Non standard construction?

24 Nov 2008
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United Kingdom
My brother bought a detached house recently but it always seems to be cold and damp. I'm very confused about the construction of the house. It's built on a hill so it's single story at the rear and at the front it has a cellar/workshop making the front two storey. The walls of the first level at the cellar seem to be a double thickness of brick on the external walls with a damp proof course showing at the roof of the cellar.

Above the cellar the main ground floor external walls appear to have a single thickness of what appears to be concrete block rendered on the outside with what I think is cement and finished with very fine pebbledash. The interior side of this wall seems to be coated with what looks like a tar based product. To this is attached the interior wooden frame with polystyrene backed plasterboard. I thought houses were meant to have a double layer of brick/block with a cavity in the middle. Any thoughts on this would be helpful.

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Sounds like it's been extended upwards at some stage, ideally it would be double skinned, but sounds like it was been tanked.
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I checked this out and it hasn't been an add on. It was all built at the same time. Any suggestions on what should be done to make this come under a standard build?


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