A couple of weeks ago I was undertaking a Level 2 (Home Buyer) Survey in Bridgwter of an executive style home less than 5 years old.
Whilst looking at the front elevation I came across this ‘designed in defect‘!
In principle there is decorative brick plinth running across the front of the property and the gutter downpipe needs to come down the wall to the nearest drain. However, instead of the architect, or the site manager, noting this they have designed a ‘work-around‘ whereby the plinth stops either side of the gutter (blue arrow in image 2). However, it is not quite as simple as it first looks as the damp proof course (DPC) runs around the base of the exterior elevation walls and this could not be left out so the bricklayer has left the first 2 bricks in situ and the DPC and simply angled the downpipe over this into the drain via the driveway. The problem comes the DPC (designed to keep rising damp out of the house) has now been exposed (green arrow in image 2) and is lettering rain, and even water from cleaning the car, go over the top of it and into the cavity behind, which in turn is penetrating into the lounge and causing localised damp patches!
All of this could have been avoided with better design and on-site management. It will now cost the client/vendor several hundred pounds to remedy.
This is why you should always get a survey when buying house, even if the property looks in good condition or is virtually a new build. We cover Bristol to Plymouth and out to the west into the Devon side of Dorset.