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selfbuildrookie

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  1. I'm currently working on a listed house with original single glazed Crittall windows. We'd like to improve the energy efficiency of the house if we can, and would prefer not to go down the secondary glazing route. Does anyone know if it is possible to retrofit super slim vacuum glazing into existing metal windows? The only stuff I can find online is about retrofitting it into wooden sash windows...
  2. Thanks all. Some good pointers for me to look into ? And yes I know it's my decision, fairly confident I will win this one with my builder!
  3. We are part way through our low energy new build (passivhaus with a small 'p'), and are starting to look to the external landscaping (very exciting!). I'm keen on the look of hoggin for our driveway and garden paths, I think it looks good and it's in keeping as we're in the Cotswolds - BUT my excellent builder hates the stuff. Says he's had to pull it up and replace it with gravel at a previous job as it was such a nightmare for them, mainly messy I think. I don't want gravel as we have a fall of about 1.5m on our driveway and I think we'll spend forever raking the bloody stuff back up, even with that grid stuff below it which is supposed to keep it in place. Plus, gravel's crap for bikes and I have three bike-mad small kids who will want to speed their way round the entire garden, driveway included! Does anyone have any experience with hoggin? Is it really that bad? Should I try and persuade my builder? Should I consider alternatives? NB don't other telling me about that stone resin stuff, I HATE it and won't consider it! ?
  4. Thanks all. As I thought, yes we do need a test - and I'm very happy about that as we are seeking to achieve 2m3/hr/m2. The builder's reluctance is a slight red flag, but we are very early doors with the build so plenty of time to make it clear that we certainly will be having a test at the end, and I am looking forward to seeing what we will have achieved!
  5. This is probably a stupid question but... I assumed an air tightness test would be the norm at the end of our new build project, but both builder and architect seem to think not. Google suggests it *is* a requirement on new builds. Can anyone advise if it’s a standard requirement for building regs or not?
  6. Hi all - after much searching online, I have found the lights I'd like to put in our sitting room when our house is built (start in Jan after 2 years planning!). They are the ones in the picture, but they come with a cable and plug, and inline switch. In the other picture, it seems like these same lights have been adapted to be hard-wired. Is this a relatively simple thing for an electrician to do? Or do I need to go and find some other lights?!
  7. I'm new here, but have to say I'm enjoying how threads seem to take on a life of their own. Thanks for all the informed opinion on here, I appreciate it and it backs up my own view that we should proceed. Hooray! One last thing - I'm amused by the assumption by many on here that I'm a 'he'. Girls can build houses too!
  8. Thanks @PeterW & @the_r_sole, that echoes what I was thinking!
  9. We have full planning permission to demolish an existing house and build a new one. We have the demolition contractor lined up to knock down next week, all CIL exemptions sorted and S80 notice approved by Council. HOWEVER there is one planning condition, which states that we cannot start 'above ground works' until it has been discharged, which is for the Council to approve hard & soft landscaping plans. This is essentially one low retaining wall around the boundary in stone, matching neighbours' walls. We have submitted it to the Council, but the official 'start date' of the application to discharge was delayed because they came back to ask for drawn elevations, which they now have - but it means the 6 week statutory period only started from last week when they received these. I'm loathe to delay the demolition for what is surely just a tick box exercise, particularly after we have had to jump through numerous hoops for the council already with several bat surveys despite there never being any sign of a bat (we now have two reports concluding: no bats! Shock). Just wondering what is the worst that could happen if we just crack on with the demolition without waiting for the discharge of planning condition.... Could we realistically claim that we thought the wording meant no building work until it had been discharged, rather than no work at all e.g. demolition?
  10. I'd be really grateful for any experience or advice on which contract to use. We're currently out to tender for a new build house, and are intending that the contractor will manage the site and all trades, but that I will be the contract administrator (CA) (mortgage company seem fine with this). Our architect has recommended the RIBA Domestic 2018 contract as it specifically allows for the client to also be the CA; however when we have approached a solicitor to quote for reviewing the contract before signing, we have been advised a JCT Minor Works will be better, and that the RIBA contract isn't advised for projects greater than £250k in value (ours will probably be more like £500k). Does anyone have any thoughts? As you can tell from my handle, I haven't done this before!
  11. Thanks! We're outside of our village's CA, but we are in an AONB. We're using traditional materials and construction (mix of Cotswold stone & colour through render, slate roof), but the house is definitely modern - although not a spaceship! I can have a bit of a bugbear with houses that try to look like something they're not (so for example the existing house was built in 1965 but designed to look more like a 1920s one), so very happy to have something that will look like it's been built in the here and now.
  12. Hi everyone, my husband and I bought a fairly standard Bradstone 1960s 2 bed house in the Cotswolds in Nov 2017, with a view to extending & renovating to make a family home for us and our three kids (now 7, 5 and 2). Took us a while to work out exactly what to do, but we now have planning permission to demolish and build a replacement. It took me a while to be happy with this idea, but now I can't wait to get started. The new house will make so much better use of the plot, giving us amazing views over a valley and a great south facing garden (currently filled with parking and a garage that blocks the view). We've been working with a brilliant architect and also a Passivhaus consultant. The house won't be a certified Passivhaus, but it made sense to us to work with someone who could help design a house that would be warm and not cost much to run, and could also advise on over heating risks (I know so many people living in new builds who just can't cool the bloody house down if they have a sunny day!). We do have a fair bit of ground floor glazing but also a verandah that runs along two sides of the house to provide shading, and it will be well insulated, with an MVHR unit. Out to tender at the moment, demolition should be taking place in the next few weeks, then we can start building. Looking forward to asking a few questions here - have been lurking and reading for a while!
  13. In the same boat too! Bought the property in Nov 17, many decisions, 2 architects and 1 planning application later we are out to tender and should start demolition in a few weeks. Best of luck with your project. It's been good fun so far, but I'm sure the stressful bit is about to begin...
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