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Hi to all on your forum, i came across it by luck and i must say i am very impressed how helpful you all are.

Firstly can i say i am doing this for my mum she is 82 years of age and im knocking on a bit myself. me and my partner Kathy look after mum.

Im not very good with grammar or spelling so i hope you can forgive me.

 

Here we go.

early September 2013 we decided to think about having a single story extension built onto mums house, mum had not been that well and we recognised that at some point we may need to move her bed downstairs to make things easier.

 

Anyway we asked a builder, family friend of 20 years to give us a price on the work.

we felt we could trust him and he would be sypathetic to mums situation.

He emailed us a quotation and then popped round to finalise the details, the pice was what we could afford and the time scale of 8 to 12 weeks was fine.

The extension was to add to what already existed and open the house up.

The price was £20500 to include some sliding doors and roof windows, the builder had valued these at £4000.

 

A deposit of 5K was paid via bank transfer and work started on about the 7th of october.

The doors and windows quoted for were not that great so i decided to help mum out, we paid for the better doors 6K (fitted) roof windows 2K and a kitchen 4.5K.

 

Over the following weeks mum paid 2 more payments of 5K each, the last payment was on the 21st november 2013. She had paid 15k in total.

 

I will try to cut the story down.

The builder told us that it was permitted development and did not need planning permission and he would get building control involved.

This never happened.

On 2nd december the sliding door team arrived to fit the doors.

They said the level of the 6m span that the builder had made was 30mm out of level, at this point i started to realise that things were not good.

Work trickled on till the xmas break so on the 27th dec i rang the structural engineer who had done some drawings for the work to ask questions.

The engineer had done the drawings for our builder and had worked for him before.

He lived near us so popped in to have a look, i asked if he thought we needed planning permission.

he said he thought we were right and contacted his architect and they both came back on the 28th dec.

The architect said we needed planing permission, he immediately drew up the plans and submitted them.

The building inspector turned up first week of Jam 2014, he's said the footings dug by the builder were too shallow and dangerous and made the builder underpin everything.

 

unfortunately mum had had 2 mini strokes late sept 2013 and thankfully we had moved her out before xmas when the back wall was removed.

When the back wall was removed we had to sleep downstairs as the house was unsecured, we are still sleeping there now and mum is still having to live away.

we have been told the he has broken the law by removing a wall mounted gas fire, although the gas has been turned off with a small tap, left electric cables for lights and sockets hanging from the roof and walls, removed an asbestos pipe and left it on the drive.

 

On the 17th jan the state of the house was, 2 rsj,s in back wall removed no roof on the extenuation, the builder walked in and said.

Mums money was spent and that was that, took his tools and left.

we have had a report done by the architect and it is not good, wall cavities are too small so not insulated, un level and unsightly brickwork, no cavity trays, soil pipe no access, damp proof coarse runs below ground, bi fold doors threshold is 2" lower than floor level, needs moor steel work to support badly fitted RSJ's, the list is endless and supported by the building inspector.

 

we have sent him letters to ask for a refund or to tell us what his intentions are, we have told him we are getting 3 quotes to determine how much has been spent up to press, cost of remedial works and to finish the job.

 

Early quote are showing:

estimate of works and materials so far 6.5K

estimate of remedial work 6K

estimate to complete including remedial works 20K

 

He has sent me an email saying i am been libellous towards him and has offered a goodwill gesture of 2.5k saying he thinks 5k will finish the job.

 

I have said he is in breech of contract and did not even give us a 7 day cooling off notice and that we are protected under the Supply of Goods & Services Act 1982 (As amended).

 

We are now getting no replies from him, i have sent him a letter stating that.

 

Dear xxxxxxxxx,

Just to let you know formerly that we are getting 3 separate independent quotes to assess.

1. cost of build to present state excluding roof tiling.

2. cost of remedial works to put right all building works substandard or not up to current building regulation.

3. cost to finnish the build.

We have been advised to give you the same opportunity to get your own 3 quotes and you may want to get an expert report on the current state of the build.

There is a deadline for this as of 28th Feb 2014. Please make sure your Builders and or inspectors are here before this date as works to make parts of the build safe as outlined in our mitigation letter will start on 3rd March 2014.

