Simon R

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Simon R last won the day on July 2 2019

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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. We got it direct from Blauberg. The unit is the SB550 and our house volume is just under 500m3 from our SAP calculations. Blauberg offer a free system design service which was useful. We bought their large 4 bed house kit which comes in under 3k if you register as a builder (salesman told me to honest). We've had the unit ticking over while we've been working on the house and it's very quiet. The unit interface is from a smart phone app and makes operation nice and simple. We won't know how well the unit work in terms of heat recovery until we're done though.
  2. What's the difference between a Bison and a buffalo? answer: you can't wash your hands in a buffalo...
  3. Hi Patrick, us boaters know this as Bison board (phenolic ply) and it's used for exposed decks on narrow boats. Last for years in the open. A much better product than OSB both in durability and strength. Get as much of it as you can!
  4. After a summer spent cruising the canals we arrived back on site with a little trepidation and a lot of enthusiasm. When we left the build we had just got the scaffold down and had a lockable water tight shell,. Well almost water tight, we still have two leaks. One where our roof lights join and another on a roof seam that abuts the wall on the house gable. Fortunately neither were bad enough to have caused any damage over what has been a pretty dry summer. The internals of our ICF build required no supporting walls making it a nice big unencumbered space to start installing the MVHR, electrics and plumbing. We had decided to get the MVHR installed first as the pipes are the largest and least flexible. The system design for our MVHR had been provided by Blaugberg making it a fairly straight forward install. Of course the design hadn’t taken into account joist spacing or any other details of the construction. Taking the joists into account etc we ended up mounting the two manifolds next to the MVHR unit raised for the floor to allow access. Getting the MVHR into position involved getting a bulky 80KG box to the roof area of the house, a task made pretty simple with the aid of an electric winch. With the manifolds raised off the floor and two of us feeding the pipes through the aero joist webbing we managed to get all the pipes in with minimal loss of skin. The manifolds have large removable panels that allow access to install flow constrictors. Our intent is to get the MVHR setup as soon as we can to help keep heat in the house and to get the humidity down from the 65-70 percent it’s currently at. One other job we wanted to get done early was an initial air tightness test. Although we are not building for passive certification we want to make sure we are as close to the 0.6 passive house level. We needed to get the roof VCL installed, in our case this is just a plastic membrane. Getting the membrane in place where we have vaulted ceilings was time consuming as it involved step ladder, a ladder and staging to get to the top of 5M high. With the membrane in place we called in a local firm to do the air test. With the fan drawing air into the house detecting leaks was straight forward as the air was much cooler outside than in. We had a few leaks virtually all at the junctions of the VCL with the roof purlins. The guy doing the test recommended trowelling mastic over the spray foam which had been used to seal the junction of the purlins and the ICF. Having identified the areas we needed to fix we got on with the air test proper. As the test proceeded restrictor rings were fitted to the fan until the required air pressure was stable. The initial figures are excellent down at 1.08 ARCH which given we have a bare structure and know leaks around the purlins mean we should be able to meet the 0.6 ARCH. Interesting form me was the degree to which the fan got restricted, you can see from the photo that just a 15mm ring was left exposed. For a normal build this would be the case for a small single bedroom flat. With the MVHR tubes in place we set to installing the water pipes. It’s surprising just how much having to make decisions about tap positions can exercise your patience. We had opted to use a water softener and after a bit of searching around decided to use a Monarch Solo, a non electric water softener that gives ample flow rates for our house size. Compared to re-plumbing a house starting out from scratch made it a simple and quick. Again having two people to feed the pipes makes the job a lot simpler and saves shaving the pipes through the ceiling webbing. We will pressure test all the water circuits prior to do any plasterboarding. Along side the water pipe installation we also installed the electrical ring mains. With ICF it’s important that the wires don’t come into contact with the polystyrene as it leaches the plasticiser from the cable insulation making it brittle over time. Lighting rings will follow. We have a fairly good idea of where we want lights but it’s difficult to be sure so we plan to put in a lot of redundancy so we can change lighting as required once living in the space. We have also installed stud walls for the two bedrooms and bathrooms. The seemingly huge space soon shrinks! Having said that the rooms are generous. In the entrance hall one wall has a curved corner, a little more fiddly to construct but well worth the effort making the hall/stair area look really good.
  5. One thing to consider is simplicity of construction. We've just done an ICF build using a block from JUB. Yes, it's more costly than Nudura on the face of it but there is no waste as you get a pre-cut lego kit. It also greatly reduces the risk of errors on site, the down side much less flexibility to move windows and doors one on site.
  6. It's an ICF build so we should get next to nothing transmitted through the walls. I'm going to seal the floor to the ICF using 3m 8067 tape to try and prevent transfer.
  7. So the test covers the speech spectrum, which I guess is a reasonable approach. I'm only going to do this once so I'll go the MF route, combined with attention to skirting and board sealing detail. Thank you for your help.
  8. definitely MF then 63 DB is a big difference! thanks for the tip about Screenboard 28, I'll take a look at that. Foot fall is not my main concern so it may not be worth considering a floor covering. thanks Simon
  9. We're going round in circles trying to decide how best to finish our floors to get an acceptable level of sound proofing. Our bedrooms are on the ground floor separated from a hall and stairs by 4x1 stud walls in which we'll put 100mm RW45 and double up on the plaster board on the hall side. The stair is open and connects with the first floor which is open plan. So no sound deadening between the living area and the hall area. The doors from the hall to the bedrooms are good heavy and well sealed. We would like to be able to have the bedrooms quiet enough to sleep in even if someone is watching TV or playing music upstairs. I don't think we will be able to completely deaden foot fall. The floor is 300mm posi joists on 400mm centres, with 22mm caberdeck and we are putting 100mm Rockwool Flexi Slab between the joists (RW45 is only available in 600mm). The floor edges will be air sealed to reduce airborne sound using Siga tape or the 3M equivalent. We are adding the two layers of 12.5 plasterboard, our choices for fixing this are; Directly to the posi joists - no decoupling. Use resilient bars Use MF with GAH1 hangers. Trying to find informations on what level of sound reduction each option offers is proving fraught. Our gut feel is that the MF solution with GAH1 hangers has the best chance of delivering the sound reduction we require. Not entirely happy proceeding on gut feel with no data!
  10. 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
  11. 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:
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.