Architect's design: A Bath "homes from hell" episode 1

Architect's design: A Bath "homes from hell" episode 1

the city of Bath is one of the most desirable places to live in Britain it's a world heritage site with Roman spas and grand Georgian properties Allanon allison garrett up lived here for over thirty years in 1992 allen sold his successful engineering company and used the proceeds to invest in their dream development a grand design style home for their retirement they bought a four acre plot surrounded by beautiful woodland in a prime spot just two miles outside bath for a bargain thirty-eight thousand pounds it was a special sight you know it had the wildlife in it but just Foxy's deer frogs toads news what more can you want a lot of birds and it had a lot of potential the home they built was cutting edge articles were written about it this was an exposition of Grand Designs it's it's a great veneer but unfortunately the actual engineering behind it just never worked it was a dream in the architects mind the builders built as they saw it but the technical substance just wasn't there and the technical side of things was down to the architects the concept was to separate buildings linked by a walkway the smaller four-bedroom house was for them and the larger property was for other members of their family the whole project would cost four hundred and fifteen thousand pounds to build and three years later both houses were almost ready but problems started before they even moved in I went and had a look he just doesn't move shrimp yeah I noticed while I was doing this that some of the floorboards were actually wet and getting wetter and it wasn't raining I'm thinking was what's all this don't coming from all houses create moisture but this was way beyond what would normally be expected the dampened the smaller house was so bad they couldn't live there so they moved into the property next door where they discovered even more problems the kind of issues that we've had with the conservatory mostly associated a condensation quite literally drips off the roof onto the floor are not unfortunately on to anything that is in between quite literally you were turning the sound up on the televisions I've covered the drip noise I think that is crazy we are the only conservatory with an entail gutter because it literally catches the drips of course wherever you've got these drips you get mold so you've got lots and lots of mold and in the main bedroom there's more mold and even more condensation you can actually mop it up do the round of the building which will take you half an hour and when you come back it'll be reforming so it's always there I've now been doing that for nine years it does make me cross continually we were going back to the architect and saying that this problem hasn't been resolved and and I at that point I was beginning to feel frustrated because problems were not being resolved but I was also beginning to feel quite suspicious of the assurances that you know problems would go away and really truly you want to believe that you don't want to believe it's a huge problem that's just gonna crawl out the woodwork and destroy your life you want to believe their assurances see do you hear these assurances we can fix it we will fix it that never happened I want to get a surveyor in to actually tell me whether this house is good or bad so that was the point in which I contacted a local severe called David Mills David prepared this test section of the wall the black that you can see here is actually a tanking membrane so once more she gets behind that tanking membrane it can't go anywhere else and when we first opened it up could feel this membrane moving when David put his knife into this membrane and water gushed out it was like taking the plug out of the bath and you think water and timber hmm don't think they should go together like that if you squeezed it the water would have come out and Simba I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like that before it was probably the worst case I've seen but the waters drained away now but the timber frame is still rotten the two timber plates here are literally that's the new plate crumbling there's no strength you can see it just moving in my finger just push my nail into it it has enough strength and the only thing now is for its replacement David discovered the cause it was down to the ventilation system and the air vents the way they were designed was they've just finished flush there with the membrane over the surface and a wire mesh there so that the moisture only had one way to go which was down now if the pipe had been extended right through the render to the outer face the moisture would then have gone down down the outer face of the render over the stone and not cause any problem it's good thing I know it's a way of putting it I mean you know for the sake of three inches of plastic pipe and an air brick we've got hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of repair both buildings are affected and every single rotten timber will have to be replaced they decided to sue the architects and instructed solicitors kind of things that we've got in here quite literally folders and folders and folders of paper reports done by surveyors reports done by expert architects and there's reports like this 25 grand reports like this cut the ground so it's a huge amount of money our claim was for about 3/4 a million because you claim not just for the repair of the building but the costs involved in pursuing the claim if you win it it took three years of cost them one hundred and eighty thousand pounds to prepare the case so to avoid an expensive court hearing they decided to go for mediation but it wasn't straightforward the architects practice was practicing with the minimum amount of insurance that architects are are supposed to practice with that's a quarter million pounds now we will make a claim against them of three-quarter million so it was obviously quite a large gap even though the architects never accepted liability in the end their insurance company offered Alan and Alison one hundred and thirty thousand pounds knowing it would cost them far more to take the case to court to actually pursue a claim to have the claim recognized as valid to actually win but to still have a loss and start building that was in dire straits but still need an enormous amount of work that inter actually make it habitable um you think well this is just crazy pinch me I'm obviously dreaming this is a nightmare and you know that I've got to wake up from this but it was their best option even though the house is worthless we took the offer from the issuer's it's very practice and took the hit this site should be worth a million pounds it is the grand design million pound house the actual fact we probably make more money from the site selling as an undeveloped site than actually trying to sell it with these buildings on it so we'd be better off actually having a big bonfire and selling the site clear and that is gutting that is not a dream that's a disaster do we put it to the right-hand mark or the left-hand well um it goes to the left-hand lot because the right unmarked ain't there no more okay but they're not ready to give up yet so they're doing the repairs themselves the house up pull out the rock timber putting a new piece of timber and then let the house down nightmare okay plus the fact that you think you saw falling I sure hope this works they've been repairing their home for almost three years the rotten Timbers in the smaller house have been replaced and now the scaffoldings coming down this is a big day for us hopefully we'll be able to see the building is final state it's actually significant step towards getting to the end it's just where we want to try and get see it's been 10 years since this project began and by the time the houses are finished they'll have spent over 800,000 pounds it may not be the beginning it may not be the end but at least you feel that you've got beyond the beginning approaching the end and I haven't counted how many planks we put up there but we put every plank up it's it's really pleasing to see and the fruit of your own labors but they still have to redecorate the whole place and once that's done that have to do the same again on the second building that's the hard part that it you know it should have happened 10 years ago and you know it's it's it's still a ways to go yet my hopes are that yes we can actually live in this building and enjoy it and enjoy the site that it's on without continually thinking what is rotting

