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  1. Hello, I’m refurbishing a Victorian terrace including removing chimney to create open plan space at the rear. Existing solid floor is being dug up and replaced to include underfloor heating. Existing quote and spec was hardcore, sand binding, DPM, 150mm concrete slab, 120mm PIR insulation, 75mm sand cement screed. Builders are now suggesting hardcore, sand binding, DPM, 120mm insulation, then 150mm flow screed i.e. no concrete slab. Aside from issues this might create with the heating (less responsive due to thicker top layer), is anyone able to comment on the structure of this build-up? I've seen specs for similar build-ups (i.e. insulation directly onto hardcore instead of slab), but that's when the top slab is 150mm concrete, not flow screed. I'm not convinced in not having a concrete slab somewhere in the flooring structure, but would be good to get some thoughts... Many thanks, David
  2. NSB

    Covered cobbles

    Hi, I have just bought an old stables conversion that needs some serious TLC! One of the things that needs addressing is the driveway. It appears to have been some nice looking cobbles that have been concreted over. See picture. Is it possible to uncover the cobbles and return the drive to its former glory? If yes, is there a specific way of going about it? thank you.
  3. Up to now, I have needed to fix large bits of wood into concrete. And I'm (well, was) happy with that until I found myself reaching for a 10mm SDS bit and Thunderbolts to attach something quite small to the wall. . I'll soon be hanging a range of things into the concrete walls, from electrical back boxes, to shelving to the MHVR box. I'm trying to use just one product - in the same way that Thunderbolts have served me very well for the last year or so. Which single range of fixings would you use to fix stuff into concrete?
  4. Building on the comments from this thread, the good weather forecast, and the current low level of the water table , we're planning to 'sink' our poo tank this coming weekend. Using dry mix concrete. (Thanks J for the advice, we'll do exactly what you did) In recent weeks I've been reading a lot about concrete - and more specifically dry mix concrete. @Bitpipe talks about using up spare cement and and sand: this search provided some very interesting reading. It seems a very versatile mixture, which until recently, i would not have given it any thought. The search above points to all sorts of uses. But without water - how does it go off? Does it just take the water out of the atmosphere? And so that means you can't guarantee when and how fast it sets? Is there a rule of thumb about when to use dry mix instead of wet mix?
  5. Hi, We're about to start our project - 250m² 1.5 story house with basement on a sloping site in Holywood, Co. Down. Drawings all done, just waiting for planning to come through. My background is an engineer/project manager in the water industry, so I'm planning on using a lot of innovative, rapid, and non-traditional construction methods - focus on safe, rapid construction and simplicity and reduced dependence on trades. We're also aiming for passive levels of insulation and airtightness - south facing site with lots of glass. So, expect lots of posts about insulated foundations, ICF systems, tanking, shuttering concrete walls, floor deck systems, MVHR, the lot! Thanks.
  6. Well those of you who read my introduction may well know that I am planning on building a new garage and converting a sun room into a proper room for a new kitchen. Anyway, I have started the garage, although I still have no planning permission I have started the ground works, even if there are changes in the proposed garage much of what I have done so far still needs to be done - even if we were outright denied planning I would still pave this area for parking - hence works not a waste. I have not fully exposed the site to keep the garden secure for now but I have cut in most of the shear key for the concrete and then dug the trench for the rear found - it needs squared off etc. but that was the first dig to get it all into rough shape. I will have a 1.5ton excavator soon so I can scrape the rest of the site, I am also building up the lawn/dropping the patio as part of these works so the current lawn will be dug up, then a deeper hole or trench dug that the gravel from the garage site can be dropped into a good few feet down (if it was cleaner I would have used it for the first layer before hardcore for the concrete - I guess I still could), then working carefully I will then scrape the good topsoil off and that can go into the lawn. Then I will lift a big patio, scrape the sand and whatever else is down there off, if good sand I will work that into the soil for the lawn, then basically pull the whole patio area down into the current lawn, I will then basically accept whatever level that leaves me with, but it will be the same level throughout with a very slight incline to the garage. I will keep this posted as stuff happens. This will be a true build thread and it will be slow as I am doing it after work and weekends as well as other projects and interests.
