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Member since May 2008 • Last active Apr 2020

Most recent activity

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    We'll need to slowly build it up again for Maurice: 30 seconds outside of the door each day, trip to the corner shop each day, 30mins, 1hr, 2hrs, 4hrs.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    I've built a huge concrete dining table (same method as counter tops). It's a pain to seal it as it needs some prep and then plenty of coats of wax (3+).

    You get marks from heat (to the wax), or wine spillages (through the wax). If you sponge up spills quickly then it's meant to be ok. We've embraced the marked/spilt/spoilt look and it's great but I'd think twice about the same approach for the floor. Perhaps concrete floor sealants are much, much better however?

    We used a cheap bulk buy of Brazilian slate tiles with black grouting for our whole ground floor... similarly: hides the dirt, easy to clean and a nice contrast to comfy rug 'zones'.

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    Are your Deda Piega £5 bars still available?

  • in Current Projects
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    What's the construction for the rest of the house? We had some odd details to work through, but the timber frame people we used were very good at working out the most cost effective (and air tight) solution... thermally breaking everything can be more difficult than ensuring a good seal.

    Yeah, we get all our hot water from the SunAmp PV unit which is usually all we need, we sell some PV back to the grid in Summer and we top it up in Winter on an overnight tariff. We went with an unconventional DHW solution to minimise any standing losses from a thermal store (as our main risk was over-heating in Summer, not being too cold in Winter). It's well worth looking into PV-powered battery technology (for DHW)... it's a great, simple solution that isn't well understood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3_VgxsO­xoE

    I'll have to dig out some more exterior/build shots, but the gable end (with in/out vents) and interior is here:

  • in Current Projects
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    What do you need to know? There's no reason to pay for actual PassiveHaus status (an expensive plaque that won't increase the performance/value of your home), but we've 'achieved' the standard with a new build in Devon (~100 sqm 3 bed, so actually no mean feat given the space-to-walls ratio).

    MVHR, vents, design, fitting and setup was ~£10k
    Ultra high-spec windows/doors/skylights were ~£12k
    PV array and SunAmp PV Unit (DHW) was ~£7k
    PassiveSlab foundation was ~£1k (excludes £4k piles cost)
    Timber frame (installed to 0.6 airtightness or better) for ~52k

    Cost savings that helped to offset the above:
    No boiler
    No thermal store
    Bare minimum for plumbing
    Almost no heating (3 small electric towel rails)

    Very quiet
    Very fresh air (always)
    Much lower bills (~10% of the average)
    Much better for the environment
    Cooler in summer
    Warmer in winter

    I met with a few RetroFit companies when looking for a PH timber frame supplier, the retrofit stuff seems more complicated, but it's certainly possible.

    Being able to plan/design/manage the freshness/humidity/temperature of your home is amazing. So many great (glazed) architectural builds feel somewhat stuffy by comparison!

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    Did it start with runners running away as this is the usual trigger (excited chasing)? Maurice was awful at this when he was a puppy and used to bark/scare plenty of runners. He then barked at runners coming towards us too (we assumed by association)?

    We did two things: replaced his chasing excitement with something more entertaining than joggers (an Aerobie that flew/flies for miles). We also then got him to sit down when another jogger was coming towards us (before he got excited) and he just had to wait whilst focussing on a treat. Once the jogger went by he got his treat (if he didn't bark) and we went on our way.

    After a few weeks of this he no longer noticed joggers.

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    It's about weighing up reaching full growth (testosterone) and having certain breeds avoid too much anxiety (testosterone) against the marginal added complication of doing the surgery on 'older' dogs.

    We were going to go with 12 months as Maurice is quite an anxious breed, this then became 18 months due to some other issues (clashing with vaccinations and surgery for a split ear).

    Wish we hadn't bothered at all, but he's a rescue so we were contractually obliged.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    My partner got her bag stolen, including phone, gah.

    She was using an Oppo AX7 and seemed to like it (although the screen was so-so and the camera was bad).

    What's a good replacement at around £200?

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    It's better, but I wish they'd abandon reflective symmetry when using roman numerals and come up with something that looks perfectly balanced instead: creative use of a sub-dial/date/logo/etc.

    The design approach is always: make them skinnier, no skinnier still, a little more, that's it: Imperfect!

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Roman numerals, yuk. The 8 looks especially bad (as always).