drive construction

New Build Inspections

darran

New Member
Does anyone has any information on the NHBC standards 1999 chapter 9.2. Our house was built in 2003 and comes under the 1999 edition. The shared drive is constructed by a 4inch sub base and at max a 1 inch tarmac covering. Only one layer of tarmac. The drive is shared with other house and is visited by refure loories so in my opinion is inadequate. The maintenance of the drive has to be paid for ny the four properties. We raised the concern with NHBC and the builder. The NHBC asked the builder to get a report carried out on the construction.He was not forthcoming and the NHBC backtracked on their request. So we sanctioned our own. The consultant we employed has wroked with Asphalt for over 30 years, designed and worked on the M25 and designed developments for builders, so he should know what he is talking about. he picked to pieces the drive as being inadequate. We sent the report off to the NHBC hoping they would be asking the builder to redo the drive. But no he has just written back after 6 months stating that where the consultant states that the drive should be built to BS 4987 as stated in Part 9.2,he said there is no mention of this. I have got hold of the 2006 edition and it does state about the BS in the technical requirements and part 9.2, I need to know if it mentions the British Standards in the 1999 edition.
I wont even mention the problem with the garage having flood water coming up from under the floor. NHBC asks the builder for a report. He refuses. NHBC then write back saying that you cannot expect a builder to design a garge to other extreme weather!!!
 

Tony

Administrator
Hi Darran,

I don't have a copy of the 1999 version, it wouldn't be unreasonable for them to give you a copy.

Tony
 

Colin Jack

New Member
Darran,

You are right in that the driveway construction is inadequate. You should have at least 150mm of Type 1 sub-base, 50mm of binder course and 25mm of surface course (or 150mm sub-base, 30-50mm sand and 65mm thick paving blocks if it is a block driveway).

You could express your concern to your local authority but they will probably tell you that the access is private and therefore not required to meet the same standards as the road and footway adjacent. They will probably also stop the refuse lorry from servicing the properties and you will have to wheel your bins to the side of the public road which doesn’t help you or your neighbours. They will also be concerned that the weight of a laden refuse lorry would damage the access, which will not be properly constructed because there was no independent supervision during construction, and therefore could make them liable for some repair costs. Again none of which helps you.

Remember that the NHBC are just an insurance company created by house builders to protect the interest of house builders. The “Guidelines� that they peddle are merely the building regulations and highway standards collected together, summarised and put in a shiny folder. If you ever have the misfortune of meeting an NHBC representative take a step back and watch how events unfold. You will be amazed to find that while they can quote chapter and verse from the “Guidelines� they have no knowledge of the engineering principles behind them. You will hear a lot of techo babble which is said to confuse you and direct you away from the point in hand. Worst of all you will see that they will favour the builder in all but the most obvious of defects.

Think about it – your are past the first 2 years of ownership, who is going to pay for the work to be done. The NHBC of course (who will then try and get it back from the builder thus creating them a lot of work). This is how it has been designed, passed from pillar to post, nothing getting done, owners appointing their own consultants, processes being drawn out for as long as possible, in other words make it as difficult as possible so that the aggrieved owner gives up. You have already experienced the back tracking.

Regarding the flooding. Unless there is a nearby river or stream that has burst its banks, the water table is particularly high in the ground or the whole site is built on clay, why should you have water coming up through your garage floor? The answer is you shouldn’t. It is more to do with the cost of investigation and repair and this is why you will get all the excuses under the sun.

