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TerryE last won the day on March 24 2017

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About TerryE

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    Northamptonshire, UK

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  1. Thanks. My info is obviously out of date.
  2. In fact 1and1, Webfusion and Heart Internet are all owned by the same company but retain their own brand identity and provide some of their services separately. I really don't want to jump services just to discover that the new provider's support for Android sucks, or they've got some other gotcha. I just tried to sign up for OVH. The sign-up form is in English, but the console is in French and they don't have a change language option. OK, my reading French is good enough to understand the site, but it is a pain. My selected language is "Anglais", not that that seems to help. 😋 It's a hard one. As I said, my ISP gives my a static IP -- far better than Dynamic DNS, IMO so what I might just do is to stay with WF and change my email apps to Blue Mail
  3. The one is really at the intersection of Boffins corner and off-topic, and I am primarily not talking about your Internet Service Provider (we use John Lewis with static IP; BTW -- highly recommended). This is really address to those who use a website and / or a private email domain. We used to use Webfusion to host a shared hosting website and also my ellisons.org.uk domains and provide my email. About 6 years ago I switched to Heart Internet and at that time it was an extremely good service, but my main issue is that they haven't really updated their shared services in that time, so the shared service staggers with apps like WordPress. However my main issue is that their SPAM filters treat Android email clients as SPAM, because the standard Google email client does stuff that their SpamAssassin filters treat as suspicious. (SpamAssassin pretty much went into frozen support about 5 years ago, long before most of the population had Android phones and picked p their emails on them.) So we get quite a lot of SPAM through on ellisons.org.uk but can't send emails from our phones. Arrggh! So what I am looking for is a hosting provider: that allow you to use your own domain name, and have reasonable control over your DNS entries whose email service works well with Android mail clients, that provides a decent shared hosting service. I am looking at OVH which has good write ups but would be interested in others experience. Incidentally Heart Internet provide the virtual private server (VPS) for this site and this service is good and excellent VFM. It's their shared services that are a dog. I did look at configuring a VPS for my needs, but most email service setups seem to be complex and RAM hungry and overkill will an email domain with only ½ dozen mailboxes on it.
  4. TerryE

    fire in the house

    The advice on fire blankets is mixed: they can do more damaged to the user in untrained hands Gooogle "YouTube powder fire extinguisher use" and take your pick. Well watching one or two. Or you could keep it in the garden shed. 😱 Seriously the best place is somewhere accessible such as on a wall bracket in the hall. If it looks unsightly then you could always have a nice cover made for it. We have ours just off the ground-floor hall, but since we have a 3 floor house we should also have one on the top floor landing.
  5. TerryE

    fire in the house

    Lizzie, can I just echo the support that everyone else has given. We had a fairly heated debate over a years ago about the risks of house fires and I did some research of the statistics. The numbers have been going down year-on-year for decades as people use less open fires, mobile heaters smoke less. Electrics are also getting a lot safer. But three points: The biggest risk here was to you yourself. If you walk into a room with smoke in it (rather than evacuating and phoning 999) then you are putting yourself at severe risk. One of the other posters was an ex-fireman, and his view was that you should never do this. My view was that this is a personal decision, but that you should be aware of the risks. IMO, you should always have a powder extinguisher to hand in the house, and in your hand before you enter any such room. You should also make a conscious risk assessment before you open the door: feel the handle for heat, and look for signs of smoke and only crack the door to begin with, because a room of hot flammable gasses can spontaneously ignite when the door is opened. So get the immediate aids and understand / practice how to use them -- if you are planning to do anything other than immediate evacuation. Some electrics are designed to be plugged in all of the time; some not. Please respect this division. A hair drier is a heater; it is designed to get very hot. Leaving one plugged in and in a drawer full of insulating flammables is just being crazy. The switch might fail; you might not fully disengage it allowing to fail back on; you might knock it on when rummaging in the drawer. Don't leave appliances like this plugged in, please.
  6. TerryE

