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paradox

New Build Houses (family Houses Not Flats)

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This is a genuine question. The only time I lived in a new home was a council house in Brixton. I lived there for 10 happy years, it was built in 1980 and I was the first tenant. The internal walls were plasterboard and it had no loft space or proper ceiling upstairs, just a sloping roof with leaky skylight. In the winter it used to be artic downstairs and tropical upstairs because it had a hot air blower system (for the whole estate) rather than individual radiators. This used to blow dust everywhere and as we know - hot air rises. In the living room your toes could be cold whilst your forehead was sweating. We had a great time there and some amazing parties.

BUT - I digress...

What about the new build houses on now - ones built by Bovis etc for sale? There is general agreement that the 2 bed inner city flats are a load of rubbish. We are looking for a house. There are some new build developments in towns around the south east that are already offering reductions off plan. 4 and 5 bedroom houses going for around 250 + but with the developers promising to pay for the carpets, put turf on the lawn, pay the deposit, pay stamp duty etc.

In a years time these may be going for 200k ? Already they are cheaper than smaller victorian terraces in similar locations - yet the new builds do seem to have quite generous proportions.

Seriously - are these homes any good. What about buying one in around a year's time and replacing the crappy IKEA features over time to increase the individuality etc???

Or is the build quality so bad on new homes these days that I am wasting my time thinking like this?

Any advice

Edited by paradox

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I used to build new houses for a living.

They have foundations you could build an office block on.

Lots of them have 'beam and block' ground floors. Small pre-stressed beams with concrete blocks laid between them with a screed on top. When you jump up and down you might think you were on a timber floor because they spring. Don't like them myself - but they should see you in your box no matter how old you are now.

Exterior walls are usually brick/cavity filled with insulation and block. If anything the mortar is too strong in these but, generally, they are going to last a very long time.

Internal partitions - noticed lots of people are using block partitions again - studwork still used upstairs. I am living in a house with all internal walls (even downstairs) made out of stud. Seems okay to me.

Roofs - I have noticed the long love affair with timber trusses is coming to an end on some bigger houses - they give you extra rooms in the loft. Or, for chalet bungalow type houses, the roof is often traditionally cut.

Nothing wrong with trusses - they are tanalized and will support the roof for a long time. You're not supposed to store stuff in the loft with a timber trussed roof.

The electrics and plumbing in a new house will be far better and the heating far more efficient than in older houses. The house will be far better insulated.

Joinery is usually crap on estate houses. Windows may be cheap - but even cheap timber windows will be made from treated timber that will last 30 years.

Often fascias etc are upvc - so bugger all external maintenance.

The biggest thing wrong with modern estate houses is the lack of parking, lack of privacy and lack of garden space.

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Seriously - are these homes any good. What about buying one in around a year's time and replacing the crappy IKEA features over time to increase the individuality etc???

We have an architect in the family and my father is a builder and they both say that most of them are tottal crap. Cheapest materials in the fabric of the buildings, not just the fittings. My dad's opinion is that most of them won't age well both becuase of the materials used or the contemporary nature of the styling. That's from a man who is a big fan of timber framed kit houses generally (for some reason I can't fathom).

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I was looking round a show house just before Christmas in Ely. Three observations from someone who knows almost nothing about building.

1. the ceiling in the hall was coming away.

2. there was shrinkage between the staircase and wall leaving a nasty-looking gap.

3. I let a bedroom door close (it had an automatic closer on it). The whole wall shook. Frankly I don't like stud partition walls. vibrations pass straight through them and so do a lot of sound. So no noisy bonking unless you want to keep the kids awake in your family home.

& this was the SHOW house.

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I was looking round a show house just before Christmas in Ely. Three observations from someone who knows almost nothing about building.

1. the ceiling in the hall was coming away.

2. there was shrinkage between the staircase and wall leaving a nasty-looking gap.

3. I let a bedroom door close (it had an automatic closer on it). The whole wall shook. Frankly I don't like stud partition walls. vibrations pass straight through them and so do a lot of sound. So no noisy bonking unless you want to keep the kids awake in your family home.

& this was the SHOW house.

New build.. Two years old.

hear soflty spoken word, conversational level from rooms above and below.

stairs moving away from walls.

door catches breaking.

Kitchen units draws and shelves failing.

Two years old and there is not one part of the property that I have seen that does not disgust me.

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New build.. Two years old.

hear soflty spoken word, conversational level from rooms above and below.

stairs moving away from walls.

door catches breaking.

Kitchen units draws and shelves failing.

