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About jonM

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  1. jonM

    Tiler rates

    I would agree as well. I have standard size tiles but have had a problem finding any tilers full stop as they seem to be in short supply (non-existent) locally. I have finally found someone following a recommendation from another self-builder whose work is very good, but he is travelling a distance to do the work and he is also very busy. Housebuilders Bible quote £33 per sq. m for stone flooring and £23 per sq. m. for bathroom tiles but there will be a premium for large tiles and a further premium depending on travel / how busy the tiler is.
  2. jonM

    Finishing the Shell

    @Triassic Flashings are powder coated aluminium. The corners were pre-fabricated.
  3. jonM


    empty space was quoted at half the price of the stone when I ordered my stone.
  4. jonM

    UFH versus Radiators

    I get the points made around decorating, aesthetics etc, etc, they are all valid and among self builders, UFH is undoubtedly the most popular system for some good reasons. In terms of the comment around maintenance - I think the longevity of UFH is unproven and if maintenance is required it will be very messy indeed. I am aware for example of a 15 year old UFH system that has sprung a leak and will require the concrete floor to be dug up to find the leak.
  5. jonM

    Staircase tread covering stuff.

    I bought my stairs from Stairbox with solid oak tread, engineered oak strings and veneered oak risers. cost was £1160 compared to £2260 for everything in solid oak from a different manufacturer. I can't tell the difference between the solid/engineered and veneered oak.
  6. jonM

    UFH versus Radiators

    Worth taking into account what temperature you like your bedrooms at, whether you have any living areas upstairs, whether you have cathedral ceilings etc.
  7. jonM

    UFH versus Radiators

    I was given a very strong recommendation by an experienced Passivhaus M&E designer and architect to use radiators on the basis it is cost effective, quicker to respond than burying pipes in a slab and easier to maintain. You can still circulate water at lower temperatures for efficiency purposes but will need to oversize your radiators. The thought of underfloor heating is tempting and more aesthetically pleasing but I don't think it is an open and shut decision particularly in a passivhaus. You can also put the radiators anywhere in the room in a passivhaus. They don't need to go under a window as in a conventional house.
  8. jonM

    Rockwool soundslab

    Thanks @mvincentd. I did take a look at RWA45 and from what I could make out RWA45 is an all rounder where as SoundSlab is better for acoustic reduction. RWA45 would have been £100 cheaper to cover the same area but I thought paying a little extra for better acoustic reduction made sense.
  9. jonM

    Finishing the Shell

    @Oz07 We used smart ply propassiv which is the airtight version. The joints were all taped. @Russell griffiths Fabricator who did the flashings was ACL Sheet Metal in Hereford. I would recommend them. If they had any questions they asked, the order was turned round quickly and we were pleased with the quality of the final product.
  10. jonM

    Rockwool soundslab

    I needed 35 packs of Rockwool sound slab for acoustic insulation in my partition walls. Ex. VAT Prices obtained: BuilderDepot £25 / per pack Wickes £33.33 / per pack Travis Perkins £38.88 per pack The BuilderDepot price had a big discount at 15+ packs. So, that is £500 saved on the BuilderDepot price compared to the original Travis Perkins quote for 30 minutes work.
  11. jonM

    Finishing the Shell

    @CC45 Thanks - the air test results were a very pleasant surprise but all the taping was carried out with great attention to detail. We are using a Zehnder Comfoair Q350 for the MVHR. It has been fitted now, but that is for the next blog !
  12. jonM

    Finishing the Shell

    Yes it is - supplied by Isoquick.
  13. jonM

    Finishing the Shell

    Sorry for the delay since the last blog. Things have been very hectic keeping a track of everything that is going on with the build and holding a job down ! As we approach end of January and move into February there are lots of things going on simultaneously on site including battening the roof in preparation for the roofers, finishing of fitting the smartply in preparation for blowing in the insulation and fitting the windows and doors. The first window goes in on 30th January. Many of the side reveals to the windows have splays to help spread the light from the window. We are using Green Building Store Progressions windows and Green Building Store Ultra doors. The Progression windows are expensive, but the narrow sight-lines give a lovely contemporary look and very little of the frame is visible outside, so it should be as maintenance free as you can get and seems like a good investment. The Ultra doors look very similar to the Progression doors and are of a similar thermal performance but are more cost effective to purchase. From the 12th - 15th February, the Warmcell insulation is blown into the frame. I hadn't realised, but you can do this before all of the windows are fitted, as long as the boarding out is completed inside and out. By 21st February all windows and doors are fitted. A lot of time has gone into ensuring the windows are fitted properly and are as airtight as possible. In parallel, the brick plinth is built. Whilst you won't see all of this once the ground levels are built up, I am really pleased with the quality of the job. Next job is and fitting the Aquapanel in preparation for the rendering. The roofer we had lined up pulled out at the last minute, but we are able to get a local firm with a good reputation to take their place at short notice. We took a lot of trouble selecting the roof tiles and we are particularly looking forward to seeing the tiles laid. The roofers are on site beginning of March after a small delay due to rain to do the counter-battening and lay the tiles. The roof is a pretty simple shape so the roofers make quick progress. We are using plain clay smooth machine-made tiles made by Dreadnought tiles and supplied by Ashbrook Roofing. We found out about them at a self build show we attended and have had great support from both Dreadnought and Ashbrook. We are using two colours - 70% staffordshire blue and 30% blue brindle mixed randomly. Before you know it, the roof is in place. Big Day on 8th March as it is our first Air Test. We'd put 0.3 air changes per hour (ach) @ 50pa into phpp so we were hoping for something similar or better. Results were: 0.08 ach @ 50 pa 0.11 m3/hr/m2 @50 pa Absolutely delighted with the results. Given building regs are 10 m3/hr/m2 @50 pa and Passivhaus standard is 0.6 ach @ 50 pa, this is over 90 times better than building regs and over 7 times better than Passivhaus standards and a great testament to the attention to detail shown by the build team. Flashings between the wood cladding and the render are fitted. These were made by a Herefordshire based fabricator. Work continues fitting the cladding. We are using Douglas Fir, supplied by Ransford which is literally 5 minutes down the road. Once the roof has been laid and the weather allows, the rendering starts. We are using the Weber system, with a base coat applied first followed by a thin silicon based top coat which will be sprayed on. The roof and detailing around the dormer window are completed Once the cladding is complete and before the scaffolding comes down, we need to treat the cladding. The gable ends need a fireproof coating due the proximity of other houses, so it's one coat of primer, two of Envirograf and two of Osmo. The front and back of the house get one coat primer and two of Osmo. It's one of those jobs that costs more and takes longer than expected. We hadn't planned on having to to apply so many coats of product and in my naiveity I thought it would be a layer or two of fireproof coating on each gable. The wood looks a little orange at the moment but that is typical when new and it does weather down nicely which is what I plan to allow the wood to do. Hopefully to osmo will help even out the weathering but I have no plans to keep on applying it. The guttering is attached whilst the scaffolding is still up (Lindab galvanised) The scaffolding on the house comes down and goes up on the garage to allow the roof to be completed on the garage. The second coat of render is sprayed on and the shell of the house is now complete.
  14. jonM

    Alternatives to lead soakers

    Water that has run over lead will strip a galvanised coating, so a non-lead alternative might make more sense if you are using a galvanised steel guttering.
  15. Not sure if it is "normal" or not, but the developer covered the S106 contribution when I bought my serviced plot recently. CIL charges were against the individual plot purchaser, but as each plot was considered as an individual development, I was able to apply for a self build exemption.