Author Topic: Collapsing retaining wall  (Read 860 times)

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Sassoon Close

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Collapsing retaining wall
« on: February 13, 2018, 04:23:30 pm »
I bought a Barratt home in Jun 2009 and at the back of the house is a retaining wall about 4m high which borders onto another Barratt home at a higher level. 
Within a few years of moving in, the crib lock timber started to rot.  With the recent rains, the wall has now failed resulting in the stones and soil behind coming into the garden and sink holes appearing in the garden above. 

Barratt initially took responsibility of for the rotting wood but is now saying it is the responsibility of the homeowner of the wall (the house above mine).  The company that installed the crib lock wall has gone into liquidation.  I was hoping to sell my house but today have been informed by an estate agent that it will not sell given the issues and that I can't rent my house due to health and safety concerns.
A recent structural engineering survey has stated that the wall was not 'fit for purpose' when built.

Can anyone advice on what I (and my neighbours) should do.


New Home Expert

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Re: Collapsing retaining wall
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2018, 10:52:24 am »
This is a structural issue so should be covered by the warranty.
Secondly, Barratt had a five year warranty of their own I seem to remember.
Lastly, as the problem of rotting timber and this retaining wall was reported (I hope in writing) to Barratt but never fixed, it is still covered by the NHBC warranty.

I think both you and your neighbour should make a joint claim to the NHBC and tell them it needs to be permanently resolved with a new warranty for the new wall. 
The fact that the contractor that installed the wall is now no longer trading is not an issue.

Any timber in contact with the ground must be treated timber. Crib lock timbers should really have been in green oak or maybe it should have been concrete!
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PercyMann7

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Re: Collapsing retaining wall
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2018, 12:51:10 pm »
Please see attached photo.
What you got and what you want shown side by side.
Barratt should pay but will negotiate for the smallest possible area to replace.
I wonder how long the manufacturer's guarantee is for the original specification.

Sassoon Close

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Re: Collapsing retaining wall
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2018, 09:16:04 pm »
The warranty was for 10 years and was between Barratts and the sub contractor (not the homeowners) but the sub contractor has now gone out of business.  Its was built less than 9 years ago.   How do we get Barratts to pay since they seem to be stone walling us - I have to move and sell my house and I'm finding it so frustrating that everyone is saying it is the house owner's responsibility but this seems wrong since NHBC guidelines clearly state that these types of walls should last 60 years.

Thanks for the feedback so far.

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Re: Collapsing retaining wall
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2018, 09:32:57 am »
As Barratt are not helping, you should make a claim using your NHBC warranty.
I expect that garden retaining walls are not included in the policy though.

The wall warranty for what it is now worth, should have been with homeowners, not the builder.
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Sassoon Close

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Re: Collapsing retaining wall
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2018, 04:32:14 pm »
Unfortunately NHBC have rejected the claim since the wall is not required for the stability of the house.  Just wondering what I can do about Barratt.

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Re: Collapsing retaining wall
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2018, 09:41:57 am »
I fear Barratt are off the hook as your home is 9 years old.
I did doubt this issue was covered by the NHBC warranty.

Any action you now could take would be long and complicated. Legal action against Barratt, a claim against the NHBC to the Financial Ombudsman service neither with any certainty of success.
If you paid for the wall to be fixed it would also take time.

I would suggest you get some quotes and reduce the price (or accept a lower offer by that amount) so you can move and let the new owners deal with it.
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