Slow going - my double storey extension build

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Great pics, a couple of posts back you mention pressure testing the pipes with the Katsu, did you find although the pipes didn't leak water, the pressure still dropped dropped in the gauge? Just wondering whether air can leave the system but not water.

Blup
 
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Great pics, a couple of posts back you mention pressure testing the pipes with the Katsu, did you find although the pipes didn't leak water, the pressure still dropped dropped in the gauge? Just wondering whether air can leave the system but not water.

Blup

Hi Blup,

No I found the gauge stayed exactly in the same spot…but I did bleed the rads to rid the system of air. I bought a silverline gauge as all the reviews said the one on the tester was rubbish…and they were right.

Cheers
Andy
 
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Great post. Having read through all of this it is amazing at what you have accomplished so far. I am planning a similar build myself in Sept.

Is there any particular companies you used for your materials or did you just shop around and choose the cheapest. I used Jewsons build aviator to cost mine and its coming in around £80k of materials. :(
 
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Great post. Having read through all of this it is amazing at what you have accomplished so far. I am planning a similar build myself in Sept.

Is there any particular companies you used for your materials or did you just shop around and choose the cheapest. I used Jewsons build aviator to cost mine and its coming in around £80k of materials. :(

Thanks for the kind words, it’s really only been possible for us as lookdown meant a year or so of weekends with nothing else to do!

In terms of pricing things, I did use a variety of places for the main building supplies to get prices. Build base and MKM were two websites I used a lot for pricing stuff up. However, I’d go into my local merchant (Huw Gray) with a list of items and quantities and best prices I’d found, and ask them for their quote.

Pretty much every time they could better the price, or be close enough that it was just more convenient to place the order there and then with them.

I did the same with my timber order with my local timber merchant and they matched the price. Same for the roof tiles from a roofing co…although with the roofing I needed to find a place that had stock to avoid horrendous lead times.

I would only do that with bulk orders, where you’re spending 2 or 3k at a time as it gives the merchant more leeway to play with the prices.

If I needed a one-off order like a lintel I’d just go in and pay retail price!

I went to specialist places for the piling, posi joists, double glazing and roof trusses but got at least 3 quotes for each before ordering.

My mate is a full time builder and he said his default discount in Jewsons is 50% off their normal price, so I wouldn’t read much into that 80k value you got!
 
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I would love to attempt to do some of the extension myself but having 3 kids under 5 makes it near enough impossible.

50% discount!!! that makes me feel a lot better. I have tried a few websites such as travis perkins, Selco and a few other mainstream places and i have found them to be quite similarly priced as Jewsons. Will try a few local merchants and see what they can do. At the moment I have been scouring FB market place and Ebay for bits and bobs that I know I will need to try and cut costs.

Keeep up the good work. Look forward to your next update. How have your neighbors been with having a building site on there doorstep?
 
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I would love to attempt to do some of the extension myself but having 3 kids under 5 makes it near enough impossible.

50% discount!!! that makes me feel a lot better. I have tried a few websites such as travis perkins, Selco and a few other mainstream places and i have found them to be quite similarly priced as Jewsons. Will try a few local merchants and see what they can do. At the moment I have been scouring FB market place and Ebay for bits and bobs that I know I will need to try and cut costs.

Keeep up the good work. Look forward to your next update. How have your neighbors been with having a building site on there doorstep?

I did order a lot of my stuff as the lockdown was starting so mega inflation hadn’t hit at that time. I bought sheets of OSB3 for £20 a pop and at one point last year they were £49!

EBay, etc can be quite good for tools etc but materials I found to be hit and miss…especially if buying left overs or mismeasures.

The neighbours have been fine. Nice wine and chocolates at Christmas help a bit, but I think given the work is limited to weekends, and we only do sensible hours, that the prolonged work schedule has been offset by the relative peacefulness of the build compared to having a big gang of workmen in, radio blaring, etc :)
 
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@kingandy2nd Good to see your build, Great looking project by the way. @Designs.3DR I am down in Southend, Essex. Travis or Jewsons best price for me.... I also tend to look on Market place, brought a plasterboard lifter on there for 70 quid the other day. Also sold my 2 old lintels on there when I put the 2 new steels in. Saved quite a lot of money doing that and other parts myself. I think its always worth saying roughly where you live as some of us might be able to lend the odd hand with some stuff..... My project was quoted at 48k that was before the price increases. I guess I will end up about 22 or 23k total with the odd trade in.
 
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@kingandy2nd Good to see your build, Great looking project by the way. @Designs.3DR I am down in Southend, Essex. Travis or Jewsons best price for me.... I also tend to look on Market place, brought a plasterboard lifter on there for 70 quid the other day. Also sold my 2 old lintels on there when I put the 2 new steels in. Saved quite a lot of money doing that and other parts myself. I think its always worth saying roughly where you live as some of us might be able to lend the odd hand with some stuff..... My project was quoted at 48k that was before the price increases. I guess I will end up about 22 or 23k total with the odd trade in.

