Simon R

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Simon R last won the day on July 2

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About Simon R

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  • About Me
    Retired form the computer industry. Like getting involved in projects, between my wife and I we have restored cars, built a boat, a done limited house renovation, new electrics, central heating and plumbing.
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    Lee on Solent - Hampshire

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  1. Thanks Dave, we are SSE so it's good to know the meters they fit have isolators. I'll still put a DP isolator in just in case! Simon
  2. At the moment we've an empty shell with an electrical supply installed and the associated MPAN. We have a meter being installed to provide power while we start work on the first fix electrics and plumbing. What I would like to do is get the meter installers to connect to a 100A DP breaker switch. From this, connect to a simple two way garage consumer unit connected to a double socket all mounted on the meter board. All nice and simple just not sure of the need for any sign off. Is the best approach to install the isolation switch and just get the meter connected to it? hen add the consumer unit and socket after the meter connection. Here's a simple schematic:
  3. The render system is from JUB. The DPC boundary to the ICF was taped with a special tape with a fabric backing to which a band of waterproof render was applied. The standard base coat and top coat were then applied. Let me know if you want the specific product details. We had a good few problems with the builds DPC. The builder was adamant that when using a raft ICF does not require any form of DPC. We have a membrane under the raft that should we think have been wrapped under the first layer of ICF. JUB who provided the raft and ICF were not so convinced. We have ended up with the membrane being taped to the raft and painted with a waterproof sealant. You can't render onto the plastic membrane, so a JUB tape with a fabric backing was applied and a special waterproof base coat. The process added cost and complexity that would have been avoided if the DPC had been done in an acceptable fashion in the first place.
  4. Scaffold down and windows in...big dose of euphoria....feels like a real milestone. We can now get a sense of the completed project. With the scaffold removed the house now looks far more suited to the plot and we hope our neighbours will be as relieved as we are. The window install went well. Our windows are Velfac and we opted to use an approved installer as it extended the warrantee to six years. It cost a bit more but the standard of install was good with great care being taken. A few grubby hand prints on the render but nothing we could not clean of with soapy water. One aspect of doing your own build that we had not considered, is the fact you start out with something perfect and new. It will slowly age and degrade. It’s akin to the feeling of the first mark on a new car. Pat and I have restored a couple of cars in the past and avoided going the whole hog of a concourse restore as it can spoil your willingness to use and enjoy the car. We just need to keep the same mind set with the build. With a house we can lock, our intention is to let the dust settle. We’ll come back to the project with fresh enthusiasm in October.
  5. Good questions to which I don't know definitive answers. I didn't spot any curved sections in the catalogue, but they do steel "pan tiles" and several other product that could lend themselves to more complex roof shapes.
  6. We've just finished our standing seam roof using a roof from Blacho Trapez. The roof cost less than half the quote we had from Catnic for a Tata Colorcoat Urban. At around £15/m2 for the roof sheeting it represents good value. Buy the time you add eaves and barge detail you can add another 1/3 to this figure. Transport will add significantly as a lorry from Poland will cost nearly 2k so sharing transport is important. This post is to let others know how we got on with the roof and hopefully help when they are considering which standing seam roof to go with. This is our first self build and we have no first hand knowledge of any of the other standing seam systems on the market. We came across the roof by chance when another buildhub member @Patrick posted that he was looking for other members who would help share transport costs. Patrick knows far more about the roofing system that we do and is now in the process of formalising an agreement with Blacho so that he can help others order and import roofing products from Blacho. Blacho are based in Poland where steel roofs are far more main stream than here. They have many roof designs, we selected their Retro 25 system which is very similar to the Tata Colorcoat Urban system. Once you have selected the roof style, you then select from a range of 8 input sheet materials. These range from a basic sheet offering just 10 years to a Krupp Pladur sheet offering 50 years protection. Included in the range is Tata HPS200 ultra. The price of the Pladur sheet is not a lot more than the HPS200 and it was our first choice. However the Pladur product is not a know quantity here, so we selected the Tata option which has a 40 year warrantee and widely known