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. Alex C

    Surfeit of Squirrels

    You do not need a permit for an air rifle (in England). The type of permit you need to shoot corvids and pigeons has changed but you still don't need a permit to shoot squirrels.
  2. I remember that one. He cut most the the container away and then had to reinforce what was left. I just couldn't understand why he didnt stick build it from scratch as it would have been much easier and cheaper. Shipping container houses are a real Architect student kind of project that just don't make sense financially.
  3. As you live near by it would be perfectly manageable for you to act as main contractor, especially if you employ your experienced builder with a good address book. Working from home or flexible hours would make a big difference but i think there is no point you being labourer as it is not a good use of your time or money. If your architect has produced a set of details and a schedule of works his remit would not be more than to check quality of work and have a site meeting every fortnight. He may be expecting to sign off work done so you can agree how much to pay your builder. Speak to your builder about how he would want to be paid as you may not need this if the job is divided up into chunks with a defined end to them.. The risk is always that you can over pay your builder for work completed and then they bugger off or go bust. The main issue for you is that trades will not be as guaranteed to turn up on time if they are employed by you rather than a main contractor so your builder may be left hanging with gaps in the schedule.
  4. +1 to all of the advice above. For this kind of job an architect should not be required. Make sure you get any details from the architect before you give them the shove. You could even pay them to produce an accurate schedule of works for people to quote on. Even if you keep the architect on you are unlikely to be paying them enough for them to bother putting much effort into your job. Why cant your builder with 30 years experience be the main contractor?
  5. Alex C

    Window Positioning

    I cant agree with you there. I think it is a case of lack of understanding and the architect just doing what they have always one. Understanding and importance of thermal bridging has moved on and perhaps the continued proffessional development hasnt kept up.If you go to the effort of drawing a section you don't do it wrong because you are busy, it is because you don't know the right way to do it. It shouldnt be your job as a lay person to check an architects details, that is the whole point of employing one. I have been told by a number of architects that my house looks German because the windows are set back deep from the face of the cladding. It isn't German it is just detailed properly for a well insulated house with no thermal bridging.
  6. Alex C

    Window Positioning

    If that hatched block is a brick skin to the outside of the building, then your architect does not understand the basics of thermal bridging and insulation. There is a direct line for heat to transfer completely avoiding the insulation in the wall. You need to put the window inline with the insulation if you actually want to keep the cold out.
  7. Alex C

    Time Lapse Video

    Go pro time lapse is pretty standard in the tv documentery industry so I would be surprised if you couldn't get the quality to be good enough. I shot the stuff that has been used by MBC on their website using my slr. The quality is excellent but I had to downsize the images loosing a lot of quality, and also a bit of a handful managing huge file sizes. If you can be bothered moving the camera around during stages of the build that happen quickly you get a much more watchable video that looks like a proper edit.
  8. Alex C

    Time Lapse Video

    Go pro and drill a hole in the waterproof case so you can run a power lead. You won't be able to rely on batteries for the amount of time it will be on.
  9. This is exactly right. large open plan rooms can feel really low with a 2.4 ceiling. we used 2.7 downstairs and 2.4 upstairs which worked really well. We have a vaulted ceiling with roof light over the stairs so there is no obvious transition from going from the ground floor with high ceilings to upstairs with lower ones.
  10. I can't believe you get anything other than a dodgy job using a first fix pasload on WRC, maybe with a thick board but not nailing feather edge. Can you get a round head on a Padsload as the clipped nail heads look terrible.
  11. The advised practice is to double up on the vertical batten where the joint meets to keep the fixing away fro the end of the board. There are lots of examples of details for fixing cladding from the likes or TRADA. Use a well ventilated cavity behind the cladding, normally ventilated top and bottom with an insect mesh to keep the critters out. Definately stainless steel ringshank nails. WRC is very soft and a nail gun is likely to make a right mess. You can nail gun larch but best results are from an air powered gun with nails on a roll so they have round heads not crescent. What is really important with any timber cladding is how it is detailed around openings. Dont just rely on your chippie to do what he wants. Get hold of some proper details and agree them before it starts to go up and get flashings made for window heads, cills etc. These will effect the depth the windows are fitted in to the openings.
  12. Alex C

    Costings for lender

    @eandg The problem is I don't think many lenders would swallow the 'my mates doing it for cash' routine so you will need to show some reasonable figures. Lenders normally want to be sure there is enough cash available to complete the build, not get stuck with a half finished property.
  13. Alex C

    Costings for lender

    Dont quote sheets of plasterboard and screws. You need to find a realistic rate per m2 rate for plasterboard with a skim coat applied if that is what you are doing. Ask your local plasterer what his rate is for this. same for floor laying. For electrical allow for a rate per socket and just add up how many you are having, same with light fittings. Again ask your electrician if they will tell you their rate. Most lenders wont be happy with you missing out chunks of cost because you are doing it yourself. They will want a realistic cost for completing the build so their money is secure. Make sure the total budget ends up being a reasonable figure or the lenders will worry you will run out of cash before completion and may be less willing to lend to you.
  14. Alex C

    self build.....where to start.....

    Well its not in their spec on the website and they wont do it for free. Maybe give them a call
  15. Alex C

    self build.....where to start.....

    There is no mention of groundworks or supplying services to the plot