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About Wumpus

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  1. I think there’s some great advice here. I hope you don’t mind the opinions expressed which will be hard to hear. My view is that I would want to get some natural light into the living room space and not have it be a corridor to the kitchen and dining area. You have a huge sliding door to the garden, would that not be better used for a larger living room area with some natural light? The kitchen could be further back into the darker area of the building and still be reasonably accessible from the garden. Secondly I agree that the front elevation will be hard to make appealing and does not, in my opinion, reflect a £1m house. I would explore the option presented earlier of putting the first door to the side so the front elevation is less complex. When coming into the house you are walking into a corridor - could this be a more impressive and welcoming space with more light and height? Finally I would try to get more natural light into the building, whether with more or larger roof windows, opening up the middle of the building in some way, especially in the hall and stairs which will have very little light. All that said, everyone looks for different things in a house, and there is never a single right answer. If space is the single most important thing, that’s what you have. I realise you have been working at this for many months, and I absolutely understand how hard that can be, but with the kind of budget you are talking, a slight rethink may be a good plan?
  2. Completely agree with this. Our architect was very helpful in navigating the local council planning officers and managed to work their way through potential objections. I think the key skill an architect should have is working out what the client wants and having the confidence to say no when it’s not a match. I also endorse the comment that architects do not understand costs. A QS would be a great member of the team, but it seldom seems to work that way. We out designs to the QS who costed them, but between the architect and QS were unable to advise when the design was over budget. They both seemed clueless on how to bring everything in on budget.
  3. This is what we did. It worked well for our ground conditions, just depends on whether your SE can see enough ground support for the trench foundations under the clay. Our main contractor worked out the plan with the SE and came up with some good savings and simplification between them. The original was a lot more concrete poured as a slab.
  4. Nothing too complicated, just a steep slope dug out behind and some heras fencing so nobody fell off the edge. We were lucky that the ground conditions were pretty much self-supporting. Our cost overrun was pecking out the bedrock to be able to dig far enough back, it was higher than the ground conditions survey suggested. it’s a relief to have it all backfilled now.
  5. We are building a half basement into a 30 degree slope. The retaining wall is shuttered waterproof concrete and nearly 4m high. The main house is 215mm blockwork with 200mm eps ewi. This makes the air tightness easy and a continuous insulation layer, while the concrete acts as a heat store. It has worked out very well, although any retaining wall like this is big engineering, so having a sensible structural engineer is important. Also minimising the dig out and any cart away could be a big design objective? We had ours with a big foot under the block and beam deck fro minimise the dig, and just as well as it was pecking out bedrock at the back.
  6. Self build zone, found them pretty easy to deal with.
  7. My view after going through the process is that they are not worth the paper they are written on. It’s a necessary piece of paper if we ever want to sell or raise a mortgage on the house, but I am very doubtful about a claim. in our case we took out the policy after starting work on our retaining wall (we are building into a hill), and although less than 10% of the foundation of the wall was poured, they would not allow the foundation to be inspected and issued a policy at the foundations stage. All it did was push the price up a little and I guess makes an exemption in the event of claim. I would view as an indemnity policy at best.
  8. @patp I wouldn’t count on it. The emails from Octopus are geared around switching from an existing supplier and they are not tailored to a new supply. I still had to call them to get a meter installation date, once the supply cable was put in place by Western Power Distribution. In my case it was about 4 weeks after the “welcome to Octopus” email. I would call to check there is a meter installation planned and fix a date if not 😉 from my experience, I would imagine a meter installation some time in January I’m afraid. I was told I could not book a meter installation until WPD had done their thing on site.
  9. Yes, I opened an account as soon as I got a date from Western Power Distribution. They wouldn’t let me book a meter install until the supply line was in.
  10. I just got an installation date for a 3 phase smart meter from Octopus. Supply line went in 10 days ago and I have an installation in mid January. Might be worth a try?
  11. We are building with 215mm concrete block and 200mm eps external insulation. It has the benefit of being quite simple to manage the glazing installation and thermal bridges. The insulation is a continuous wrap around the floor, walls and roof.
  12. Yes, I took out a 10 year with Selfbuild zone. Protek said wait until September when they might have new insurers.
  13. Hi Dianne We use a 4G connection in our rental house, while building, and it works very well, very fast and much better than the BT landline equivalent. We have Vodafone unlimited 4g+ for £26 a month, but I think most mobile companies now offer an unlimited SIM. We regularly connect at 100mbits, but we are close to a town. I agree, try the speed on your phone and see what you might be able to get. It would be worth spending a little more money for an LTE+ router, but only if your phone suggests you can get a fast connection where you live.
  14. Just done this for our build site. I agree, apply direct to the water company, it’s not a difficult process and they will help you through it. I found the guys who came out to survey and inspect the trench were really helpful. They are very used to connecting a standpipe as a part of a request for a house connection at a later date.
  15. I’m not certain, haven’t got to that stage yet. I would think it would need the cable to push through the profile, then plaster, and add the led strip after plastering?