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Archer's Achievements


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  1. Well... we got on, eventually and finished the extension! Really pleased now all that the work is done, but it was a stressful year. We had big problems with our builder, also with leaks into the flat below and various other things. So pleased with the end result though and we learned a lot by doing lots ourself and commissioning trades after the builder disappeared. For your questions, I can't say too much more than my original post on the 45 degree rule. I don't think the extension ever complied with it because it projects 3m out, less than a metre from a bedroom window. But the neighbours didn't mind and it ultimately didn't change much in reality because the wall matched the fence height before pitching upwards. The planners visited the property and ok'd it after our architect wrote to them. I think it really helps if you're neighbours are onboard with proposals so definitely consult with them early. We learned that there are usually solutions to the issues you come across. Our kitchen shared the open plan fire issue that you've described above. There are various possible solutions to this - auto misting systems; fire doors on magnetic closers or hidden fire curtains for larger areas. Several maisonettes in our area have the same layout and BCO wasn't that concerned about the issue (or dedicated escape windows for that matter either). We stressed about it lots and even followed up with emails but in the end it just got waived through. Good luck if you move forward with it all
  2. If you've got decent water pressure and a smallish house or flat then combi's are great because they only heat the water you use so no storage losses and they never run out of hot water, plus you save tank space. Oversize the lps to avoid issues with pressure dropping when you turn on the hot tap... We never had issues with a decent shower but they take much longer to run a bath. Bigger houses, then a system boiler is better
  3. I installed a Vent-Axia HR100R in a bedroom that was suffering from condensation and mould in the winter. It worked wonders and was quiet enough to run at night with the windows shut. Would recommend for that sort of use. I can't comment on models with a summer bypass, but as above it's not really the same as active cooling. They work slowly and continuously so no substitute for opening windows. You can get acoustic wall vents but I imagine that would be expense.
  4. Archer


    Not used this, but interested in any experiences you have if you go for it. Looks like an alternative to stick built timber frame that might be more straightforward for an amateur if you can get a decent saving against a factory built pre-assembled panel system. Be interested in whether they have any British accreditation (LABC type approvals) and whether it works out cost effective against other options. Why was Glavlock of interest to you compared to all the other options out there?
  5. Because there is less scope for neighbours and planners to object if you stick to PD rules? That's my understanding of it, worth checking with the duty planner though or even the Building Control team once you know what you want to do.
  6. Speak to this guy who beat you to it! Built a roundhouse with his son as a lockdown project. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-england-norfolk-52737762 I'm aware of the CAT and Lammas in Wales. Incidentally, for anyone in here who hasn't yet visited the Centre for Alternative Technology, it is a great day out (obviously not at the moment). They have a water powered funicular railway. I think you need to be realistic about what you are trying to do. It this is a place that you will live and bring up a family; potentially wanting to sell on in the future, then all of the health, safety and property laws will apply to you, same as they do to everyone else for the same reasons. Other alternative communities still have regulations applied to them (for example traveller communities). As said above, you can always try doing this with a temporary building first (or just try to get away with it). Depends whether you are aiming to do this in using an authentic, traditional technique or because you fancy the lifestyle. If it's the latter them it shouldn't be too difficult to build something which complies with the regulations - will also be a bit easier to live in long term as well. Good luck, please post your progress up here if you move ahead!
  7. Could you use shuttering to raise the slab depth? Agree with others, you probably want at least another 2 inches concrete and depending on what it will be used for possibly more insulation
  8. Agreed, we got a good price and the material cost for silicone render is significant. I was most impressed by the basecoat, it's a waterproof fibre reinforced cement product that you also use as an adhesive with external insulation. Pretty bullet proof stuff and looks good when finished.
  9. We had a thin coat silicone render on polystyrene though and it looks great. They are about 7mm thickness when complete so it may be that the weight of other render systems is not appropriate for direct render to ICF/Poly? Used a system from EWI Pro and it sounds similar to what you've been quoted. The basecoat went onto jablite graphite eps boards which have some texture and there was no roughing up required. Other than that the method was identical to what you've been quoted except there was a primer applied between the 2nd base cost and the top coat silicone render and we didn't need a spray on top. Price for ours in London was about /£60m2 for a small extension job 25m2, but no spray pump needed.
  10. I'm a bit out of my depth on this one compared to some of the practical advice that you are getting from the usual hero's on this forum. One thing though, I would go back and edit / redact those drawings you posted up on the last page. They have your name and building site address which probably isn't great for security etc. Good luck getting sorted with the build.
  11. Or one of the other sites, MyBuilder etc
  12. We cut down a baby oak tree when we first moved into our house. Had big ideas that it would be made into a Newell post for our staircase out something else... Sat in the garden for 2 years before eventually being taken to the dump. Looked exactly the same as the day we cut it down, no sign of any rot or degredation
  13. Sounds like you've got it covered then and maybe the cheaper guy is the better pick. Once you've thought through the approach it might be worth asking them both to quote for EWI as well to see the difference in price. The tricky bit with IWI is ensuring insulation continuity and vapour sealing internally. That's all in the detailing and quite fiddly to do properly, especially between floors, and at joist-ends. Having said all that, I'm a hypocrite and insulated the northern external wall on my house internally finishing the insulation at floor level. No problems so far.
  14. Sorry, to be clear, the issue with the D&D installation method isn't to do with the thermal performance of the air gap itself. It's to do with airtightness, and in particular the risk of air getting in behind the insulation layer, particularly in retrofit situations where the wall may have gaps in blockwork or mortar. This article has a full explanation and some possible ways of preventing which include a parge coat to the wall prior to installation. https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Defects_in_dot_and_dab The air gap shown above in Nod's image is beneficial, but only if the wall behind and any penetrations through are air sealed. If using steel studs then something to mitigate cold bridging would be needed otherwise you'll lose something like 50% heat through the stud. If using timber then it's less of an issue but you can either batten over the insulation or have a double layer as Peter described.
  15. Comes down to who is the better builder ultimately which may be hard to judge. Are you confident that they are both competent and do good work? We got burned on our renovation by going for a smaller sole trader who turned out to be a cowboy. It was ridiculously stressful to sort out the mess. My view is coloured by this experience, but just reading the post, it looks like you're first builder seems to have a well thought out spec and seems to have priced to manage the job. May be that it's unnecessary expense and the other guy is good, but you're more likely to hit bad builders where the spec and pricing is left woolly and open. Sorry, you probably know all this already, but after the experience we had I feel the need to over-share! On the actual insulation proposals, Dot and dab for internal wall insulation is in theory less effective than battens because you get an air gap between wall and insulation. However this depends on the design and approach of each method. Also with retrofit IWI watch out for interstetial condensation, especially the floor joists which can get cold and attract moisture. As others have said, EWI much better if possible.
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