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The new homes 'uninhabitable' after less than a year

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An initially uninteresting and unsurprising article about defective new build houses. Begins to get interesting when they start to look for reasons for the poor build quality, with 98% of new build buyers reporting issues in the first few months, and 41% reporting more than 10 problems.

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The wrong porch was built on, airbricks meant to stop the house from getting damp and rotten were buried underground, and her driveway is sinking.

Movement joints - which stop the house cracking up if the land shifts - had been completely forgotten. 

The surveyor concluded the house was "not fit for habitation" and some parts were "unsafe".

He also questioned how inspectors could have signed it off.

And here's the reason, see:

Quote

It comes at a time when Prime Minister Treason May has promised to build "more homes, more quickly" to tackle the housing shortage.

The government says the country needs 300,000 new homes a year to meet demand.

But as it pushes developers to build faster, there are growing concerns that the quality of homes being built has drastically dropped.

Yep, that'll be it - pressure to build more houses too quickly means they'll be shit quality, so probably best all round to scrap the target and restrict the supply of new homes coming to market to keep prices nice and high. Nothing to do with the big builders first avoiding bankruptcy, then spending the next 10 years taking the piss at tax payer's expense, all fully supported by UK Gov PLC.

It's a great time to be a builder.

 

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16 minutes ago, One percent said:

Anyone buying a new build, unless individually commissioned, needs their head felt. 

Absolutely, never ever buy one less than about 10 years old. As a generalisation, the ones built during boom times tend to be more crappy than the ones built during recession.

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I'm glad I'm moving out of my 2006 built mock Tudorbethan coach house. The 1960s council flat I'm moving to is rock solid and spacious. I'm having the living room carpet fitted as I type.

In the coach house I have lived with black mould in the bathroom on the sealant. I think it's down to the inadequate vent/fan dealing with the condensation from using the shower. :(

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The National House Building Council (NHBC), which inspects and signs off finished homes, says: "Every home registered with NHBC is inspected at approximately four or five key stages of construction, including foundations, superstructure and pre-handover.


Clearly this needs looking at.

 

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I wouldn't buy anything that was built in the last 10 (and probably as far as 15) years.

I went to view a 10 year old townhouse in a 'posh' part of Belfast a couple of years back and it was literally dissolving. Only 10 years in and there was terrible damp problems in almost every room. In a country where it rains all the time.

I researched the houses in the street and houses identical to the one I viewed sold for £360K at the peak and £178K at the bottom. Now they're back up to £250K. You couldn't pay me to own one.

Best house you could own, if you'd be happy living there, would be a council house. Seems to be the only thing built to decent standards in recent decades.

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9 minutes ago, UmBongo said:

I'm glad I'm moving out of my 2006 built mock Tudorbethan coach house. The 1960s council flat I'm moving to is rock solid and spacious. I'm having the living room carpet fitted as I type.

In the coach house I have lived with black mould in the bathroom on the sealant. I think it's down to the inadequate vent/fan dealing with the condensation from using the shower. :(

I think a lot of damp is caused by the current obsession of trying not to let any heat escape from Homes and letting air circulate. 

When we bought patio doors recently the salesman looked at me as if I had two heads when I insisted that I wanted vents in them.

Edited by M S E Refugee

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1 minute ago, M S E Refugee said:

I think a lot of damp is caused by the current obsession of trying not to let any heat escape from Homes and letting air circulate. 

When we bought patio doors recently the salesman looked at me as if I had two heads when I insisted that I wanted vents in them.

Absolutely will not help, though cold draughts in old houses can be a significant issue too. Multiple sources of higher humidity in houses - inhabitants breathing out themselves, showers/bathrooms, condensing dryers, any wet surfaces, etc all add additional water into the air, anywhere where there is a cold(er) spot that higher humidity air condenses out and without airflow those cold spots persist and so does the damp. Worse the materials used in modern houses can be very susceptible to damp damage - MDF and alike.  

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I'm looking at sourcing a kitchen at the moment, second hand ones can be attractive. One was a Symphony, fitted to new build, dropped the idea of that one as soon as I read the reviews - they are a huge supplier to new build and we're not talking about some very expensive houses in some cases. Some issues are obviously fitting related but most relate to inferior material build - this is just a tiny selection of comments, it really is a case of buyer beware:

Had a new bathroom installed in 2015 by Bohen, part of Buildbase, within weeks the cupboard door fronts were 'blowing'. 

Bought our house from Taylor Wimpey 2014 and paid for upgrade kitchen,big mistake because now two and a half years later have a problem with cracking in the front of a unit and shocked to find they only give two year guarantee,

The painted timber doors are of an awful quality. They don't open and close with ease, corner units don't sit flush when closed and the paint is chipping everywhere.

