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About Me


  1. There are a number of self builders on this forum from Scotland so let's introduce ourselves here. I am part way through my own new build some 20 miles north of Inverness in the Highlands. It's a timber framed house with wood fibre external wall insulation and then render. Aimng for a good standard of insulation and air tightness and low running costs.
  2. Hey all, Apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong place.... Couldn't find a relevant thread... So we are nearing completion, we have been living at the house ie. using it in a domestic sense, for just over a year. We installed an Air Source Heat Pump and got a loan from Home Energy Scotland. We were assured that the Domestic RHI would pay for our loan. We have our MSC Certificate and our EPC. Ofgem and the Domestic RHI team are completely ignoring all emails from me for some reason. We're hugely aware of the fact that the deadline is coming up - they questioned how many days we had lived in the house, I told them we were here every day using it and the heat pump every day for the last year. I've chased the guy 4 times - no response. I'm on Twitter trying to get through to Ofgem. I'm trying them on the phone but keep missing their opening hours. I just want to find out if they're trying to dodge me, and if other people in a similar situation got the RHI all sorted? I'm starting to worry, as we really can't afford these monthly payments and would DEFINITELY not have chosen to go with an ASHP otherwise... Thanks! Joanna
  3. Still going with my VAT return... almost there though! We do not have completion so will need to provide some other evidence. Did anyone use a letter from their mortgage company? This is ours: This is to certify that ********** released, on 27/01/2021, the last instalment of its loan secured on the building at Plot 4 ********** because the final valuation completed on 25/01/2021 confirmed a sufficient property value to support this release. The HMRC VAT return notes state that they need to know the building is complete... do you think this letter will suffice or not? Confusing! Glasgow City Council won't give us temporary habitation...only the full thing. I'm loathe to start paying council tax when there are literally no services on our street. Its a dump!! No bin collections etc etc etc... Thanks! Joanna
  4. Hello self-builders. The more and more I think about what I would like in a home the more and more building it myself seems to make sense. I used to want one of the old Victorian or Edwardian properties but then I realised that the maintenance and cost of heating those properties would be ridiculous. Now I would like something very modern and most importantly eco. The more electricity and heating I can produce myself the better. I have ruled out the cookie-cutter new builds as whilst they do have a lower EPC than my granite tenement flat I think we can do better. I'm very much at the start of this journey so I'm looking forward to scouring this forum for ideas. I have seen a few plots of land in the right areas that come with planning permission although I don't know if I want to build exactly what there is planning permission for. I also need to decide if I want to remain in North East Scotland or return to the Central Belt but first I need to research and save those pennies.
  5. Rae


    Good Morning All! Not just posting Newbie-a newbie adventurer into the self-build world! ? So, before I flood you all with a myriad of questions, please may-anyone!-kindly email me their comprehensive, start to completion, spreadsheet! Thank you x
  6. Hi folks, I'm planning on doing a rectangular extension next to my house and join the 2 buildings with a hallway. Going to try to do most of the work myself but I have a skilled joiner and electrician/plumber onboard. I've done existing building drawings and a fairly simple version of what the new extension will look like, just waiting on my friend coming back with interior layouts before I submit for planning (extension is technically to the front of the existing house so it falls outside of permitted development). Some very good knowledge on here already so looking forward to harvesting some of it in the coming months!! Cheers
  7. Hi all, we are nearing completion and have about 8 rolls of Pavatape left over. Brand new, unopened. This is aluminium laminated butyl rubber tape in 15m lengths at 150mm wide. £29.40 + VAT per roll each when bought new. We are open to offers! Please share. Thanks. Joanna
  8. Hello folks My partner and I are three quarters through a self build strawbale house in rural Stirlingshire. We're fully offgrid with solar pv and rainwater harvesting. There's a lot of carpentry involved and I've done most myself, including building a 6 x 4m workshop on site. I've already used Buildhub to find the answers to many questions, and am looking forward to posting my own. Happy to answer any questions on our build.