    Pre-Application submission advice

    Most LPAs are now under severe financial restraints and the need for cost recovery. So in our LPA we are at the other extreme and there is zero chance of walking into the planning office and expecting 5 mins of advice. So we went the PPA route, and to be honest we found it very good value. Our LPA had a fixed schedule of charges; the fees are for new builds 1-9 houses are: £160 + VAT for Meeting + written advice + site visit £80 + VAT for Follow up requests for further meeting + written advice (+ site visit if needed) But look online: your LPA will publish guidelines and a schedule of charges. IMO, it is a good idea effectively to prepare a decent draft of the full application. What we got for our money was the PO read through our application in depth and he then came to the site and we had a sit down and detailed discussion where he told us what the LPA would like and also made some very useful suggestions. His write up was also very useful and I did regularly refer back to it. TBA, the £160 was very good VFM given his effort and input. He answered a couple of emails but also suggested a follow up which we didn't take up, because we didn't like the 6 week response cycle, but in retrospect we should have done so. Three points: Your case officer assessing your application will also read the PPA. If you follow the PPA then the assessment will say this, and this will greatly help in getting you application approved. However, it isn't a guarantee as I have heard of cases where the subsequent application follows PPA and is still turned down, but much of this is street tales from by builder, I don't know. If you have PPA and go against it in your application, then this is a definite black mark; better to prepare the evidence and to try to get the POs support in a follow up. IMO, the whole planning cycle is a potential nightmare. PPA is the one time that you are paying for LPA services and they are committing to a face-to-face engagement; the fees are reasonable and I think that this is money well spent. I personally disagree about using the planning application cycle as a way of getting free advice. The only time that we tried this was when our LP enforcement officer told use that we had to put in a NMA because our front door was not consistent with our application. "You can discuss the application with the allocated officer". The only problem was that our LPA leaves allocation to the last minute, so there wasn't anyone allocated a few days before the SLA deadline. We then got a rejection without him even contacting us: submit a MMA. I don't think that he even bothered to read the submission properly. Unfortunately NMA vs MMA is entirely at the discretion of LPA, and there was no way that the planner was going to change his mind, once the paperwork had been posted.
  7. @Lizzie, we used MBC like you for both the slab and the frame. It sounds like you had your unfair share of problems arising from quality issues during the laying of the slab. In our case, I didn't have a PM, but my wife Jan and I did this all ourselves, and we monitored the progress on a daily basis during both the slab work and the frame erection. In both phases (as we have previously discussed on the forum), we found a major thermal design flaw in the slab and another issue with the frame. If either had been left undetected then like you we might have had similarly serious defects to air, but in both cases I picked the issue and discussed it with the TF company's PM and agreed remediation; doing this immediately involved minor rework. Also after the slab was finished I double-checked all of the linear and diagonal measurements, and used my Dumpy to check levels. The maximum error on the line measurements was about 5mm; the maximum off-level was a 3-4mm slump along the centre of one of the gable walls, and the placement of one of the foul water risers was about 2cm out. However this was all within acceptable tolerances so we knew that the TF erection could proceed. I feel that the root of this issue is the culture of poor on-site quality assurance in the (domestic) building industry. IMO, this is true across all construction methods. Things can and do go wrong, but the impacts will be small if such errors are picked up immediately and rectified there and then. IMO, your PM should have also done this sort of check on the slab before TF erection and identified the defect at this stage. It would have been fairly straightforward to remedy this at this stage with maybe a 1-2 week delay on the TF erection and you wouldn't have had all of the consequential issues with trying to erect a TF on an untrue slab. Jan and I have a TF house; we are absolutely delighted with it, and have no regrets about this choice. Since we did all of the interior work less the boarding out and electrics, one thing that we found amazing was that we went from a bare slab to weather-tight house that you could lock up in 8 working days. Also as the interior had over 18 months to dry out before we moved in we've had absolutely no issues with movement and cracking in the plasterwork. Reading this thread top-to-bottom, there has been a lot of negative comment on this thread from proponents of method A pointing out a lot of issues with method B, all based on street tales rather than evidence. (This clearly doesn't apply in your case, Lizzie.) IMO, this is about as relevant as me spouting off about the "problems" of being a woman -- how on earth am I qualified to do this?
  8. TerryE

    UFH test pressure and duration.

    You need to look at the pressure drop curves for your pump at your flow rates and have a sensible margin. Too low and the pump starts to sound noisy. I might have had a memory mindfart: ours might be at 1½ bar, I will have look the next time I am sitting on the can in the downstairs loo.
  9. TerryE

    UFH test pressure and duration.

