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  • FIRST POST
    • Zales200483
    • By Zales200483 3rd Dec 17, 7:26 PM
    • 32Posts
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    Zales200483
    issue with new build
    • #1
    • 3rd Dec 17, 7:26 PM
    issue with new build 3rd Dec 17 at 7:26 PM
    Hello everyone

    Thats my first post here so please be gentle

    I am sure you heard that one before but i have an issue with my new build house and would appreciate any wise counsel.

    Firstly, i have a laminate flooring in my living room. As the weather became colder i have noticed cold air coming from under the skirting boards!!! Checked with IR device and the temperature of the floor in those corners is up to 8 degrees Celcius colder than the floor temperature in the middle of the room and up to 12 degrees lower than air temperature!!!!
    Not an expert but surely there is something wrong. I have air bricks but those should provide the circulation for the void under the floor and should not let the air to penetrate the walls.

    Secondly, i was checking the air bricks this afternoon and noticed a sewage smell coming from two of them that are situated on the kitchen wall not far from waste pipes from kitchen. Is that something to be worry about?

    Any advise and thoughts much appreciated.

    Adam
Page 1
    • Furts
    • By Furts 4th Dec 17, 7:45 AM
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    Furts
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:45 AM
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:45 AM
    The usual proviso applies here. One would have to see to know what is happening. A likely scenario is you have dry lined walls and drafts, and subsequent damp and mould, will be behind these. These drafts are coming out at skirting level. A follow on from this is you have heat losses, increased heating bills, and (possibly) a home that fails the Buildings Regulations when air tested.

    The sewer smells are worrying. I am assuming you have a block and beam floor, and two scenarios come to mind. Either there is an open drain - worrying, but less so if it is surface water. But rodents will be the issue here. Or the back fill is organic matter which is rotting. You might say "bizarre" but I have a number of experiences of foxes under the floors and dead ones too. You could also have dead rodents.
    • J B
    • By J B 4th Dec 17, 8:23 AM
    • 2,391 Posts
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    J B
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:23 AM
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:23 AM
    As it's 'new build' ought you to contact the builder who (hopefully) gave some sort of guarantee?
    • Zales200483
    • By Zales200483 4th Dec 17, 9:39 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Zales200483
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:39 AM
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:39 AM
    Hi guys

    I have already contacted builder and reported it.
    To clarify, the fllor is concrete so i assume the smell comes from the void under and it is more stagnant like kitchen dishes if that makes sense and because it is on kitchen side i assume it might be a leak from kitchen waste pipes.

    Can someone explain how the draft can penetrate the walls and get behind the plaster? Logically it should not be possible or should be?
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 4th Dec 17, 9:49 AM
    • 24,091 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:49 AM
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:49 AM
    If itís a cavity built house then it isnít airtight. If itís block and beam, then itís even less airtight.

    Building regs dictate for only 150 or 225mm (canít remeber which) of insulation below DPC within the cavity.

    The floor will have plenty of solid insulation under it and an upstand of insulation, but the join between floor and wall is a known potential weak spot for thermal bridging.

    http://www.zerocarbonhub.org/sites/default/files/resources/reports/ZCH-ThermalBridgingGuide-Screen_0.pdf

    Youíve probably got an issue as illustrated on what is page 17 on my phone, but page 15 in the guide itself.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 04-12-2017 at 9:55 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Zales200483
    • By Zales200483 4th Dec 17, 10:18 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Zales200483
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 10:18 AM
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 10:18 AM
    Thank guys for all the advice, keep it coming. Much appreciated
    • Furts
    • By Furts 4th Dec 17, 12:26 PM
    • 3,638 Posts
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    Furts
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 12:26 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 12:26 PM
    Hi guys

    I have already contacted builder and reported it.
    To clarify, the fllor is concrete so i assume the smell comes from the void under and it is more stagnant like kitchen dishes if that makes sense and because it is on kitchen side i assume it might be a leak from kitchen waste pipes.

    Can someone explain how the draft can penetrate the walls and get behind the plaster? Logically it should not be possible or should be?
    Originally posted by Zales200483
    Unfortunately if you are making a formal complaint on workmanship - which you should be and in writing - it is no good basing this on assumptions.

    A concrete floor with air bricks suggests a block and beam floor, so my comments previously still stand. To this you can add flooding - this came to mind after my posting. It can, and does, happen.