Thanks Glen, how are you getting on with yours mate?
 
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@kingandy2nd Good to see your build, Great looking project by the way. @Designs.3DR I am down in Southend, Essex. Travis or Jewsons best price for me.... I also tend to look on Market place, brought a plasterboard lifter on there for 70 quid the other day. Also sold my 2 old lintels on there when I put the 2 new steels in. Saved quite a lot of money doing that and other parts myself. I think its always worth saying roughly where you live as some of us might be able to lend the odd hand with some stuff..... My project was quoted at 48k that was before the price increases. I guess I will end up about 22 or 23k total with the odd trade in.

I am based in Banbury, Oxfordshire so if there are any bits anyone is getting rid of then hit me up..... I've got until Sept to collect all my bits and I am submitting my building reg plans in the next week or two so that I can follow the existing regs rather than the post June reg changes which has a significant change in U-Values. I wonder if that will reduce the cost on old insulation.

@kingandy2nd - Did you look into heatpumps before deciding on the upgrade boiler?
 
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I am based in Banbury, Oxfordshire so if there are any bits anyone is getting rid of then hit me up..... I've got until Sept to collect all my bits and I am submitting my building reg plans in the next week or two so that I can follow the existing regs rather than the post June reg changes which has a significant change in U-Values. I wonder if that will reduce the cost on old insulation.

@kingandy2nd - Did you look into heatpumps before deciding on the upgrade boiler?

I did look at hear pumps briefly but the cost vs the benefit wasn’t there for me. This was pre - gas price rises though!

I do wish I’d put solar panels on the roof though…budget wouldn’t stretch to it at the time.
 
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Hey Folks,

Time for another quick update. The time is now around December 2021, in fact I know I plastered the first wall in the kitchen on Xmas eve (much to my other half’s disgust!).

Turns out that despite using a big spirit level and ‘seemingly’ knocking every PB in plumb and level, the walls really weren’t level. In future I’d definitely use the expanding foam adhesive (I used it in the porch). Despite the extra expense, it’s worth it to reduce the mess and hassle of PB adhesive!

Not wishing to plaster wonky walls, a fair bit of bonding coat was used to level up using a straight edge, as you can see with the example below.

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Then the finish coat went on, different wall I know - this was the first wall I did. I’ve plastered a bit before, and while it’s not perfect, with a little rubbing down it’s fine (and cheap).

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Pushing on with the rest of the kitchen plastering, I have always hated doing ceilings so I bought myself a couple of extra tools - a 3ft speed skim, and a super flexible trowel. Both stainless steel Ox products. Both are amazing and really helped, especially the speed skim with I use on every wall now!

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I didn’t plaster where the cabinets were going, to save me time and plaster!

Next job was one I was dreading as I’d never done it before - screeding the floor.

I did lots of research online about quick mix/liquid screed, and I also got a couple of quotes for pros to come in and do it….everything was north of a grand. My local aggregate company could deliver the screed (3 ton) for £375, so I went down that route….

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In hindsight, a helper on this day would have been great, but it was only me alone so I barrowed in 2.75t of screed and laid it myself too. Got myself a 2.4m Darby to help…

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Working myself into the corner…

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and finally, job done.

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It was a full on day with the barrowing as well, but I was done by 4pm.

There were a couple of bits I wasn’t happy with in the end, but I decided I’d top it off with a self levelling screed anyway.

I did quick mist coat and two coats of k&b white paint and the room, then the self levelling screed and was transformed. I’d also purchased a Wagner paint sprayer, which once you work out the paint to water ratio, is a great way to paint a space very quickly.

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A few final bits of plumbing was done now the boiler was in situ, and then my very careful measurements were followed to cut the holes where the spots would go.
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Finally ready for a bit of flat pack :D

Plaster, screed, self levelling screed and tools came to about another £1k. So total spend to date, £73k.

Thanks for looking :)
 
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Also, I should have said about the screed, if you do it yourself then knee pads are an absolute must.

At one point I got a bit of screed behind the knee pad and it was there long enough that I manage to burn my knee (through my jeans). I guess the continued kneeling meant that once the screed was there, it just was getting more and more compressed against my jeans/knee.

Only a small area a couple of cms across but it hurt for a week!

So be careful folks!
 
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You're making great progress. Regarding the bonding coat of plaster how thick can you/did you apply it at the thickest point?

Blup
 
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You're making great progress. Regarding the bonding coat of plaster how thick can you/did you apply it at the thickest point?

Blup
Thanks :)

To be honest, it wasn’t terrible with the bonding but clearly some of the PB didn’t align at the joints or there was a dip in a bit of the board.