so won't cause any undue questioning form building controls and insurance. Here is a link to the roof catalogue:BT-Katalog-2018-EN inch revised.pdf Ordering a roof is more complicated that you might think, with soffits, barge boards , eaves edges, pitch, etc to consider. After a couple of iterations with Patrick doing the communication with Blacho we ended up with a roof order. The roof comes palletised, so you need plenty of hands to help unload if you don't have plant on site. Installing the roof is pretty straight forward, I'm not going to attempt to duplicate the resources provided by the manufacturer. The following is a condensed “lessons learned”: You may think your roof is square, it's not. You can lose small inaccuracies when dealing with tiles. Big sheets of fixed size show every millimetre of any discrepancy. Check you can get the sheets to the area of roof they will be installed on. We didn't and three 7200 sheets we had for the rear roof ended up being cut and joined. If we did it again we would not have any sheets over 6500, they just get too fragile. Get your datum lines right, check and recheck. We used the time honoured and infallible 3-4-5 rule to get our datum lines. For the most part this worked fine but on one section of roof where we started with a thin strip to get the even sheet distribution, we failed. This resulted in a 10-15mm error over 3500. It was the area round the roof lights, which themselves turned out not to be square in the roof either! Avoid sheet joints if you can, they are fiddly to make and add to the installation time. Use string guide lines. We didn't and paid for it with small discrepancies that could have been avoided. The apex of the roof is one area that we found difficult. It looks OK but does not bear close inspection. Use a sheet nibbler. Unless your really skilled with tin shears they make getting an acceptable finish achievable. The devil is in the detail as they say..getting the barge boarding and eaves edges right takes quite a while. We opted for a “Swedish eaves” edge that involves folding the roof sheets over the eaves former. Great for preventing any wind getting under the sheets but makes getting the guttering correct difficult. The rain runs off the sheets at quite a rate and can easily overshoot the guttering edge or get caught by the wind and blown over the back edge. We ended up running flashing to the inner gutter edge. It can't be seen and should be a belt and braces solution.
  7. Thanks for pointing that out Pete. I had seen it being crimped in a video on Colorcoat posted by KSoorus, having just looked at it again I see it's from 2011.. got it confused with one of the many videos we've many roofing systems. I'll edit the blog to correct it.
  8. It was fairly straight forward, especially considering we have no experience. Windows are tricky, the Blacho video shows how to tackle most roofing elements. The guys doing the video are skilled and make it look easier than it is, no surprise really. Our roof is 150m2 and it's cost us just under 5K, less than half the quote I had for Tata Colorcoat. We did not get any quotes for installation, so I can't help you the DIY saving.
  9. Thanks for the compliment. The details are always the difficult bit and I've little to no experience of sheet metal work. The roofing system is well thought through, however I'm sure I've done some things that Blacho would have done differently. I think Greg will do his roof next followed by Patrick both of whom will add practical knowledge to help other buildhub members who go this route. Patrick is getting setup to act as an agent which will make it much easier for members to source their roofs from Blacho.
  10. Since our last entry we've been concentrating of getting the standing seam roof covering on. It's one of those jobs where it would be nice to do someone else's roof before doing your own. We're using a roofing system from Blacho Trapez, broadly similar to the Tata colourcoat. It requires no crimping and minimal special tooling. It's around half the price of Colorcoat. The HPS200 coating we chose comes with a forty year guarantee. Our first impressions is that it's a quality product that's really well thought out. I'll raise a topic thread on the roof system with detail information from our install.. Here's a link to the Blacho documentation for more info: It was another Buildhub find. Back in April we came across an entry where one of the members @Patrick Who wanted to buy his roof abroad and was looking for someone to share transport cost. Enter Patrick, we exchanged emails and found we were going to need a roof on a very different time frame as Patrick is still in the site clearance phase and we were going to be ready to start in around six weeks. Lots of emails were exchanged and there was much head scratching over which components to order, In the end it turned out that three Buildhub members wanted roofs making sharing transport even more attractive. Patrick had been in contact with Blacho for some while, he's multi lingual himself and has a Polish wife. Without their help it would have been just too complex to sort our way through the parts catalogues even with the help of google translate. Having managed to get a list of parts we thought would do the roof, it occurred to us it would be good to get the guttering from the same source. It proved to be a step too far, we