    Your walls and drafts depends on a key issue. If you have dry lined, that is plasterboard, walls then drafts are common. If you have plastered walls then not so.

    At skirting level matters get complicated by cold bridging, sealing, membranes, radon and so on. This is regardless of your wall construction type. Hence here it is not possible to comment without seeing the situation. However if you wish to post photos of anything you may have revealed then folks here can offer suggestions.
    • Zales200483
    • By Zales200483 4th Dec 17, 12:39 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Zales200483
    • #8
    • 4th Dec 17, 12:39 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Dec 17, 12:39 PM
    Dear Furts

    I understand your point. What i meant is that i have reported smell which itself is worrying. Surely it is now their thing to investigate and find out the reason why the smell occurs. I mentioned leak from kitchen waste pipe as an example. Bottom line is that it should be rectified regardless of the reason behind it.
    The same stand with the drafts and cold spots. I can only assume that it might be something to do with the insulation in a place where the floor meets the wall but obviously it needs to be investigated by builder.
    At the moment my goal is to have them around and acknowledge that indeed there is an issue there that needs further investigation. From mine experience, that part seems to be the hardest when dealing with developer.

    Furts, i f you may indulge a layman, could you please explain to me how the air can penetrate the cavity wall anyway?
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 4th Dec 17, 1:10 PM
    • 24,091 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #9
    • 4th Dec 17, 1:10 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Dec 17, 1:10 PM
    Air can pentrate because cavity walls are not airtight.

    You’ve also purposely got airbricks running through them to ventilate the subfloor so you actively have a through-draft under the floor.

    If there’s a gap between the wall and the floor, then you’ll have a breeze there too.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Zales200483
    • By Zales200483 4th Dec 17, 2:46 PM
    • 32 Posts
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    Zales200483
    quick update, had a site manager poping in, opened all the manholes, let the sink run and no joy. Possibly the pipe got disconnected or wasnt connected at all. Groundworkers coming tomorrow with prodes and will be trying to figure out what happened.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 4th Dec 17, 3:06 PM
    • 24,091 Posts
    • 66,721 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    quick update, had a site manager poping in, opened all the manholes, let the sink run and no joy. Possibly the pipe got disconnected or wasnt connected at all. Groundworkers coming tomorrow with prodes and will be trying to figure out what happened.
    Originally posted by Zales200483

    Eek! Thatís kind of basic!
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Zales200483
    • By Zales200483 4th Dec 17, 4:42 PM
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    Zales200483
    Well, you would like to thinks so but it appears that even that is to much to ask.

    My other concern is at the moment that if they have to excavate and go through the foundation to get to the pipe, will that affect my foundation. Site manager claims that as it is block and beam foundation it wont be an issue but tbh i have absolutely no faith in them.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 4th Dec 17, 5:24 PM
    • 3,638 Posts
    • 2,275 Thanks
    Furts
    quick update, had a site manager poping in, opened all the manholes, let the sink run and no joy. Possibly the pipe got disconnected or wasnt connected at all. Groundworkers coming tomorrow with prodes and will be trying to figure out what happened.
    Originally posted by Zales200483
    WOW! Hold on and step back here.

    Your sink is Foul Drainage. This should have been air or water tested prior to handover. This is a long established, every day, known by everybody, part of the Buildings Regulations. In turn this means your home has either: a) not received a Final Inspection, and does not have a Completion Certificate ... or b) the inspection has been scimped/bodged or bribed to pass. Either way you should not be getting anything done without taking this up, in writing, with the Head Office of the builder. Allowing the groundworkers back in to cobble up incomplete drainage is a recipe for disaster. I would not be allowing this under any circumstances until I have written proposals and a Method Statement, Risk Assessment and Design.

    Also consider your 10 year warranty. This is based on the assumption your home complies with the Buildings Regulations, when clearly it does not. What else might be bodged? You have already commented about the walls and drafts .. that is a separate issue, but you sound like you may be needing urgent professional advice here. It sounds like you did not have a full survey of your home before purchase. Whilst it is a bit late now, it is never too late whilst you still have a two year builders defect period.
    • Zales200483
    • By Zales200483 4th Dec 17, 5:52 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Zales200483
    Furts

    Appreciate the advice and i dont want to be to cheeky but what would you do in my stead. I am bit confused here tbh, want the issue to be resolved but also resolved in proper manner.
    • Zales200483
    • By Zales200483 4th Dec 17, 6:41 PM
    • 32 Posts
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    Zales200483
    To be absolutely honest i am a bit stuck here. I wouldn't mind going via official channels but my issue is whether i would get support and back up and from who if the builder turns around and refuse to cooperate or will purposely drag his feet.
    At the end of the day it is me and my family that will have to live in house without waste drainage.

