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jack last won the day on July 11

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  1. Like you need more kids!
  2. I don't think that's what @LA3222 is saying. The point is just being made that this is a serious topic, and the "you can do it yourself" approach needs some caveats that weren't being expressed by those encouraging a DIY approach. What happens when someone downloads STROMA, makes a couple of apparently minor errors that aren't picked up by building control, and then builds their house? They go to get the as-built SAP done and find no-one will do it cheaply based on their calculations, so actually they haven't saved much - if any - real money. So they pay, and then the errors that they made are discovered. It's too late to fix them now, and since the design SAP wasn't done by a professional, there's no comeback. Potentially thousands of quid in remedial work could well be required for the sake of a couple of hundred quid. And that's for those who value their time at zero - a problem I definitely have (I will regularly spend an hour on the internet trying to save a few quid, when working for the same amount of time would leave me in an order of magnitude better off financially and in terms of stress). I'm all for DIY. I've done a fair bit of it myself (I've even changed brake pads). But I know where my limitations lie, and saving at most a couple of hundred quid at this stage seems like something you'd want to be very certain about before taking it on. Note that I'm not saying "don't do it". I have exactly the same approach, and it's the bane of my bloody existence! I'm all for doing things yourself, but I also believe that there's a balance to be drawn, especially once you weigh up cost versus risk versus delay versus quality versus stress versus the general principle that doing things yourself can be hugely rewarding.
  3. I doubt there's a single member here who hates trained professionals. I don't doubt that many feel some professionals could do with acting a little more, well, professional.
  4. Can't help but post it now - what a tune:
  5. That's the original song, yes. @Nickfromwales has previously posted the clip to a version of the Utah Saints song that samples it. I think it's come up a couple of times actually.
  6. jack

    Do you like my spreadsheet?

    WOW! Kudos for sticking at it. Why four coats? I think we just have a base coat and a top coat, and it looks pretty good in most places.
  7. They didn't. I suspect it was more to make people aware of the potential issue than to act as a calibrating standard. The main issue with typical metal tapes for me is that bit on the end that slides slightly to account for whether the end of the tape is being pushed into, or pulled away from, whatever's being measured. I just always assume there's a couple of mm error and try to make sure that an error of that magnitude doesn't impact what I'm doing. One example is where the absolute measurement isn't as critical as making sure it's replicated properly (ie, precision is more important than accuracy). An example would be making legs for a workbench. Best to cut all legs at once, or at least use the same physical template for each of them. Doesn't matter if they're all 5mm shorter or longer than the design (which is slightly arbitrary), as long as they're the same. There's something called a "story stick" in woodworking that's a nice development of this idea.
  8. I'm sure there was someone, ages ago, who'd set up an onsite test length where visiting trades could test out their tape measures before relying on them for critical measurements.
  9. That's my starting point for trades of any sort around here. Get any sort of company (as opposed to an individual) involved and it's usually a lot more.
  10. If it's a sealant rather than an adhesive, it may not be intended to provide a mechanical joint.
  11. Have you seen the threads below? One thing that I'm less than happy about with going through the under-slab insulation is the transition from the ASHP feed and return into the ducts under the slab. We used Hep2O barrier pipe in a duct through the slab as described in a couple of the threads below, which meant a right angle HEP2O connection was needed just outside the vertical plane of the wall. Nothing wrong with that, but the elbow is very low relative to the surrounding ground, which made it a little awkward the insulate. Ideally you need to think about how you're going to insulate and protect this area longer term given its position. Other than that, this arrangement works well.
  12. Even with a sealant, you have to be religious about wiping up spills to avoid staining. We have a large permanent mark in our kitchen where my wife took a rubbish bag out of the bin, put it on the floor, then went off and did something else. It wasn't picked up again until the next morning, and by then whatever had leaked out of the bag was well and truly soaked into the concrete. Oh, and stuff tends to break when you drop it onto concrete, but that's an issue with tile as well. It very fast to clean though - a large microfibre broom lets you cover a lot of space quickly. It's also heavenly in the middle of a heatwave when you walk in from a stinky hot day and the concrete sucks the heat out of your feet when you take your shoes off (the kids sometimes lie down on it when they come in). Underfloor cooling helps, and again, you'd get the same effects with tile.
  13. 13 June 2013 for me. Correct (my BuildHub signature mentioned that until a few weeks ago). The choice of NotNickClegg as a forum name came about because I'd just been asked a "prove you're a human" question like "who is the leader of the Labour Party" as part of the sign-up process. I assume people thought I was rabidly for or against some political thing or another.
  14. The architect we went with was actually our first choice, but he baulked at being responsible for a passivhaus build. When we went back to him a year later, we'd found MBC. He looked into their construction method and airtightness guarantee, and that was enough to reassure him that he'd be able to give us what wanted, performance-wise. From the very first draft, his designs all took the construction method into account.
  15. Sure, I know what "a" house looks like. Indeed, I know what several look like. I also know what elements I've liked and disliked in the 20+ houses I've lived in over the years. What I didn't know was how to design a house that would fit my family now and in the future, would work with the significant plot restraints that we had, and would feel amazing to live in. I get it, lots of people know what they want and can't see the point of architects. Personally, I'm really sensitive to my surroundings, and wanted to live in something that was a joy to arrive home to. We've accomplished a lot of that, I think, in a way we wouldn't have managed had we come up with something ourselves. The first architect we engaged I really didn't gel with, ideas-wise. She was a Passivhaus specialist, but I eventually got the impression that she wasn't great at residential houses (long story as to how we ended up with her out of the four or five architects we initially interviewed). The second architect couldn't have been more different. He nailed the design brief almost perfectly with his first shot, presenting a layout that hadn't occurred to me in the hundreds of attempts I'd made myself. We ended up building a tweaked version of that design. Incidentally, the external appearance was something the architect had surprisingly little to do with. He had various ideas for pitched roofs and materials, but in the end I came up with my own external treatment that we preferred to anything he'd done. He was cool with that (and why wouldn't he be). In the scheme of things, he wasn't that expensive, added a lot to the project, and reduced our stress levels. I know others have had different experiences, but that's ours.