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  #1  
Old 26th March 2010, 04:11 PM
Helen121178 Helen121178 is offline
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Default Terrible building work - help

I'm not sure where i stand but i am in a stupid situation and under normal circumstances i am usually very good with receipts / contracts etc.
I'll try be as detailed but breif as possible......

Basically 24th October 2008, i paid £1000 to a builder who lived across the road to start work he had agreed to do on my property. (He told me he would get me a receipt, and only living across the road i thought it would be ok.)
This included, putting a pitched roof over the current flat roof of our extension, putting a canopy across the front of the house, replace the sofits and facias, and to fit a supplied kitchen, including tiling the kitchen floor and walls. He was charging me £2900 for this work.
Work commenced within a day or so of me paying the money on the canopy but unfortunately, a few days later his wife committed suicide.
Of course, the whole street was shocked by the events, and he and his family were devastated. As a result, the receipt was never received. He asked me over explained the situation, and said he would continue the work if i was happy to wait as soon as he had sorted things out at home.
He then did some more work on my house, and explained that as his wife had committed suicide, his bank accounts had been frozen so he was unable to purchase any more material, in hindsight now, i foolishly paid him a further £250 on 14.11.08, and a further £500 on 24.11.08 again not receiving any receipts, but as he lived across the road and i knew his circumstance in regards to his wife, i told him to take his time to get over the death of his wife and to carry on once Christmas was out of the way.
In August 2009 he met a new lady friend and moved in with her, renting his property out.
The canopy has been put up, but is leaking, and there is no lead flashing.
The kitchen roof was put up, again no flash lead flashing, tiling is not complete, and with the rain i now have damp in my kitchen. I called him regarding this and he sent someone round who basically just put some facias over the wood.
The tiling of the kitchen is only half down, and what he has done is neither level or remotely straight.
I've now noticed the hole that he cut to put the sink into the work surface is too big, so there is about half an inch gap in the work surface at the back of the sink.He removed the down pipe from my next door neightbour so now when it rains it is wetting both my neighbours and my external walls.
Over the last month i have left countless messages, and he has over the last 10 days stopped returning my calls in regards to when he was going to correct the work done, and complete.
He is due to move back into his property end of April/Start of May since the new relationship has broken down.
Due to the leaking and damp, and of course him now not returning my calls, i was so concern of what has been done either causing more damage in regards to damp, i have called a roofer who visited yesterday.
He has given me a whole list of problems both with the kitchen roof (basically all of the tiles have got to stripped and put on, along with the guttering being replaced, and next doors down pipe etc.
He explained that there is a slight bow in the canopy out the front, something he would expect to see on a canopy that had been up approx. 30 yrs, the tiling that had been put on was too far apart so could cause leaks, but without totally stripping it down it would be very hard for him to quote how much to repair the bad state or work done.
He advised, that as the kitchen roof was more critical than the front, that he will quote me on this, and then look for the current builder to correct the front when i eventually catch up with him when he moves back in across the road.
Would you know if i can make a claim for damages both correcting the work that i am going to have done on the kitchen roof, and issues caused as a result of bad workmanship - ie damp etc?
My partner has ended up tiling the wall in the kitchen, and is going to finish the floor as to be honest we are just sick of living in the mess!!

Can anyone please advise how i stand and what my best cause of action should be. TBH i am reluctant to let him do anymore work because of the state of what has already been done, so would feel happier to basically write to him advising my issues and that i no longer want him to do any further work.................any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
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  #2  
Old 26th March 2010, 11:39 PM
homara homara is offline
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Default Re: Terrible building work - help

Sorry to learn about your stressful events, particularly as you were so accomodating of this chaps difficult personal circumstances. Unfortunately,there are far too many wolves out there!

