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About Cambs

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  1. Cambs

    Thermal Blinds

    We used these in our last build. The blackout ones were very effective. We’ll use them in the next build too. They have a double honeycomb design called Architella now which is supposed to be more effective for solar gain/heat retention. Also can be motorised (called Powerview) and controlled via smartphone, Alexa etc. They’ve announced that the motorisation is Apple HomeKit compatible in the US but not in the UK (yet?) The Luxaflex UK website is not great so here’s a link to Vale Blinds who sell them: Not cheap, of course .....
  2. Cambs

    Top up heat sources

    The issues that we might face upstairs are that we have lots of dormers, south facing, with limited opportunity for solar shading. The plot is in the curtilage of a listed building, in a conservation area and with a set of planners who were split down the middle as to whether or not there should be planning permission granted and it seems all of the ones who voted “yes: for the original application have since moved on ☹️ . The south facing windows all face into the plot for the listed building. We basically can’t change much about the outside on the house to introduce some form of shading. The only possible option might be solar film but sticking an overhang or a brise soleil on the outside would not be acceptable to the planners. Add to that an other half who likes to be able to tweak bedroom temperatures constantly leads me towards thinking that UFH + Air radiators might be the way to go, if night time purging is insufficient. I’d like to keep the options open at this stage - I want to avoid and expensive split air con retrofit like I had to do last time around.
  3. Cambs

    Top up heat sources

    I too am reading this thread with interest because I need to start thinking about the heating and cooling solutions for my next self build, due to start in the next couple of months. In my last build (build 10 years ago, so not to anywhere near passive standard) I had UFH downstairs and radiators upstairs, powered by gas boiler, plus MVHR. We had rooms in roof and it became hot in summer, so we added a number of split aircon units to provide cooling only in the bedrooms. We occasionally used these to provide spot heating on the odd cold day - I really didn’t like warm air heating. We had one of the very rare (in the UK) forced air systems in a previous house and it wasn’t very pleasant or easy to get on with. We’ve spent a fair bit of time in colder climes in North America where warm air systems are common and I didn’t like it there either. For the next build, we have no gas, and will be building to near passive standard, so my current thinking on the solution is to have ASHP plus UFH downstairs. I wouldn’t have any other form of heating for the main living areas - UFH is excellent there. For the upstairs, again, we have rooms in roof but the thick Warmcel insulation should hopefully regulate temperatures better than the previous build. I was thinking about pairing the UFH downstairs with fan assisted radiators upstairs. Something like these from Panasonic (other suppliers are available): With this set up, we can hopefully switch over to cooling the slab in the summer and getting cooling from the air radiators upstairs if needed. We’ll also hopefully have individual room control upstairs too. All still to be finally decided on though....
  4. I've bough Hatchbags for the family cars for the last few years. They will likely do all the bits (including protection for the inside of the hatchback) you want and tailored to your specific car model. Not cheap but well made and a perfect fit. Vinyl like material, so if you are looking for a moulded plastic tray boot liner, they may not be for you. As a dog owner, if I changed my car, it'd be one of the first things I buy - makes vacuuming and cleaning a lot easier. With the bumper protector out. I usually leave it in and just fold it back in to the car when not in use... The one below shows the hatchback liner - Useful to stop scratches when things slide about .... The one below shows the tailored headrest protector - essential component for stopping Labrador drool 😀 I also have the boot liner extension (not shown) which Velcros around the front seat head rests and is for use when the rear seats are folded down.
  5. We spent a long time pondering over our choice of colours. Our build will be clad in limestone and we were worried about getting a complementary window colour. We began by buying a K5 RAL colour chart like this one: The colour chips are a reasonable size, so that gave us a good starting point to narrow it down to a smaller number of colours. The next step was to buy a small sheet of ply and then cut it up into approximately A4 sized chunks. Then off to our local Brewers decorator centre - they will mix paints to any RAL colour and can do small sample sized pots (Albany brand, I think) for a few ££ each - can’t remember exactly how much but it was less than a fiver each. We bought about half a dozen, undercoated the ply and then gave it a couple of coats of the RAL colours. I’m pleased to say they ended up looking almost exactly like the RAL K5 colour chips and the larger size helps you narrow it down even further. You won’t necessarily get the right sheen but the colour was certainly a good match. It worked for us and got us to an informed decision, I’m pleased to say. It worked well for us - so much so that we bought some Farrow and Ball sample pots and did exactly the same for our potential kitchen colours. Kitchen will be a custom painted one from DIY Kitchens.
  6. Cambs

    Sunamp prices

    Apologies if this has been posted elsewhere, but i had a search on here but couldn’t seem to find any guide prices for the latest Sunamp models. A quick google turned this up....
  7. Cambs

    Root protection zones

    From the Woodland Trust’s website: How is a root protection area calculated? The British Standard 5837, RPA is calculated by multiplying the diameter of the tree at breast height in meters by 12 but is capped as an area with a radius of 15m. .... and then I guess my designer just calculated the area of the garage that was encroaching into the RPA and divided it by the area of the RPA to get to his 10%. You can find a copy of the relevant BS online in some places - it costs £224 to buy from BSI or just Google “Crawley BS5837” and you can see it for £0 😁. Have a look through that to see what is relevant for what you are trying to do but, for example, section states “New permanent hard surfacing should not exceed 20% of any existing unsurfaced ground within the RPA.”
  8. Cambs

    Root protection zones

    We’re building in a conservation area and trees are protected. The tree officer said : “The proposed site plan indicates the rpa incursion of 10% of a single tree. This is acceptable.” So you can encroach into the RPA. The attached is extracted from our application drawings.
  9. Cambs

    Price paid for plots of land

    The plot I bought is on the Land Registry House Price data website. I put in the postcode and found it that way. It doesn't say it's a plot but lists it as "Other" in the Attributes - Property Type field.
  10. I’ve had one of the large drop boxes for a couple of years now. Got a clever mechanism that means you can’t fish the parcel out once it has been dropped in. Very happy with my purchase. I’m not going to have any kind of letterbox in the new build either, so this one will move with me. Still get the occasional delivery driver knocking on the door, but the postie told me he liked it! It’s very similar to this one:
  11. A quick web search turned this one up - open to the public on 22nd September. Never been though. Might be worth a look at the Exhibitor list to see if it might meet your needs
  12. @newhome - Excellent. Enormously helpful - thank you.
  13. Thought this might be of interest - found it via the Passivehouse Plus website. I'd not seen this build system before.
  14. Cambs

    Ho hum - time to remedy.

    Here's a couple of This Old House videos showing how to epoxy a garage floor..... The first one says 20 mins working time and the second one says a couple of hours. Note the spiked shoes on the first video that allows them to walk across it. May not be good enough for a house floor finish though.
  15. Cambs

    Windows screwed in the wall !

    Cross posted same as JohnW above....