Me and ma hoose

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Annpan
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Me and ma hoose

Post: #189521 Annpan
Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:42 am

I've not been around here much lately so hi everyone :wave:

As most of the old regulars will know, we are in the middle of MAJOR building work - and living in it with my 3 YO.

After 8 weeks of a muddy hole that got deeper every week then had a foot of snow on top of it and cost us double for the foundations... Then, last Tuesday - the timber frame went up in 2 days, we now have a full outer shell, first fit electrics are done, sarking and felt is up, windows are ready.

Today the ceiling is going up in our upper floor, the insulation is here and going in for the walls and ceilings, the plasterboard should start going on the walls this afternoon, the brickwork is almost finished.

We have picked reclaimed flooring for the extension (we have to hire a van tomorrow to pick it up.)

We need to work out exactly where the stove flu is going to go so we can order it and get it up before the ceilings and roof are done (um... yeah, just realised that would be by today.....um.....oops!...)

Need to find a stove soon too.

Have to work out where the hot water tank is going and who is going to put in the system.

Have to get our dry rot treatment sprayed in while some of the roof beams on the existing cottage are exposed.

We are struggling to keep up - we had a crappy planner (not an architect) So things like sockets, lights and walls!! are all in the wrong places.

We are trying to get in as many eco-friendly materials and design features as possible, but this is not what our builder is used to and it is quite a struggle.

Waiting for the EST dude to come round to do a 'viability test' for solar hot water (ie, do you have a roof? does sun hit it?..... well that is worth sending someone round for..... :roll: )

Building regs are a pain in the arse.

soooooo........ not having the time to put different posts up about all the issues.......

does anyone have any reccomendations or thoughts on...
- external doors, we need to pick 2 new ones and don't like the choice of 10 that the builder has offered (to grand for our cottage, or not enough glass to let in any light)
- multifuel stoves with ovens and back boilers that are no wider than 900mm
- flat panel solar collectors v tubes (I'm leaning towards tubes)
- double skinned insulated flues that look good naked (I have been looking at the Selkirk flue but it is pricey)
- How many radiators we can run off of an accumulator tank with solar and 2 stove feeds going into it (probably about 20 :roll: )
- accumulator tanks / thermal stores
- showers that plumb in to the hot and cold water feeds (I've only ever had electric showers)
- Holidays on distant islands, preferably with full childcare provision, and a form of heating that doesn't involve me risking my life every 4 hours to collect fuel...



plus all the other 73 items on my list of 'what the heck are we going to do about ...'


any and all comments welcome.... :mrgreen:
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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189527 red
Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:33 am

keep telling yourself how worth it will be in the long run - must be hell now...

solar tubes are supposed to be better for our climate than panels.. my understanding is panels and tubes perform about the same in summer, but the tubes do better in spring and autumn. we plan to go for tubes - perhaps this year?

whats the EST dude?

doors - dunno - but you could try looking at reclaim yards

stoves - have you seen the charnwood flue boiler? makes use of the heat in the flue. no experience of it - but it looks interesing

again no personal experience.. but if i had room for it in my sitting room - i would put in an esse ironheart. - they look great and have an oven. we just have a woodburner instead. but in our kitchen will be changing the gas rayburn for wood fired (maybe this year)

flues are always expensive.. the shiney chrome ones more so

thermal store - expensive so get more tappings put in then you think you need (in case you install something else in future)

shower - we have a shower that feeds off the hot water tank (hot water made my rayburn - later will be made by boiler/woodfired rayburn and or solar tubes) - we have a mira.. ours currently pumps the water out, but doesn't heat it - our new system we can effectively go for mixer tap version, as will have mains pressure hot water. Mira is probably *the* name in showers of this ilk...

holidays? what are they? only escapism I have is to immerse myself in all things crafting.
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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189528 Millymollymandy
Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:34 am

Sorry Ann I can't help with the building stuff, just glad that finally progress is being made on your renovations. Hopefully you now see some light at the end of the tunnel! Good luck. :thumbright:
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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189543 pelmetman
Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:35 pm

We know exactly how you feel as we did a major renovation on our last house. There were times when I thought I would go mad with all the rubble and mud but slowly things do start to improve. At the end you will have your dream house so hang on in there. Have you thought about having stable doors? I used to love leaning over the door looking at the garden. They always seem to suit an old house especially if its a country cottage. :flower:
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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189550 Annpan
Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:08 pm

Thanks guys :)

I do like stable doors, OH is less than convinced...