    Mike, we didn't even bother pressure testing ours until we commissioned the system , but that's because we used an MBC in-slab UFH so the slab team laid the UFH pipework straight from the drum and the concrete went down a day later. I filled the system and left it for a day to get into thermal equilibrium and cranked it up to 6 bar for a couple of hours, with just the manifolds and no expansion, just to double check for leaks, so even a few cm³ of loss would have collapsed the pressure. We have manual top-up from the rising main after the DCV through a double valve system to the expansion vessel if and when needed, and set it up to run at 1 bar. 9 months later and it's still at 1 bar. Though as Peter says some +/- around this because of the varying expansion of water in the system as the temperature varies. IMO, you only need to run the UFH at whatever pressure needed to prevent cavitation for your flow rates. I can't see any advantage in running at a high pressure than needed.
  10. @Nickfromwales, I considered a geothermal loop in the early days, but the simple issue is that we didn't have a big enough plot to fit one in. An ASHP in ground floor UFH chill mode would help, but the main issue is my son's room in the loft. The bugger has to many electronics chuffing out maybe 300-400 W, and with him, the thermal gradient and the high insulation, his room gets too hot in this weather.
  11. @Triassic, not sure why I missed your post. Sorry. 8 months into occupation and the SunAmps work fantastically. OK, they are Gen 1 product and the Gen 2 kit is more cost-effective, but that's the price of being an early adopter. I need to do another post on our space conditioning. Heating hasn't proved to be very much of an issue. The 3 kW Wills is easily man-enough to handle sub-zero winter demands; the 1st and 2nd floors are 1-2°C colder than the target GFL temp (21.5°C), but that isn't an issue. Our house has no S facing windows and the roughly E/W aspect works well in the summer. (At least until this week.) We just leave windows open on the shaded side (yes with the MVHR running) and a roof light in the apex, and this gives us enough heat dump to keep the house cool and airy. This current hot spell has been breaking this operating model. The GFL is now climbing to ~24-25°C and we have a strong thermal gradient up the house with the 1st floor maybe 2°C warmer and the 2nd another 1-2°C again. This seems to be bearing out my hypothesis that an ASHP might have a marginal payback for savings in heating costs, but might prove essential for height of summer cooling. Though I need to think more about the heat gradient issue.
  12. We managed this -- by the skin of our teeth. We built our new house at the bottom of the garden. We started our build using our savings. This got us through all the costs of design, planning and works up to warm slab. We borrowed from the kids to make the first stage payment on the frame. As with the others we took out a mortgage on our old house (which was otherwise unencumbered) up to the limit of the value that I could get on my company pension. We were quite open that we were using this in effect as a bridging loan and in fact the Monmouth BS allowed us to have an interest only mortgage at ~1¼% for the first 2 years. Once the boundary fence was up and the outside skin was complete (so the house looked like it was complete from the old house) we put the old one on the market. BTW, prospective buyers look on a building site next door as a risk and a hassle, so this is going to impact on the price and ease of sale. It is far better to do as we did. Even so, it took about a year to find the right buyer and in the end we completed the month that the MonBS mortgage went from ~1¼% to 4%. Even so the mortgage lump sum wasn't enough, once we paid back the kids so we ended up borrowing from them towards the end again to get to the point where we could at least move in. But one the sale on the old house completed, we could clear off the mortgage and do all of the finishing off. If you are looking for cash to bridge the build period, that your lender needs to be able to view it as a low risk hassle-free loan to get a decent rate. In our case the money was about a third of the value of our farmhouse and I passed the affordability assessment based on my pension income. A loan for 80% of the value, with a new development on an adjacent plot is not low risk. We also had our new build planning approvals and the plans available, so even though the new build was outside the scope of our mortgage we had a clear exit strategy. Getting to this point can take 1-2 years or more, so it make no sense to be paying interest payments during this period if you have enough liquid savings to cover this phase. £500K seems very expensive for a build without the price of the plot. You can build a nice 4-bed detached house for under £300K so long as you resist the temptation to create a grand design. Also a surprising amount of the bill is after 2nd fit, so another option is to look at the minimum requirements for "lawful development" , which IIRC are basically that you have a weather-proof living space, running water and waste, toilet, shower and some form of cooking arrangement. Once you are weather-proof, you could arrange to temporarily fit out 1-2 rooms to qualify and once you've got the certificate there is nothing to stop you completing on the old house sale and legally moving in to the new house. So if you are looking at the type of build that I suggested then you might be able to get your loan requirement down to ~200-250K which means that you need ~50K income with minimum commitments to get this sort of loan, as well as being healthy, etc.
  13. Q: "Who should do the wet room tanking?" A in my case: SWMBO. Or in our case Wetroom × 3 ? I am quite a good carpenter (by hobby and anal attention) so I fitted all our formers. And did the plumbing. Our tiler was excellent, but he only did the tiling. So I offer an alternative opinion to Ferdinand, but the main thing is that whoever you get to do it doesn't cut any corners and gets all of the details right. I personally trusted Jan to do a pukka job here more than an unknown tradesman. This isn't something that you can fix up or correct later: if the tanking is compromised then you are in real trouble and are in for major rework.
  14. TerryE

    Logging from DS18B20s

    Ni.....sssshhhhhTeamyT, if you are fluent in Python then stick with it. ?
  15. TerryE

    Logging from DS18B20s

    And a lot more in Lua if you want to go that route ? You can bread board everything up, but as you have seen from earlier posts, I just use perfboard for my project boards, and a couple of headers to take my Wemos Module.