Discussion:
Your thoughts on build standard of 1950s council houses
(too old to reply)
Mike Mitchell
2003-08-08 12:49:46 UTC
Permalink
As I am currently in such a property, and it is another of those
"built like a brick outhouse" properties, would people recommend them?
(They are selling like hot cakes around here, as soon as they come on
the market.) Mine has solid walls throughout. It's got a driveway and
a decent-sized garden front and rear, in a quiet road. Just not where
I want to live any more. So perhaps a similar house in my preferred
area...? They don't look much from the outside, but there is not a
trace of MDF in them (other than the bits I've added, like the
worktop). They seem to be very solidly constructed and are excellent
value for money. I even like the slimline Crittall windows!

MM
Andy Hall
2003-08-08 13:26:28 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 08 Aug 2003 13:49:46 +0100, Mike Mitchell
Post by Mike Mitchell
As I am currently in such a property, and it is another of those
"built like a brick outhouse" properties, would people recommend them?
(They are selling like hot cakes around here, as soon as they come on
the market.) Mine has solid walls throughout. It's got a driveway and
a decent-sized garden front and rear, in a quiet road. Just not where
I want to live any more. So perhaps a similar house in my preferred
area...? They don't look much from the outside, but there is not a
trace of MDF in them (other than the bits I've added, like the
worktop). They seem to be very solidly constructed and are excellent
value for money. I even like the slimline Crittall windows!
MM
Why not keep the current one and use it as an investment property, and
then purchase your choice of house in another area......

.andy

To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
Christian McArdle
2003-08-08 14:04:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Mitchell
As I am currently in such a property, and it is another of those
"built like a brick outhouse" properties, would people recommend them?
They are very variable. Sometimes they are excellent, sometimes they are
terrible, built with crumbly concrete, or those blocks made from straw.
Sounds like you have the former. Local knowledge, a good surveyor, or a good
eye for constructional detail are required with viewing.

Christian.
Andy Hall
2003-08-08 20:26:10 UTC
Permalink
Mine's coalboard not council but same thing. Solid poured concrete
walls - very very solid. Had some problems with them taking it to mean
pre-fab when it's not.
Walls are square and at right angles to each other, original roof in
good condition, reasonable front/back garden, drive, space for garage,
good sized rooms.
The only problem I've found is the years of bodging by previous owners
and the general state of things that need bringing up to todays
standards.
The shell of the house is fine but the fixtures and fittings all need
replacing.
As regards selling like hot cakes any round here that go on the market
are sold within a week or two at most.
You are hard pressed to find housing you can afford that has off road
parking never mind anything else from looking round.
Mark S.
BTW, did you manage to remove your roof tank, Mark?




.andy

To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
Mark
2003-08-09 12:52:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andy Hall
Mine's coalboard not council but same thing. Solid poured concrete
walls - very very solid. Had some problems with them taking it to mean
pre-fab when it's not.
Walls are square and at right angles to each other, original roof in
good condition, reasonable front/back garden, drive, space for garage,
good sized rooms.
The only problem I've found is the years of bodging by previous owners
and the general state of things that need bringing up to todays
standards.
The shell of the house is fine but the fixtures and fittings all need
replacing.
As regards selling like hot cakes any round here that go on the market
are sold within a week or two at most.
You are hard pressed to find housing you can afford that has off road
parking never mind anything else from looking round.
Mark S.
BTW, did you manage to remove your roof tank, Mark?
.andy
Still there at the minute... I'm not going in the loft at the moment -
it's hotter than hell up there. ;-)


Mark S.
Mark
2003-08-09 23:01:59 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 09 Aug 2003 20:36:31 GMT, "ARWadsworth"
Mine's coalboard not council but same thing. Solid poured concrete
walls - very very solid. Had some problems with them taking it to mean
pre-fab when it's not.
Walls are square and at right angles to each other, original roof in
good condition, reasonable front/back garden, drive, space for garage,
good sized rooms.
A lot of these in my area were built using a red shale as a base for the
concrete floor and the old NCB were wise in selling them to the council as
now many of them need the floors ripping up and replacing.
Adam
I dug the top skim off, sealed it and self leveled it. I know it's a
"bodge" but it one I'm living with as I seriously cannot afford the
time/effort/hassle/money to dig out the downstairs floors to relay
them when and if I re-sell no one would question the under floor
arrangements.

Anyone had a buyers survey done where the carpets/flooring were even
touched nevermind lifted?

