We had our garage demolished last autumn. Our garage and neighbours garage were stood next to each other. Neighbour was concerned that removing our garage would cause problems with theirs so we left the nearest wall standing in order to support theirs (builder discovered theirs was only single layer of bricks with no supporting pillars). Neighbours garage stayed intact and was monitored carefully throughout demolition stage to check for damage.
After xmas we had a new garage built to the side of our house (in front of previous garage). Along with this work we had a wall removed from the end of our house (old coalhouse) and had it rebuilt to conform with current building regs (double skin and insulated).
Unknown to me, last week the neighbours asked our builder to patch up some cracks in their garage whilst he was rendering our property. They are now unhappy because colour of the render doesn't match the existing. They feel that the cracks have appeared because of our building work. Our builder suggests the cracks have appeared because of the cold weather/frost. Neighbours wooden doors also will not close which they feel is due to movement from our garage coming down. We feel (based on our wooden french doors not closing without a big kick) that this is because of the wet winter.
They want their render stripped back and relaid again which I will do if the cracks are our fault. Can anyone offer an opinion on whether they feel the cracks are likely to be due to our building works or weather. What would you do to resolve this matter?
I'm not sure if a surveyor could work out the problem now that the builder has patched it up. I've asked the builder to have a chat with the neighbours and told him we'll pay for it to be re-rendered if necessary (but he thinks we're gullible fools).
He doesn't have to live next door to them though does he. I would however make it very clear that if they have any more concerns about their garage, they need to discuss them with you first, not go directly to your builder. I would pay for the re render but stress that my payment on this occasion is down to good will.
Your builder seems to have been trying to placate your neighbours, trying to do the right thing. The neighbours somehow seem to be intent on getting something for nothing. I would persue my original suggestion, but stress, in no uncertain terms that this is a one off final payment / action.