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About Nick1c

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  1. I have been told that a woodburner in the new house is 'non-negotiable'. Whilst I love a fire as much as the next person my concern is that having spent several thousand pounds on a stove it will either not be used or we will be sitting round it sweating! Other than enjoying the flames it would however act as a focal point in the room, what have others done for this?
  2. Nick1c

    UFH Spreader Plates

    We put UFH upstairs in our previous house. I battened out the joists and put 50mm cellotex on it, the pipes were then put in and a mix of aggregate and cement (no sand) put in every alternate joist space. The SE didn't think there was enough strength in the spans for a normal screed over the pir. The ensuite had shorter spans so we went for standard screed. The standard screed worked best, followed by the aggregate, you could tell which were the 'alternate' joists. This was in a very leaky house though, with much lower flow temperatures in a more efficient build I am not sure how noticeable it would be (we had t&g solid wood floors). Not sure how this might work with I-beams or posijoists as battening would be problematical.
  3. Nick1c

    Warm batten insulation

    We currently live in a granite barn. When we moved in it was freezing cold, had condensation running down the walls and cost £10/day in gas (you could still see your breath!). It has multifoil insulation in the roof, underfloor heating on the ground floor, sand & cement render internally was cement pointed and the external window cills were 1cm short on each side everywhere. We ditched the bottled gas boiler for an ASHP, rejigged the slate cills so they wrapped round the reveals, had the walls repointed in lime and the applied Beek BS+. The effect was beyond my hopes - heating bills well down (with a warm house), condensation much reduced. Starting from scratch I would have made the building as vapour open and airtight as possible, replacing the s&c with wood fibre insulation & lime plaster with breathable paint, together with properly insulating the roof & floor as much as I could. Could you not work on improving your floor & roof U-values in order to use breathable wall insulation?
  4. One of the reasons we are considering Gaulhofer for our windows is that they offer an external blind system, much like a Venetian blind which is retractable, this would be a big help with any unwanted solar gain on our south facing window. Velux also offer external shutters, these can be retro-fitted so I plan to just ensure we can get power to the rooflights in case we need them.
  5. I like the idea of combining Pv & wind generation as it dramatically improves the window for providing power. However a neighbor has a turbine installed in his field and it is remarkably noisy, not something that would be tolerated in a built up area. Fortunately we are rarely downwind of it. The (lack of) noise claims made by piqued my interest, but they have gone very quiet, and we would never get PP for it on our new site. I do wonder if district systems based on geothermal heat will ever take off, apparently the conditions in Cornwall are good for it, but I would imagine the setup costs would be prohibitive for the foreseeable future.
  6. Nick1c

    Build method options

    Tony on greenbuildingforum built a well insulated high density block house, he also had a website/blog - Tony's house reading iirc (the 'Tony tray' is worth looking at). As others have mentioned a good result can be achieved using any of these methods, which is most appropriate will be specific to your circumstances. Site access and the availability of trades will be key. As far as I can see attention to detail is vital to achieve good air tightness and insulation performance, for this reason I would avoid rigid insulation internally as gap filling would be difficult. Sheathing a building with eps sheets or blown insulation sounds fairly simple to get right.
  7. Living at the end of the country, surrounded by sea on 3 sides is great, but does have drawbacks. One of these is a limited number of local tradespeople with specialist skills in relatively niche areas due to the lack of a sufficient population to support them. I have chosen to build what I hope will be an airtight, well insulated house using I- beams & warmcell with MVHR & as efficient a heating/cooling/hot water system as I can manage. This, I suspect in common with the rest of the country, isn't a common approach so I think it will be difficult to find experienced trades locally. I will have the option of : Importing the labour, with the upside of getting an experienced & efficient worker, and the downsides of having the person responsible a long way away if something goes wrong, not supporting my local economy and paying travel & accommodation expenses. Using local trades who will be slower as they are 'learning on the job' (& time is money...), but nearby if/when things go wrong & I will be supporting the local economy. I would dearly like to use a single contractor for M&E as it will avoid the 'it's not my fault, it's ..(insert another trade)' circular arguments, but I think this will provide the greatest challenge locally. What have others done and how did it turn out?
  8. Nick1c

    E7/10 or standard tariff?

    Thank you @JSHarris. That sounds like a plan.
  9. IIRC there was a kit which allowed extract and supply to be in adjacent rooms. Maybe no good for most houses, but it might work in this situation.
  10. We have had our overhead supply dropped to a cabinet at the base of the pole and an isolator switch fitted. I was planning to have a standard meter fitted, but after reading about @JSHarris use have started to rethink things. Our plans are to build a reverse level house using 300mm I-beams for the walls with a passive slab and 400mm I-beams for the roof with warmcell blown in. There will be 17 Pv panels on the roof facing due south at 22 deg, heating (& possibly cooling) via UFH & an ASHP (with a couple of heated towel rails in the bathrooms), DHW via sunamp(s). A woodburner will be fitted in the living area. If the majority of the use of electricity is on space heating is it sensible to "charge" the slab overnight using the cheaper rate, in spite of the fact that this is when the house would ideally be at its coolest? The estimated energy use is around 19kwh/m2 per year. According to EDF (our current supplier) if over 35% of power is consumed at off peak rates E7 becomes worthwhile, I do however feel a bit twitchy about the limited choice on E7/10 tariffs. What would those better informed than me suggest?
  11. Viking house were pushing a system called FreshR, making all sorts of claims about its efficiency, a while ago. Not heard much about it recently though.
  12. Nick1c

    Budget cost for demolition?

    Ours is around £10k for a 3 bed dormer bungalow & garage a significant issue was an access road 8' wide in places. We used a local farmer for most of it, he also dug/ filled in trenches we needed for services whilst the digger was there.
  13. Nick1c

    Combining in-roof Pv with roof lights

    Thanks @Alexphd1 that look to be just the thing.
  14. Nick1c

    Combining in-roof Pv with roof lights

    Thank you. If it is being used with slates or tiles the vertical element of the flashing is covered by the horizontally orientated remainder of the roof covering. If the join is flashing to flashing (& close enough for the different panels to appear evenly spaced) wouldn't making he joint weathertight be problematic (we are in an exposed coastal location)?
  15. Our house has a 2 X 11 strip of Pv panels (17) & roof lights (5) drawn on the plans. None of the roof lights are next to each other. If possible it would make sense to use in-roof Pv as it would save slates and look cleaner but I can't imagine how the flashing would work. I know it is possible to have either Pv panels or roof lights linked together, but haven't seen them combined - has anyone come across anything that would work?