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    • London54
    • By London54 10th Nov 18, 1:33 PM
    • 9Posts
    • 1Thanks
    London54
    Balconys "designed" to drain one on to another
    • #1
    • 10th Nov 18, 1:33 PM
    Balconys "designed" to drain one on to another 10th Nov 18 at 1:33 PM
    Hi,


    I am about to complete on a newbuild apartment next month. I bought it off plan earlier this year. While walking around the building I noticed that the balconies have no undertray or drainage and the is a space between the boards in the decking to allow one balcony to drain right on to the balcony below.


    I raised this to the Developer and told them I think there are safety and liability concerns with the balconies.
    Safety - if someone on my balcony or the balcony above me spills a hot drink it would go right down on the people below.
    Liability - Water, waste (e.g. overspill from plants, washing windows, leaves from plants) would be washed down on furniture and plants on the lower balconies.


    The Developers are brushing aside my concerns initially telling me thanks and they will keep it in mind for future buildings. Then telling me that this is the way the balconies are designed and neighbours need to be considerate (wash balcony with a damp cloth only and no chemicals)


    I've had a look around my neighbourhood and all other buildings seem to have an undertray at the least and in some cases drainage pipes as well.


    They say this is the design and they will not change it. Apparently it has been approved by the NHBC.


    I'm going to get an independent Engineer (more £££) to have a look at this to get his/her view.


    Can I hold up completing on the apartment until this is addressed?


    Am I being reasonable in my expectation here? Should all balconies have a drainage system?


    Interested in thoughts and what I should do about this.


    Many Thanks!
Page 1
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 10th Nov 18, 2:09 PM
    • 1,885 Posts
    • 7,531 Thanks
    BrassicWoman
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 2:09 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 2:09 PM
    My mate has one of these and it's fine. Bit of air between the slats does it good. I think you may be stressing over not much.
    Jan 18 grocery challenge £105.13/ £150
    • AFF8879
    • By AFF8879 10th Nov 18, 2:18 PM
    • 391 Posts
    • 1,010 Thanks
    AFF8879
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 2:18 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 2:18 PM
    Agreed with Brassic, I have been many times to my friend’s flat which has the same type of balcony (of which we have had many fun nights with a BBQ / few beers whilst soaking in the London skyline!) and he has never had any problems.

    It could be worse- one of my colleagues used to live in a flat with a concrete balcony (so obviously no gaps) and one morning whilst he and his girlfriend were sat out having a coffee, someone in the flat above who had clearly had a late night puked all down the side of their own balcony, which proceed to splatter over my colleague.... so even without the gaps you are never fully safe
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 10th Nov 18, 2:23 PM
    • 19,111 Posts
    • 17,515 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 2:23 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 2:23 PM
    It's not going to get changed. Buy this flat with this design of balcony, or don't buy this flat. It's your choice.
    • Herbalus
    • By Herbalus 10th Nov 18, 2:32 PM
    • 2,145 Posts
    • 1,784 Thanks
    Herbalus
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 2:32 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 2:32 PM
    I hope you have the flat on the top floor!
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 10th Nov 18, 2:58 PM
    • 3,602 Posts
    • 9,641 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 2:58 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 2:58 PM
    I think your concerns are legitimate, I wouldn’t want to sit on a balcony where people above were spilling drinks or mopping, or even letting cats or other animals use it as a loo!
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 10th Nov 18, 3:21 PM
    • 9,076 Posts
    • 9,671 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:21 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:21 PM
    Can I hold up completing on the apartment until this is addressed?
    Originally posted by London54
    Not unless your contract specifically says the balcony is to be built to a different specification to the one they've constructed. Which I expect it doesn't, though we can't read your contract.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 10th Nov 18, 3:41 PM
    • 45,948 Posts
    • 55,497 Thanks
    G_M
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:41 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:41 PM
    I understand your concerns and like you I'd not be happy.

    But that's not the same as saying you have legal grounds for delay or to enforce a change of design.

    I seriously doubt you have a legal leg to stand on other than to withdraw from the purchase, assuming your contract allows you to.......

    Paying an engineer to look is a waste of money - just find out if there are specific Building Regulations covering balcony design like this, or not. I suggest you post your question, with a photo and/or detailed description of the design, here:


    https://www.diynot.com/diy/forums/building-regs-planning/
    Last edited by G_M; 10-11-2018 at 5:20 PM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Nov 18, 4:44 PM
    • 17,139 Posts
    • 47,389 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 4:44 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 4:44 PM
    I think your concerns are legitimate, I wouldn’t want to sit on a balcony where people above were spilling drinks or mopping, or even letting cats or other animals use it as a loo!
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    I agree.

    One would hope that the developer would be the one liable should any boiling hot drink head down through a balcony floor onto someone on the balcony beneath and I would want to check that the culprit (ie the developer) would be the one that would be left "carrying the can" if that happened - and not me (as it certainly wouldnt be my fault for treating the balcony like a normal balcony).

    I've had a flat with a balcony before - and it literally never occurred to me during the time there to treat it any different to the way balconies are normally. If I wanted to throw a bucket of hot soapy water all over the balcony floor to clean it - that's what I did. I wouldnt have dreamt it could go through my floor onto anyone underneath - I just knew that (quite obviously) it wouldn't do so.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 10-11-2018 at 4:47 PM.
    Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. It's the only thing that ever has.

    Extinction Rebellion
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 10th Nov 18, 4:52 PM
    • 4,303 Posts
    • 9,065 Thanks
    DaftyDuck
    G_M, how is the incontinence, by the way? Age gets to us all, doesn't it?

    No, a pee-through... um, see-through balcony wouldn't be for me. But, that's what is there. Buy it (and an umbrella for when G_M and I are swilling tea (laced with whiskey) with great abandon) or choose not to buy it; they won't change it for you, as it will be in the planning approval for one thing...
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 10th Nov 18, 5:15 PM
    • 1,435 Posts
    • 206 Thanks
    littlerock
    presumably you could consult a planning expert to find out if such balconies are legally permitted or in a gray area and then make your decision.

    Have you seen this ? https://sapphire.eu.com/technical-info/balcony-regulations-and-industry-guidance/nhbc/
    Last edited by littlerock; 10-11-2018 at 5:17 PM.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 10th Nov 18, 5:32 PM
    • 27,354 Posts
    • 16,362 Thanks
    xylophone
    http://www.psbj.co.uk/features/from-the-magazine/product-innovation/693-drainage-matters

    Safety must also be considered in any decision. The risk of hot liquids falling through the balcony deck onto residents below can be reduced by a drip tray or RWP.

    Check with Building Control?
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 10th Nov 18, 8:55 PM
    • 33,479 Posts
    • 20,231 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Check the planning application(s) the details of materials and construction will all be there.

    What's the flooring made of?
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