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Recent Posts

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Snagging and defects / Mould from wet timbers during construction
« Last Post by storeysway on April 12, 2024, 04:14:56 pm »
Hello


First of all just wanted to say thanks for all the advice contained on these forums- has proven to be a very useful reference!

Just wanted to ask for some specific advice please; 2 weeks after moving into a new-build (constructed by Curo) we decided to open the loft hatch for a nosey. Unfortunately we discovered many of the roofing structure valley boards to be covered in black spots of mould. These boards seem to be made of plywood and none of the other roofing timbers (made of different wood) are affected. No sign of condensation and the mould is very crusty and dry in appearance.

Had a Pre Completion Inspection carried out and there was no mention of this in the report

Contacted customer care with photographs who responded fairly rapidly stating their senior site manager has had a look at the photos saying “the mould on the valley boards would have been caused by wetness due to poor weather conditions, before the roof would’ve been complete. He has stated that this should disappear quite quickly”.

What are your thoughts on this? I have responded by saying that I’m unhappy that this was not cleaned off prior to legal completion, and that as there are copious mould spores (whether dormant or not) present on multiple surfaces I am requesting that all mould residue is now removed from the contaminated surfaces.

Interestingly our “7-day snag” visit is not happening until next week owed to staff being on holiday, so will press this then as there has been no further communication.

Could I please check that you agree this is a reasonable request on my behalf to have the mould removed, especially as the developer has acknowledged in writing it was caused during construction as opposed to a condensation issue on my behalf? Furthermore I’m not quite sure that mould just “disappears”!

Thank you
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House Builders / New Biodiversity Net Gain Law
« Last Post by HillaryMitchell on April 10, 2024, 03:32:33 pm »
Hi guys,
just a heads up for who didn't know, apparently there's a new law that came into force in England a couple of weeks ago, aka if you're building/planning something you have to meet some quotas for biodiversity.
I had half a freakout when I found out, because if all is not in order one cannot sell! 
Anyway, I found this tool to check if you are exempt or ought to meet the requirements, hope it helps you guys as well!

https://www.joesblooms.com/bng-tool
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Snagging and defects / Developer dissolved in first two years - nothing fixed
« Last Post by kcg_nz on April 09, 2024, 01:34:43 pm »
Long story short - I am having issues in a less than two year old groundfloor newbuild flat (terrace conversion) with a lot of loud creaking and Microcracking happening when upstairs flat is walking around. Spend my entire time at home in noise cancelling headphones.

After raising this with the developer, nothing was done, chased etc, and then the developer (very small company) subsquently disolved.

When this was raised with warranty provider (ICW) after checking with the underwriters they concluded that it isn't classed as a structural defect, and snagging defects are the developers responsibility within the first two year period. In the case where the developer does not rectify these issues, responsibility does not fall back on the insurer. The policy states that in the first two year period 'your builder/developer provides the initial warrany on your home' so claims go through them. And it does not sound like ICW assume the warranty in the case of the developer dissolving.

With the developers company dissolved, the only company I could bring any claims against (i.e though Financial Ombusoman) is ICW. But it does not sound like I have a claim here.

Interested to hear if anyone has had any luck getting something like this classed as a structural defect and reimbursed through the warranty provider - or in getting their warranty provider to assume responsibility for the initial warranty in the case of the developer dissolving. If anyone thinks I could have a case here with the FOS that ICW has unfairly refused to assist given the developer has dissolved?

Or should I accept my warranty is not worth the paper it's written on, I've made a costly mistake buying a new build from a small developer, and try to find thousands of ££ to rectify this myself whilst crying into my beer?
4
Landscaping and Gardening / Garden utilities drawings
« Last Post by jekojordi88 on April 04, 2024, 10:34:42 am »
Hello everyone,

I bought a new house in December 2021 from Barratt and since day one I have flooding issues in my garden around an inspection chamber within 3 meters from my external wall.

I started emailing Barratt in the Spring of 2022 and they didn't do anything because they were saying that the water was draining within 72 hours and the soil needed some time. After several emails, I had given up since it seemed improving over time.

In 2023, I called a landscaper to install some slabs and they found out the manhole was full of water. When the landscaper removed the soil around the outlet pipe, we could clearly see the pipe was going upward and thus the inclination was wrong. At this point, Barratt accepted to rectify the issue and as a solution their ground workers raised the manhole few inches. The flooding close to the house stopped but it started flooding at the end of the garden (lowest point) close to the fence. This means my fence is constantly under water and thus the wood is rotting.

This year, out of curiosity, I opened up the manhole and noticed that the inlet pipe is lower than the manhole and thus it doesn't drain any water. I contacted Barratt and they came back with the same story of the 72 hours; they also pointed out that since I have installed slabs all along my fence now the flooding is my fault.