 

We are waiting for a visit from Gas Safe people and waiting for a call from trading standards.

This is where we are, please can you tell us were we stand.

we are still sleeping on the floor in the lounge and have been since before xmas.

 

We are honestly at our wits end.

 

regards K

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Hi 44 danno, I'm a builder and got notified to your thread by site team. This "Cowboy " element of the building trade makes me so mad I can't tell you. I could write a book on the subject.

Any work carried out on gas pipework MUST be carried out by a Gas safe registered engineer. Any disconnection must have a "drop test prior to and after.

The disconnected pipe must be capped. If "CB" is not qualified then he is in a "sea of $##t".

The electrics have to be "signed off" by a qualified electrical engineer and the local authority notified. The problem there is NICEIC don't have the powers of Gas safe originaly CORGIE.

The incorrect cavity gap, the bad bricklaying,.... 30mm out on a 6M opening.. I don't mean to joke trust me,but "Steve Wonder assisted by Ray Charles "could have done better.

If it was me in your position (God forbid) I would start again on the build, even the foundations are wrong.

Has the underpinning been done?

Getting quotes to rectify problems is one thing,... but there are the "Didn't see that" add ons that even a builder with years of experiance would not have foreseen because an unqualified "CB" has attempted the job to start with.

Alot of the existing material could be salvaged, and reused.

I know that is not what you would have wanted to hear and I'm sorry if I've made you worry more, but you have to think of the future.

At some point the house will be sold and it needs to look good which is what you paid for. Not the rubbish he has left you, let alone all the worry.

All you should pay this CHANCER is the materials you can reuse. The rest you want back.

Court all the way.. NO meadiation , Court

What county are you in ?

My spelling, grammer and all that "school stuff" is worse than yours so don't put yourself down:-D

My Missus and girls are always correcting me.... I've asked how to spell loads on this. I don't care.

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44danno. The letter you sent him.

Point 1 is the best route .... Start again

Point 2 This may have unforeseen extras.

Point 3 I assume is for roof tiling, decorating etc?? (advise on what you ment)

How much have you paid him? and how?

How much have you paid for materials in addition to above?

 

Print his email where he "offers you " £2500 and keep it safe

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Hi 44danno

 

Your grammar and spelling are fine. Any letters you send to the builder should be sent Recorded Delivery. Also take some good quality pictures to demonstrate the errors and poor workmanship and the state the extension has been left in.

 

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/nireland/consumer_ni/consumer_builders_and_home_improvements_e/consumer_problems_with_poor_quality_work_e/consumer_poor_quality_work_e/poor_quality_building_work.htm

 

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/action/how-to-complain-if-youre-unhappy-with-the-building-work-

I know we sound very stupid, unfortunately we were focused on mum's health and thought we could trust the CB as we have known him for 20 years.

We have loads of photos and a diary of it all and we have sent him 4 registered letters.

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The roof tiling:

Although the roof tiling was in his quote, but because he left on the 17th jan.

He had scheduled the roofer for the 20th jan, so we ended up paying the roofer as we couldn't leave it open to the weather.

He had also bought the wrong pitch roof tiles most of which are in the back garden.

 

Point 3

drainage, plaster boarding, plastering, pluming, boiler moving, electrics, all flooring joists etc, roof insulation, floor insulation, 2 windows fitting, the list is endless and a bit beyond me.

 

We have helped mum out with Kitchen, bi fold doors, velux windows also materials extra labour to help things move forward, loads of things adds up to about 20K.

He has been paid 15K by bank transfer.

 

Forgot to mention that the fitters of the bi fold doors could not commission the doors and will have to come back at a cost of £250 + VAT.

They locked the doors and said it was unsafe to open them, i had to sign to accept this and there footnote states "could not be competed due to the poor workmanship of the builder".

44danno. The letter you sent him.

Point 1 is the best route .... Start again

Point 2 This may have unforeseen extras.

Point 3 I assume is for roof tiling, decorating etc?? (advise on what you ment)

How much have you paid him? and how?

How much have you paid for materials in addition to above?

 

Print his email where he "offers you " £2500 and keep it safe

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Firstly let me say how grateful we are for your replies.

