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13 minutes ago, ProDave said:

A lot of people don't realise you can run cables horizontally in a wall


I was well aware of that, but hadn’t considered that incredibly practical application of the safe zone.


Bugger

Such is life!

 

If I do this again that will be the first cable that goes in, all around every wall. 

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Thanks for the replies so far. To summarise where there is some consensus.

 

Yes: UFH (inc upstairs bathroom), ASHP, hot water tap, insulation, airtight, mvhr, triple glazing, Posi joists, external blinds/shading, active cooling, horizontal wiring, accessible services/utilities.

 

Preference/Debatable: Bi-folds/sliders, upstairs heating (non-bathroom), external render, balconies, bath in ensuite, multiple ensuites. 

 

Edited by stubiff
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2 hours ago, ProDave said:

A lot of people don't realise you can run cables horizontally in a wall (I had a stand up finger wagging argument with a builder who tried to insist I could not do that)  As long as there is one socket in the wall, it creates a safe zone both horizontally and vertically from that socket where you may run cables.

 

This is what our sparky did. It was possibly driven by the crazy number of sockets we went for in our build. There's a double socket a couple of feet from just about every room corner, and I don't think there are many places where you can go 3 metres along a wall without hitting one. My 3m x 3.5m office has two double sockets on every wall, and most have been in use at some point or another.

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Would again:

 - Architect - designed an ideal layout

 - Timber Frame - quick to erect and easy to adjust on site

 - Passive insulation - can't feel the outside at all

 - triple glazed windows - great at noise reduction

 - MVHR - air always fresh

 - Sunamps - no gas, compact

 - ground floor UFH only - all you need

 - recessed skirting - easy and never have to dust

 - IKEA kitchen - DIYable

 

Would do better:

 - acoustic insulation - more, everywhere.

 - double up joists - reduce floor bounce

 - Battery - capture solar power for self use

 - Fixed price - no hourly paid jobs

 - Completion payment - never pay in full until 100% satisfied 

 

 

Doubtful:

 - Project management - definitely going main contractor next time

 - Fermacell - cheaper and easier to double up on standard PB or back with ply

 - Graven Hill - worse than you can ever imagine (the developer, not the community)

 - Larch cladding - high maintenance, would go composite

 

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Additions in bold.

 

Yes: UFH (inc upstairs bathroom), ASHP, hot water tap, insulation, airtight, mvhr, triple glazing, Posi joists, external blinds/shading, active cooling, horizontal wiring, accessible services/utilities, timber frame, Sunamp.

 

Preference/Debatable: Bi-folds/sliders, upstairs heating (non-bathroom), external render, balconies, bath in ensuite, multiple ensuites. 

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1 hour ago, stubiff said:

Additions in bold.

 

Yes: UFH (inc upstairs bathroom), ASHP, hot water tap, insulation, airtight, mvhr, triple glazing, Posi joists, external blinds/shading, active cooling, horizontal wiring, accessible services/utilities, timber frame, Sunamp.

 

Preference/Debatable: Bi-folds/sliders, upstairs heating (non-bathroom), external render, balconies, bath in ensuite, multiple ensuites. 

 

I'd do some research on the experiences of some members with Sunamp before putting it too categorically in the "yes" section.

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@jack

Yes, I did read up a bit. It interested me as a DHW solution (the electric version) but then read about not being able to control it very well.

 

Was only recording what other people had commented on.

Edited by stubiff
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On 22/03/2021 at 16:12, ProDave said:

Good points:

All bathrooms done as wet rooms.  Vastly superior to shower trays.

 

I have this dilemma right now. What is the cost implication of wet rooms and are they more difficult to build?

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2 minutes ago, SimonD said:

 

I have this dilemma right now. What is the cost implication of wet rooms and are they more difficult to build?

IF you were planning to tile the room anyway, then i think the cost difference is minimal.

 

You buy a wet room shower former instead of a shower tray, and you buy a tanking kit which includes a tile decoupling and waterproofing membrane.

 

The finished result is vastly better.

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On 22/03/2021 at 19:47, newhome said:

Installing the MVHR unit in the loft when it would be much more convenient in the services room.

@newhome do you mean more convenient in terms of the installation, or more convenient in tens of use? I thought that the unit itself didn’t need much attention once installed. An annual or biannual clean and filter replacement and that’s it, no?

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10 hours ago, Adsibob said:

 

@newhome do you mean more convenient in terms of the installation, or more convenient in tens of use? I thought that the unit itself didn’t need much attention once installed. An annual or biannual clean and filter replacement and that’s it, no?