Two years old and there is not one part of the property that I have seen that does not disgust me.

ah how I laughed... ruefully. I was kept awake last night by my girlfriend's brother (layabout) chatting to his mate in lounge at 4am, at a relatively subdued volume. Squeaky floorboards make tiptoeing sound like a Soviet MayDay parade, pipes rattle like a dinosaur's false teeth.

Other than that it seems reasonable though.

Yes, I live in a newbuild at the moment - about 3/4 yrs I think. Mind you, it is a mixed development, and we are in the "ghetto" housing association bit, so the outlying private areas may well be better built. The poor build quality was exposed by various tantrums that involved people's heads being put through walls - which thankfully turned out to be cardboard... similarly, fists through doors etc.

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I used to build new houses for a living.

. . .

And if that's the standard you built to the world would be a better place if you still did.

Jokes aside, I was disgusted to find that some townhouses/terraces I was actually considering 6 months ago don't have masonry in the party walls, just 2 stud walls sandwiching a fire-retardent sheet.

And there was me saying the big advantage of terraces over flats was privacy :angry: .

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Guest Bart of Darkness

Good thread topic.

I have a few related questions if anybody can answer them.

I've read that new flats have to comply with new (2003?) legislation regarding noise insulation. Does this apply to all new builds or just flats?

Are all modern builders much of a muchness in terms of quality (or lack thereof) or are there decent builders and cr*p ones?

Are houses built in the 1980s any better than modern ones or are they about as bad. (Are pre-70s, pre-60s or perhaps pre-50s houses the best?)

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This is a genuine question. The only time I lived in a new home was a council house in Brixton. I lived there for 10 happy years, it was built in 1980 and I was the first tenant. The internal walls were plasterboard and it had no loft space or proper ceiling upstairs, just a sloping roof with leaky skylight. In the winter it used to be artic downstairs and tropical upstairs because it had a hot air blower system (for the whole estate) rather than individual radiators. This used to blow dust everywhere and as we know - hot air rises. In the living room your toes could be cold whilst your forehead was sweating. We had a great time there and some amazing parties.

BUT - I digress...

What about the new build houses on now - ones built by Bovis etc for sale? There is general agreement that the 2 bed inner city flats are a load of rubbish. We are looking for a house. There are some new build developments in towns around the south east that are already offering reductions off plan. 4 and 5 bedroom houses going for around 250 + but with the developers promising to pay for the carpets, put turf on the lawn, pay the deposit, pay stamp duty etc.

In a years time these may be going for 200k ? Already they are cheaper than smaller victorian terraces in similar locations - yet the new builds do seem to have quite generous proportions.

Seriously - are these homes any good. What about buying one in around a year's time and replacing the crappy IKEA features over time to increase the individuality etc???

Or is the build quality so bad on new homes these days that I am wasting my time thinking like this?

Any advice

I had a few Ea's round to value my house last week, and during the course of the spiel (they were asking where I was planning to move to...) I asked their opinion of the new build going up around my area, in particular a Wimpey development. Their faces said it all, one EA even bold enough to say that the doors don't close properly in the BTL type properties he's viewed.

Another EA became very dry-mouthed at the mention of interest rates too, almost choking on her words as she tried to assure me that whilst no-one can predict the future, interest rates look set to fall soon.

They're all very relieved/hopeful about the coming year. Things are looking up after last years stagnation, apparently.

We'll see.

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Friends of a friend of mine bought an 'executive' 3-storey detached town-house for nearly 500K in Swansea West last year. Within 3 months of moving in the tiles in the bathroom were coming off - they got those fixed.

They went to work one day, came home and discovered the kitchen, which had been on the first floor directly above the bathroom, in the bathroom.

Does this help?

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Good thread topic.

I have a few related questions if anybody can answer them.

I've read that new flats have to comply with new (2003?) legislation regarding noise insulation. Does this apply to all new builds or just flats?

Are all modern builders much of a muchness in terms of quality (or lack thereof) or are there decent builders and cr*p ones?

Are houses built in the 1980s any better than modern ones or are they about as bad. (Are pre-70s, pre-60s or perhaps pre-50s houses the best?)

"I've read that new flats have to comply with new (2003?) legislation regarding noise insulation. Does this apply to all new builds or just flats?"

Legislation was April 1st 2002 and applies to all new builds and extensions requiring planning consent (as far as I know) - It really does make a 'thermal' (and presumably noise) difference as well (around 40% greater thermal efficiency?).

"Are houses built in the 1980s any better than modern ones or are they about as bad. (Are pre-70s, pre-60s or perhaps pre-50s houses the best?)

The build quality of the many cheaper dwellings thrown up in the 60', 70' and 80's is terrible - building regs now impose much improved standards.