 

The CB is not gas safe registered, the electrics have not been worked on they are just hanging from walls and ceilings, i am more worried about the asbestos pipe he has removed and left on my drive and that the boiler has not been moved and is venting into the extention (we are surrounded by carbon monoxide detecters).

 

We live in Leeds.

He has done the under pinning and it has been signed off by the building inspector.

 

The roof tiling:

Although the roof tiling was in his quote, but because he left on the 17th jan.

He had scheduled the roofer for the 20th jan, so we ended up paying the roofer as we couldn't leave it open to the weather.

He had also bought the wrong pitch roof tiles most of which are in the back garden.

 

Point 3

drainage, plaster boarding, plastering, pluming, boiler moving, electrics, all flooring joists etc, roof insulation, floor insulation, 2 windows fitting, the list is endless and a bit beyond me.

 

We have helped mum out with Kitchen, bi fold doors, velux windows also materials extra labour to help things move forward, loads of things adds up to about 20K.

He has been paid 15K by bank transfer.

 

Forgot to mention that the fitters of the bi fold doors could not commission the doors and will have to come back at a cost of £250 + VAT.

They locked the doors and said it was unsafe to open them, i had to sign to accept this and there footnote states "could not be competed due to the poor workmanship of the builder".

 

I know we sound very stupid, unfortunately we were focused on mum's health and thought we could trust the CB as we have known him for 20 years.

We have loads of photos and a diary of it all and we have sent him 4 registered letters.

 

I hope i post this correctly and please let me say how gatefold for your comments we are.

 

Kindest regards K

Hi 44 danno, I'm a builder and got notified to your thread by site team. This "Cowboy " element of the building trade makes me so mad I can't tell you. I could write a book on the subject.

Any work carried out on gas pipework MUST be carried out by a Gas safe registered engineer. Any disconnection must have a "drop test prior to and after.

The disconnected pipe must be capped. If "CB" is not qualified then he is in a "sea of $##t".

The electrics have to be "signed off" by a qualified electrical engineer and the local authority notified. The problem there is NICEIC don't have the powers of Gas safe originaly CORGIE.

The incorrect cavity gap, the bad bricklaying,.... 30mm out on a 6M opening.. I don't mean to joke trust me,but "Steve Wonder assisted by Ray Charles "could have done better.

If it was me in your position (God forbid) I would start again on the build, even the foundations are wrong.

Has the underpinning been done?

Getting quotes to rectify problems is one thing,... but there are the "Didn't see that" add ons that even a builder with years of experiance would not have foreseen because an unqualified "CB" has attempted the job to start with.

Alot of the existing material could be salvaged, and reused.

I know that is not what you would have wanted to hear and I'm sorry if I've made you worry more, but you have to think of the future.

At some point the house will be sold and it needs to look good which is what you paid for. Not the rubbish he has left you, let alone all the worry.

All you should pay this CHANCER is the materials you can reuse. The rest you want back.

Court all the way.. NO meadiation , Court

What county are you in ?

My spelling, grammer and all that "school stuff" is worse than yours so don't put yourself down:-D

My Missus and girls are always correcting me.... I've asked how to spell loads on this. I don't care.

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Hi 44danno, The asbestos pipe is either an old flue pipe or an old soil vent pipe. Where I live the owner of the property can take asbestos items to the dump wrapped in plastic and they will dispose of it. When removing such items it is the dust created that is dangerous. there are specialist companys that remove asbestos... but they charge lots for their services.

 

The boiler is causing me concern. You are correct about the carbon monoxide, this could get into the original part of the house and can kill you.

The Gas safe inspector will "condem" the boiler and the open gas pipe by the fire removed by CB. I susspect the gas supply will be "cut and capped" at the meter, and there will be lots of "warning notices".

All the remeadial works will have to be completed by a Gas Safe engineer and signed off and certificates issued.

 

The electrics it sounds like CB has "attempted" the "first fix". I would strongly advise you to have a qualified electrical engineer check them before any more work is done. It is easy to correct things now before walls are plastered, floors down etc.

 

I have a question with regard to the walls constructed by CB and the incorrect cavity. Have Wall ties been fitted??? this is very very important.

