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About Visti

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  1. Paul is a great guy and very into his house build, particularly the eco credentials. He way very persuasive in his use of clay as a render, even though it'd have been far easier to get a traditional plasterer in. He was the first one Laura and I met in fact, us wandering onto the street when it was strictly a private area and still being warm and welcoming despite our ignorance. I think his materials first philosophy isn't as far removed as mine or the rest of you, it is just that he values the natural sources and processes above performance which we tend to favour instead. I am not going to fault him after having seen him spend three months hand making and filling in his walls with hempcrete. That is a dedication to a cause irrespective on philosophy.
  2. We've had engineering confirm that it is ok, particularly as it isn't the main structural component of the foundation. That is instead the underlying Beam and Block beneath the EPS and the external walls which most of the MBC frame rests on. Only a few internal walls are situated on top of this 75mm floor, and that is transferred directly into some dwarf walls which come through the EPS to ensure the weight is transferred direct to the B&B. I think you and @Oz07 are right as we'll have to box out that void and allow it to be polished over, extracting that bit afterwards. Nick is help us too, so hopefully the experience will translate across! @Onoff Awesome example of doing it yourself. I'm almost tempted to take that approach rather than a tray... will allow us to be a bit more flexible if we don't get the void situated exactly!
  3. We're stuck on how to incorporate a shower tray into the ground floor bathroom. It'll be a 75mm deep concrete slab on top of EPS (300mm), but that is it. Powerfloated and done as a finished floor. Ideally all continuous throughout the entire ground floor. How should we go about fitting the 1400x800mm tray? Finish the floor, then cut out the concrete where the tray will go. Place in a box frame before the concrete pour to make space for it (not even considering the risk of locating it correctly) Any bright alternatives?
  4. Karen, the MD, was at the monthly liaison group meeting this Sunday and mentioned they had about 7000+ hits on the website at it's peak after the first episode, and about 4500+ after the second. Absolutely flooded with enquiries with 1 reservation made and 1 near to reserving. A lot of the enquiries were for the £100k plots, and some even asking for free plots! I think to you your point a fair few will leave severely disappointed. Those sorts of prices they're asking for are however not far off market value here. New land with residential planning permission is unheard of in these parts, particularly this close to Oxford. Not suprised they're jacking them up so high, even if it looks crazy. Just think of all the London commuters who fancy something a bit more convenient and new than a post-war build.
  5. @Ferdinand each self build is in charge of their own security, but there is a police patrol car that drives through every once in a while. Else the roads are all publicly accessible and we get a lot of touring eyes driving through. More so now with the GD show having been aired. Have had several break-ins on plots, so installation of CCTV has occured on a lot of sites. We are hoping that as neighbours move in that these incidents will reduce. Going to be discussing the issue today at our liaison group and raising it with Graven Hill. Train tracks and sewage plant are certainly near by, but neither is much of a concern. I rarely hear let alone notice the train, and never smelt the sewage plant. Then again the pioneers are much closer, can't speak for them.
  6. Please do! We could always use an extra pair of hands, even just to look around! Build starts proper in June. You are right unfortunately, Graven Hill is certainly no longer for the layman. Plot prices have risen significantly and the costs are spiralling upwards due to multiple factors. Then again, was on site today and saw our neighbour get as excited as a kid as the last of his render went on. Also met some very keen and prospective buyers who will hopefully buy the plot opposite ours. For me, the value in Graven Hill isn't them or their processes. That is all marketing. No, it's all about the community we're building ourselves.
  7. Visti

