Sue B

and so it begins........ design 11 so far

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So.....  

We have lived her for 3 years now and got the feel of the place.  It's now time to get my arse into gear and start work on building the new house before getting a mortgage becomes completely unaffordable.

 

We have 1.5 acres in Dorset, flat and quiet and not overlooked.  We have planning permission for a replacement dwelling as what we currently live in is classed as a temporary structure and therefore un-mortgagable.  

I can hardly believe we are going to build again.  To do it once by accident is careless, twice is downright lunacy! 

 

We just wanted to live somewhere with a bit of land for the dogs to run wild and the only thing we could afford was this place.  Our neighbours each side are horses - council owned on one side and the other side have tried to get permission for a dwelling that they can live in but have been refused.  The rest of the lane has similar problems and the council have refused planning on most plots.  We are green belt and within 400m of a SSSI (St Catherines Hill) - apparently there are a lot of Adders up there which I'm glad I didn't know about when we moved here or I may have thought twice.  Luckily we have never seen one when walking the dogs up there.

 

When I designed the last house I thought it was hard because we were constrained to 45ft wide and no more - the neighbours would have complained if we had built on their bit :).  I always wanted just a little bit more to make the rooms a better size, contraints I now realise actually help focus the mind a little.  It took to plan 32 before I got pretty much everything I wanted last time so being on plan 11 means I have a long way to go yet.

 

The picture shows our plot, we have built a kitchen garden since arriving and a large koi pond (you can see it right next to the kitchen garden - it's a rounded triangle shape). The house that we currently live in can stay in place until we are ready to move in to our new house.  The planning conditions state that it must be removed from site within 28 days of completion.

 

The house is the light blue circle.  The lime green circle is where the utility room / car port / shed / dog shower is currently.  We are hoping that we may get the planners to allow us to replace this structure and incorpotate it into our build - currently they are restricting the size of the dwelling to 197m2.  We will be building the new house where the red circle is and the yellow circle is the gate that we will use to drive through to get down the plot or park round the back.

 

We have seen pictures of when our current house was tractored onto site from 5 plots up - the concrete underneath is thick and reinforced.  We are therefore planning to have this as our patio / decking area  so the new house needs to be a close as possible to the current place and in a similar position else we will be spending a lot of money on replacing soil and removing concrete.

 

Wish me luck - Christmas is going to be attached to my laptop, drinking pink gin and muttering about the stupidity of building at our age!  Oh and visiting @D Walter on the IOW to look at Velox.

 

House_plot_1.jpg

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That looks like a fantastic plot. Care to post the house design yet?

 

If you want to build as close as possible to the old house you could leave off the wall finish on that elevation until the old house has gone that might enable you to get a bit closer?

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The plot runs west to east so the length of the patio will be completely south facing.  We are heading towards a modern style of house with a flat roof.  The reason being that neither of us like looking at solar panels.  A flat roof means that we can have solar panels on top but not see them.  We can also have separate banks facing east, south and west to get the sun all day long without worrying about which way the roof faces.

I have a hatred of being too hot so I am paranoid about having a house that I cannot keep cool.  I am therefore planning to have the first floor coming out by about 1m to give some shade during the height of the summer to the living areas.  None of the bedrooms upstairs have south facing windows - wide balconies (I'll be fitting fly screens as the bugs round here are enormous!) and doors that can be opened wide.  Probably need some kind of shutters to allow ventilation whilst staying secure inside overnight.  The bathrooms - I'm thinking roof lights with blinds.  We had sunpipes in the last house and they worked great - it saved wall space in small rooms where windows would have got in the way of placing sanitary ware in a space efficient way.

We are planning to build in ICF - costs mean that we will be doing this ourselves (heaven help us!!!) and are currently comparing Durisol and Velox.  Durisol looks a little easier but I think that Velox may be easier to get air-tight.

 

The garage is only if we can get it past the planners.  I think they may go for it with some explanation of needing a bedroom downstairs for elderly MIL and getting rid of the existing car port place.

 

Be gentle with me but I am very open to ideas.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Sue B said:

[...]

We are green belt and within 400m of a SSSI (St Catherines Hill) - apparently there are a lot of Adders up there which I'm glad I didn't know about when we moved here or I may have thought twice.  Luckily we have never seen one when walking the dogs up there.

