Poor design causing rot-Bulimba, an eastern suburb of Brisbane,

by Peter Weddell, owner/operator of Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service.

A relatively new house with significant problems occuring due to poor design and construction methods.

Seepage has occurred around timber architraves fitted to exterior of this house.

This is causing rotting of parts of the wall framing, flooring also the sub-floor structure.

Reasons for fault:

  • Aluminium windows are designed for the external wall cladding to fit within the top and side flanges
  • Timber architraves are not suitable for external use around windows without appropriate flashing around them.
  • Sills of the windows must have slope away from the window with flashing extending over the sill

These a just a few examples of many I have seen from this very common current building construction design fault.

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Rot to wall timber framing from seepage around architraves fitted to exterior of the aluminium windows.

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Procedure and rectification required:

  • Quotes.
  • Scaffolding.
  • Remove external wall linings around affected areas to assess extent of rotted timber and damaged linings.
  • Replace any damaged linings and timber framing.
  • Repaint.

Being a two storey house, this would be a considerable expense.

Recommendation:

Fit awnings with appropriate flashing’s around the openings, after rectification has been carried out.

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Design fault:

Seepage through this exposed balcony is causing sagging and deterioration to ceiling lining of the garage below. Timber frame is also starting to deteriorate in places.

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More seepage causing deterioration of timber.

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Water damage to ceiling below the exposed deck from seepage.

Recommendation:

Construct a roof above the balcony with a decent overhang for protection. I would also recommend fitting insulation below the roof sheeting or use composite material. This will allow the deck to be used more often, whether raining or in hot summer conditions.

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Design fault:

Window within the ensuite shower without appropriate protection. The shower outlet must be below the window, otherwise seepage is likely to occur to the walls, flooring, framing and ceiling below, and cause rotting of timber and sagging of ceiling lining

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Same problem to main bathroom of the same unit.

Recommendation:

Fit a glass screen over part of the window where it encroaches, for protection.

Poor design causing rot-Bulimba,

Important note:

When are designers and builders going to realise these current methods of construction are not practical and cause serious problems, after their warranty has expired!

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