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Ground level changes and DPC. My project house!

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by Silver Shark, 21 Aug 2020.

  1. Silver Shark

    Silver Shark

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    21 Aug 2020
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    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Good evening

    I am after a bit of advice regarding patio replacement and ground level if anyone would be kind enough to share their thoughts.

    I have owned this place for a couple of years now and I knew it was a project! Constructed in late 1970s and sold on 3 or 4 times. The original builders decided to take the opportunity to bury rubble in the garden and driveway and the previous occupants who owned it for 12 yeats had the view that "maintenance" could be achieved with tape or nails and if not then it wasn't worth the effort... but I digress!

    So the level of the ground outside is at least 15cm below the DPC on the side and at the front of the house but at the back, it jumps up so that the patio is either at or just below the DPC, and I can't think for the life of me why this was done or why it never came up as an issue in the home survey when it seems like a blatant contravention to my (admittedly) untrained eye.

    I realise in hindsight that the DPC isn't as obvious in the photos as it is in the flesh. It runs along the line at the bottom of the lowest point of the cable.

    I have already begun ripping up the existing patio which had formed impressive "bowls" for collecting rainwater. Some minor investigation reveals why (photos attached!)

    I have also removed the decking which formed a step into the patio doors, which came up above the DPC by a significant amount. Surprisingly, I can't see any evidence of damp inside the house, which is even more shocking considering the condition of the guttering when I moved in.

    Now, I have two queries;

    Is there any reason why the level of the ground in the back garden is higher than the rest of the perimeter? And if not, is there any potential problem I could encounter by digging out the concrete alongside the house to drop the ground level?

    If there isn't any reason why I shouldn't drop the ground level, when I install paving, how best can I install a step? Since the DPC is below the level of the doors, I was wondering about whether I could install a drain under the doors to maintain a gap. I would be very interested in how you have tackled this as it is surely a common consideration, needing to build a step which comes above the DPC. The house seems, above all odds to be in pretty good nick but I really want to do this properly.

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