house renovation

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SilverSaloon

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hi

we are currently looking at buying an old farmhouse, which will undergo a complete renovation. As we will be installing a whole new heating system, i was wondering if anyone has any experience of the following

- electric boiler (not the old night storage heating!)
- oil heating
- solar panels, wind turbines, generating electricity to the house.
- type of glazing (double vs triple)
- rainwater toilet flush

there is no gas to the property, so our choice is electric or oil. I have no direct experience of either so would be interested in people's views.

i like the idea of things like triple glazing, flushing toilet with rain water etc, and especially solar panels etc. I know you can probably get some sort of grants for this type of thing too.

Any specific brands/type that come recommended?

Cheers!

Derek
 
Underfloor heating connected to either electric boiler or ground source heat pump would work.

Before considering any heating applications think seriously about insulation, you can never have too much.
Tripple glazing isn't necessary with gas filled double glazing and thermal spacer strips.

You can get grants for Solar PV, but not DHW at present, but if you fancy DHW I can help.
 
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Some info on the vegi site for renewables Derek.
 
We have a rainwater harvesting system. It was installed by the developers (new build).

Our system supplies all the toilets, garden hose and I believe the washing machine. It can be overridden to switch back to mains water at the flick of a switch too.

It's made by Rewatec and I believe they're German:

http://www.rewatec.de/

http://www.rewatec.co.uk/
 
I have a worcester oil boiler, a 3.5. You can't get them anymore because you have to install overly complex extra efficient boilers nowadays. The old tech was better.

Anyway, oil is great, a big tank full costs us about £600 and lasts 18 months. We are heating a 5 bed farmhouse that has been lined with 2 or 3 inches of kingspan, insulation is key.

It is possible to insulate externally too. Worth a look.
 
I have a worcester oil boiler, a 3.5. You can't get them anymore because you have to install overly complex extra efficient boilers nowadays. The old tech was better.

Anyway, oil is great, a big tank full costs us about £600 and lasts 18 months. We are heating a 5 bed farmhouse that has been lined with 2 or 3 inches of kingspan, insulation is key.

It is possible to insulate externally too. Worth a look.

£600 (1000 litres) lasts us 3-4 months, we need two pa. How do you do it?
 
We used to live in a 4 bed old farm house. Used to cost about £700 a year, 5 years ago.
 
As you know, Derek, we're playing about with a 5-roomed Victorian house near Melrose.

Even with fluctuating oil prices, anything is better than electricity. Big Sis and B-I-L are also investigating these matters and the fact is, sadly, that the capital costs and payback for any clever "green" solutions completely negates any subsequent perceived or actual running costs. This is particularly true when applied to old properties as opposed to new-builds.

Yes, I've got two-thirds of an acre and stringing out miles of ground source piping or drilling down a thousand feet is technically no problem.

Then you've got to tear out all the floorboards and associated joinery to lay concrete, insulation and cabling. You'll have a long gray beard by the time you recoup the installation costs!

Solar panels etc are the same - never mind looks or planning permission, by the time you are in profit, they will be at the end of their useful lives.

I've just had a replacement oil c/h system installed - Worcester Bosch allegedly 95% efficient - all singing with quality rads + stats, insulated and pressurised hot water via a Norwegian storage tank (with immersion) and 1.5 bar or so at the shower. We found out that there was a gas supply nearby but BG wanted around £2k, thanks very much, to connect us.

So the c/h and a multifuel stove (free wood:thumb:) has set us back c£9k and two new d/g sash widows plus refurbishment of five others another £2k. (Decided to retain single glazing and condensation to preserve the crown glass:doh:)

Don't rely on grants - nae money around, strict conditions and it disappears overnight.:crazy: Apart from anything else, cash is paid through authorised installers - you don't think they might load their estimates, do you?

An extra pullover might be the cheaper alternative...
 
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You need to consider the cost of installation for ground source heating
Test bore holes don’t come cheap.