The worktops in my kitchen are permanently stained- symphony kitchens tell me it is wear and tear- difficult to believe after a few months of light use - apparently I should not put anything wet on the worktops.

https://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews182108.html

 

 

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35 minutes ago, onlyme said:

I'm looking at sourcing a kitchen at the moment, second hand ones can be attractive. One was a Symphony, fitted to new build, dropped the idea of that one as soon as I read the reviews - they are a huge supplier to new build and we're not talking about some very expensive houses in some cases. Some issues are obviously fitting related but most relate to inferior material build - this is just a tiny selection of comments, it really is a case of buyer beware:

Had a new bathroom installed in 2015 by Bohen, part of Buildbase, within weeks the cupboard door fronts were 'blowing'. 

Bought our house from Taylor Wimpey 2014 and paid for upgrade kitchen,big mistake because now two and a half years later have a problem with cracking in the front of a unit and shocked to find they only give two year guarantee,

The painted timber doors are of an awful quality. They don't open and close with ease, corner units don't sit flush when closed and the paint is chipping everywhere.

The worktops in my kitchen are permanently stained- symphony kitchens tell me it is wear and tear- difficult to believe after a few months of light use - apparently I should not put anything wet on the worktops.

https://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews182108.html

 

 

Kitchen and bathroom units are made of chipboard, even the expensive ones are shit. Might as well just go to Howdens. The quality of fitting is crucial. 

One of my customers lives in a new build made by Linden Homes. The snag list when she moved in was getting on for 100 separate items. There's just no care gone into anything, it's the modern way I suppose. 

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I've said it before on here and it's worth saying again; there is going to be a colossal scandal regarding these new build estates within the next ten years as many of them start to fall apart.

I've worked on quite a few of these estates and you honestly could not pay me to live on one of them. A few have been ok but many, many of them have been of such poor quality and design that it beggars belief that someone actually signed them off. 

God help anyone who bought one of these at peak price.

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Compare the attention to detail and customer service* when buying a £200k Rolls Royce compared to a £200k new build house.

Why is there a difference ? There shouldn't be.  

 

*I'm assuming on the Rolls Royce front. 

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3 minutes ago, ccc said:

Compare the attention to detail and customer service* when buying a £200k Rolls Royce compared to a £200k new build house.

Why is there a difference ? There shouldn't be.  

 

*I'm assuming on the Rolls Royce front. 

£200K car doesn't need £150K patch of former asbestos factory factored into the build cost.

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I once rented a new build brand new. 

I noticed that both hinges on the garden door had only two screws secures instead of four. 

That told me everything I needed to know about how much care had been used to build the rest of it. 

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8 minutes ago, eight said:

£200K car doesn't need £150K patch of former asbestos factory factored into the build cost.

Not sure what you mean - I'm just talking about what the customer pays and should expect in return. 

A £600 road bike appears to be built with the care and attention to detail you could only dream of from a £200k new build house in the UK. 

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Be interesting to see what happens down the road to the poorly built estates...do they get knocked down, do they become BTL ghettos with dodgier and dodgier groups of transient people living in them, do the owners start to default on the houses en mass...

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39 minutes ago, whitevanman said:

Kitchen and bathroom units are made of chipboard, even the expensive ones are shit. Might as well just go to Howdens. The quality of fitting is crucial. 

One of my customers lives in a new build made by Linden Homes. The snag list when she moved in was getting on for 100 separate items. There's just no care gone into anything, it's the modern way I suppose. 

It can vary a lot though still and yes money paid does not always guarantee quality - for example you can make pretty dense and water tolerant chipboard or you can make it so friable that it barely holds together under a thin laminate skin - go former quality and add a high quality laminate to it and it will last a lot longer and be somewhat immune to normal wear and tear. Proper high end you'll get decent ply and heavy duty laminate or sold wood even. 

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2 minutes ago, JoeDavola said:

Be interesting to see what happens down the road to the poorly built estates...do they get knocked down, do they become BTL ghettos with dodgier and dodgier groups of transient people living in them, do the owners start to default on the houses en mass...

Therein lies the real killer - a house on a properly separate plot can be pulled down and rebuilt. Pseudo townhouse blocks, semi, link attached or even so called detached with a couple of feet in between becomes a whole different ballgame. On a separate plot an individual owner can decide to knock down and rebuild, most modern estates that won't be an option.

 

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1 minute ago, onlyme said:

Therein lies the real killer - a house on a properly separate plot can be pulled down and rebuilt. Pseudo townhouse blocks, semi, link attached or even so called detached with a couple of feet in between becomes a whole different ballgame. On a separate plot an individual owner can decide to knock down and rebuild, most modern estates that won't be an option.

That's interesting - here in Bordeaux (France) I'm seeing plenty of older houses (pre-war, or 1960s vintage) get knocked down and rebuilt - usually by a far bigger house with a garage. People aren't so bothered anymore by a garden (or a draughty old house), but instead they want living space and cars.

Thing is - it's common in France. I get the impression that in the UK it's a real nightmare of planning + houses simply not designed in that way (semi-detached, or only a few inches from one house to the next).

BTW - if there's less than a foot between one house and the next, how will they ever repaint the outside wall?

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Slightly off topic, but a 2 bed semi in Belfast has just been listed at offers over £200K - this in a city where the average wage is £24K. So that's 8 times salary to get 2 bedrooms. Fuck sake.

(Rant over)

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