To the eye they were straight, but there straight edge never lies! I’d say mostly the dips were 5-10mm that I filled. Any less just got plastered!

As I mentioned, I used foam for some of the PB when I did the porch and that was soooo much easier. I’d never use PB adhesive again now.
 
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Just a quick update, I’m sure there’s a million and one kitchen refurb threads on here so I won’t labour too long on it, and probably focus on my mistakes to help others!

As we’d know for many years that I we wanted to re do the kitchen, when we did a small refresh of the doors on the old kitchen we picked a gloss white handless door from b&q which we figured would be reused for the new kitchen down the line. However in 2018 b&q discontinued the model of door we had. Purely by chance I noticed the doors on their website in the clearance section, so I had to start planning the next kitchen lay out and ordering the doors at that time! The bonus was that the doors had 50-70% off the price, but not every size was available and I needed to take a leap of faith in knowing what I’d need.

Fast forward to January sales 2021 and I stride into b&q confident I’d be needing my kitchen soon and wanting to take advantage of the Jan sales discounts. I think the kitchen designer liked me to start with, as I knew exactly what I wanted so the design stage was quick and easy.

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However, she didn’t like me quite so much when it came to ordering as the £9k kitchen design above turned into less than a £3k order when all the doors, hinges, and appliances were removed.

Having got the stuff delivered in March 21, I didn’t open the first box until Feb 22! By then played musical kitchens moving the boxes around multiple times while the build continued. That being said, it was marginally worth the hassle as the prices went up so much in a year I’d have paid another £1k for the same stuff in 2022!

Clare likes a bit of flat pack, so with some help from her we quickly threw together most of the units.

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I’d not realised you could get different heights of larder units, and we changed our design a bit to have 4 appliances (rather than 2) which meant I needed to drill my own holes for shelves in it. The microwave and coffee machine are a little high, and the top cupboard is small, but we accepted the trade off in order to have two deep draw below.

In the end, I needed to order all new handless doors for the tall units because I didn’t have the right ones from my original stockpile of doors. The new ones have a slightly different handle depth, but as the units are separate from the rest of the kitchen you don’t notice.

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I’d also planned to have the integrated dishwasher and washing machine next to each other as per the above (dishwasher in situ), but at least with the appliances we bought you could not have the waste pipe behind the machine and have it flush with the doors on the rest of the units. The waste needs to go behind the next cupboard unit…same for the water connection too really. Therefore I needed to do some rejigging of pipes, and in the end the dishwasher got moved nearer the sink (under the window).

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In fitting the cabinets, I used a load of corefix raw plugs (with reinforced metal tubes) to get through the plasterboard and into the blockwork). However, that was a fail because you need to use extra long screws to bridge the gap behind the cabinet and the corefix screws are only as long as the rawl plug. As they’re quite a narrow bore I couldn’t find any suitable longer screws to use.

In the end, I just used 200 x 6mm left over from the roof and buzzed then straight through the cabinet, PB and straight into the thermalite without any plugs. With the cabinet spacers, the cabinets are solid, so job done :)

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I did use the corefix for the wall cabinets, and they’re great for that purpose. Be sure to mark out when your wires are!

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I’d also left a gap in the ceiling for the flush extractor fan. This had required some precision measuring as the lip that Neff put on the appliance was only 3mm so not much margin for error. I had made the opening slightly undersized so I ended up shaving a little off, but better that way round than the other! It was ruddy heavy, but here it is about to be hoofed into position.

Next were the worktops. I opted for laminate ones as we may not stay in this house long term so didn’t want to extra expense of granite.

The square edge worktops look smart (in my view) and the real bonus is for corners you can just peel back the edging (using a heatgun) and only need to route then for worktop bolts underneath rather than those male/female cuts.

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Then the scary part was all the cuts etc on the breakfast bar for the hob and the connectors. I found using masking tap the mark everything up was really helpful. Also cut with the nice side up to prevent chipping the laminate.
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Needless to say there was a lot of cardboard for recycling from all the kitchen units and applicants. I actually did two runs to the tip like this!

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Kitchen still isn’t finished as I need to do the floor and the tiling, but we’re using it now.

The kitchen was always going to contribute significantly to the cost overall.

Kitchen cabinets and doors were £3.3k. We went a bit crazy with the appliances at £7.5k. It would have been less, but on opting for the two ovens and wanting an integrated microwave, we needed to keep the appliance symmetry (for my OCD) so an expensive coffee machine was bought as the fourth applicable. My only consolation is that with the exception of the fridge and extractor, everything else was an ex-display or discontinued model so there’s actually more than £10k of appliances if I’d bought them all new!

I also bought a new trend router and jig for the worktops which was another £250.

So total spend now up to £84k ish.

Edit - a holiday snap also seems to have snuck into the picture…I don’t know how do delete after posting, so enjoy Clare and I in LA in April ;)
 

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