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 Post subject: Re: The renovations thread
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 10:01 am 
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Real Estate Developer
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Joined: Mar 25, 2008
Posts: 870
Location: North Dublin
nearlyirish wrote:
york wrote:
Mantissa wrote:
Ixelles wrote:
Nobody remembers the stress and the costs because the kitchen is beautiful and they have vertical radiators now.

Am I the only one who doesn't like those full-height vertical rads? Yes they free up some horizontal space, but they take away from picture-hanging space. Also if you have a good plumber who calculates the BTUs actually needed in a room you might find a big vertical rad can be far too much for some rooms.


Not mad on them myself - rads can be ugly at the best of times. if letting the plumber do the calc then he might well be working off the fact that houses in Ireland are poorly insulated. Had a guy spec up a double panel rad for a small bedroom and I overruled for a single panel and smaller overall size due to the insulation going in. Even that's been cranked down in flow and is virtually never on - what with hot air rising upstairs anyway. In fact, we don't turn the rads on in any of the bedrooms ever


what are your thoughts about underfloor heating? We are contemplating removing some internal walls to open out the rooms at the back which will give space but I really don't want to take up too much of the remaining wall space with radiators.


Had a serious look at underfloor heating when doing my renovation recently but decided against it on ground of costs but also practicality.

We have an open space living/dining/kitchen area of about 55sqm (room length is up to 11 m), and ended up with 2 radiators on the opposite ends of the room, one horizontal radiator under a window, and a larg'ish (in hindsight oversized) vertical radiator on a corner.
We only got the vertical rad connected after a few weeks (took a long time to get it manufactured / delivered), adn the room was fine even with just the one radiator running, despite the crap weather in December.

I was a bit worried about cold feet (which was our main motivator for the UFH), but we have put down a floating engineered real-wood floor and no problem with cold feet. We were however quite anal about insulation, drafts, etc., and have a MHRV system in the house.

One thing I'd advise though is properly insulate the subfloor, including in the existing building, and especially in large rooms use screed across the whole area to have a proper level floor. We didn't do this due to time constraints (it will take a few weeks to properly dry out before you can lay the finished floor), and I am still annoyed that I didn't do this. Probably going to do it whenever we want a new kitchen in 15-20 years or so.

Reg UFH itself: there's probably as many reasons to put one in as there are to not bother. If you want e.g. a polished concrete floor, it is a no brainer of course. If you want wood floors or parquet, you need to be aware of the implications of doing so and it might you costs a bit more.

Also, you can't do the "coming home and turn up the heating" thingy but recommended to work with different temp settings at different times etc.


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 Post subject: Re: The renovations thread
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 10:28 am 
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Private Tenant

Joined: Jun 18, 2015
Posts: 25
Hi NewIrish

I would be interested in your exact floor make up as I am starting an extension myself shortly.

Is it
- insulation
- floor slab
- finished flooring

or
- floor slab
- insulation
- thin screed (50-60mm)
- finished flooring

I can't decide which is better and my engineer doesn't care either way


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 Post subject: Re: The renovations thread
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 10:45 am 
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Joined: Mar 25, 2008
Posts: 870
Location: North Dublin
chill wrote:
Hi NewIrish

I would be interested in your exact floor make up as I am starting an extension myself shortly.

Is it
- insulation
- floor slab
- finished flooring

or
- floor slab
- insulation
- thin screed (50-60mm)
- finished flooring

I can't decide which is better and my engineer doesn't care either way


The new floor of the extension is your first option: insulation, slab, finished flooring. We pretty much left the floors of the original house as is and only patched up a few things. would have been around 5K or so to break it up and redo (plus potentially proloinging the built by a few weeks) which was the main driver to not doing it. (sub)Floor itself was in good condition in general, concrete slab with 24 or mm wood boards glued onto it.
Given we then put another 5mm of insulation on top of this plus another 15mm or so of finished wood floor I wasn't too concerned about the heat loss through the floor to be honest.