The EST is Energy Saving Trust. Personally I find them to be a useless bunch of $%^£%$ -
[rant]
The notion that a huge amount of government funding is being spent to tell people to fit loft insulation (well duh!) Grants were available only if you had cavity wall insulation - but I don't have cavity walls... oh well you can't get a grant for your roof... unless you are on the dole, in which case you can get all the grants you like.....
a grant for 'biomass' because they are automated, but no grants for super efficient wood-burning stoves because they are not as efficient.... but biomass relies on there being a continuous electricity supply, we frequently have power cuts.....plus biomass boilers are about 10 times the cost.... and size... and then you have to buy pellets (which are manufactured and then transported) instead of a tree cut down in my neighbours garden
I have stood and argued with them at housebuilding shows.... more than once...


but.....they recently changed the criteria for being awarded a grant and an interest free, long term loan (in Scotland) so if that works out it will be better that nowt.
The guy has just been and he couldn't give us much information.... because I already knew most of it....the service isn't designed for the likes of me...
Anyway, we are able to apply for a loan... I said we are in a bit of a hurry, can he rush it through - he told me it shouldn't take more than a few weeks to send us the form, then we send it back for processing... we should hear within 8 weeks if we are accepted.... what a load of crapola.... effing bureaucracy. Even a bank can tell you in half an hour or so... :banghead:

[/rant]

Anyway......

Thanks for the tips, I'll look into them :mrgreen:
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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189597 herbalholly
Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:37 am

The pieces of paper and contact with people in pin stripes is so aggravating. Especially as you're capable, ready to go and not the usual kind of muppet that these people see day to day . It must be driving you mad to have to wait around for the right stamp on the right piece of paper. I know it's driven me nuts in the past.
Are you taking lots of photos? You know you'll love looking back on how it's changed and the struggle and chaos will be all the more rewarding when you can see how wonderful the finished house is and how much work you've done.

It's grim living in rubble, I have almost always done it as my parents used to buy a house that was near collapse or semi burnt down or whatever and then we'd live there til it was done and pretty - and then we'd move to a new building site. It's grim now that I'm doing it to my own house but I didn't mind as a kid as there was always a little part of the home that Mum would make nice and cosy and madness-free. To me at the time it was an adventure and that's how I try to see it now in my place - even though there's always piles of tools and bags/piles of wall/rubble/plumbing fittings in every corner of the house. If it's too grim in the house I do some digging in the garden til I feel up to sweeping up rubble inside again.

I guess what I'm getting at is the same as everyone has said - hang on in there.

I can't answer any of your questions except that I got my front door from a local recycling centre where they had about 200 all lined up. I got a nice internal one with old stained glass in as well from the same place...is there one near you?

Best of luck.

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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189608 becks77
Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:18 am

Sorry can't answer the ques but the sun is shining and you're getting there, best of luck :thumbright:
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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189642 Annpan
Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:44 am

Thanks for the support guys :)
We have to get to a reclamation yard over the weekend I think, all sorts of lovely ideas now....

We are getting there, we have some issues with the existing roof tying in with the extension at the moment, a toublesome task.

Our builder put up the walls in our new bedroom where he 'thought' they should be...... not only was the room too small to fit a double bed into, but both the en-suite and family bathroom were then only accessible from our new bedroom (not the hall) :scratch: - I had to be a proper grown up and tell him off... so that all needs re-planned and re-built. :roll:

But yes, we are getting there.

Tomorrow the kitchen should be just about finished, apart from the floor, which we still don't have....