Now, I thought about fixing the issue on my own, however I have requested the utilities drawings of the garden since I don't know where the french drain runs. Barratt has refused to share the drawings, is it normal?

I am out of the 2 years warranty but the issue was initially raised within the 2 years warranty. I am sure their "fix" is what caused the new flooding, so hopefully Barratt agrees to come and fix their mess.
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If it was reported to the builder (please name and shame!)  then you are still covered by an NHBC warranty and the builder is still on the hook.
Trouble is it is now a long time without being fixed.

My guess is, if you are successful with the NHBC and they cannot get the builder to fix these things, they will only be prepared to offer you a cash sum to cover the cost of the work, not actually organise and employ a contractor to do it.
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I've been banging my head against the wall for the last 3 years with the same issue.

One of my biggest struggles is I can't find a Surveyor who is actually familiar with 'microcracking' in new builds to write a sensible report - any recommendations are very welcome!!!

My suggestions are check your contract - was it a design and build is there a quality clause in there? If you have house insurance you may have legal protection insurance on it or pay for a solicitor to check it over for you. Just be careful if they are finishing the development they are not going to wind up the company.

Who is your Structural Warranty with? Have a check of the wording and see if it is covered if it is NHBC it may have a design and quality clause. If it like ours and a small company it is not worth the paper it is written on.....
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Hi: we're buying a new home and would appreciate your thoughts on this brickwork.

We're already exchanged and this wall has supposedly already passed NHBC inspection.

To me it is wavy with one row clearly having more mortar below than above, with a couple of bricks being very poorly aligned.

Sorry for the picture quality, but we can't get any closer.

My partner isn't as bothered by it as me, so let me know if my expectations are too high!

Thank you for your help,

-Danny
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Snagging and defects / Re: Issue in unfinished new build
« Last Post by Admin on March 19, 2024, 01:30:38 pm »
Get the house professionally snagged and inspected BEFORE you legally complete and do not legally complete until you have checked yourself that all issues have been addressed.
You have a right to have the home inspected before you are required to legally complete.

It would be useful for others to know who the housebuilder is.

Regarding the mould. This can and should be wiped off with a bleach solution and can be repainted over with undercoat before the wall paint is applied over it.  I suspect the house is still drying out and the heating has not been on with windows and window vents open.

Write to the housebuilder with a list of what you are not happy with so far.
None of it seems unreasonable and remember, anything you see now and not sorted will haunt and annoy you everyday once you have moved in.

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Snagging and defects / Issue in unfinished new build
« Last Post by MG7410 on March 19, 2024, 09:36:21 am »
We are in the process of buying a new build from a small private developer.
We were able to view the property yesterday and I came away feeling really disappointed. It's far from finished, and my husband feels we should allow them time to finish and then address any concerns, but I can't help feel that we should be sorting these things out now.

Issues are-
1. Toilet has been positioned too close to a wall that has a heated towel rail on it.
2. Landing light has been repositioned several times, each time leaving holes in the ceiling. I know these can be patched, but I'm worried it won't ever look neat.
3. Kitchen has just been fitted though is currently covered over pending painting the walls. I was able to lift the edge and take a look at the hob. It's been positioned off centre to the extractor fan above.
4. The splashback is also off centre (albeit 3-4mm, but still). This is due to an electrical socket being positioned too close to the area. You can clearly see they've attempted to move the socket as there's plaster been gouged out from around it, leaving a great big hole, and all the debris is on my new worktop under the so-called protective cover.
5. There is some serious mould in the house, especially the kitchen where it is thick and furry. Could also see some in the living room but they did have a very small electric heater in there, and to be honest, I couldn't feel any warmth coming from it.

My concerns is that they will try and palm me off by saying it's normal in a new build, but both me and my husband have both separately bought new builds in the past and never had a problem with mould. I'm also worried that it'll just be wiped off and painted, but will cause us problems in the future.
I feel that some of these issues are sloppy errors, and maybe they'll be OK in the end, but it concerns me that these are errors that we can see - what about the ones we can't.
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Snagging and defects / Re: DPC and air bricks below the ground level
« Last Post by ls523 on March 18, 2024, 10:58:10 pm »
Thank you so much for the reply. You said that "DPC below the bi-fold doors is normal. It should be 150mm above finished ground level at either side of the door." Does it mean that DPC at either side of the doors doesn't need to be at the same level as below the bi-fold doors? I've been told by the developer that "a bridge of the DPC should be avoided", which is why they had the DPC below the bi-fold doors and below the ground level at both sides of the doors. I am very confused, as obviously the DPC needs to go below the bi-fold doors, which require a level threshold hence the ground level is now above the DPC. If the DPC goes straight from one side of the wall through the bottom edge of the doors to the other side, how could it be 150mm above ground level? Or is it that the DPC could be 150mm above the ground level at either side, go around the bottom of the doors, and then go back up to the other side 150mm above the ground level?

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