  9. Afternoon, I wasn't sure if this should go in the renewable section or Scotland section. I was just wondering if there was anyone on here from Aberdeenshire or the surrounding area who has had an ASHP installed. Can you tell me who you used and your experience of the company/installer? Thanks Paul
  10. Hello, I am trying to find more information on how to go about building my own home. Online research has given me various different requirements and I'd like to know more about the specific process, ie the order of doing things and realistic expectations. I have been looking at land plots but I'm unsure of how I should get started. I live in SW Scotland and plan to build here. I'm not very clued up on the process as everything I've found online is geared towards England or they don't match the advice I've read elsewhere. Thank you in advance.
  11. Hi all, Our house has a very high apex (8m with a 50 degree roof pitch). Our architect has specced the alarms to be right up at the top. The electrician says they should be lower down as the smoke doesn't always go right up in to the apex, it curves around. So I'm wondering, can we bring these down without updating the drawings? And he's also asking if we can install wireless alarms - is this all allowed by BC? Thanks, Joanna
  12. Hello, I am hoping to find someone very able who can provide the building warrant and structural calls on a house in Scotland (planning already granted). Does anybody have a good recommendation? Any recommendations gratefully received. Many thanks
  13. Hi everyone We bought a plot with planning permission for 2 houses here in Aberdeenshire last December. During the period of reflection afforded to us by coronavirus we’ve decided that we’d rather not build the design that we have planning permission for but instead construct more modest dwellings to Passivhaus standard. Would be very interested to hear from anyone else in Scotland and especially in Aberdeenshire regarding their experience of constructing a Passivhaus and any associated planning or building control challenges? Live long and prosper!?
  14. Hello! We’ve always wanted to buy land and build our own home. For one reason or another we’ve never had the courage or the finances to do it. Now we find ourselves with two teenagers and a tween and wonder where the years have gone. Anyway, an opportunity has arisen to buy some land close to our own home (less upheaval and resistance from teenagers) but my gut feeling is that it is completely overpriced. I trawled through every plot of land for sale in Scotland last night and still feel that it is overpriced. Does anyone know how plots are priced up? I have a few points I can go back to the estate agent with tomorrow but I’d like a bit more, I’m assuming there’s a kind of formula like pricing up actual property?? If anyone has any insight I’d love to hear. Thanks, L.
  15. Hello everyone, We are attempting to embark on our first self build in the Scottish Borders. We are at the stage where we are about to make an offer on a plot of land and doing as much research as possible. I found this forum when I was researching Watching Briefs as I found out there was an Archaeological Condition on the plot we are interested in. I found some great information and look forward to learning a lot more here. Best wishes Sarah
  16. Hi all, We are early in our self build journey having just been granted planning in principle for our plot. We have an architect and have had first discussions with a broker, so the money side of things looks ok too. Cost and efficiency are big motivators as we currently live in an old house which haemorrhages both heat and money, Will also be our home for the next 30 odd years so running costs important. Have only now just started the bulk of our research as it took three years to sort the plot and didn't want to get ahead of ourselves. Will probably have questions on absolutely everything.Thanks!
