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  • Refurbish/Develop

    Problem builder contravening Building Regs

    I am in a very sticky position here with a builder who had turned a total blind eye to building regs and will greatly appreciate advice from anyone who ran into problems with their builders and how it was resolved.

    I appointed this builder on recommendation to do my HMO conversion and he suggested appointing an independent BR officer whom he had worked with several times. I felt that if he is comfortable working together, then I am happy to go along.

    The work progressed painfully slowly and whenever I asked, the builder will tell me that he had been in constant communication with the BR officer. After 4 months and the project was nowhere near finish, I called the BR officer to see if everything is fine.

    This is when the BR officer tells me that he wasn't informed that worked had started. An extension had been built by then and the foundation and structures not checked. The rear extension had also been built over a manhole and the BR officer said he was told there are no drains.

    Obviously a lot of money had been paid out and now a lot of reworks need to be done as well. The builder has walked away and is not answering my calls or that of the BR officer. I need to get another builder in to put things right. My questions are

    1) The BR officer has gone through verbally that I need to get some digging done to expose the foundation and drains and galley but he has not given me any written information that I can take to a groundsman/builder for a quote. Is he obliged to give me the reworks needed in writing.

    2) It is very difficult to find another builder who is willing to come in to clean up the mess. Any advice on how and what I should do to be able to hire a decent builder to finish the job?

    3) Can I put a claim on the builder for all the extra costs of reworks and delay

    Will be great to learn from your experiences

    Many thanks

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    We had a similar situation with a builder who assured us that he had informed BC that he had started work and had had regular inspections. (We are out of the country) He had not.

    When it came to completions certification we had a problem especially as the BC people take a dim view of non compliance and were were un-cooperative. We had to dig down to expose footings, likewise break wall to show lintels.

    As ever it is hardly worth taking legal action though very bad reviews on work offering site was very effective. All I can say is we have learnt.

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    Thanks for you reply.

    Did you have to get a new set of builders to expose the footings etc to satisfy BC?

    I am struggling to find anyone available and willing to take over the mess. The time and cost and really not knowing what the outcome will be is really stressing me out.

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    This sort of thing is happening all the time unfortunately

    We are near to completing one such assistance on new houses which were built but without any certification

    Where are you located

    Malcolm Thornton 

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    Magtan,

    Sorry to hear your situation. The are a number of ways to approach this, however my approach would be to immediately appoint a building surveyor to inspect and report on what repairs / improvements are required and detail the faults. This serves several purposes :-

    1/ Its details the work done wrongly

    2/ It gives a detailed list to new potential builders to quote from who would then fully understand why you want the job putting right.It also shows BC that you are addressing the issue properly and are doing what you can to put it right.

    3/ It gives you a formal report that you can use to pursue the cowboy builder..... in reality though thats probably throwing good money after bad as he probably is a 'man of straw'

    This is likely to be a painful experience, howver i would imagine its already causing major stress so its far better you face it head-on, find out how bad things are & get a plan to bring it back on track.

    Good luck.


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    Phil Stewardson.

    Stewardson Properties.

    Stewardson Developments Ltd.

    Burson Land Ltd. & Jennings & Gilchreaste Ltd.

    http://www.stewardson.co.uk

    Follow me on twitter - @philstewardson

    Phil,

    Many thanks for your reply.  I agree with you. My priority is to get things right and back on track.

    When you say appoint a building surveyor to inspect and report on what repairs / improvements are required and detail the faults, is this something that the BC can give me or it’s better for me to hire a separate building surveyor?

    I am asking because I requested this from the BC yesterday. I am hoping that I can get his outline of issues after the bank holiday so I can go and get some prices from builders like you said.

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     You mentioned in your opening post you were using a private inspector, so do you mean this company or the local authority? I cant see either helping though sorry.. If your builder appointed a private inspector I am fairly sure they will say this is now outside their remit, they would have been on a set fee with 3 or 4 inspections, the job is now a lot bigger & messier than that.

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    Phil Stewardson.

    Stewardson Properties.

    Stewardson Developments Ltd.

    Burson Land Ltd. & Jennings & Gilchreaste Ltd.

    http://www.stewardson.co.uk

    Follow me on twitter - @philstewardson

    Let us know where you are and perhaps someone here can recommend a builder.

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    1) has the approved inspector (assume thats what you mean) even been appointed?  unless there has been some form of appointment or prior relationship, cant see how the AI has any obligations for your sloppiness.

    2) you need to investigate and specify what needs to be done so that builders know what to price. perhaps the AI will accept this appointment.

    3) are you serious...of course.

    your errors and questions indicate you are well out of your depth, but I expect you realise this.

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