Jump to content

Jazzing up sash Windows and central heating question


Recommended Posts

I’m in the process of buying a terraced house built at the turn of the last century.

Long story short, the house is dilapidated but priced accordingly - it needs a new roof, total re-wire, central heating [oooh that’s reminded me, see below], the plumbing is shot and blocked [suspect collapsed drains], new bathroom and new kitchen.

The one ‘bit’ I might be able to salvage are the sash Windows. The problem is that the writing is on the wall with this new religion for energy performance and EPC certs etc and so I’m thinking about ripping the lot out and going UVPC - no one likes secondary glazing and whatever I do the window units and frames are still going to be wood (and I’m not in the game of sanding and painting every x years). Anyone got any ideas or are they all heading for the skip?

Now then, there’s no central heating in the gaff. I’m aware that the writing is on the wall for gas fired boilers and so with a totally empty gaff and access all areas (floor, walls, ceilings) I’m wondering what central heating solution there is that doesn’t involve gas. There’s no back garden to speak of and no space for any of that heat pump malarkey. Anyone got any ideas on how best to heat a gaff not using gas? I’ve lived through the economy 7 fad and the warm air stuff that nearly made it over from the US. I’m thinking double insulate the gaff and bank on getting 25% heat from the houses either side 😆

Cheers all. I’ll get some photos up soon - the bog is blocked and brimming and the photo I might get framed 😆

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, sounds like a big project, if you thinking about something like Fischer heating I would make sure you do the maths on cost to use, and the sash windows, would the planning allow you to change, the rest is just a straight forward refurbishment, 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, sounds like a big project, if you thinking about something like Fischer heating I would make sure you do the maths on cost to use, and the sash windows, would the planning allow you to change, the rest is just a straight forward refurbishment, 


It’s not a premium area and planning won’t be a problem - all the neighbours have swapped their windows out.

Having typed that lot out, above, I will end up putting a dozen plus perfectly sound and working sash windows in the skip. I’ll bite the bullet now because it makes sense to do it whilst scaffolding is up and before the gaff gets rendered.

I am however at a loss as to how we’re all supposed to be heating houses and getting warm water through our showers when gas in new builds is apparently going to be phased out in this decade. Phased out for what alternative though?

I think we’ve all gone potty for green credentials and in the face of the likes of China and Russia doing as they please - it’s pointless; drop in a bucket kind of change and with a massive cost attached to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, ok but the sash windows if in not bad condition can be salvaged,the weights sell well if any , I mentioned Fischer , they do not come out as cheap to run as the company say, and they have EDF as the energy supplier, a friend lives in a village up in the downs with no gas and wanted to change the old storage heaters used Fischer to fit the latest radiators, the projected heating cost they stated was ***** hence he can only use in bedrooms and down stairs relies on a log burner

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bin the windows

50mm insulated plasterboard on all external walls 25mm insulated board to ceilings and internal walls if you can you now have wrap around insulated rooms keep heat inside the building is the most important thing to achieve  to keep cost down...

I've done this on new builds for customers so it works....

Heating can be achieved with the new electric rads running cost are nothing like the old E7 the are smart controlled even know if you leave a door open....they design and cost a system to suit your property....then you have electric shower and instant water heater for the sinks...

This is the set up I'm currently working on for 5 no new build flats if you wish you can also hook up solar to reduce running costs...

The secret is the more you insulate the lower running cost and remember once you've screwed the board up it's always working and saving you money with no more input needed.....

You may need either heat recovery system or at least a simple piv to keep the air moving....

Link to post
Share on other sites

DONT forget the floor .

Insulate between the joists minimum 3 inches .more the better .

This WILL save you loads of money over the years. 

If its a 3 bed house or bigger .put a gas combi boiler in it..way cheaper than electric  .and will be for years to come .don't get conned into an electric  boiler unless it's a small flat  

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't mind me asking what sort of budget are we talking? Fundamentally gas is still good for a couple of years - if you are doing this right now don't reject a new and efficient gas boiler out of hand, pair that with some slightly fancy TRVs and a decent control system and you can get some nice SAP/EPC benefits as well as being very cost effective.

I have a few alternative options that maybe suitable but it rather depends on how much cash you are willing to throw around. Also depends if you want to live in it or whether it would be a rental.... 

Would PV be an option?

As everyone said though - fabric first. Better to spend the money on insulation than gadgets. 

