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Another From The North Of Ireland (and a hell of a lot more information and self-build chat.)


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#21 jsharris

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 01:54 PM

You don't have to have the Breathing Window, we didn't and it knocked £2k off the build price (our's was originally priced inc two of the BW units). The standard build only has UFH pipes on 200mm centres in the ground floor slab.

Nick's right about heating. I went over to our build about 09:30 yesterday morning. It was -4 deg C outside, the house has no heating yet and the upstairs windows are all slightly open to help the paint dry. The decorator was working with two 400W halogen worklights and the house was pretty much at a nice comfortable temperature to work without a jacket or pullover.

#22 DeeJunFan

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 08:56 PM

That's great. Are you going for an alternative MHRV system?

On the block build front I am looking at 100mm centres on the first and ground floor. Having 200mm centres on only the ground would be quite a saving.

What heating system are you going with?

Thanks for the pointers here our build could be totally changed in a matter of days.

Thanks again.
Damian

View Postjsharris, on 02 March 2014 - 01:54 PM, said:

You don't have to have the Breathing Window, we didn't and it knocked £2k off the build price (our's was originally priced inc two of the BW units). The standard build only has UFH pipes on 200mm centres in the ground floor slab.

Nick's right about heating. I went over to our build about 09:30 yesterday morning. It was -4 deg C outside, the house has no heating yet and the upstairs windows are all slightly open to help the paint dry. The decorator was working with two 400W halogen worklights and the house was pretty much at a nice comfortable temperature to work without a jacket or pullover.


#23 jsharris

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 09:42 PM

I've posted details of our heating and hot water system here before (see here: http://www.ebuild.co...-system-design/ ) We've pushed the boat out (after the heatwave last summer!) and gone for an expensive active Genvex Premium 1L MVHR, that has an integral air to air heat pump. We didn't need to go for something like this, but could have opted for a much cheaper unit, probably at around £600 or so, but ducting is expensive (over £1500 for our house).

Edited by jsharris, 02 March 2014 - 09:48 PM.


#24 DeeJunFan

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 03:57 PM

Hi,

Just had a few questions regarding your post.

I am now looking at block and timber frame build so had a few questions about the issues you raised.

As you mentioned the sand/cement plaster is the air-tightness layer and any holes can compromise this. Would the detail of filling any holes with something like CT1 sealer before filling rawl plugs and fixings making the hole air-tight again.

Also what products or techniques are used for making sockets etc airtight?

Thanks
Damian

View Postslidersx200, on 28 February 2014 - 05:59 PM, said:

Definitely worth asking for a quote from Viking House/MBC as you can then package the structure including foundation, insulation and the brunt of the air tightness detail to one firm who not only know what they are doing, but why they are doing it.

Advanced Timber Craft in Templepatrick have a very versatile way of creating their frames and again appreciate the importance of getting the detailing right. We viewed their show home on Monday evening and so far have found them both accommodating and professional.

You can get a cavity wall to perform well, but the air tightness and thermal bridging details take much more consideration to ensure they can be implemented well on site and you need to appreciate that unless you install additional measures, the plaster coat is your air tightness layer and vapour barrier so anything that breaches it, from a hole for a rawl plug to a socket is a potential compromise to its effectiveness at both jobs.

In most timber frames you create a service void inside the air tightness layer that allows you to run cables and small diameter plumbing without a second thought and can be insulated too by using the right materials. Another benefit with timber framing is that they tend to have a better U value for a given wall thickness.

The cavity wall build up we are pricing includes 100mm block outer leaf, 200mm full filled cavity with GRP or basalt wall ties and a 150mm lightweight concrete block inner leaf. You would get a better U value by replacing the inner leaf with Quinn Lite blocks, but in my view they lack mechanical fixing strength and not everyone finds them easy to lay or plaster. You can now get a gypsum product called hard coat that is supposed to be vastly improved in terms of getting plaster to stay on them and also improves the U value compared to sand/cement, but you can reword that as expensive.


