Bri44

40mm Gap between blockwork

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So the front ground floor section of my house is 20mm longer in width than the next level 1st floor. This whole section is 20mm lower than the height of the adjoining curved section.

 

I`m going to measure the cavity widths where i can access them mainly at the expansion joints. I did measure two places, it appears the cavity is 4 inches wide but in some places it is 5 inches wide. Is there a maximum width the cavity should be?

 

This picture shows the 20mm difference between the two sections.

 

 

house section 20mm difference.jpg

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put the plumb bob in a bucket of water when windy. string will vibrate but won't swing around

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I managed with the water, done most walls except one corner which is a wind tunnel. Thanks for the bucket of water tip.

 

All the walls are out of plumb except the back corner that is attached to my neighbours house.

 

One thing i did notice is the parapet wall is flush with the wall below at both corners where attached to my neighbours house. On the opposite corner the parapet is nearly 2 inches set back from the wall below. 

 

parapet wall out1.jpg

parapet wall out2.jpg

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Is that wall really 60mm out of plumb over about 1200mm!? 

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Did they build up to that height and then went to put the fancy sandstone ledge on and in doing so realise they where way out of plumb and square and have stepped it back in in order to give less issues fitting the truss.

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Ni idea Declan. The house was already built when I purchased it. 

How far should these ledges sit under the blocks above them?

parapet corner front2.jpg

Edited by Bri44

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2 hours ago, bassanclan said:

Is that wall really 60mm out of plumb over about 1200mm!? 

 

That is the measurement from that corner. The parapet being nearly 2 inches set back. 

 

Here it is at the other corner at the front of the house. You can see the walls are inline with each other.

 

 

parapet corner front.jpg

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54 minutes ago, Bri44 said:

Ni idea Declan. The house was already built when I purchased it. 

How far should these ledges sit under the blocks above them?

parapet corner front2.jpg

From that front lip you would want maybe 20-25mm of a gap till your render then another 20-25mm for the render. But it all depends on that front gap. Some like that to be 10 mm so it sits further onto the block but then you have barely an edge before the render. It's just about how they wanted it to look from below.

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On a positive note to start.. the lead brazing looks acceptable on the left hand side, pity they didn't get the same angle of bevel on the right but... hey ho. As and aside I got pulled up years ago by a Clerk of Works who told me the hinges on a door were not fitted correctly. I had used slotted screws and not left the slots vertical, so this encourages drips when the painter comes along.

 

Looking at the photos I'm curious as to:

 

1/ What is actually holding this moulding up, is it just relying on 50mm embedment into the block? If so, what is at the back of it to give the masonry above a full rest? If the masonry above is offset from that below then this can introduce another stability issue.

2/ There seems to be lead on top. Thus, how is this lead dressed in to stop water penetrating in rather than shedding outwards. Sometime these have a small boot on the back like a cill.

 

It would be worth trying to see into the cavity just to see how it is build in, then work from there.

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Hi Gus. I`ll have a good look in the morning and do some investigating. I`m guessing they will have stuck a piece of plywood under to provide full rest for the masonry above.

I wish hinges on my doors were the only issue. Saying that, the screws in the downstairs bathroom door are all rusty. Wrong screws i guess. 

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The only way you are going to be happy is to get into a conversation with a senior executive and get them to buy the house back.

 

From their point of view they could end up throwing thousands of pounds at the house and it still not be up to scratch. They would surely be able to buy it back, unburned themselves from any warranty etc and them sell it on.

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I have put forward options to them. They are waiting on the latest SE report before deciding on what their options are. Meanwhile I will gather more information. So far what I have presented to them is pretty damning and factful.

I would estimate it has cost more than a small house so far in repair costs.

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You can step brickwork in and out by a fair amount without any structural issues.  I have seen chimneys held up by corbelling 350mm.  It is not considered be practice but it holds up.  50mm would not cause structural issues.

 

The industry standard tolerances in construction are pretty lax.  If the standard is +-30mm it could be 59mm out and still be acceptable.  To be structurally unsound it would need to be out by a very large margin.

 

You need to choose your battles here, because if the majority of your complaints can easily be countered you may just lose all of them.

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Good points from the Punter.. but the developer has to win on all structural points as they have to at least to show that they have constructed a safe building, then you get to the serviceability issues.

 

Historically, many buildings were often constructed with a good amount of redundancy and robustness built in. Now Engineers are pressed more than ever to come up with the most economic design. There is less fat left in the bank to cope with when say tolerances stray beyond those recommended in the codes. Once they move outwith the recommendations in say the Eurocodes and outwith the manufacturer's recommendations (the materials they are using that are not exlicitly covered by the Codes or a European Technical Standard say) then they are on their own and often on a "shoogly peg".

 

While they may be able to justify one tolerance being out when you have several it can become very difficult to justify the safety of the structure as a whole.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Mr Punter said:

You can step brickwork in and out by a fair amount without any structural issues.  I have seen chimneys held up by corbelling 350mm.  It is not considered be practice but it holds up.  50mm would not cause structural issues.

 

The industry standard tolerances in construction are pretty lax.  If the standard is +-30mm it could be 59mm out and still be acceptable.  To be structurally unsound it would need to be out by a very large margin.

 

You need to choose your battles here, because if the majority of your complaints can easily be countered you may just lose all of them.

 

 

Thanks Mr Punter. This is why I`m asking on here, I then cross check with the relevant data if possible so I don`t go putting things to them that are within tolerance. As Gus pointed out, if I have a several things out of tolerance,  it`s up to them to prove why they are out and that the building is structurally sound. 

 

For this sandstone ledge, do you know how far it should be set back under the blocks above and below?

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My concern with the string sandstone plinth is how its supported on this side of the house and what load bearing is it carrying. By my calculations the plinth is embedded  25mm only on this side elevation.

I`ll attach some pictures showing the measurements.

At the starting corning it is embedded by 50mm. first two images.

As it hits the bend its embedded 30mm.

As it goes down side of house and hits far corner it is embedded 25mm at most. 

As it goes along the back of the house its embedded 60mm

Corner at back of house is 60mm.

 

 

 

 

 

2.JPG

ledge1.jpg

ledge2.jpg

ledge3 bend.jpg

ledge4 corner.jpg

ledge5 back corner.jpg

ledge6 back far corner.jpg

Screenshot (59).png

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I would think the plinth is just decorative and so it just has to support its own weight.

 

What concerns me is the picture of the rear of the house, was the render as filthy as it looks? I have never seen anything like that on a relatively new house, or indeed any house that I can think of. I assume that the design of the plinth means that water just runs off it and down the wall? All the stonework on my house has drip beads, but I can see it would be hard to do with that design.

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I think the plinth as in the lower one supports whatever is above it. 

 

As for staining. Mine was bad. 

 

 

4.jpg

2.jpg

5.JPG

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second last picture looks like a blocked down pipe as well!

 

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It was not blocked. The top box was not attached to the roof, there was a gap of a few cm`s so all the water that accumulated on the faulty roof would drain out eventually once it rained enough for the water level to rise above the outlet. Any debris and water would run down the back of the drain pipe hitting the joints and dispersing outwards.

 

 

bloor homes faulty roof.PNG

Bloor homes faulty roof 1.JPG

Edited by Bri44

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Had a non windy day today. Checked the plumb again. Every wall is out. Front by 50mm, curve by 30mm, side to the far corner 30mm and back fluctuates around 10-15mm.

Length of wall panels vary. The overall height of the building as it reaches the top sandstone ledge is not level. The horizontal bed mortar under the ledge varies in thickness from 10-25mm.

 

 

 

Screenshot (59)_LI.jpg

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