Mark S.
Andy Dingley
2003-08-09 23:10:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark
Anyone had a buyers survey done where the carpets/flooring were even
touched nevermind lifted?
When my parents sold their '30s semi, the survey suggested that there
was rot in the downstairs floorboards. Except that it was a solid
concrete floor...
Mich
2003-08-10 07:36:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andy Dingley
Post by Mark
Anyone had a buyers survey done where the carpets/flooring were even
touched nevermind lifted?
When my parents sold their '30s semi, the survey suggested that there
was rot in the downstairs floorboards. Except that it was a solid
concrete floor...
Tell me about it!
I bought a house and the surveyor said that
a) it had mains drainage and gas.

The top of the septic tank was clearly visible in the garden and there is
no gas within ten miles of here!

b) he said it was built in the 1930's.
It was built in 1960 ( and we had all the planning apps and plans to prove
it)

c) he said an extension at the far end was wood framed and 1980's.
It was early 1970's and was brick and block construction.

It fact there was so little he got right I wondered if he had actually
surveyed the right house!.

The same company surveyed my 1950's ex council property too.
Similar catalogue of mistakes .

I had a b*gger of a job selling the house btw. It was poured concrete and
built like the proverbial ( rock hard) but because it was "non traditional
build" buyers had difficulty getting mortgages.
That coupled with the surveyors report which said wrongly that it had a
corroded frame. There was nothing wrong with the "frame" and to boot there
wasnt any evidence of there being anything wrong with its structure either!

Be aware.
Mich
2003-08-10 07:55:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mich
I had a b*gger of a job selling the house btw. It was poured concrete and
built like the proverbial ( rock hard) but because it was "non traditional
build" buyers had difficulty getting mortgages.
That coupled with the surveyors report which said wrongly that it had a
corroded frame. There was nothing wrong with the "frame" and to boot there
wasnt any evidence of there being anything wrong with its structure either!
Be aware.
Having said all of that. In my experience most of the council houses built
in the 1950s are very well built and my house was lovely. large rooms and
garden and in a good location ( one of the best in town).

It was a good all round genuine house with no construction or finish
problems.
Certainly a far better buy than those new houses you get now.
Mike Mitchell
2003-08-10 10:32:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mich
Having said all of that. In my experience most of the council houses built
in the 1950s are very well built and my house was lovely. large rooms and
garden and in a good location ( one of the best in town).
It was a good all round genuine house with no construction or finish
problems.
Certainly a far better buy than those new houses you get now.
Hey, you took all those words right out of my own mouth!

MM
Lilly ozzy1942
2021-01-13 19:15:02 UTC
Permalink
Ca I I fill in the the air vents in my 1950s council built house to help with cold wall
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For full context, visit https://www.homeownershub.com/uk-diy/your-thoughts-on-build-standard-of-1950s-council-houses-7274-.htm
Andrew
2021-01-14 13:57:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lilly ozzy1942
Ca I I fill in the the air vents in my 1950s council built house to help
with  cold walls
You get so much hot air from Home Owners Hub, your walls should
be roasting
Martin Brown
2021-01-14 17:52:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lilly ozzy1942
Ca I I fill in the the air vents in my 1950s council built house to help
with  cold walls
You can if you want but it won't help the cold walls and will probably
give you additional condensation problems to contend with.

Cavity wall insulation might help if it isn't already installed.

Some cowboys doing cavity wall insulation in the late 70's early 80's
managed to use dodgy material that is now absorbing water and bridging
the air gap and penetrating damp to the inner wall. Might be worth
seeing if that is the problem.
--
Regards,
Martin Brown
Brian Gaff (Sofa)
2021-01-14 20:39:49 UTC
Permalink
Many houses did not have cavity walls,certainly the council ones built in
the next road to me are exactly like mine with no cavity.
Brian
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Post by Martin Brown
Post by Lilly ozzy1942
Ca I I fill in the the air vents in my 1950s council built house to help
with cold walls
You can if you want but it won't help the cold walls and will probably
give you additional condensation problems to contend with.
Cavity wall insulation might help if it isn't already installed.
Some cowboys doing cavity wall insulation in the late 70's early 80's
managed to use dodgy material that is now absorbing water and bridging the
air gap and penetrating damp to the inner wall. Might be worth seeing if
that is the problem.
--
Regards,
Martin Brown
Annabelle
2021-09-12 14:45:03 UTC
Permalink
This is the second ex council house we've lived in from the 50s and 60s and both have been bad. Thin walls everywhere. You might as well be cohabiting with your neighbours as you can hear practically everything plus gardens with no privacy from your neighbours and in one house, no privacy from the front either when your neighbours across the road can see right into your house. I read there was a shortage of material post war and it shows. As regards to construction problems I'm pretty sure there's loads. After all,they were put up pretty quickly i read so not much care or attention taken in making them as after all, they were made just to shove people in as quick as possible. Worst money ever spent
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JNugent
2021-09-12 15:07:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Annabelle
This is the second ex council house we've lived in from the 50s and 60s
and both have been bad. Thin walls everywhere. You might as well be
cohabiting with your neighbours as you can hear practically everything
plus gardens with no privacy from your neighbours and in one house, no
privacy from the front either when your neighbours across the road can
see right into your house. I read there was a shortage of material post
war and it shows. As regards to construction problems I'm pretty sure
there's loads. After all,they were put up pretty quickly i read so not
much care or attention taken in making them as after all, they were made
just to shove people in as quick as possible. Worst money ever spent.
As it happens, ITV tonight is showing a programme about poor building
and maintenance standards in social housing.

