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  1. Hi I've just had permission to build a large garden room 12m x 5m which will form a gym and entertainment room. It needs to be built to building regs due to size. It'll have a small kitchen/bathroom. I've spoken to numerous builders (some I know and some getting quotes) and each seems to suggest the best way to build is either SIPs, Blockwork or a timber frame. I'm not a builder so don't know which to choose. Can anyone advise on the benefits/negatives of each and which might be most cost-effective option please? Other questions: Would you go for an insulated concrete base? and with insulation under the concrete or over it? How do I make sure the floor is strong enough? If it was timber frame or blockwork what insulation would you use - PIR or other? Would you go for a warm roof or cold? Any other major considerations to think of? Thanks Rob
  2. Hi everyone. I'm planning a 2 storey rear extension, timber framed, to my 2 storey (plus basement) house. The house is internally timber framed with rendered exterior brick and fyfestone up to ground floor level (split "stone" of 3 shades). The plot slopes to the rear,so it will be a basement level extension into garden with the extension's upper floor at the house's ground floor level. There is access beneath the whole house, of varying height. My question is about supporting the new 1st floor joists. As I understand, a ledger bolted the outer skin of rendered brick is not well enough supported and the new frame needs tied into the old without compressing the external wall. Can the outer skin be removed and then a new ledger/rim joist be attached past the air cavity to the existing rim joist? Should new joists be cut through onto internal supporting wall? I can't quite get my head round the design. I've attached pics showing basement foundation wall and timber frame.
  3. Hi, I'm on a first-time self-build in Cumbria and I have am about to instruct a timber frame designer. I intend fabricating the wall and roof cassettes myself and I'm unsure whether to replace the dimensioned timber studs with i-beams. Reasons to use i-beams are (1)reduced cold bridging and (2)avoids wrangling with bent/twisted timber. Initially, I was just going to replace the inner studs with i-beams but my TF designer says that I can replace top and bottom plates and the side plates too. He mentioned that I would have to add packer plates and that the window area would need to be boarded in ply. He didn't elaborate on fixings but I'm having trouble imagining how I'm going to nail up a cassette made entirely from i-joists. I've seen angled nail-plates in JJI brochures but this leaves me none the wiser. I've seen that a few of you have used i-joists. Can you give me some pointers on connections please? Or should I just stick to replacing the inner studs. Thanks for your help
  4. Just bought a brick and block cavity house (according to the home report) which is actually a timber frame build with brick outer leaf! I should be a surveyor!
  5. I'm dithering between getting a house desing via an architect, or going with a TF company who will do design&supply. I'm nervous about going with desing&supply basically around cost: if we get a design done with TF company A, expecting to use them for supply&erect, how do I then check that their cost for the supply portion is going to be reasonable? While of course I can set a maximum budget for them, presumably they'll simply aim to charge that amount. However, asking them to pause after the design stage to allow getting a quote from TF Company B seems, well, rude. If I go via an architect for design, what input and when in the process would be best from a TF company to ensure efficiency in buildability (e.g. what are their standard panel sizes, joist spans...). I'm guessing that without an intial design most TF companies won't be interested in a conversation?
  6. Jenki

    The Windy Roost

    Over the years, 24 and counting, as a couple we’ve never settled, bought a house needing doing up, renovated it, lived in it, whilst bringing up our son. Sold, moved to rented, bought and renovated others. Sold and moved on, but never settled. Thought about emigrating, a disastrous foray into overseas property and we still found ourselves unsettled. The thought of doing something different with our lives and possibly working together was always there. Over the years I’ve built extensions for families and seen the positive impact I’ve had on them. The want to build my own house was strong, and when I say build my own, I want to do it all, and luckily Mandy’s onboard. Fast forward a few more years, we re-model our house and sell. Move to rented with the plan of moving to the Highlands. We’ve got a very modest budget i.e. not enough (remember the overseas bit). So the land needed to help, we found a croft for sale with no buildings or services, and too expensive, but with a bit of negotiating made an offer with clauses for planning and services. More on the plans later. Based in a small rural village of Occumster on the North East Coast in Caithness, Scotland, known as the lowlands of the highlands, our croft of 11.8 acres of grass, now has planning for a house and a couple of Glamping Pods. The croft is fronted by the A99, part of the North Coast 500 route, so hopefully this is where our initial income will come from. I’m more than aware that I will need to go off and earn money to live. Eventually we will have Bees, and rare breed pigs hopefully boosting our income, and satisfying the croft requirements to work the land. And here starts the adventure..
