Monday, 22 June 2020

HypeDome - our new outdoor garden room

For some time we've been looking for a way to enjoy being outside without having to endure the unpredictable weather here in Scotland.  It's often too cold, or too windy (or both) to sit outside and comfortably enjoy a drink or a meal, and with a Covid-19 imposed lock-down in full swing, we knew we'd be spending more time at home trying to do more outdoor living.

We'd considered a garden room or summer house type building already, but it didn't really tick all the boxes, especially having the feeling that you were sat outside protected from the elements, rather than sat in a posh shed.  We'd also considered other dome type structures, ones that you build yourself out of wood and greenhouse plastic, but they just wouldn't stand up to the wind, and stories of having to replace the plastic every year didn't fill me with confidence.

Then we discovered Hypedome!

Hypedome is a frameless and transparent dome made from strong and sustainable polycarbonate panels (the same type of material used for safety glass windows) and when you're inside, it truly feels like you're still sat in the garden.  The big difference being that you're now protected from the cold wind and rain!  Just a tiny bit of sun will warm it up nicely in the day, and with an electric heater (or a blanket) we can easily sit out late watching the stars or enjoying the long summer evenings, when normally we'd have moved inside.

It's also very adaptable.  We decided to use it for outdoor seating and eating outside, but it could quite easily be used as a garden gym, a pool or hot tub cover or a children's play space.  It can be moved too, so if you don't like the initial location, it's possible to re-position it or even take it down.  

Of course we were initially concerned about how it would cope with the strong winds we get here, but a recent (and unseasonable) windy spell, proved it was going to cope very well.  The winds that day were gusting 40mph so I'm not so worried about the winter storms which can be double that - Incidentally, dome shapes  and dome structures are one of the best for windy locations because the wind simply flows around them, rather than pushing on one side - It's possible to anchor the dome to a wooden deck using screws (provided) or to soft ground using pegs (also provided).  Since ours is positioned on a stone patio, we used heavy platers to ballast the dome and it's super stable and very rigid.

Building the dome took us about 6 hours with 2 people, and if you can follow simple instructions, you'Il be able to build it.   If you're interested, you can follow our Hypedome build on YouTube


It may be cold outside, but you can still enjoy dinner in the garden dome!!
It may be cold in the evening, but you can still enjoy dinner in the garden dome!

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

An update about FTTP broadband in Coldingham (April 2020)

The broadband situation in Coldingham, in the Scottish Borders has moved on since I last posted.   Although it's taken 3-4 years since work started in parts of the village, most of the village now has Fibre to the Cabinet broadband (FTTC) which provides speeds up to about 75Mbps in the centre of the village (closest to the telephone exchange next to the surgery).  However, until recently, the outskirts of the village were still stuck on slow, often sub-2Mbps connections.  The good news is that many of the outlying areas have had (or are having) FTTP broadband installed.  This is the Rolls Royce of broadband solutions, as it is very future proof and also provides a much more reliable high-speed connection.  Properties on the Reston Road, including Templehall and Bee Edge have had FTTP availability since October 2019, and most recently houses near the beach, including St Vedas (which was started about 3 years ago - see below) have finally had their installation completed, and they can now order FTTP.  Properties and farms up School Road and on the Moor road have also been enabled.  If you're unsure if you can get faster speeds, check with your provider or enter your postcode on the Openreach Checker.  If you want advice or help, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.