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Jeremy

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  1. I've got a 120cm range fitting inside a fireplace / under the chimney in our kitchen. Range is all wired up and ready to go, but I need to sort out what to do about the chimney and extraction. My original plan was to run it up the chimney, but after reviewing a few forums it seems like the amount of air I'd have to move to use this as a pathway for extraction is nearly impossible. The other limitation that I'm working with is that my partner wants extraction as quiet as possible - she hates the noise of kitchen fans (fair enough). So I'm looking at either running a recirculation / unvented fan in the chimney above the range (I've already got a low noise always-on Vent Axia Low Carbon Tempra going 24x7 in the kitchen) or, I guess I could run an inline ducted setup, which would have the benefit of being very quiet. But if I go with the latter, then what would I put in above the stove to install it? Just make a slimline box and paint it? Also 120cm range extractors are pretty expensive, so interested in creative options here as it seems like £1k is a lot to spend on an appliance that half the family will avoid turning on ever. All ideas welcome!
  2. @ProDave Did you mortar in the slabs when you installed that?
  3. That's what I was considering (something a bit like this: http://www.primagem.org/how-to-install-a-floor-drain-in-concrete-slab/) - can you detail how you tied into the rainwater pipes? My slight concern here is how to get gravity working for me on the drain if it goes below the slab. Does yours sit above ground level like @joe90 ?
  4. Heh, that's the ASHP installer's problem. I just need to bring the supply to the install location... But probably out the wall, as there's a sewer/waste pipe just outside the cellar wall
  5. That's new (but helpful) information to me - was planning on insulating around the hot pipes at 19mm with Polyethylene Foam, but it's pretty cheap stuff, so easy to do both. Is insulating cold pipes under suspended floors to prevent freezing? I hadn't thought about insulating the sleeve through the wall as well. Is that absolutely necessary? 40mm is getting to be a pretty big hole! Any good ideas about what to use for sleeving? Was originally going to just do a 28mm pipe... One wall is double brick, I think, so may need to think my way through how to get out a brick ...
  6. Good point - it's funny what you don't think about even when you're staring straight at it! So I'll excavate down a bit (maybe 6"?) put down hardcore (how much? maybe 3"?), compact it, and then put down sand (1" maybe?). Manufacturer requirement is 150mm (6") away from the wall, so maybe I will also move the site further forward from the wall than that (maybe 12"?). General consensus that it's not worth trying to run a pipe for drainage?
  7. I'm delivering water feeds (via Speedfit 22mm) for a newly installed unvented cylinder in a cellar under the front sitting room to a utility room in the back of the house also on the ground floor. This will involve four separate 22mm feeds (cold supply, hot return, and supply/return for radiators). The most sensible route for this is under floorboards as we have suspended timber floors over bare earth in the two front rooms, and then (as the house is built into a slight slope of hillside) an earth floor with quarry tiles. I need to drill through two separate masonry walls (somewhere between 5-9" thick) to get this route to the cellar, and am thinking it would probably be wise to run pipes through a sleeve, so we're looking at four 30mm holes in a row for just over 5 inches wide. I'm wondering if there is a more efficient way to create the gap for the pipes aside from simply drilling four adjacent holes with a 30mm SDS+ bit? Should I just remove a brick? This is my first renovation, so not really sure what options are out there! Any advice most welcome -
  8. I'm installing a 16kw air source heat pump next week, and need to put in a spot to anchor it. I'm wondering if people can comment on how they've installed them and what has worked? I'm aware this ASHP will put off a lot of water (60-100l a day) and there's an inlet for sewer/waste water (it's a combined one system) about 4ft away from the installation point I've chosen. Should I put down some combination of sand, gravel and top off with cement? Or just small cement bits for the footings for the ASHP mount points? And what about water drainage? I can run some 40mm pipe from top of the pad, or a kind of soakaway. I'm just not quite sure whether 100l is too much to just drain in place. The ASHP is downslope slightly from the sewer inlet which is only about 2" below ground, so it's likely I'd need to run pipes above ground from ASHP. Would love to hear what you've done, and what has worked - and photos if you have 'em!
  9. Lovely. I've even heard reports of subfloor made of a mix that included small bones! Were there any consequences of these random mixes that I might need to attend to? I'm planning to sift out earthworms and insects (though I suppose stone walls and quarry tile will provide a natural barrier) and then mix with clean sharp sand, but otherwise seems like the earth will sort itself out. Would love to hear from folks about what the best use of modern materials for a "cap" might be. Lime screed? Extra sand blind? Simply smooth it all out with a 2x4?