  17. Hi there, I'm in the process of a wee project in our house. We are thinking of moving the kitchen into the dining area, removing a non-load bearing wall, dropping windows down to the ground. Getting a bit frazzled by it all....hoping for ideas, support and experience from members of this forum
  18. HI All, Glad to have found this forum and hope it helps with my first time into house extending. Previously I've done some renovation such as a back to brick full kitchen and bathroom where I did most of the work but did plastering/tiling done professionally. Planning on building an extension approx. 20sqm with a vaulted ceiling/apex roof which has full glazing/sliding doors on the end. Rather than extend straight out from the main property, it will have a 45deg dogleg near the ear to stop me overlooking neighbours and vice versa - this may cause an issue with the roofing but maybe not. Timescales would be to organise everything this year (if possible with the virus situation) and start the build in the second quarter of next year with it hoping to take around 3 months to complete. My property is a modern (cookie cutter) detached 3 bed house with integrated garage built in 2007 - so typical timber framed newish build of a standard design/build. So apart from coming up with layout ideas and having briefly spoken to architects/builders at a couple of Home Building and Renovation shows, all I know is I need to properly speak to an architect/technician/engineer to come up with a proper design and relevant drawings before I can get quotes from builders/suppliers. Is this right? I have checked that my plans will be within Scottish permitted development, except I'm not sure of where to measure from when deciding if within 1 metre of the boundary? Is it from the wall or eaves as they protrude from the walls? Also not sure if I can extend back flush with the side wall or if I'd need a step in to distinguish from the main build/extension? Luckily, my neighbour has his own building supplies company so should be able to help with sourcing most of what is needed at a good price. I also am handy with DIY to a good standard so hope to be able to do a fair bit of work to help out and work with the builder as I only work 3 1/2 days a week. So that's me! Anyone else in west/central Fife doing work too? cheers Kev
  19. Hey everyone. I am on the case trying to find a good reasonably priced source for Pavaflex/Pavatherm - can anyone advise? We've found some online that would be shipped from afar. Our house is 150sqm and the cost is currently sitting around about 13k-15k for the insulation. Would love to be able to shave some off that... We have quite strict planning conditions and our wall build up all relies on this product, so there's no option to change the material (before anyone suggests we use Kingspan!) Any advice on sourcing this and installing it would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance. Joanna
  20. Hey everyone! So happy to find this site. My husband Ben and I are building a house on Bantaskin Street in Maryhill, in the city of Glasgow. That's right - in the city! We are right by the canal,, and the river, with a view of the Campsies. So there are 6 self builders in total - we have bought the plot and moved onsite in to our static caravan a few months back. We are building the house ourselves. Ben is a carpenter and I am an animator/film maker. We run a creative agency together and have completed a couple of very successful renovations together here in Glasgow. We have designed the house ourselves. Ben and his friend/colleague Craig will be doing all the carpentry onsite (hopefully on the slab, later this year) and erecting the Douglas Fir timber frame, along with the help of some more strong people, and perhaps a crane. Glasgow City Council have initiated this project and plan to do a lot more, but we are the guinea pigs. So far so good: We bought our plot which is 600m2 for 45k. The plots are serviced. Well...almost serviced. There is a little work to be done, but it's basically there. Our build budget is 175k (max) - we simply cannot go any more than this. I think we can do it for 140k. We are brave and resourceful people! We are currently trying to finalise our foundations and trying to find someone who will do all of the following: Clear/scrape the site, dig the holes/piles/build the ringbeam/pour the slab. Could you guys advise...? Are we best to find someone for each stage? Which parts could we do ourselves? Should we bring in one company to do all of this? We dont want to spend 20-30k on founds as our house is simple and small (100m2 on the ground, 150m2 including the mezz). Anyway happy to be here and would love thoughts, ideas, comments...all of it! Attaching our designs. Joanna
  21. Hi everyone, I have plans to build a log cabin on my croft land and I'm looking for some advice. Hopefully one of you can help me out ! If I were to build a "caravan" (log cabin) on croft land to serve as a holiday let/self catering accommodation, do I need planning permission for this ? Is it possible for me to build the caravan without planning permission and then apply for change of use to a holiday let ? Would I need a building warrant for a drainage connection and if so how do I go about getting one ? My local council is the Highland Council. I've tried my best to find these things out without contacting planning etc but no luck. Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks !
