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Lawn w/ steep incline - battle with Developer ***Resolved***


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Hi all.

 

We recently moved in to our new build house. Whilst we had a snagging survey done (14 pages for the developer to address any day now), our biggest problem is our lawn - there is a really steep incline in to the field net to it which is a heck of a pain, we have effectively lost 11% of the lawn dimensions that were given to us by the Developer and it is a ruddy danger for our two children under three.

Long story cut short, I have asked them to either build a retaining wall or pay for one. I have quoted the (I think) relevant regs from the NHBC website and they are saying that 'We have been through the NHBC regulations and still believe that the way the garden has been laid out is compliant' but refuse to acknowledge the specific regs I quoted.

 

Other relevant info from my latest email to them is here. This is part of what I sent:

You also claimed that 'This is backed up by the fact that the NHBC have issued a completion certificate. If you want to discuss with them you can contact their Customer Services team 0344 633 1000'. Thanks for this but I have already been in contact with them and they stated the following:  '

inspection have requirements to inspect certain stages of build however, the garden isn’t a specific inspection stage, other stages are,  Foundations Drainage for building control sites Superstructure, this can be anywhere  between dpc and roof First fix, inspection of wiring,  plumbing and carpentry work before plaster Completion, house ready for occupation' 
Simply stating that 'This is backed up by the fact that the NHBC have issued a completion certificate' does not correlate. This has been confirmed by the organisation that did the snagging survey.

 

The best they have offered is £200 as a gesture of goodwill and have offered to build a retaining wall but would charge us £1,750 and that it wouldn't have a warranty.

This is where I am at. I would very much like to take this as far as I can.


 

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Is it worth making enquiries with local surveyors to ask about this ?  What report can be commissioned about this specific issue ?

 

There is a safety aspect, but what other issues may become apparent, due to the way they have landscapped the garden ? 

We could do with some help from you.

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  • 1 month later...

Update on this: Following a few threats of small claims court claim and joining a Facebook group that has been set up to complain about this developer, the MD phoned me to say that if I keep quiet, they will build the retaining wall as a gesture of goodwill.

Following this, I finally got something in email on this when I queried whether there would be a warranty on the wall. 

This was part of the wall:

Regarding wall in garden it will be next week not sure which day waiting on groundworker to call back to confirm does it matter to you?

Regards warranty there will not be any as I have been told this is a good will gesture, construction will be, 250mm deep concrete footing, 225mm solid 7n concrete blocks  with slab to match copping.


Please can I ask if something is done as a gesture of goodwill, does this mean there is no 'come back' if the job is done poorly?

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 If something is done as a gesture of goodwill, does this mean there is no 'come back' if the job is done poorly?

 

A good will gesture can indeed be legally binding because it can still amount to a formal contract between the two parties. A contract is legally formed if there is an offer and an acceptance, then a contract is likely to have been formed.

However, that does not mean that a contract cannot be retracted so it is possible for them to retract such an offer.

 

Andy

We could do with some help from you.

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No ...I didn't state that.....it can be retracted.

We could do with some help from you.

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Not after its built...obviously ....before. ......which they could if you dont drop the warranty request..they are after all doing for free.

We could do with some help from you.

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Can understand why you are wanting some form of rights confirmed in writing in regard to the wall, so if it fails, you have some come back.  But I would have thought that whether there was a warranty or not, you still have rights in regard to build quality and that it is fit for purpose.

 

You found a problem with the sloping ground, the builder agreed to build a retaining wall and it is up to the builder to ensure the wall is built correctly to function as it is intended.

 

Whether there is a warranty or not, if the wall fell down in say 4 years time, you would still have the same argument. What caused the wall to fall down ? Was it anything to do with build quality ? Any warranty would no doubt include clauses making unclear how it offered  protection.

 

Next to any new wall is a farmers field, where neither you or the builder has any control over how that land is managed. The farmer or any owner of the land could undertake actions which affect the stability of the wall. No warranty would protect against this.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thank you for this.

 

The wall is almost done, but I have a query regarding the quality - I am NO builder but shouldn't there be cement in between the breeze blocks here?

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Would think they will add soil to level up the lawn, so there will be no exposed blocks with the unfinished joins showing.

 

Found the information below from this  website

 

https://gardenadvice.co.uk/howto/garden-build/retainingwall/index.html

 

"If the wall is to retain any amount of soil it should be constructed so that it can allow water to past through to remove some of the weight pressing against it. This is normally achieved by building into the wall a small drainage pipe every metre to allow the water to drain through the wall."

We could do with some help from you.

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Hi all,

just to close this one, please see the photos below....before and after  ;) 

Thank you, all, for some great advice (as per usual!)

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:thumb:  looks a good job...topic title updated

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group The National Consumer Service

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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  • Andyorch changed the title to Lawn w/ steep incline - battle with Developer ***Resolved***

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