Author Topic: Uneven Floorboards - NHBC Standards?  (Read 367 times)

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ravigrandhi

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Uneven Floorboards - NHBC Standards?
« on: September 03, 2018, 10:03:10 pm »
We recently bought a new build house. Like most people we had many snagging items ranging from some minor things to a few major issues.  One of the issue is two of the bedrooms floors have a raise/dip from the joist to the door frame due to the loading. 

We raised this issue with the builder and basically the builder's manager had a look at the floor and said that they are allowed to have + or - 6mm tolerances over two metres (they brought in a level, which I am assuming is two metres).  When he placed the level, one of the rooms had 6mm/7mm and the other room was more than 10mm.  This tolerance level is after they planed the floorboard.

In order to fix the problem the builder has planed off floorboards again along the full length of the joist and managed to bring the dip to + or -6 mm tolerance.  However, I am not convinced that they did the right job in fixing the problem with the floor boards.  I am about to lay the laminate and would like to get your advice on the following: 

1. Is it acceptable to plane floorboard, which protects from damp?
2. There is 6mm dip from the joist towards the door frame, can I place a thin plywood and lay my laminate on that. I am laying quickstep laminate with silent walk underlay. Do I need to do anything else to lay the laminate?

The builder had three attempts in fixing and it is as per the photos that I attached. We are really fed up with no floors in the house and we would like to lay laminate if it is not an issue. It is almost 5 weeks now that we are waiting to get this problem addressed. 

I would greatly appreciate your advice on this.

Many thanks.


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Re: Uneven Floorboards - NHBC Standards?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2018, 07:08:30 am »
Firstly who is the housebuilder?

As you said they have planed off the surface which give the most protection from moisture to the floor. Worse they have not sanded it afterwards either meaning any covering will wear due to abrasion on the rough floor.

It gets even worse as they have planed a considerable proportion of the 2mm (max) chipboard floor making it weaker and more likely to deflect not only because it is thinner, but also because it is at a  doorway. NHBC standards require flooring to be supported at cut edges and at doorways.

The only applicable standard regarding the NHBC warranty will be their own  "A consistent approach to finishes" 1.2 S8 states deviation in floor level of 4mm per metre up to 6 metres floor or 25mm maximum out of level above this.  There is also the + or - 5mm per 2 metres tolerance.

After going to the trouble of correcting the defect, quite why they only attempted to get it to the minimum tolerance rather than correcting he actual cause (out of line joists or deflection or cupped floor boards due to previously getting saturated during construction) I don't know.

What I do know is if laminate flooring is not laid on a perfectly flat surface, even if on foam cushion it will flex and crack when walked on and drive you mad!




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Tim Fee Snagging Inspector

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Re: Uneven Floorboards - NHBC Standards?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2018, 10:42:50 am »
I would love to know who the housebuilder is as well. That is shocking.

ravigrandhi

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Re: Uneven Floorboards - NHBC Standards?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 10:35:20 pm »
Thank you for getting back on this.  I don't want to name and shame the builder yet but it is one of the listed companies. Hopefully they will fix the problems we are facing.

I think to correct the levels, it will a big job and they would need to cut floorboards to bring it to level. However, my knowledge in this area is not great.  The construction manager said we will cut the floorboards and will fix it, but when the guys came in they just planed off.  To plane it is pretty easy and guessing they picked the easy way to bring it to tolerance levels. 

I will get back to the builder and inform him of the standards, as clearly they told me + or - 6mm over 2m, which is not as per the standard.

Apart from the flooring, they have got our WC to one side of the toilet.  We have asked them to correct it, they said they will correct it but all they did was they moved the WC and placed a flex pipe. When we said we want it as per the drawings, the builder said he will do it! Do they have any time limit in completing these works? I feel these are major issues rather than small snagging items.

Where do we stand legally with these issues, appreciate any advice on this?

Please note that I made donation to the website and greatly appreciate the advice that is provided here.

Many thanks

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Re: Uneven Floorboards - NHBC Standards?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 09:41:16 am »
I cannot understand how anyone would think the toilet would have been acceptable like it was left.

OK I realise that to do the job properly (which is not impossible) would mean taking up the floor and moving the drainage, and this is what they should have done before you moved in. In fact it would have been obvious as soon as the walls were set out.

Regarding the joists, unfortunately there are many ways for these to be bodged, including adding timbers each side of the top flange, adding packers and/or firings to the top of the joists and skimming the flooring with a flexible latex.

Legally, the housebuilder would have stated in the contract that they will "build in a workmanlike manner and in compliance with all Building Regulations and warranty standards". This means to you, that unless you have legal expenses insurance (with your home insurance)  it would cost thousands even before it got to a court.  This sis why a New Homes Ombudsman is badly needed.

The consumer protection and rights are not really very useful to new homebuyers as it stands now.

This "buying anew home your rights" might be worth a read, although it does have a few errors!
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.