Are you having builder problems?
Problems with builders is nothing new. Here is what you can do about it...
So if you have a problem with your builder, you are not alone.
At the end of the day, you may need to take legal action, and if you do, the best course of action may be to use the services of a specialist barrister. More on this later.
Consumer Direct had 65,000 complaints related to home improvement in 2011. Only second hand car sales had more. The top 3 were: 1st – Timing issues, 2nd – Cost more than original quote & 3rd – Poor quality job
Typical builder problems
There are a whole raft of troublesome issues that revolve around building projects, many of which are down to the builders or subcontractors themselves. These can be issues with…
- Project completion
- Payment schedules
- Client and builder expectations
- Health and safety
- Rubbish left on site
- Builders disappearing off site
- Quality of work
- Sub contractor problems
- Additional costs
- Communication issues and much more!
Under law, you have entitlements…
Keep in mind, that normally irrespective of contract, in Law you are entitled to:
- The work to be carried out with reasonable care and skill
- For it to be finished in an agreed time
- The work to be provided at a reasonable cost or one that has been previously specified
- The goods and materials must match descriptions and be of satisfactory quality
- They must be fit for normal use or for any use previously specified to the builder
If these criteria are not met you are definitely entitled to take action.
Do the right things…
For example, unless you have good reason to not want them to come back (such as they have left the property in a dangerous condition, or the builder is abusive} do give them the opportunity to resolve any problems.
Also, keep written records of everything that happens. This includes guarantees, promises and quotes. Be prepared to supply copies of these to the owner of the company carrying out the work.
If there is a dispute over work done, with the agreement of the builder, you can invite an independent third party expert to supply you with their findings in writing.
You can agree in advance to split the costs and make the findings binding.
If this does not resolve the issues, you can give the builder a letter stating that within a certain time frame, 14 days for example, you will invite another builder to make good any deficiencies.
State that if necessary you’ll take court action to recover the costs.
Next Step: What to do and when to do it?
Once a dispute becomes seriously problematic or your builder becomes unavailable, you need to take your action to a new level. In these cases you need the best advice quickly.
Get the right property and construction legal advice faster
In the past you would have contacted a solicitor first, they would then refer you on to a specialist barrister. Rather than following this process you can now contact some barristers directly yourself.
This way you will have the help that you need almost immediately. Avoiding unnecessary delays, you will also avoid the extra expense that is incurred when being referred by a solicitor.
You will want a barrister on your side who has years of experience in dealing with property and builder matters. Also by taking action now you will relieve some of the worry and uncertainty that can grind you down. This action will save you time, money and more problems in the future.