Main Contractor Appointed

After much discussion with the contractors on my shortlist, following up their references and refining the specification for the house in order to fit within my budget I have finally decided on a Main Contractor for the build phase – Steve Yardley and the team from Burton Building Solutions. As with all good contractors they’re booked up for the next few months but they’re forecasting being ready to start work on site before the end of September.

My main reasons for choosing this particular contractor were:

  • They’re pretty local and work with a good team of local subcontractors. They also know the local Building Control and Planning people.
  • They impressed me with their attention to detail throughout the tender process. I’m confident they have quoted for exactly what I asked for and they won’t substitute items without prior agreement.
  • They have a proven track record of delivering Passivhaus levels of performance, especially with regard to Air Tightness which is particularly sensitive to the quality of the on-site workmanship. I’m happy they understand the importance of the high standards they need to achieve and that they will be able to deliver them.

Apart from the small matter of getting confirmation of a very substantial mortgage, everything is now lined up to turn my plans into reality.

Bat Detection Success

As reported previously I spotted a bat in late 2014 and bought a bat detector to try to identify the species, but without success. Since bats hibernate over the winter there weren’t any around for a few months but now they’re here on a daily basis.

The best time to see them is about an hour after sunset, when it’s generally getting quite dark and often also a bit cold. I’m fairly sure the ones I’m seeing regularly at the moment are Common Pipistrelle bats since they’re pretty small and are showing up on the right frequency using the bat detector. They seem to behave a lot like swallows, moving fast and changing direction rapidly (which isn’t too surprising since they’re both hunting insects on the wing).

I reckon the bat I saw in November was different – larger and moving much more slowly – so that was probably a different species.