Alex C

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About Alex C

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  • About Me
    Check out my blog at www.passivehouseselfbuild.co.uk

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  1. Have you managed to find a lender that will lend on the plot as well as the build? There was someone trying to do that a couple of weeks ago without success as there was not enough equity for the lender.
  2. Alex C

    which way to build?

    I built an mbc timber frame timber clad house and think I would do it the same again. What I would definately do the same having lived in the house now for 2 years now is to build another airtight super insulated house whatever the construction method was. The value added to quality of life by living in a warm dry house with fresh air and constant temperature far outweighs any savings in energy costs.
  3. 400l is a lot of water, are you running a b&b. I have the telford 300l tempest plus which has extra insulation although I can't see this on the website now. We have never run out of hot water. The standing loss is going to be higher than you think and whilst not costing much financially in lost heat, it may end up heating a well insulated house up more than you would want it to. I have thick insulation around all the associated pipework but the cupboard the cylinder is in still gets pretty hot. Also be aware that most pv diverters only run 1, 3kw immersion at a time so it will take an age to heat 400l of water from cold just using pv.
  4. When I spoke to Peter Warm, a Passivehause certifier he said not to worry about rooflights if they are in a communal area such as a hall as they are treated differently than if in your bedroom. He didn't have any problem with the two massive triple glazed automated Velux ones that I specified on my build. The Passivehause certified ones only come in smaller sizes, I guess because of the weight. The Velux rooflight didn't cause any issue on the airtest either.
  5. Alex C

    Why do internal doors have handles?

    Dont do it. You will feel like you are living in the stationery cupboard of a large office. I have some of those exact pull handles on a couple of 2.4m high cupboard doors. There is no way I would want them on a door I was opening all the time.
  6. How well insulated and airtight is your house? If it is really well insulated it wont need much heating anyway. You are also not going to be generating from the pv at the time of year you need to heat your house so no point linking to ufh. We have similar no bedrooms and bathrooms with passive type build and have 300l super insulated unvented cylinder and a small gas boiler that moderates from 9 to 3 kw. Heating is wet ufh on ground only and not had that come on since january. We have wet towel rads in bathrooms and these come on for half hour a day and that is enough to heat the house along with normal day to day activities and solar gain. With a 5.5 kw pv system we started heating all of our hot water last week as we had sunny days and will pretty much continue to do so until October. Dont underestimate how low pv generation is in the winter. 5.5kw system will generate well under 1kwh on a dark grey winter day but has been doing over 30kwh for the last few days.
  7. Buildzone did my site insurance and no problem with timber frame timber clad. They may well have changed their policy as this was a couple of years ago now
  8. Some contractors just refuse to believe the situation on zero rating whatever you do to try and convince them. I was very careful to check this in advance of having any work done and just didn't use the contractors who said they would refuse to zero rate. I had one landscaper quote for the patio and he even confirmed with his accountant father that he had to charge VAT. Most small companies will just be being advised by their book keeper who may well not know and not be interested in finding out the full situation. Good luck with getting another invoice issued. You may find that refusal to pay more than the non VAT amount does the trick.
  9. Alex C

    single step trip hazard?

    door swing width + 400. Just seen that is at bottom of stair. Not sure about at top of stair
  10. Alex C

    single step trip hazard?

    I am pretty sure you cant have a door at the top of a step. Anything less than a normal step height (minimum 150) is going to just be a trip hazard. why not google search the building regs
  11. I totally agree with @JSHarris on this. There is no such thing as a bargain plot as there are so many self builders and developers queueing up to buy them. I would suggest getting an accurate price for the build you have had drawn up. As far as a lender is concerned saying that it wont cost much as you are doing the work yourself wont cut it. A friend just built 2 houses and had to use a private equity firm to borrow from as no-one else was interested. They were forced to use an approved builder and kept on a very short leash by the lender and had to pay for a quantity surveyor for the lender.
  12. You would normally need to own either all of or a large chunk of the land to get a lender to lend for a build. Most lenders will not lend for the land purchase, only for the build. Are you also sure about the final property value. 400k build cost dosnt sound much for a 1.2 million house. I don't know where you are in the country but in most areas where people can pay 1.2 for a house there is no way a decent plot with house would sell for 400k.
  13. Alex C

    Creaking floor & Impact noise

    I assume this it timber framed house. You could have a liquid screed to the upper floor. The cheapest and very effective option is resilient bar and double slab plasterboard on ground floor ceiling with rockwool fitted in the void. Make sure the deck on the first floor is glued and screwed in place not just nailed. Carpet upstairs is also your friend. Check out the Robust detail handbook. It covers everything you will need to know.
  14. I never got warranty documents as I refused to pay the final instalment. To be honest I think the warranty would be worthless judging by the terrible service by both ecoHause Internorm and also the lack of input from Internorm themselves. They are great windows but I would not recommend anyone to use Internorm or ecoHause Internorm.
  15. You are not alone on terrible internorm installations. I had a drama that lasted over a year. A builder I was working for once said to me that if windows dont go in right first time with no damage, they will never be sorted properly. He was dead right, the problem being the installers are not able to solve problems or rectify issues as they are simply not skilled enough. I had four Magic Man and Plastic Surgeon repair teams and only one individual had the skill to fix damage, the others just made it worse.