High-set house being sold as a 2 storey house.
Building inspection, carried out by Peter Weddell, owner/operator of Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service
This post highlights serious associated problems that often occur from this type of conversion.
Can the problems be economically rectified ?
Definately not, without removing all of the lower floor and rebuilding!
The bottom line. A high-set house is not suitable for conversion to a 2 storey house!
This high-set house that was supposedly converted to a 2 storey house, according to the agents brochure. The house had been inspected by a certifier only once, on completion of alterations to the lower floor area, not during the alterations, as would be required.
Major problem that cannot be rectified, without reconstruction.
No weep-holes to lower external brick walls, also very unlikely to have damp-course barriers fitted during construction (common problem with high-set houses). This will allow rising damp, potential for rot to concealed wall framing timber also health problems with inhabitants.
Significant lifting and undulation of the slab caused by soil movement and expansion.
Ceiling heights of all lower areas advertised and used for living were under the local authority requirements for use as habitable areas.
High moisture meter readings
Indicating rising damp from the slab also high probability that there would not be a waterproof plastic barrier below the slab. Which is common practice for a slab built for a non-living garage-storage area. This is definitely not acceptable in habitable areas!
Exposed section of the slab showing rust to steel spikes of smooth edge strips (that secure the carpet) caused by rising damp from below the slab indicating a breakdown or lack of damp barrier below the slab.
- The house was being sold as a 2 storey 5 bedroom, in fact only 2 bedrooms were compliant with local authority suitable for use as habitable areas. According to the buyer the house was priced to sell as a 2 storey house.
- The lower floor area was originally a garage and suitable for storage only, not for living purposes.
- Rising damp may be acceptable in garages, but can pose a health risk for inhabitants of living areas.