I would suggest you instruct a Chartered Building Surveyor who is trained as an Expert Witness. This is a fairly specialised area of their work. For a fee of approx £80 per hour they will inspect your property, diagnose the defects and prepare a plan of remedial work. They will, if you wish, prepare costings for the remedial work and will even appoint builders should you require. You can instruct them to do as little or as much as you want. The important aspect of their role is that they are classed as truly independent, even though you are paying them, and their detailed report will be relied upon in court as expert independent evidence (should you need to go this far). This is not the case with your roofer or any other builder you might choose to ask an opinion of. For the type of problems you describe, I doubt very much that the Expert Witness would need to spend much over two hours. Probably less. They would, I'm sure, provide you with a reliable estimate of time required to carry out your instructions so you could choose to proceed or not. Once you have their Expert Witness report, you are then in a position to make a very strong claim against the builder (with legal assistance, of course) or you could choose to go through the Small Claims Court yourself, although I must confess I have little experience of this latter method.Your shoddy builder, faced with the knowledge of your Expert Witness Report, might even agree to pay you a negotiated sum so that you could appoint someone else to put right his defective work. He most certainly won't want to appear in court and have to try and defend himself against a recognised Expert! He knows he'd lose!

I wish you all the best. I know only too well how stressful it can be trying to put right disgraceful work standards. The construction industry really does require much tighter regulation and we consumers need far more protection than current law provides.
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  #3  
Old 31st March 2010, 08:19 PM
Helen121178 Helen121178 is offline
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Default Re: Terrible building work - help

Firstly can I thank you for such a detailed and what seems like a strong route to go down.
Please excuse my ignorance, but being totally new in this situation, how would I go about finding a chartered surveyor, as simple as yellow pages, or is there a recognised 'federation' listing approved persons for me to contact. I'd hate to fall in the wrong hands again.
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  #4  
Old 1st April 2010, 11:42 AM
homara homara is offline
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Default Re: Terrible building work - help

Hi Helen...there are several different types of Chartered Surveyors, each with their own area of expertise. The type of surveyor you need is a Chartered Building Surveyor who is qualified as an Expert Witness. You may well find adverts in your local Yellow Pages. Additionally, you can contact their professional Institute directly and I'm sure they'll help you find a suitable surveyor in your area. Contact details are as follows:

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
Tel: 08703331600
Email: contactrics@rics.org
Website: RICS

Armed with an independent Expert Witness Report, you will be in a strong position. The defects at your property will be expertly diagnosed by a professional deemed independent, the required remedial work will be detailed, expert costings for the remedial work can be requested and (should you need it) the surveyor can point you in the right direction to reputable tradesmen whom he's used to working with. His report will stand you in good stead when you come to make your complaint against the original shoddy builder, whether you approach him directly, or through a Small Claims Court, or through a solicitor. The Expert Witness report will demonstrate that you mean business and that your complaint must now be taken seriously. Your builder will know this!

Should you have any more questions, feel free to ask and I'll help if able. I don't know which area of the UK you live but if you live close to me I can recommend two excellent Expert Witnesses whom I've used in the past. They were worth their weight in gold!

Best of luck in whatever course of action you decide to take.
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  #5  
Old 3rd April 2010, 07:38 PM
Shaz Shaz is offline
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Default Re: Terrible building work - help

Hello
I wonder if you could help? I too am experiencing some issues with my builders and have come to the conclusion that I need to get some independent expert advice. You mention a particular type of Chartered Surveyor - I will look for this, I live in Reading, Berkshire, just wondering if you could recommend any near where I live?

Thanks
Sharon
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  #6  
Old 4th April 2010, 12:43 AM
homara homara is offline
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Default Re: Terrible building work - help

Hi Shaz...sorry, I'm unable to recommend any Chartered Building Surveyors in your area as I live some distance away. If you contact RICS (see my previous post) they will be able to give you details of suitable members practicing in Reading.

Again, I found Expert Witness Chartered Building Surveyors invaluable when I became victim to rogue builders and defective workmanship a couple of years ago. They really were worth their weight in gold.
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  #7  
Old 4th April 2010, 09:06 AM
Shaz Shaz is offline
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Default Re: Terrible building work - help

Hi Homara
Thanks for your reply, this has definately given me the direction I need to take. I have downloaded a list of building surveyors in my area, just need to ring around and check for the 'expert witness' bit.

