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# 138528 7-Jan-2014 22:22
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Hello,

I'm renovating a 1900s working man's cottage and have a question about external base boards which I hope that someone might have an insight on.

There are a number of rotten foundation base-boards (in the style hopefully shown in the diagram below) on one side of the house. On the other the weatherboards are buried into concrete which is pretty broken, so we'll eventually rip that side up as well.

We're planning to landscape the side where we're replacing base boards and the dirt will be replaced with paving stones or concrete which will slope slightly away from the house.

It looks like the process for replacing the base boards should be quite straight forward and achievable for a couple of DIYers but due to the age and style of construction I can't find any information online about the best way to repair true to era of the house, to best building practice or a compromise between the two.

The original boards have been partly buried into the soil and there isn't much crawlspace under the house at all.

From what I've read I think my options are as follows:
1. Replace boards down into soil level
2. Fix lowest board into concrete
3. Replace boards leaving a gap above soil level
 
Three seems more sensible, but is there a reason we should consider concreting the bottom in place?

From what I've read it seems we also need to consider ventilation, which I understand can be achieve by spacing the base boards 20 mm apart.

Any advice appreciated.


Thanks!


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  # 962930 8-Jan-2014 07:15
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I'd think that you need to leave a gap to promote air flow and to prevent the base boards from being permanently in contact with the damp ground.




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  # 962965 8-Jan-2014 08:35
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On my house (60+ years old) we put in H4 or H5 timber in that situation, to prevent water going under the house, as it had been damp under there. The weatherboards go to 5-10cm above the ground, then there's that timber.

Air flow is good, letting water in not so much.

Is it damp under the house?

 
 
 
 


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  # 963004 8-Jan-2014 09:15
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Nothing wrong with using H4 close to ground but it shouldn't be the main defence against water flow. The ground should slope away from the foundation perhaps into a slot drain. Water up against a plank will just soak in and come up the other side.

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  # 963012 8-Jan-2014 09:21
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As built it is unlikely that the base boards were concreted in,

it is likely that over time residents have decided to put down a concrete path/edging and simply lapped it right up to the baseboards.

We came across a similar situation when renovating our place, various owners in the past had laid concrete and almost totally covered up the baseboards, ( the various layers of crap concrete path were up to 20cms thick in some places, but because it was so old a few hours with an electric kango made quick work of it)

your option three is the best.



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  # 964127 9-Jan-2014 20:53
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Thanks everyone for your response.

We'll definitely go with the third option with H5 or H4 treated timber

It makes sense that there was originally clearance beneath the last boards - looks like garden rubble and bark has probably been covered over this on this side of the house, and the other side where there is a concrete path has buried weatherboards.

Not significantly damp under the house, but we'll dig out some of the rubble so it slopes away from the house.

This is our first home, so there's a lot to learn, so I appreciate the advice of those who have come before us!


Emma

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  # 967032 14-Jan-2014 18:42
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EmmaOffshore: Thanks everyone for your response.

We'll definitely go with the third option with H5 or H4 treated timber

It makes sense that there was originally clearance beneath the last boards - looks like garden rubble and bark has probably been covered over this on this side of the house, and the other side where there is a concrete path has buried weatherboards.

Not significantly damp under the house, but we'll dig out some of the rubble so it slopes away from the house.

This is our first home, so there's a lot to learn, so I appreciate the advice of those who have come before us!


Emma


No worries. Come back if you want any more advice.

There are a lot of people on here happy to help, or point you in the right direction. 




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  # 967683 15-Jan-2014 17:35
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I suggest you set your lowest height for your side weather boards by working backwards from the height of any future concrete path noting your path will require a small nib against the house to direct water away.

You also need ventalation on multiple sides of house for thru draft. One side with vents is not enough.

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