High-set house sold as 2 storey house.

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.

20_01

Serious faults with this house cannot be rectified, without major reconstruction. It would not be viable!

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.

39_01

Movement:

There was significant undulation of the slab from expansion of the soil causing it to lift.

40_01

Non-compliant:

The ceiling heights of all lower areas advertised and used for living were under the local authority requirements for use as habitable areas.

43_01

High moisture meter readings

The meter readings were higher than usual indicating rising damp from the slab also high probability that there would not be a waterproof plastic barrier below. This is common practice for a slab built for a non-living garage-storage area. This is definitely not acceptable in habitable areas!

52_01

Rising damp: 

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.

High-set house sold as 2 storey house

Important notes:

  • 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.

For independent Building Inspections Brisbane in all suburbs, Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service. qbis.com.au