Many thanks

Sharon
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  #8  
Old 4th April 2010, 12:11 PM
homara homara is offline
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Default Re: Terrible building work - help

You're welcome Shaz. Hope the information helps in some way.
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  #9  
Old 7th December 2016, 11:20 AM
Edward Jones Edward Jones is offline
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Default Re: Jonathan walker Cowboy Builder

New houses in LUND near Diffield East Yorkshire
We have always wanted to live in the beautiful village of Lund, so we made a day of it and looked at three new houses being built by a local builder in the village; my wife brought a friend who knows the area well as he was a policeman in the east riding for many years. We looked at the houses and retired to the pub in the village for lunch, where we discussed the pros and cons of a possible purchase. We were overheard by a couple of ladies who knew the wife’s friend who advised against any purchase from that builder, they went on to explain the builder had changed his company name from REEF HOMES as there had been a lot of legal action regarding several homes and or buildings he and his previous company had been involved in.
They gave us a name of a couple living in a nearby village and advised we contact them; we did by phone through our friend and his contacts, they gave us a solicitor to contact. They also advised to do some digging with the local planning department before we made up our minds on any of the builders properties. We retired to the restaurant where we were served by a very nice person who overheard our conversation, they (as they served our meal) advised (in a low voice) not to buy from that builder as previous purchasers had complained about extreme shoddy and dangerous workmanship, who then had to resort the legal action, as Mr Walker refused to put the deficits right hiding behind several lawyers and solicitors, changing his Ltd company to dodge his responsibilities.
We were now intrigued and decided to look into this and contact the people advised by my wife’s friend and previous customer.
We phoned the solicitor who gave us a name of a Surveyor who in turn gave us another surveyor who worked with Mr Walker who had legal action taken against him because of the REEF HOMES builder, who we now know definitely as a Mr J Walker. All of the above gave sound advice – “do not buy any house from this builder” - we thanked the people we contacted and accepted their advice.
We still are hoping one day to live in Lund but we will now look to an existing house rather than a new one.
We are not saying not to buy any of these three houses, we are saying we are not and would never take a chance with so much adverse advice for so much money.
A home buyer
EDD JONES
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  #10  
Old 7th December 2016, 11:22 AM
Edward Jones Edward Jones is offline
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Default Re: Terrible building work - help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaz View Post
Hello
I wonder if you could help? I too am experiencing some issues with my builders and have come to the conclusion that I need to get some independent expert advice. You mention a particular type of Chartered Surveyor - I will look for this, I live in Reading, Berkshire, just wondering if you could recommend any near where I live?

Thanks
Sharon
Jonathan walker Cowboy Builder

New houses in LUND near Diffield East Yorkshire
We have always wanted to live in the beautiful village of Lund, so we made a day of it and looked at three new houses being built by a local builder in the village; my wife brought a friend who knows the area well as he was a policeman in the east riding for many years. We looked at the houses and retired to the pub in the village for lunch, where we discussed the pros and cons of a possible purchase. We were overheard by a couple of ladies who knew the wife’s friend who advised against any purchase from that builder, they went on to explain the builder had changed his company name from REEF HOMES as there had been a lot of legal action regarding several homes and or buildings he and his previous company had been involved in.
They gave us a name of a couple living in a nearby village and advised we contact them; we did by phone through our friend and his contacts, they gave us a solicitor to contact. They also advised to do some digging with the local planning department before we made up our minds on any of the builders properties. We retired to the restaurant where we were served by a very nice person who overheard our conversation, they (as they served our meal) advised (in a low voice) not to buy from that builder as previous purchasers had complained about extreme shoddy and dangerous workmanship, who then had to resort the legal action, as Mr Walker refused to put the deficits right hiding behind several lawyers and solicitors, changing his Ltd company to dodge his responsibilities.
We were now intrigued and decided to look into this and contact the people advised by my wife’s friend and previous customer.
We phoned the solicitor who gave us a name of a Surveyor who in turn gave us another surveyor who worked with Mr Walker who had legal action taken against him because of the REEF HOMES builder, who we now know definitely as a Mr J Walker. All of the above gave sound advice – “do not buy any house from this builder” - we thanked the people we contacted and accepted their advice.
We still are hoping one day to live in Lund but we will now look to an existing house rather than a new one.
We are not saying not to buy any of these three houses, we are saying we are not and would never take a chance with so much adverse advice for so much money.
A home buyer
EDD JONES
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