decided against it as the chances of getting all the required components correct the first time round was just too daunting, All is not lost though as it now looks as though there may well be an opportunity to get some steel guttering from them in future to replace the UPVC we have. Back to the roof and installing it. The three roofs were ordered and transport arranged to collect them from the factory on 03rd and deliver them to the UK on the 6th. The other Buildhub member ordering a roof is Greg, who is a builder with a yard with plant to unload and was happy to store the roofs ready for collection. The initial plan was to have all three roofs delivered to Greg's place and then we would collect, again Greg could help out as he has a lorry. The only slight problem was some of our roof sheets are 7.2M long and too long for the lorry. More negotiation with the transport company and they agreed to do a second drop off for a an additional 200Euros. All set for an 11:30 delivery on the 6th, we had arranged to have help to unload, no machinery just bodies. To our surprise and dismay we turned up on site at 7:40am on the 6th to find the delivery lorry already waiting...with just Pat and I to hand. Help was at hand in the form of the two guys who had come that day to do our roof insulation spray foam. They were brilliant, and between the four of us we had the roof sheets off their palettes and safely stacked on site. In addition to the sheeting there where also two smaller pallets for the other roof components, such as barge boards, eaves edges, screws etc. The lorry driver was getting a little fraught by this stage as it was all taking longer than it should have, not aided by lack of a shared language and the delivery documentation all being in Polish. Having unloaded and sent the driver on his way we started to look at the delivery documentation, this time under less time pressure. It turned out we had most of Greg's and some of Patrick's accessories. No big deal as we had already arranged to follow the lorry to Greg's yard to say hello and to borrow some roof tools that he had kindly offered to lend us. Meanwhile the delivery of the materials for our render arrived, 72 x 20kg sacks plus 20 x 25 kg tubs all to be shifted onto site..Just got that cleared when our MVHR system arrived, hotly followed by a soffit board delivery. Once done we set about loading the roof bits, only to find the length and volume of bit's overwhelmed the Jazz and we had to borrow a van great for volume but not so good for the 2M lengths and required me driving with my seat fully forward. Two and a half hours of agonizing cramp we arrived at Greg's, said our hellos and exchanged parts so we had the bits we needed to complete our roof. Finally got home around 10pm, oh the joys of a self build. A day to draw breath and it was time to start putting the roof on. The sheets themselves are 540mm wide and supplied to the customers required lengths up to a maximum of 8M, Being just 0.5mm thick steel they are not heavy but they are fragile, picking up a long sheet badly will result it it creasing, so care is required handling the sheets. The sheets had been packed at the factory front to front with polystyrene packing spacers which had stuck to the surface of the sheet requiring it to be cleaned prior to installation. After a bit of head scratching we decided to use a ladder to support the sheets. With the ladder tied to the scaffold we loaded each sheet, one person pulling the sheet from the top and another raising the bottom of the ladder we managed to slide the first sheet onto the front of the roof. All a bit “Heath Robinson” but it worked. Each sheet was then fixed in place and the process repeated. Soon we had a good part of the front roof in place. Cleaning loading and fitting was taking about an 90 minutes a sheet. Doing uninterrupted areas of roof with decent access proved straight forward and the front part of the main roof was done in a couple of days. Then we started on the rear of the house. This part of roof has two large roof lights and requires sheets to be joined as the roof length 10M exceeds the 8M max sheet length. The roof has two sections one slightly shorter at 7.2M, the largest of the sheets we had ordered. It quickly became apparent that there was no way we could get a 7.2M sheet onto the roof from the rear of the house. At this length the sheet is very fragile and requires multiple supports to stop it from folding. We quickly abandoned any hope of using them. Fortunately we had ordered some surplus material, so not the end of the world. We decided to start on the side of the roof with the roof lights to allow us to minimise sheets cuts. Partick had kindly volunteered to come over to get some first hand experience of the Blacho system. We started framing the roof lights. All did not go to plan and found that we had a 10-15mm alignment problem, nothing to do with Patrick just a bad datum line. No easy way to correct this so we removed the sheets and started again from a more accurate datum line. Second time round was a better result all round and we were able to continue across the main roof section. A lot of work but worth we just need a good downpour to validate the flashing. . By good fortune a thunderstorm provided a test for the flashing, all was nice and dry round the roof lights. Sigh of relief all round, the roof is now on.