Herbal Holly: That is reassuring to hear that as a kid you didn't mind the work, I try to make life as normal as possible for E - I am sure she thinks nothing of the bathroom being in the kitchen or us going up ladders to bed at night.... it is all a big adventure for her :flower: Oh, and when it is done, she say's she is going to paint it all pink :cheers:

As for photos - I am taking hundreds of them.... some of the best go on my flickr account http://www.flickr.com/photos/snowdropsanddaisies/ if anyone wants a nosey :)
Ann Pan

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some days you're the lamp-post"

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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189645 pumpy
Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:32 am

sorry Ann, can't help with queries, apart from shower; if you go for the hot/cold-mix variety don't forget to make allowances for a booster pump. Hope all is going well....... Andrew :icon_smile:
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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189681 Annpan
Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:20 am

Thanks pumpy, we are getting a thermal store type tank - so the hot water comes through at mains pressure. = no need for pumps also means that we are not reliant on an electricity feed to have showers, which is both eco-tastic and handy if you have frequent power cuts. :mrgreen:
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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189700 homegrown
Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:53 am

Hi Annpan

As a former Solar systems sales person I can only pass what I knew two years ago, but I doubt that the tech has changed much. Flat plates are usually made with tempered glass which makes then extroadinarily resistant to hail, cricket balls and such like if you have boys might be a good idea, however they do have one major problem they bleed heat under strong cold wind conditions so if you live in that environment I would advise against. Tubes are far more efficient under cold wind conditions but are more fragile although they can be swapped out easy if broken and are usually not very dear. calpak is quite a good brand and I know there is british installer, he may be able to advise on a local installer in your area. also in cold areas a closed loop pumped forced system with food-based glycol is better as you do not have to drain the tubes during frost periods so can use year round.

Hope this helps

this is the website address for Calpak uk www.calpak.co.uk


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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189729 Thomzo
Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:24 pm

Have you tried ebay for your stove? I had a quick look last night and there are a surprising number of Rayburns on there (and probably other brands as well). A colleague has just bought one and is really pleased with it.

Otherwise Google 'second-hand rayburns' as there are a couple of brokers out there (I was only looking at Rayburns as you can tell).

I've had two second hand ones and they were both absolutely fine. There's very little to go wrong the solid fuel ones and what does can be very easily fixed.

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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #189771 Silver Ether
Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:03 am

phew ... well done you guys ... Our renovations were no where near that leval ... and they were bad enough ... and most of it was done pre kids ...

Stable doors are great for letting air in and knowing the kids cant get out .. :icon_smile:
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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #190950 Annpan
Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:39 pm

Just thought I'd pop up a wee update while I stand (for the chairs are all packed and the floor is filthy) here in my livingroom waiting to be taken back to the in-laws for the 10th night running... we were supposed to stay there for a week... at the moment we have no water, drainage or windows so I don't see us moving home any time soon.

A week ago we were told it would take 1 day for the new stairs to go in - they arrived on Thursday..... they are still sitting in a pile on the Living room floor - our only access to upstairs is with ladders.... which isn't so bad really, because the joiner has cut out about half of the original floor joists and floorboards to put the new stairs up....

Meanwhile, they keep trying to build walls in the wrong places upstairs.... occasionally the joiner decides to become an architect or an interior design guru instead of a builder "You'll have your bed against this wall, so I put the doorway here" he says.... "I think not" says I... and shakes plans at him....

We spent years working out what we wanted from our 'extension' researching it and designing it around ourselves and our lives..... so you can see how I might get a bit frustrated when they move a wall by a foot for no good reason, other than impatience. :angryfire:


We are on day 120 of a 10 week build - I'm a bit fed up now






sorry for the rant but I guessed you guys would be the most healthy outlet (screaming at builders, plumbers, husbands or inlaws only make matters worse)


Oh... and who is coming to my house warming?
Ann Pan

"Some days you're the dog,
some days you're the lamp-post"

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Re: Me and ma hoose

Post: #191011 Annpan
Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:40 am

Thanks Suzie, the builder is being payed a set price in installments, thing is.... he only has about 15% more left to get... plus he has other jobs on. Meanwhile I am being left to project manage a bunch of random workers that simply don't know what is happening.

At the start of another day now.... the structural engineer is on his way, but I have no builders here to take his instructions....



and breathe......
Ann Pan

"Some days you're the dog,
some days you're the lamp-post"

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