I suspect that you have had particularly bad luck with the properties
you bought. Not all council properties were badly-built. But just about
everywhere, it's poor standards of (general environmental) maintenance
and management which contribute to such misery as exists on council estates.
tony sayer
2021-09-12 20:22:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by JNugent
Post by Annabelle
This is the second ex council house we've lived in from the 50s and 60s
and both have been bad. Thin walls everywhere. You might as well be
cohabiting with your neighbours as you can hear practically everything
plus gardens with no privacy from your neighbours and in one house, no
privacy from the front either when your neighbours across the road can
see right into your house. I read there was a shortage of material post
war and it shows. As regards to construction problems I'm pretty sure
there's loads. After all,they were put up pretty quickly i read so not
much care or attention taken in making them as after all, they were made
just to shove people in as quick as possible. Worst money ever spent.
As it happens, ITV tonight is showing a programme about poor building
and maintenance standards in social housing.
I suspect that you have had particularly bad luck with the properties
you bought. Not all council properties were badly-built. But just about
everywhere, it's poor standards of (general environmental) maintenance
and management which contribute to such misery as exists on council estates.
Mum and dads old house made out of precast concrete slabs very good on
the sound absorption front, bit chilly tho but some have had insulation
wrapped around them now!...

Built in around 1954 ish...

Walls around 10 to 12 inches think!..

https://goo.gl/maps/gdNLK3NUspC4ZYDV6

Thats pre insulation times..
--
Tony Sayer


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.

Give him a keyboard, and he will reveal himself.
Harry Bloomfield, Esq.
2021-09-13 09:22:42 UTC
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Post by tony sayer
Built in around 1954 ish...
Walls around 10 to 12 inches think!..
https://goo.gl/maps/gdNLK3NUspC4ZYDV6
Airey PRC?
SH
2021-09-13 09:56:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Bloomfield, Esq.
Post by tony sayer
Built in around 1954 ish...
Walls around 10 to 12 inches think!..
https://goo.gl/maps/gdNLK3NUspC4ZYDV6
Airey PRC?
https://www.prc-repair.co.uk/airey/
tony sayer
2021-09-15 20:11:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Bloomfield, Esq.
Post by tony sayer
Built in around 1954 ish...
Walls around 10 to 12 inches think!..
https://goo.gl/maps/gdNLK3NUspC4ZYDV6
Airey PRC?
No don't think so as theres never been any remediable action required
ever!

However there are some around a mile away that have required sorting out
i think that are the Airey ones...
--
Tony Sayer


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.

Give him a keyboard, and he will reveal himself.
tony sayer
2021-09-15 20:17:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by tony sayer
Post by Harry Bloomfield, Esq.
Post by tony sayer
Built in around 1954 ish...
Walls around 10 to 12 inches think!..
https://goo.gl/maps/gdNLK3NUspC4ZYDV6
Airey PRC?
No don't think so as theres never been any remediable action required
ever!
However there are some around a mile away that have required sorting out
i think that are the Airey ones...
And here is the only one left!, the others have been bricked around by
the look of it!...


https://goo.gl/maps/vxW8Jnqvj4BPisHbA
--
Tony Sayer


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.

Give him a keyboard, and he will reveal himself.
Dave Plowman (News)
2021-09-13 14:16:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by JNugent
I suspect that you have had particularly bad luck with the properties
you bought. Not all council properties were badly-built. But just about
everywhere, it's poor standards of (general environmental) maintenance
and management which contribute to such misery as exists on council estates.
Councils did sometimes experiment with new construction methods. It not
being their own money they were gambling with.