"Are all modern builders much of a muchness in terms of quality (or lack thereof) or are there decent builders and cr*p ones?"

There are good and bad and, like most things in life, I guess you generally get what you pay for.

Edited by ILikeBigBoobs

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Well, I've only rented two brand new houses.

The first was built about 1999 in Hedge End, Southampton. It was a link-detached 3-bed (i.e. garages between each house) and was fairly well-constructed, it seemed. Lots of electrical sockets and decently laid out. I couldn't see any major cause for complaint, although some materials seemed a tad cheapskate.

However, the second (terraced 2-bed) was built about 2002 and was in Emersons Green, Bristol. It was the one where I lived next door to an abusive nutcase neighbour from hell. The house was utter shite, made of the cheapest materials, non-existant sound insulation (which helped my problems no end), and generally very flimsy. The door lock was almost seized up too. Every interior wall felt as if it had been made out of cardboard. Also the "driveways" were all squeezed onto one stretch of tarmac, just big enough for a small family car. I used the entire driveway when I moved out with a van, it just wouldn't fit in any of the spaces.

Before that it was a nearby BTL flat. I left in disgust because all the doors fitted so badly that there was a constant draught throughout the place. The heating bill, when I left, was unbelievable because it was absolutely impossible to keep the place warm. The bathroom door wouldn't close at all. Everything else in the flat was cheap, shitty, nasty. When I unclogged the pipe under the bath, taking the bath side off revealed that the builders had left a load of rubbish, including empty coke cans, underneath the bath. It was shameful, quite frankly, how bad that flat was.

So it could be a regional thing, or maybe quality is going down as time goes by. Maybe both. But around here at least, I would never buy a new place.

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There are too many new self appointed developer/builders trying to make a quick buck out of the 'housing shortage.'

Where profits are high, quality is usually squeezed. My mate is a builder (for past 20 years), and his bug bear is Timber Frame. The structure and strength of the building is provided by the timber frame, and a single skin of brick is built around it to make it look like a traditionally built house.

One cold winter morning he noticed that when he kicked his foot against the wall to warm his toes, the windows rattled. In fact the whole house resonated.

Architect friend is interested to see what happens in 20 years time when the the timber has shrunk/moved a bit.

I have been looking for a new house for 3 years now, but the lack of space around a supposedly detached house (eg your living room wall acts as a boundary) these days, + the crap build quality doesn't warrant the already over-inflated price.

I also fear that good quality older properties are being irreversibly ruined by the owners selling off parts of their garden for development. Usually happens when owner/occupier dies, and those inherting it aim to maximise their material profit.

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The lovely old houses you all crave so much are built like sh!t also.

No Dampcourses

No Footings

Dry Rot Timber

No Insulation

Constant Maintenance

Fire Hazards

But of course they come on big plots, in tree lined streets so people buy them and then spend the rest of their natural lives maintaining them.

New Builds are much better quality, but you only get what you pay for.

So if you buy cheap, then for sure you get Sh!t fittings and Fixtures.

Its like anything you might buy in the shops today, less quality = cheap.

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The lovely old houses you all crave so much are built like sh!t also.

No Dampcourses

No Footings

Dry Rot Timber

No Insulation

Constant Maintenance

Fire Hazards

But of course they come on big plots, in tree lined streets so people buy them and then spend the rest of their natural lives maintaining them.

New Builds are much better quality, but you only get what you pay for.

So if you buy cheap, then for sure you get Sh!t fittings and Fixtures.

Its like anything you might buy in the shops today, less quality = cheap.

£450k for a 4 bed detached in Shropshire isn't cheap. But you still get tacky white plastic window frames, timber frame construction, crappy laminated wooden flooring.

Position is one thing you can't change in a property, so perhaps buying an older one and bringing it up to current regs is the way forward. The old ones may not have the mod cons, but at least they are still standing after many years of use and abuse.

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Friends of a friend of mine bought an 'executive' 3-storey detached town-house for nearly 500K in Swansea

They went to work one day, came home and discovered the kitchen, which had been on the first floor directly above the bathroom, in the bathroom.

Does this help?

In a World of Buildings Regulations, "Quality Control", HSBC "Guarantees" and inspectors for each.

Ho hum.

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laurejon,

But of course they come on big plots, in tree lined streets so people buy them and then spend the rest of their natural lives maintaining them.

New Builds are much better quality, but you only get what you pay for.

Ah, but the point is at least the older stuff is m repairable in most cases - it is the structure that counts.

You say that you get what you pay for with newbuild, disagree the vast bulk is at premium prices and are built to provide a mamium show with minimum outlay, materials and land.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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