  7. Hello, I would like some info/advice regarding a cold concrete flat roof. Sorry for the length of explanation.... But first a little background info...... The house we purchased was gutted, renovated and then sold on to us by a local building company... All certs for all upgrades and works were checked and passed.... Our problem.... 1 We moved in Sept 2107 all is fine until the first frost off this winter late 2018..when we started to notice a water stain in the rear utility ceiling (formerly downstairs rear loo and storeroom). These rooms were incorporated in to the house via the kitchen to form a utlity/cloakroom and extra kitchen space..... The roof itself is around 8 inches of concrete topped off with felt.. This was refelted just before we moved in... And the rooms below batterned, insulated, boarded, skimmed and redecorated. Oh and rads fitted. Since this watermark has appeared and got worse over the last month or two.. I cut a peice of board out, to be greated with a soaking wet inner roof, droplets everywhere.... Our problem 2.... The house is a semi formerly a council house, we have great neighbours who are council tennents... They have the same sort of rooms as us but still the original loo and store (no heat sourse).. And attached to ours So taking advise online of fitting a VCL then a thick insulation then watertight layer is not really an option without affecting the council properties roof.. So I am left with trying to sort the problem from inside.. Although there is much advice regarding how this is now not advisable.and insulating from outside is they way to go... Is there anyway I can fix this from within... I am happy to take down the internal ceiling and start again. But what would be the recommended materials etc etc.. To ensure no water ingress... You can see by the images that there is no VCL inside and the insulation is very thin and not sealed in anyway. Just placed in the roof void not a good job at all.. ... Please please any advice would be gratefully received.... Mark
  8. I'm desperately to fit my wall plate. To do that I need to drill into concrete that was poured on Sunday. Please can I try today? Please daddy please!
  9. Howdy. I want to fit a log gasification boiler in a garage. The garage is akin to a basement, offset to the right and one floor down from the entry level of the dwelling. If the appliance goes to the left rear corner I can rise vertically and bolt onto the side of the gable, rising accordingly to clear the ridge draught. Problem is, the garage roof is the right hand 'garden' of the house ! I haven't had a look as to whether its already leaky, but needless to say I need to meet or exceed its current state if I make a penetration through it. Im assuming B&B with ( water proof ? ) concrete over-pour as this is an existing turn of the century cottage. The garage, I think, is an afterthought as it looks to be built off the side of the house ( which is elevated 9' higher than street level ) but if original what would it have been ? Was reinforced concrete formwork around back in the day? So. Concrete core drill or series of holes and punch through to make the hole, then what? Sleeve and 'grout' with a waterproof slurry? back-fill with a resinous HR material ?Then take the flue through the sleeve with an intumescent seal and rain deflector ring? First time I've ever had to punch through a living roof, so any pointers would be appreciated. Take me now lord! Cheers.
  10. vivienz

    After the rain

    I wasn't going to visit the site today, but we've had heavy rain showers today in Dorset and I thought that would be an ideal opportunity to see how level the slab looks after its late night power floating. My reasoning was that whilst I can't identify any high spots by eye, it would be easy to look for the low ones by where the puddles were lying. Here's a photo taken from a slightly elevated viewpoint (the top of a pile of wood chippings!), looking from the south east corner where the snug will be, over towards the north west corner, where the main living area will be. Most of the puddles that you can see are barely a couple of millimetres. I'm not sure how long it had been since the shower that caused these, but it was a breezy day and not hot. The next is taken from the other end of the right hand side of the property, as seen above. Between the brown foul waste pipe and the white UFH pipes, you can just about see that there is a hole in the slab. This is meant to be there right now, but is due to a mishap yesterday. As the concrete was being transferred in the digger and poured from the bucket, the digger rocked slightly and the bucket bounced on the exposed UFH pipes. Harry from MBC reckoned that one of the pipes has been damaged as a result, and so the area around the punctured pipe has been left uncovered. My trusty plumber/UFH person will be coming early next week to fix the damaged section of pipe and make good on the concrete floor, and MBC will be covering the cost of this. Once I have the bill for the repair, I will pay it and MBC will deduct the amount from my next stage payment. This was all agreed this morning without any arguments or quibbles. So far, all the puddles in the photos have only been a couple of mm deep. The deepest is on the far north west corner of the living area, shown below. It's not easy to guage the depth of this area, but I think it's about 4mm at the deepest. The thingies are a couple of end caps that get put on the pile rebar, but the wind was blowing them towards me. You can see how they are tilting. Here's another view of the same: I don't recall the exact tolerance that the slab needs