Not far from here in Mitcham, there is a large estate of 'traditional'
looking semis built by the council. Except they used pre-fabricated
concrete panels bolted together, and all the bolts are slowly rusting
away. And, it seems, impossible to fix economically. A real problem for
those who bought them.

But they are on enormous plots. Presumably so the original tenants could
grow much of their own food. Even the front gardens have room for four or
more cars. ;-)
--
*It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off

Dave Plowman ***@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
JNugent
2021-09-13 15:08:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Plowman (News)
Post by JNugent
I suspect that you have had particularly bad luck with the properties
you bought. Not all council properties were badly-built. But just about
everywhere, it's poor standards of (general environmental) maintenance
and management which contribute to such misery as exists on council estates.
Councils did sometimes experiment with new construction methods. It not
being their own money they were gambling with.
Not far from here in Mitcham, there is a large estate of 'traditional'
looking semis built by the council. Except they used pre-fabricated
concrete panels bolted together, and all the bolts are slowly rusting
away. And, it seems, impossible to fix economically. A real problem for
those who bought them.
There are houses built like that all over the place (one or two
different styles). They can be refurbished by replacing the concrete
walls - carefully - with brick.
Post by Dave Plowman (News)
But they are on enormous plots. Presumably so the original tenants could
grow much of their own food. Even the front gardens have room for four or
more cars. ;-)
Demolish and build a pair of semis?
Dave Plowman (News)
2021-09-13 14:20:13 UTC
Permalink
This post might be inappropriate. Click to display it.
gareth evans
2021-09-12 16:23:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Annabelle
This is the second ex council house we've lived in from the 50s and 60s
and both have been bad. Thin walls everywhere. You might as well be
cohabiting with your neighbours as you can hear practically everything
plus gardens with no privacy from your neighbours and in one house, no
privacy from the front either when your neighbours across the road can
see right into your house. I read there was a shortage of material post
war and it shows. As regards to construction problems I'm pretty sure
there's loads. After all,they were put up pretty quickly i read so not
much care or attention taken in making them as after all, they were made
just to shove people in as quick as possible. Worst money ever spent.
Ilived in a couple from the age of two on Bristol Rd (1953)and then
Cadbury Rd (1962), very solidly built by the then Portishead Urban
District Council.

