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BotusBuild last won the day on July 24

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About BotusBuild

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    Plot - nr Saltash; us - J11, M4

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  1. @ProDave - the branches of one tree were close to the overhead electrical cable in the picture, so I wanted to remove them in small pieces using a handheld saw. The ladder was tied to the tree and pegged to the ground to minimise the risks. Felling the other tree as a whole had the potential to take out two others at the same time. If I'd had the opportunity, it would have come down as you suggest. @Dave Jones - As you can in the pictures, a good 18" of trunk was left and my ground worker dug them out and has taken them away
  2. Having eventually found our plot in episode one, and worked out where the plans had the house to be built we found that a walnut tree had to make way. A second tree, a horse chestnut was also badly diseases with a split trunk and as we didn't want that falling on the newly built house in the Autumn of 2019 (or Fall for our American cousins as I am writing this on Thanksgiving Day 2020) I headed off with equipment in hand to so some tree felling. First some photos of entrance to site (now wider!) and then some of the felling and of course the obligatory fire, and a beautiful sunset as my reward at the end of the first day
  3. So, I have told this story to quite a few family members, friends and colleagues over the last few years, and thought I will record it here so that other new members might learn about the patience and surprises that can occur in this phase of the self build adventure โ›บ It all started when I was 14. I blame my stepfather. He made me dig โ™ ๏ธ foundations by hand ๐Ÿ–๏ธ OK, it was only for an extension, but they didn't tell me about the concrete encased foul and storm water drains we would find. Digging to depths of 10ft by hand should have left severe scars to put me off this self build lark for life. But, hey, I got a new stereo ๐Ÿ”Š for all of my hard graft [For you youngsters, a stereo was the way we played music ๐ŸŽถ back in the day]. Anyway, many years later, the wife and I are in the Lake District and see a barn ripe for conversion, and the timing must have been right - you know, the stars in alignment โญ โญ, and the phase of the moon๐ŸŒ› augered well, or some other psychological/astronomical claptrap - and we both said "time to get out of the South East". Well, that was about 5 years ago, and we are still in the South East. Lesson 1 for all new south builders - Tip 1: patience my friends!! Tip 2 - unless you are lucky enough to have been handed a plot of land on which to build, start searching where the wife would like to start, followed closely by Tip 3: using subtle hints and prods in order to expand or direct the search appropriately, always with the mantra (Tip 4) "we need some money left over to build the damn thing!" (Note: some forum members may say that doing that doesn't make for enough of an adventure ๐Ÿ™‚ ), we started in the North Devon area, a place where my wife had spent time holidaying as a child with her family, which is as good a reason as any to choose a starting point. We (I) trawled the usual sites for plots (estate agents, land agents, auction sites etc.), we trawled the lanes and byways of North Devon on a number of visits, propping up the local hospitality businesses along the way, I got so bored at one point I went trawling (OK, sea fishing from a trawler ๐Ÿ›ฅ๏ธ but go with it, for the sake of the story!). Having searched for about 18 months and found nothing, I expanded the search outside N Devon and we started seeing results in East Devon and on the outskirts of Exmoor and Dartmoor. 6 months later and we were looking at plots in the South Hams (S Devon). We saw scrub covered plots, plots with dense woodland ๐ŸŒณ ๐ŸŒณ , people looking for a swift profit by selling their back gardens (soon avoided forever after seeing two such postage stamps ๐Ÿ“ฎ ), old industrial sites, then we went to see two modern(ish) barn conversions and decided to make an offer (below asking price ๐Ÿ’ฐ of course!). Herein lies a conundrum I have never quite got my head around - asking price ยฃ200,000, Offer ยฃ165,000, offer refused. OK Offer ยฃ175,000. Offer refused. I'll leave the offer there if you change you mind. 2 months later same property on the market for ยฃ170,000!!! Offer ยฃ150,000, then ยฃ160,000, both refused. 