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Out house / side porch construction  


Hello all I am  a new member and very pleased to find this website. Having browsed it for a few days I have not found much in the way of reference to the out house / side porch and would like to know if this is  steel framed or timber frame construction. I have noticed a crack on the rendering in the rear corner where the downstairs toilet is, at the point furthest away from house  I will post a picture when I have one. The rendering on the house is not affected

The house is at Surrey Crescent Moorside, Consett, DH8 8HT


Thank you for a very informative website


Cheerio Greg

I am at the point of signing contracts on this property, every thing else seems satisfactory

pictures of out house, I believe it may all be breeze block?


Hello Greg, and warmest of welcomes.

The outhouse isn’t steel framed and it sits independently on the side of the property.

Cracks are commonly seen where the single brick skin wall of the outhouse joins the main house due to expansion and contraction of the houses steel frame contacts the rigid brick wall, but generally it’s nothing serious.

Some outhouses were built from timber, some using timber and brick and some using concrete blocks.

If you can upload an image it would help in identifying yours.

I converted my own outhouse into a laundry room with a budget of under £3k and this vastly improved the size and usage of the space. Mine was generally built from timber with a corrugated roof. The front and rear flanking walls were constructed from single brick with no cavity.

I’ll post an image below of a similar outhouse and hopefully add an image of the completed conversion if I can dig out an image.


Hi I am not sure these pictures will help, but on looking at the waste water pipe where it goes through the wall (it has not been pointed) it shows the blue grey material that suggests breeze block, the walls are solid construction,  the roof of metal profile That may have answered my question.

I am curious about the waste pipe it seem to come from the wall mounted Baxi, I have similar boilers in the past but don’t recall a waste pipe being fitted to any

Looking at your other images, I noted that the lower half of your house appears to have been rendered or pebbledashed in the past which was quite common where the existing original render had failed.

It looks to me as though that render too has now started to crack at the corners, possibly due to slight expansion of the block wall or even passing damage and once water enters these cracks in winter, it freezes, melts and expands causing the cracks to get bigger.

Another common issue with re-rendering BISF properties is the fact that any re-rendering should have a degree of flexibility built into it, such as plasticizers due to the natural expansion and contraction of the steel frame of the house.

Most modern silicone renders today have a degree of flexibility, however many local authorities in the past re-rendered properties with a simple cement based render that isn't nearly as flexible. This in turn causes cracking to the substrate, particularly at wall joints and corners.

The good news is that the cracking does appear superficial but it will need to be repaired and preferably before winter to avoid further cracking due to ice.

Many BISF properties are now being externally insulated which involves sheets of insulation being affixed to the outside walls of the house. These sheets are then rendered over with silicone based render, giving the house a whole new look.

There were Green Deal grants available for this a couple of years ago where the Government paid up to £6k toward the cost, leaving the householder to pay a contribution of around £2.5k, which at the time, was an amazing opportunity for a warmer and more attractive house.

That funding ceased a while ago but the Green Deal has been re-launched this summer and we are currently waiting to see what will be available with respect to EWI (External Wall insulation). I don't think large grants will be offered this time though, I suspect they will fund loans that can be paid back slowly on top of your energy bills, but time will tell.



Hi Greg,

Thanks for posting the image.

From a previous post a while ago from ED, discussing his outhouse in Bristol, it does indeed appear to be constructed from Block. The pipe from the boiler would suggest that you have a condenser boiler that has a drain pipe fitted to drain away any excess condensate.

Had the boiler been fitted inside the kitchen, the condensate pipe would have probably been joined up to one of your waste pipes under the sink but as it’s been mounted in the outhouse, the fitters have simply added a pipe which leads to the nearest drain.

What a useful site this is and thank you for sharing your knowledge qnd experience of the houses.

 I have looked at the house rendering the only areas that seem to be affected are where the outhouse buts against the house and the corners of the outhouse. I have not checked to see if the rendering is hollow where the cracks are but it does not show any sign of ballooning or looseness, I will try tapping around those areas when  at the house later this week. If it is   sound will undercutting the render and patching with a silicone based render material suffice? what will be the best choice of render to patch with. 

I do not want to change the external appearance of the property to much and can not afford to have it re rendered in the short term

Thank you for your comments


cheerio Greg


You’re very welcome Greg, we will always try to assist where we can.

Good luck with your purchase and please let us know how you get on.

For the benefit of others, I’m also posting a side elevation view of a typical timber outhouse.


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