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Bitpipe last won the day on February 10

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  1. Bitpipe

    Swellable water bar

    Our Sika warrantied waterproof concrete system for the basement used waterbars on every vertical and horizontal join. The slab had a stub wall 100mm high and the crew cast in a waterbar sized recess down the centre. They dried it out prior to fitting the water bar using a leaf blower to disperse standing water and then a blow torch to dry the concrete. Same deal for the vertical joins but they obviously did not hold water the same way. Waterbar was fitted in a bed of special Sika mastic (both a deep red colour) and then they tied the rebar and built the shuttering, so it was exposed for a good few days while that was going on, didn't seem to effect it at all. I think the drying exercise was most important for good adhesion of the mastic. There was a stub of waterbar poking out the top of the various vertical joins - only after being exposed for a good few weeks did it start to swell. Does the product you're using have guidelines on exposure?
  2. This is why I got fired from NASA. Apparently getting 'quite close' to Mars is not good enough...
  3. I think it's 76mm2 so 10mm for a regular sized door, less for wider doors.
  4. We have FD30 fire doors on all rooms that open onto our hall (with fire strip and stops) - they're mostly 820mm wide so the MVHR airgap is only 7mm. We used blue plasterboard on the basement and ground floor ceiling and around the downstairs WC - usual rockwool in the stud cavities etc. Hard floors throughout. Can't say there is much noise issue, thumps and bumps from upstairs are noticeable but our teenage son plays electric guitar in the basement and it's not noticeable unless really cranked up One of the old eBuild stalwarts Wittenham (Oxford based, did his MBC house around the same time as Jeremy) spent a ton on proper soundproofing technology - decoupled walls, rubber floor mats etc. It didn't work. IRC, he said that low frequency sounds are very hard to prevent.
  5. Not sure how quickly Companies House gets update but still showing them as trading - apparently the liquidation started last week and I have an email from them stating that they can’t deliver my order for this reason.
  6. I had a lot of internal/external balustrade and balcony work supplied and fitted by Elite Balustrade and we were more or less finished bar some snagging - one piece of external stair glass needed re-made as the original template they took was incorrect and some handrail needed fitted (it's on site). I finally got round to re-templating the glass myself and emailed it to them this week, however they've replied that they've just gone into liquidation and wont be able to deliver. Shame, they did some nice fittings and quality of work was decent however I did need to get them back on site more than once for snagging so I think they struggled to get reliable fitters. I'm not that concerned as the bulk of work is done so I just need to source a replacement piece of glass and get a fitter to finish off the handrail (will probably use one of their freelance guys who did the original work.) Question is how do I approach the CC company to fund this?
  7. Not helped by the fact BC only inspect 1 in 10 developer built homes. As has been said many times before, developer makes the profit when the planning / change of use is granted. Everything after that is cost, eating into the margin, so cost is minimises at the expense of quality.
  8. Bitpipe

    Cutting Impey former

    I recall that my Impey wetroom former came with a matched waste. Therefore when installed, the former sat on joists to make it flush with the 22mm deck around it, the tanking layer went over the top of everything and the waste neatly slotted into the former (making a necessary cut in the tanking membrane, folding the edge into the drain area) so any water that penetrates the tiles would hit the tanking layer and end up in the drain. Your challenge may be to make your cut tidy wrt with the drain you're using.
  9. Useful exercise to send your planning drawings to all of these TF firms for an estimate and then check to see what's included in the price. Some can seem expensive (or cheap) but when you factor in plant hire (i.e. crane), slabs, internal walls, floor decking, u values etc then you'll be able to compare apples to apples a bit better. Some of the cheaper quotes I received wanted me to provide full fall arrest systems (i.e. airbags etc) ...
  10. I got a quote from these guys early on as I was thinking of doing the basement in ICF so explored doing the whole house that way.
  11. Welcome - we also had committed to a design with PP etc before stumbling onto this site (well, it's predecessor) and deciding to make our build meet passive standards - which we achieved, although it's not certified. By luck we had more or less the right orientation and glazing design and didn't need to tweak things too much, mostly adding external blinds to minimise unwanted solar gain. We also went down the timber frame package route as we were managing the build ourselves and got a full airtight, waterproof (once glazed and roofed) shell to passive standards from a single contractor which made the rest of the build pretty straight forward. We mixed things up slightly by building a passive basement instead of a ground level slab, but the principals are the same. One thing to consider is ensuring the follow on trades don't undo the work that has gone before them to make the envelope airtight - it's not hard to achieve but needs continuous attention to detail (and sometimes supervision).
  12. Bitpipe

    Basement - ICF vs Shuttered Reinforced Concrete

    Local friends who build a basement practically in the Thames used the Glatthar Fertigkeller system which is precast, pre-insulated and also waterproof. I think they use WPC for the sections, a special grout for the joins and a thick membrane which may have been sprayed on (or sprayed over, can't recall). Their main design challenge was stopping hydrostatic pressure pushing the basement out of the ground, as a result their slab was ginormous. Full turnkey service, design and build, comprehensive warranty but very expensive (we got quotes).
  13. Bitpipe

    Basement - ICF vs Shuttered Reinforced Concrete

    Totally agree that a major consideration is if if you want to DIY or get a contractor to handle it. Standard formwork and shuttering is definitely not for the faint hearted and looked to require a lot of experience and equipment. Also a 3 sided basement will be more manageable than our four sided big hole in the ground. Regarding the economics that I experienced, I would not have been allowed to build any bigger above ground as was restricted by ridge height and already was exceeding the original house footprint by a significant margin. Planners did not blink at basement, which increased the internal floor area by almost 50%. Being in SE England, the land prices are such that £1000/m2 is quite good value. Also, I should really offset the cost of the basement against a passive slab or traditional strip foundations (we have 1m of clay on gravel and chalk) so the incremental figure is less than that. Doesn't include fit out though but that was not a huge number as it got rolled into the rest of 1st/2nd fix and finish.
  14. Bitpipe

    Basement - ICF vs Shuttered Reinforced Concrete

    I think you'd struggle to get a waterproof join between those. The contractor I used knocked out my 110m2 basement with 42 liner metres of 2.5m high walls in about 3 weeks and not even the slightest sign of a breakout but they were using industrial quality shuttering and were very experienced. Rebar work was impeccable too (all 14t of it) they even spotted a few mistakes in the SE drawings which they sheepishly acknowledged when I called them up about it. The BCO turned up for a pre-pour inspection and left after 10 mins saying he didn't need to see any more Cost was about £1000/m2 - i.e about £100k for the whole basement including excavation, muck away, drainage, the basement itself and backfill with clean stone.