  11. Lies, damn lies and building schedules! Where does the time go! it's been a month since the roof was started a process that should have taken a week...and we're only just ready to put the standing seam roof panels on a month later. More on the standing seam roof in my next blog. At the time of my entry we were trying to find a roofing team to finish the work. The team drafted into build the roof had had to return to Glasgow to meet other commitments requiring our builder to find another team to pick up and complete the work. Much to our surprise we ended up with a choice of two, a local builder who had done work for us in the past and a local roofing company ICF Homes had used in the past. Our builder decided they would call in a favour from a roofer they had used in the past. There was inevitably a few days delay. To add to the entertainment we had two large roof lights 1200 x 2400 each weighing 220kg scheduled for delivery on the 3rd and the roof was not ready for them. Some last minute calls to Roof Maker and we managed to get the windows rescheduled for the 8th. With the roof far from ready we needed to get the area for the roof lights completed. Our builder put in two guys to do the required preparation to take the windows. This probably created as much work as accomplished as they were not chippies or roofers, but with some corrective work from the new roofers it was enough to prepare for the roof lights installation. To get the windows onto the roof we made use of Terry Peach and his show hiab again. The day of the window delivery arrived and true to form it was just about the windiest day we had had in a long while. Wind, cranes and large fragile objects are not a good combination and we thought we would need to call off the installation and try again on a more settled day. In any event we decided to give it a go and the windows were gingerly lifted up to roof height on the sheltered side of the roof and gently eased over the ridge into the gale...with a couple of restraining ropes and guiding hands on the roof they where successfully lowered into place with a sigh of relief from Pat and I . With the windows in place the roofing crew continued to work on our roof. They could only do a couple of days a week due to other commitments and work progressed rather slowly. By the 18th the roof was still not finished, and our roofers departed. Fortunately the remaining work was neither skilled or structural so Pat and I stepped in and completed the boarding, papered and battened the roof. We also boxed in the eaves ready for the spray foam insulation of the roof. The delay in completing the roof also meant we had lost our slot with the spray foam insulation company. They had been rebooked by our builder but just failed to turn up, no phone call, no email, not a good way to operate. In exasperation we agreed with our builder we would get it organised ourselves. Back to our schedule... all our windows from Velfac were due for delivery imminently. In our initial planning we had allowed some contingency time for build delays, but not nearly enough. Our original delivery date, the first week in April was arrived at after discussion with our builder. We realised some while back that it was unrealistic and delayed to mid May which seemed like a safe option, oh how wrong you can be! It's a curious detail with the Velfac design that you have to have your window apertures rendered prior to window installation. Our render work finally started on June 2nd with an anticipated completion date of the 21st. The work got off to a good start and it looked set for an early completion. We opted to go with JUB for our render as they are our ICF supplier . With us being their first build in the UK they have been very good to us providing render materials at cost. In general the ICF block work was clean and true, just perfect for rendering. Of course there were areas that were not good enough to just render and required remedial work. On our first concrete pour the cantilever beam supporting the first floor was not braced correctly. The beam had twisted deflecting the first floor wall 10-15mm. Regrettably it did not got spotted at the time of the pour and the beam was set. To correct the problem the course of blocks added to the beam was adapted to straighten the first floor wall. This worked out reasonably well and the remainder of the wall is straight an true, but it left a step in the ICF wall face that needed to be fixed before rendering could be done. We did this by building up the wall with cut block and shaving it back, a lot of work. We also discovered another wall bow, not anything like as major but still another task to get fixed prior to rendering. With some help from Velfac we had managed to get the delivery delayed a further week, but after that they would be charging us £50 a week for each pallet and we have five pallets. With the budget already groaning we decided to take delivery on the 17th June and to store the windows in the house ready for installation once rendering completed. We have some big windows and getting them into the house without damage is going to take a lot of care. We talked to the company doing the window install and they kindly agreed to split the install and to assist in the window unload. When our scaffold was installed we had a loading bay added on the first floor specifically to get the windows into the house. We also have organised a hiab delivery vehicle. Even so it's bit nerve racking, fingers crossed all will be well. Last but not least we have water and gas utilities connected, just electricity to go.