Filters need much more regular changing than annual. My loft isn’t boarded and it’s right in the middle so difficult to get to. 

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On 23/03/2021 at 17:46, Visti said:

Would again:

 - Architect - designed an ideal layout

 - Timber Frame - quick to erect and easy to adjust on site

 - Passive insulation - can't feel the outside at all

 - triple glazed windows - great at noise reduction

 - MVHR - air always fresh

 - Sunamps - no gas, compact

 - ground floor UFH only - all you need

 - recessed skirting - easy and never have to dust

 - IKEA kitchen - DIYable

 

Would do better:

 - acoustic insulation - more, everywhere.

 - double up joists - reduce floor bounce

 - Battery - capture solar power for self use

 - Fixed price - no hourly paid jobs

 - Completion payment - never pay in full until 100% satisfied 

 

 

Doubtful:

 - Project management - definitely going main contractor next time

 - Fermacell - cheaper and easier to double up on standard PB or back with ply

 - Graven Hill - worse than you can ever imagine (the developer, not the community)

 - Larch cladding - high maintenance, would go composite

 

Particularly interested in the larch comments, what maintenance is required?

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1.   3G windows - Rationel

2.   UFH

3.   Natural slate roof

4.   Good quality interior door handles/doors

5.   Tiled recess in shower

5.    Kitchen from DIY kitchens, including quartz worktop

6.    Porcelensa tiles

7.    Boiling tap (Costco)

8.    ASHP

9.    Utility room with raised washer/dryer

10.  Multifunctional rooms

11.  Galvanised Lindap gutters/downpipes

12.  4g router as opposed to BT phoneline

13.  Oak staircase

14.   Tarmac driveway not chuckkies.

 

 

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Would do again:

- Porcelanosa wood-effect tiles throughout GF

- UFH everywhere where it can possibly fit

- ensuite to at least two bedrooms - and done as wetroom, NO shower trays! what a bliss!

- absolutely another deep soaking bath instead of a long one. Or two?

- Toto washlets everywhere

- built-in blinds in bedroom windows.

- extra acoustic insulation everywhere (and put even more, its never enough)

- bifolds. Yes, lots of heat gain, but we have built-in blinds in central panels, and retractable curtains on side, so can screen it all off. But I love wide opening into my delightful garden, or even just an uninterrupted wide view into the garden from the place I cook

- Kitchen from DIY kitchens

- Another Cambria quartz worktop

- U-shaped kitchen with eating on the long run of the U, facing each other. Delightful. I don't really need a standard dinner table anymore.

- UFH  and towel heaters in bathrooms - I love warm and dry towels

- solar panels + a Tesla battery. We already run half-independent from the grid and expect to be fully independent in summer. Probably add one more Tesla. Panels installe flush with the roof and look excellent.

- MVHR

- skywindows in garage roof. Excellent light.

- oak staircase

- plenty of niche recesses in bathrooms

 

Not sure worth repeating / would do differently:

- would choose Posi joists - such a pain to run cabling and ducts through standar ones

- will not trust external PMs - would invest in selecting a proper builder and working in partnership

- would double-check all dimensions

- make shower enclosure even larger and include bathtub within it

- make utility twice bigger and place MVHR unit in there

- go for composite fensing all around (budget for it properly)

- avoid French gutter (bloody pain to clean and pebbles get everywhere)

- MORE SOCKETS (we have plenty but not enough)

 

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On 22/03/2021 at 18:03, Bitpipe said:

Do it again

Flush exit from front / rear to paving / patio :  Worth the head scratching to make it work

Can you elaborate why? What's the benefit?

Quote

Didn't do it, would do it next time

Split aircon provision / active cooling: winter heat is not the issue, summer cooling is and will only become more so.

ASHP: on mains gas so boiler seemed obvious way to go but like idea of using ASHP to cool as well as heat - with PV in summer 

 

So both a cooling ASHP and a separate aircon? I've debated that elsewhere but I'm fairly certain that (especially with a well-insulated house), a cooling ASHP should be sufficient?

 

Quote

Toughguard paint everywhere : even after 5 years, redecorating feels too soon :)  

Not sure if you're serious or not, my google searches only show paintings of warships and airplanes in toughguard. I guess it would make an interesting house?

Edited by puntloos
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On 22/03/2021 at 18:40, jack said:

Windows too big in some rooms, to the point where opening them is intrusive.

 

How's this? How big are your windows, and what's the actual hassle? Do you have to take steps back to let them rotate open, or is there some other challenge I'm missing?