If I would have had the money lying around I would have spent it though, but given there is always budget constraints I didn't see the return.
If i'd do it again, I'd probably go for the screed option (as you said 50mm or so) as then you have more options and choice in terms of floor. I'd like to have a herring bone parquet for example, but your floor needs to be spot on for this to look good.
So floating engineered floor boards it was instead which does look good (enough).


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 Post subject: Re: The renovations thread
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 11:01 am 
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Too Big to Fail
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Joined: Aug 21, 2009
Posts: 4532
Location: Mesopotatia
york wrote:
Mantissa wrote:
Ixelles wrote:
Nobody remembers the stress and the costs because the kitchen is beautiful and they have vertical radiators now.

Am I the only one who doesn't like those full-height vertical rads? Yes they free up some horizontal space, but they take away from picture-hanging space. Also if you have a good plumber who calculates the BTUs actually needed in a room you might find a big vertical rad can be far too much for some rooms.


Not mad on them myself - rads can be ugly at the best of times. if letting the plumber do the calc then he might well be working off the fact that houses in Ireland are poorly insulated. Had a guy spec up a double panel rad for a small bedroom and I overruled for a single panel and smaller overall size due to the insulation going in. Even that's been cranked down in flow and is virtually never on - what with hot air rising upstairs anyway. In fact, we don't turn the rads on in any of the bedrooms ever


Due to a wall knock between the living room and kitchen by the previous owners the current space is not adequately heated by the two smaller radiators that replaced the old ones. Wall space is an issue for us too.

Had a vertical radiator recommended by a neighbour who's a plumber but was not too keen on losing even more wall space. I am waiting until I have the time and money but am considering installing something like this myself.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001S2FOF0/ ... M33J7H2UJO

Also, I want to see the effect of adding a stove in the sitting room first which will close off a big drain on heat.

It's plumbed and has a fan to circulate the heated air. I've mapped out a reasonable route from our boiler and don't think it'd be too hard to do myself with a little help from my father-in-law. I'm not 100% sold on this approach yet and am still considering my options.

Advantages:
It's going in where the space is effectively wasted anyway.
Heat from ground level up
Faster circulation than standard rads
Thermostatically controlled so is only on once the central heating is on
Has a fan mode than can be used on particularly hot days
Not visually imposing
Toasty toes at counter it gets installed under :D

Disadvantages
Can get dusty over time so will need a little TLC
Fan noise (Not really an issue in a kitchen with a fridge or other appliances)

There are electrical plinth heaters too that I haven't completely ruled out just yet. The kitchen is one of the coldest rooms in the house (hip extension facing north west) so it might be desirable to be able to turn on a little heat in there on it's own sometimes.

_________________
The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'get by'. The ordinary men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what?
Sophie Scholl


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 Post subject: Re: The renovations thread
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 11:26 am 
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Planning Tribunal Attendee

Joined: Aug 2, 2011
Posts: 1248
Dubhgeannain wrote:
Also, I want to see the effect of adding a stove in the sitting room first which will close off a big drain on heat.


You've an open chimney? I'd stick a child's football (better than a chimney balloon - get one about 10" in diameter) against that ope and reassess.


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 Post subject: Re: The renovations thread
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 11:33 am 
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Too Big to Fail
User avatar

Joined: Aug 21, 2009
Posts: 4532
Location: Mesopotatia
york wrote:
Dubhgeannain wrote:
Also, I want to see the effect of adding a stove in the sitting room first which will close off a big drain on heat.


You've an open chimney? I'd stick a child's football (better than a chimney balloon - get one about 10" in diameter) against that ope and reassess.


We do. Cheers, I'll give it that a try.

_________________
The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'get by'. The ordinary men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what?
Sophie Scholl


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 Post subject: Re: The renovations thread
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 12:57 pm 
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Private Tenant

Joined: Jun 18, 2015
Posts: 25
newirishman wrote:
chill wrote:
Hi NewIrish

I would be interested in your exact floor make up as I am starting an extension myself shortly.

