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Last disaster post of building defects


Sp5 8276
Sp5 8276

List of building defects in my masia – I think this is called a snag list?  Many have not been resolved and those that have, were carried out by another builder called Manolo – honest and fair and he saved my bacon!

  1. Many  cracked tiles near the walls.  Finely cracked pointing in general, especially apparent when the joints are wet. The pointing between the tile skirting and the floor started to fall out from day one. After 7 years these defects are still ongoing.
  2. The kitchen and laundry room stank and it was discovered that the external drains had been inclined towards the house not away from the house. Carlos knew this and tried to cover up his tracks by knocking a hole in a pipe outside the kitchen. As a result the floor under the kitchen became damp and unexplainedly cold in the winter. All external pipework was replaced and the terraces lifted. Resolved.
  3. The hot water pipes were not lagged. If you touch the walls where the runs are, they are hot, all year round, not ideal in this hot climate. – still un-resolved as it would mean hacking all the plaster off.
  4. The windows leak in heavy rain, especially downstairs. At times the water flows right to the other side of the room. Partially resolved, but then it has hardly rained in two years!
  5. The back wall leaked during a particularly and rare rainfall, flooding the sitting room and kitchen.The plaster on the  fell off in large sheets. It had not been unibonded to the underlying bricks.  It had to be stripped to the stone and tanked properly – resolved by my new builder at great expense.
  6. The casita leaked everywhere – ditto above
  7. The electrics were unstable as the external lights had not had the wiring properly isolated from the elements. It was so bad that smoke used to come into the house through these unsealed holes. Also a medley of insects – resolved.
  8. The water cisterna never filled more than halfway up because Carlos left several illogical open holes in the walls at that level. I just thought that it was full all the time and the water coming out was a normal overflow. It was a bit of a pompidou centre with strange chambers in the tank that had us all scratching out heads.  Eventually we worked it out and just filled the holes! Resolved.
  9. Some of the double-glazing failed but Carlos’s window man did not want to know. Resolved for a hefty sum.
  10. The septic tank continues to give problems. Sorry, The sewage treatment plant. Most significant and disturbing is the growing urine smell in the house.  Turns out Carlos left an aeration pipe off his list despite a clear diagrams showing its need.  Will resolve when and if  I build a study extension. In the meantime I hold my nose if needed.
  11. The shower leaked after the first week of usage and came through the ceiling downstairs.  Carlos had not left enough grip for the plumber to install his pipes and in an effort to get them joined up, he split them!  Both showers had to have tiles removed and be redone.  Later the shower leaked into the upstairs corridor due to poor grouting – resolved. It also leaks into the bathroom with every use due to poor shower door placement – not resolved.
  12. The toilet cisterns packed in after 6 months – cheap or what? Resolved.
  13. No, I can’t do this number. Bad luck!
  14. I was incorrectly told that my heating problems were down to the power of my circulation pump so a new one that cost a fortune was installed – upside down.  Never used that so called plumber again.  Resolved.
  15. All the other things I mentioned in previous posts.

So, I think that is enough.  I am sure I could come up with more, but I don’t think I care to dwell on any more dreaded building defects!  I hope you enjoyed reading this account, with all the bugs on my blog that I have no idea how to resolve. I now am moving forward and on and  meanwhile…

watering all my trees. Carpe Diem, I say!

building defects of a masia
My masia five years post building defects – in 2016


  1. Sheila
    August 17, 2020

    Love your house. How did you apply for eu grant.

  2. harveymckeon
    January 22, 2018

    nice pictures!

    • stephanie de leng
      August 18, 2020

      My solar installer filled out all the forms for both the solar and the boiler. They are very complicated, in Spanish and easy to get wrong. A lot of in-depth information is asked for that quite honestly only your fitters can supply. If you tell a fitter you want to apply for a grant, they will bump your quote up, so only do so after your have received the quote. In order to know whether the grants are still available you need to go to the grant section of the main city of your communidad (in my case it was in Valencia) and ask them if there are any grants available. I think this is the Valencian website https://www.gva.es/es/inicio/procedimientos?id_proc=00764

      Hope this helps

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