- [...]

 

Welcome. We haven't met (until today). I am delighted by your attack - I could do with a bit of that now.

 

May I gently nudge you into considering the potential ramifications of building quite that close to an SSI, please? Some on this board consider me to be a real curmudgeon where ecology is concerned. It's not an epithet I would use; but then I do have a track record of public near heart attacks where ecologists are concerned, and  at the same time, a deep love of all the wild life that surrounds us. Especially the humble Great Crested Newt. I am fascinated by ecology, but not their human guardians.

 

At this remove, I'll keep it short.

You may well be required to do a desk study. That in turn may require a survey. That is likely to cause a delay. That delay and process will hit you right in the bank balance. Research the attitude and approach taken by the LPAs ecologist. Bastard? Sloppy? Dishes out RAMS statements left right and center? Or measured, even-handed, efficient?

 

Choose your ecologist with great care. My direct experience of male ecologists is that they have been lazy, did not pay attention to detail, and found simple communication really difficult or impossible - get a female ecologist working for you. Sexist, yes, I know - but stuff it, I couldn't care less. I merely relate my own experience.

 

Adders are the most beautiful things - and I shiver when close to snakes. But not adders.

Good luck!

Ian

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23 minutes ago, recoveringacademic said:

 

Adders are the most beautiful things - and I shiver when close to snakes. But not adders.

 

I'm unlikely to forget having been bitten on my finger by a snake when working in the wilderness that is now our garden.  That turned out to be a grass snake - until then I didn't know they could bite.  Hurt like hell for a while, but no lasting consequences.  It was my own fault for just putting my (ungloved) hands into the long grass, trying to pick up a half-buried bit of pipe.  The poor snake was probably a hell of a lot more frightened at having his/her peace disturbed than I was by getting bitten on the finger.

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There has been no mention of the fabled GCN so i’m hopeful that they may pass us by.  When we were renewing the bloody awful planning permission last year they did talk bats to us but then looked at the structure and we avoided a bat survey.

 

fingers crossed.

 

 

Edited by Sue B

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The main road taking people towards Bournemouth (A338) had major road works the first year we came down.  It took much longer than necessary due to the need to create barriers to keep the reptiles away from the road - there is a lot of heathland type countryside around here.  

 

I remember the pain of finishing a build.  The sheer indifference to actually finishing it. 

 

We spent 2 years without a proper kitchen.  The rest of the house was finished, we ran out of money and then lost interest in doing the kitchen.  We lived with slow cookers, temporary building lights, a sink and draining board from the caravan, propped in a corner, old wobbly tables from my OHs school that were about to be thrown out instead of cupboards and worktops.  

One morning I just woke up and decided it was time to go for it.  Three months later we had a kitchen fitted and looking wonderful.

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Up to plan 16 - a long way still to go.  Starting to get all the water together which is a help.  I've decided to take the garage away and add my sewing room to that which will be a separate building replacing the car port.  I still like the idea of roof lights for the bathrooms upstairs - cost will determine if that is possible or not of course.  

 

We have now visited @D Walter to see Velox on site.  Really like the look of the procudt and it helps that his site is beautiful and the house will be stunning.

 

I reckong there are a fair few more designs to work through - my memory of last time is that I ending up printing them all out, writing on each why we had discounted that plan and what we liked about it.  I then got the best bits from them all.  I seem to remember that the actual plan we used was a fairly early version but it just needed flipping over.  

 

For timescales, we are hoping for planning permission by early summer, foundations in place fairly quickly after that and then building the garage / sewing room.  We can then see if we are capable to actually building ourselves and get an idea of how much labour we will need on site.  Picking up one of the internal wall boards on David's site was an eye opener due to it's weight - we could barely lift it!!

 

Anyway, here is the most up to date version.

 

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Sue, it was great to meet you both and I hope the rest of your day on the Island went well.  Best wishes for this year!

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@Sue B looks good ..! I would make a couple of changes - master bed en-suite door needs moving to the right or even onto the short wall as it wastes a huge amount of space. Also swap the downstairs Jack and Jill door into the bedroom to open into the bedroom as otherwise you will have very little floor space in there.  

 

@D Walter what wall board are you using ..?

