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About Oldsteel

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  1. LEDs are great, they cost next to nothing to run and as regards CRI, colour temp and dimming are improving all the time. But - we are just completing the lighting schedule for our new build and its now a lot more complicated than it used to be. We have spent hours poring through websites, the OH chooses based on design and I look at the specs. There are tens of thousands of LED fittings available, and you now have to look at whether they are integrated, dimmable, low or mains voltage, wattage, lumens, whether they need a transformer, is that transformer dimmable, will it only work with specific dimmers, is the dimmer training edge, colour temp and CRI (which often isn't quoted on the spec) - it goes on! There is a huge disparity on prices as well, for instance you can spend £8 or £108 on a pretty standard downlighter and price is not necessarily an indication of better quality. It seems there is no substitute (other than employing a lighting designer at vast cost) for putting in hours of planning up front to make sure it will all work together successfully. We have made a rule up front for 3000k colour temp everywhere which simplifies things a little. Our current house is all LED, albeit different hues and brightnesses but as long as each room is consistent it probably doesn't matter too much. We don't have any dimmers .......
  2. Our architect did us a huge favour (we only paid for the design) by submitting all the required CIL documents just after we obtained planning. That only leaves me to submit the CIL Form 6 before we start any work on site, which, per advice elsewhere on this forum, should be done as soon as possible. However, if you have planning conditions attached to your permission, then the LPA will likely only accept the CIL commencement Form 6 after you have discharged all the planning conditions, which can take a long time at an overworked and under resourced LPA.
  3. Struggling with OH over shadow gaps, she is set on them and I see many downsides, not least allowances for expansion per JH and the extra cost. I can't find the Moduleo LVT you refer to - the Moduleo website has no search facility. What is LVT - can you post a specific link? Looking for any alternatives to the dreaded shadow gap.
  4. Caveat Emptor - first rule of self build .....
  5. Thanks Andrew, we are still working on the final planning conditions negotiations/queries, so maybe good to wait until that is done (SuDS doing my head in). Thanks for the reminder on Form 7, could easily be forgotten in the excitement of moving in ......
  6. I have been pondering for a while whether there are any issues with submitting the CIL commencement notice a couple of months before we start the development? It would be nice to just get it ticked off the long list of tasks, and also allow for a potential wait for it to be acknowledged by the CIL team. I read somewhere on this forum that bringing in machinery constitutes the start of the development, site clearance is scheduled for the end of February but might slip. At the moment the site is untouched. In summary, any issues with submitting CIL Form 6 with a start date of now, but not actually starting for another couple of months?
  7. I went for an online estimate from estimators-online.com. Pretty easy, I sent them my BR drawings and they sent me back a fully detailed estimate, BOQ style, within a couple of days. There were some exclusions, odd items such as pocket doors, fill under garage, MVHR etc but these were all listed. For about £180 it has proved really useful for getting a ball-park cost for the early back-of-the-envelope budgeting. It was also useful as a guide to all of those small items you don't think about that must be included. Its worth noting they use standard materials and labour costs (albeit regionalised) so for me, my costs are going to increase where I opt for higher quality finishes. They also provide a detailed project plan, and all costs include contingency, builders margin etc. I have used the main cost breakdown as a template for my own cost assessments, adding in the costs I am aware of so far. I am now out to tender to four local builders, and I have included the BOQ at their request, excluding the costs, and asked them all to quote using the same sections as the online estimate, eg, foundations and excavation, ground floor,first floor, roof etc etc. I would recommend using online service to anyone who wants to get a good handle on costs prior to engaging builders, PMs or subbies, and of course raising finance.
  8. In my last build I put in wet UFH upstairs and although I didn't use it a lot in the bedrooms it was used in the bathrooms a fair bit, as the ladies in the house (well, me also!) need to keep bathrooms dry and warm. The key is good zone controls, isolate your bathrooms so they can be controlled separately to the bedrooms. To use electric UFH on a separate system and control seems a bit clunky to me, but of course would be easier to install. I am planning wet UFH upstairs and down in my imminent new build.
