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About billt

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  1. I've just made one of these. You need pi-zero £4.65 from pi-hut a microSD card, I bought an 8GB one from pi-hut because it was convenient - 4GB would be more than enough. a network adapter, I bought a micro usb to RJ45 adapter from ebay for £4. You will also need a micro USB power supply of some sort and a means of attaching the microSD card to a computer for writing the OS to it.
  2. billt

    Ideal countryside plot - What's next?

    We've recently put our house on the market; 220 sq.m. approx with 19 acres of land. About 11 acres of woodland, 5 acres of grassland and the rest miscellaneous hilly bits around the house. Had a few valuations; it's a property that's virtually impossible to value as there are no comparable properties. The approach that the agents took was to value the land at it's agricultural value and add on the market value of the house as if it had only a normal sized plot. You can easily do that yourself. Pasture seems to be about £7000 an acre and woodland is considerably less valuable. Of course, if there's a population of wealthy horsey people after paddocks or if you're near a commutable wealthy area (say the house you're interested in is in the South Downs National Park) that method won't work. Bear in mind that tranquility, privacy, landscape etc have virtually no market value and that price doesn't scale linearly with size, i.e. large properties are much cheaper per square metre than small ones, especially if they need attention.
  3. You keep saying that, and obviously it's the case in your personal experience; however a sample of one isn't a good guide to the performance of a company. I've been with SP since 2004 and have had no problems at all with them. They do the FIT as well, also had no problems. That's a sample of one the other way. All companies have issues with customer service at sometime; as far as I can tell from personal experience and online reviews SP are one of the better ones. After experience of cheap suppliers of electricity (and internet connectivity) giving poor service I've decided that striving for the last penny of savings isn't worth it.
  4. Presumably that's meant to be a joke, but it looks suspiciously as though you are being gratuitously offensive.
  5. billt

    Build Costs For Attached Garage

    The general rule is that estate agents include attached conservatories and other non-living space, such as garages, in their highly optimistic internal area calculations. The better ones will itemise the areas separately. Their justification is that attached garages have the potential to be converted into living accommodation. It's sometimes worth looking at the EPC for floor area as it is sometimes more realistic than the estate agents version.
  6. billt

    Hone Solar Thermal

    It needs to be about 4 times the area to harvest similar amounts of power. If you want to use the electricity as well as heat water it needs to be bigger than that, so enormous is a reasonable comment. Of course neither of them produce much heat energy when you really need it, in the winter! No, I wouldn't install solar thermal now either.
  7. billt

    Hone Solar Thermal

    The ascendancy of PV over solar thermal is a very recent phenomenon. Before about 2014 the idea of using PV to heat water was economic nonsense; the FIT subsidies distorted the solar thermal market. There is still a case to be made for solar thermal if you have a small area available for collectors and your priority is heating water. If you have an enormous PV array, of course there is no case for solar thermal.
  8. We've just had a first viewing arranged before the photographs have been taken and the EPC done! I suspect that ours will take a while to sell as it's fairly pricey for the area, somewhat unusual and isn't in a property hotspot. We're using a local estate agent who's charging 0.75% (+ VAT) with no additions apart from the EPC. Did consider PurpleBricks; apart from the horrible name and the horrible design of the signs I wasn't convinced that it would be suitable for our house. There are quite a few properties round here that are on with Purplebricks and haven't sold for months - probably due to the fact that the asking prices are somewhat optimistic. This agent seems to be pretty effective, on the ball and didn't overvalue the house. Hopefully they'll do the donkey work of filtering out unsuitable buyers.
  9. That's an interesting chicken and egg situation. We are going to move; maintaining our house and land is going to get too much in the not too distant future, but it's an idyllic location and we aren't going to move to any old rubbish house (95% of those on the market fit that description!) So we wanted to find a suitable house to buy before we put ours on the market and have run into this issue, estate agents are unwilling to accept an offer until you've sold your house. So now we are putting our house on the market. Of course, if we get a buyer but can't find a suitable house there will be one very annoyed buyer when we don't sell it to him. No, we aren't going to self build - no suitable plots available at a reasonable price, don't fancy all the bureaucratic aggro and it seems to be cheaper to buy a second hand house than build one (round here anyway).
  10. billt

    Not good

    On the basis that very few people have a clue, or interest, in how things work and how they are made, I have considerable difficulty with that statement. They also, by and large, have a very limited choice of houses, which makes selecting a well built house even more of a challenge. Of course, all the developers will crow about how Eco-friendly and low energy their houses are so, even if house purchaser have an interest in the subject, they will be misled by the promotional material. Simply not reasonable to blame the house buying public
  11. I'm surprised that you're surprised! Are you sure that they use the same software? I had an EPC done a few years ago (though not lodged) and the results were somewhat worse than the full Stroma software calculated. The assessor (who seemed competent to me) said that the rd(reduced data)SAP restricted their inputs. In my case, as we have a log boiler the rdSAP only allows for a fixed 55% efficient boiler where the reality is over 80% and the full software lets you use declared efficiencies. Of course GIGO applies.
  12. billt

    Hi! Summerhouse

    And the property is NOT in a special area, e.g. conservation area, AONB, National Park etc.
  13. billt

    Multipanel tile effect

    I too like Multi-Panel, mainly because the large, smooth , unbroken surface is easy to clean and dry - no grout to grow black mould. However, what is the point of using a panel that looks like tile? You get the worst of both worlds. Ours is a sort of glitter effect, doesn't pretend to be anything other than a decorative panel. I don't think it looks anything like a park home - it's about 4 times the size apart from anything else, but opinions differ.
  14. billt

    Article on the BBC about battery storage

    Well, it certainly isn't that, so I guessed that you didn't understand it.
  15. billt

    My kitchen - pricing

    Ikea appliances are made by Whirlpool who don't have the best reputation for quality. We have 2 Bejublad ovens, a Bejublad microwave and a Bejublad hob (we wanted white appliances). The main element in one of the ovens failed within about 18 months - not a complete disaster because you could use the other elements. The guarantee worked, apart from the difficulty of actually finding the right person to speak to! The hob's brilliant - powerful and controllable with understandable controls. The ovens are OK, but the controls are not very comprehensible; poor ideograms and a bad instruction book. The microwave is a textbook case in how to design a virtually unusable interface.