#25 slidersx200

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:38 PM

Hi Damien

You could use a sealant such as CT1 for small penetrations such as screw holes, others who have actually built their house may come along with alternative suggestions. The technique I was advised to use for sockets and anywhere chased out of the block work was to line the opening with tile grout before installing whatever will live in it. The end of any conduit passing through the airtightness layer should also be filled with a sealant. Time consuming, but not impossible provided you do it yourself or are sure anyone on site you delegate to is on the right page and trustworthy.

You should search for Denby Dale passive house for lots of information on how a certified cavity wall Passive house was built if you haven't already seen it.

Edited by slidersx200, 03 March 2014 - 10:07 PM.


#26 slidersx200

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:46 PM

View PostAlphonsox, on 01 March 2014 - 05:09 PM, said:

Thanks for the info - I will definitely pay them a visit next time I am in the area.
Did you get any feel on cost from them ?

I haven't been able to send our updated drawings yet for them to give me a price, but they didn't collapse when I hinted at a ballpark figure I thought was appropriate lol! I imagine if the price for the spec I'm looking for is too much, some layers can be substituted for cheaper alternatives to tweak the price.

Cost is only one criteria though and as the saying goes, quality is remembered long after price is forgotten:-)

#27 jsharris

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:47 PM

If it were me, then I'd remove the risk of penetrating the airtightness layer completely. One way (probably the best way) to do this is to fit the vapour check/airtightness membrane to the inside of the blockwork and then fasten 2 x 2 counter battens through it to the wall (with sealant behind each) to give a service void for cables, boxes etc. You can then plasterboard out to the counterbattens and be assured that there is very little risk of anyone accidentally going through the airtight layer. It also makes first fix quicker, too, and removes the need to seal around boxes, cables, conduit etc.

#28 slidersx200

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 07:00 PM

That is indeed a valid alternative and one in our pot of ideas under consideration, but it increases the wall thickness(not necessarily a bad thing, but a consideration for rooms with fitted furniture such as the kitchen at least) and as you have a void between the plasterboard and block work, you lose the sense of solidity that often motivates people to choose block work over timber frame. My personal opinion on the latter is that unless you spend a lot of your time tapping walls, there is no conceivable difference once the decorating is complete.

For a while I was considering surface mounting the sockets and using round metal conduit to conceal the wiring, but my wife corrected my opinion accordingly;-)

#29 Nickfromwales

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 09:49 PM

If its solidity your pining for then just fix 15mm ply to the walls that need it, prior to plaster boarding. Reduce the size of the service void battening accordingly on those walls to not further infringe on the room sizes. :-)
Do this in the Kitchen, bathroom, study etc, or any where you may want to hang anything heavy or make repeated fixings ( like for shelving ).
Once the paints dry, you'll soon forget you haven't got a block build, and revel in the additional gain in u-value and reduced heating costs.

All of this will be a complete waste of time if your trades aren't educated to the disciplines of this type of build. Make sure every person who arrives on site has a freindly 'induction', and is made aware that their actions could seriously compromise the build if not carried out correctly.
Regards, nick.

#30 DeeJunFan

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 06:55 PM

Was trying to find price details for your MHRV unit.

Could you let me know how much you got yours for?

Thanks

View Postjsharris, on 02 March 2014 - 09:42 PM, said:

I've posted details of our heating and hot water system here before (see here: http://www.ebuild.co...-system-design/ ) We've pushed the boat out (after the heatwave last summer!) and gone for an expensive active Genvex Premium 1L MVHR, that has an integral air to air heat pump. We didn't need to go for something like this, but could have opted for a much cheaper unit, probably at around £600 or so, but ducting is expensive (over £1500 for our house).


#31 jsharris

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:23 PM

View PostDeeJunFan, on 04 March 2014 - 06:55 PM, said:

Was trying to find price details for your MHRV unit.

Could you let me know how much you got yours for?

Thanks

It's a Genvex Premium 1L, which, if you buy it from the UK distributor, will set you back an eye watering £7,900 or so, plus shipping, but including 20% VAT (which can be reclaimed).

If you buy exactly the same unit, with the same warranty, from a distributor in Denmark then the price, including 25% Danish VAT and international shipping, is about £5200. You can still reclaim the 25% Danish VAT.

