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responsibility

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siftingflour Wed 06-Dec-17 21:40:10

I am in a bit of a mess. I signed a contract to build an extension but in doing the works (two weeks in) the builders discovered that the drains were too shallow to build the extension as planned.
I have been told by the architect managing the project that I am liable to pay the builder for all the work I signed for, and that not doing the extension will be hellishly expensive (I had asked about halting it and just refurbishing the property instead).
They have come up with two solutions which are (for varying and good reasons) unacceptable. Meanwhile the house has been gutted and the garden excavated so it's not a question of walking away from building works - I am going to have to reinstate everything as well as pay the builders for any loss of earnings.
My question now is: where does the responsibility lie? Should the architects have established the depth of the drains before works started given that this is key to the project feasibility. They say it would have been hard to do this as the drains were not easily accessible (part buried under concrete) and they normally just do it on site. They say my drains are unusually shallow (which does seem to be the case, but it's an old house).

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