Progress has been slow. Like all self builders who are working within constrained budget and managing small packages of work (instead of a more conventional main contractor route) cashflow and the availability of labour have hampered us since Christmas.

I have a full time job and Kate works part time while we share another full time job looking after our two young children. So it’s hard to find time to achieve the big chunks of work we’d like. It’s generally impossible for both of us to be on site together and if we do manage it we’re usually confined to an hour or two when we can entice our boisterous offspring to sit in front of a film in the site caravan. Young children and building sites do not mix.

Sometimes one or other of our long-suffering sets of parents will make the journey north and allow us a whole weekend of work. It is against this backdrop that on Saturday we achieved a significant milestone. Our underfloor heating was connected to the mains and pressure tested. Nothing leaked.

underfloor heating laid before screed

The system we used is a standard Wavin specification. That is 15mm plastic pipe clipped into 25mm insulation panels that sit between timber battens onto which we have fixed 9mm ply and – once its acclimatized – 15mm engineered oak flooring from Russwood.

The benefits of this system for us are two-fold:

  1. We could relatively easily lay the insulation and pipework ourselves up to the point of connection (with the assistance of Wavin’s helpful online video tutorials).
  2. There is no need for a significant amount of concrete and its resultant drying time at such a late stage of the build.

For us using the timber building up as opposed to concrete means a thinner build up on the floor. This helps us gain a few more millimetres in height where the ceilings are lowest.

The electrician is now on site and so by the end of today our house will have fully functioning heating.

Underfloor heating controls
  • Samantha Lyons

    I am starting a stone barn conversion. Its 90’x17′ – would this work on limecrete as we are listed and I am using all lime products for breathability. How expensive is it in comparison to other underfloor heating? Are you supplementing some rooms with rads downstairs as I have been told it can still be cold particularly with the Huge barn windows?

  • Olli Blair

    Hi Samantha

    You’ll need to check with Limecrete to see but I would have thought so.
    We used the Wavin system which was a considerable (maybe 50%) on the price I’d got from Jupiter. The jupiter system has a screed replacement tile option which I had wanted to use but the saving offered by using Wavin as well as the difference in thickness made the difference.
    We’re not having radiators but we do have two woodburners (one at either end).
    Im hopeful that once the UFH is up to temperature we won’t need to use them much but its always good to have a back up.
    Hope that helps. I’d be interested to know how you get on

  • James A M Keay

    I am about to build a new two story extension. Utility room on the ground floor and shower room upstairs. I would like to install hot water under floor heating on both levels. The ground floor seems straightforward enough as this would involve laying a screed, but how successful would it be over Caber floor panels. Is there a procedure using polyurethane foam board to deflect heat upwards. My intention is to use cork laminate flooring to finish in the shower room, and tiles on the ground floor.

    Someone help would be greatly appreciated.


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