Author Topic: Change of materials during construction of new build  (Read 10571 times)

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Change of materials during construction of new build
« on: September 08, 2013, 12:16:24 pm »
My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a new build home from Bellway Homes on their Titherley Park site in Tadley Hants. We are using their Part-Ex scheme.

We have not yet exchanged contracts.

We have chosen our plot and as far as I am concerned entered into an agreement with Bellway to purchase this plot whilst selling them our current property for them to do with as they please.

I was given an information sheet detailing the property and the various finishes on/in the property which has been signed by a Bellway employee in the sales office, on behalf of Bellway Homes (this is the wording on the form) and by myself

The form details that ,my property will have a tiled roof using grey natural slate tiles. I have been contacted by Bellway to inform me that the roof they have constructed on my property is red slate tiles. Which clearly differs from the grey slate described when we entered into our agreement. I was asked if i was happy with this and following some thought, decided that I wasn't happy because my property wont have the look that we wanted, the roof finish being one reason for choosing that plot!

The property is a semi detached and I have been informed that my future neighbour is content with the change in materials therefore this limits my options!!

I have informed Bellway that I appreciate re-change in roof is not the way forward because I know my neighbours feeling, and I don't like the idea of upsetting a new neighbour before weve even moved in/met. Also I appreciate that changing the material on the roof would be costly and time consuming and would hold up the whole chain of buyers/purchasers.

I have therefore provided them (as requested) with a list of 'wants' to appease my displeasure and they refused all of these insisting no compensation is required.

All this despite Bellway's Construction Manager informing me that the wrong dormer was added to my property's roof and the roof was tiled before anyone realised the mistake and this hasn't happened before and that Bellway have now "moved on" the site manager at the time of the mistake.

Because we haven't yet exchanged contracts, Bellway are offering to refund my £1000 reservation fee so we can purchase a different property, even though there are no other properties available on the site.

Does anyone have any advice? I am at my wits end and cant seem to find a resolution or a Ombudsman or Regulator to go to without going to court which will be costly!

Please help


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Re: Change of materials during construction of new build
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 10:41:27 am »
You bought on the basis that your roof would have grey natural slate tiles.
This would clearly mean your roof was being tiled using actual slate, not something that looks like or is a slate colour.
As far as I am aware there is no such thing as a red slate.
I suspect they mean red flat concrete interlocking roof tiles as opposed to natural slate coloured concrete interlocking tiles which is what they should be described as.

What your neighbour wants or prefers is somewhat irrelevant. I expect he is actually indifferent and Bellway are using his view as a reason not to change the tiles to what they should have been - those that have been approved by the planners.  You may even find that the planners require you to change the tiles at your cost in the future unless they are approved before you complete the purchase. You may even be unable to sell the home if a buyer's solicitor is on the ball and spots the planning breach.

You also have to wonder, given that the site management cannot even ensure the correct materials are used on the right plots, what the rest of the home will be like!  At least this site manager has gone!
Mistakes happen of course and the correct course of action is that Bellway should change the roof tiles to natural slate as specified.
But not only will slates be more expensive, they will have also paid for the roof to be tiles twice.

I would advise that you insist on the correct roof tiles to be used. Yours and your neighbour's houses will be more attractive to future buyers and will be worth more with a slate roof. If, as I suspect, Bellway continue to try to fight this, you can use the Consumer Code for Home Builders to claim compensation (for refund of justifiable expenses) as they have failed to comply with the requirements, although that have at least offered for you to walk away and refund your reservation fee.  They also informed you and it is clear this is a mistake and not a deliberate attempt to misdescribe. 

You will also be aware, with the current Help-to-Buy stampede along with rising prices (new homes up 7% this year) that Bellway will be able to sell your home at a higher price to someone else and may even have someone in reserve!

If Bellway are not prepared to change the tiles to slate walk away.
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The Brickkicker

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Re: Change of materials during construction of new build
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 01:46:33 pm »
House builders will always have some form of weasel words in their contracts which allow them to substitute materials.

However ..check that substitution of materials has been approved by planners ..otherwise they could be in bother all materials have to be approved...mostly this is a paperwork exercise ...but sometimes the look of a development can be ruined by the change of materials.
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