Simon R

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Simon R last won the day on May 6

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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.
  • Location
    Lee on Solent - Hampshire

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  1. I've used Trojan t-125 on our boat for some time and found them good value for money. They're 6v deep cycle and do require regular maintenance, top up with distilled water every month. They put up with a lot of heavy use in fork lifts and golf trolleys.
  2. Just a little to add to the topic. We have 4600L Kingspan Klagester rain water harvesting system which we installed primarily to take care of surface water as the cost of connection to the surface water drain was prohibitive. The system cost £1789 back in January 2019. The system has a few benefits over just a straight tank and pump solution, allowing levels to be monitored and also top up from mains water if required. We use the water for the washing machine, to flush toilets and the garden. It looks and smells like clean water. The tank has a leaf filter, we also added scotch brite mesh filters to the down pipe drains. Keeping light from the water is pretty fundamental and I would not go the IBC route myself. On the minus side. We didn't have a good experience with Kingspan as our pump was found to be faulty but was deemed out of warrantee which is just one year from delivery, We didn't commission the system in the first year of our build! The pump has been replaced with a better one from Divertron which cost less than the £300 service charge that Kingspan wanted just t look at the problem. A bonus from the pump swap is that the pump has a float intake so water is taken from the tank surface rather that the bottom of the tank where sediment will inevitably build up.
  3. Thanks, we hope your project goes to plan.
  4. Thanks, we did pop a cork and no glass broken. It would have been nice to have a house warming but that can wait.
  5. Indeed it was pretty full on, especially as we spent the summers on our narrow boat. Surprisingly very little impact from CV19, just a few problems with supplies. We lucked out on our plasterer who had a gob postponed and did ours just as we were going into lockdown. Doing the work ourselves was rather fortunate as we didn't have isolation issues
  6. Building controls have issued our “Completion Notice” a big milestone for any self build and definitely called for a celebration. A big sigh of relief from both our councils building control and us.🙄 Our many thanks to all the contributors at BuildHub, we certainly could not have done it without the support of the forum members. Particularly Jeremy Harris @Jeremy Harriswho’s broad knowledge and good advice...goodness knows where he’s disappeared to but the forum is a poorer place without his input. It’s been a while since we first broke ground in January 2019 and it certainly has had it’s moments and a good few sleepless nights. There is no doubt in our minds when doing a self build that you have to be doing it for yourselves. We’ve ended up with a house that we could not have gone out and purchased and learned a whole lot on the way. Our initial vision was something small, manageable and future proofed. Hopefully we have achieved this and have added a decent quality house to the housing stock. When we started we visited the building research establishment (BRE) and looked at the Zed Factory house that was there. We decided to take a look at that route. ZED provided either a shell or turnkey solutions, both of which were within our budget. The cost per square metre in the ZED literature at BRE indicated a very competitive turnkey price in the region of £1,350 a square meter. As with all things the low price came with compromises as it was a “cookie cutter” solution and the finish was not all that we would have liked. What we have ended up with is our own vision at a comparable cost of around £1,400 a square metre built to our specification. Sounds like a great result, that is until you factor in the fact that we did the majority of the labour. It’s easy to see why the prices from ZED increased to more like £1,600 a square meter when we asked them to quote. From a design point we still need to live a full year in the house to know if we got our energy sums correct. Early indications are that we should need very minimal input in winter but may have too much solar gain in spring. Our east facing windows are great for the clear winter morning but a little too warm for April sun. In the big scheme of things it should be easily fixed by adding blinds. Our EPC rating came out as a “B” marked down from a due to our use of gas for heating and water, a bit daft given it’s the lowest CO2 emissions at 0.184kg per kwh compared to electricity which is in the 0.233kg region. It would be simpler and better just to do EPC on a kwh per square meter basis, putting the emphasis on input reduction. The MVHR is certainly helping, here's a screen shot from the duct temperatures on a frosty morning. We’ll draw our blog to a close at this point, just got to dust off our resumes and add house building to the skill set 🤣.
  7. Thought I would just throw in my pennies worth. I'll start by admitting I'm no expert, but the importance of keeping inputs to a minimum is key. When we looked at the building cost and energy consumption, I did very similar sums to your own. It depends on site orientation etc, but our build thermal input worked out at a theoretical 68w/per degree for the structure. So a 10 degree difference is 680 requires 680w input. We have quite a bit of glazing and doing it all triple glazed meant we did not require the cost of complexity of an ASHP significantly simplifying the build. A couple of small towel rails are all we need to heat the house. Looking at our gas use over the past two weeks the heating has only come on twice and our total gas use has been just 70kWh mainly for hot water.
  8. Well, the sensor in the vaulted ceiling over the kitchen is a heat alarm and it's within 600mm of the apex. We do have a smoke alarm in another room with a vaulted ceiling, again it's within 600mm of the apex. Our kitchen/living room is one area with a staircase and landing joining the two areas. The flat ceiling over the living room has a separate smoke alarm.
  9. We also have vaulted ceilings. For the kitchen we have a heat rather than smoke alarm. Bedrooms, living areas have smoke detectors and the garage/workshop has a heat alarm. We opted for LD1 just because it was a new build and we wanted to do thw best job we could. https://www.fireangel.co.uk/your-guide-for-smoke-alarm-positioning-to-meet-building-regulations/
  10. I fitted these after a bit of looking around. They are mains powered and use wireless communication, not your wi-fi. Got them from "your IT delivered". Cavius 8080138 Main powered 230V smoke 8080138 5 £13.69 GBP
  11. Renaissance Wax should do the trick.
  12. Helen is bound to know, I'll ask here and get back to you.
  13. Simon R

    In at last!

    The stairs are really important, especially when they are in a windowed void. The price of bespoke stairs tends to be very high, so it's nice when you can get a kit that looks the part and does not cost an arm and a leg. Our three stair cases came in at 8k(not including VAT) which makes them a bargain.
  14. Most of the work isn't that difficult, it comes down to attention to detail. Having said that, dealing with light materials in a windy environment is no fun, definitely a case of doing it when the weather is on your side. Our roof from inside to out is made up of: VCL membrane stapled and taped (air tightness is all important as you don't want any vapour getting into the foam) Rafters are C24 225x40 wood at 400 centres. Spray foamed to a depth of 200. 18mm OSB board over the rafters. Moisture proof breathable membrane overlapped and tacked Battens running up the roof slope 18mm OSB in 400mm horizontal strips with 80mm gaps between the strips. HPS 200 roof covering. The VCL and spray foam were done after the standing seam roof was complete. No water should get under the standing seam, but there is always a risk of condensate, hence the dual layer of OSB which makes a natural chimney to give good ventilation. Interestingly Greg, one of the three who ordered our roof together did put another membrane under the standing seam roof. It was an expensive membrane not required by the manufacturer and we decided not to include it. Patrick will know what the membrane was.
  15. The through sheet fixings were not a requirement of the manufacturer, except in the eaves fixings. More a case of of our belt and braces approach in a coastal area were we get some serious winds.