It's expensive, but this unit can add enough heat to heat our house in mid-winter if need be (although we don't intend to use it in this mode) and can also cool the incoming fresh air in summer to keep the house at around 20 deg C when it's over 35 deg outside. I suspect we will use it in cooling mode when it's really hot, as then all the power that it uses will be coming from our PV array, meaning that cooling will be at no cost.

#32 DeeJunFan

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 09:50 AM

Thats some pretty good shopping around.

I have been quoted 5K for a standard MVHR unit fitted and commissioned (ducting included). Efficiency of the unit is very good but no heat pump.

Waiting to hear back from Seamus about a quote. Do you know what are the exterior finishing options with the timber frame system. Do you require a block outer skin?

Thanks

View Postjsharris, on 04 March 2014 - 08:23 PM, said:

It's a Genvex Premium 1L, which, if you buy it from the UK distributor, will set you back an eye watering £7,900 or so, plus shipping, but including 20% VAT (which can be reclaimed).

If you buy exactly the same unit, with the same warranty, from a distributor in Denmark then the price, including 25% Danish VAT and international shipping, is about £5200. You can still reclaim the 25% Danish VAT.

It's expensive, but this unit can add enough heat to heat our house in mid-winter if need be (although we don't intend to use it in this mode) and can also cool the incoming fresh air in summer to keep the house at around 20 deg C when it's over 35 deg outside. I suspect we will use it in cooling mode when it's really hot, as then all the power that it uses will be coming from our PV array, meaning that cooling will be at no cost.


#33 jsharris

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:07 AM

I've found you really do need to shop around and question UK suppliers on things like heat pumps and MVHR, as most seem to be charging a massive premium over the sort of prices charged elsewhere in Europe, where such technology has been commonplace for years.

For example, we were going to fit a conventional MVHR system. We were quoted around £5k for the system, including ducting and installation. When I shopped around I found that I could buy the ducting for £1400 (retail), the MVHR unit for £800 and do the install myself. This company was charging £1500 for installation. It took me (working on my own) 2 days to install all the ducting and terminals in the house (I could have done it in less than a day if I'd had a labourer available to help push/pull the ducting through the floor joists). The installation of the MVHR unit itself won't take more than 1/2 a day at most, as all I need to do is move it into the right location and connect up the ducts, drains and wiring (which is already in place). I could have had installed the same MVHR system that I was quoted £5k for, for around £2700 if I had paid a chap £160 a day for his labour to fit the ducting and unit and purchased the parts myself. Knocking off the £400 for 2 1/2 days labour, as I did it myself, the basic system would have cost me around £2300 installed. One has to ask quite how the company could justify charging nearly double for supplying and fitting this system, especially as they could almost certainly pay lower prices for the unit and the ducting than I would have.

You can finish a timber frame in pretty much anyway you want. You can add a block or brick outer skin if you wish (although that does make the walls a bit thicker than they need to be), you can finish the outside in render board and render it, or clad the render board with brick or stone slips to look like brick or stone, or you can do as we did and clad it in timber, either the rustic waney edge look that we've gone for or something more contemporary. A good timber skin will last 50 to 60 years before needing replacement, perhaps longer if you go for something like oak or good quality cedar (although good quality cedar is getting hard to find). The outer skin doesn't do anything structurally, and doesn't add any significant thermal benefit usually, so it's up to you and your planners as to what to do, really.

Edited by jsharris, 05 March 2014 - 10:09 AM.


#34 DeeJunFan

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:26 AM

I am finding the pricing structure for most things is crazy. I got a price for and Air Source Heat pump from Southern Ireland around 5K (euro) and for the same pump in NI i was quoted 6.5K (sterling). Seems like the suppliers are adding the RHI Grants etc to the top line prices knowing people will be forced to deal with MCS registered installers if they want the RHI payments.

Dont think the planners would allow timber cladding. I have a section of stone on my plans so i will have around 85% render and 15% stone. There are some very nice stick on type stones that would be usable but hadn't really considered them as i was set for a block build.



