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URGENT loft advice needed please

(17 Posts)
krisskross Tue 07-Mar-17 10:36:47

We are in the fifth week of a loft conversion, meant to be the last week leaving us with a plastered shell with a plumbed in bathroom.

We got the loft company on recommendation and mostly they have been ok and relations have been good. We have made every payment on time.

Two weeks ago we had a significant leak. They gave us an explanation, which their roofer said was incorrect and they had broken a fillet tile (used instead of flashing). Roofer said loft co. Would want to replace the one fillet tile....but that this was a v short term approach and that side needs the flashing replaced. Without us agreeing, he went ahead and did this.....apparently at a cost of £250. Next day owner of loft company, a man we'd had almost no dealings with, called my husbsnd and essentially went ballistic....saying he would not pay for this flashing when only a tile was needed etc etc. This was utterly out of the blue, as i said we've paid everything on time and all has been friendly.

Now here is the massive problem. Gpibg through the loft at weekend assembling the snagging list we noticed two vey significant problems. 1) the newel post, at the end of the spindles on the pre existing first floor is not one single long wood post. It is two bits glued together, and not even glued together flush if that makes sense. So there are two issues.....the first being the structural safety of this, the second being that it looks bloody awful. I am flabbergasted. This is costing us 41k. The other issue is that the newel post above, that goes into the staircase above is not straight. Its not horrendous but its noticeably wonky.

It is clear now the company are withdrawing. We only owe them 1500 quid. They are coming tmw re snagging list so we will discuss stsirs then.

A colleague who is an engineer has said the newel post is only structurally sound if attached together with dowels, not just glue. We will ask but i will not believe their response. And i dont want it to look crap.

What can we do? Is it a reasonable expectation that they replace it all? If they do, it means replacing the entire stair case and all the plastering there. Given the aggressive response we got re the 250 quid flashing, i have absolutely no hope that the company will do this.

When they won't do it, what are our options? Who can we get advice from?

Just to add to this....we have two DC and i am 33 weeks pregnant. I want to cry.

Thank you for reading.

krisskross Tue 07-Mar-17 11:31:23

Bump

RTKangaMummy Tue 07-Mar-17 11:38:11

I don't know about lofts but our extensions had to have BUILDING CONTROL come to inspect

Is it the same for lofts?

Refuse to pay anything more and tell BC that you need them to visit and inspect ASAP and hopefully they will tell builder to do the job properly again

Maybe get an independent structural engineer to check everything as well

Good luck smile

krisskross Tue 07-Mar-17 11:47:54

Thanks RT....Building control is a good idea, hadn't thought of it.

Yes, lofts do need to be checked...but our company use their own private ones. Howevet, i can contact the council one.

Thanks

RTKangaMummy Tue 07-Mar-17 11:58:41

Sorry I don't understand if BC need to inspect and sign off the electrics, building structure and windows in lofts - how can the company use private inspectors?

The BC man came to inspect about 5 times I think, during the build at certain points that we were told beforehand when we applied for planning permission we were sent a planning package with all the things the council check and what stage of the build etc

(New Windows need FENSA certificates btw in a ground floor extension presume the same in lofts but don't know)

RTKangaMummy Tue 07-Mar-17 12:01:19

Presuming you are in uk?

I am in England so if you are in England it should be same

Don't know about S, W or NI though

jenks81 Tue 07-Mar-17 13:13:44

If windows are added as part of a loft conversion or extension and will be checked via building regs they don't need FENSA as well. There are council building control but there are also lots of private companies you can use who then just send on the appropriate certificates to the council to show compliance/completion. Sorry OP I don't have any advice for you, have their building regs people signed it all off?

origamiwarrior Tue 07-Mar-17 13:25:06

If their building regs people haven't been yet, make sure when they do turn up you specifically ask them about the post, and press them saying 'so you are confident signing this off as being structurally sound', implying that you will be getting a second opinion. The regs company will be regulated in some way, and the inspector will be in trouble if they do anything underhand.

I think an independent structural surveyor would be the only recourse if they refuse the fix the mistakes. Obvs don't pay your £15000, but if necessary, you'll need to take them to court for the cost of fixing the problems. Are they a big company with a reputation to maintain?

krisskross Tue 07-Mar-17 13:42:46

Thanks everyone. I will ask tmw when building regs people are coming. Yes...they are a medium size company that do most of their work within around a 7 mile radius so they need to maintain their reputation.

Obviously it beibg structurally sound is the most impt thing.. ..however, it still looks crap and they are trying to pull a fast one.

Is there anything we can do about that?

Thank you all.

krisskross Tue 07-Mar-17 20:20:00

Bumping for the evening mumsnetters thanks.

krisskross Tue 07-Mar-17 22:08:08

Bump

suzyrut Wed 08-Mar-17 11:13:22

Good luck today.

I wouldn't mince my words, not be rude or confrontational but clear that the work completed by the capenter in this instance isn't up to the right standard and you expect them to rectify it. Don't get into a debate, say it's not good enough, what ask what they are going to do about it.

If I didn't get a good feeling from them my next step would be to get a quote from a carpenter to replace the newl posts properly. You can then give your loft company the option to either finish the job or deduct the corresponding amount from the £1500. I don't know what kind of wood/finish you're having on the banisters but I don't imagine replacing the newel posts would be more than the £1500.

Either way let us know how you get on and good luck again!

RTKangaMummy Wed 08-Mar-17 18:17:25

How did you get on today?

krisskross Thu 09-Mar-17 22:12:02

Hello everyone and thanks for asking how we got on.
Ok i think...i spoke very firmly to them and obv they denied any issue ...building control are coming tmw so i csn discuss with them. Cosmetically it looks better than it did but a way off perfect.

Thanks everyone

RTKangaMummy Fri 10-Mar-17 00:13:04

Sounds goodish - well done for standing firm smilesmilesmile

hope building control do a good job with structural stuff

Indaba Fri 10-Mar-17 00:27:56

Good luck. Trading Standards may be able to help too perhaps?

krisskross Fri 10-Mar-17 10:01:31

thanks....so Dh talking to them today. building control came i think when i was out...however, the builder is making an appt for me to meet with them to discuss. God i want this done with.

on another note....when you have work done, do you get a copy of the building control sign offs?

thanks everyone

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