Author Topic: New Build Brickwork  (Read 921 times)

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Padge2001

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New Build Brickwork
« on: July 10, 2019, 12:30:02 am »
New poster looking in desperate need of advice

We are currently in the process of purchasing a new build property off-plan. The house is currently being constructed but we are increasingly unhappy with the seemingly poor quality of the brickwork as there are a number of areas on the side of the property which appear to be discoloured and where the work looks incredibly untidy. I have attached an image

There are also pockets where the mortar is darker lower down and can be scratched away.

Are we right to be concerned?

The builder is stating that this is part of the drying out process and that the colours will naturally harmonise but this sounds implausibly. They have also stated that they are still to jet wash the exterior and that this will improve the appearance.

We have yet to exchange, though we have paid a reservation fee of £500 (half of which is refundable) and a contribution towards "extras" which was a few thousand pounds. Although it is still early stages, if we were to decide not to proceed, is there any recourse to get this back.

I will be speaking to the site manager next week

Many thanks in advance for any help


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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 08:31:15 am »
First of all who is your housebuilder?  I'm guessing Persimmon.
This is particularly relevant as a recent post pulled out of the sale having paid thousands for extras and had to go down the legal route to get some of the money refunded, even though the house wasn't built.
http://forum.brand-newhomes.co.uk/david-wilson-homes/nightmare-buying-new-david-wilson-home/msg4377/#msg4377

Looking at your photo, the brickwork is at best a mess. there is evidence of a complete lack of care and a jet wash should never be necessary if care a skill is taken.

I would question, why were the four bricks were removed?
Looking at the staining, it does seem that the cavity is blocked or weep holes missing in places.

The mortar banding will actually weather down a bit, but is does indicate either an inconsistency of mortar mix, something you SHOULD BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT!    or that remedial re pointing has been carried out with a stronger mortar mix (ie a higher cement content)

As for mortar easily falling away powdering when scraped across se the link above, it could be a weak mortar mix and will be no end of hassle for you getting this put right even if you do have an NHBC warranty.
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Padge2001

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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 10:36:04 am »
Thanks for this - reinforces our fears

The builder is Bovis - which only adds to our concern after reading their reviews on Trustpilot and in other places

The bricks along the centre that have been infilled are where the supports for the scaffolding previously were. Is this not standard practice? Disappointingly, we had raised concerns about the quality of the brickwork prior to these been infilled, but they look to be the most sloppy, with mortar that is very dark and almost dark green in colour used that is not consistent with the rest of the exterior.

I am meeting the site manager on Monday to discuss our concerns. Thankfully we have not yet exchanged, although as I noted we have paid thousands of pounds to cover extras including kitchens and carpets but, perhaps naively, I am assuming these can be returned and funds refunded. If we decided not to proceed (looking increasingly likely), I will pursue this with our solicitor (I have had a read of linked post which is helpful - will look into CCHB -thankfully we have used our own solicitors)

I have attached another photo which provides a few from slightly further away.  On here you can see the what looks to be issues on the corners with the bricks not neatly aligned and a gap between the final diagonal wooden roof pane and the horizontal roof pane.

There are other concerns too. At the front of the property, there are some areas where the brickwork appears to be almost brick on brick as the mortar is so thin (few mm - see pic) whilst we have also noticed that the lintel underneath the main front bedroom window has been broken (rather than being square, the edges have been broken off) - do not have a photo of this at the moment. Bovis have stated this is a standard part of building development as it is a live site but will be repaired or replaced later, though it is really quite badly damaged so potentially points to a lack of care and attention.



Padge2001

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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2019, 10:38:12 am »
Other photo

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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 07:25:26 am »
As it is Bovis Homes my advice is cancel.

It is perfectly clear from the quality and "explanations" thus far that Bovis haven't changed and probably never will. 

It is good you have not used any of their recommended solicitors.
Whether you get a full refund or not, would you still want to buy a Bovis new house knowing what you now know, seeing what you are getting, and having years of hassle trying to get the defects and poor workmanship fixed?

Most who live the Bovis nightmare would happily lose around £5,000 just to end it, get away and move on.

