• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

2 Neutral

About Jeremy

  • Rank

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. 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?
  2. 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:
  3. 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:
  4. 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
  5. Bummer! Hopefully some other folks might have ideas!
  6. Hi folks. I'm getting ready to press "go" on installation of an ASHP and uvc which will be certified for RHI. This is to replace a vented cistern and old gas boiler. I've gotten quotes from several suppliers: Chelmer heating, does a supply of a Samsung 16kw ASHP and Telford uvc and handles certification for RHI after I have my own G3 tech do the installation (following their documentation). They're much cheaper, but 20% VAT makes it the same as the quote I've gotten from another provider. The other contender is Glen Eco renewables, who has quoted me for an LG / Telford system or Veissman ASHP (for £800 extra). Has anyone had experience with either provider? Similarly, any strong opinions on Samsung/LG/Veissman? From what I can tell the warranties are now all the same on these products, they're all R32 refridgerant, have same flow temperatures (65C) and SCOP seems pretty similar. Would love to hear any/all that folks have to say about them!
  7. Yeah, @tonyshouse seems like a good idea to take out the sill plate as well.
  8. I'm pulling out a series of floor joists (63mm wide by 130mm deep) that run under about 40% of a sitting room. The joist ends are damaged by dry rot and there are signs of woodworm across the lengths. The floor is still sound, but I want to get this resolved before we move in. I've spoken with damp-proofing suppliers and the general advice seems to be to go for joist caps/sockets as this will prevent any ingress of moisture from the brickwork that they are laid into (on top of a sill plate). This seems like a good idea to me, but here's my problem: the joist caps are made at standard sizing with a "max height" of 225mm ( and then they suggest you pack the remaining cavity with cut timber. This is an old victorian house without any sub-floor to speak of, just wood floorboards nailed to joists, so there's no where for me to put that extra 95mm above the joist in that cavity. Has anyone worked with caps before and found a good hack / solution? I guess I could just cut off the top at 130mm and add damp-proof paint or membrane? The cellar is well ventilated, and will be fully tanked etc. so not worried about dampness in that way.
  9. Thanks @DamonHDand @richi - glad to know the stuff works! Now I guess I just need to sort out whether to have timer, cord, humidistat, etc controlling it. I have a bunch of zigbee smart home gear to be installed so might see if I can run a DIY humidistat...
  10. Hi all, as per a previous post, I'm renovating a drafty old house (yes, draughtproofing, interior wall insulation, new windows, etc.) and installing an ASHP to run radiators. I'm now looking towards the kitchen more specifically. I'm aware of the need to have good ventilation and air exchange in the kitchen, but am reluctant to lose all that heat out an air vent. Wondering what experiences folks have had with single room heat recovery devices (like here: Has anyone installed one of these? Found them to make a reasonable difference?
  11. Thanks @markc and @Moonshine for quick and unanimous advice - much appreciated!
  12. I'm putting in some built-in bunk beds for the kids room which I'll be starting reno on soon. We're also putting in carpets, but I'm wondering if I should carpet the whole room and install bunk beds on top or carpet around them? Happy to hear anyone's thoughts!