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Mr Blobby

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    Northern Ireland

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  1. Thanks for this, an obvious (now that you have told me) way to avoid a crappy hockey stick and meter box in the cavity. After speaking with NIE, they said no to an external meter box which I was surprised about. And of course they don't allow kiosks. So the plan is (and NIE's standard advice it seems!) to build an extra leaf of block on the side of the house and outside the insulated foundation at about 1500 wide by 1500 high and about 400 deep. The permali box will be recessed into this.
  2. It's an interesting question. Fixed rate mortgage lending has increased over the last year because people expect interest rates to rise so they are borrowing more to get the best deals before they are gone. Over the same period, credit card debt is being paid down. Apparrently these two things rarely happen simultaneosly and is a bad omen. The conclusion is that this temporary increase in mortgage lending has the effect of artificially inflating house prices but that lending will come to an abrupt stop once those 5yr 1.75% deals come to an end. That is the when the experts predict the housing markiet will likely crash. Will it? Maybe. I don't want inflation baked into my contractors tenders that may not be there in 6 months. If I only I had a crystal ball. Whatever happens to the housing market stagflation is here and is not going to get any better.
  3. We are planning to use Kilshall Sill supports. This allows for smaller sills in the cavity, properly supported without any thermal bridge. https://killeshal.com/window-sill-supports-providing-thermal-isolation/
  4. Should have explained, personal circumstances are ok. We rent a house round the corner from the site and have done so for many years so no rush to completeion of build. Also I'm lucky enough to only work part time so I can be on site every day quite easily. Its interesting what you say about control, and I think that's important. When previously I had an MC (only one prev. build experience) I felt like I was standing in front of a train that was going full steam ahead to final destination and deaf to anything I had to say. I ended up threatening to sue builder and architect to get them off site. Turned out I was vindicated, the architect was suspended a couple of months later for misconduct (signing off builders work not done) and had been under invetigation for a few years, all of which I knew nothing about, despite calling RIBA with concerns. (ARB are conveniently seperate to RIBA who can claim ignorance of any misconduct... lesson here... if you have architect concerns contact ARB not RIBA) I guess my previous experience of being ripped off by a crooked architect and builder has left me with trust issues to give an MC full control while I stand back, especially for passive build, right through to completion. Once the contract is signed, it's out of my hands I guess. brrrr. I think I will need an easy termination clause 🤔
  5. Yes that's what I think. And yes he is a member of RICS.
  6. With interest rates rising and clouds of recession on the horizon I'm naturally reluctant to fix a price for the whole build in mega-inflationary times just before the money-go-round stops and we fall off an economic cliff. Or maybe the forecasts are wrong and we don't have a recession, but they are the forecasts. Anyhow, crystal ball to one side, and without having sight of the tender responses yet, but expecting some big inflation margin built-in, I am naturally attracted to having a main contractor to watertight as phase 1. And then re-tender for phase 2 (or get the trades myself) when things become a little clearer and the crystal ball can go away and pricing will be more accurate. My QS and Architect think I've totally lost my marbles to want to phase the build like this. Have I? Is it a recipe for disaster to tender for the Main Contractor to get up to watertight only? (house is block cavity passive build)
  7. Me neither. He's doing sweet FA for me right now.
  8. but if I'm paying a QS thousands already, shouldn't he be giving me a cost estimate in pounds and pence?
  9. So my quantity surveyor sent out the tender package a number of weeks ago. I'm paying him several thousand pounds for his services. Whenever I ask him for an estimate of the build cost he tells me he doesn't know and looks at me like I'm a fool for asking. I suspect that when the tenders come back he will say the cheapest is about right, saving himself a couple of spreadsheet hours working it oout for himself. I could have done that myself and saved a lot of cash. Am I missing something here? A cost estimate would be very useful. Surely that's what the QS is for, to give some cost guidance so that the tenders can be assessed. Without a cost estimate from the QS then I'm struggling to see what value the QS is adding to the project. Should I insist on a cost estimate from my QS?
  10. So, to round this off, here's the first floor plumbing into the same external SVP: All pipes into the SVP are from the first floor bathroom and run through the ceiling void above the kitchen that can be seen in the image. 16:WC 11: Shower 10: Bath 9: sink All fairly straightforward. The drawing appears to show, however, that each pipe penetrates the wall seperately to connect to the SVP externally, which seems bonkers to me. I assume this is just a drawing convention, and in reality the pipes will connect in the ceiling void for a single penetration through the wall to the SVP. Am I correct to expect the pipes to connect internally to give just one wall penetration? If so then should the diagram be amended to make this explicit to show a single penetration in the wall?
  11. To answer your question properly..... ... roof is warm roof construction.
  12. We did look at this and an internal SVP is more difficult here as it would need to run through the kitchen below. This pipe needs to vent outside as furthest from sewer, where the other soil pipe in the house vents internally to AAV. Also this side of the house is on the blind side next to the boundary and not visible from anywhere unless you go look for it. Thanks all for your input. It's good to know I wasn't imagining the proposed changes to the layout as being a bit, well, carp. Internally routed condensate drains it is then.
  13. Thanks, pretty much my thoughts. Sorry, was typing at speed and not clear in my original post. There is a linen room and a seperate comms room, an extract in each.
  14. I started reading through the protocol documents and lost the will to live. I'll email my QS and ask him about goods from the South. He's paid to know about this stuff but my guess is he'll be as clueless as me. I'll report back if I get a reliable answer. Before Brexit, did self-builders reclaim VAT paid on goods bought from EU companies?
  15. No to claiming VAT back in the normal way? What about main contractors in the North? Do they pay VAT on construction goods and services from companies from the South? I know that non-construction is zero-rated still on goods between limited companies over the border. I'll need to go and read those emails I've been getting from HMRC 😕
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