to be within off the top of my head, and I'm not going hunting for it right now as I'm one g&t into Friday evening with a couple more to follow, so no point now. However, the figure of 5mm is scratching away in the deepest recesses of my grey cells, so I think this should be acceptable. If anyone knows otherwise, please speak up! The finish on the surface overall is very nice. I had a walk over the whole thing and couldn't see anything obvious, but then apart from squishy concrete under my boots, I wouldn't know quite what to look for anyone. To my unpracticed eye, it looks pretty good. One very good think that came about from all that excess concrete being dumped all over the place yesterday is that the team spread it all out between the hard standing and the slab, so I now have an even more level and sturdy surface for the crane when it arrives with the timber frame:
  11. My thoughts are turning to screed for our new build, as with the roof scheduled in about 4 weeks, it will be time to get it organised. I keep hearing horror stories of 8 week drying times and cracking floors etc etc, and as i know little (very little) about screed ..I did a bit of reading up. Now I have a good drainage site, with suspended B&B and it will have Kingspan insulation on top. The only issue at present is whether we will go for due to budgets...we will be tight... ...but we WANT to have it...So We will look at things from that perspective (optimistic!) I suppose the Floor Area is around 100m2 when all told ...Still not sure if UFH goes everywhere or just in "rooms" ...I mean downstairs WC, Utility Room, Hallway it common to UFH those ? But either way ...Does anyone have any advice as to Cost and timings for various options on Screed for me?.... the builder seemed to think it would require a "standard 75mm" ...I am presuming depth ...I thought that sounded deep but looking online it seems common ...especially as it has to "hide" UFH tubes. I mean does having UFH in there make it "weaker" ? ...Will it be prone to cracking with heat? ...just how accurate is it when people (anecdotal) say it shouldn't be walked on for 4 weeks or worked on for 8?
  12. ...for the MBC team, and not their fault, but I have a slab. This is only down to the tenacity and incredible hard work from the MBC team who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat today following horrible equipment failure on the part of the concrete company. So, let's start at the beginning. The slab team worked like frenzy yesterday morning to get all of the EPS down, followed by the mesh which then got tied into the ring beams. After that, they put all the underfloor heating pipes in (there are several zones and many, many pipes to come into the manifold). The building control officer turned up just before 6pm last night and gave everything the okay for the pour today. Here's the slab with everything on it first thing this morning, just waiting for the concrete, at shortly after 8 this morning. On site already is the pumping lorry and one mixer of cement. Very exciting, so far, so good. They started with the furthest part first, and the first lot of cement went onto the garage area, where the chaps are standing in the above photo. Here's the pump, concrete lorry and plenty of other equipment all good to go. Except, it wasn't good to go. Well, it was, because that's what it did in the end. Go, that is. The concrete pump packed up and after a good while of trying to fix it, nothing was happening so off it went. All wasn't lost, however, as one of the drivers was also a pump operator and offered to get a fairly old pump out of retirement and use that. Brilliant! This is the ageing pump putting the concrete over to the garage. Meanwhile, several hours have passed and after a bit of grumbling earlier in the morning about the concrete lorries not turning up on time, suddenly, they're coming thick and fast and are all parked up our narrow country lane. Then the second pump got blocked and couldn't be cleared. A very large man with a very large mallet did all he could to clear it, but it wasn't working. By now, it was nearly 2pm and the slab should have been poured a good few hours ago and power floating started. Left with no other choice, Harry, who was heading up the team, got the bucket onto the whopping great digger and ALL of the rest of the cement got dumped onto the slab by digger, and then the guys had to drag it over to wherever they needed it. This was for a floor area of about 180 sq metres. Fortunately, there were 5 on the team today as they had brought in an extra guy to cover for one who was late back from holiday, but turned up straight from the airport to the site so the numbers were beefed up, and boy, did they need all of them today. The garage slab was screeded (is that actually a verb? Dunno, it is now), and was looking fine. Eventually, the rest of the concrete got where it was supposed to be and the lane finally emptied of concrete lorries - there were 5 on or around the site at one point this afternoon. Now, the eagle-eyed amongst you will realise that there are no photos of the final, powerfloated slab. This is because I pushed off at 5.30 this evening and they were only just starting on the garage; they reckon that they would just about get it finished this evening by the time the light went, so I'm afraid, dear reader, that you really will have to wait for those photos. One final photo from earlier in the day has something of interest, as it shows the shuttering that was put in place on the threshold for the lift and slide doors that are going in the living room area. Tune in soon for the next thrilling update!
