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AIBU to expect my building contractor not to leave my house uninhabitable? What compensation do you think would be reasonable?

(6 Posts)
stinkbombcottage Sat 04-Jun-16 12:40:19

I create this post 12hrs ago under tAIBU topic but MNHQ have suggested that the subject matter fits better in this topic.

I spent over £100K on a building contractor to develop my home in Bedford and instead he has tried his very best to destroy it. Building Control have said that the work does not comply with building regulations or acceptable safety standards. The work carried out bares little resemblance to the drawings that were agreed with planning.

See www.facebook.com/stinkbombcottage for videos and photos

LunaLoveg00d Sat 04-Jun-16 12:42:20

Take legal advice.

stinkbombcottage Sat 04-Jun-16 12:43:44

The flat roof on the kitchen extension has not been constructed properly and the materials used are incorrect. It has been leaking every day since it was fitted almost 4 months ago. The sewerage drain in the kitchen was left unsealed. There was no surface water drainage so the back of my house is soaking wet. This is just a fraction of long list of faults the building control has left my home with.

I have been camping out in my bedroom with the door shut for almost 3 months as the rest of the house stinks of damp, mildew, mold and sewerage.

Building control have provided the list of defects....
Contraventions of Building Regulations
1. Flat roof incorrectly constructed in that it is not a warm deck or “hybrid” construction and has no airflow which will cause issues of interstitial condensation.
2. Glazed roof-lights on rear flat roof extension incorrectly constructed and detailed with inadequate falls and waterproofing. The flat roof itself also appears similarly substandard including lack of adequate falls and inadequate flashings.
3. Rear flat roof parapet outfalls and guttering are not completed.
4. The junction between the two-storey rear extension and the remaining section of neighbouring property’s rear wing is very poorly finished and waterproofed.
5. FD30 fire doors are required to all habitable rooms opening onto the stairwell or if not certified fire resistant then any door should be reasonably robust and there should be a linked mains-powered smoke alarm in the room which it serves. Currently there are no doors between the ground floor rooms and hallway which is a dangerous situation, particularly to anyone sleeping on the top floor.
6. There appears to be no provision for surface water drainage for the downpipes from the rear roof areas, although site notes indicate that there should be a connection somewhere along the rear wall of the new extension.
7. Many windows have been replaced but do not appear to have the benefit of a FENSA or equivalent certificate and the installation is sub-standard in that there are glazed areas lower than 800mm from floor height which are not toughened, suitably robust or guarded. This is a potentially serious safety issue.
8. A foul water inspection chamber in the footprint of the new extension is not correctly installed in that the cover and frame are of the wrong type and have not been correctly fitted. We will need to have the current frame and cover removed to have a look and decide the best way to rectify this issue. The smells escaping into the house constitute a potentially serious health hazard.
9. The roof insulation to the top floor was not seen by us and unfortunately following a discussion with the flat roofer, it would appear that the insulation to this is probably also inadequate. We will need to have one of the down-lighters in the room removed so that we can see what insulation if any, is in there. It will also be necessary to check insulation in the dormer walls and the sloping roof and creating further small holes should allow us to check this.
Areas of concern:
Patches of damp low down in under-stair cupboard indicate that some remedial damp proofing would be recommended.

stinkbombcottage Sat 04-Jun-16 12:44:50

I have sought legal advice but the process to take someone to court takes time (unless its a small claim of <£10K). My buildings insurance will not cover me for substandard workmanship. The building contractor may or may not have insurance but in any case, he has to make the claim as they will not accept a claim from me. He has not come "from the tools" so he is unskilled in the construction industry, he has therefore relied upon subcontractors to carry out the work. He has asked the subbies to cut many very serious corners and most have obliged.

wowfudge Sat 04-Jun-16 13:08:42

I suggest you get a full quote for putting everything right and issue a statutory demand for that amount to the builder. Have you tried to get him back to fix things? Do you have a written contract? Have you paid him for everything yet?

stinkbombcottage Sat 04-Jun-16 13:16:43

A very small balance is outstanding. The final balance was due to much higher but towards the end of the build I kept being told to buy materials myself and to deduct the cost from the final installment. Yes we have a JCT and he agreed to adhere to the architectural drawings but he has done his own thing throughout the job. I am obtaining quotes to put everything right currently.

Thanks for the tips everyone.

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