However - be careful not to over insulate and seal up the house. Given the age it probably relies on some natural ventilation. The PIV (positive input ventilation) suggestion is a good one. 

As for the windows - mock sashes in pvc all the way if the area isn't too precious. They look a lot better than they used to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers all, some very good advice there. The property is 5 bed mid terrace and the budget is £50-£70k to turn it into two two bed flats.

The actual building stuff is mercifully straight forward - it’s the aggro of getting in fresh services (new water, new gas, new electricity for both units) that’s going to be where the aggro and expense is.

There are other options which are far easier to keep it as one house, but they are fading because the flat option is winning on the maths.

The only thing that will hold me back is that it’s just over an hour from where I live and I broke a rule of mine which was ‘not more than 30 mins from where I live’.  Indeed, I’m only doing this because I’m now 2 years without a holiday / time off and I am bored to tears with my desk job.

I might use this thread as a photo case book. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously  you need to be aware of fire escapes with top floor flats and fire alarms  etc etc .no point in converting it to find out that you can't get the required escape and then have to reinstate it as a single dwelling .

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d think twice before destroying the original sash windows, at around the 500 quid mark to make they may be worth something to someone. 
If you’re insulating your loft, joists between floors and if you can get any in the walls, it would be worth looking for a firm which injects Warmcel or Isoflock, much much better insulation than anything else out there. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same issue with sash windows. Didn’t want to lose the Victorian linings and architraves but didn’t like the draughts and rattles. With sound frames and sills I removed the sliding elements and parting beads etc and replaced them with plastic double glazed panels that fit directly into the recess. Does the job and leaves minimal external wood to be painted.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Scotland were just about to go with hard wired smoke, heat and CO detection in ALL housing, might be worth checking if England is thinking about going that route as it would be cheaper to install during the refit???

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, henry d said:

Scotland were just about to go with hard wired smoke, heat and CO detection in ALL housing, might be worth checking if England is thinking about going that route as it would be cheaper to install during the refit???


Agreed. We started that years ago because we could see what was coming.

Following on from the above, with the gaff totally empty the plan is to over insulate and shove it everywhere and anywhere, particularly between downstairs and upstairs.

I was chatting to a friend today and he suggested keep it as one dwelling, refurb and then hand the keys to an HMO agent who pays a guaranteed monthly rent whilst managing everything else. The question now is whether such a property can then be held in a SIP?

 

Edited by Mungler
Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, henry d said:

Scotland were just about to go with hard wired smoke, heat and CO detection in ALL housing, might be worth checking if England is thinking about going that route as it would be cheaper to install during the refit???

Already a thing. You will definitely have to provide hard wired smokes and CO. Will the entries be separate or communal? This can make a big difference to the requirements under part B. Note that the regs refer to a D2 LD3 system being minimum - this has been superseded/revised by a more current version of BS 5839 and buildings now require LD2 minimum which means heat detectors to kitchens and smoke to escape routes and primary living spaces. Also as you are going rented the alarms will need a tamper proof battery back up. 

At two stories you will need to pay attention to the requirements for escape windows which can be tricky to achieve on mock sashes. At three stories its a whole other ball game and you will need protected escape routes. Cost wise be aware that timber stud work can require insulation in order to meet 30minutes rating these days. Also need to make sure any windows give you suitable area for purge ventilation which again can be tricky with mock sash in older sizes. In fairness though very few building control officers will pick up on the ventilation issue. For obvious (Grenfell) reasons they will be on you like a tramp on cheesy chips on anything fire related though. 

In terms of fabric very much worth checking your cavity insulation and getting that redone. The type that's sticky polystyrene balls looks to give promising results. In our new builds in our lofts we we go 100mm mineral wool (0.040W/mK min) between joists with 300mm over. Your real killer will be ground floor as given the age I imagine is suspended timber? that will be a ****** efficiency wise.  

MVHR ticks a lot of the EPC boxes - but its a poop load of ducting that depending on your floor zone maybe too much with your noise insulation requirements. Heating wise with that sort of budget I would go for a Vaillant GreenIQ 834 or better (or similar) and Honeywell Evohome control unit and TRV heads. Gives you the dual zone benefits while only the plumbing costs of a single (plus all that funky app connectivity for controlling your heating anywhere). You will likely get grandfathered in on the new regs, or at least very bottom of any replacement requirement list.  

