Author Topic: Creaking Floors  (Read 299 times)

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snagger

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Creaking Floors
« on: November 25, 2020, 09:30:29 pm »
It's my first time posting here, I'm looking for some advice and wondered if anyone could help.

I know there have been a number of posts about creaking floors in new builds on this forum and others so I know that this is a common issue, however in my current situation I'm not sure what next steps I should take.

I'm a first time buyer and I purchased a 3 bedroom detached property from Barratt Homes in July 2019.

Since then I have been in what I would describe as a constant battle to get Barratt Homes to resolve the 100+ defects or "snags" that I have reported to them.

16 months on and there are still some defects outstanding, but largely the list has been reduced, albeit some due to me just removing them as I don't feel Barratt Homes could ever resolve them to a standard I deem to be acceptable.

The major outstanding defects are related to the floors creaking / moving and the ceilings making a cracking noise.

As per what seems to be standard protocol for these so called builders, Barratt Homes have thus far attempted to remedy this by firing 100's of screws into the floors in an attempt to resolve the issue, however as most people mention on these forums that doesn't resolve the issue in most cases, and in some cases actually can make the issue worse.

Barratt Homes then went onto stage two of the standard protocol, which is to cut round (with a pad saw) the perimeter of the wall / ceiling, where the two meet, and then to fill in this cut with decorators caulk. I refused this and said that they would have to think again as not only did I think this wouldn't resolve the issue, I also didn't really want a unskilled labourer cutting round my walls / ceilings with a £3 pad saw.

Fast forward a few weeks and the site team seem to have ran out of ideas, enter the "Customer Care" team.

A senior "Customer Care" representative from Barratt Homes came out to look at the issues and instantly said he knew what the issue was.

Regarding the creaking he said there should be glue where the chipboard floor meets the joist and this is likely missing, so the floors will need pulling up and re laying. In relation to the movement, or springy floors, he stated that its likely that noggins are missing mid span.

The above seemed plausible to me, and did tally up with what others were saying on this forum and others, so I accepted this and was awaiting dates for when a contractor could come and carry out the works.

Fast forward another few weeks and the site team inform me that the above will no longer be happening and they would like to have a meeting about the issues with a senior member of the site team.

This is where I am currently, the site team would like to cut a hatch in one of the floors to confirm / deny that there is glue missing and if glue is missing they will replace the floors.

However glue is present, which they are adamant it is, they would like to cut round the perimeter of the wall / ceiling, where the two meet. However this time this is to only confirm that that's where the issue lies so that they can confidently say that the fitting of resilient bars will resolve the issues. At which point they would fit the resilient bars, which would then cover up any cut that has been made which would mean that I wouldn't be left with decorators caulk running around the perimeter.

Now I have heard mixed reviews about resilient bars and from what I understand they are more of a workaround than an actual fix, so I am slightly concerned about the validity of the proposed fix. So with all that in mind my concerns / questions are below, if anyone would be able to shed some light that would be great?

- I would like to know more about why builders propose resilient bars as a fix, as if resilient bars are required for a floor not to creak / crack then shouldn't they be fitted as standard? If this isn't the case then should I be asking Barratt Homes to find out what the actual issue is?

- Does anyone get the feeling that they would like to cut round the perimeter of the wall / ceiling to attempt to resolve the issue, rather than to try and investigate as now suggested, leaving me with no choice but to accept the decorators caulk running around the perimeter?

Any comments, feedback or similar experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


 


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Re: Creaking Floors
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2020, 11:22:23 am »
Hardly a week goes by when I don't re post this link JOINT STATEMENT which is a definitive answer to the problem of cracking ceilings.
Given that the NHBC were in on the research, I am appalled that no inspector is checking to ensure the joists and ceiling boards are isolated from the wall boarding.

Re the proposals, it is highly likely you have what is commonly referred to as TJI joists.
These often do not require herring bone strutting mid span.  However, they are commonly under designed (to save money) for the spans involved which mean the deflect under load (you walking across the room) far more than is acceptable. This alone would cause the floor and ceilings to creak and crack.  I doubt the addition of more noggins or missing noggins the purpose of which is to "stiffen and support" would make any difference.

Regarding gluing the chipboard to the joists, I really think this could even make the situation worse in that the chipboard would be restrained but the floor joist could still flex.  In addition, if the chipboard ever required to be removed due to getting wet from a leak or for access to pipework, it would mean the joist top flange would be damaged and weakened.

Re resilient bar these will isolate the plasterboard ceiling from the floor joist to an extent, but will not take up excessive deflection of the floor joists. Resilient bars work sometimes, but installing them involves removing all your downstairs ceilings  and then reboarding after the bars are fitted, jointing and them re decoration - all whilst you are living there or in temporary accommodation. Perhaps given the upheaval involved, few buyers ever complain about the issue again even if it is not fixed.

At least the site team are aware of the need to isolating the all board from the ceiling board as suggested in the Joint Statement.

You will need to decide a level of compensation you will need for putting up with all this remedial works. 
At least Barratt are not shying away from carrying out what is extensive works to a completed home.


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cmcc147

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Re: Creaking Floors
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2021, 01:01:27 am »
With regards to the joint statement about the research in to cracking noise , is the solution in layman's terms to create a gap between the wall and ceiling for example in the downstairs room?

How would this be done? Would it involve using a saw to separate these surfaces then fill the gap with sealant to make good? 

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Re: Creaking Floors
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2021, 12:00:08 pm »
Often either the wall plasterboard or adhesive is touching the ceiling board or joists.
To cure it the ceiling board would need to be removed and the wall board cut and ceiling board replaced so the gap is filled with tap and joint or hidden by coving.

What happens is housebuilders rip out the whole ceiling, add resilient bar across the joists and re board a new ceiling 25mm lower fixed to the bars. But is the wall board or adhesive is still touching the joists this won't be 100% effective.

Most annoyingly, is that the  NHBC know all about this defect and yet it is still very common and a hell of a nuisance and inconvenience to buyers when works are required as outlined above.
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.