New Home Owners And Snagging Forum

Advice on buying a brand new home => Snagging and defects => Topic started by: Spikecast on June 05, 2018, 11:28:06 am

Title: Bellway Home - Floor not level upstairs
Post by: Spikecast on June 05, 2018, 11:28:06 am
Hi All,

New to the forum and wanted to kindly ask for some advice on an issue with our Bellway house that we purchased in January 2018. Shortly after moving in we noticed an incline when walking from the landing area up into our daughter's bedroom at the front of the house. We had someone come out from Bellway who was fixing some other snagging issues who was asked to look at the floor, initially he claimed he couldn't notice the difference when walking up and down a few times, after 5 minutes or so he said actually I see what you mean. He did some measurements including lifting of the carpets and to my knowledge said the joist at my daughter's room is too high and that the joist at the end of the landing is too low and he reckoned it was about 14mm out.

Then around a month ago had the Operations Manager out from their Yorkshire division and a joiner to have a look, they basically put a spirit level down and said yes its out and suggested a remedy for the issue. We were informed they would lay boards down over the existing floorboards and use a "powder based" product to lay over the top, they suspected it would be the joist issue I've previously mentioned, we were told this was a two day job and this "powder based" product would be a "thin layer" and that the work would take two days. NHBC guidelines state you must give them a chance to remedy the problem so we agreed for this to be done as we were told it would be "the least inconvenient way to solve the issue." We also had the floor creaking at each end of the joist around the "low and high" areas of each joist.

Last week the work commenced on Tuesday as agreed. I told the joiner that attended that the creaking was getting worse (I have a video recording of this) and that I had concerns that it was because the wood resting on the joists wasn't level. He said he would screw all of the boards down in that area as that "should sort it". Around 40 minutes later he came downstairs and told me that they had "fixed the creaking". I told him it still sounded horrendous in the living room and he said "there's nothing else I can do".

He then instructed a worker to lay the "screed" over the boards they had put over the original boards (I believe they used varying thicknesses of plywood over the large area to 'level' out the floor). I then raised my concerns again with regards to the creaking with the guy laying the screed and he spoke with the joiner with regards to my concern. They then reluctantly removed the plywood boards they had laid and cut out various sections of the original floorboards as they now believed the metal hangers were causing the creaking. They managed to mostly solve the creaking by placing more screws into the metal hangers, whilst also under the floorboards he said that he could see that the beam wasn't level but at no point did they say maybe we should stop now we know exactly why the floor wasn't level and continued to go on with laying additional boards and screed down. They then re-laid the plywood boards and got the guy back in to lay screed across the floor. The level of the screed was shocking and the original boards were clearly too thick in some areas and too thin in others. Later that evening I noticed there was a crack in my living room ceiling and a line running away from the crack as well as a bulge.

The next day (wed) I phoned up the joiner and complained about the damage to my ceiling and complained about the state of the screed and how uneven it was, he was ready to lay my carpets back down without even checking the work. He claimed that the reason the ceiling had cracked and had a visible bulge was because the guy working with him "put a wedge in there" which caused the damage and told me that he shouldn't have so. Apparently he put the wedge in at plasterboard level trying to solve the floor creaking issue.

They had also laid screed in area's we didn't agree on (for example in our airing cupboard which has heating pipes now surrounded by it). They spent all of Wednesday deciding what to do and no further work was carried out despite numerous promises someone would return to tell me what was going on, it was initially inspected on the morning and we were told it wasn't acceptable.

On Thursday last week the joiner + 1 re-attended and said that the guy who laid the screed hadn't done it correctly (despite no one actually showing him exactly where it should and should not be laid) so they would get another guy out to lay a "different type of screed" which would sort the issue. He came and laid additional screed in area's advised by the joiner. We allowed it to dry and checked it the next day with a spirit level and it was out in various area's and the whole floor to walk on feels bumpy and looks a mess. We phoned up on Thursday evening to say how unhappy we were with the whole thing that we feel the original problem needed resolving as this wasn't acceptable.  We were told he would speak with his "boss" and report back to us first thing Friday.

On Friday morning I walked around with the joiner and expressed my concerns about how poor it looked and felt to walk on and how most areas were still not acceptable, at this point most of the screed was feathered into my daughters room so barely any of her floor is original boards and is caked in screed. I told him I didn't want any further work carried out and I wanted the carpets relaying. The same guy who carried out the screed (and who was to also re-lay the carpets) re-attended and informed me they were going to add more screed down (against my request not to) and he was going to use a stone to rub down areas where it was rough. The guy was really rude to us throughout and we questioned how you can apply additional screed and how it would dry within 2 hours. He ignored us and continued to work and laid the carpet two hours later and left.

When we inspected the floor now with all carpets laid, it is now built up so much around the bathroom and 3 bedrooms that when you walk from room to landing etc it feels like there is decent step up onto the floor and it doesn't feel smooth to walk on (they only laid cheap underlay) and it is still not level in a good few areas. I phoned up the joiner to inform him of how rude that guy was that laid the screed and carpets and how it was totally not acceptable, my partner walked from the bathroom to the landing on a few occasions and nearly broke her neck tripping over because of the huge gap in the carpet grip from the raised landing to the lower bathroom floor. I also sent an email to bellway x 2 expressing my concerns around safety and the standard of the work carried out as well as work being done without my agreement and in area's we didn't agree on.

