Renovation Project - DRY ROT advice

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    Renovation Project - DRY ROT advice

    Hi all,

    Ive just recently purchased a pretty cheap 2 up 2 down terraced house and have come across (according to my plasterer) a DRY ROT problem on my floor boards in the front room. When the carpet was lifted to start the damp proof course on the walls, he noticed that the floor boards were very wet and have a white mould on them which looks very muhc like dry rot (images on google).

    To remove the floor boards & joists. Provide new joists and floorboards (treated to prevent the problem from reoccurring) and treating the soil underneath he has quoted £850 including new skirting boards. This is a small front room.

    Does this sound about right? (I live up North - Bolton, so please bear this in mind as i am aware prices are quite different in different areas of the country).

    Daddy Landlord

    Dry rot - the floorboards would just crumble - they shouldn't be wet.


      Dry and wet rot can look very similar in some stages of development.

      Can you not just cut out the affected parts of timber, replace with treated and spray.

      I recently found rot of both types in the ends of floor joists and the wall plate in a cellar. Replaced all damaged end sections (some of these timbers were 11"X 2" and had to buy one 5m length in - sprayed a Cuprinol product from Jewsons called '5 star' or similar (cost about £25 per 5lt can and used a £6 garden sprayer from Wilkinson). It seems to have worked but took about 4 days as wall plate replacement is tricky.

      So for a terraced front room should be 2 days labour max + timber+ spray chemical NOT £850.

      Freedom at the point of zero............


        I'd say you need 2 more quotes.

        You also need an assessment of the rest of the house since Dry Rot can travel quite a distance and through walls. You need to remove affected timber with a 18" safety margin.

        You also need to have proper disposal arrangements - need to bag and burn or dispose of properly. Best done as an express part of the contract, and you will need proof of disposal, since you would be responsible if it was fly-tipped.

        Perhaps try your BCO for an informal visit to identify it, when you just happen to have floorboards up everywhere and a mirror on a stick and torch to hand. Or an architect or when people quote.

        Obv treat all new timber individually before installing.

        Don't skimp for the sake of £2-300. Think about the cost of taking up carpets or laminate !

        Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.


          From a practical point of view DO NOT approach Building Control unless you're also going to be insulating the floor. The work you propose is notifiable works so you'll need to comply with the current Building Regs. Not an issue if you were planning on doing this anyway but a nasty unexpected extra price to pay if you weren't.

          Personally, the Building Regs are a minimum standard and works (renovation or new build) should surpass them (imo) but that's a different point.

          £850.00 is reasonable. Getting other quotes may not be appropriate if you've already got a contractor doing works in place.

          Assuming it's confined to the room of say 3 x 3m, then it is reasonable for materials to be;

          4No sheets of 18mm wbp ply £200
          12No lengths of C16 4x2 (assuming joist, plate and sleeper wall construction) £80
          DPC, preservatives/treatments and fixings £100
          Skirting boards £60
          Waste disposal £100
          Labour 3 man days £600

          Regardless of the type of rot you'll need to cut it all out and not re-use any timbers.
          There is always scope for misinterpretation.

          If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

          Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.


            Doing this work yourself is a sure fire way to get problems re-occuring. Yes it may look ok for a while but unless done properly it will resurface in a few years. The 5 star treatment is ok but not really for joists, a specialist would normally use a paste that absorbes into the joists so the rot can not travel through. Also you must work at the very least 1 meter past any effected area.

            Making a mistake could let the problem fester away and it would end up costing thousands rather than a few hundred!!


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