Jump to content


ebuild is sad to announce its closure - it has become too time and resource intensive to develop, manage and maintain.

However, ebuild will remain on-line in archive mode (ie no posting facilties) for several weeks so that users can use it as an information resource.

Best 5 Things You Like About Your House?


  • Please log in to reply
60 replies to this topic

#21 mike2016

mike2016

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 08 April 2016 - 03:16 PM

You mean give a list of 10 options and ask people to pick the most important 5 in order or something like that?

#22 jsharris

jsharris

    Please ignore all posts by me, some are erroneous

  • Member Blogger
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 11,461 posts
  • LocationWiltshire/Dorset border

Posted 08 April 2016 - 03:19 PM

It's important to make a clear distinction here. A passive house (no capitals, no certification, etc) is easy to build, needn't cost any more than a rubbish, just meets building regs house and need have no energy costs at all (ours generates an income from excess power generation, and is negative energy and CO2 for example).

A Passiv Haus is a certified house built to a particular standard owned and regulated by the Passiv Haus Institut. The misuse of the Passiv Haus term tends to cause ructions with the PHI from time to time, so anyone building a low energy house that is not going to be certified by the PHI really needs to make sure they don't capitalise the English translation or use the German registered name.

There's no definition of a passive house, but I would describe any house that equalled or exceeded the standards set by the PHI for a Passiv Haus could rightly be called a passive house (no capitals!). My main concern with Passiv Haus certification is the high cost associated with assessment and the use of PHI certified components. It can easily cost several thousand pounds more to gain PHI certification, for no useful benefit in terms of any improvement in house running cost.

The letter box thing is over-stated and trivial, if you want one on a passive house (or a certified Passive House) then fit one, just make sure it's insulated and sealed, not a significant problem to solve. With our all-glazed front gable and front door we couldn't have fitted a letter box anyway. In the rural area here many houses have post boxes at their gate, it's been normal for decades. I lived on a farm (mother still runs one) and the post was delivered 1/4 mile away, to a box down by the lane by the old churn stand, as the postman wouldn't come up the track and through the farmyard to deliver post to the house, and never had.

Things I like about our new build are:


1. It's very quiet inside the house

2. There are no energy bills at all

3. The temperature is pretty constant all the time

4. It didn't cost any more than a rubbish new house of the same size in the same area

5. It fits our requirements perfectly, as we designed to do so. Every other house we've lived in has been a compromise, with rooms that were used as thoroughfares, under-sized bedrooms and bathrooms, lack of storage space; I could go on and on about the things that have irritated us with houses over the years.

#23 joe90

joe90

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 847 posts

Posted 08 April 2016 - 05:46 PM

*
POPULAR

I like nothing about my house ( apart from the fact it's somewhere to live while I get on with building the house I want) which will be warm, cosy, cheap to run, a delight to live in and have lots of space outside and a good sized garage workshop.

#24 daiking

daiking

    Advanced Member

  • Member Blogger
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,300 posts
  • LocationSouth Manchester

Posted 08 April 2016 - 07:00 PM

*
POPULAR

Nothing.

I'd burn it down if I didn't owe so much money on it.

#25 gravelld

gravelld

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 655 posts

Posted 08 April 2016 - 07:07 PM

View PostDavidofMersea, on 08 April 2016 - 02:29 PM, said:



A passive house is great engineering achievement, but apart from bragging rights, does it really make sense?
Assuming you mean that with a lower case P and H then yes. I think there's a strong argument that all houses should be built to that level of performance.

WRT diminishing returns, that's physics for you.

#26 joiner

joiner

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 10,718 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands

Posted 09 April 2016 - 05:43 AM

Dai... :D :D :D :rolleyes:

#27 tony51

tony51

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 774 posts

Posted 09 April 2016 - 07:27 AM

View Posttemp, on 08 April 2016 - 10:07 AM, said:

1. Rural village location
2. Nice brickwork detailing/arched windows
3. MVHR
4. Solid B&B first floor
5. UFH and WBS

Attachment Front.jpg

Are you familiar with Lutyen's Deanery Gardens at Sonning in Berkshire?

That recessed-arched entrance door and the double-height window on the left of the door reminded me immediately of Lutyens' work there.

Very attractive house, if I may say.

Edited by tony51, 09 April 2016 - 07:28 AM.


