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Cracked render, rejected by NHBC, builder wont refund


Huckleberry
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We have paid a builder £4000 to render the outside of our new build house back in August. Shortly after we paid him, all the render cracked. The NHBC have rejected everything he's done - but he insists there isnt a problem, claiming (amongst other things) that I have done a bad job of repairing the cracks and that's why the NHBC rejected it! It's more complicated than that, of course, but that's the jist of it.

 

Basically I can prove he hasnt done his job right. However, the cost of the materials we'd lose and the demolition cost, on top of the money we paid him, comes to over £7000. This takes the claim outside the realm of the small claims court, and I'm not sure this is something I want to go for. All I want is basically the £4000 I paid him back, so I can put that towards the cost of having it all done again. Is there any better way to proceed rather than full on court? I've looked at arbitration, but that seems to be for employment based things, wrongful dismissal etc - is that right?

 

Any help greatfully received :wacko:

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If you did, it was a mistake to attempt to repair any work your contractor did as this does cloud the issue.

did you point out the problems to the contractor prior to doing anything and give him the oppotunity to repair or make good and have arecord of this in writing.

who prepared the specification for the render? If he did did you did you sign a contract and what were the terms of the contract regarding the specification and payment.

If you take them to court you will need an expert report from a qualified surveyor or engineer to back up your claim.

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NHBC would only cover render if supplied as part of the original build, from what you describe this was not t he house builder but a contractor you employed? Cracking can be caused by all sorts of reasons, temperature on the day of application, bad mix (stale render) or a host of issues. Interfering with it adds a complication, but to progress this, you'll need to have a professional surveyor provide a report as to the cause, and you use this as your basis to get the contractor to resolve the issues, which may well entail the complete removal and reapplication.

 

If they are uncooperative, then you raise a court action for the cost of removal and reapplying, the report being used as your primary evidence of shoddy workmanship. If they feel there is a point to defending, they will use this opportunity to do so.

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If you did, it was a mistake to attempt to repair any work your contractor did as this does cloud the issue.

 

Yeah, I totally realise this now :(

 

did you point out the problems to the contractor prior to doing anything and give him the oppotunity to repair or make good and have arecord of this in writing.

who prepared the specification for the render? If he did did you did you sign a contract and what were the terms of the contract regarding the specification and payment.

 

We got him back over to the site and he told us all the cracks were 'normal', and that we should repair them and then paint, which we did. He then subsequently blamed our repair of these cracks for the NHBC not accepting the render, which is insulting as well as untrue!

 

One of the walls was worse than all the others, and that wall I havent touched and he has agreed to re-render. He refuses to accept the fact that cracks in newly rendered walls a few days after he rendered them is a problem, and refuses to accept that any further work is necessary apart from repairing the one wall.

 

There was nothing specified in writing about what mix he would use, timings, thicknesses of coats etc. As far as I'm concerned it would be a standard procedure straight out of the british standard, so we never discussed this. He quoted to render the walls and I let him get on with it. Am I expected to have technical knowledge of what a tradesman is doing?

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  • 1 month later...

So we sent him a final letter saying either give us our money or we'll take you to court, and the deadline for him to reply to that has now passed. So I'm just going through the MCOL procedure at the moment and I'm not sure on one thing - what do I actually have to send at this stage? Do I have to collate every piece of evidence now, and send everything to him? Or do I send nothing but the summary and keep everything for if he defends the claim?

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