Is it
- insulation
- floor slab
- finished flooring

or
- floor slab
- insulation
- thin screed (50-60mm)
- finished flooring

I can't decide which is better and my engineer doesn't care either way


The new floor of the extension is your first option: insulation, slab, finished flooring. We pretty much left the floors of the original house as is and only patched up a few things. would have been around 5K or so to break it up and redo (plus potentially proloinging the built by a few weeks) which was the main driver to not doing it. (sub)Floor itself was in good condition in general, concrete slab with 24 or mm wood boards glued onto it.
Given we then put another 5mm of insulation on top of this plus another 15mm or so of finished wood floor I wasn't too concerned about the heat loss through the floor to be honest.

If I would have had the money lying around I would have spent it though, but given there is always budget constraints I didn't see the return.
If i'd do it again, I'd probably go for the screed option (as you said 50mm or so) as then you have more options and choice in terms of floor. I'd like to have a herring bone parquet for example, but your floor needs to be spot on for this to look good.
So floating engineered floor boards it was instead which does look good (enough).


thanks for the feedback


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 Post subject: Re: The renovations thread
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 1:25 pm 
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Under CAB Investigation

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 1919
Mantissa wrote:
Ixelles wrote:
Nobody remembers the stress and the costs because the kitchen is beautiful and they have vertical radiators now.

Am I the only one who doesn't like those full-height vertical rads? Yes they free up some horizontal space, but they take away from picture-hanging space. Also if you have a good plumber who calculates the BTUs actually needed in a room you might find a big vertical rad can be far too much for some rooms.


We're getting them in the kitchen/living/dining/reclining room because the kitchen takes up one full wall and when you include space for doors and a wall of storage plus windows and a corner of glass there was shag all space left for rads. Then once we'd put in two vertical rads and some wall-mounted lights we realised we had just one spot for hanging a decent-sized picture.

The only upside is that having barely any wall space makes the choosing of wall paint a fairly insignificant one!


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 Post subject: Re: The renovations thread
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 10:52 pm 
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Single Home Owner

Joined: Mar 8, 2010
Posts: 172
newirishman wrote:
nearlyirish wrote:

what are your thoughts about underfloor heating? We are contemplating removing some internal walls to open out the rooms at the back which will give space but I really don't want to take up too much of the remaining wall space with radiators.


Had a serious look at underfloor heating when doing my renovation recently but decided against it on ground of costs but also practicality.

We have an open space living/dining/kitchen area of about 55sqm (room length is up to 11 m), and ended up with 2 radiators on the opposite ends of the room, one horizontal radiator under a window, and a larg'ish (in hindsight oversized) vertical radiator on a corner.
We only got the vertical rad connected after a few weeks (took a long time to get it manufactured / delivered), adn the room was fine even with just the one radiator running, despite the crap weather in December.

I was a bit worried about cold feet (which was our main motivator for the UFH), but we have put down a floating engineered real-wood floor and no problem with cold feet. We were however quite anal about insulation, drafts, etc., and have a MHRV system in the house.

One thing I'd advise though is properly insulate the subfloor, including in the existing building, and especially in large rooms use screed across the whole area to have a proper level floor. We didn't do this due to time constraints (it will take a few weeks to properly dry out before you can lay the finished floor), and I am still annoyed that I didn't do this. Probably going to do it whenever we want a new kitchen in 15-20 years or so.

Reg UFH itself: there's probably as many reasons to put one in as there are to not bother. If you want e.g. a polished concrete floor, it is a no brainer of course. If you want wood floors or parquet, you need to be aware of the implications of doing so and it might you costs a bit more.

Also, you can't do the "coming home and turn up the heating" thingy but recommended to work with different temp settings at different times etc.


thanks for the info... going for wooden floors so cold feet would not be much of a worry


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 Post subject: Re: The renovations thread
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 12:51 pm 
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Planning Tribunal Attendee

Joined: Aug 2, 2011
Posts: 1248
Warmboard. The hidden health risk of our times?

