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mike2016 last won the day on November 27 2016

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About mike2016

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    Dublin, Ireland

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  1. One video blog series worth checking out to get some details is purelivingforlive over in the USA on youtube. They built with ICF basement/garage, timber frame on top and SIP to close it up for 1st floor and roof. The SIP work in relation to sealing the roof, hot knifing and fixing details are all covered. They have a LOT of videos so pick wisely but you see how they prep each panel before it's craned into position. They found the first panel each side to be the worst, but once they knew how to trim it to get the best fit they accelerated from there....eye opening...
  2. I hope my bedroom foobot is just badly calibrated!
  3. I'd be worried about condensation in the ductwork intake contaminating the air coming into the house. Remember that German example where they buried the ductwork in the ground to get ground temperature warmth even when it was freezing outside but the ducts became contaminated and caused illness to the occupants. How are you going to inspect for this afterwards? I know you can insulate but it's a risk....
  4. mike2016

    Downlight Gap

    Hi, I installed fire rated downlights today below a bedroom. There was electrical wiring directly above the old fittings so I'd to move the hole to fit the new downlight unit. Now I've a gap on either side and I was wondering what's the appropriate way to seal this safely? I could cut out a section of plasterboard and reskim. I was thinking of using a small amount of fire rated foam and then smoothing over this & painting. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  5. mike2016

    Tenders are in...

    Yep, definitely an option. I'll probably hold the plot for a bit - I can extend another 5 years while I see how things develop. I like the idea of scaling back work and enjoying life more! Thanks - There are two routes to build, an expensive way with an appointed builder, or direct labour and less regulation which removes a lot of the cost overheads. I need cash to go the second route though. So I think I'll look at feathering my nest a bit and sit back and enjoy the next few years in the current house but keep an eye out for an opportunity to re-mortgage to build a shell and finish it over a year or two and then move in and sell the old house. Anyway, I've a roof over my head currently and there are some good grants to improve the comfort levels that I'm applying for.... It's a tricky one. We used a QS two years ago and I used an online one 6 months ago but nothing prepared me for the quotes I got back! I'm sure the Architect had other tender prices to hand and I was up front about my budget. It's a simple house but could be made cheaper if needed. I just needed to see what the range of prices was. Now I can go back to the cheapest bidder in 2-3 years and see where things are at. Failing that I've another opportunity in 7-9 years time to remortgage and build the shell and bypass some of the regulations driving up the price. Still, the state of building one off houses in Dublin has shocked me and those I've spoken to about it. Cheers, exactly the route I'm considering taking. I've met some great builders and am confident they can get me out of the ground and to a water tight shell before I take over and with some oversight finish the inside bringing in Professional help as required. Plus do it over a longer time. I've 17 years before I retire so I'll have to talk with the banks about re-mortgaging in 7 years time so I don't miss the window. I think the tender process was a risk but I've detailed building drawings I can use to good effect later on. Plus I've got accurate costs back from the builders who responded and can see where the breakdown is compared to QS figures. Definitely up for the challenge of doing this directly myself. But a lot can happen to the market in 7 years and my own circumstances so we'll see. Having thought about it over the last 24 hours I'm going to spend some money on the current house and set a timetable for accelerating the mortgage payments. I might contact the lowest bidder in 2-3 years to see how things look but in the meantime I'll be living in a much more comfortable and healthy house which was one of my goals. Then at the 7-8 year mark I might re-mortgage and start building before planning expires or sell the site at that point. In the meantime I can take on another lodger and boost my finances. Thanks all! One of the great things about Buildhub is the advice - both technical and personal. I've very grateful to all who helped me here over the years.
  6. mike2016

    Tenders are in...