I would advise looking at the total cost and return on all heat sources.
You may be able to obtain a grant to offset some of the install costs.

If you want some useful contacts please pm me and I will give you details of some manufacturers that can help.


steve
 
I have just fitted solar panels. There are very generous payments available for these at the moment in the way of Feed in Tariffs (FITS)

I have a 2.75 kw installation (15 panels) that basically produces around 2.4kw max and appears to be averaging about 8-10kw per day.

I get about 43p from my electricity company for every kw I produce whether I use it or it is fed into the grid. This should give me a payment of about £1000 pa and this is guaranteed and index linked for 25 years from date of installation.

I also get a sum of about 3p per unit for every unit I feed into the grid...equating to about £30 per year

During the day, the solar effectively powers my house and I make savings on my annul electricity bill amounting to about £140

Thus my annual savings / payments will amount to around £1150. The panels cost me £9,500 to install so payback should be around 8-9 years and I will continue to receive significant payments for a further 16-17 years.

I am currently heating hot water via solar electricity to make use of the power I am generating, and I run dishwasher, washing machine etc during daylight hours to make the most of it.

Payments for solar are very generous in the way of FITS. I believe that FIT payments are also available for other "green" technologies and it is worth researching these.

Of course, I am down south and you are in Scotland, so solar may not be so good for you....but worth looking into though.

Check out the solar calculator on Ardenham Energys website
 
Also check out the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme that just just come into effect from April 2011.

You can install certain "green" heating installations and get a payment for every kw you produce
 
Thanks everyone - a host of great info there i'll take a look through tonight.

Not sure if underfloor heating is what we want - after working in hospitals my wife doesnt like it.

If we can generate electricity from the solar panels etc, or small wind turbines (house is in open farmland so lots of wind!) an electric heating system may be worth it.

anyone got any private sewage solution advice also? septic tanks, bio digestors etc.
 
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very good point keep the heat inside by insulating the walls etc to a high spec espically if they are solid walls.
 
very good point keep the heat inside by insulating the walls etc to a high spec espically if they are solid walls.

Totally agree. Also need to stop all draughts no matter how small.
 
Thanks everyone - a host of great info there i'll take a look through tonight.

Not sure if underfloor heating is what we want - after working in hospitals my wife doesnt like it.

If we can generate electricity from the solar panels etc, or small wind turbines (house is in open farmland so lots of wind!) an electric heating system may be worth it.

anyone got any private sewage solution advice also? septic tanks, bio digestors etc.

Not sure if you will get a reliable enough amount of electricity from wind / solar......solar panels really only work when the sun is actually shining.... I have a 900w oil filled heater I sometimes switch on when sun is shining but I have to watch out for when sun is not sufficient to power it so I am not using grid electricity. You would be better off with some form of heat pump (ground or air source). I am told that underfloor heating works well in conjunction with a heat pump.
 
Totally agree. Also need to stop all draughts no matter how small.

Yes its all solid stone walls (think typical old farmhouse)

we are on a strict budget so, even though we want to have some solutions that are not "the norm" we cant break the bank doing so. there are too many other things need doing.
 
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we are on a strict budget so, even though we want to have some solutions that are not "the norm" we cant break the bank doing so. there are too many other things need doing.

Planning the order in which to do things is very important, don't even think about doing the finishing parts until you have done the building, draught proofing and insulation.
 
Planning the order in which to do things is very important, don't even think about doing the finishing parts until you have done the building, draught proofing and insulation.

Yes the plan is to get it water tight 1st (ie roof fixes/replacement, guttering, windows, damp proof). Then get the heating on. its been open to the elements for a good while.
 
Don't heat it to dry it, that will cause shrinkage and cracks. Either let it dry naturally while doing other work or use dehumidifiers. The stone walls will dry out pretty quickly of their own accord once the building is weather-tight.

At least you can live in the caravan while doing it.
 

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