    Decisions, decisions....
    • Furts
    • By Furts 4th Dec 17, 8:58 PM
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    Furts
    The brutal truth, and the unfortunate truth is this. You have allowed this situation to occur, albeit not intentionally. The work will hit the profit margins of the builder and groundworker so they have an incentive to bodge and scarper. The work is an embarrassment so they will want to hide it as quickly as possible. They definitely do not want you talking to neighbours about your problems here.

    The flip side is this - it is your home on your land and you are 100% entitled to know exactly what and when things are happening. If you give a blank card for them to knock hell out of your home then they will happily do so. Bear in mind you have shown weakness to date, and are continuing to do so by wavering. Professionals would not be acting like this. Developers would not be acting like this.

    By all means get an investigation, or drain trace done, but do not allow any excavating or floor removal, or whatever, until you have 100% clear written, water tight proposals. Then remember drainage is covered by the Law, that is the Buildings Regulations. This is your legal responsibility, all the more so if you actually have a Completion Certificate, or even a Final Inspection. Here you have said nothing to any Forum users so matters are vague.

    If you allow a bodge you could be in Court, and I emphasise you, not the builder, nor the groundworker. This is because all this is your responsibility. In reality your Local Authority have far better things to do than prosecute you, so legal action from your local authority is a hollow threat. However, wise up and take matters seriously. You are in a worrying position here.

    All this before we get to the bottom of your drafts with your floor ...
    • Zales200483
    • By Zales200483 4th Dec 17, 9:08 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Zales200483
    I decided to take more formal route. Composed email to Customer service Manager and Customer service stating that before any work commencing i want to discuss the issue. I raised few concerns such as, whether breaking through my foundations wont affect structural integrity of the building, whether the exposed area needs to be treated as it is essentially an open cesspool and potentially health hazard to me and my family etc., pointed that those should be taken into consideration and i should get a plan detailing how they plan to deal with the issue. I think that is reasonable and I will be insisting on it. Hopefully they will contact me tomorrow, if not i will be in touch with head office and maybe council down the line as it contravenes approved documents of building regs.
    Tbh, i am trying to stay on top of this but i feel like fighting lost battle. For one issue rectified, 2 other, more serious pop out.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 4th Dec 17, 9:23 PM
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    Furts
    Well done! You have to show you are professional and serious. Any failure here and you risk be taken for a right ... best not say it.

    Whilst I sympathise with your situation an important point should be born in mind and it never harms to re-iterate this. Your "new home buying experience" is par for the course. But when I suggest to folks to get full surveys, or a comprehensive snagging of their new build it is always the same. "We are not prepared to pay that. Why should we? The builders have such nice sales people they would never role us over and fleece us". Of course, it is this naivety that the new home building industry happily dumbs down to. Why should they not? The lower they can drive the standards the more profit they can make!

    One day you will trade up to another home. It is likely that this will not be a new home, because of your current experiences. But this does not worry the builders. Whilst houses are in short supply and there is always a fresh years intake of naive and trusting young purchasers there is no incentive for them to up their game.

    You may view all this as cynical, but a reality check is this. I have a vast amount of new home building knowledge and experience, so I am qualified to comment here.

    Best of luck, and keep all the good forum folks posted
    • J B
    • By J B 4th Dec 17, 9:23 PM
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    J B
    Not sure really, but would it be a good idea to speak to the council building inspector?
    • Zales200483
    • By Zales200483 4th Dec 17, 9:36 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Zales200483
    Thank you all for your comments.
    Dear Furts I have to respond here in relation to the new build experience. My first big disagreement with the developer was my insisting to have my people to inspect property before completion date. I was not allowed to do that. I decided then and i still stand by it that i will get a professional snagging company but just before my 2 years warranty is done. The reason behind is that certain faults are not noticed straight away, you need to spend all 4 seasons in a house to more less pick on things. Like the issue with draft, as we moved in March i didnt really noticed that then and obviously had to wait till cold season to finally pick it up.
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