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About Gow

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  • About Me
    Upgrading a well-built but draughty 1939 mid-terrace house.
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    Southside of Glasgow

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  1. I put strips of an old jute-backed axminster carpet under the gravel on the pathway. Estimated time to biodegrade = approx. 12 months. Still no sign of weeds 10 years later. Must have been a bloody good woollen carpet :))
  2. The Eco Village in Cloughjordan Ireland have open days and event workshops. It is possible to arrange a visit or group visit with accommodation included http://www.thevillage.ie/visit-us-2/visit-us/ This is from their website: Houses completed or under construction Certified passive house timber frame Durisol block, lime hemp render render Low-energy Austrian house 32-bed Eco-hostel Low-energy timber frame, timber cladding Terrace of 3 houses, timber frame, lime & hemp internal and external Low-energy timber frame All cedar house, recycled newspaper insulation Timber frame, loose hemp insulation semi, clay hemp plaster Durisol and lime hemp house, bakery attached Hemp crete house, eco-slate, local timber finishings Low-energy timber frame Hemp crete house Low-energy timber frame Scandavian passive house Timber frame, corrugated roof, lime & hemp render semi Hemp crete house All cedar house Durisol A-rated semi, eco-slate, lime & hemp render Timber frame, lime & hemp plaster, Irish cedar cladding Timber frame, cedar cladding, cellulose insulation, cob, seedum roof Durisol external wall, clay & hemp internal walls, lime & hemp render I-beam, recycled glass and lime plaster house Rammed earth and lime hemp house Timber frame with micro-reed bed grey water run-off Cob house, hand-applied & non-mechanical clay/straw mix, eco-slate Hemp-crete house with lime & hemp render, clay hemp internal plaster Timber frame, sheeps wool insulation, cedar clad house & work unit Timber frame, corrugated roof, cedar clad semi Rammed earth and lime hemp house Hemp crete semi Timber frame, lime & hemp external, clay & hemp internal, zinc dome Curved cob house Low-energy double frame timber house Eco-Enterprise Centre
  3. Beans to cup and grind your own... A one-cup/mug stainless steel cafetiere makes coffee almost as quick as instant coffee and allows the coffee to brew on the stove for a few minutes. It's the quality of bean that counts and you can tip the residue in the garden! The 35 year old espresso pot took a back seat after the non-glass cafetiere came on the scene
  4. You have hit the nail on the head. Two independent builders thought that re-arranging the ground floor was not the best way of spending my money And, there is a communication issue. I have felt at a loss most of the time when I try to understand what can be done with the space available Good Advice is always welcome
  5. That I know! This is the reason I am here. I sort of knew what I wanted but was unable to see how the space could be used. The first plan was to squeeze in a WC then the builders mentioned a shower and the kitchen needs renovated anyway so they convinced me to think about an extension instead of reducing the kitchen further. Thanks to Fernand's plan above the penny dropped: The front lounge can be used as the ground floor bedroom
  6. Any simple suggestion is welcome In the overlarge shower room I wanted to stick the washing machine in there. I used to live abroad and that was permissable but the rules and regs are different here so I simply abandoned that idea. The study is the unofficial name for a supplementary bedroom. The GCC does not allowed to call it be a supplementary bedroom due to lack of outside windows or sum'it but c'est la vie
  7. Have you considered Roller Shutters aka External PVC or Wooden Roller Blinds? They might be readily available in the UK soon as the Green Building Store has been in contact with a provider in Hungry and the French firm AvosDim which has a UK website
  8. Thanks, that's good news because the architect kept insisting that the internal layout had to fixed otherwise the builders would be charging an additional amount for everything that does not conform to the plan. I wanted to see the shell of the extension before the fittings etc were even thought about apart from the obvious ones that need drainage!
  9. Thanks Ferdinand. I have copied your suggestions into a document to study them well and proceed from there There's enough in the budget to cover the build and enough left over for the fixtures and fittings I hope :))
  10. It's the layout for the builders who will be building the extension that's the problem. I have already refurbished the bathroom and had no problem fitting everything in. I've been told the space dedicated to the WC/shower room is OTT that's why I signed in for help
  11. Thanks. I feel lost and out of my depth at the moment
  12. The brief - to instal a WC/shower room on the ground floor Constraints - a mid-terrace 1939 house and a limited budget that does not run to state-of-the-art 18ct gold taps for the wash basin... Requirements: a ground floor WC and shower and a small modern kitchenette where the cooker, washing machine fridge-freezer plus a sink will be installed while the units for storage including the Welsh dresser will remain in the dining room along with the table The "office" is the current galley kitchen
  13. It is not a listed building My brief was to install a WC/shower room on the ground floor. First off the ground floor was re-arranged and planning permission granted then two builders independent of each of other suggested that re-arranging the ground floor was not a good investment as it would further reduce the size of the current galley kitchen And the strange layout, well that's what I am hearing from others too thus I am at a loss with what to do next but I cannot keep paying fees indefinitely until someone comes up with the right way to do things. This is the second plan. And the strange layout I understand this now because the two chaps at the SEC questioned the layout.
  14. Oh gosh that is not my problem at all. I used the words .... on my own to imply that I am overwhelmed by the lack of input from the "experts/team" that I have been trying to work with. I do not for one minute want to work out what to do on my own but the sad fact is that I am only learning what not to do each time someone other "expert" looks at the current plans In an ideal world I would be happy to work with a team or someone who could come up with some or all the answers. I am willing and able to listen. The extension is such an insignificant project compared to a self-build from scratch but I'd like to get it right with proper guidance, support, help, whatever from an expert. I am quite sure that there are plenty of experts out there more than willing to work with me and come up with ideas that work because the "expert" has experience in the field and I do not but the problem is finding one of them but thanks for the pastoral advice....
  15. Planning permission was granted for the second time earlier this year but the design plan may have to be amened for a third time. I do not want to go back to the current architect and sidekick to ask them to amend the plans again. I have lost faith in them. Alas, I seem to have found a team whose main skill is to "just go along with what the client wants no matter how ridiculous her ideas are". I now realise that there has been very little design input from them but as this is my first experience of building an extension I had no idea of what could be achieved and how the best use of space can be accomplished. I have not been able to come up with a perfect plan on my own. So far I have spent a small fortune on the applications for planning permission and still not got it right. At the SEC Home Renovation Show a builder on the Help Desk and an architect at the PAS stand both suggested too much space has been dedicated to the WC/Shower room and advised me to rethink the position of the door so that the WC can be accessed from the kitchenette and office. Yep, I can now visualise how this would be much better. The architect who I spoke to at the SEC show came to visit. His fee would be £2,500 to amend the plans plus a fee on top of his fee for engineer specifications (and possibly an additional amount for VAT). I declined his offer of help! I lack experience and have no idea what the minimum size of a small WC/Shower room should be. The current project team are waiting for me to approve their choice of engineer but I would rather give them a wide bearth and try to get the plans right this time if I actually go ahead with the project. I may have to abandon it for I do not have an unlimited budget and I am still a rookie who will still be clueless when the time comes to deal with the builder. O me miserum.... 188 A1 22.06.pdf