One of the elements involved in renovating many an Irish property will be the issue of insulation. BER's E,F,G do, afterall, adorn many a property put up for sale in Ireland.

External insulation will be a solution adopted by some but many will, for reasons of cost / brick facade / appearances .. turn to internal insulation and install what is commonly called 'warmboard'. Warmboard is effectively, a normal sheet of plasterboard with a bonded layer of foam insulation on the back. It's relatively cheap, easily fitted and can be bought with various thicknesses of insulation.

The question arises as to it's suitability many of the houses to which it is fitted. Look at most refurbs which turn an old house into a BER B or C and the likelyhood is that that house will have been warmboarded.

Irish houses up to quite recent times have their external walls constructed either of:

- a single leaf of brick (wall thickness typically two bricks thick - overall, perhaps a foot thick). Typical of period houses.

- a single leaf random rubble walls (stones and pebble with a mix of binder to stick it all together). Because they are more unstable than brick, these walls tend to be quite thick - perhaps a couple of feet thick overall

- in more recent times, a single leaf hollow (cavity) concrete block.

All of the above share some common characteristics

- a continuous physical connection between inside and outside faces of the wall

- sponge-like ability to absorb and transmit water through the structure, especially rain from outside to inside.

Whilst lime/concrete render finishes add a degree of water protection (over say brick/mortar joints, which are kitchen-roll absorbent), all readily absorb and transmit moisture through the wall from outside to inside. Especially those walls exposed to driving rain (say South/South West)

As originally designed, these wall dealt with the issue quiet simply: moisture moving through the wall could evaporate into the internal spaces. Given these spaces amply ventilated by ill-fitting sash windows / t&g floorboards / draught-riddled doors / fireplaces there was no issue. The inside surfaces of the walls remained dry

Laying a sheet of moisture-impermeable warmboard on the inside surface changes this dynamic however. Moisture travelling through the wall encounters an unventilated space between inside surface of wall and rear of warmboard. It has nowhere to go and simply sits on the inside surface of the wall, rendering that surface permanently damp. Mould growth follows and mould spores migrate into the internal space rendering an unseen health hazard.

There is plenty of reading to be found on the subject online.

What to do?

Warmboard has application in the more recent* build scenario - which sees houses built with double leaf walls - that is, two walls built close together with a cavity of perhaps 4" between them. Moisture penetrating through the outer leaf can't bridge the cavity (which is the reason for building the cavity) and so warmboarding the interior walls of such a construction represents a different proposition.

* hollow concrete block / concrete render construction is cheapest of all so will find application, these days especially in extensions

There are breathable versions of warmboard available (calcium silicate) so the handiness of warmboard is there - but these more expensive so don't expect a builder to have used them in any much-improved BER house you see for sale

Since rain-penetration is the significant issue, I would imagine less of an issue on non-weathered walls (whether by orientation or by virtue of being sheltered), especially where these are render finished as opposed to brick. So perhaps a combination of traditional warmboard and breathable warmboard an option.

It's occurred to me (and I haven't seen it contradicted) that a solution could lie in opening vents in a warmboarded wall to the exterior. If the warmboarded wall was sealed all around it's perimeter (say on a wall by wall basis) with expanding foam at the time of installation and the space between the wall and board ventilated to outside, then moisture build up in the space could be avoided, along with air movement through the vent to inside the building due to perimeter sealing. Suspended wooden floors/joists are kept ventilated in this way - typically involving a vent on front of building and one on rear to allow crossflow of air to keep moisture levels down.

The dab n' slab method of board application, which sees a small cavity created between warmboard slab and wall would be required here, rather than the alternative: mechanical fixing. Mechanical fixing with 'mushrooms' presses the board tight up against the wall, denying ventilation possibilities.


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