  12. With our final concrete pour over last Friday, we breathed a sigh of relief. The worst of the messy work was done and it we could start work on the roof. It was a heck of a week and loads got done, on a very busy and noisy site. Good for us but not for our neighbours. It’s a problem every build faces, maybe worse for a self build where you have known your neighbours for years and been on good terms. We’ve done what we can to keep noise down and not to work antisocial hours, but sometimes you just can’t avoid it. Our last concrete pour should have started at 11am, the concrete lorry didn’t turn up until 3:30pm and as a consequence we were still working on site at 8pm. Then two days of incessant hammer drilling didn’t help. When you already feel like you’ve been put through a mangle, being confronted by an angry neighbour telling you they are at their wits end and that you’ve got to stop is not a good feeling. I think we are now past the worst of the noise but there is plenty of sheet to be cut and nailed down before we return to relative peace. Our plan for the week was for two experienced roofers to start work on Monday and have the roof done by Friday. As always it didn’t quite work out the way. First problem, the steel purlins (the beams that span the roof to support the rafters) were not in place. The sockets for these should be cut in the nice soft ICF and shuttered prior to the last pour, in our case this did not happen as the builders ran out of time preparing for the pour. With the concrete being new and not fully hardened we were told it would be a straight forward process to cut the purlin sockets. Good news as the lifting gear to place them was scheduled for Tuesday. At the same time as the purlin sockets were being cut work was being done to get the pole plates in place to take the floor joist for the loft. Getting the floor in place would make working on the roof much simpler and safer just by reducing the working height. To their credit the roofing team Jimmy and Sam did not sit around but worked with our other builders to get the flooring down on the first floor. To do this all the bracing from the pour needed to come down and the temporary 9mm OSB floor removed along with all the shuttering bits from the pour. Lifting the beams into place on our site is awkward, the front of the house is less than 5M from the pavement making reaching into the site difficult. We had thought we would need a crane to cover the angle and distance rather than a tele handler. Cranes are expensive, over double the cost of a tele handler even if you have an unsupervised lift. After a bit of phoning around we found a HIAB lorry with a massive reach. This turned out to be a very good option, far less disruptive than a crane as it did not block the road. Our beams are all less than 150kg so well within the full reach capability of the lorry. The lorry turned up on time mid day Tuesday, and what a lorry it was. It turned out to be a show vehicle with stunning paint work, apparently it’s been on TV on multiple occasions. There were still two purlin sockets to cut. While work continued on those, the HIAB lifted in the other three beams into place. We only hired the HIAB for half a day and we were running out of time. After a bit of discussion the remaining two beams were lifted onto the gable walls by their sockets, so they could be manhandled into the sockets later. With the purlins in their sockets it was pretty obvious that they needed packing to bring them to the correct levels and set them straight. It had already taken a day and a half to cut them out, so still more work. Our lesson from this is that while it seemed reasonable to cut the sockets after the pour it really is NOT. The sockets are much rougher and cutting their depth with a hammer drill is far from precise, noisy and time consuming. It’s quite surprising just how quickly the concrete hardens of. By close of day on Wednesday we had the floors done ready to start work on the roof. With just two days before the lads headed back north it was agreed they would also work Saturday morning. Just to add to the entertainment we had two very large 2400 x 1200 roof lights each weighing around 200kg scheduled for delivery on Friday. The roof lights sit on OSB sheeting on the rafters not a complex fit but the roof aperture needed to be constructed. Our builder wanted to stick to the schedule, but by late Thursday there was still a lot to be done and we decided to postpone to the next Wednesday. By then we should have a decent chance of being ready and have hired the HIAB again so we can get them into place safely. Work on the roof progressed at a pace and by 11am Saturday we had most of the rafters in place, just one complete section untouched. Our builder does not have any joiners or roofers, so we are now scrambling to find help to finish the roof next week.
  13. A couple of photos added as requested. It's a really clean solution, hopefully won't cause any problems when it comes to putting the windows in.
  14. Very little support form the UK as all the technical knowledge is in the factory in Slovenia. We dealt directly with the technical team who could not have given better service. They were very proactive and quick to answer our questions. We supplied them with our plans from planning approval. JUB then produced a block plan, at the same time we had our structural calculations done. This was a bit of an iterative process as some practical implementation issues resulted in changes to the house design. As an example our planning drawings had some windows running directly into the roof with no lintels. If we were going to do it again the one thing we would do is start with the JUB ICF design guide, this would give you the opportunity to reduce the complexity of the block plan. In particular to avoid the 75mm blocks as they break the brick internal webbing pattern. Ours is the first build in the UK using their block system so I can't guarantee that it would be the same for all customers.