If you did want to get funky gadget wise you could look at Wondrwall (Wondrwall | Convert standard homes into intelligent homes) and Sunamp thermal batteries. Panasonic also have an ok offering - their remote access and repair options may be of more interest to you as a landlord than me as a builder though.        

I usually avoid conversions like this as they are a complete ball ache regulations wise - its worth paying for advice as there is a lot to pick up on. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Lord v said:

Already a thing. You will definitely have to provide hard wired smokes and CO. Will the entries be separate or communal? This can make a big difference to the requirements under part B. Note that the regs refer to a D2 LD3 system being minimum - this has been superseded/revised by a more current version of BS 5839 and buildings now require LD2 minimum which means heat detectors to kitchens and smoke to escape routes and primary living spaces. Also as you are going rented the alarms will need a tamper proof battery back up. 

At two stories you will need to pay attention to the requirements for escape windows which can be tricky to achieve on mock sashes. At three stories its a whole other ball game and you will need protected escape routes. Cost wise be aware that timber stud work can require insulation in order to meet 30minutes rating these days. Also need to make sure any windows give you suitable area for purge ventilation which again can be tricky with mock sash in older sizes. In fairness though very few building control officers will pick up on the ventilation issue. For obvious (Grenfell) reasons they will be on you like a tramp on cheesy chips on anything fire related though. 

In terms of fabric very much worth checking your cavity insulation and getting that redone. The type that's sticky polystyrene balls looks to give promising results. In our new builds in our lofts we we go 100mm mineral wool (0.040W/mK min) between joists with 300mm over. Your real killer will be ground floor as given the age I imagine is suspended timber? that will be a ****** efficiency wise.  

MVHR ticks a lot of the EPC boxes - but its a poop load of ducting that depending on your floor zone maybe too much with your noise insulation requirements. Heating wise with that sort of budget I would go for a Vaillant GreenIQ 834 or better (or similar) and Honeywell Evohome control unit and TRV heads. Gives you the dual zone benefits while only the plumbing costs of a single (plus all that funky app connectivity for controlling your heating anywhere). You will likely get grandfathered in on the new regs, or at least very bottom of any replacement requirement list.  

If you did want to get funky gadget wise you could look at Wondrwall (Wondrwall | Convert standard homes into intelligent homes) and Sunamp thermal batteries. Panasonic also have an ok offering - their remote access and repair options may be of more interest to you as a landlord than me as a builder though.        

I usually avoid conversions like this as they are a complete ball ache regulations wise - its worth paying for advice as there is a lot to pick up on. 

 

Quality tips there.

Let me know if you fancy running another job 😆

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, henry d said:

Scotland were just about to go with hard wired smoke, heat and CO detection in ALL housing, might be worth checking if England is thinking about going that route as it would be cheaper to install during the refit???

They dont have to be hard wired. They do have to be interlinked (this can be wireless) and have to be either tamper proof long-life lithium battery or mains connected. My MIL got a quote from an electrician to install everything needed in her house for just over £700, I put in wireless, long life battery units for less than 25% of that.     

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Mungler said:

 

Quality tips there.

Let me know if you fancy running another job 😆

Thanks for the offer.... 

but hell no! 😁

One other thing on the heating side - If you do go PV SAPs shows a better uplift utilising a diverter to the hotwater system than it does going to battery storage. Bit of an odd one as it seems to be less efficient in terms of energy conversion and storage but no one said any of this had to make sense...  

Another cheeky quick win I occasionally use (where the wrong insulation has gone in or something and I am desperate to make up some points) is a Waste Water Heat Recovery. They are jank, highly doubt they actually work other than in theory but are maintenance free, hidden, a piece of urine to install and only cost about £500.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

Modern double glazed sash windows are a far cry from what you probably have in at the moment. No rattling, well insulated and easy to maintain, also look a lot better than upvc. Although I'm biased as I used to make sashes in the 80s then everyone wanted upvc, in the 90s 00s loads went back to sashes. If I was closer I'd sort them out for you myself. 

Edited by scobydog
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is very very worthwhile asking the local authority if there is a grant for a property that has never had double glazing and/or never had efficient central heating. The more so if owing to covid you've lost your job and are on any sort of means tested benefit. Ignore the fact that the Government's "Green Energy" or whatever scheme it was called has closed these are schemes administered by the second tier local authority...so district council or similar. For the cost of a telephone call you've little to lose.