  10. I'm renovating an 1880s Victorian house - it's solid brick masonry walls with (in most cases original) lime plaster on the interior, and in most places suspended timber floors over earth. It's a lovely breathable structure with some unwise modifications that have been added over time and have caused some problems, particularly for the mitigation of water vapour. I'm adding an air source heat pump with oversized radiators, to be powered eventually by solar PV to keep the house warm, and adding some individual mechanical ventilation with heat recovery devices to improve air circulation. There are air bricks in place which seem to be providing excellent ventilation to the subfloor where floors are suspended timber (no signs of rot after 100+ years). My current project is to address some serious damp/mold problems in the back of the kitchen, which rotted out the bottom/back of the previous cabinets (all now removed / recycled). The brick wall is partially buried underground, but also for some reason a former occupant installed a plastic membrane and concrete slab, presumably as part of a renovation on the cheap. The rest of the bottom floor is quarry tiles on bare earth. I'd like to remove the slab and membrane and reinstate the earth floor that was previously in place with quarry tiles on top. Here's my key question: what sort of soil should I install for the subfloor? I've been working my way through Crimmel and Thomson's Earthen Floors book to try and get a sense of things, and gather this should be a good mix of (mostly = 50-70%) sand, clay and soil (at 20% or less) and maybe fibres as well. I could easily excavate the soil necessary for this from outside the house and mix with sand, but wonder if there would be a need to address the biology in the soil? Also, for folks who have done this kind of flooring, what sorts of top layer have worked? I could do a thin lime screed on the new section, but the rest of the house is bare compacted earth, so am not sure if this is necessary. There's also some long term potential here for removing soil which is against the house and replacing it with gravel and a french drain, and improving guttering to the rear of the house but that's a way off for now. The back wall is quite damp and was producing mold (wet to touch at any given time) and I can't imagine the hydrostatic pressure from the current setup is helping that. My thinking is that if I open up the floor, it will at least allow for some additional evaporation which will be taken out by the active fan ventilation and by extension take some pressure off the back wall. I totally agree there will be more moisture in the air in the kitchen, but I think I've addressed this with the introduction of more active ventilation. Are there other possible problems that I'm not thinking of? Worth noting that I am planning to fix a membrane to the back wall, with 1" battens, woodwool boards and lime plaster skim as well to keep moisture away from the new cabinets I'm installing. Here's a visual showing the two different foundations in the room (seems likely there was originally a wall and the pad represents an extension added some decades ago, or a reeconfiguration of the room with an internal wall removed): View from behind:
  11. Hi all. Am finally underway on a renovation I've been planning and overthinking for a couple years now! We've just finished demolition on the bathroom, which is now this: The room is located on the first (top floor), with lath and plaster walls and ground floor ceilings (under the now removed floorboards), solid brick external walls and timber sash windows. I'm having the window rebuilt and reglazed with double-glazing. We need to re-frame and build the ceiling in this bathroom as the original was about 1" taller than I am with some nasty styrofoam tiles (now gone). I'm wavering on what to put on the external wall and non-wet wall to the right where sink and toilet will be located. The house is 1880-1910 era (with extensions added on variously), with solid brick external walls, 40mm lime plaster on internal walls, and lath+plaster for ceilings and newer walls (like here in the bathroom). There are some damp issues with the house (of course) but wherever I find a problem with dampness or water damage, but I'm growing increasingly skeptical about whether this is actually due to any fundamental issues with the house build - it seems that as soon as I remove wall covering to sort out damp, I find evidence of someone bodging on some anachronistic tech to quickly fix a problem (e.g. a patio outside with bricks blocking the air bricks for the cellar, cheap MDF cabinets in front of brick walls in kitchen, etc.). So, I'm thinking I prioritise draughtproofing and insulation, with good heat-recovery where possible, but also make sure that the building envelope is breatheable as much as possible. Obviously this is a bit tricky in a bathroom. The bathroom is inbetween guest room and MBR, so I'm planning to prioritise sound insulation for internal walls: rockwool sound insulation slabs in the floor and internal walls, and foam tape on the floor joists. Once I have insulation in, I'll put down 18mm plywood, install toilet/sink/bathtub/shower, with a beadboard/tile box around the bathtub and then tile on the floors. The bathtub will be installed on the left side of the room (shown in the photo) against the wall, with shower up overhead. Given the way that my children take baths (e.g. water thrown exuberantly all over the place), I need to put up some seriously hardy boarding on the walls adjacent to the bath. I'm thinking something like schluter kerdiboard (or an equivalent) as I'm hoping for a simple install I can do myself. But what should I put on the back wall? I considered PIR board for a bit of insulation with an air gap and moisture-resistant plasterboard in front, but I'm not sure this will be effective with the space I've got in the joists on that wall (70-90mm) and I'm worried about breathability of that system. So now I'm leaning towards 80mm or so of sheepwool batting, perhaps with woodwool boarding on it, then lime plastered and painted. Has anyone done something like this on a bathroom? Right side walls could just be rockwool acoustic insulation slabs (I gather that sound dampening is much strong than sheepwool with these) and plasterboard in front, but am now wondering if I should just do woodwool board there too? Happy to hear any/all suggestions! Especially if you've tried to do something similar. Floors:
  12. Thanks @George for confirming. Re: ventilation - I have this well in mind. There only seems to be rot on one side, which happens to be the front of the house, e.g. where cellar wall is soil all the way through and brick wall above, whereas on the other side where there is open venting to sub-floor of another room in the house, joist ends seem to be fine. I can't use air bricks there, as there isn't any air to be fetched, as soil level is above the joists so was thinking I might do a fan, or humidity extractor. Definitely open to ideas on this
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