New extension- now getting cracks around the house???

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Hi,

Had a lovely new extension in the Summer/Autumn, opening up the back of the house. This required an internal and back wall being removed and steel joists going in with a steel joist pillar holding it up in the middle.

Recently, I have noticed cracks in the lounge ceiling and wall near where one of the new joists was fitted, and general cracking in an upstairs room above the new joist.

Is it normal to have a degree of settling a month or two after the build ??

My only thought is that the cold weather is making the new steel joists contract at night (when heating off) and expand in the day/evening ??

Last night I was woken up by occasional cracking sounds coming from the floor. I investigated downstairs and heard the sound coming from where a steel joist is suspended on a brick wall pillar.

Am I worried over nothing, or should I get my builder back in to have a look??

Cheers
 
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A certain amount of movement is normal. I am a chartered building surveyor and have had some loud cracking sounds from my own major builidng work which was completed just before Christmas. My works are similar to yours - rear wall and dividing wall removed and new beams etc. plus I had a new roof with a new second floor and loft rooms added. Although I've not got any visible cracks.

If I were you I would monitor for now. If you've got a digital camera take a few close up photos of the cracks so you can compare in a month or two.

Don't get over concerned in the meantime. You will get some minor cracking to finishes and I tracked most of my loud cracking down to twisting and warping of timbers. The quality of modern softwood is so crap it moves around far more than it should but there's nothing you can do about it and it will eventually settle down.

Keep an eye on it for now and ask again if the cracks develop or the noises don't settle in a month or two.
 
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I'd say it's all fairly normal. I had an extension completed in 2006 and have seen a few settlement cracks occur, particularly in the joint between the Walls and ceiling. Even this year when we had the really hot spell early on, you could hear the roof timbers moving.

Keep an eye on them to make sure they aren't getting worse, then fill and paint as necessary.
 
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