  13. MBC are currently scheduled to pour my slab next Tuesday, no idea what time yet. If anyone would like to come along, let me know. There are details on my BH blog of today's work on the slab with some photos of progress.
  14. .... shouldn't be too hard - I know now, because I've done it before ? This time I want to keep the threaded bar (inserted horizontally into the hole) perfectly level while the chemical anchor dries. I'm thinking I need some of jig (or thingamajig even) to keep the threaded bar perfectly horizontal while the chemical dries. Anyone done summat like this before? I have 40 to insert.....
  15. So traditional build how do I close the cavity at bottom of windows and build up the cill level? How high does it normally come up, bottom of window and then window board? Not the best images in the world but will give you an idea of what I am talking about.
  16. Been a bit quiet on BH as I've been busy elsewhere - rectifying Bodgit Builder's attempt at laying my concrete floor. I started a thread about that here: Having taken ages to lay my circa 300mm of EPS and mesh-tied UFH pipework, I was keen to get a professional in to get me back on schedule and pour a flat, level concrete floor. No top layer screed. A few local companies quoted, one stated that they could not guarantee the pipework so I didn't go for them and the others I had simply had no faith in. I ended up contacting a local architect's firm and they recommended I contacted some of their regular builders. A couple were either too busy or candidly said that the job was not for them. The other chap came and quoted me for the job with the assurances that he could get a level floor finish. As it was a retrofit internal slab, it took him 2 days to pump 150sqm @100mm depth. On day 3, I inspected the 'finished' floor, and it was nothing but flat. I could really feel the varying levels of the floor by just walking around - I didn't need a level to tell it was way out. I also noted that the datum at the big slider was approx 20mm below where it should have been. Having contacted Bodgit Builder he duly came round and he agreed he would come back to grind down and high spots and fill where necessary with self-levelling (even confirmed the latter in an email). Prior to the day of his grinding, I scraped away at some of the high spots to discover that there was only 1-2mm of concrete/latence covering the UFH pipework. He'd obviously had issues with the mesh/pipework raising to the top (yes, I had fully purged all the air out!) and rather than doing his utmost to push the mesh down, he'd just decided to 'cover' the raised pipework with a bit more concrete. He either didn't have any idea that this would impact the agreed floor height or didn't give a damn (and must have thought I wouldn't notice!). He did admit that he'd had an issue with this section of the floor and asked me how I wanted to have it rectified. I duly informed him that this loop of pipework would have to be dug up and re-inserted at the appropriate depth and re-covered. He spent 2 days grinding high spots with little impact. Moaned at the cost of the grinding blocks and started making excuses as to why he couldn't make it back until a few weeks time. In any case, after nearly 6months later, he has not returned (as I expected) and have had minimal contact (just a few lame excuses) as to why he hasn't been able to rectify his work. Spot the issues: Is that a bit of mesh sticking through the floor? Yes! Luckily in the corner where the kitchen cupboards will be (no UFH). Easy to cut out in the end. Bit of a hump (approx 30mm difference over 500mm) Door threshold? what door threshold? Maybe should have gone for a concrete floor finish! Nice high spot by the door. Inward opening door too. May either need to skim off 30-4mm concrete (risk revealing more pipework or may have to raise the whole door frame - luckily it's timber framed at this section) Bit of a 'dump and dash' job Not that clear here, but concrete is well abobe the red mark (AKA the "do not go above here" mark). Yes Bodgit was wearing specs, but obviously didn't go to Specsavers. Can't get worse than that? Luckily I've found a local flooring company who also have experience in grinding, so they've been busy sorting out the high spots (only to reveal a further 3 rooms that have pipework that needs to be dug up). They didn't want to attempt doing that, and rather than risking getting in another 'professional' I've resorted to doing this myself. Intricate work that few builders would get right - not without damaging my ufh! Various UFH pipes revealed when skimming off the first few mm of concrete: Slab above probably needs another 20mm taking of in order to hit the original datum, so hopefully no further pipes to be found! First set fully revealed and ready to be pushed back although one has been damaged when they skimmed the top. You can just make out the grey inner lining: So this bugger needs to be replaced as the grinder's kinda ground it out. So how do you replace a section if the coupler's aren't supposed to be buried??? "16mm Repair coupling for use with Wunda 16mm Pert/Alu/Pert floor heating pipe, when a repair is the only option. This fitting must be fitted in a clearly accessible location and under no circumstances be buried in screed or concrete." Tape coupler with self