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Hi PeterW.  I am using the Velox WS EPS Plus 215mm, this is 35mm Velox WS board bonded to 185 graphite EPS.  This, with the 150mm concrete and 35mm inside facing WS Velox board makes 400mm walls.

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On 03/01/2019 at 17:58, D Walter said:

Hi PeterW.  I am using the Velox WS EPS Plus 215mm, this is 35mm Velox WS board bonded to 185 graphite EPS.  This, with the 150mm concrete and 35mm inside facing WS Velox board makes 400mm walls.

@D Walter are you using their concrete ceiling system?  If so how are you putting in services (MVHR, lights, plumbing  etc). 

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Hi Posty697, I did use the Velox ceiling modules for the  first floor.  Setting up, pouring and levelling concrete floors was a labour of love and you have to get it right first time.  In our case we had 80mm cover of concrete rather than the standard 50mm and it was still a major job getting the rebar levels right before pouring.  It also involves hundreds of acroprops in situ for a month.  We got an excellent result but it was not quick.

 

And, yes, we are using the void in the underside of the Velox ceiling modules for the galvanised ducting for the MVHR.

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Sorry, forgot to say that the Velox floor modules are laid in line with the MVHR ducting runs and the voids in the underside of the modules are chased out after the concrete has cured.  For most of our flooring we had approx 190mm x 380mm voids to utilise.  I attach a couple of SE plans showing the first floor structure and details.

9423-03A First Floor Plan.pdf

9423-07B Sections & Details 3 of 3.pdf

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Hi @D Walter, for the first floor Velox module, is it possible to do the standard 50mm concrete and self leveling compound on top the concrete which should make the leveling easier?

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Hi @dzhou11.  Velox would normally specify 50mm concrete with the underfloor heating pipes tied to the rebar and embedded in the 50mm and no screed.  We had to go with 80mm for structural reasons due to large spans.  My builder wanted to embed the underfloor heating pipes in a self levelling screed but 1) Velox recommended not doing this (not sure why); and 2) I think we were running out of depth for the floor so we just went with the 80mm concrete and power floated it.  It worked out well but it is very difficult to get completely level, not least because the diferential curing of the concrete at the edges relative to the centre.  We will be doing a little bit of grinding and levelling for the flooring.

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On ‎11‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 07:04, D Walter said:

And, yes, we are using the void in the underside of the Velox ceiling modules for the galvanised ducting for the MVHR.

@D Walter Many thanks for your response but I am still struggling to see how the pipes and cable would fit as there are joins every 2m and what happens when you want to go at 90 Degrees.  The FAQ on there website states you can use wooden joists so will go with Posi Joists to make my life easier.  Want to do as much of the work as I can myself.

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On ‎11‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 09:47, D Walter said:

(not sure why);

Dead simple. In 80mm of depth it would be nigh on daft to attempt to overlay 30mm of product where 16mm of that was pipe as its integrity would be that of a KitKat. Also, trying to bond those two thermally dissimilar layers ( one would be heated, the other would be being heated by the other ) would be a proper ball-ache. They 100% made the right decision for you there.

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3 hours ago, Posty697 said:

@D Walter Many thanks for your response but I am still struggling to see how the pipes and cable would fit as there are joins every 2m and what happens when you want to go at 90 Degrees.  The FAQ on there website states you can use wooden joists so will go with Posi Joists to make my life easier.  Want to do as much of the work as I can myself.

The joins can also be chased out.  Going at 90 degrees is an issue but our 90 degree angles downstairs are in shower and utility where we do not mind having a lowered ceiling service void.  The main rooms have straight runs.  Upstairs we have vaulted ceilings with service void so no issues.  We went with concrete first floor for soundproofing, thermal mass and UFH.  PosiJoists would probably have been quicker and cheaper and gives much more flexibility.  Decision making is, after all, the art of the compromise.

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2 hours ago, Nickfromwales said:

Dead simple. In 80mm of depth it would be nigh on daft to attempt to overlay 30mm of product where 16mm of that was pipe as its integrity would be that of a KitKat. Also, trying to bond those two thermally dissimilar layers ( one would be heated, the other would be being heated by the other ) would be a proper ball-ache. They 100% made the right decision for you there.

... and there is the answer.

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