    Power float concrete floor

    That is quite poor work on their part indeed. We're having power floated concrete as our finished floor in the house and I hope it is much better than this!
  8. The street are the first 10 plots at Graven Hill, hence why we call them the Pioneer plots. Or more formally, Phase 0. Phase 1A is being undertaken now, with #35-45 in the north east all nearing completion or done, as are most of the houses from #71-95 and #118-135 (wood crescent) in the south east #148 to 177 in the south centre are currently starting, as you can see below from out plot foundations at #156. Neighbour behind (two plots in between, see plinths) with the crescent to the right, and affordable housing done and going up to the left. Yup, far more. These plots were quite discounted I believe to help kick-start the Graven Hill programme so they could start marketing and pointing to active projects. Ours was £255k for just shy of 500m2, which was £20 more than we'd been told when we'd originally approached Graven Hill, and £75k more than estimated back in 2015. Equivalent plots in phase 1B (to the west) have been on sale for a bit now and are about £315-320k, such as #276 for example. They're increasing the number of floor levels from 2 to 3 to increase GIA to bump the price up for the same land. Starting to get a bit too greedy now methinks as the uptake and start of new plots has slowed down quite a bit. Suspect they're having cash flow issues due to everything being much prolonged with them as bureaucratic middle men/women. Have a browse at their plots here: yes, I recall that too. They dropped it in favour of the code for sustainable homes which the government was pushing between 2010-15. Had to have 5 our of 6 stars through some points based system. That died when the government dropped it. They settled on plot passports instead, which have a chapter on the performance and sustainability requirements. See the full thing here: No, defiantly not. I was very surprised that Graven Hill allowed some of that to be aired at all. Guess they don't get any editorial say? It has taken us two years between reserving and starting to dig foundations jumping through all the hoops. Not just with Planning, Engineering and Structural control, but also via Graven Hill themselves. Planning was the only easy bit, everything else has an additional layer of bureaucracy one really doesn't need in a stressful self build... We have to file forms for every little bit and pay fees for stuff one would just be able to do normally. We legally own the land, but are treated as if we don't have a right to. Also had to bear significant risk due to Graven Hill, having to spend £50k up front and signed up to a further £100k+ worth of materials and contractors before we even got to sign for the contract on the plot. Stupidly risky. Next self build would be traditional for certain. As for the health and safety, was very taken aback at the living on site. That's a strict no-no for us. Not even a caravan or mobile home. Graven Hill to their credit are very responsible here, enforcing all the CDM rules to the letter, with a full time H&S officer on site every day. It is nice knowing that everyone is taking that seriously and not acting like idiots! Shame. You're invited to come down and join ourselves and our neighbours to hopefully change your mind about us young-uns. Most of us are far from the stereotypical millennial that the tabloids love to hate.
  9. Visti

    New Build Oxfordshire

    Welcome to the forum! And congrats on buying the land in Faringdon! Love that village with the folly tower. Has a great with cafe too that serves the best croquetten this side of the channel. As Ferdinand linked, we're doing a self build up in north Oxon near Bicester. It's costly here, no doubt about it. We're looking at £1875/m2 in terms of build cost including the foundation. I rose several times since that post mainly due to Brexit related price increases and a very protracted preliminary stage, blowing our 10% contingency twice. That's £345k across 184m2 (detached, 5 bed, two stories), a whole £200m2 cheaper than originally indicated by the quantity surveyor. That is probably the most realistic cost for a self managed build with some DIY in our area. It is entirely possible to go lower with more time and DIY, but for this part of the country it will just be naturally expensive for anything not done yourself. I highly recommend a materials first approach: spend money on the fabric of the house and not the kitchen and fittings. Those can easily east up a budget and don't really add much IMO. You can always upgrade them later!
  10. Visti

    Metal roof covering costs

    12/m2 with corrugated metal (steel) with mica coating and anti-condendation undercoat from Cladco. Similar to @Crofter.
  11. We have, just not getting a clear answer. We've asked for the exact paragraph this time around. Mainly hoping to see others wall details with similar setups to see if this is overkill! We're 4 and 5 meters from our neighbors on either side, so not that close.
  12. Our Building Controller is insisting upon a fire resistant sheathing panel on the underside of our cladding and is citing B4 30 mins fire rating, detailed in green below. Thing is, we can't for the scoobies find any requirement like it in the building regs. Anyone wiser, or faced a similar requirement? It isn't related to cavity barriers (B3 6.5) as that is already addressed, nor is it B4 9.7 for unprotected areas as the cladding treatment below deals with that. Our cladding is Larch mounted vertically on cross battens and will be fireproofed with HR PROF, and the wall the standard MBC passive timbre frame. I believe the external panel of the MBC frame is Medite Vent that has a fire class of D-s2, d0, but nothing stating it meets the 30 mins rating. Of everything it's our biggest concern that the controller has raised. No one seems to have thought of this over the past year (architect, QS, MBC) and the fix (Promat) looks to be £45/m2 adding a whooping +£12k to our budget. Brexit already blew the contingency twice since we started, and this is going to eat half of the third contingency before we finish the foundation... we'd appreciate any input
  13. Thanks @Ferdinand As most have said, UK doesn't really have standard sizes. Cost will mostly come down to who you chose to supply. That chart helped us pick our preferred supplier based on the best cost Vs quality standpoint. There were obviously other factors but the balance between the two swung most of the decision. My two additional tips would be to stick to simple right angle shapes and to negotiate. Anything curved or fancy is going to be a fair bit pricier, so we went for simple rectangles and squares. Also simplify the opening method or leave them closed to keep cost down. As for negotiating... You don't get far without some research and a bit of haggling. It may be uncomfortable, but I always take the view that it is better for their sales to respect you than take you for full price
  14. Visti

    Keen to learn from those in the know

    The land registry allows for enquiries as to who owns the land though I can't confirm whether it's services are available in NI.
  15. Visti

    Is Plotfinder worth it?

    It is only £3 per enquiry to the land registry to find out who owns a potential plot of land. Use good to spot them anf that to get the info needed to follow up.