Notes from a New Self Builder

Here at CDI we spend a lot of time at exhibitions, on the phone, writing emails and going out to site and advising people on how Lewis Deck, along with our other floor systems, should be installed and how to get the best out of them.

However, there is probably nothing better than to get advice out of someone who has just spent the last few weeks/ months building their own property and installing the deck for themselves.

This is just what, self builder, Laurence James has just done, or more accurately, is just completing. Mr James lives in Bath and back in June purchased Lewis Deck to go down on the 1st floor of his new self build property just outside of the City centre. Laurence had never used Lewis Deck before, in fact, like many self-builders, Laurence had never heard of Lewis Deck prior to seeing the system at an exhibition. After being convinced of its benefits and its suitability for his project, Laurence was happy to go ahead and the deck was delivered to site in June.

The deck was laid on top of timber “eco-joists”, that allowed Laurence to cover the 5m spans within the property and their design allowed for a very quick installation as they are very lightweight.

On top of the joists was laid the 6mm Lewis resilient rubber strips. These were simple to install too as they are self-adhesive and stick to the joists relatively easily. Around the perimeter walls our 20mm Lewis flanking strips were used.  Resilient and flanking strips help with acoustic separation and the flanking strips provide, additionally, the edge expansion joint and fire integrity around the edge of the floor.

Lewis Deck with underfloor heating pipes in clip rails
Self Builder using Lewis Deck with underfloor heating pipes in clip rails

The deck, on top of this build up, took just a few days to install, after getting the hang of which way around they go, and after the underfloor heating pipes were installed, the screed was laid in a matter of hours. This gave Laurence the solid floor, with underfloor heating, that he wanted.

We spoke with self builder, Laurence earlier this week and he gave us this feedback:

“The floor system is fantastic. When we were looking to carry out this project, having a solid floor upstairs that included underfloor heating was a must for us. We had never come across Lewis Deck previously but after seeing it, we thought this was the right way to go.”

“As we are doing a lot of the work in the property ourselves, we needed something was easy to install and the system overall was. The eco-joists were light and very simple to put into place and these are great as they allowed us to install all the services in between the webs and keep the floor thickness to a minimum.”

“The Lewis Deck sheets are also light and were straight-forward enough to get up onto the 1st floor. We followed the instructions that we were given and once we had got to grips with the way the floor is orientated, to lay it was easy to install.”

“We did have a couple of issues at the beginning when trying to secure the first few sheets in place as they seemed to move ever so slightly as we added further sheets, but this seemed to disappear when additional rows were added to the floor.”

“We would also recommend getting specific “steel” cutting blades for cutting the sheets as we used normal metal discs on a grinder and we went through quite a lot before buying steel discs. Once we had these it made the job of cutting the deck much easier”

“When it came to screeding the floor we did notice that the sheets where we had starting installing had moved ever so slightly. This was not enough for us to see from above or below but when the weight of the screed hit the flanking strip at the edge of the deck there was just enough of a gap to allow some screed to seep through.”

8

“After pausing the screed pour we fixed the area in question with a bit of duct tape below and when we commenced the pour again we had no further issues.”

One point to note is that if you go for a free-flowing screed, as Laurence did, it comes very wet with a consistency of a gritty tomato soup. It is always recommended that you check for any potential “daylight” being visible from below before the screed is poured. If this is only spotted during the screed pour then, as Laurence did, using tape or even expanding foam is ideal for closing these gaps.

Lewis on 2 levels to create a step
Lewis on 2 levels to create a step

Laurence added “Now that the screed has dried, and the underfloor heating has been turned on, we can feel the benefits of installing Lewis Deck. The floor is solid, the underfloor heating is very effective and there is virtually no noise from upstairs to downstairs.”

Finished tiling to 1st floor bathroom
Finished tiling to 1st floor bathroom

“We are very happy with the way this system has worked for us and we now can’t wait to get the house fully completed”.

With thanks to Laurence and Carolyn James, Bath – 29th October 2018.

FAQs

Ask CDI a Question

  • Q

    What are the Lewis Deck sheet sizes?

    A

    Q: What sheet sizes are held in stock for delivery within a few days after order? A: We stock 2500mm and 1300mm sheets.  These are all 630mm wide and 16mm deep.  Deliveries are made via the pallet network directly to site.  The smaller sheets are aimed at small bathroom renovation projects and can be supplied in small numbers via TNT. 2.5* and 1.3m sheets allow for the 100mm overlap to occur over a joist, with joist centres being either 300mm, 400mm, 600mm, 800mm*, 1200mm and 2400mm*. (*2.5m sheet only) For larger projects we are able to produce bespoke sheet sizes if required, please get in contact to discuss other options for sheet sizes.

    Q

    Lacomet – How come it has no scrap value?

    A

    Lacomet – How come it has no scrap value? Many of the projects that we get involved in starts with a phone call or email to us from someone researching replacing stolen leadwork. Many of these are old buildings, such as schools or churches, where this isn’t the first time that the lead has been stolen and they call us fed up with having to replace it again full in the knowledge that they will more than likely go through the same problem once more in the near future if they continue to use lead. One of the big benefits that Lacomet FL brings to a project is the fact that it has no scrap value and therefore the chances of it being stolen are massively reduced. Due to the 2 thin aluminium layers, and its five layer total construction, it is of no value to thieves. Lacomet can be recycled but the polyester based coating would need to be de-laminated first and the amount of recovered aluminum is then very low, in fact it would be easier and more profitable to collect empty drinks cans than to mess about stripping Lacomet down. We can also supply stickers that can be placed in strategic locations informing people that what is now on the roof is not lead and that it has no scrap value.

  • Q

    Why don't my Lewis sheets interlock like they do in the video?

    A

    Q: Why don't my sheets interlock like they do in the video? A: The sheets have two sides (one printed, one plain), the dovetails on either side are different widths, it is then necessary to alternate the sheets print up and then print down.

    Q

    Is this a question?

    A

    If it is, this is an answer.

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Notes from a New Self Builder - CDI