  9. Sorry I have no idea, moved out of that house 2 years ago!
  10. In my last house build (okay it was 10 years ago) the MVHR was the best investment I made. Reading all the above posts has highlighted many things about the installation I took for granted at the time: 1. It had the silver flexible pipes on all connections to the unit which led onto rigid ducting throughout the house. I didn't realise they were silencers! 2. It was mounted in the loft but not directly on the ceiling, but on two A-frame horizontal joists. I plan to do the same - if there is no available joist I would add it just to mount the unit. 3. It was an Orcon HRV unit and ran silently, with the loft door closed we never heard it in operation on any setting anywhere in the house 4. It had no remote controls at all. It was a 'set and forget' on the internal control board dip switches. 5. Its humidity sensors only worked for about 2 years. When I tried to get replacements they implied the things never worked properly and they stopped supplying spares. Might it still be the case that humidity sensors are flaky? 6. It did need an annual clean/service/filter change. In spite of pretty dense filters dirt built up over time on the fan blades which were a b*ger to clean. I am now planning to install an MVHR in the next house and love the idea of the PIR to control the velocity in the bathrooms - and the DHW return pump! In the last house the DHW return pump was on a timer and although very convenient was probably quite inefficient. I am looking forward to much smarter MVHR controls in the next build. The interaction between MVHR and kitchen extractors has been covered in other threads, IMO you can't rely on increased velocity MVHR to take the place of the extractor, it simply wont be powerful enough.
  11. @Sensus Credit where its due - your last link there is what I ended up with, and its far cheaper than the hydrobrake manhole, and I get the added bonus of rainwater harvester built in. And yes I have had the tests done and the water goes nowhere, so no option for soakaway.
  12. The more I learn about the hydro-brake (time spent wildly out of proportion with other build aspects!) the more I think the hydro-brake is a commercial solution mis-applied to a domestic requirement. There is good video here which implies its a solution for large developments, but also shows how it works https://fpmccann.co.uk/product-category/stormbrake-gb/ . @Jeremy Harris looks like you are right, the cost starting at £950 is because each one is custom made according to the head, volume and outflow requirement. I was thinking - whats wrong with a small diameter outflow pipe to limit the flow? Pressure will increase as the head rises, and debris needs to be dealt with, but a vortex brake seems like an over-engineered solution. Sure enough I received a much better quote for an all-in-one grp attenuation tank, proprietary outflow limiter, rainwater harvester and pump from https://rainwaterharvesting.co.uk at just over half the cost of the concrete manhole and hydro-brake. All I need now is to gauge installation costs.
  13. All good advice, and the blog on the topic is great. I think its all sunk in now. I haven't started the build yet (CIL notice not sent!) so have been assuming everything up to this point is a 'service' such as Architect fees, SE drawings etc. As soon as the build starts - well, ground clearance is the first task - the VAT rules will kick in. I agree the 'certificate' will be useful, per @Bitpipe if I were the contractor having the cert would give me a warm fuzzy feeling I wouldn't draw questions from the VATman. I work in compliance, and if it ain't written down - it never happened 😉
  14. I got a quote for half the original quote which was pretty much the same (£500 difference) for Greencoat plx or VMZinc, so I will be going with that. As usual the more quotes you ask for the better, I just took the VMZinc list of installers - which they will send you on request - and contacted all those who were local to me. Most installers will do zinc, copper or steel so you can ask them for comparative quotes. Even if you know nothing about the task in hand - if the quote looks ridiculous it probably is and its worth getting some more! They seemed to vary in recommending the fall, my SE specc'ed 1:80 but they all said that was too level, one said 1:5 which seemed too steep, seems 1:20 is the consensus for a 'flat' roof.
  15. @mvincentd .. walls not turning corners are less stable. This makes sense in the context of our design!