  7. Wednesday 26th June, I spent most of this day travelling, in my van and my two helpers for the next few weeks. The trip is 433 miles door to door, the goal before the boss arrives for 9 days was to get the caravan (home) connected to the treatment plant. plus get ready for concrete. other blogs to follow. To connect the Static I needed to install the treatment plant, install some of the drainage for the pods, confirm with BC he is happy and basically crack on with the long days that far north. Previous work had the pit dug out of the rock, so the basic plan was to sit the plant onto compacted, level, stone and backfill with gravel. Then put a top of concrete to hold the whole thing down. In the 8 weeks the pit was open there was no filling of the pit, so I was quite happy the rock was porous, but couldn't be convinced in heavy rain it wouldn't fill with water. The rock at the bottom wasn't going anywhere, so didn't see the point of fully filling with concrete. I backfilled with stone up to around 350mm from the central rib of the TANK (a Tricel Nova 12P) then put 3 cube of concrete over this. this concrete is now bonded to the rock sides to the pit and if my tank floats its going to have to bring the bed rock with it. The observant of you will note it sits a little higher than the ground. This was for two reasons. - to assist with the outflow depth for the rubble drain, and secondly I am going to raise the level of the ground in this and the rubble drain area, to soften the impact of the house, that will sit further East on slightly elevated ground. (I also buried a 5 ft earth rod in the concrete for the future) I got my levels from the pods to the tank a distance of approx. 46.5M, and worked out my fall, the levels of the land assisted this, i..e the pods to the West and the House to the East of the treatment plant are both elevated, with the treatment plant in the lower part, and near the existing rubble field drain. (our initial survey and plans worked. Phew) The trench for the waste pipe was also used for services (Water, telecoms, electricity, Ethernet) , backfilled with stone and fill from site. I then laid the pipe, with a fall, and supported this on flat rocks. Connecting lengths of pipe together on your own is not easy, (I asked the dogs to help, but the lack of thumbs became an issue. ) Top tip, long ratchet straps make this an easy process. the picture below shows this, I broke the length of the run up with branches for rodding points, not required at these distances, but makes sense and easier rodding if required. The ratchet strap is 15 m long, at one point I had two connected together. simply loop the hook around the chamber, or branch and the other end around the pipe you are connecting and a few ratchets later the pipe slides into place. Once all in place and re checking the levels I used stone (lots of stone) to fill the voids under the pipe, re-checking the levels (falls) and compacting as I went. I tested this run of drainage with bungs and water manometer. Building control were happy not to inspect before backfill, as long as I was happy that if it failed the pressure test later that was my issue... My initial meeting with building control, laid the ground for our relationship, I asked what he wanted, showed him my proposals, chatted about this and that and hopefully from this he could see I wasn't a muppet, so we agreed to move forward with a few photo's here and there and he might pop in at anytime if he was passing. works for me. One of the branches that will be a rodding point is doubling up as my caravan connection. For now the Treatment plant is running by being plugged in. I Will run the SWA cable but this will be powered from a house yet to be built, so for now, comes from a Caravan hook up point, with RCBO protection. Part two will be the rubble drain this is still work in progress..
  8. We are building a 30m2 timberframe single storey annex and want to minimise our use of concrete. We want to include a wet underfloor heating system. For the flooring we are thinking the layers would be: compacted ballast compacted sand PIR insulation board UFH pipes screed wooden flooring Thinking that we don't need a concrete slab for stability because if it shifts a little and the screed cracks the wooden flooring will cover over those defects. The question is how to constrain the flooring? Can you use blocks without foundations, but supported by earth on the external side, to create the footprint of the building and then compact and build up the flooring within the fooprint? The timberframe structure can be supported by ground screws. All the examples of using ground screws that I've seen have the building suspended slightly above the ground - is that essential? Can you position the ground screws so that the base of the timber frame sits ontop of the footprint blocks but the weight is supported by the ground screws? Is there a better way to combine a single storey timberframe build with a solid floor whilst still using minimal concrete?