#28 Barney12

Barney12

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 393 posts

Posted 09 April 2016 - 07:44 AM

As this is the self build forum I think the topic would be better re-written as:

"The best 5 things I think I'll like about my house"

#29 SteamyTea

SteamyTea

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4,322 posts
  • LocationCornwall

Posted 09 April 2016 - 09:12 AM

'Then I woke up'
:D

#30 Nos

Nos

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 118 posts

Posted 09 April 2016 - 09:42 AM

My five points are
1 Its location, edge of a 10 acre field across the lane is a national park, so surrounded by forests.

2 Its self built, so have put in a sunken lounge, building a reclaimed brick wall "Lancashire bricks" to look like a mill wall

3 No mortgage, lived in a caravan for nine years, still do, but its in the house now.

4 Agree about the hall, so have been able to build to our taste, will not be to everyone's

5 Built to a high spec, so low running costs.

Nos

#31 jsharris

jsharris

    Please ignore all posts by me, some are erroneous

  • Member Blogger
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 11,461 posts
  • LocationWiltshire/Dorset border

Posted 09 April 2016 - 10:13 AM

A wide entrance hall is definitely a nice thing to have, in my view. Ours is 2m wide, 5m long and 6.6m high at the highest point, with the whole of the entrance gable glazed, so it's flooded with light. It does make a fairly small house seem a lot more spacious, and definitely makes for an impressive entrance.

Edited by jsharris, 09 April 2016 - 10:14 AM.


#32 DavidofMersea

DavidofMersea

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • LocationWest Mersea

Posted 09 April 2016 - 10:35 AM

View PostCrofter, on 08 April 2016 - 02:32 PM, said:

I think it can make sense from the point of view that you do not have to install a heating system, which can greatly offset the higher costs of better windows and thicker insulation.
The letterbox issue is interesting. The letterbox sits there leaking air 24/7 so whether or not it makes sense may well come down to how much post you get!

I think you underestimate the extent of "the higher costs of better windows and thicker insulation" to gain passive house status. An almost passive house costs a lot less, it is the last bit of insulation that is not cost effective. A good letter box should not leak air

#33 joiner

joiner

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 10,718 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands

Posted 09 April 2016 - 11:06 AM

David, Jeremy has already made the point...

"The letter box thing is over-stated and trivial, if you want one on a passive house (or a certified Passive House) then fit one, just make sure it's insulated and sealed, not a significant problem to solve."

^_^

#34 jsharris

jsharris

    Please ignore all posts by me, some are erroneous

  • Member Blogger
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 11,461 posts
  • LocationWiltshire/Dorset border

Posted 09 April 2016 - 11:25 AM

View PostDavidofMersea, on 09 April 2016 - 10:35 AM, said:

I think you underestimate the extent of "the higher costs of better windows and thicker insulation" to gain passive house status. An almost passive house costs a lot less, it is the last bit of insulation that is not cost effective. A good letter box should not leak air

I can assure you I have not. I've built a house that exceeds the Passiv Haus Instut standard, so is "better" than a certified Passiv Haus in terms of energy usage. It cost (as agreed with an architect) around 10% less than a similar size house in the same location, but built to just meet building regs standards.

Your statement "it is the last bit of insulation that is not cost effective" is incorrect, and based on the false assumption that high cost insulation is needed, when the reality is that it isn't, and that the insulation of the main building fabric isn't usually the design driver for a passive house, anyway. The two factors that dominate for many such houses are ventilation heat loss and heat loss through doors and windows.

As already pointed out, I had made the point about the letterbox issue being trivial earlier in this thread.

I like the fact that we had an electricity bill for the Jan-Mar quarter last week for £89 something and in the same post a cheque from the same electricity company for £112 something for the electricity we'd generated and exported to the grid. The house is all-electric and the heating system is on 24/7, as it uses so little electricity that it isn't worth the effort of turning it off. A house that costs no more to build than any other, but has no bills other than the Council Tax, makes for an attractive retirement home in my view.

Edited by jsharris, 09 April 2016 - 12:03 PM.


#35 DavidofMersea

DavidofMersea

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • LocationWest Mersea

Posted 09 April 2016 - 12:25 PM

View Postjsharris, on 09 April 2016 - 11:25 AM, said:

I can assure you I have not. I've built a house that exceeds the Passiv Haus Instut standard, so is "better" than a certified Passiv Haus in terms of energy usage. It cost (as agreed with an architect) around 10% less than a similar size house in the same location, but built to just meet building regs standards.