It would be interesting to find out what the NHBC mean by extreme weather. Is this the first year on record that we have had 50mm of snow, winds above 75 mph, or 25mm of rainfall? No it is not. You are being fobbed off on this one. If it is flooding you will see evidence all around, not just from your garage floor.
 

darran

New Member
Thanks for your feedback on this. I managed to contact the publications dept at NHBC and they sent me out a CD Rom of the 2001 updated standards which covered my construction, 2000 edition, 2003 edition and the 1999 edition. The 1999 edition did not work because is was designed to run on Windows NT. However after uploading the 2001 edition and reading section 9 on drives there it was in black and white that the drive should be covered by the BS4987. Something funny going on here I thought! Rang the girl looking after the case in NHBC milton keynes and was told that I should be looking at the 1999 edition. Back to square one. So today got on the phone today to ask publications what build the 2001 edition covered. Did not know but they put me through to Technical dept. Very helpful. He ran through section 9 and explained that this edition did cover my build. I had previously rang these before abotu the flooding of the garage in which the investigator said that it was acceptable, however after the technical guy looked at it wrote a report to the investigator stating that he was wrong. Still waiting 10 months on for the NHBC investigator to come back to me on this one!
Back to the drive issue.. Rang the admin girl and funny enough last night she has been speaking to her boss and they have gone through the file and the builder should be liable for the drive. Also the garage will be looked at as well. I also raised an issue with the upstairs stud wall partition which was flexing. The same investigator said that having a stud wall with 600 mm gap with a 9.5 mm plasterboard is acceptable. Howver if you read the NHBC standard the minimum thickness for plasterboard with a 600mm stud is over 12 mm. Again i have raised this with the NHBC admin girl to ask the investigator to comment. I am waiting and probaly will still be waiting this time next year. So much for their customer charter about replying in a couple of weeks. I get the impression that they ask the builder to remedy small items like a bit of pointing but when it comes to larger more expensive jobs then this does not seem to happen without a fight.
So if anyone else beleives they are right do not always believe what the investigator has told you. Try to get a copy of the NHBC standards from the library or ring up NHBC. They might give you a copy if it is the older standards but if not it may be prudent to purchase a copy
 

zednine

New Member
Thanks for your feedback on this. I managed to contact the publications dept at NHBC and they sent me out a CD Rom of the 2001 updated standards which covered my construction, 2000 edition, 2003 edition and the 1999 edition. The 1999 edition did not work because is was designed to run on Windows NT. However after uploading the 2001 edition and reading section 9 on drives there it was in black and white that the drive should be covered by the BS4987. Something funny going on here I thought! Rang the girl looking after the case in NHBC milton keynes and was told that I should be looking at the 1999 edition. Back to square one. So today got on the phone today to ask publications what build the 2001 edition covered. Did not know but they put me through to Technical dept. Very helpful. He ran through section 9 and explained that this edition did cover my build. I had previously rang these before abotu the flooding of the garage in which the investigator said that it was acceptable, however after the technical guy looked at it wrote a report to the investigator stating that he was wrong. Still waiting 10 months on for the NHBC investigator to come back to me on this one!
Back to the drive issue.. Rang the admin girl and funny enough last night she has been speaking to her boss and they have gone through the file and the builder should be liable for the drive. Also the garage will be looked at as well. I also raised an issue with the upstairs stud wall partition which was flexing. The same investigator said that having a stud wall with 600 mm gap with a 9.5 mm plasterboard is acceptable. Howver if you read the NHBC standard the minimum thickness for plasterboard with a 600mm stud is over 12 mm. Again i have raised this with the NHBC admin girl to ask the investigator to comment. I am waiting and probaly will still be waiting this time next year. So much for their customer charter about replying in a couple of weeks. I get the impression that they ask the builder to remedy small items like a bit of pointing but when it comes to larger more expensive jobs then this does not seem to happen without a fight.
So if anyone else beleives they are right do not always believe what the investigator has told you. Try to get a copy of the NHBC standards from the library or ring up NHBC. They might give you a copy if it is the older standards but if not it may be prudent to purchase a copy


yep 9mm boards, they seem to like using those, must save at least 2p on every sheet.


i am building an extension on the side of my house, i have to pay some one to calculate the size of insulation..
i had problems with a new build a while back and had to get it cavity insulated. Before this happened i tried to get the builder to prove their calculations but refused..

one rule for one etc........all corupt
 
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