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About Me


  1. Hi, I’m going to be at the will of building control/planning as to whether or not I can keep a suspended timber ground floor in my Small Mission Hall in the Outer Hebrides. Whilst I wait for the outcome, I wanted to look into both options. It’s a small building internally (7.500m x 4.500m) so I’m not having a main boiler/central heating system/heat source pump etc. so water is out, I’ll be going for an electric system. I maybe looking at a solar feed system as well. A replacement concrete floor with electric underfloor heating seems a little more straightforward. Possibly better because of its thermal mass acting a bit like a storage heater? However, is it possible to do similar with a replacement suspended timber floor and still utilise relaying the existing floorboards? Would the result (if possible) be equal in terms of its thermal performance compared to a concrete floor? What are the pros/cons either way? Any advice or suggestions welcome…
  2. I'm looking at options and prices for PV, with my build budget tight, I still want to add a 4KW array to the roof, Getting costs the only options I can find are GSE trays and there are coming in more expensive than the panels. Are there other systems out there or am I looking on the wrong place. Eg if I went for 10 off 405w panels, I would need 20 of the half trays, plus clips trims etc. Midsummer quoted over 2k for the trays and ancillaries. Any ideas or alternatives? At these costs I may (have to), look at a ground mount after the build.
  3. I'm looking for some advice on floating floor construction build up. As part of a renovation project for our ~1990's built home, I want to insulate the ~70 m2 ground floor which is currently of uninsulated beam and block construction with a vented cavity. We are constrained on height of materials that can be added on top of the beam and block, mostly to match existing finished floor level at the bottom of the hallway staircase, but also to avoid shrinking the ceiling height (currently ~2.4 m above finished floor level). So far, it seems like a ply (or other floorboard) sub floor floated on phenolic foam insulation panels will give best combination of thermal resistance, stack height, and cost. We would then add floor coverings, likely all vinyl tile with one room carpeted. I've added a sketch of the proposed build up. I'm looking at using Kingspan K103 which has a compressive strength of 120 kPa at 10% compression. The main questions I have are: Is 18 mm ply going to be rigid enough to avoid deflections / point loads being transferred to the insulation panels? Do we need battens anywhere? So far thinking adding these in doorways, under kitchen units, and for bathroom fittings. IS it necessary to factor in a 6mm ply layer on top as a "sacrificial" covering in case we go with glue down vinyl? Should this be fixed with screws? Interested in thoughts on these points, and anything else I might be missing. If there are any general guides to floating floor construction would appreciate the share.
  4. Hi! I am having real difficulty in finding local tradesman to provide utility connections for our new build project in Dunblane. We are after Electricity, Water foul and water supply and potentially telecoms. We are right beside the (quiet, normal, residential, 2-way) road where all the connections lie - electricity on the far side and water on the side closest to us. And a temporary supply to help with the build will require roughly 6m distance at the most from electricity at the far side of the road to within our plot. I have a quotation from Crown Energy for ~£11k for all connections which seems massively expensive - but Crown inform me they subcontract everything so I'm not entirely sure why I need them. I am therefore trying to find a local (ish) contractor who might be able to do this for me (the disputables) but I am having trouble sourcing one. Can anyone provide any recommendations? Thanks so much in advance!
  5. Been meaning to do this for a while, but I thought I’d better wait until the sale was actually complete. Well, that took around 18 months, so that’s my excuse! 😂 This is something I’ve been meaning/wanting to do for a number of years. One positive thing about lockdown was that it brought into sharp focus that tomorrow is never certain, so no point putting things off that you really want to do. Rather than build from scratch, I wanted to take on the challenge of repurposing/reimagining what could be done with a small abandoned existing building or structure. Narrowing my search down from Europe to the UK, I found the building I wanted. At least I had seen a couple of low res pics and a basic floor plan of said building! It just happened to be 750 miles away from where I live, in another country, on an island that I had never been to. Still, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Only time will tell if that works out to be true…
  6. I’m currently stripping out the old plasterboard on my Small Mission Hall project on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The building has not been in use for years and has never really had any effective heating. interesting once the plasterboard is off, you can see small drops of condensation form on the walls. I assume this is kind of normal? I’m keeping windows open whilst I work, but I assume that it will need heating at some point to help combat this? I appreciate that 500-600mm solid stone walls are likely to have moisture/damp to some degree especially being in the Outer Hebrides! In the future, I’ll need to be adding internal insulation within a standalone stud framework.
  7. 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.
  8. Good evening all, needing some suggestions for companies that could help us carry out the following works, highlighted yellow in the picture? We are based on the Isle of Mullull
  9. I’m renovating a small mission hall on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Due to it’s already small internal size (7.500 x 4.500), I was thinking of looking at external insulation rather than internal? Its a solid wall construction (approx 500mm+) currently with an external pebbledash finisish. Any thoughts or recomendations?
  10. I own the land with a value of £100k with no outstanding borrowing on it, Can I get a self build mortgage after gaining full planning permission so that the money can be used to fund the build warrant aswell as the build?
  11. Hello everyone, Looking for some advice if anyone has had to deal with this before them selfs, planning have come back with we had to agree to a condition to be added to our planning saying we will submit a landscape design and planting plan... see email text below "I noticed a number of trees had fell during a recent site visit to the site. On further consultation with Argyll and Bute Councils Biodiversity Officer, she has confirmed that the site is located out with the Ancient Woodland, which was highlighted as a constraint near the site. What the biodiversity officer has requested in regard to the proposal is that a Landscape Design and Planting Plan is conditioned with the planning permission and suggests some native trees in a grouping, to what is established south of the boundary to help balance out the loss of the woodland and settle the proposed dwelling house into the landscape. " does anyone know how detailed this needs to be, or anyone we can contact that could help us with this or is it something we could just sketch ourselfs to keep them happy? best regards, David
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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!?
  24. 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.
  25. 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
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