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jack last won the day on June 30

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About jack

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  1. I did at the time. From memory, Z-wave is cheaper , but there's a much more limited selection of components, and I seem to recall there being issues with range and reliability of the protocol as a whole. That might have been FUD from Loxone though. The programming environment for Loxone is extremely powerful and easy to use, which was really what swung it for me. Loxone does occasional open evenings at a pub near where they're based in Reading. Worth getting along to if you can. Failing that, they have a few videos on Youtube showing how it all works. I will caution that since I bought it a couple of years ago, Loxone does seem to be moving more and more towards closed systems, and are increasingly reticent to support self-installers. There are active forums with very helpful people that can get you around this though. You can also mix and match Loxone with other stuff. They have DMX and modbus interfaces, for example, plus their outputs are relays and so can be used to control just about anything that uses switched contacts (eg, many MVHR and ASHP units). The one thing that I didn't realise at the time was just how rarely I'd open the interface. Mine isn't connected to the outside world, so I can't control anything remotely. Just about everything else is controlled automatically or by hard switches, so I typically wouldn't open the mobile interface more than a couple of times a month!
  2. Yes. And you can start one with "and" as well!
  3. Heritage statement

    Let me know if you'd like me to merge these threads together @Ed_MK
  4. First plans draft

    That wasn't what I was suggesting. Our laundry room is just near the bottom of our stairs, so minimal transit in the downstairs area with laundry. I personally dislike the idea of walking through multiple door openings with awkward laundry baskets. I can see why you've put it where you've put it (natural light and all), but it's a shame it's such a hike from the bottom of the stairs. But hey, house design is full of compromises. At least we get to choose our own compromises when designing our self-builds!
  5. My parents in law have a number of wealthy friends - sold their businesses for £10-30 million type of well-off (after years of raking in hundreds of thousands of quid per annum from these businesses). All are retired with huge houses, expensive cars every couple of years, large holiday houses in France, trips all over the world. Yet to a person, all they seem to care about is foreigners, benefits cheats, regulations inconveniencing them ("health and safety gone mad!") and the amount of tax the government "steals" from them. I have a lot of difficulty sitting in the same room hearing them talk about how hard they worked to get where they are, as if every poor person just needed to a work a bit harder to get everything they've had. Oh, and it seems they all read the Daily Wail! I think the problem is that selfishness makes you unhappy. All the research shows that true happiness comes from giving, not getting. If these people spent a bit less time (and money) trying to fill the voids in their own lives with "stuff", and a bit more time trying to make the lives of others better, I'm sure they'd be happier. Not really a conversation you can have with them of course!
  6. Before I began the actual process, I couldn't understand all those Grand Designs episodes where people were working full time jobs then working on the house long into the night when they weren't actually building it. How much time can it take to make a few decisions, I naively thought. Interior doors? An hour's online research. Kitchens? Give it two or three nights' research, then a couple of trips to make a decision. In reality, even minor decisions took many, many hours of researching and thinking. Important things like kitchens probably had 100+ hours spent/wasted on them. That's a lot of time when you're working and have kids to entertain. I find that the real stresses came later, because everything you do beyond a certain point is visible forever. Earlier stresses and difficulties are covered over and forgotten about, whereas a poorly installed run of skirting board reminds you of its existence every time you walk past it (well, it does me - my wife doesn't see any of those sorts of issues ). People shouldn't underestimate the amount of stress that'll be involved. At times it was easily the most stressful thing I've done, and that was with the benefit of being not far off a cash builder with no money concerns. That said, the end result is worth it. In my case, my marriage is definitely stronger as a result of what we went through (a couple of common enemies helped!), and I learned a lot about myself in the process.
  7. Given how incredibly rough the floor is, I suspect @oranjeboom would have a decent chance in court if it came to it. Of course, it there's anything in writing about the importance of flatness and/or the datum he'd be providing, then the position would be that much stronger. There are standards for screed flatness, but if you don't specify, you'd be left arguing that it's implicit that at least the lowest standard would be met. All my best guesses based on no real knowledge, as per usual!
  8. How many self tapping coach bolts will you need, at what size and length? I've half a box of galvanised 110mm (from memory) self-tapping coach bolts lying around somewhere that you're welcome to, although I'm assuming these will be too short if you need to get through a layer of Durisol and 50mm of wood.
  9. Coin covered garage floor

    Lacquer over the top, they say, but the gaps between them will be dirt traps, and the edges of the coins mean the lacquer will wear through quickly. I've seen kitchen worktops done like this where they encase the lot in a layer of resin. Expensive for a space this size, and then you're likely to have a load of bubbles trapped in the final layer, plus it'll be slippery.
  10. First plans draft

    That's one direction (the gravity-assisted direction!) taken care of. Given the amount of laundry we get through at the moment, utility room accessibility is pretty high on our list of priorities.
  11. No need for deletion, that's the mildest way that Vodafone's behaviour can be put. It's £29 a month. That's pretty standard if the phone is included (indeed, it could be a lot worse if you go for the most expensive iPhone). I say that as someone on an £8 a month plan that does me fine.
  12. That wasn't the original contract value though, £1307.52 was. Welcome to the forum. Sounds like a nightmare. Interesting what you say about the ombudsman. I'd already decided not to go that route and will instead be going via small claims who actually have some authority to do something. My main argument will be that I didn't agree to a self-managed account, and I'll be demanding to see a copy of the contract I signed telling me about it. The backup argument is that no reasonable company would continue to take money for that length of time for a phone account that they have admitted they can see has not been used for months on end. We'll see. Just need to find the time to do it now!
  13. First plans draft

    I may sound like my mother in law saying this, but it's a long way from the bedrooms to the utility room!
  14. Toilet Hire in the South

    How many of you on site? During busy times with several people onsite, the portable toilet was reeking after a week. Can't imagine going months without a change! For £25 a week or whatever it was, I was happy not to have to faff around with buying, selling, and maintaining it. Plenty of other stuff to worry about during that period!
  15. Toilet Hire in the South

    I assume that includes (weekly?) servicing?