New Unit and impractical design, in Corinda, a Western suburb of Brisbane.

Impractical design of a new unit, by Peter Weddell, owner/operator of Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service and Queensland Building Inspection Service, QBIS.

With frequent severe weather conditions encountered in Queensland, combined with the following:

  • Undersize surface drains.
  • Insufficient height difference between paving levels and top of the living area slabs.

Water entry is likely to occur to interior of this new unit in adverse weather conditions due to impractical design.

Impractical design of new unit 1

Potential seepage points:

  • Joints of external wall sheeting without appropriate flashing and water impervious lining fitted behind it.
  • Seepage through the gaps will cause rot to the timber wall frame and internal linings at both levels of this unit.

More examples of this occurring can be found in other posts on this site.

Impractical design of new unit 2

Potential termite access point:

Insufficient clearances between concrete paving and lower external walls. This can allow rot and potential termite access points also damage.  Clearances must be at least 75mm.

Rising damp:

Rising damp is already causing pitting of the concrete slab edge, this is likely due to the type of soil in the area. Also due to the plastic membrane not being wrapped around the slab edge (a common occurrence).

Impractical design of new unit 4

Common design fault:

  • Architraves fitted around the exterior of these windows.
  • Without appropriate flashing will allow seepage and rot to occur to the wall framing and interior linings of both levels.
  • Although eaves have been fitted, their overhangs are not sufficient enough to give reasonable protection to the windows.

Gaps to external cladding:

Close-up of previous photo also showing gaps between the external fibro sheeting.

  • Close-up of previous photo showing architraves almost flush with the external wall fibro wall sheeting.
  • This does not allow for effective flashings to be installed around the windows.
  • The waterproof tightness is reliant too heavily upon sealant that deteriorates in UV light and can also crack with expansion and contraction.

Impractical design of new unit. Important note:

Although these problems are built-in (during construction) and likely to allow seepage which will cause deterioration over the long term, in most cases they can be avoided with the fitting of awnings and effective flashing’s.

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