Perhaps things went downhill after Redcliffe-Maud was implemented?
bob
2021-09-12 18:01:46 UTC
Permalink
Things may have moved on in the 18 years since this thread was started. Or hadn't you noticed?
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Chris Bacon
2021-09-12 18:46:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by bob
Things may have moved on in the 18 years since this thread was started.
Or hadn't you noticed?
Quite. The OP might not be with us, you never know, but FWIW he thought
they were "built like a brick outhouse" properties, which I agree with.
Latterly? If they're still being built, I tend to doubt that solidity is
quite so high.
Harry Bloomfield, Esq.
2021-09-12 19:30:48 UTC
Permalink
Quite. The OP might not be with us, you never know, but FWIW he thought they
were "built like a brick outhouse" properties, which I agree with. Latterly?
If they're still being built, I tend to doubt that solidity is quite so high.
It perhaps depended upon which local council built them, very locally
they were built to a much higher standard than were the private
properties, have much larger gardens and generally fetch better money
than those privately built around the same time.
alan_m
2021-09-12 20:33:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Annabelle
This is the second ex council house we've lived in from the 50s and 60s
and both have been bad. Thin walls everywhere. You might as well be
cohabiting with your neighbours as you can hear practically everything
plus gardens with no privacy from your neighbours and in one house, no
privacy from the front either when your neighbours across the road can
see right into your house. I read there was a shortage of material post
war and it shows. As regards to construction problems I'm pretty sure
there's loads. After all,they were put up pretty quickly i read so not
much care or attention taken in making them as after all, they were made
just to shove people in as quick as possible. Worst money ever spent.
I've watched blocks of flats being built in the past decade and I'm sure
that things such as sound insulation wasn't on of the priorities.
--
mailto : news {at} admac {dot} myzen {dot} co {dot} uk
Brian Gaff (Sofa)
2021-09-13 07:23:44 UTC
Permalink
In the late 60s early 70s things were not much better, I went into the site
behind my house as they were being built and party walls seemed to be mainly
multiple layers of plasterboard and room dividing walls were even worse. The
window frames were showing sings of rot as they were being fitted and most
had to be changed withinn5 years, but the builders were by then out of
business. Then the council decided that they were not going to need as many
council houses so the rest were sold, and now they are all owned and people
are always moving , since they had so many problems like some being built on
a flood plain with minimal footings and one street over the top of a clay
quarry which is sinking as they were built on a concrete raft.
The garages are now too small for modern cars and are in blocks not
attached to the houses which are terraced, Just to make it worse it on the
side of a hill, and its slipping. The house I have is single walled terrace,
but it was built in the 30s and has substantial internal and party walls at
least.
Brian
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Post by alan_m
Post by Annabelle
This is the second ex council house we've lived in from the 50s and 60s
and both have been bad. Thin walls everywhere. You might as well be
cohabiting with your neighbours as you can hear practically everything
plus gardens with no privacy from your neighbours and in one house, no
privacy from the front either when your neighbours across the road can
see right into your house. I read there was a shortage of material post
war and it shows. As regards to construction problems I'm pretty sure
there's loads. After all,they were put up pretty quickly i read so not
much care or attention taken in making them as after all, they were made
just to shove people in as quick as possible. Worst money ever spent.
I've watched blocks of flats being built in the past decade and I'm sure
that things such as sound insulation wasn't on of the priorities.
--
mailto : news {at} admac {dot} myzen {dot} co {dot} uk
Harry Bloomfield, Esq.
2021-09-13 09:08:26 UTC
Permalink
The garages are now too small for modern cars and are in blocks not attached
to the houses which are terraced, Just to make it worse it on the side of a
hill, and its slipping. The house I have is single walled terrace, but it was
built in the 30s and has substantial internal and party walls at least.
Privately built can be just as bad. A friend has a 1979's chalet style
semi, with timber cladding around the 1st floor. The place costs a
fortune to heat and the up stairs is freezing, due to lack of adequate
insulation behind the cladding. The original CH system, was manual -
they had to turn a valve to swap from CH to HW.
alan_m
2021-09-13 10:50:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Bloomfield, Esq.
 The garages are now too small for modern cars and are in blocks not
attached to the houses which are terraced, Just to make it worse it on
the side of a hill, and its slipping. The house I have is single
walled terrace, but it was built in the 30s and has substantial
internal and party walls at least.
Privately built can be just as bad. A friend has a 1979's chalet style
semi, with timber cladding around the 1st floor. The place costs a
fortune to heat and the up stairs is freezing, due to lack of adequate
insulation behind the cladding. The original CH system, was manual -
they had to turn a valve to swap from CH to HW.
About 30 years ago I observed that nearly all the houses on a new build
(non-council) estate had first floor exterior walls of aerated concrete
blocks which were either directly rendered or clad in wood. The only
thing between the concrete blocks and the wood seemed to be a sheet of
plastic - no insulation.
--
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The Natural Philosopher
2021-09-13 14:56:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by alan_m
About 30 years ago I observed that nearly all the houses on a new build
(non-council) estate had first floor exterior walls of aerated concrete
blocks which were either directly rendered or clad in wood. The only
thing between the concrete blocks and the wood seemed to be a sheet of
plastic - no insulation.
Different system: there there will be either a double wall with
insulation between, or studwork inside the blockwork full of celotex.
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its been subverted by the people it tried to warn you about.

Anon.
Theo
2021-09-13 20:30:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by alan_m
About 30 years ago I observed that nearly all the houses on a new build
(non-council) estate had first floor exterior walls of aerated concrete
blocks which were either directly rendered or clad in wood. The only
thing between the concrete blocks and the wood seemed to be a sheet of
plastic - no insulation.
In BISF late-1940s houses upstairs you got:

Steel cladding
Shredded newspaper 'insulation'
Hardboard
Wallpaper

When it gets damp it's Really Bad News...
(as well as rusting the steel frame)

But at least those were council houses put up in times of shortage, rather
than private developers putting them up in times of profit.

