Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Persimmon Home Owners formed a residents' association to resolve complaints

Problems with a Persimmon Homes Estate have to get fairly serious before home owners risk complaining (in the public domain for the public interest). Persimmon Homes had yet another estate that felt the need to go public to best serve a public interest of the estate.

The article says - A Persimmon Homes spokesman said it was aware of various snagging issues - some how I wonder how many days before they might then claim they lost the snagging lists, and now have no record of any issues? This is a pattern Persimmon Group has repeated with us on a number of occasions.

The residents comments regarding the snagging, finish and standards of the estate are damming - but not untypical of those heard from other customers.

In talking to home owners we found for Persimmon Homes and Charles Church Noisy Floors (or noisey) also known as Squeaky Floors (or squeeky) and Floor Boards (or floorboards), were the most common complaint. It's also one of the most expensive to repair properly if the original fault is with the design and/or installation of the floor joists themselves, which can include problems with the joists fastenings, the brickwork they rest on, or the floor joists not being adequately protected from rain (weather elements) prior to being installed.

If buying a new home from Charles Church or Persimmon Homes, one should check or ask about the upstairs floor specification, specifically the Serviceability Index (SI). This is a measure of the joist performance (stiffness) relative to the minimum performance (12mm deflection). The minimum Floor Joist Serviceability Index is 1.0 for the UK, and with the higher specification builders this can be between SI 5 and 9 or even higher.

In homes we checked built by Persimmon Group plc, we generally found 245mm depth by 45mm width wooden composite semi-engineered joists across upto 4m span. Which when joists are spaced at 600mm as we found with Charles Church, the SI is 1.07. giving manufacturers joist deflection guide of over 10.73mm (over a cm). We could not find a lower specification they could have fitted, so beleive for this span, the SI of 1.07 is the lowest specification they could have used.

We understand the cost for all the floor joists (SI 1.07) were less than a thousand pounds for a 5 bedroom home, and that a significant increase in the SI could be acheived by spending only 40% more on those joists. The house type sold for around £600k. Yet on the marketing brochures, and company web site they talk of 'highest specification', which I don't see myself. To fix the problem now has been estimated at over £47k for a 'simple' fix (2-4 months work, ceilings down), and over £102k for a proper fix. Every home we checked, across every Charles Church or Persimmon Homes development has similar problems, providing you know how to spot the early signs.

For interest an SI of 6.19 gives a floor joist deflection of only 1.87mm in the above example (by using thicker joists closer together), a substantial reduction in floor joist deflection and resolving bouncy floor concerns for us.


  1. Check out this website, about minimum NHBC spec, and lowest Serviceability Index of 1.0.

    Can they explain, who exactly, has adopted a maximum deflection of 12mm? And is that the joists used by Persimmon Homes & Charles Church, or is that the finished floor. Why does the NHBC allow this? What happens when Persimmon get the joists too wet, then fit them, and they dry out excessively in the property (twisting etc)? What happens with that minimum SI 1.0, when the Charles Church doesn't fit them properly? How far below a minimum standard does that they take the SI? Are struts then needed? How much will that cost? Will home owners have to be moved out? Will Charles Church own up to this in a reasonable time frame?

  2. Sorry, forgot the link for my last post. Check out JJI 12mm deflection floor joist, as approved by NHBC as a minimum standard, and as used by Charles Church in their highest specification homes.


  3. 245mm x 45mm joist, at 4m span on hangers, with joists spaced every 600mm gives SI 1.03, and deflection of 11.40mm.

    Is this really what Charles Church fits in a new home, a new 5 bedroom executive home, built to the highest specification? That's shocking!!!