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New Builds Questions

Our expert builders have kindly agreed to share their wisdom on such topics as self build kits, wall cracks, calculating areas, plastering and skimming, foundations, planning permission, land purchase and much more.

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117 New Builds questions

What is causing these hairline cracks?

We have a relatively new build house (now 8 years old) and over the years have noticed the odd hairline crack, which we have obviously put down to settlement as it was a new build. A little over 12 months ago we had a non load bearing blockwork wall removed between our kitchen and dining room. Our builder advised that no steel would be required as no load was being carried by what we were removing, and when the ceiling in this area was removed it was very clear that the joists were not supported by this wall as they ran the other way. It was tied to the external wall by a few wall ties obviously, but was not tied in to the other internal wall. Indeed, it really looked to be simply space dividing partition.
However, over the last few months I have noticed more and more cracking, mainly at door heads, skirtings and windows, and would have thought after 8 years the house would have settled. Do you think the removal of a non load bearing internal blockwork wall would have had any effect, or is it more likely to still be settlement. Almost all the the hairline cracks are at first floor level, the worst ones being at the opposite site of the house to where this wall was, which seems odd.

How to calculate total internal area of a house?

I am trying to find out the total internal area of my house. Does this mean I have to add up all the rooms and add them or just measure the total area of 1 floor and multiply by 2 (as the house is 2 floors). Also do I include the area of the loft? It is a storage loft with light. Not a living space.

What is causing cracking in plaster work around doorways and stairs, windows and ceiling

I have a new 3 bed home (build 2004). Builders initially said some cracking would occur as the property settles. I have over the years noticed cracks occuring on the plaster work just above the skirting on the stairs and around doorways and around windows and some ceilings. I have filled the cracks but noticed them reappearing. The house is on a incline. I have noticed a small hole under the foundatons of the property. Could it be subsidence. Which is the right propfessional to adequately assess the property?

Is a self build kit cheaper?

I've heard that commissioning a build myself will leave me about £50k better off than if I bought from a developer. Is this true?

Creaking noise from roof when windy, and intermittent cracking noise

New-build house 18 months old. When it is windy there is a creaking noise from around the edges of the roof area which is heard very distinctly in the bedrooms. The builder has brought in the roofing contractor who seems to have no idea what is causing it. They have decided to seal the joins in the roof lining membrane but I don't this is the problem, although it does visibly ripple in windy conditions. Wondering if there are issues with the roof trusses which extend out over the external walls.

There are also intermittent cracking noises from the roof - is this due to normal settlement and drying out of roof timbers, and will it go in time.

I am wondering if we should get a structural engineer in to check that all has been built correctly.

Thanks for any advice.

Snagging question

What is a reasonable amount of time to expect my builder to come back and do snagging? We have had over £100,000 of work done and it has taken a year.

Planning permission for self build.

How long does it usually take to obtain planning permission for a self build?

Floors are making creaking and cracking noises

There are creaking and cracking noises coming from our ceiling when someone is walking around upstairs. The builder has refused to fix it and therefore we are looking to fix it. The issue from what I see is being caused by flexing joists (need noggins?) and/or resilient bars for the ceiling plaster boards. Any advise would be appreciated. Thank you.

can i mount a 65" (!!) tv to my stud wall?

I recently bought a 65" Samsung led tv, weighing in at about 30kg. I have bought some "rawlplug interest cavity anchors (r-s1-sm05037/6)". I'm dubious even though it says "heavy" on the packet. will these do? I have a 42" on the wall at the moment with a bracket which the previous owners left. thanks :)

What can I do with a leaky roof still under guarantee

Had new extension to rear of house 10 yrs ago, now the roof has begun to leak from around the lead flashing and has caused quite a mess internally. The company that we used has since gone into liquidation,approx 5 yrs ago ,any advice on what I can do.

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