Yesterday (Monday 4th June) I finally (after lot of a chasing) got a call back from the operations manager who said he would send out the site manager and assistant site manager to inspect it and "report back their findings". They turned up and said it's "fine" in my daughter's room to the landing area (but admitted to a 'slight' dip across the original problem area) however the other rooms to the landing were built up too much. I told them I want the whole lot ripping up and the original beams fixing so the floor is level.

They admit to the whole area originally (before any additional boards or screed being laid) being out of tolerances. I've made contact with NHBC who told me I have to let them try and fix the issue before they get involved, which obviously we've done and they are now at "resolution stage" and will come out to inspect it on Monday 11th June. We've also raised concerns that if we needed to carry out repairs to any wiring under the floor where the screed is that it would be difficult to get under and then we would have to pay for it to be re-levelled out across that area. They've tried to fob us off by saying you would just go through the ceiling below?! Also they've damaged our ceiling downstairs, which they are now saying is because "he whacked a wedge in and heard it pop so the wedge was removed. I honestly don't believe a word they say.

I've been onto my house insurer as we have legal protection, who say we may have a case to to take them to court for breach of contract in the respect that the floors should be level (within reason) and the fact they've caused damage to property and potentially financial loss if we have to pay to get it fixed ourselves, as well as all of the stress and hassle its cause with my children sleeping elsewhere and it's worse than the original issue.

I'm just wanting any advice and if this is an acceptable remedy? I don't even trust that the NHBC will listen to our concerns and claim it's acceptable. It was even suggested by the site manager yesterday that they should have feathered it out into the other rooms?!

Thanks in advance,



Title: Re: Bellway Home - Floor not level upstairs
Post by: New Home Expert on June 06, 2018, 08:59:36 am
Quite frankly this is a perfect example of a bodge, making the original problem much worse and creating other issues.
It is always better to fully investigate the cause and correct it, no mater how much work is involved than try and "get over" it with a highly suspect bodge.

The self levelling latex screed does dry quite quickly and can be used to level out small imperfections on floors but not of this magnitude.

Bellway are a supposed 5 star rated housebuilder yet they allow their managers and trades to do this?

Your legal protection on your home insurance is quite correct. It is breach of contract. The contract probably states something like clause 17 below. No judge would agree that this is built to a  workmanlike manner.

Please feedback on the resolution as I have my suspicion that the NHBC will side with Bellway homes. That said the joist are structural and will become the NHBC's liability in years 3 to 10 under the warranty, something which you might choose to point out to them!

Title: Re: Bellway Home - Floor not level upstairs
Post by: Spikecast on June 06, 2018, 10:06:29 am

Many thanks for the reply.
I agree that I can see NHBC siding with Bellway and I will certainly feedback what's happened on Monday.

Ironically one of the workmen actually said "Well let's not forget NHBC passed this work off" so maybe playing them off may work in my favour. I will be advising all parties (Bellway and NHBC) on Monday that I will be seeking legal action if this is not done to standard.


Title: Re: Bellway Home - Floor not level upstairs
Post by: Spikecast on June 08, 2018, 05:31:44 pm
Just to update:

We had an unexpected call from Bellway today to ask if the construction manager could come and inspect the floor. My partner was home when he attended and he basically said the job was done completely wrong and the wrong materials used and apologised.

They have agreed to sort the original fault out and relay original boards. I’ve asked for a copy in writing of what they intend to do and confirmation that they made a botch job of the original agreement.

I’ve also requested compensation for the hassle so I will be interested to see if they offer anything. I’ve also got the NHBC coming as planned on Monday as I want them to see the shoddy workmanship. I will report back with any developments.
Title: Re: Bellway Home - Floor not level upstairs
Post by: New Home Expert on June 09, 2018, 08:07:19 am
It's good (and refreshing) that at least someone in this dreadful industry is prepared to stand up and admit we've done it wrong and we will fix it properly this time.

Let's hope the NHBC are also positive with their support and backing.
Title: Re: Bellway Home - Floor not level upstairs
Post by: Spikecast on June 12, 2018, 11:40:28 pm
NHBC arrived yesterday, they weren't happy that Bellway didn't bother to inform them of the work we have not agreed. The guy that came out was fine with us and took some photo's.
He informed me they bill Bellway £350 per visit usually, no wonder they wanted to come in and agree to sort it before they arrived!
They are flat out refusing to pay compensation out.
Not sure whether to pursue it as I think they are hoping I will get sick and forget about it.
Title: Re: Bellway Home - Floor not level upstairs
Post by: New Home Expert on June 14, 2018, 09:31:28 am
All housebuilders claim they don't pay compensation but they all do in the end.
Stick with it, make a nuisance of yourself on social media.
I think Bellway Homes will pay compensation in the end.
 Claiming compensation from a housebuilder  (

Good to know the NHBC charge housebuilders for every warranty claim visit.
But £350 is small beer to these plc Goliaths raking in taxpayer-funded help to buy profits
Title: Re: Bellway Home - Floor not level upstairs
Post by: steve2018 on October 03, 2018, 04:34:05 pm
What a car crash of a job!
Sorry to see this has been done so badly.
Self-leveling screed is the new deal offered by firms, I used it as advised by my supplier.
They did a great job.
I hope you get your compensation and going by the date of this post, at least have some idea of payment.