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air brick problem

Hi all,

we have a very small garden on a new build... and I am looking to flatten as it currently slopes away from house making it unusable.. ideally I want to flatten.... but

Ive got a problem with some air bricks (and a fence), our garden backs onto the side of a neighbours house... see photo

3 airbricks (that go into their garage area) are approx 1 brick below ground level.

ideally I dont want a step if possible....

any easy solutions to either:
1. raise airbricks up externally (a galvanised flute for example?)


or any other ideas?... how to do that Im missing...

2. also the fence panel will be 150mm below but thought a sleeper might solve this? any cheaper ways?

cheers in advance for an help!



  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,908

    If there are airbricks then there is a damp proof course just a little higher up the wall. You don't want to go breaching the damp proof course or the building will become damp with all sorts of dangers resulting.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    I've downloaded and added the image for you mrsail:


    I fully agree with pansyface - you could find yourself in legal trouble if you breach the DPC.

    One safe way of doing it would be to build a small retaining wall so there is about a 15cm gap between it and your neighbours wall.  Remove soil in the gap down about 15cm below where it is now and refill with gravel up to the present level to provide drainage.  Quite a lot of work though.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • mrsailmrsail Posts: 5

    thanks for advice

    my plan was to board with treated wood on timber 2inch batons with a pond lining... i was going to put sleepers a half metre in front to make a raised bed..

    but maybe not the best idea?

    also due to no top soil put (new build!) the garden is being dug up and the whole lawn relaid by the developer so I might just ask them to put step in near house and level lower all over.... might look ok..

  • Create two levels - higher terrace near the house, and lower terrace further away.  Needs retaining wall in between.  Would save having to remove so much soil and could look rather good eg patio the upper terrace as a dining area

  • mrsailmrsail Posts: 5

    the garden is very narrow in depth so hard to do 2 levels in the direction (but im not a garderner!).

    final question would it be possible to use gabion metal baskets filled with biggish stones and put against house/ airbricks? or would you still need to leave a gap?

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,908

    Anything that rests against a wall creates a bridge for damp to move from soil to the inside of the wall. That goes for wet, dead leaves that get blown around and fall into any gap that you may leave between your soil and your neighbour's wall. Anything that is close to and above the height of your neighbour's damp proof course runs the risk of breaching the gap eventually.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Nothing in your garden can touch the neighbour's wall. Not just by the air-bricks but along the whole length. Your garden soil must be at least two brick depths below the dpc and not cover the air-bricks.
  • I can't see what makes this garden 'unusable'.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,892

    I once had a garden where the foot of the back fence was on the same level as the top of the kitchen windowframe - it was only a small garden probably 10-12m deep - and was by no means 'unuseable' - probably one of the prettiest gardens I've had image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,919

    Mine's like that Jo, 30' slope in all. I am head height with the top garden.

    Terraced garden are beautiful , If you can afford it.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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