View Postjsharris, on 05 March 2014 - 10:07 AM, said:

I've found you really do need to shop around and question UK suppliers on things like heat pumps and MVHR, as most seem to be charging a massive premium over the sort of prices charged elsewhere in Europe, where such technology has been commonplace for years.

For example, we were going to fit a conventional MVHR system. We were quoted around £5k for the system, including ducting and installation. When I shopped around I found that I could buy the ducting for £1400 (retail), the MVHR unit for £800 and do the install myself. This company was charging £1500 for installation. It took me (working on my own) 2 days to install all the ducting and terminals in the house (I could have done it in less than a day if I'd had a labourer available to help push/pull the ducting through the floor joists). The installation of the MVHR unit itself won't take more than 1/2 a day at most, as all I need to do is move it into the right location and connect up the ducts, drains and wiring (which is already in place). I could have had installed the same MVHR system that I was quoted £5k for, for around £2700 if I had paid a chap £160 a day for his labour to fit the ducting and unit and purchased the parts myself. Knocking off the £400 for 2 1/2 days labour, as I did it myself, the basic system would have cost me around £2300 installed. One has to ask quite how the company could justify charging nearly double for supplying and fitting this system, especially as they could almost certainly pay lower prices for the unit and the ducting than I would have.

You can finish a timber frame in pretty much anyway you want. You can add a block or brick outer skin if you wish (although that does make the walls a bit thicker than they need to be), you can finish the outside in render board and render it, or clad the render board with brick or stone slips to look like brick or stone, or you can do as we did and clad it in timber, either the rustic waney edge look that we've gone for or something more contemporary. A good timber skin will last 50 to 60 years before needing replacement, perhaps longer if you go for something like oak or good quality cedar (although good quality cedar is getting hard to find). The outer skin doesn't do anything structurally, and doesn't add any significant thermal benefit usually, so it's up to you and your planners as to what to do, really.


#35 declan52

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 01:04 PM

I am meeting the mcmonagle rep on fri afternoon on site so will let you know the craic with it.

#36 DeeJunFan

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 01:31 PM

Good man, thanks.

Still unsure if i will be going timber or block so until i get some prices i will try and research both as much as possible.

Thanks

View Postdeclan52, on 05 March 2014 - 01:04 PM, said:

I am meeting the mcmonagle rep on fri afternoon on site so will let you know the craic with it.


#37 slidersx200

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 03:50 PM

If you go down the timber frame route and wish to face some walls with stone I would recommend checking out a product called surecav. It creates a drained cavity and a surface to build the stone against without having to build a block leaf.

It will be your castle at the end of the day and I know the desirable aesthetics of a stone building are subjective, but my personal opinion is that using a cladding not native to the local area can sometimes make the house seem at odds with its surroundings. Have the planners stipulated a particular material or do you know what the local stone is?

#38 DeeJunFan

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:18 PM

Great tip thanks for that.

The planners haven't stipulated any stone in particular. The local stone would be Mourne granite or newry granite.

There are a few places to get them so will need to get prices etc.

View Postslidersx200, on 05 March 2014 - 03:50 PM, said:

If you go down the timber frame route and wish to face some walls with stone I would recommend checking out a product called surecav. It creates a drained cavity and a surface to build the stone against without having to build a block leaf.

It will be your castle at the end of the day and I know the desirable aesthetics of a stone building are subjective, but my personal opinion is that using a cladding not native to the local area can sometimes make the house seem at odds with its surroundings. Have the planners stipulated a particular material or do you know what the local stone is?


#39 DeeJunFan

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 07:57 AM

Just wanted to see if any of the other NI folks had prices for Service Connections?

NIE
Water
Phone Line?

Just looked at the NIE website and they say you need to give 9-12 months for your application to have power hooked up. NI water have a list of charges but i don't think they are the full charges just application fees etc.

Thanks
Damian

#40 declan52

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 08:29 AM

I have sent my NI Water app off but not received word back yet. The electric pole and BT pole is in my garden so shouldnt be to much to connect.

I finally got the stone from McMonagle and got a small bit done yesterday but will be over the weekend before i have a proper go at it. Will post some pics when i get some more on.

Edited by joiner, 30 April 2014 - 09:12 AM.
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