Drainage Problems In Garden Affecting House

New Build Inspections


New Member
We moved into our Bryants House in 2005 and within a few weeks noticed a large permanent 'pond' in the back garden. Eventually persuaded Bryants to come and have a look and the site manager told me he would get a landscape gardener to 'plant a few water-loving plants there'. After I stopped laughing I told him that this wasn't good enough and he relented and sent some men round to put in a land drain (at the side of the lawn) which apparently should have been installed when the house was being built. This ended the problem of the 'pond'. However...

Now, six years later, we have a much bigger problem. The garden slopes down to our house, we are at the bottom of a hill with other properties above us so to speak. Our garden is now unusable in that it has turned into a swamp, we cannot mow the lawn as it is saturated, even when there has been no rain - and nothing is draining away. The house has now developed a ring of moss growing up the walls (the entire house, front, sides, and back) which is quite disturbing.

The NHBC man and a representative from Taylor Wimpey (who took over Bryants) came today to have a look. They agreed that the garden was difficult to walk on and suggested I 'put a few stepping stones on the lawn to reach the bird feeders' - almost as good as the 'water-loving plants' one! He also said the two-brick high bright green moss around the outside of the whole house is 'natural'.

I suggested that as there hadn't been a land drain put in previously where the 'pond' was, it could be that there aren't any at the top of the garden either. I also pointed out that none of my neighbours were suffering from the same problem so why is it only my house that is suffering from this 'natural' phenomenon? All of this fell on deaf ears and they left after more or less saying there wasn't anything they could do and it was my problem to sort out.

I am obviously not happy with this and am now looking to get an independent surveyor's report to prove whether land drains are there are not.

Has anyone else had a similar problem? Obviously we have had loads of other problems with this house from hell but this is the most pressing one - at the moment.

One disturbing thing that the Taylor Wimpey man let slip was that in the transition from Bryants to TW, all paperwork for the houses on our estate were lost, It just gets better.......


Well-Known Member
This is a defect and is covered under the NHBC warranty. Notified by you within two years and not corrected by the builder.

Gardens of new homes should not flood and someone needs to put in some permananent storm drainage. NHBC know this, don't be fobbed off. Make a claim.


New Member
Drainage Problem

Many thanks NewHomesExpert. They won't get rid of me that easily! I will keep trying til I get somewhere. Great website by the way!


Well-Known Member
Thanks for your kind comment reagridng my website. No doubt you have seen the templte letters for complaing about issues.

NHBC standards say
9.2 - S6
"The ground around the home can be compacted by machinery and storage of materials during construction as well as when topsoil is being replaced and this can affect the structure of the soil and its draining capability. Where this occurs within 3m of the home appropriate action should be taken to suitably restore the drainage characteristics of the soil."
In other words the NHBC standards say that any area within 3m of the home should not get waterlogged.
It should be fairly easy to get this resolved as it is so clear cut.


New Member
Thank you for the info, I will certainly look at what you have suggested with regards to the template. I know there is a lot of rubble and rubbish under our garden and I watched from a back window as the builders filled in my neighbours' new gardens (before they moved in) with the same stuff and then put soil on top (I wouldn't go so far as to call it topsoil, it's just clay).


Well-Known Member
Great builder! Contravening NHBC standards in every aspect.
(up to 20m from the habitable parts of the home)
9.2 - S5
Garden areas shall be free from obstructions beneath the surface
Old foundations, concrete bases and similar obstructions occurring within 300mm of the finished ground surface should be removed.

That's the land fill tax for you. Builders trying to minimise their costs by burying debris!