amalgamating tape? Obviously will fully need to pressurize before I cover. I'll need to add the couplers on the straight sections as adding on the bend will just compromise it all. Should I leave a small void around this join in case I need to access it? Or box in around the coupler and fill with a weaker mix in case I need access in future years? It's in a corner in the kitchen with no units going on top, just the laminate flooring. At least I'm not the only one with this issue: Once the flooring company and I have completed the required work, I'll be looking to get a PI to locate Bodgit Builder as he's started moving house which isn't much use when you want to take the bar steward to the small claims court. Lessons learnt: Don't always trust recommendations! Do it yourself! Pay particular attention to the end and loops/mesh in the corner as these are the areas that seem to rise up when pouring It's not the end of the world, there are things much worse in life that will/can piss you off, so don't let the bar stewards get you down.
  17. Greetings everyone, Thought I may as well stop lurking and say hello so I can share the adventures, mine and yours. We are living on site of our barn conversion, two kids, a dog and a snake in tow. We are currently in the site prep and demolition-of-unwanted-parts stage and soon to make a start on the floor slab. We are novices and have a silly low budget ( risks high, costs low, off we go) and I am currently trying to research the answer to the million dollar question of where the sweet spot is between best available technique and budget on our floor slab. Part of me feels a little sorry for the barn that it has ended up with us as buyers because someone with more money would be able to make a really stunning home. However, it is our dream home, we've made the leap, and we will do our very best to put all we can into the fabric of the building and skimp on the stuff that can be tackled again in future. I don't have any indoor pics to show at the moment, but the two I've put on show the East and West elevations. The roof is in good shape having been done only 20 years ago. The walls are pretty good too, not being in a state of collapse at least. ;D On closer inspection there are some woodworm-ey lintels to sort out and a a big re-pointing job awaits. We are currently debating back and forth over a limecrete floor or trad concrete - I have been disappearing down various rabbit holes of opposing opinion and am hoping to invite some on here on the basis that it is an interesting discussion, and lots of the online information I find seems to be more relevant to different circumstances. We are doing breathable walls and roof, lime pointing, cork/wool insulation, woodwool board etc and were all set to go down the limecrete floor slab when a self-builder I respect suggested that a standard concrete floor may not in fact cause the rising damp in the walls as we feared/expected so we ought not to rule it out. Food for thought. His point was that if you create a trench around the building to get local surface run-off to flow away from it, thus keeping immediate ground water down, the sheer weight of the slab will keep the ground water level too low to cause a problem in the walls... We are learning as we go, so I will be very cautious about offering 'advice' to anyone, but, happy to encourage and willing to share my tales in the hope it will be useful to someone out there. We have leaped a good few hurdles to have got this far, so I am gradually shedding my utterly-clueless skin and am happy to have found you guys.
  18. Hi, We have had the heating running for around 7 days and the interior temperature of the house was around 11 degrees today according to the builder, the outside temperature has collapsed to 3 today. This is clearly not helped by them being in and out all day leaving does open etc. Also the front door is not in so it is just a frame with waterproof sheeting over it.(It may be in now) the MVHR is not on etc. I tried to calculate how much energy required to get the house up to temperature. I reckon there is around 600tonnes of concrete and blockwork inside the heated envelope. This would require around 3000kwh of heating to raise the temperature 20 degrees. Plus any heat losses which are probably running at a few hundred kwh per day in the current unfinished state. Heating up the air will require a negligible amount of energy in comparison. Does anyone have any experience of heating up a blockwork or ICF house and how long it took to get up to temperature. We need it to be in the high teens by Tuesday for the kitchen to go in. I had not really considered this but due to the much higher weight of this kind of construction, even if it is as well insulated as a wooden house it will require much more energy for initial heat up. The heating went off at one point after running through 2 large bottles of Calor gas in a 4 days. That seems to be around 1300 kwh of gas We are restricted on how much we can turn up the heating flow temperature so as to not cause cracking. I thought this was not a problem as the flow temperature should not have to be high. This is true once the house is up to heat but starting from a low temperature I am worried that the 30-35C flow I think we are running will not be enough to heat the house up quickly.
