The Things Which Are Surprisingly Bad For Your House and Garden

The Things Which Are Surprisingly Bad For Your House and Garden

I wanted to find out what gets our home and garden professionals shaking their heads. I put it to them and got back a fantastically diverse set of answers. From structural engineers, to interior designers to landscapers, a lot of them had their say. I have to say, I'm guilty of at least one of these things myself...

Karen Tennant


Dripping external pipes. It's serious... Michael Hogan, Structural Engineer

Persisent rainwater leaks do invisible damage to walls and woodwork and foundations that can be difficult and costly to repair. To prevent this do annual maintenance and take early action to repair any indication of that problem. Places to check for leaks are gutters and downpipes, whether from gutter joints or ends. Blocked and overflowing gutters are another problem area. So too are downpipes not discharging fully into gully trap. If evidence of a long standing problem is observed then specialist technical assessment and advice is needed.

Michael Hogan or Hogan and Associates, BE, MIE, MBA, C. Eng., FIEI

Exposed Cables in Flower Beds ... Darragh Connolly, Property Services

Garden lighting is great but exposed electricity cables in the flower beds are unsafe. It is better to bury the cables using the armoured type to protect against shocks.

Darragh Connolly Landcaping & Property Services

Windows That Aren't Child Safe

In the last 3 years, 4 children have lost their lives in Ireland due to falls from windows. Window protectors which restrict the degree to which the window can open can prevent these accidents. The window can still be opened to provide ventilation. It can also be locked closed.

Easy Access For Rodents.

Rodents are not a welcome addition to your home. If you notice scratching, droppings or foul odours, you probably have unwelcome guests. We have equipment which surveys your drainage system and determines how the rodents are escaping from the drain and entering your house. We can also provide solutions to stop the rodents entering your house including lining, excavation or our rat blocker which is fitted to the inside of the drain .

Patios Above The Damp Course Level ... Michael Hogan, Structural Engineer

Raised paths or patio slabs or garden areas adjacent to external walls that are above floor level inside (& above the damp proof course level). Except in dry summer periods all create direct paths into the house and allow dampness to penetrate. Damage is caused to walls and woodwork (timber floors, skirting, architraves, door frames etc). To prevent this ensure that finished 'ground levels outside must be below (150mm +) the damp course level. If such a situation has been in place for some time specialist assessment and advice should be obtained.

Michael Hogan or Hogan and Associates, BE, MIE, MBA, C. Eng., FIEI

Garden makeovers that destroy a garden... Eugene Iarmurati, Paver

Very often I shake my head when I see gardens which have been destroyed by the owners . Many people make a lot of mistakes when they are trying to makeover the garde. The most major mistake is not considering drainage. Sometimes the garden is transformed in a swimming pool. Drainage problem are common in lots of gardens around Dublin, and I suggest that professional advice be taken when it comes to drainage.

Eugene Iarmurati of Genius Garden Improvements

Copper Cylinders Wasting Money...Joe Fallon, Architectural Technologist

I don't like to see copper cylinders that are not factory insulated i.e. with foam around tank not lagging jacket. I recommend upgrading as soon as possible. It will pay back within 2 years. I also recommend upgrading to a twin coil cylinder while you're at it, so that in the future when you have the funds, you can connect your solar panel straight into it.

Joe Fallon Design, Architectural Technologist

Bad (and Good) Colour Choices...Karen Tennant, Interior Designer

Did you know that the colour which you use on the walls of your home can influence your mood? Red can make some people irritable or hyperactive. Yellow soothes and gives an aura of happiness. Blue is a relaxing colour but can also be a cold colour in our climate, on our walls it needs to be a turquoise or aqua blue.

Karen Tennant, Interior Designer, Interiors

Good Driveways Going Bad...James Mason, Paver

I don't like to see cracks in driveways left unrepaired. If they're not repaired, weeds, rain and ice will just make those cracks bigger. So nipping the problem in the bud is the key to keeping a driveway strong. Regular seal coating can also prevent small cracks in the first place.

James Mason, Paver, DriveStyle Paving

Poor Design ...Ross Farrell, Garden Landscaper

One of the things that is bad for your home and garden is poor design. Good design creates usable practical space and with some brain storming this can be achieved. A lot of problems can be related back to individuals wanting something that doesn't work within the space which is why it's important for clients to work with their designers to achieve their ultimate goal.

Ross Farrell of Greenstone Landscapes

Ivy and Insects ... Sean O' Dwyer, Roofer

The problem I see is ivy growing wild up the wall. It seems to never stop. It's important to keep cutting it down from the wall a couple of times a year otherwise it will end up under the roof bringing insects with it.

Sean O' Dwyer of Allguard Roofing and Construction

Bamboo Trees near Patios...Eugene Iarmurati, Paver

Bamboo plants are beautiful but if you plant it in the wrong place, it can cause lots of problems to the existing patio areas. Bamboo roots grow very close to the surface and usually spread out very far . I've come across many gardens were the patio slabs were literally pushed out by those roots.

Eugene Iarmurati of Genius Garden Improvements

Dangerous Decks and Large Trees...Darragh Connolly, Property Services

I don't like seeing a deck in a shaded corner under trees in a garden as it is just dangerous and in my opinion mis-sold to the client

I also dislike large trees being planted too close to the house. It reduces light in the house and increases the risk of damage to the nearby dwelling

Darragh Connolly Landcaping & Property Services Darragh Connolly Landcaping & Property Services would like to thank Hogan And Associates, Genius Garden Improvements, Interiors, for their helpful advice and tips for this article.

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