  22. Hey everyone. We are building on Bantaskin Street in Maryhill, Glasgow. Foundations complete and we are now working on the frame onsite. One of our build requirements (via Glasgow City Council who have initiated this project) is that we meet the "Silver Active" energy efficiency rating. Our architect has specced a whole bunch of things for us and we have the certificate. I spoke to him and asked about changing things/moving things around, and how to check whether or not we would still meet Silver Active and he wasn't very helpful. Does anyone know more about this? I'm thinking we should remove 5 PV panels, which might not do a huge amount in grey Glasgow, (but cost a fortune!) and try to come up with something more clever? We are hands on, and working with a small budget, so want to be creative and innovative here if possible. Ideas and thoughts welcome! Thanks Joanna
  23. Hi I've recently purchased a 1bed "colony" house in Edinburgh. For those unfamiliar with colony houses, these were homes built throughout Victorian Edinburgh and were designed as homes for the skilled working class, more details about them here if you are interested. Mine is a 1 bed ground floor, 45sqm altogether, with a small front and back garden. It's currently fitted with electric storage heating that I am hoping to remove and replace with a small air source heat pump and install underfloor heating throughout. I found this forum through my ASHP researching and have found it really useful so far. I also want to change the internal layout, so the largest rooms are for the kitchen and living room. I wish to move the bathroom to the opposite side of the house and turn the current kitchen (small, narrow) to a very small double bedroom! This requires a couple of walls knocking down and rebuilt. I won't have the keys to the property until late November so works can't start yet but I'm trying to do as much research before then. Thanks all, looking forward to asking lots of questions as I have them...!
  24. I’ve talked to a few architects /architectural designers and still to fully decide who I would like to go with or whether I might use an in house design service. However one thing I am noticing is the lack of ‘compatible’ architects in my area. I originally had my mind set on a well-known self-build architect who done fixed price (circa £25k to do everything, which included CDM and SE) but as time went on discussing with them I felt my budget (£240-270k for build @ £1200/m^2) was not really their preferred market and it put me off a little plus they are 80 miles from where the plot would be. I then came across an experienced AD who I am meeting on site this week, even though I haven’t actually finalised the plot purchase as I wait for a few things to fall in to place, but he seems to match my expectations on price (£12k including SE) and is experienced in SIPS and timber frame. But he is from 200 miles away. My only reservation so far is the distance and the ease of being able to go through those initial stages of design collaboration. So the last few days I spent some time phoning local architects in the Ayrshire/ Glasgow area. But struggling with people who understand what I want to do. They are either way out there and looking for customers who wants a turnkey managed process and a % based fee. Or they are cheap but don’t necessarily understand modern building methods or tools. Ideally – I will use an Architect/AD to help with design, planning and building warrant. From there then contract with TF/SIPS supplier to supply and erect and then manage subcontractors myself. The selected person would ideally provide a fixed price and be well versed in modern methods of construction for TF/SIPS as above and understand building to a budget, but I seem to be struggling to find this locally. So two questions: Do we think distance is an issue? (I know we can do everything online, but sometimes a 5 minute meeting can do what takes days be email). Does anyone have any good Architects / AD contacts in the Glasgow / Ayrshire area who are well versed as above? Can anyone tell me what I actually want - as I swing between doing it myself / using and AD / Using in house design almost daily ? I am a Chartered engineer (mechanical design) so I can do all the learning and planning and managing bits and very easily understand and draw my house. But I believe there is value in using a professional with regards to house design to do things that I wouldn’t think of. However I don’t want an architect who is away with the fairies or not on my wavelength. Hence I feel like an AD is where I need to be because they can add this value at a reasonable cost. Note: I’m not looking for fancy glazed gables with spiral stairs. I’m looking for good fabric first well thought out functional house with some (budget) appropriate features which take it from what I would design to something a bit better that flows well and make sense for my family and needs. A pragmatic approach to house design with a little bit of architectural flair.
  25. My partner and I recently bought a small cottage near Forres in Scotland. It has a concrete floor slab and thick masonry walls. I've been planning to add a layer of insulation to the inside of my house but have found guidance on this to be a bit vague. Some suggest that a permiable insularion should be used others a vapour barrier. There is a threat that if the wrong approach is taken damp / condensation could result. I'm hoping to hear from people who have insulated their walls successfully. What method of insulation was used? Any input or suggestions welcomed.
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