    Background: I'm living in a house with a side garden I got planning permission on. Just purchased it a year ago so only 1 year down on the mortgage. Recap: I was going to wait a year to get my finances in order but the Architect talked me into going out to tender anyway to see what prices come back. We sent out 6 Tenders and 3 responded. I can go back to the cheapest one in a year they said and get it repriced accordingly. So i was rightly worried that prices in Dublin would be steep but didn't guess how steep! The prices I got back needed a bit of adjusting to add the banks 10% contingency to, plus development fees, professional fees, connection charges etc. I've reflected this in the figures below Tender #1 €466k Tender #2 €465k Tender #3 €390k The house on the open market in this area would be worth €350k and I'm ignoring the value of the land in my figures above which I own. Crazy, huh?! This is a 108 sq. meter house, box shape. My own max budget was €330k so way out! The bank won't lend me enough to get this off the ground. I wouldn't feel comfortable leveraging that much debt anyway. I'm glad I went to tender, the figures were an eye opener. But, where to go from here?! I'm mulling over my options: Stay in the current house and make myself comfortable. Get new windows and doors, external insulation upgrades over the next few years. Pay off mortgage a bit earlier by renting a room or two. Sell site next door before planning expires. Possibly move elsewhere at some stage... Reassess in 2 years - I'll have 15 years until I retire then so if I knock down the mortgage a bit, the market holds and I sell up, see if I can then pull off a build, IF the figures look any better. Save like crazy and in 8-10 years build the shell, get it watertight and finish over a few years. That's a longer bet and my figures say I'd need €200k to get to the shell, maybe more by then. I could sell the house and do a caravan and get a small mortgage to finish possibly. The gas thing is I'd be moving beds about 8 meters over if I pull off the build but the effort required...!!! So, on one hand I'm glad I've a reality check now and know exactly where I stand. I'm wondering about just paying off the current mortgage like mad to keep my options open or investing in the current house instead. There's probably some middle ground - I'd find it really difficult to sell the site right away and have someone else build on it but I'll get over that..... I'll mull it over the next few weeks.....
  7. mike2016

    The Banks press Pause

    Got valuations done of side garden with planning, the house without the garden and the value of the proposed new house when it's finished. The main problem is I can only access 80% of the build cost / house value (whichever is the lower) with a new mortgage and I've no savings to speak of so rather tight to pursue a build at present. Give it a year and I'll have paid off the mortgage one more year and added a lump sum to that to reduce it further. I can split the folio at time of sale despite absent advice from one solicitor. So that's a runner. I've now gone out to tender and hope to have up to 6 builders quotes in by Xmas to consider. Currently though my finances aren't in a good place so am planning on switching banks to get a 1 year fixed rate and 2% cash back while deciding if I should sell and build and if that's possible in January or delay a year. I can always break the fixed rate early if necessary. So, let's wait and see! Maybe Santa will be nice to me!
  8. mike2016

    The Banks press Pause

    Disappointing week. I've been waiting three months on a decision by the bank about splitting the property folio and allowing me to sell the old house but keep the side garden to build on. They are concerned if I don't sell the house they are taking a risk as the LTV would then exceeds the Central Bank limits. The reduced property value post split plus the fact I've only a year paid down on the mortgage plays into this. I thought they would hold the side garden as security but it doesn't work like that.... I've been talking to a few banks and my solicitor about options but the clearest to date is either to split the property at time of sale or wait a year, pay down the mortgage to get it below the 80% LTV threshold (depending on the valuation), then in a year ask the same question. I'm all ready to go to tender - have builders lined up and the tender package written but without the bank's approval I can't proceed. I'll wait to see if any other options emerge but getting access to the garden has been an issue from the start. I tried to buy directly off the previous owner but the banks didn't play ball, and now again I'm hitting institutions that we bailed out calling ME a risk! Anyway, rant over. Turns out nothing is simple. I can only ask the questions, the replies sometimes confound me! Let's see where we are in 12 months......
  9. mike2016

    wall build up options

    Hi, I've two different wall build up options and conflicting advice about which is more cost effective. The first is a twin stud, cellulose fill, with aquapanel & k-rend. The second is Climawool / timber frame / outer block leaf which is slightly thinner and claimed to be cheaper. Now, I know that's light on detail but any thoughts about cost: I would assume blockwork will take longer / need scaffolding longer vs aquapanel / k-rend cost so it's about even. Thanks.
  10. mike2016

    Stairs options

    Great ideas - gives me ideas about how to achieve that I'm after. Thanks!
  11. mike2016

    Tender does it....!