  19. Hi all. Quick question, I had 8 tons of 6F2 recycled aggregate dumped on my garage site about 4 months ago, this contained some pretty big stuff - 3/4 bricks and lumps of concrete, fine it was just to get the base fill and once spread over 30m sq it was not that deep so the first layer of type 1 filled all the small voids, this first fill was just about perfect for running a vibrator plate over (less than 150mm rise in fact) and would have been the perfect plan at the time but that didn't work out. I then got another load type 1 delivered and decided to place that round the perimeter of the area to build it up as some will run off into a lower area, at this stage it was still within first compaction limits. I was then on the phone to my merchant who was looking at my account and said he would do me a better rate on the type 1 going forward because I was not being given the full trade price and had bought a lot, so I just jumped at the chance and ordered another load. This load was carefully tipped at one end of the site so my plan was to compact the area that is about level and then shovel all the new stuff out then compact it again, the issue is the area the stuff was dumped on, I am going to need to dig it back down to a suitable depth for first compaction then whack it all, then pull the type 1 back over the area. This just sounds like a lot of extra work, my fault I know but what are peoples thoughts on whacking say a 250mm depth of type 1? By the way, this stuff was compacted to an extent as it went down as I continue to park my Defender on the hardcore and the area that would need dug up has been run over with the Landy about 100 times and feels like concrete now. The loose stuff now sits on top of this. I am going to get the whacker tomorrow morning so could get a fairly big one, I was thinking of the 400mm 12kN or if it would help with my depth issues I could get the 500mm with 15kN but at the same time I have been advised by my structural engineer that using too big a plate could cause issues with surrounding buildings foundations and could also damage my rear retaining wall. So, what are peoples thoughts here, any similar stories or issues?
  20. OK, so I know my slab isn't level, you only need your eyes to see that. As an example; on the large sliding door I've got 20mm difference from one end to another (over 4m). I've got 5 sets of doors with level thresholds. Huge amounts of pre-planning detail was put into ensuring the doors would sit correctly into the slab so that the slab floor was 18mm below the FFL to allow for the tiling that is running through the entire house. I was lucky enough to be lent one of these: so in a spare hour yesterday (whilst nursing my severe man flu, sympathy please) thought I'd have a look at "how the land lies" (quite literally! ). Its an incredible peice of kit, very clever. But alas all it did was make by brain hurt . The floor levels run all over the place and I'm failing to see how a tiler is ever going to create the beautifully flat level access around the house which was so important to us. But im no pro tiler and so perhaps I'm just worrying too much (as we all know a self builders biggest affliction). So what now? MBC have offered to come back and level the slab but from the measurements I've taken where they will level one door they'll throw the levels out elesewhere. I was was wanting to use the laser above to gauge out the various level changes so that I got what I wanted (I'm not entirely convinced MBC have got the skill set to put this right). But with so many conflicting levels I just got myself lost. So so some specific questions: 1. How do you choose a rooms datum point. I assume it's normally the highest point and work out from there. Or do you just go with the middle of the room? 2. Can a pro tiler (like our resident @Nickfromwales) "loose" these level changes? Presumably by feathering out across as big a distance as possible? 3. Is it sometimes better just to grind off an area of high spot? Presumably there are tools for the job that are designed to do this and get into corners? (Without trashing my expensive frames!). Many thanks in advance.
  21. I'm due to start the digging out of our basement, it's set into a slope and once dug, it will be open at the front, onto a grassed area. Having received some reduculous quotes for the basement walls, a mate suggests we get a locally recommended concreting company to cast the slab and he and I construct the basement formwork. He's just done some, as a subbie, for a stand at the local football ground. He suggests he and I could do the work for half the cheapest quote. How hard can it be? After all I have the structural engineers drawings to work to and millimetre accurate foundation drawings from Hilliard?