Your best way is to get the structural engineer to check. There should be 1 every 900mm horizontally and 1 every 450mm verticaly.

What cavity gap has CB left?

Is the ground floor Concrete? or wood? When you get a chance let me know because there will be more advice on those points.

You will get there in the end but it will take time.

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If he has acted in breach of contract then he should be paying to put it right. If he refuses then you take him to county court. You should of course keep proper documentary evidence of what has gone wrong. You need to make sure you have proper, clear, complete evidence of the problems BEFORE you have any work done to put it right ... its difficult to prove what was wrong with building work if it has already been fixed.

 

As it sounds like the amount will be more than 20k, if it is necessary to take him to court and you are successful, then you should be able to recover your legal costs. Therefore I think you should try to involve a solicitor. The prospect of being landed with your legal bill would hopefully encourage him to put things right.

 

 

The other thing to consider is, even if you did manage to get a court judgment for 20k against him, whether he would be able to pay it.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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Hi 44danno

 

I don't know if you want to, but you could contact your local newspaper, or even Watchdog. Your builder fits nicely into the content of their shows. Maybe a warning that you reserve the right to contact the media, Trading Standards etc if he fails to co-operate with you immediately, and that the publicity will be very, very damaging to his business. Best to keep it business like.

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Sorry for taking so long to reply. Gas safe came and assessed his removal and not capping off of the gas pipe as immediate danger and will be reported to HSE.

Also the venting of the boiler into the extension as potentially dangerous.

 

The cavities are down to 40mm in some places 70mm in others.

The wall ties were at best random.

The floor will be wooden joists as some of the original floor had sunk.

The electrics are original, but now hanging from walls and ceilings.

 

Don't really know who to report the asbestos to or the electrics.

The asbestos is an old flue pipe.

Hi 44danno, The asbestos pipe is either an old flue pipe or an old soil vent pipe. Where I live the owner of the property can take asbestos items to the dump wrapped in plastic and they will dispose of it. When removing such items it is the dust created that is dangerous. there are specialist companys that remove asbestos... but they charge lots for their services.

 

The boiler is causing me concern. You are correct about the carbon monoxide, this could get into the original part of the house and can kill you.

The Gas safe inspector will "condem" the boiler and the open gas pipe by the fire removed by CB. I susspect the gas supply will be "cut and capped" at the meter, and there will be lots of "warning notices".

All the remeadial works will have to be completed by a Gas Safe engineer and signed off and certificates issued.

 

The electrics it sounds like CB has "attempted" the "first fix". I would strongly advise you to have a qualified electrical engineer check them before any more work is done. It is easy to correct things now before walls are plastered, floors down etc.

 

I have a question with regard to the walls constructed by CB and the incorrect cavity. Have Wall ties been fitted??? this is very very important.

Your best way is to get the structural engineer to check. There should be 1 every 900mm horizontally and 1 every 450mm verticaly.

What cavity gap has CB left?

Is the ground floor Concrete? or wood? When you get a chance let me know because there will be more advice on those points.

You will get there in the end but it will take time.

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Thank you for your advice and sorry for slow replies, its tough having to juggle mum and sort everything out.

We had a report from an architect on the state of the build and we have a diary of everything and photos.

 

Sounds like breach of contract is right w`ay to go.

it just we are out of our depth with things like this.

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Thanks for your kind advice.

I wish we had more confidence with these sort of things.

Trading standards via CAB say that there not willing to get involved as it will be a claim more than 10k.

Not much protection for an 82 year old these days.

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Hi 44danno, With regard to the asbestos pipe, Iwould ring the local council and see what they say.

The electrics need to be checked by a qualified electrician to make sure of various points before work continues.

You say the "original floor has sunk". Is this a floor fitted by CB ?

The wall ties are a Big issue, and there are other "Building Regs" regarding brickwork up to DPC (damp proof course) that I think CB will not have carried out.

 

I have a suggestion. Is your Mums house insured because it may be that there will be legal cover on it, which I think you are going to need.

F16

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If you don't have the time or knowledge to deal with this, go to see a solicitor. As the amount is more than 10k your legal fees should be recoverable from the other side if successful.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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