Sue B

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About Sue B

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    Christchurch, Dorset

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  1. Sue B

    Hello from Christchurch, Dorset

    I’ve seen your plans - they look very interesting. Harbour views are beautiful in your area. We are considering 2 ICF products - Durisol and Velox. Both made of the same “stuff” but different shapes and ways of getting them together. We have been to see the Durisol build in Lulworth Avenue - that has been standing for a couple of months with no concrete pour as there has been a planning issue. The blocks seem very solid even without the concrete. i haven’t searched for any local ICF builders as we are intending to build ourselves (very slowly) but interesting that there is one so near. We may well have a chat to them to see if they have ever used any other ICF product. I suspect that they are Logix users? We too have planning but it is horrible. Trying to do something a little more to our liking at the moment.
  2. I’m the same. We put a kitchen into our temporary structure that we are currently living in about 18months ago and got the third degree from the salesman about no extractor hood. I just never use it. In our last build I found a pop up extractor - i’d never seen anything like it and had to have it. I didn’t want to hit my head on a hanging down hood. I can’t remember the make but it’s none of those mentioned, something from Germany. It was quite noisy and really didn’t work very well.
  3. I am planning the design for our new build and have created a nicely sized plant room on the ground floor. In our last build, our MVHR was put up in the loft and this appears to be a very standard place. However, it was horrible to get to to change the filters and more importantly, in this build we are having a flat roof so no lofts in sight! Is there any possible reason why the MVHR cannot go downstairs? If the intake and exhause vents need to be at first floor level, is there normally any resitriction on the length of pipework? We haven't even looked at MVHR units yet so checking the spec of "our" unit isn't possible. If there is no reason not to put it downstairs, am I missing something in wanting it accesible? I know you only change the filters once or twice a year ( not sure because I am not the one who would venture into the loft to do the deed), but it just seems to make better sense to me. It also caused us lots of issues when it came to doing the air-tightness tests at the end. We have learnt a lot from that build which was lovely to live in but cost a fortune to heat.
  4. Sue B

    Anybody using Velox ?

    I spoke to Marek again today - his email to me with pictures of builds had not sent so I got a whole series of them today. I can't believe that one of the builds was the Surf School on our local beach. Less that 3 miles away and a beach that we visit regularly as our beach hut is within 50 feet of it!! I must have gone up before we moved to that beach hut! @D Walter - I'd love to come and visit. It looks like you are nearing your shell completion so would love to come before you do your final pour. Any idea when that pour is likely to be?
  5. Sue B

    Hello from Christchurch, Dorset

    @JSHarris - we were actually in New Denham which is the other side of the Denham roundabout. A little place called Willowbank where every house seemed to suffer from subsidence. The original houses were all built in the 1920s with very little foundations. When the environment agency did flood relief works, the water table dropped and the bungalows all started to crack. The place is basically an island with the grand union canal on one side (our garden backed onto it) and the other side of the island had the river colne as a boundary. One road on and off opposite Rank Xerox UK head office. A lovely little gem of a place within walking distance of a tube station into London. I cried when we shut the door for the last time there even though we have a lovely life down here. That house was designed by me over a period of two years before I got it right on verion 32. We spent 12 very happy years there.
  6. Sue B

    Hello from Christchurch, Dorset

    @mvincentd - that is the one we went to look at. Their planning decision is expected in January when they can hopefully pour the concrete. The blocks have been up for a while and they are looking out over the harbour. The house will be stunning once built.i don't envy them in the caravan all winter though. We ar lucky in that we should be able to continue living in this structure while we build. We have to remove this structure within 28 days of completion so if anyone knows of a way of getting a 20ft wide structure down a track probably no wider than 12 ft, they are welcome to a build home that is much more comfortable than a caravan
  7. Sue B

    Anybody using Velox ?

    I spoke to the UK rep last week and he was overseas. He asked me to email him which I have done but had no response so far. Over the phone he mentioned builds in Devon and Hampshire. Englsih was not his first language and his geography of "local" was different to mine. We are East Dorset and I suspect we will be driving to Exeter to see a hotel being built out of the stuff. I suspect the Hampshire build is the one by @D Walter on the Isle of Wight. Are you up for visitors @D Walter if I can get dog sitters arranged for the day?
  8. Sue B

    Anybody using Velox ?

    We came across Velox on this forum and I really like what I see with the product. Are there any builds near me at the moment? I am in Christchurch, Dorset.
  9. Sue B

