What do home buyers want?

    Early in our design process we looked at loads and started to pick up on these. One particular new build show home actually had no internal doors fitted upstairs as they would have got in the way of the furniture they had staged the rooms with - took a few minutes for the penny to drop. I'd also call into a few local estate agents and ask frankly what sells these days - most of our local ones were good for a bit of a chat, especially if they though there was half a chance they'd get to market the end result. And to the comment on self builders being 'unrealistic', as Jeremy says - the main concern for many of us is getting it built properly and then getting some things you want, budget allowing. Many self builds I've seen are perfectly modest, beautifully built, comfortable to live in and will last the test of time vs the developer boxes that may look nice initially but have a host of hidden nasties (I know, I've owned one) - and they aren't particularly cheap either.
  2. Bitpipe

    What do home buyers want?

    I think you're on the right track - suggest you pop down to your nearest new build development and poke around the show houses, or worst case get on right move and look at them there.
  3. Far too organised for me - any original invoices (plus delivery notes, instruction manuals etc..) went into a big solid lidded cardboard box (one my site boots came in, highly recommended ) and the rest were received on email and all printed out last week after I fished out the relevant VAT invoices from the box. I'll probably arrange them in some semblance of order to help them process. Just back from WH Smiths today with treasury tags & card so will get to work tonight. Also figured out how to address the discrepancy between planning app drawings and quantities of materials as we tweaked the internal layout so have extra doors etc. I've left planning drawings as they were but edited the SE basement drawings and MBC detailed drawings to reflect what was actually built and will submit these with the VAT reclaim application. Thanks all!
  4. Bitpipe

    Non material amendments

    I did two NMAs - one to increase front elevation window sizes from 1000mm square to 1200 square (doubt they would have noticed) add to solar PV to rear and tweak rear Velux (debatable if I even needed permission for this). The second was to add Solar PV to the front. Both times I did my own drawings - was quite simple change so I just took a grab of the architect's drawings* from the PDF)and stuck them into a powerpoint where I cut, paste & tweaked the new details - took a bit of fiddling to get the scale correct (original go was rejected for this reason) but got there second go. Fee was close to £200 and that was in 2015. NMA one was accepted, two was rejected as it was not considered 'non material' as it introduced a new element to the street facing elevation. They also noted that PV is covered by PD provided it meets sensible criteria. So, long story short, unless it's a big redesign (in which case debatable it's a NMA) you may be able to hack it together yourself and save any architect fees. *later in the project, I persuaded the architect to give me the DWG (well, I persuaded him so send it to the TF manufacturer and the SE firm, who sent it back to me ) - would have been easy enough to make the changes there using DraftSight (free and reasonably easy to use).
  5. OK, off to WH Smith then! How did you organise the invoices Herb? by vendor / function etc?
  6. So you sent actual ring binders with the invoices in them? Hadn't considered that - what have others done?
  7. So another wet weekend means it's time to wrap up the reclaim and submit next week. Just to be clear, this is what I'm planning to to do 1) Stick any non A4 invoices to an A4 sheet 2) Sort according to VAT individually itemised vs not itemised. 3) Number invoices sequentially (I assume that no ordering is required here - i.e. by date, vendor - just as long as they match the itemised list) 4) Highlight VAT number and VAT charged on each invoice 5) Itemise each item in the VAT form/spreadsheet 6) Assemble other supporting docs (plans, permissions etc) 7) Complete top page of return form 8) Photocopy everything. 9) Slide into large envelope & send recorded delivery 10) Wait....... have I missed anything?
  8. Bitpipe

    Bit of a rant!

    Having a very ropey car and dressing like a tramp also helps - living in an onsite caravan adds to the effect (i.e. - if we had money do you not think we'd be living somewhere nicer...) On the GD theme, I though this week's was refreshing as when they had 1/2 the budget of the admittedly beautiful original design, they went back to drawing board and designed something that actually met their budget - have to admit, I think it still looked great.
  9. Exactly what we did - the final configuration is 32mm mpde from our side of the stopcock to house with a T just after the meter to 20mm mpde for a pair of garden taps - one of these was the original feed for the caravan (which sat at the rear of the house). Blue MPDE is cheap so I wouldn't worry about economising too much there and over complicating your design.
  10. Bitpipe

    Not so square after all

    Got it - given the distributed cool air is in the twin walled plastic pipe is the insulation to prevent this warming up or minimising condensing on the outside of the pipe? Quite curious as we obviously only considered the use of MVHR without any additional cooling but if we were to upgrade in the future, wondering if this would be an issue.
  11. Bitpipe

    Not so square after all

    Yes, you are correct - brain not fully in gear today!
  12. Bitpipe

    Not so square after all

    Agree - can it be remedied ? Best to get it right (or better) at this stage rather than try and work around it. We had a few window openings that needed tweaking but nothing as far off vertical as that. Also, curious about this - A major benefit of stuffing the MVHR ducting into the ceiling section that will be filled with cellulose is that the pipes up there don't need to be insulated, which would normally be the case. The ones for the ground floor are currently getting their NASA-style coats and I'll show some photos of those in the next post. This also means that it's given a reduction on the cost of all the MVHR kit as the insulation for the ducts isn't particularly cheap. We only insulated the short runs of 180mm steel radial ducting (intake and exhaust) from the unit to outside vents - really only the intake needed insulating as it's the one that gets cold and would otherwise drip with condensation but we did both. All internal ducting (from unit to manifold and from manifold to vents - i.e. your green pipe) sits inside the insulated envelope of the house so needs no insulation, unless I'm misunderstanding your install.
  13. Bitpipe

    Bit of a rant!

    Also the title 'Engineer' is protected in Germany, like Doctor here. Narks me when I'm told that 'we'll send an engineer' - always want to ask what type of engineering degree they have...
  14. Me too. Have an electric door at front and manual at back. The pedestrian door is at right angles to the utility door so gets a lot of use. All Hoorman doors so pretty secure.
  15. To quote Father Jack 'Nuns, Feck, Reverse!'