  9. Hello, Does anyone know what is typically used for the element highlighted in red in the detail below? Pretty much all the details I've found online just say 'protective board'. Whatever it is it will have to be able to accept paint as it will be visible beneath the timber cladding. The detail shows: - a plywood timber 'cassette' - non-combustible Muliti-pro exterior lining - a timber rainscreen (battens, counter battens and Larch board-on-board cladding) There is a breather membrane over the Muilti-pro board and a DPM but I'm not showing it for drawing legibility. I imagine what I'm looking for is some sort of waterproof render carrier board that I can adhere to the slab edge and the 'cassette'. Then I'd apply sand/cement render to the small section of exposed surface and paint it. But, if anyone with experience/knowledge can steer me toward a particular product or key words/phrases to aid my google search or even correct my faulty assumptions that would be very helpful! Thanks
  10. Hi All, I've been around and commented here and there, and asked questions, but finally we are in a position to say we will be starting our new lives, and build later this year. We have bought and obtained planning permission, (Finally), a croft (L shaped field - no buildings or services), in the rural village of Occumster, on the East coast in the Highlands. approx. 12M SW of Wick. The plan is to build a modest 2 bed single storey house, and a couple of camping pods. I've attached a few drawings. Big plans and small budget. Its a full change of life style, I'm a builder, so if need be I will hopefully get some work here and there, but the main focus will be to get up and running with the pods for some income, house then livestock to follow. Moving From Preston so already used to the rain, just have to get used to the wind and we will be set. keep safe Pete and Mandy 201021_REV_FloorPlan_LAND 105M SE OF SUIL NA MARA_A4.pdf 101121_REV_Site_Plan_LAND 105M SE OF SUIL NA MARA_A3.pdf 101121_REV_Site_Elevation_LAND 105M SE OF SUIL NA MARA_A4.pdf 191021_REV_Sections_LAND_105M_SE_OF_SUIL_NA_MARA_A4.pdf 231021_REV_PODS_LAND 105M SE OF SUIL NA MARA_A3.pdf
  11. I am working with a structural engineer specialising in Traditional Timber frames to design a new build Wealden Hall House. Could anyone point me towards a person / company with a good degree of experience in efficient building design for traditional timber frames? Pursuing a truly historically-accurate frame design results in some specific cold-bridging issues (use of continuous timber posts / plates / joists through cross sections), that we are seeking mitigation strategies for. Thank you.
  12. The bungalow was built in the 1970's and extensively renovated in the last 4 years. It has external block walls and timber suspended floor, timber frame including all internal walls and concrete tiled roof running east/west at a rise of 23 degrees. Having never heard of, or gained knowledge from, buildhub I renovated and extended the bungalow as best as I knew. The garage was converted and has a flat roof. Fortunately the work included insulation, air tightness and a MVHR unit. We ended up with about a 100m2 bungalow.
  13. Hi, just starting our self-build journey. We have an old 50's bungalow in the Brecon Beacons National Park which is in need of some serious refurbishment. Having discussed with a local architect & builder friend, it sounds as if we'd be better off knocking it down & building new!!! So, we've started investigating timber-framed houses etc. & getting slightly excited about the journey ahead.
  14. Hi, I've been reading through a lot of posts on Stick built vs kit etc, and leaning towards stick built, however I read that structural warranty is difficult if the frame is built on site. I'm thinking of getting the frame designed (possibly Cullen Timber Design), then panelised drawings and working from them. straight forward rectangular box, gables and roof. I would be interested not in the stick built vs TF company, but thoughts from builders who went the stick build route on their structural warranty views, did they get one, which ones etc. any info on this would be great. thanks in advance.
  15. Hi All - so grateful to find this forum as can already tell it’s going to be super useful! My husband and I have been dreaming about building our own sustainable home for several years and now, with a 1year old in tow, a lack of space is making us want to do it sooner rather than later! As with many others on here, we’re trying to find some land in Kent or Sussex but know we may well be in for the long haul as it’s like gold dust in the south east....but where there’s a will there’s a way! Am am I right in saying that building outside of a town’s settlement boundary in an AONB is an absolute no-go? And has anyone had any luck with getting permission to build on green belt land? Looking forward fo sharing learnings on this exciting journey! Heather
  16. Hi All, I’m building a garden room but it appear one of my timber panels has decided it wants to be a parallelogram instead of a rectangle. I’m sure it was plumb when stood up but never mind. The frame is already boarded with ply and I’m hoping there’s an easy solution to bring it back square other than tear it down. many help is greatly appreciated as the wife is about to notice and the “told you so’s” are about to begin
  17. Hi, Looking at options for timber frame supply, we are based in Suffolk and looking for something that fits the following criteria... This is a build on a budget, I will be undertaking as much work as possible myself and will be project managing. The idea of timber frame is to get the basic water tight shell up as quickly and cheaply as possible with the key criteria being cost and achieving a high u-value, I would be looking for a supplier that can erect the build and I then hope to make the savings on undertaking the majority of the rest of the work. I'm happy to do the leg work with potential suppliers but would appreciate any guidance or experience in pointing me in the direction of suppliers worth considering Thanks in advance ?
