The story continues…

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So lots has happened since I last posted.  Just as background – we want to run an air source heat pump in a solid wall property.

1)  We decided to have a drain survey but of course, that was not simple.  We need to have a certificate of compliance for the drainage to be legal but as the system was not holding enough water to drain, and they could not witness it working, the certificate is on hold.  They did drain what was there and the tank and pipes look great, but they need to see it working properly.  We now understand why it does not work – the washing water (not the loos) empty onto the pathway!  Thus the tank was not filling up.  

We also have a leak under the sink so until we know what we want to do with everything, we have turned the water off.

2)  We had an amazing visit from an architect who understands Passive House AND old solid walls – understanding both is vital for us.  If we do not insulate with the right product, the walls cannot dry/breathe and we will get damp.  Our walls are Lime mortar with flint and so we were told that woodfibre with lime plaster was the best option.  These come in different thicknesses and the thicker the insulation, the more heat is retained.  Problem being that the ideal middle of the road is 6cm thick, which with plaster on top, brings it out past the windowsills, so they will need replacing.  We also need a thin layer of high performance insulation in the window alcoves (so the windows still open) and the best for this will be a product called aerogel (but this is about £200 per sq m).

3)  A great friend (John) came to visit who has just retrofitted his house.  He has suggested that rather then insulating the loft (which has virtually no insulation) and is not huge anyway, take the ceiling up to the ridge (or close) to give head height and make insulating much easier – one of the bedroom ceilings is so low, my head is the width of my finger away from it.  This would allow insulating the actual roof to a good standard.  The good news is that the timber in the loft is fairly new.

4)  The bathroom also needs moving as it is completely impractical as it is huge and the ceiling is too low for a shower.  We intend to move it upstairs as we can increase the ceiling height.

5)  On top of all this is the grant funding recently released by the government which seems almost impossible to get hold of!  And all builders seem to have a 3 month plus waiting list and we need to be living there in 6 weeks.  

Having said all that – I adore this house.  It is our little house with our huge back garden and space for all the animals.  Working it all out is great fun and also puts me into despair – but I wouldn’t want to own or live anywhere else …………… the story continues.

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