2 months later same property on market for ยฃ150,000 and marked as SOLD!! The only reason I can fathom is that they wanted someone particular to buy it. After I had calmed down, 6 months later (yes I had been really annoyed) we renewed our search and found an abandoned ex-SW Water above ground reservoir with FPP and amazing views. Problem, it was above our plot buying budget (refer to Tip 4) and the seller refused to move an inch on the price. So, the searches started again. This time, the wife was now quite pliable about the distance from where we currently live and the areas we should look. This is were I have to admit that I had seen a plot with FPP and plans I liked the look of probably about 9 months before the fluidly priced barn fiasco. And, the distance was about 1 mile less than to the old reservoir. So, off I trotted ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ one CORNWALL. Another visit with the wife, a coffee โ˜• with the sellers (neighbours to be) to discuss the plans that had been approved and a re-mortgage later, and we became the proud owners of about 1/2 acre of Cornwall just on the edge of an AONB. Just a word of warning - this "plot" did not have its own title deed, and it has taken nearly 18 months for the Land Registry to finalise the new title for us. This in itself has probably given me more grey hair so far than any other aspect of the build so far.
  4. Thank you all - you have confirmed I am not going mad. In this case, I will have to go 'by the bag" due to current space limitations (also only need equivalent of 5 bags)
  5. Please tell me I'm not going mad. My groundworker wants me to order 6mm rounded pea shingle/gravel to bed the 110mm foul drainage pipes!! I've alway felt that 10mm gravel like one of these options is what you use:- or which I am inclined to order and tell the groundworker to use. Yes or No?
  6. Really interested to see no mention of waterproofing on the outside of the EPS wall. Are people not doing this? Is this not being specified by your architects or required by building control? FYI - my building regs drawings (just approved) show backfill over RIW protective membrane over RIW double drain (or similar) over self adhesive waterproof membrane, with a land drain below the concrete slab
  7. I spent a couple of years in the micro-renewable energy business (think solar PV, solar thermal, heat pumps, UFH for domestic and small commercial premises). I agree with what @PeterW has said above. It was super important to get the heat loss calculations correct first, then move on to what would provide the heat input to the system, and what heat emitters you required (low temperature radiators or UFH, or (avoid whenever possible) oversized traditional radiators). I have lost access to the heat loss calculator I used to use (it would likely be out of date now), so it would be great if some recommendations could be made for good current versions ๐Ÿ™‚
  8. I'm just trying to get hold of some drainage items (comes to about ยฃ700 total before delivery costs), and I'm asking for a small discount, but there seems to be no willingness to budge. Have you been successful with any haggling (not just drainage)? If so, what tips can you share with the forum?
  9. Welcome. Tip 1. Create something outside the door to the static van where the muddy stuff (wellies etc) will stay ๐Ÿ™‚ Tip 2. Be ready for decisions Tip 3. Be ready for changes to your plans (they are just that, plans, and plans change) Tip 4. Get your deep breathing and counting to 10 perfected. Patience is a real virtue ๐Ÿ™‚ Other tips will appear as you continue to engage with the other forum members. Good luck with the build
  10. Getting ready to do insulated slab for our "upside down" house. The plan is to put the UFH pipes in the slab so the top of the slab is effectively the FFL for the ground floor. The two bathrooms will be on the ground floor. If we want to have same level throughout the ground floor, how do address the problem of the trap and waste pipe for the shower having to be in the poured slab? Anyone done this and got some picture to share?
  11. I think my research has confused me. What type of pipes can I use in a STP leach field? Stiff or flexible pipe (see examples below), or will either do? Slotted 3m single socket stuff like this? - or Perforated Twinwall Drainage like this?
  12. Soapstar, that is a very common setup - some have two meter boxes, one as above plus the meter in it and the other with the CU and feeds off to other locations.
  13. I am "the workers" ๐Ÿ™‚ and for me "the chestnut tree" is adequate When I need major works (pouring cement) I will "hire-a-loo" for the short time the hired help are on site.