40 thoughts on “Architect's design: A Bath "homes from hell" episode 1

  1. Deeply impressed by the home owners' positive outlook. Remarkable people. Bravo ! As for the architect and project manager/builders…criminal.

  2. Fuck those wooden carpenter houses…. brick is a brick and probably the best material to build a stable house with ….. the architect clearly smoked his lunch

  3. They would have been better off tearing down the buildings and built brand new, well designed and engineered homes. I'm sure they know that today . . .

  4. Guarantee theses people are Democrats WTF only Dems would build this artsy ugly crap !!!! They hire another Dem architect to ‘express’ himself and how you got CRAP!!! WTF 9 YEARS it took them to figure out they have a problem Yep keep smoking your Pot and go ha ha haha

  5. why are architects so revered I see so much ugliness in their thought patterns and this is yet another blog on the landscape . Kevin from Grand designs should look back over his series and realise that the gentlest most liveable homes were simple achievable cost effective structures by people who truly understand gentleness of surroundings not a mishmash of ugly expensive ideas .

  6. From my personal experience, most architects are arseholes!
    They are good at drawing fancy pictures, and 'making a statement,' but dont have any idea of even the basics of the necessities of building structure.
    What these unfortunates have is no better than a poorly constructed garden shed.
    If anyone is going to have a house designed and built, first thing to do is go to a library or bookshop, and get a book on building techniques, study it, and study it again. Also get a book, ''Building regulations explained,and illustrated,'' and that will tell you the minimum of regulatory building techniques, for habitable houses, covering, ventilation, fire proofing, rainwater exclusion etc etc. etc.
    Then, at least they will be educated enough to monitor the building of their house and be able to spot errors of method, AND have them corrected, before they release both the Architect, and the Builders from the final job.
    Alternatively, get a quantity surveyor to monitor the job, they are far better trained on building structural matters. They cost, but far less than the legal costs of trying to sort out a problem like this.
    There's also a well known saying, ''A fool and his money are easily parted!''

  7. l think the owners requested this look to their house, with no facade,
    never seen anything like this
    ''''puss have money him buy cheese'''

  8. This is a typical problem you can get when your main person controlling the building is one never mentioned throughout the program THE BUILDER

  9. tie rap? siding? the roof would never work! dehumidifier? your a facking moron you are a cheat and a dumb. you make that design I would lay 1,000.00 on it! and I would say you the owner and only your fault who spends 250,000 on people to say it was someone else fault. Build it right all the things you need you don't have and dumb shit in place you should have never been able to take the foundation side out like that I bet it was the owner who wanted those things and it will never work like that dumb fack Who ever decided to build that and the builder should have told him no way but I bet many CONTRACTORS did say NO WAY to the owner that home is the owners fault!

  10. Get a good electrician, get industrial kitchen fan and go to screwfix and instal expelair fans, more vents in conservatory.


    For all those that want to see what the building looks like now

  12. Terrible no style at all, looks like a chicken house and a truck repair shop ! I feel for these folks but wonder why they accepted a design not worthy of a first year high school drafting student ! Truthfully I don't think they are of a very high intellect !

  13. For all of you who voted for BREXIT this onstrosity was built by Brits and things will only get worse !

  14. So many horrible people commenting. I Hope everything has worked out for the owners of both houses. What a terrible thing to happen. I bet the architect was learning on their house.

  15. Wood, Wet, Woe. The Architect is an ass. Not too sure how to describe the couple. They don't seem like gillies, maybe they are dreamers having a nightmare. Either way, they are stuck with a problem of their own making. After All they commissioned the ass.

  16. Was it not advertised as a WOODEN house? And they fell for that? In the UK where there is an excess of RAIN? WTF did they think would happen???? Good grief people are stupid!

  17. the uk dose not have the climate for timber framed homes cold wet hot rain snow all in 1 day..thats why we built the best castles in the world..

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