  18. Hi - I recently came across this platform and was interested to read some of the content. I have been involved in high performance building fabric solutions for over 30 years and have an inherent interest in low carbon building specifically off-site manufactured building systems together with low energy window and door solutions. I am looking forward to reading further contributions and hopefully providing some useful content. :-)
  19. Hi all, We have just started to build a two-story timber frame in Donegal in the North west of Ireland. We are building to passivhaus standards and have an experienced passivhaus builder. I have gained loads of information from this forum and hope to get some more as the build progresses. We have a lot of south facing glazing (by design - to capture views of Donegal bay) and have added some shading to the ground floor southern windows. PHPP calculations demonstrated that overheating can be mitigated by adding some cooling from the underfloor slabs. We intend to use a Mitsubishi 8.5kW ecodan and have a Brink passive certified MHRV specified. Phpp and plans attached. Two storey-Floor Plans, Sections, Elevations 280620.pdf
  20. Hi, I'm about to install uPVC sash windows into my new timber frame extension. From watching this guy, my understanding is the process goes something like this. Breathable membrane to be stapled over sheathing and into window opening Flashing tape to be installed at the bottom of the window and overlapped to the external wall Window to be placed in the opening and levelled with shims Once level screw in place and mastic around external and internal gaps The issue I have is where does the window sit in the opening? Does it sit flush to the timber frame sheathing and the cladding buts around the window in some way? Or does the window protrude from the timber frame sheathing and the cladding guts up to the window? I've also seen some installers use timber seals and battens on the outside so the window can sit back in the opening. This is how I believe it should be installed, but I'm not certain. I'm a bit lots down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos on this one and would appreciate any advice Here is one of the windows.
  21. Hi, We were planning a frame with 140mm Frametherm 32 between the studs and 40mm PIR over the studs to get a quoted U-Value of 0.14. Apparently there is a shortage of Frametherm 32 and so they have changed the spec to 70mm PIR between the studs and 50mm over. Using Kingspan K12 with a 0.02 thermal conductivity I do not get 0.14 U-Value. which I have not queried yet. However, when offered the option of PIR fill I suggested changing to the 0.11 U-Value option which I had previously discounted due to the thicker wall. This would be 140mm full fill PIR and 50mm over, which does give a 0.11 U-Value. TBH the difference between 0.14 and 0.11 does not pay for itself, around one third if the outside walls are windows, but I feel that thicker full fill insulation should be better for a modest extra cost. However, I am wondering if using only PIR could cause any issues. I liked the idea of a mix of PIR and Frametherm as the Frametherm will help with noise insulation and decrement delay. Should I be concerned re noise or decrement delay with only PIR. The wall build up will be render on render board, 50mm cavity, 9mm OSB, 140mm stud with 140mm PIR, 50mm PIR over stud, 35mm service cavity and then Fermacell. Maybe the extra weight of the Fermacell means that I do not have to worry. The builder was somewhat incredulous about using Fermacell instead of plasterboard. I did wonder if an alternative to get some of the benefit of a different kind of insulation in the wall is to put 25mm acoustic insulation in the service cavity. I am also wondering if I take the walls down to 0.11 am I getting to the point where at least we do no need heating upstairs. We will have roughly 0.1 floor, 0.11 walls, 0.7 windows and 013 roof(maybe a bit better if we can get more insulation in). The only issue is that of 225 square metres of outside wall, 70 is windows and doors which increases the heat loss, although most of the windows are downstairs. Ex the hall, which is double height, only around 15% of upstairs wall is window.
  22. Hello all. New to the forum. We are building a detached house on a hill just outside Bude. It will be as well insulated and airtight as we can afford and will incorporate many energy saving features. I am here to learn from people who have more experience at this than I do. cheers, Greg
  23. Hi Guys, I'm about to plasterboard my utility room, and need some help choosing the correct plasterboard type. The drawing call for fireline plasterboard throughout, but do you think moisture resistant plasterboard would be better for a utility room? Thanks!
  24. I am using my time working from home to try and finalise the plans for my parents' house so that we can hopefully get started asap once life gets back to normal. I have spoken to a couple of timber frame companies and I also chatted a bit to @Jeremy Harris re his MBC frame. I am seeing frames with 140mm, 184 and 235mm studs as well as the 300mm twin wall systems as used by MBC and some others. We have drawn up the plans with a 400mm wall thickness, and have a width restriction. So we could use a 300mm frame plus render board, or we could use a 140mm frame plus PIR and rockwool or a thicker frame from some suppliers. Having run the heat input calculations, the wall u-values don't make much difference. The house has a lot of glass and I plan to have around 0.1 on the floor and roof. Thus whether the walls are 0.11 or 0.13 or 0.15 hardly makes any difference to heating costs. I am thinking more about other things such as noise, sturdiness etc. Jeremy has said how quiet his house is for example. My last house was timber frame plus rendered blockwork, but I think it was only a standard 90mm stud as mainly used 20 years ago. The house was quite noisy and creaked in strong winds. So would I notice a big difference between different stud thicknesses and different cladding systems or is it more about the detailing and the sealing of all the gaps. Also looking at the quotes as they come in, we could end up with quite a lot of steel, should I be worried about the cold bridging or can it be well insulated within the frame? One more question (copyright Columbo) - Most of the timber frame systems seem to allow for a 35mm batten then plasterboard to create a service void. If we avoid pipework and sockets on some outside walls to remove the void would we notice any other diffference? Does the void help to reduce noise transfer through the wall for example?
  25. 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
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