Survey done indicates some issues: which are against building code

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Hi,

I am in a process of purchasing a semi-detached property built in 2017. I've requested a survey which has come back mostly ok, however it has highlighted some potential issues which I would like to get perspective on.

1. The ground level beyond the loose gravel finish and the damp proof course (DPC) is not greater than 150mm that is usually recommended.

2. The driver to the front is sloping towards the house. The ACO drain was not installed so water accumulates in-front of the garage.

3. There is mold issue under the kitchen sink. Not sure if this is from an old leaking pipe or outside. Need a plumber to investigate.

The damp reader was little high outside the garage otherwise reporting all right. I've requested builder quotes to correct these, but am worried that because of issue no 1 and no 2 water might have seeped into the concrete foundation and there is a bigger problem.

4. Another problem is that there is inadequate fall for one of the waste-pipes. Again will need a plumber to see and quote for the job but should i test the system to see if there is any back sewage.

Which of these issues should have been addressed when it was build and are part of the building code and should have been caught with inspections?

Thanks
 

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So it's a house that you are buying and you've discovered a few issues. There often are. Either factor in a few £K for remedial work (perhaps make a slightly reduced offer), or walk away. Forget any issues being non compliant - it's way out of any enforcement period.
 
All houses have things wrong with them. Like people.

Have you been a homeowner before?
 
Thanks. I have been a home owner but a 120 year old flat which is a bit different then newer property.

I understand there are issues and will be more, but really looking for any big ticket items which int this case is with clearance of water around the property and the waste pipe not having adequate drop.

It's hard to me put relativity around the DPC not being 150mm and the water accumulating, could this cause and issue to foundation, subsidence?
 
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Thanks. I have been a home owner but a 120 year old flat which is a bit different then newer property.

...

It's hard to me put relativity around the DPC not being 150mm and the water accumulating, could this cause and issue to foundation, subsidence?
Subsidence is something that should be in a survey if there's an issue or likely to be an issue, does it mention it?
 
I'd say all fairly minor issues. The >150mm ground level is due to the fact that the ground has been raised compared to the original.
 
As others have written, they sound fairly minor, in the scheme of things.

You need to assess whether they create a significant problem for you or not. You can talk to your surveyor who wrote the report for a bit more depth on the issue (if you don't understand fully) or pass to a builder, to quote to resolve / advise. They all probably should be sorted edit: (or at least investigated).

If they have not written subsidence or foundation issue, I would say your covered there in absence of any other signs. DPC breach by soil / ground being too high won't directly impact wall foundations. Looks like there is a suspended floor the other side of the entrance path wall, as there is a subfloor airbrick in place?

The high ground level and damp under kitchen sink may be the harder of the item raised to resolve but does depend on what is causing the problem in kitchen and how practical it would be to have a 150mm lower entrance path compared to what is there now. If it is not linked to the damp wall issue you could probably ignore it or hold on and monitor it.

However, it is possible there maybe a linkeage to the damp on the kitchen wall under sink and the high ground level. Is that area near the front door, with a outside tap, the near the kitchen sink wall? or nearby? The marking on the wall does show some water splash / soaking above the DPC line and maybe some salts residue. Although, on a cavity wall that shouldn't necessarily = damp on inside wall, but could cause the issue if the other circumstances support it.

The drainage channel requirement in front of garage shouldn't be too hard to deal with. Get a builder to quote or you could take a guess as to what it would cost. A lot will depend on availability of nearby drain and how much re-instatement is therefore required.
 
@GoodDIYjob thanks very much for your feedback, quite constructive and helpful.
However, it is possible there maybe a linkeage to the damp on the kitchen wall under sink and the high ground level. Is that area near the front door, with a outside tap, the near the kitchen sink wall? or nearby?
I spoke with agent who spoke with the owner, the cooper pipe apparently leads to the outside tap (seen in the pictures) there was a slow leak for an extended period of time which was fixed 10 months ago. The concern is that it might have been leaking for a long time before it was detected and fixed.
If they have not written subsidence or foundation issue, I would say your covered there in absence of any other signs. DPC breach by soil / ground being too high won't directly impact wall foundations. Looks like there is a suspended floor the other side of the entrance path wall, as there is a subfloor airbrick in place?
The report does not specifically mention subsidence , it only noted minor unevenness near the floor tiles and the front door did not slightly catch on reception. There is also light cracking on the garage floor but surveyor attributed it to settlement. I am not sure what subfloor airbrick is but there is UFH which may be the gap?

The drainage channel requirement in front of garage shouldn't be too hard to deal with. Get a builder to quote or you could take a guess as to what it would cost. A lot will depend on availability of nearby drain and how much re-instatement is therefore required.
I am getting the quotes for remedial works and will revert back.
 
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It's hard to me put relativity around the DPC not being 150mm and the water accumulating, could this cause and issue to foundation, subsidence?
No.

Foundations are permanently wet due to the fact that the original external backfill allows groundwater to permeate around the concrete. No dramas.
 
3. There is mold issue under the kitchen sink. Not sure if this is from an old leaking pipe or outside. Need a plumber to investigate.
90% of the population will likely find BS mould at the back of their kitchen sink.
 
Do you know this property is as it was built ? Under sink would appear to have new pipework ( cheap ikea type cr*p ) that would not have been installed in a new property .
Check with seller to see if any work was done after the build .
 
They are minor issues. Nothing that put most people off from purchasing.

Nearly all houses have some issues.
 
Thanks. Just a couple of more questions (sorry it's my lack of knowledge in this domain that's perhaps being over cautions but I thought its better to ask).

1. In both the report and on the pictures (below Google Street picture from 3 years ago) there is clear signs of efflorescence on the base of the property. I suspect this has to do with two reasons - 1. Property being relatively newer so drying out initially, 2. Escape of water which I mentioned below (e.g. ground being higher than 150mm above DPC and the lack of surface drainage in the driveway).

Both issues I will look to address, but is there anything else to suspect or worth investigating? The surveyor did not find. note any significant damp (except near the light wall in the garage) inside.

2. When the surveyor went to inspect the attic he noted that not all roof insulation is up to 300mm as required and some cavities need to be filled. I also noted in the EPC certificate air permeability of 10.8 m3/h.m. Is there reason to believe that the builders rushed or skipped out on the in-cavity insulation which is causing the average air permeability? The overall property is rated B efficiency. Would you conduct any further tests to air leak or is this a wild goose chase?

Thank you
 

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The efflorescence at the base of the wall does not look anything like drying-out new brickwork. It looks like a water leak.
 

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