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Advice needed please, structural fault with house after building work, who is to blame?

(4 Posts)
curlywurlycremeegg Thu 09-Oct-08 10:04:49

Long story, sorry, had a pretty major ammount of building work started in 2004. One part was to convert the integral garage in two room, build another two rooms over it and obviously extend the roof to cover it. Builder was hopeless, left us high and dry, 3 months work turned into 18 months and we finally sacked him with just cosmetic work to finish ourselves. All work signed off by building control. OH has thought there was some movement in the house for a while (I have just ingnored him thinking he was being paranoid!). We eneded up getting a structural engineer out yesterday and whilst we are waiting for the full report he has told us the old roof was not structurally sound to build on to, it had failed and has had to be propped immediatly as there was a chance the whole house would come down shock. The roof needs to be fixed by next spring at the latest (abot £10,000 worth of work). Obviously I am bloody angry, I couldn't sleep with worry last night, we don't have the money to pay for the repairs and there is no way we can raise it either. However I don't even think it should be our responsibility, this must either fall on the shoulders of the architect/structural engineer who did the plans, or the joiner (who according to the structural engineer yesterday should have seen that the support was not right). I am now waiting for the report but need to try and find a good solicitor to represnt us. I have no idea "what sort" of soliciotor to ask for IYKWIM. Any ideas of avenues to persue or recommendations would be greatfully recieved, we are in the Greater Manchester area.

Seabright Thu 09-Oct-08 14:31:11

You need a litigation solicitor with property and/or construction experience. Try ring round a few medium sized firms, but don't be surprised if they ask for £500-£1000 up front - we normally do.

I'm in Surrey, so don't know anyone in GM I'm afraid.

Also, check your buildings insurance policy as it may cover (a) repair work (b) litigation costs. If so, contact them first, they'll have their own solicitors

curlywurlycremeegg Thu 09-Oct-08 15:18:57

Thanks, I did contact the insurance company pre inspection and they said if it was due to negligent building work then it was nothing to do with them Have had a ring round and spoken to a solicitor who seems to feel it should be an easy case to go ahead with and the builder will probably pay up before any court action is needed. They haven't asked for anything up front but did mention monthly billing. So I just need to wait for the report to arrive now!

Seabright Fri 10-Oct-08 00:03:55

Just check your insurance policy again for something along the lines of "legal protection insurance/cover".

The insurance company are right that they don't have to pay for badly done work, but legal insurance often forms part of a policy and covers you for all kinds of legal litigation. It's often just part of a "regular" policy.

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