The above image is taken from the NHBC 2018 guidelines and relates to the areas of the UK exposed to wind driven rain. This is important to factor in when snagging new build houses to ensure adequate protection from penetrating moisture.
Brickwork is porous, meaning rainwater in abundance will penetrate through it into the cavity so it is important on exposed walls that the water is allowed to escape through weep holes. Often we find they are blocked or not there at all, as shown in a couple of screenshots from recent inspections below:
A snagging inspection carried over the weekend raised another issue with a flat roof balcony. After inspecting the roof and gutter system using our specialist aerial photography equipment, we were able to deduce the cause of damp being from a weak-point in the balcony membrane under the decking. This was the second instance of a flat roof balcony causing damp we have encountered this year. Luckily the developer of this new build property granted access 1 month in haste of the customer's completion; giving them ample time to rectify the intrusive work required before the customer moves in.
A snagging inspection carried out yesterday was one of the worst cases of brickwork workmanship we have come across. You'd be mistaken thinking the builder had not finished the house, whereas in fact this customer completed 1 month ago.
Shoddy brickwork like this ultimately will cost a lot of money to rectify if noticed too late and falls out of the builder's warranty. On another inspection carried out this week, the mix of mortar was so weak it crumbled away when lightly scraped... The builder is faced with re-pointing the entire house which will cost them in the region of £60k.
As has been mentioned on a previous blog post, the poor quality of brickwork can be linked back to when quality trades were knocked out of business following the recession of 2008. The demand and boom of new builds since has overtaken experience and quality of workmanship which is ultimately why we still find such issues on our inspections, and why it is not getting any better.
Today's windy weather conditions was a good opportunity to identify the poor design of putting a lamp post just a couple of feet away from a house. As the video demonstrates, under windy conditions it continually bangs against the verges.
Whilst such instances are rare, light pollution from street lamps is quite common as shown below, taken from a snagging inspection carried out by Lee last month.
The vast majority (approx 70%) of complaints the NHBC receive are issues with the roof. As a standard process when we are carrying out a snagging inspection on houses, we use special equipment to inspect the gutters, chimney and tiling, giving us a vantage no other snagging company can offer.
The importance of properly installed ridge tiles was experienced first hand by our inspector Gareth on his own house [not new build] this week! During some adverse weather dislodged his ridge tile which fell to the ground and damaged his car severely. Below is a picture he took of his roof to show the issue of improperly secured ridge tiles.
We often find shortfalls of the roof including blocked or broken gutters, broken tiling or ridge tiles improperly fixed.... Raising such issues early on your new-build house will avoid issues in the long run.
A snagging inspection carried out this week revealed yet more breaches of Building Regulations. You would think that an electrician is familiar with Part P, but we often find errors such as this or sockets incorrectly wired or not wired at all. The below screen shot is from another snagging inspection carried out this past week.
Whilst most of the issues we raise during a snagging inspection would fall under tolerances set by the likes of the NHBC / LABC, we also occasionally find issues that fall out of the jurisdiction of Building Regulations which are often stipulated for the purpose of safety, as shown in the example from today's inspection:
If one photo epitomizes our inspections carried out in December, I think this one does the trick nicely. This is a sign telling the heating engineer to ensure the fittings are tight, which is hung on a fitting that is leaking.
Merry Christmas everyone,
We attended to a developer that considers itself a high-end builder yesterday, and yet it had numerous issues falling out of building regulations and NHBC tolerances.
It goes to show the importance of instructing a professional snagging inspection even when builder's have 5 star ratings, as in our experience it rarely makes any difference.
A Snaggers Blog
HomeSnag inspectors are experts at inspecting new-build houses. This blog shares real examples and publications to demonstrate the importance of getting your home snagged.
"I always insist that there is specific provision for snagging," says Thomas Moran, partner at law firm Speechly Bircham. "Reputable developers do this anyway, but there are all sorts in the market, some big, some small, so you need a contractual promise than within, say, a year they will come back to remedy any minor defects in the finishing."
read full article here