The team are working hard on finalising the pack of documents so the Builder (more on this later) can pull together their costed proposal. Our part in this has been finalising our choices on the different finishes we want – floors, ceiling and so on which feels very surreal given we have yet to dig any (proper) holes. It will however smooth the build process if this can all be agreed up-front.
In the course of all this, the architects suggested we take a look at an environmentally friendly, mineral paint for our walls. This then led us to getting distracted for days in the fascinating and confusing world of colour.
A wise friend told us that building a house is a seemingly never ending series of hurdles but eventually there be none left and the house is finished. This week’s unexpected hurdle has been fire safety. Apparently the fire brigade have minimum requirements for access to domestic houses and needless to say we appear to fall short against these. However there is a solution … install sprinklers!
Lots going on at the moment as we try and work out which builder to go with, balancing (expected) cost, experience, availability and a host of other considerations. Not really appropriate to write about all this yet so instead here is why we are going to be spending a fortune on miles of magic tape.
One of the key requirements of a PassivHaus or in our case something built to the EnerPHit standard, is air tightness. To achieve the thermal efficiency required, we need to be obsessive about cutting out any air leakage and with it our precious heat. Once you’ve sealed your house up and made it air tight you then need a plan to prevent the air going stale, oh and for making sure the occupants can still breathe.
The house project rollercoaster continues with great leaps of progress in some areas (design) while elsewhere we appear at times to be no further forward (amendments to our planning permission). Lockdown 2.0 has at least given us some enforced ‘stay at home’ time which we have put to good use reviewing the huge amounts of detail that is being produced and assembled by the team.
Lots going on and we are well behind on the blog, blame the Kendal Mountain Film Festival, so there is much to catch up on. Last weekend we spent a productive morning working out how we wanted the kitchen to work and also discovered our secret weapon – Plywood!
One of the many things we have to work out is how to insulate the ground floor. The Architects Matt and Elly, are helping unpick the mysteries of what you usually take for granted since it’s buried in the ground. It’s all a balance between making sure the building doesn’t sink, cost, achieving un-interrupted insulation, minimal thermal bridges, and it turns out dealing with radioactive gas.