    Hello from Christchurch, Dorset

    Well things are starting to move forward (in my head at least). We have spoken to Build Store about mortgages and my fears have been confirmed - we are going to have to get a move on and get started ASAP to get a mortgage that is affordable because of the length of repayment allowed. We will also have to cut costs. Originally we were intending a very hands off build using SIPS. The budget constraints now mean that we will have to do a lot of work ourselves. That has prompted us to look seriously at ICF builds again. We saw the Durisol product at the HB&R show in Bath recently and really like the product. We have since looked at Velox and I think I may prefer it. We are going to look at a property very local to us tomorrow who have built a summer house themselves using Durisol and are now in the process of building a house in it, using day rate labour to actually get the shell up. They are at first floor height without a concrete pour yet so very excited to have a look at it and see how the blocks are standing up to the weather we are suffering from at the moment. Not sure if the owners are on this forum but will find out tomorrow. We are also looking for anyone who is using Velox in the local area for us to visit, I'll be asking the question on the ICF area shortly as I think I have seen someone based in Hampshire using it - Hampshire is pretty much at the end of our plot and over the common land and river Avon so not too far away at all. Finally, I have been reading lots of interesting posts on here - the VAT one is excellent and very helpful. The mention of a blog by @JSHarris by a few people, led me to read that over the space of the last week. First off, I am in awe of your single-minded tenacity and abiltiy to solve problems and come up with creative and innovative solutions. Most of it went totally and completely over my head but I couldn't help reading bits out to OH everynow and again with us both giggling at someone having bits from a deep sea scuba dive 30 years ago in the workshop - "as you do" that are waiting to be used for an entirely different purpose. My Dad would have been hero worshipping you. He could never throw anything away "that may come in useful one day". Excellent blog and well worth the read - thank you for taking the time to write it.
  10. When it comes to the actual design, I have a personal dislike of corridors - they take up space for no gain. It is one of the reasons I struggle with bungalows. I would put the room at the end of the corridor run, across the whole width of the building and reduce the length of the corridor. It does mean you don't have an exit door at the end but you can do that in the corridor wall and walk around the outside of the house. I have to say if either house was up for sale, I would look at the floor plans and walk away without viewing as the layouts would never work for me. If they work for you and your family, then that is what you need to build but you have asked for our views - sorry.
  11. My view on en-suites come from the cleaning angle. Our first house was a normal small 3 bed semi when we bought it. We did a large two storey side and rear extention and ended up with a family bathroom for our two children and we had en-suite shower room. I realised within months that I never went into the family bathroom, I only ever visited it to clean it after the kids had been in there and when we knew a visit from family or friends was iminent - it was filthy! Move on 10 years and we moved to our first self build. The children were then 16 and 18 and I designed the house ( yes, myself without an architect) with four bedrooms, all with en-suites plus a downstairs cloakroom for visitors. My whole reason for making each room en-suite was so that I DIDN'T have to clean up after the kids. Their bathrooms were in their rooms, I just made sure their bedroom doors were kept shut, tightly shut to keep any escaping germs, bugs and other unpleasant items in there rather than in my air. When my son moved out and we were getting ready to sell up, I went into his shower room for the first time in 7 years. It was VILE. It took me a day to clean the smallest shower room in the world, but I had lived happily without worrying about how bad the room was for each of those 7 years. I gave them en-suites to avoid me doing the cleaning. When I design the next house (just starting thinking about it now) there will be en-suites again in each bedroom and there are only the two of us now.
  12. Sue B

    Who’s been on what?

    Music Time - as a young child. 10 programmes made in the BBC at the White City Studios. We were next to the Blue Peter studio and they piped the rehearsals into our studio one day when we were there. It made the day of many 9 year olds I can tell you. This was in the days of John Noakes, Peter Purvis and Valerie Singleton. We got to eat in the BBC canteen as well - that was a big highlight. Then after we were allowed to watch it on the TV in school when it was broadcast, on one of the TVs with the lockable doors on a very tall wheely stand (with the shaded blackout curtain that stopped glare if the TV was in the sun! Oh the memories!
  13. Sue B

    Rainwater harvesting

    Hi everyone We are new to this but have a large kitchen garden to water during the summer months. We therefore need a large water container or possible smaller connected ones. We don’t particularly want a basement and the house is going to be about 50ft from the kitchen garden. I would want at least 10,000L for the watering. Not looking at using any of the rainwater in the house (at the moment at least). Have read the whole thread and realise I haven’t decided the language yet. Any advice please?
  14. Hi everyone. We are just in the initial planning stages of building our new home. We have built once before and never intended to do it again. Then we decided to downsize and go mortgage free. A move from Denham to Christchurch happened and we now live on a beautiful plot of 1.5 acres, near the sea, in peace and quiet. The dwelling on the plot at the moment is classified as a temporary structure and is not mortgageable. However, it is very comfortable to live in and we can continue to live in this while the new house is being built. We are looking to build in SIPS but also interested in ICF. One of our big problems is going to be a mortgage, we are currently mortgage free but will need a mortgage to build. I am 55 and working, my OH is 57 and looking for a job but finding that difficult down here. We will contact BuildStore nearer the time but I can foresee issues with length of time for repayment. We know we will not be living here for the rest of our lives - 1.5 acres will be too much for us to deal with in future years and we are hoping for 10, maybe 15 years here. Planners are a bit “tricky” of course and added to that is the re-organisation of the local authority - Christchurch is going to become part of Bournemouth next year which I suspect will improve the situation. Finally, we are on green belt and within 400m of an SSSI - just to add to the fun. We are one of the few plots on this lane to have got planning permission so we are very lucky. Look forward to seeing everyone’s progress Sue