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Architect has made an error, how should we approach this?

(9 Posts)
morleylass Sat 15-Jan-11 10:34:58

Architect has made a mistake, where do we stand legally?

We are having an extension built(bathroom), it is probably about 80% complete. We have just found out that the drain that the architect has designed the waste water to go into is the waste water that comes out of our water filtration system (we are not on a mains sewer) i.e. this drain is for cleaned water and just goes into a drainage ditch. Obviously we cannot put our raw sewage into that!
We are waiting to find out what can be done by the builder as the waste drainage is around the other side of the house and will involve a lot more work.
It is the same architect who originally built the house and we have dug out drawings (by the same architect) given to us by the previous occupants showing the waste in the correct place. These drawings were supplied to the architect when we instructed him. Therefore he has failed to translate the information from his own drawings and also survey the site correctly.
I'm sure we must have some recourse, just not sure how best to approach it.
Any advice appreciated.

QuintessentialShadows Sat 15-Jan-11 10:45:20

I dont know about architects and drawings, and legal issues, but, could the solution to your problem be an incinerating toilet?
No drainage pipe necessary, as the toilet burns the raw sewage to cinders, literally.

It might be worth investigating, as it might be cheaper than digging around to the other waste drainage.

hidingmytrueidentity Sat 15-Jan-11 10:47:59

He will have indemnity insurance. Speak to him.

morleylass Sat 15-Jan-11 10:50:24

Thanks both. We need to go with normal drainage if at all possible. Is it better to go directly to the architect then rather than doing anything officially - I would prefer that in the first instance?


Catsmamma Sat 15-Jan-11 10:50:44

incinerating toilet shock

am loving this bit in the write up....

I expect that properly installed, odors, noise, and explosions are not an issue.


hidingmytrueidentity Sat 15-Jan-11 10:57:52

You could only wee in the loo and not use paper!

Only joking. You need to talk to him and explain it- don't threaten litigation and see what he comes up wit as a solution. Any additional costs would then come for discussion under his insurance. Is there an internal option to connect to other bathrooms?

QuintessentialShadows Sat 15-Jan-11 11:36:53

I have had the pleasure of using one. You just need to empty out the ashes now and then....
No smell, nothing.

They are popular in cottages in Norway, as there would not be any drainage at all. But they are expensive, and use a fair bit of electricity.

PorkChopSter Sat 15-Jan-11 11:50:25

Our architect made a number of incorrect measurements and I overheard him "joke" to the builder "ooh, did I get that one right, I don't often shock"

Jaybird37 Sat 15-Jan-11 14:35:12

It is definitely better to go to your architect first, to give them a chance to minimise their loss and put it right.

Call them up, explain the issue, so that it can start out reasonable, and then follow that up with a letter. Keep the tone calm but firm, never get personal or vitriolic.

If you are significantly out of pocket then you may have a claim for professional negligence. Your architect will be insured, but the you will still need to incur legal costs. You need to speak to a specialist solicitor (check out Chambers or Legal 500). Alternatively, if you are in a Union they may recommend someone.

You may find that you have legal expenses insurance on your home, car or credit card insurance, so sift through the small print. However, it is worth making sure you are happy with the solicitors they send you to. Insurance companies "sell" cases to solicitors, so they may be sending you to the solicitor who pays them the most, rather than the one who is the best.

An alternative is to use alternative dispute resolution. For example, Centre for Justice provides mediation with a guaranteed result, which should be a lot cheaper.

Good luck

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