Theo
Dave Plowman (News)
2021-09-13 14:06:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Annabelle
This is the second ex council house we've lived in from the 50s and 60s
and both have been bad. Thin walls everywhere. You might as well be
cohabiting with your neighbours as you can hear practically everything
plus gardens with no privacy from your neighbours and in one house, no
privacy from the front either when your neighbours across the road can
see right into your house. I read there was a shortage of material post
war and it shows. As regards to construction problems I'm pretty sure
there's loads. After all,they were put up pretty quickly i read so not
much care or attention taken in making them as after all, they were made
just to shove people in as quick as possible. Worst money ever spent.
Council houses vary a great deal. Depending on where and when they were
built. Plenty were built to the same standards as for sale types of the
day, but some worse. Size of the plots and the layout of the estate
changed by location too.
--
*Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental

Dave Plowman ***@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
Mike Mitchell
2003-08-10 10:31:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mich
I had a b*gger of a job selling the house btw. It was poured concrete and
built like the proverbial ( rock hard) but because it was "non traditional
build" buyers had difficulty getting mortgages.
I don't think we have poured concrete council houses down here (home
counties). These houses on this estate are standard block/brick
construction and, like I said, they are very sought after because they
are considered to be so solidly built, roomy, and often have quite
large gardens. Plus, the stigma makes them an affordable buy for
first-timers when even a terraced house can command a higher price (go
figure!). I reckon when the Londoners were moved here after the war
they must have felt like they were entering some kind of Shangri-la.
So I have absolutely no worries about selling mine when the time
comes.

MM
Philip Stokes
2003-08-10 10:59:38 UTC
Permalink
X-No-Archive: Yes
In the process of buying a 1930s/40s ex council house. Not mortgage
company involved, so we employed a "friendly" builder/NHBC inspector to
take a look around. He has suggested that the concrete floor should be
replaced, simply because "they didn't use a damp proof membrane in those
days - though it looks fine at the moment". Doesn't sound like a hugely
expensive job, but will mean (if we decide to do it) a couple of weeks
living with the parents :-/
Might be worth a localised investigation before you go to the expense of
ripping up the whole floor. I had a concrete floor replaced in my
similarly aged house after knocking two rooms into one, and finding the
floor levels were different in each room. The original floors had a
"DPM" of bitumen between the base and top screed.

OTOH, even if it has none, if it's not damp, why bother to touch it?
--
Phil
Andy Dingley
2003-08-10 11:40:35 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 10 Aug 2003 00:59:51 +0100, Martin Angove
He has suggested that the concrete floor should be
replaced, simply because "they didn't use a damp proof membrane in those
days - though it looks fine at the moment".
Damp proof membranes have been used since the Victorians (slate, blue
brick, bitumen). They weren't stupid, even if they didn't have
convenient rolls of plastic stuff to use.

If it looks dry, then leave it alone. If it's dry, then chances are
there's a layer of bitumen poured underneath there somewhere.
dg
2003-08-10 15:12:05 UTC
Permalink
Council houses sell well not because of the quality of construction,
but rather that you can get them relatively cheap and be able to make
a tidy profit at sale time.

Condensation and [lack of central] heating tend to be the main
concerns. However the BRE has noted a number of construction problems
with the majority of system built properties.

In the few thousand that we manage, lifestyle and location (ie north
facing main elevations or direction of prevelent winds) can have a
dramatic impact on internal comfort and problems.

Bracing to roof trusses, movement in raft foundations, movement in
concrete wall panels, and internal box gutters are other commen
problem areas.

dg
Post by Mike Mitchell
As I am currently in such a property, and it is another of those
"built like a brick outhouse" properties, would people recommend them?
(They are selling like hot cakes around here, as soon as they come on
the market.) Mine has solid walls throughout. It's got a driveway and
a decent-sized garden front and rear, in a quiet road. Just not where
I want to live any more. So perhaps a similar house in my preferred
area...? They don't look much from the outside, but there is not a
trace of MDF in them (other than the bits I've added, like the
worktop). They seem to be very solidly constructed and are excellent
value for money. I even like the slimline Crittall windows!
MM
Mark
2003-08-10 22:01:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by dg
Council houses sell well not because of the quality of construction,
but rather that you can get them relatively cheap and be able to make
a tidy profit at sale time.
Condensation and [lack of central] heating tend to be the main
concerns. However the BRE has noted a number of construction problems
with the majority of system built properties.
In the few thousand that we manage, lifestyle and location (ie north
facing main elevations or direction of prevelent winds) can have a
dramatic impact on internal comfort and problems.
Bracing to roof trusses, movement in raft foundations, movement in
concrete wall panels, and internal box gutters are other commen
problem areas.
dg
Front is northish facing but hey who wants the sun shining into the tv
room all day. ;-) Much better onto the patio in the back...

Roof trusses are probably twice the thickness of new stuff, no panels
to move as it's a foot thick of solidish concrete, gutters are abestos
but hindsight is a handy thing. :-)

The last new house I was in I watched with some amusement as the owner
accidental fell into a wall while carrying a pc and punched a nice
hole through it (plasterboard)...

Mark S.
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