Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • peddy
    • By peddy 8th Jun 17, 11:28 AM
    • 126Posts
    • 45Thanks
    peddy
    Advice needed please. Issues with garden on new build
    • #1
    • 8th Jun 17, 11:28 AM
    Advice needed please. Issues with garden on new build 8th Jun 17 at 11:28 AM
    We purchased a new build house from a local developer, moved in at the end of September and everything seemed fine (apart from a few little snags that the builder sorted out).

    Come January we noticed that the fence at the rear boundary had started to lean and the ground was eroding away (there is a 1 1/2 foot dip appeared along the base. On the other side of the fence is a steep bank of wasteland with the fence being built right on the top edge so inevitably with the British weather being on the wet side we have started to loose our garden down said bank. We even had some of their guys out to fix some steps and they took one look at the fence and said "that fence is going to go soon". It's now 9 months since moving in and I am convinced that when winter and the wet weather comes back we lose the fence, it has moved that much in the time we have been here.

    What I am trying to establish is whether the builder has responsibility for this as it appears the garden wasn't made secure by way of a retaining wall?

    I have tried speaking to the builders who are just brushing me off saying it is not covered by the warranty.

    I would be grateful if anyone with experience of something similar could give me some guidance on who to speak to next.

    Many Thanks
Page 1
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 8th Jun 17, 11:35 AM
    • 1,638 Posts
    • 1,955 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #2
    • 8th Jun 17, 11:35 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Jun 17, 11:35 AM
    It would be worth checking the planning documents for your property on the local council's website. There should be plans included showing how issues like sloping ground would be dealt with.

    How far from your house is the fence at the top of the slope?
    Last edited by EachPenny; 08-06-2017 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Typo
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 8th Jun 17, 11:42 AM
    • 14,625 Posts
    • 14,349 Thanks
    Guest101
    • #3
    • 8th Jun 17, 11:42 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Jun 17, 11:42 AM
    Presumbely the slope hasn't been turfed? And the fence foundation isn't deep enough, both problems could be solved in a day really.
    • sparky130a
    • By sparky130a 8th Jun 17, 11:46 AM
    • 638 Posts
    • 774 Thanks
    sparky130a
    • #4
    • 8th Jun 17, 11:46 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Jun 17, 11:46 AM
    I can't help with your builder issue but what i would say is a small retaining wall should have been built.

    Because i guarantee the sub layer is just full of builders c5ap draining everything away.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 8th Jun 17, 11:59 AM
    • 40,528 Posts
    • 46,367 Thanks
    G_M
    • #5
    • 8th Jun 17, 11:59 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Jun 17, 11:59 AM
    Who owns the land the other side of the fence?
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 8th Jun 17, 12:55 PM
    • 1,638 Posts
    • 1,955 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #6
    • 8th Jun 17, 12:55 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jun 17, 12:55 PM
    Presumbely the slope hasn't been turfed? And the fence foundation isn't deep enough, both problems could be solved in a day really.
    Originally posted by Guest101
    I can't help with your builder issue but what i would say is a small retaining wall should have been built.
    Originally posted by sparky130a
    An 18 inch 'dip' and a 'steep bank'....
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • mysterymurdoch
    • By mysterymurdoch 8th Jun 17, 1:00 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    mysterymurdoch
    • #7
    • 8th Jun 17, 1:00 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jun 17, 1:00 PM
    I can't directly help, but this is very common in new builds. The garden is cobbled together on a minimal budget and you'll struggle to grow much successfully as the soil will be absolutely useless. You're not alone!
    • KittenChops
    • By KittenChops 8th Jun 17, 1:01 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    KittenChops
    • #8
    • 8th Jun 17, 1:01 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jun 17, 1:01 PM
    There was a Monty Don series on a few months back called 'Big Dreams Small Spaces' and in series 3, episode 2, there were a pair of twins who'd bought new build houses next door to one another. One of the twins found he couldn't have the garden he wanted due to all of the builders rubble buried underneath. According to the program, the developers paid out to have enough of it removed so that the garden was 'usable'

    I know it’s not exactly the same scenario…
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 8th Jun 17, 2:19 PM
    • 2,667 Posts
    • 3,637 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #9
    • 8th Jun 17, 2:19 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Jun 17, 2:19 PM
    What would worry me about this it the stability of the house. If they can't build a fence that doesn't suffer from subsidence it doesn't say much for the quality of their building. You may need to check your house hasn't moved down towards the fence.
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 8th Jun 17, 3:48 PM
    • 4,438 Posts
    • 18,570 Thanks
    Slinky
    This sounds like a new build I pass occasionally that's been built near the edge of a lake but about 6 feet up. Currently the builders are back in shoring up the back garden. Looks expensive.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 8th Jun 17, 5:41 PM
    • 22,889 Posts
    • 88,013 Thanks
    Davesnave
    The landscaping will have been contracted-out at a pared-to-the-bone price.

    The builder is probably right that it's not covered by the NHBC or similar guarantee, as that relates to the structure of the house.

    While it would be highly annoying, if it were me, I'd not expend too much energy chasing the builder; I'd look at sensible/inexpensive ways to stabilise the garden, which won't have been inspected as the house foundations should have been.

    A hedge of reasonably fast-growing trees, like beech or hornbeam will help to provide stability at the top of an unnatural bank. If there's nothing growing there, then it will tend to move downhill.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • sparky130a
    • By sparky130a 8th Jun 17, 9:17 PM
    • 638 Posts
    • 774 Thanks
    sparky130a
    All of which is fine.

    But i'll bet my pair to a barn dance that what is underneath is simply acting as a soakaway.

    Brick rubble/lightweight blocks/pug......

    Whatever you employ it needs to take the water ingression.
    • peddy
    • By peddy 9th Jun 17, 10:10 AM
    • 126 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    peddy
    It would be worth checking the planning documents for your property on the local council's website. There should be plans included showing how issues like sloping ground would be dealt with.

    How far from your house is the fence at the top of the slope?
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    It's around 3.5 metres at the nearest point.

    Can't see anything in the plans that mentions the sloping ground.
    • peddy
    • By peddy 9th Jun 17, 10:12 AM
    • 126 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    peddy
    Presumbely the slope hasn't been turfed? And the fence foundation isn't deep enough, both problems could be solved in a day really.
    Originally posted by Guest101
    No the other side is waste land with mainly brambles growing.

    I believe the land is owned by the council
    • peddy
    • By peddy 9th Jun 17, 1:25 PM
    • 126 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    peddy
    Ok so looking at the plans it appears that there was an existing fence with a line of trees running alongside it which were removed.

    To give it some context the property is built on the side of an existing house that had a substantial garden. They have replaced the fence and removed the trees. I just wonder if this is settlement from this and will slow down over time. Obviously need to look at sorting the leaning fence out but maybe it's not as bad as first thought.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 9th Jun 17, 7:50 PM
    • 198 Posts
    • 260 Thanks
    ProDave
    The garden has almost certainly been made up to make it level. I'll bet previously it either sloped or was a lower level all over.

    I would be pretty sure the house foundations were deep enough to be safe.

    Made up ground, unless compacted really well, will settle over time. If the fence had really deep planted posts it might have been stable, but otherwise the fence will start to lean as the ground settles.

    Not much option other than wait until it has settled natrually and re do the fence, or get someone with a digger and compactor in to landscape it properly.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,384Posts Today

7,376Users online

Martin's Twitter