    I received the tender documents from the Architect last Friday, about 4 weeks later than I'd hoped. Still it had around 12 documents and a cover letter for me to absorb and read over the weekend. They provided all the details the builders need to price the job which is a lot of detail, wall makeup, foundation and roof elements and I finally get a preview of different cross sections of the house. They provided a window and door schedule, room elevations including a design for the kitchen, utility room, under stairs storage and more. A MVHR layout and Electrical plan was also provided. I've to tweak a few things of course but so far not so bad. We had discussed my preference for a KORE passive slab and Aquapanel / K-Rend exterior back in August but they've gone for a kingspan foundation and blockwork on the outside. Also Climawool which is a bit cheaper. I've to send them feedback and see why they went this route but it was a bit suprising to say the least. Fermacell was my choice for the interior. EXTERNAL WALL BUILD UP 515MM INCLUDING PLASTER (U VALUE 0.1 W/(m2K)) 20MM EXTERNAL COLOURED RENDER FINISH 100MM BLOCKWORK EXTERNAL LEAF OR BRICK 50mm VENTILATED CAVITY. BREATHER MEMBRANE ON 10mm DIFFUSABLE RACKING BOARD 220mm TIMBER FRAME WITH 220mm CLIMAWOOL / MOY METAC INSULATION (0.032W/mK) FITTED TIGHTLY WITHIN THE TIMBER FRAME, 50mm KINGSPAN KOOLTHERM K106 (0.022W/mK) FIXED TO TIMBER FRAME. AIRTIGHT MEMBRANE (INTELLO OR EQUIVALENT APPROVED) 50mm TIMBER BATTENS TO FORM SERVICE ZONE, FILLED BETWEEN WITH CLIMAWOOL / MOY METAC INSULATION (0.032 W/(mK)) 15mm FERMACELL AND SKIM FINISH. GROUND FLOOR BUILD-UP (U VALUE 0.070 W/(m2K)) 75MM CONCRETE SCREED ON 280MM KINGSPAN KOOLTHERM INSULATION (0.020W/mK) WITH 60MM VERTICAL UPSTAND TO ALL EDGES ON RADON BARRIER ON 150MM CONCRETE SLAB ON 50MM SAND BLINDING ON MIN. 150MM COMPACTED HARDCORE Now it's a matter of working through 3 pages of notes and comments I'm sending them back and agreeing the final tender specs. They have a few builders lined up who expressed an interest and I've three of my own. Hopefully we'll get prices before Xmas and I can get cracking in January. I've to sell my own house but need some groundworks done before I put it on the market as the new house is next door and access to water/broadband etc and new car parking spaces have to be provided. Bit of a juggling match! Still not sure on a few options including the heating system, simple would be better but Irish regulations are being updated shortly and you have to tick the box or else! And someone has to sign the piece of paper too. Lots of paper signing over here! No inspections at all which is funny! So, hopefully next post will be wailing over the price of building and how many zero's it will cost me!!
  12. mike2016

    Stairs options

    Hi, I'm undecided about the stairs I want. I like the look of oak and glass but I'm not planning on anything more than a basic budget would allow. Do I ask the builder to whack up a softwood staircase himself or is metal / concrete an option? The only other characteristic I'm after is quiet, a good solid no creaking staircase is a must! Any advice appreciated!
  13. mike2016

    Should my LEDs be this warm when turned off?!

    Thanks! You're spot on.....heating has been off for over an hour and no hot spots. Must be heating pipes as you say....had me worried!
  14. I was checking out my boiler with my FLIR and spotted the adjacent 5W LED downlight was rather warm. Then I checked the other 7 and they were too. They were turned off as it was daytime so what's generating the heat and is this normal? I changed them from halogen last year - MR16 to GU10 and they are two switched banks of 4 x 5W. Thoughts?
  15. mike2016

    Are Solar Panels worth it now?

    Some costs savings are possible with "in roof" panels for new builds to save cost of some tiles/slates You can also check out a ground mount out the back garden, cheaper to install yourself and get electrician to wire up afterwards. Keep an eye out for second hand panels and inverters also Check out batteries in 2-3 years for better prices My Plan: 2.5kW in roof panels in new build (new) 2.5kW rear garden with mix of s/w/e facing panels (second hand) Batteries later.... That's if I get the build going..!