  22. Hello Everyone, I am progressing with some quotes for the foundations for my Potton home. I must admit, the prices have me a little daunted as they seem to be a lot MORE than I was told about 6 months ago. I am not suggesting I am getting "shafted" but I want to run it past you guys to see what you think. I am building a Potton Timber Frame and have been advised that Block and Beam would be the way to go ....easier and more friendly on the surroundings (i.e better received by planners) The house area from looking at the architects footprint and adding on roughly 50cm around (I just did this to be on the safe side for my working out ...I am not sure if it actually done) ..I am coming up with an area of 121.81 Sq Metres with a Perimeter of 49.82 Sq Metres. Now I have the first quote and it is over £23k, I know this company is trusted and has done many foundations for timber frames...But does this seem expensive? I have snipped the basics from the quote below you can see what it entails ...hopefully someone on here will know what some of the specifics mean thanks
  23. When should I make my own? When should I order it in? Or rather what's the maximum amount of concrete you can sensibly make on your own? My mum taught me how to deal creatively with anger: she scrubbed the floor with varying degrees of fury. The cleanliness of the kitchen floor was an indicator of her mood. Super clean - beware, modestly so - all was well, dirty - she was on holiday. Then I had to do it. I inherited that gene from her; but I've got several similar ones that all deal with the urge to cope positively with stress. There's one that sends me running, another that leaves me cold and silent, yet another which makes laugh nervously. Yesterday was a bad day (well the first bit of it was). Thinking about it, I got this sudden urge to mix a load of concrete and pour the gable ends of the piggery: about a cubic meter. Mixing that much (and humping it up a ladder and pouring it) should take the edge off my annoyance shouldn't it? And then the thinking gene cut in. Tell me; what's the most concrete you'll mix and pour by hand on your own? No help, no cheating, no fantasizing, no fibbing allowed. No Welsh one liners either @Nickfromwales
  24. To pump an ICF, you need two things: a pump and concrete. Pumps cost £550 +VAT. The concrete costs what it costs. What do you do if the company sends out concrete that's too stiff? Durisol needs to be of Scotch Broth type consistency. I'm trying to avoid wasting the poor pump driver's time, and lightening our bank balance by £550 at the same time. And how -on the spot- do I judge what the correct slump is? The only way I can think to get it right, is to order a small amount of concrete at XYZ slump and see if the company actually delivers it. Concrete's interestingly tricky stuff innit? Fascinates me
  25. Hi All, !6 cube of concrete booked for 11am today. Batch plant broke down approx 3miles from site but did not find this out until end of first pour. Upon asking how long till the next load I was informed about an hour as he has to go next nearest batch plant. I was not happy but what can you do. By approx 3pm all concrete in place and started to finish the screeding. The beam screed was 6.2m long with two vibrating units on it and it weighed a ton. With about 2 metres left to do the belt on one of the units was playing up and started vibrating badly. At this point the wooden beams that are used to secure the engines to the beam came loose due to a combination of excess vibration and the securing threads on some of the bolts had been stripped. Then the unit completely packed in as the shaft that drives the belt had a severe bearing failure.(stress level rising by now.) By the time we had removed the whole beam, removed faulty engine, cleaned beam and relocated it was past 4pm and it was at this time that we made a bad decision. As the we looked at the concrete we realised it was a mess where the wooden beam had dropped out,when we placed the beam back it left a big mark right across the slab. We decided to go over the whole slab again with one engine ( rung hire company and they did not have another) and it was a nightmare.Trying to pull that beam with only one engine on concrete that was starting to set was horrendous and thus we have ruts across the slab spaced evenly as I took a step to start the next pull. So the reason for the rant I now have a slab that is sort of ok for a garage but if you had seen the finish of the concrete before it all went wrong you would be as disapppinted as me. I rushed to the hire company just before closing to get a bull float but it would not even touch it. Would a power float touch it tomorrow? Or what else could I do? SWMBO said it looks ok as it only a garage but every time I go in there I will be reminded of the day when it all went wrong through no fault of my own. TIA