Your statement "it is the last bit of insulation that is not cost effective" is incorrect, and based on the false assumption that high cost insulation is needed, when the reality is that it isn't, and that the insulation of the main building fabric isn't usually the design driver for a passive house, anyway. The two factors that dominate for many such houses are ventilation heat loss and heat loss through doors and windows.

As already pointed out, I had made the point about the letterbox issue being trivial earlier in this thread.

I like the fact that we had an electricity bill for the Jan-Mar quarter last week for £89 something and in the same post a cheque from the same electricity company for £112 something for the electricity we'd generated and exported to the grid. The house is all-electric and the heating system is on 24/7, as it uses so little electricity that it isn't worth the effort of turning it off. A house that costs no more to build than any other, but has no bills other than the Council Tax, makes for an attractive retirement home in my view.

Thanks for that. It is good to have info from somebody that has experience of doing it, rather than somebody like me who has so far only read about it, although I don't understand how "It cost around 10% less than a similar size house built to just meet building regs standards".

#36 Crofter

Crofter

    Regular Member

  • Member Blogger
  • PipPipPip
  • 592 posts

Posted 09 April 2016 - 12:30 PM

View PostDavidofMersea, on 09 April 2016 - 10:35 AM, said:

I think you underestimate the extent of "the higher costs of better windows and thicker insulation" to gain passive house status. An almost passive house costs a lot less, it is the last bit of insulation that is not cost effective. A good letter box should not leak air

Could you clarify please whether you mean PassivHaus Status or passive house performance as they have different meanings. If you mean the former, then I would agree that it is not necessarily worth it.

#37 Crofter

Crofter

    Regular Member

  • Member Blogger
  • PipPipPip
  • 592 posts

Posted 09 April 2016 - 12:39 PM

View PostDavidofMersea, on 09 April 2016 - 12:25 PM, said:

Thanks for that. It is good to have info from somebody that has experience of doing it, rather than somebody like me who has so far only read about it, although I don't understand how "It cost around 10% less than a similar size house built to just meet building regs standards".

This is all getting a bit off topic for this thread, but, in brief:
- from the outset, design the house for good thermal performance. This means reducing the volume/surface area ratio and usually means some reduction in glazing. These measure will actually reduce your build costs.
- have an airtightness strategy that is a bit more sophisticated than 'squirt foam behind each lightswitch'. This doesn't have to cost anything, and may save money in labour because you don't have to go around patching up holes.
- spend a little extra on better windows and insulation. We're talking a couple of thousand quid on the average project.
- downgrade or eliminate the central heating system. This can save you much more money than you put into your windows and insulation.

#38 DavidofMersea

DavidofMersea

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • LocationWest Mersea

Posted 09 April 2016 - 12:41 PM

View PostCrofter, on 09 April 2016 - 12:30 PM, said:

Could you clarify please whether you mean PassivHaus Status or passive house performance as they have different meanings. If you mean the former, then I would agree that it is not necessarily worth it.

There is a body that measures the air tight performance of your house, and gives you a certificate if they find it is above a certain standard, that is what I was referring to when I said Passive House Status

#39 DavidofMersea

DavidofMersea

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • LocationWest Mersea

Posted 09 April 2016 - 12:45 PM

View PostCrofter, on 09 April 2016 - 12:39 PM, said:

design the house for good thermal performance. This means reducing the volume/surface area ratio and usually means some reduction in glazing. These measure will actually reduce your build costs.


Of course you can make your house smaller and have fewer and smaller windows and doors, but that is not a sensible comparison with other houses and air tightness

Edited by DavidofMersea, 09 April 2016 - 12:46 PM.


#40 Onoff

Onoff

    My pressures!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,354 posts

Posted 09 April 2016 - 12:52 PM

Erm.....money pit on all fronts! :lol:

1) Location - nights are best as with the lights off I can't see all the problems
2) The space - even though it's on 3 (was 4) different levels
3) No immediate neighbours
4) The wildlife - who else has sat with the kids and had SEVEN foxes less than 10' away during the day
5) The POTENTIAL!

I'm with daiking!

Can we do "things I DON'T like" - it'd be my longest post EVER!

Edited by Onoff, 09 April 2016 - 12:57 PM.