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Old 30th January 2018, 01:24 PM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: France
Posts: 1,099
Default Thinking out of the box.

As per the sensible suggestion from Andy I'm continuing the subject of building and materials here. It's very hard for those with no or little experience of construction and construction materials to get ripped off or conned into using out of date techniques and materials.
Andy, never, ever entertain a flat roof, a 15% drop is fine, it also helps with torrential rain and gutters not able to handle the amount of water flowing off a steep rake.

Triple glazed windows are a good idea however there are now expensive double glazed windows that are supposed to be as good.

What you don't see in the UK are the full length - H 225 / w 140cm windows which open inwards, so cleaning and in the case of wood can be re-oiled from the inside, ergo no ladders or scaffolding nec. Something you would have to have made to order. So obvious - insulated internal shutters. Closed the U value of the wall is reinstated. Quality curtains are expensive and totally useless thermally. With shutters you can change the design of stencilling/whatever on both sides (open and closed) and of course they give total privacy when closed.

I mentioned oiling because painted windows, unless done properly are a pain. Yes I know any idiot can pick up a paint brush but modern paints have to be treated with care. Primer, two u/coats, top coat and 'cutting in' needs skilled hands. With oiling, no excuse not to do every few years.

Modern metal roofs should have an 80 year life and need recoating/surfacing after 30 years. You have a better selection in the UK than in France. Noise - not a problem if you buy with bonded insulation - from 20mm, a good idea to prevent drumming with heavy rain.

You have a choice of colours, if it's allowed, a light grey will reflect a lot of solar heat - you can even get white in the UK and kits for regular cleaning. With good solid roofing joists you only need strongcross battens, no air vents and the metal roof should be fitted in one day, don't attempt on a windy day or you may take a flier.

In France we have had terrible hale storms, sometimes the hale has been the size of golfballs and I've seen on the news slate and clay tiled roofs smashed to pieces. A few years ago when I/we still drank gin we had a storm where the hale was the size of ice cubes - got my glass with gin and a slice of lemon, raced downstairs to get my free delivery of ice.

I should have said there was (2) operations using aircrete blocks - external protection - hung tiles/ stone facing, very attractive but expensive or crepi.

Crepi is great it is 'pressure blown' onto the surface in 2 coats. When done properly it can easily last 40 years or more. It comes in many colours so no painting nec. and it can be a waterproof type. A single story house should be done in 2 days. Aircrete can and should have the blocks 'skived' to ensure a really good hold for the crepi, not possible with dense concrete or cavity clay blocks - a bad import from the mainland - avoid.
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Old 25th February 2018, 07:27 PM
bikerhifinut bikerhifinut is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Penrith, Cumbria
Posts: 946
Default Re: Thinking out of the box.

We are waiting here for the first sketches of our intended improvement to the dormer extension upstairs.
After discussing with the architect, we are hoping to fit coated aluminium roofing panels as part of an up to date, maintenance free roofing system that should also be much more thermally efficient than what we currently have.
I know that Stuart wouldnt possibly approve but we are also having larger windows in the bedroom and landing. This is to throw extra light into what can be a rather gloomy part of the house and also to enjoy the stunning view of the Pennine ridge across the Eden valley.
Lets hope it all comes in on or under budget.

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Old 27th February 2018, 12:46 PM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: France
Posts: 1,099
Default Re: Thinking out of the box.

why aluminium roofing panels and not steel ones? Surely the thing to do is surf the net for all available types. They come with either zero insulation or as little as 20mm. In all kind of colours including white - great for bouncing off heat in the summer, as always there are planning restrictions.

What kind of roof joists do you have. By using bitumen felt (double) on the roof joists you can then save on using bare steel roofing panels and if the joists aren't deep double up then you can use the best kind of insulation between the joists and by using battens on the joist sides use plasterboard as a finish with the bottom of the joists exposed - the French do this a lot and it makes a very attractive ceiling finish. I'm not a lover of ceiling lighting preferring battery operated wall lights (uplighter/downlighter) but using this method to insulate and finish the ceiling you can hide any ceiling lighting.

Tall windows aren't a feature of British housing which is a shame, since they let in a lot more light and if the views are good, even better. Why not take a look on French sites to see what I mean - all European casement windows open inwards, to open outwards is really stupid. You could have timber windows made, tall,wide and stable door type so that the bottom half can be left closed - air without draught - don't expect your architect to think out of his box. If rooms are gloomy why not fix Velux windows into the roof, this is what the French do to bring light into attic conversions - it works. Don't waste good money on triple glazed windows that don't open, use lightweight internal insulated shutters instead and choose whatever designs you like on both open and closed faces.

Run these ideas to before your architect and watch his face, it should be an interesting experience. You should also use a good insulation system on all exterior walls, there are various kinds from 5 cm aircrete panels to insulated plasterboard. Rooms in the roof can get very hot in summer and very cold in winter, using all these insulation methods mean you have agreeable temps. summer and winter and little need for heating or cooling.

Check out yourself everything I have outlined - the net was made for just this kind of thing.
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