Regarding the blocked drain/bog. The law changed four plus years ago. No longer do you own the drain until where it reaches the main sewer. Now it is owned by the local water authority the inch that it exits your curtilage. This means the responsibility for maintaining and clearing from that point rests with them. No longer the expense of the exhorbitant charges of Dyno-Rod and the like. Nor any access arguments with neighbours under who's land it passes. Again worth a telephone call.

Edited by enfieldspares
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Scully said:

I’d think twice before destroying the original sash windows, at around the 500 quid mark to make they may be worth something to someone. 

Indeed, carefully remove and flog to the highest bidder.

Use the cash to put towards windows that belong in the 21st century.  Let those who harbour false nostalgia live with the consequences of their affectations. 😄

Being serious for a minute, excellent thread, and where PW excels, is the wisdom of some of its members on all things housing related.

But, I've re-read the OP's post, and cannot for the life of me figure out why he's worrying about gas boilers?  They're trying to legislate them out of existence for new builds.  Just crack on and install central heating, giving consideration to underfloor heating for the lower floors.  As/when alternatives become available, fit them to take advantage of existing pipework.  If you want to make life easy on your future installer, maybe run a 25mm conduit from your consumer unit to where your boiler is, to allow for easier installation of an electric boiler/other plant?

Things like MVHR and ASHP do not go well with existing UK housing stock.  Ductwork might be easy to run if you have a US style 'crawlspace' but won't work in a Victorian terrace.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

12 minutes ago, udderlyoffroad said:

Indeed, carefully remove and flog to the highest bidder.

Use the cash to put towards windows that belong in the 21st century.  Let those who harbour false nostalgia live with the consequences of their affectations. 😄

Being serious for a minute, excellent thread, and where PW excels, is the wisdom of some of its members on all things housing related.

But, I've re-read the OP's post, and cannot for the life of me figure out why he's worrying about gas boilers?  They're trying to legislate them out of existence for new builds.  Just crack on and install central heating, giving consideration to underfloor heating for the lower floors.  As/when alternatives become available, fit them to take advantage of existing pipework.  If you want to make life easy on your future installer, maybe run a 25mm conduit from your consumer unit to where your boiler is, to allow for easier installation of an electric boiler/other plant?

Things like MVHR and ASHP do not go well with existing UK housing stock.  Ductwork might be easy to run if you have a US style 'crawlspace' but won't work in a Victorian terrace.

 

Whilst I agree with most of what you said, after 40plus years of dealing with under floor heating of all sizes from houses to Hospitals I would not touch it with a barge pole.   Whilst it can be fine under a thin tiled floor, as soon as the thickness increases the performance drops and stick something even vaguely insulating like laminate on it and it is not good - carpet is even worse.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Yellow Bear said:

Whilst it can be fine under a thin tiled floor, as soon as the thickness increases the performance drops and stick something even vaguely insulating like laminate on it and it is not good

Interesting.

Is this another one of those use cases where the British idea of 'heating on for a couple of hours a day, and that's luxury' means the building will never get to temperature, as it's just slower to heat.  Unlike our European cousins (where there are millions of homes running underfloor heat) - who tend to set and forget the thermostat?  Mind you, they are generally starting from a much better (more insulated) basis.

I found that, having insulated my Edwardian semi to as much as was practicable without spending megabucks, that it was just easier to let the thermostat regulate the temperature, particularly during the 2020 work-from-home-athon.  I didn't notice an especially great increase in gas use.

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, udderlyoffroad said:

Interesting.

Is this another one of those use cases where the British idea of 'heating on for a couple of hours a day, and that's luxury' means the building will never get to temperature, as it's just slower to heat.  Unlike our European cousins (where there are millions of homes running underfloor heat) - who tend to set and forget the thermostat?  Mind you, they are generally starting from a much better (more insulated) basis.

I found that, having insulated my Edwardian semi to as much as was practicable without spending megabucks, that it was just easier to let the thermostat regulate the temperature, particularly during the 2020 work-from-home-athon.  I didn't notice an especially great increase in gas use.

Very true, however do you lag your radiators so they heat more slowly 😉  My heating runs 24/365 but on a time variable thermostat to suit activity and time of day.  Lowest setting during sleep time is dew point (14 c)

Edited by Yellow Bear
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...