New Home Owners And Snagging Forum

Advice on buying a brand new home => General discussion => Topic started by: Rossowheels on June 16, 2020, 10:39:22 pm

Post by: Rossowheels on June 16, 2020, 10:39:22 pm
We bought a house two years ago that is a self-build and the original owner spent over £1,000 on a Build-Zone 10-year structural warranty. Sounds good and we also thought so as the warranty still had six years to run when we made our purchase.

Unfortunately, we are experiencing a leaking roof which is a flat fibreglass type laid on a concrete screed. The warranty cover both major defects and also a breach of the waterproof envelope whatever that actually means. Now, Build-Zone have advised us that our roof doesn’t have a major defect even though the fibreglass is covered in cracks and holes because a major defect only applies if there is instability of the so called housing unit whatever that really means.

They have also said that water penetrating the fibreglass and sitting on the concrete screed underneath is not a breach of the waterproof envelope because water has to physically enter the building ie we have to have water marked ceilings.

I’m at a loss to understand why our 10-year structural warranty is effectively invalid even though we have had the roof inspected by a reputable roofing contractor who has said that the fibreglass roof need completely replacing because it is not doing what it should and they feel that matters will only worsen as the fibreglass expands and contracts causing further cracking.

Any comments appreciated as I am at a loss in every sense!

PS Our home insurance company says that they are not liable because they only cover storm damage and not defects.
Post by: New Home Expert on June 18, 2020, 01:35:59 pm
First of all your home insurance is for storm damage etc and not maintenance issues such as this.

Clearly, the fibreglass roof is not "fit for purpose" having cracked this quickly within 4 years.

Your warranty, as you have discovered, is pretty much useless and the self-builder wasted his £1,000 in my opinion. I expect if you dig down the policy you will find all manner of get outs and exclusions excesses etc.

But..... it appears clear that water is penetrating the structure (a breach of the "waterproof envelope" - the waterproof part being the fibreglass roof)  and in all likelihood it will continue to do so, degrading whatever it comes into contact with. Ultimately, this would make Build-Zone's costs higher than they might otherwise be now if they fit a new roof.

I would write one last time to Build-Zone and tell them you want a new roof fitted as required and also clearly covered by the warranty or a letter from them saying you are in deadlock so you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) which you should then do.
I would be amazed if the FOS didn't rule in your favour.

Post by: Rossowheels on August 31, 2020, 10:03:03 pm

Two loss adjusters inspected the roof and I just received a derisory opening offer! Also, they say that the garage roof is inadmissible even though core samples show water ingress. I’m wondering what is the insurance definition of water ingress? Does water have to appear on the ceiling of the garage? They talk about the waterproof envelope in the roof which is what’s relevant in this case, so to my mind the failure of the waterproofing membrane ie the GRP is why there is water ingress. Is this an over simplification? The loss adjusters aren’t keen to dig deep into their pockets and have come up with a £15k offer for the other roofs whereas the estimate to replace is closer to £60k even on a like for like. The scaffolding alone is around £15k so they are probably discounting this and also not allowing for removal of the existing GRP. It’s a warm roof with various layers which may also need stripping and replacing.

Any comments would be much appreciated
Post by: Maxell on September 01, 2020, 10:03:22 pm
If they have made an offer then it sounds as if they are accepting some liability. 
To offer an a view from the insurance company.
Water has not penetrated through to the inside of the property. It has broken down the fiberglass but the screed is holding it back (for now) roof tiles have membranes underneath as a secondry defence. Perhaps the screed has been designed to be watertight?
However I can only imagine the situation getting worse.
Post by: Rossowheels on September 02, 2020, 09:23:22 am
The contractor started stripping the garage roof which is made up of 18mm OSB deck, Polythene AVCL, 160mm Saturated PIR, 12mm OSB overlay, concrete mesh and a GRP waterproofing layer. They found that the 160mm foam was heavy in different areas and laden with water so much so that the OSB deck is stained. The OSB deck was removed and the ceiling could be seen between the joists. The water ingress would clearly have continued until reaching the underside of the ceiling. My view is that I have taken steps to minimise the loss and have avoided incurring future repairs to the internal decorations.

The definition of water ingress is the infiltration of water from the outside to the inside of a property as I understand it. The outside must be the opposite of the inside so I would say that what separates the inside from the outside is the GRP. It seems that the loss adjuster is saying that the separation is everything from the GRP to the ceiling inclusive so that the actual internal usable space within the garage is the inside.

The evidence obtained so far will possibly assist but I’m not at all confident that they will see it my way.
Post by: Rossowheels on September 02, 2020, 09:26:25 am
Although I’ve received an offer it’s not for the garage which they is inadmissible. The offer is for the rest of the roof on a without prejudice basis.
Post by: New Home Expert on September 09, 2020, 01:51:53 pm
If the external covering is letting water past (water ingress) it isn't weathertight.
The other layers are not required or capable of preventing water ingress further into your home in the long term. In addition OSB is not supposed to get wet as it distorts and swells and can disintegrate.

All this arguing just shows how worthless your Build-Zone warranty is in my opinion. Their attitude to doing what is morally right that is covering the full cost of remediating a genuine defects in your home which IS supposed to be covered by the warranty.

I suggest you tell them to pay up, or you will take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service once the full repair costs are known to you.
Post by: Rossowheels on September 09, 2020, 03:38:33 pm