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ralphk07

02:15PM | 11/28/01
Member Since: 11/27/01
5 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
In Great Britain we have to put a DPC (Damp Proof Course, Bitumen) in our walls at 6" above external ground level to stop damp rising from the foundations through the brickwork and in to the walls. We also have to put a DPM (Damp Proof Membrane, made of polythene) in the floor construction to stop damp rising through the floor.
I am looking at moving to the USA and building my own house...my question is why dont American houses have either of the above?.
Your earlier questioner seems to be having a 'rising damp' problem...

Jay J

05:07AM | 11/29/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi ralphk07,

Well, depending on where one lives, DPCs and DPMs aren't needed. At the same time, depending on where one lives, basements aren't permitted. And again at the same time, sometimes piers are REQUIRED or foundations and footings are prohibited. The long and short of it is 1) American building codes have to be different from EVERYONES (because that's 'our' nature), and 2) environmental conditions here (with probably the exception of the extreme NorthWest), are not the same as in GB. (Kinda just kidding with Item #1 ...)

Anyways, the local codes will 'drive' most of what you can and can't do when it comes to building. Beyond that, if you use materials for 'prevention issues' that aren't required BUT are OK w/the code, the Inspector won't stop you. For example, it may not be required that you lay a DPM under the gravel for an outdoor patio, BUT, if you want to do that as part of your moisture control, you can. The same goes for installing drain tile around the foundation perimeter. Again, as long as what you do isn't a violation of some Code, you shouldn't be 'cited' for that.

I hope this info helps. I do wish you well. You know where to find us. When you do get here, welcome to America!!! My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: You might want to consider buying a book or 2 about Building Your Own Home. Amazon.com has TONS of them. (It might be $$$ well spent.) Try to find a book that 'addresses' the type of home you want, the type of conditions you will be working in, and the type of materials you will be using ...

PPS: God Bless America, and GB too!

ralphk07

09:29AM | 11/29/01
Member Since: 11/27/01
5 lifetime posts
Jay
Thank you for your reply to my question.
I guess i might be asking quite a few through this forum as my design takes shape.
The next question will be about wall construction in America!.
Thanks again
Ralph
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