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On 22/03/2021 at 19:47, newhome said:

Installing the MVHR unit in the loft when it would be much more convenient in the services room. 

 

I've been leaning towards loft, just for space reasons.. but whats the convenience in services (in general, you wouldn't need to touch it often enough for it to matter, no?)

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 Sigh, buildhub allows so little time to edit/update.. sorry for the row of posts..

  

On 22/03/2021 at 21:00, Iceverge said:

French drain and gravel between footpaths and house wall. 

People debate this then - @Bored Shopper hates this for cleaning?

On 22/03/2021 at 21:00, Iceverge said:

Splayed window reveals. 

Why? Aesthetics? Seems annoying to not be able to use windowsills as 'storage'?

 

On 22/03/2021 at 21:00, Iceverge said:

Precast concrete first floor.

Why not? Works well as acoustic insulation, no?

 

And finally quite a bit of debate on UFH everywhere or just downstairs and in upstairs bathrooms?

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6 hours ago, puntloos said:

How's this? How big are your windows, and what's the actual hassle? Do you have to take steps back to let them rotate open, or is there some other challenge I'm missing?

 

They're maybe a metre wide and open to just past 90 degrees, so when they're open, they extend a long way into the room. Where the hinge is close to the adjacent well it isn't too bad, but where it isn't, the window just hangs out into the middle of the room.

 

Also, some of them come down quite low - 400mm from the floor. Naturally there's no way to have furniture anywhere within the swept opening area.

 

It isn't the end of the world. They're all tilt and turn, so cracking them to let a bit of air in is fine. But when you want them wide open for purge cooling, for example, they're obtrusive.

 

We also don't have any form of window stays, so you have to use a chair or something to hold them open if you have a few windows open on a windy day.

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6 hours ago, puntloos said:

And finally quite a bit of debate on UFH everywhere or just downstairs and in upstairs bathrooms?

 

In a well insulated and airtight house, I've seen very little argument for having UFH throughout the upstairs area, other than in bathrooms. One or two people are installing it, but I don't think I've seen a single person argue that they've installed it and used it regularly. What debate have you seen?

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24 minutes ago, jack said:

 

In a well insulated and airtight house, I've seen very little argument for having UFH throughout the upstairs area, other than in bathrooms. One or two people are installing it, but I don't think I've seen a single person argue that thrive installed it and used it regularly. What debate have you seen?

I would like UFH in the bathrooms and if I use wet UFH then I'll most likely just run the pipework on the rest of the first floor anyway as it's cheap to do so at that point and then if it never gets turned on so be it!

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43 minutes ago, Thorfun said:

I would like UFH in the bathrooms and if I use wet UFH then I'll most likely just run the pipework on the rest of the first floor anyway as it's cheap to do so at that point and then if it never gets turned on so be it!

 

Is it cheap though? Sure, the pipe isn't expensive and is easy enough to self install, but you can't just bung it on top of chipboard. Whether you go for spreader plates, biscuit mix, whatever, it'll add significantly to the amount of effort and cost required.

 

Either way, I wouldn't characterise your "just in case" approach as being a "for" argument in a genuine debate.

 

All that said, I've been thinking a lot lately about what I'd do differently if I built again. I'd consider having tiled floors upstairs with UFH. I'd cool the bedrooms in summer using PV, and get some rugs made up for winter (and probably wouldn't use the UFH much in cold weather, if at all, based on my current experience).

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Would do differently:

 

If installing an external door on an exposed elevation, facing the prevailing wind, in a windy location, make it an OUTWARD opening door.

 

I don't think man has yet made an inward opening door that will hold back the lashing rain when it's blowing a hoolie in the Highlands straight onto your door.  And even if nothing immediately gets in, there WILL be a little ridge of water, sitting between the door and frame, held back by the door seal, just waiting to come into the room when you open the door.

 

Probably best not to have a door on that elevation at all.

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1 hour ago, jack said:

 

In a well insulated and airtight house, I've seen very little argument for having UFH throughout the upstairs area, other than in bathrooms. One or two people are installing it, but I don't think I've seen a single person argue that they've installed it and used it regularly. What debate have you seen?

 

I am one of many that chose not to fit UFH in the bedrooms.

 

Several years use including a long very cold spell this winter has proved that bedroom heating is not required in a well insulated sealed house, even here in the Highlands.

 

I installed cables to each bedroom for an electric panel heater.  Even those have never been used and no panel heaters have been used, not even portable plug in ones.

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