#WarrenYard #RealisingaDream Realising a Dream - 8 - Dedicated Ok, when considering the housing of your dream in an independent dedicated building of any type there are additional factors to consider beyond those required when inside your house. Here are the key factors I considered. Utilities An essential feature for year round use is an electricity supply for power, light and heating, if you are really flush and it is brick built why not include a toilet and sink. The utilities, especially the electricity supply will have to be laid and installed professionally and certified so in the UK. If you think that it may be a financial advantage to use Economy 7 (a cheaper off-peak UK rate) for running storage radiators then consider how the rate switching is going to be performed. You may need to have a separate power feed from the house to the building just for the storage heaters. Also the normal day rate is higher than a non-E7 tariff so it needs careful consideration, worse still storage heaters are much more expensive than other types of electric heater. Insulation & Ventilation Year round use will also require insulation to minimise heating costs. That can be quite costly although relatively easy to fit within and above the studwork when lining out. Walls should be of cavity type to aid insulation, it may be compulsory for a permanent structure anyway, but is optional for temporary structures where it can be incorporated into the lining out. Unfortunately in the UK you need to trade valuable railway space for some creature comfort, it will also improve the longevity of your railway. Minimising the number of doors and windows will improve insulation and external doors should have seals to minimise draughts. If a brick built building is to be erected then consider fitting double glazed uPVC windows and doors which will have seals. Ventilation to keep dampness down can be tricky, not being able to ventilate by leaving windows open is a problem. An open element convector heater can dry the air well enough in spring and autumn, or you could use a de-humidifier. Security This should not be overlooked and depends on your community, exposure and remoteness. Wood structures are probably the most vulnerable to forced entry. Brick built can be somewhat more secure, pre-fabricated garage style can be secured almost as well providing it is fitted with steel doors. Windows are always a weakness. Security alarms should be considered, if fitted insurance companies often want them to be of approved design and annually maintained professionally. Ultimately you want to sleep at night and not get paranoid. Windows There are many pro's and con's for windows, it is pleasant to have daylight coming in so long as direct strong sun-light is avoided which can fade and damage stock and scenery. However windows can also be a significant security weakness to forced entry, and have lower insulation capabilities than walls. But on the plus side allowing sunlight to enter reduces the amount of electric heating required. Roof Type The pitch of a tiled roof is often steeper than for a wooden or prefabricated concrete structure. This affects the wall height available to fit within the planning height limits for outbuildings and sheds on domestic property. Permanent structures generally benefit from a tiled roof covering. Tiled roofs are generally maintainable from the outside, but roof coverings for pre-fabricated buildings can be either internally or externally held in place. Simple corrugated roofing is anchored from the inside, resin coated steel/aluminium laminate panels (simulating tiles) are anchored to external batons. Why does this matter? Well if you line out a prefabricated building the roof space becomes inaccessible, so releasing or refitting internally anchored roof panels becomes difficult, externally anchored roofing is easily repaired from the outside. The corrugated roof may be cheaper but will have a shorter life and is difficult to maintain if the building is internally lined. Insurance Last, but not least, the cost of our models and scenery can be quite high so be aware of the type of insurance policy you have for your house. Not all policies will allow you to include the contents of a shed or outbuilding as though it is part of the house, especially a 'temporary' structure. Typically there may be limited cover for contents which barely cover a few locos when considered as a shed. Steel doors, non-wood construction, approved locks may be required, your insurance company can advise. Insuring your actual labour is a tricky one, I believe it can be done based on professional rates, but I didn't include it in my assessments, you may want to. The worst that can happen is destruction of your work by fire or vandalism, this can be covered by your house contents cover but you need to ensure it is. I have had to chase and swap companies and brokers as e.g. one said "We listened to our customers and made it simpler". Too right, my insurer changed from customisable to 4 options that were of no use to me after being with them for 5 years. Avoid using old electric heaters in your shed, buy new, insurance companies will insist that they are in good order, probably due to people making claims for fires caused by ancient and faulty heaters. If the cause of a fire is determined to be a faulty old electric heater their small print will result in no payout! So keep on top, read the small print every year. Trouble is you only find out how good your insurer is when you have to make a claim. Next, having considered all these factors it was time to commit. Continued in part 9, Jim. As required by the insurance company, aka the explosives store at the cement works :-

Posted by Jim Franklin at 2021-05-09 08:45:45 UTC