• Research & Resources

    Genuinely useful and/or interesting resources…

    Paper from UWE detailing the evolution of building elements. This is of particular interest to me since some of the images of historic documents showing original plans for Victorian terraces are from the Bristol record office.   Article showing defects by decade over the last century. www.simonjameslewis.com Simon is a wonderfully dedicated expert in how buildings are constructed. He promotes practical, cost-effective and energy conscious solutions to common problems in houses, with a long-term vision. His approach is collaborative & involves empowering individuals to learn, explore new ways of thinking to achieve outcomes that help the occupants whilst also looking after the health of the building overall. With some fascinating…

  • Uncategorized

    Bathroom Tile Research

    I find myself torn between two very different looks. One is the classic combination of subway tiles and a patterned ‘encaustic’ floor. The other uses large slabs of stone or convincing stone effect porcelain with minimal grout lines. I love the gradients and way light plays across the latter option. This would inevitably give a much more contemporary ‘hotel’ feel however and may jar with the rest of this modest, victorian terraced house. It seems that quite a few people have used subway tiles above an Omnitub Duo Japanese style deep soaking bath tub. Something about the visual structure seems to work well – particularly when there is a window…

  • Design,  Floors,  Research & Resources

    Floor covering options for Limecrete

    Victorian terraced houses often have suspended wooden floors, sometimes with a solid floor in the rear scullery that later tends to have changed use to become the kitchen area. Replacing the floor in an older property should be done with care to avoid unintentional damage to the fabric of the property. Limecrete is a breathable, solid floor alternative to a poured concrete floor or a suspended wooden floor. But what exactly is it and what are your floor covering options to ensure the all-important vapour permeability is retained? How is a limecrete solid floor created? Limecrete is generally laid without a damp proof membrane, with foamed glass aggregate underneath which…

  • Design,  Hempcrete,  Research & Resources

    Hempcrete & Woodfibre – Looking at performance (including U-values)

    “For example 240mm thickness of hempcrete meets current UK building regulations for insulation (compared to around 80 mm of polyurethane insulation board). However because hempcrete is cheaper than synthetic insulation materials, and is used to form a monolithic wall, the usual thickness of hempcrete applied in a new building is 300-400mm for a wall. The typical thermal conductivity of hempcrete is typically 0.06 to 0.07 W/mK. U-values for hempcrete vary depending on the thickness, the type of binder used, the exact specification, application techniques and the skill of the contractor, however a typical u-value (for a 350mm thick hempcrete wall) is 0.17 W/m2K.” https://www.ukhempcrete.com/hempcrete-buildings-thermal-performance-and-costs/ Useful comparison of natural insulation materials.…

  • Design

    Bedrooms – Design Inspiration

    Built-in wardrobes around bed : with bedside table : with cubby : wardrobes only : birch ply wardrobes Fold-up Wall Bed (Murphy Bed) : With fold-down table : DIY Murphy Bed : Well-designed Murphy Beds : Murphy beds hidden behind mirror Panelling

  • Design

    Understairs Toilet – Design Inspiration

    Hidden cistern & wall mount toilet for easy cleaning and less cluttered feel. handy shelf and minimal storage cabinet above Having the washing machine inside the main cloakroom area, would mean that the washing machine door could be left ajar to ventilate and it could also fully benefit from the extraction system that serves the toilet. Double doors would probably be required to ensure good access for washing machine maintenance/replacement. The alternative is having it facing out into the kitchen area, from underneath the stairs, however I am not so keen on this, since I suspect this could cause damp issues and mildew growth within the machine over time due…

  • Design

    Bathroom – Design Inspiration

    Light from above Small bathtub with shower over Omnitub (double Japanese soaking tub 1050x1050x600mm) False wall, shelf, mirror cabinets Wall-mounted taps, sink suitable for handwashing clothes Mirrored bath panel? Tadelakt instead of tiles? Thin pull-out storage unit next to shower? Other Storage

  • Design

    Loft Conversion – Design Inspiration

    Light and shade – exposed beams This could add an interesting texture and feature to an area that will be more of a dominant visual component due to the lower height of the roof. It will break up the light skimming across the surface of the ceiling. Velux balcony External Mansard roof Stairs Light spilling down from overhead rooflight (probably on south facing pitch), ability to retain over-stairs ceiling airer on 1st floor landing if possible. Loft Shower Room Would be highly beneficial to have more than one shower in the house & for loft room to be a compact master suite. This would add value that might more justify…

  • Damp,  Heating

    Could burning gas be making your house soggy?

    An interesting thing that I was made aware of recently, is that the natural gas piped into our homes produces a surprising amount of water vapour when it combusts. With modern boilers, this is not a problem since they are well sealed and vented via flues to the outside. However, where there are gas fires, gas hobs or gas ovens, these might contribute to the total amount of moisture in the house, thus raising the humidity & potential for condensation. I am intrigued to understand this further, to try and quantify this in a way that enables me to visualise the process ‘in the real world’ more clearly. The same…