As for the bricks. These were replaced because they were damaged when the putlog scaffold was removed. Putlog scaffolding is cheaper than the free-standing scaffolding better housebuilders always use.
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Padge2001

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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2019, 11:29:31 pm »
Just a quick update.

We have been in conversation with Bovis Homes since the date of the original post.

They have acted on some of our concerns, namely:

1. Replacing areas of brickwork where the mortar was too narrow and outside of building regulations. It appears that in all areas where this was the case, the brickwork has been replaced in line with required standards

2. Re-pointing the inspection bricks to ensure a more consistent appearance (it was free-standing scaffolding that was used which I can see from earlier photos we have and these inspection bricks seem to be present on all builds on site)

However, they have not yet replaced the damaged cill (pending on previous site visit 2 weeks ago - they stated this should have been within 6-8 weeks and this is week 8 so we will see if it has been done tomorrow) nor addressed our concerns with regards to the appearance of the inconsistent mortarwork where is it significantly darker in appearance. We therefore explained to the Bovis site team that we were still not happy and that we would therefore be instructing our solicitor not to exchange until we are happy satisfied all remedial work has been completed

We have now been contacted by the Area Sales Manager (I assume there is pressure on the site team to understand why we have not exchanged yet) and will be meeting with him and the Area Build Manager at the site tomorrow evening to discuss our concerns. In line with the guidance on here and from brickies that we know, we will be outlining our belief that the appearance of the mortarwork will not effectively blend in over time and therefore further remedial work is required. As a minimum, we will state that we expect the relevant areas to be re-pointed to deliver a consistent appearance and that we will not consider exchanging until this work is done. In the event that they are not prepared to do this, we will withdraw from the purchase.

We have been advised that this should not actually constitute a large amount of work but will make a big difference to the appearance of the exterior. Given market conditions, and the potential challenges caused by having to re-list the property in the current environment, we are hopeful that they will agree to the required remedial work so a house is delivered in line with our expectations

Would be grateful for any further advice, however. Updated pictures attached

Many thanks in advance

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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2019, 09:45:27 am »
It looks better but I wouldn't accept it as it stands.
I fully expect Bovis will tell you to exchange by a certain date deadline or you will lose the house and your reservation fee and all other costs.

If they truly have changed as their CEO says, they will do the work and make you happy.

Time will tell!

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Padge2001

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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2019, 09:56:06 am »
Thanks

Is repointing the minimum you would expect?

I am prepared for the challenge around exchange. We have our own solicitors, who have been great so far, and we would be prepared to take further action if they sought to hold onto the money we have paid for the extras in the event we did not proceed. This is mainly for items such as flooring and carpet which will not be done for some time.

Hopefully it will not come to that though and they will agree to completion of the required work. All properties on the site have now either reserved or exchanged and they are already advertising the next development in the site office so I feel they are just keen to get everything done, particularly in the current environment.

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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2019, 06:53:28 am »
Yes it should all be repointed. 25mm deep rake out and repoint.
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Repton buyer

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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2019, 10:19:29 am »
Quote
"I am prepared for the challenge around exchange. We have our own solicitors, who have been great so far, and we would be prepared to take further action if they sought to hold onto the money we have paid for the extras in the event we did not proceed. This is mainly for items such as flooring and carpet which will not be done for some time."
Bear in mind one trick they use is ordering the flooring and carpets the week you submit your choices and thus they argue that they have an financial outlay which they must recover (that you agreed to somewhere in the paperwork) meaning you could end up not getting everything back if you pull out.

The key here is not being afraid to cut your losses. Sometimes it is better to spend £2,000 to walk away than £20,000 later, or the cost of not having your house the way you want it.

Good luck,

Padge2001

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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2019, 07:36:04 pm »
Just a quick update - following our previous meeting it was agreed that the build team would complete the required remediation to the mortar work

We are visiting the site on Tuesday to inspect the improvement works.

We know, however, that they did not start the work until Friday - due to delays in completing the services - meaning that there were still trenches around the property preventing the use of scaffolding until last week. The services were completed and the scaffolding in place on Thursday evening though in readiness for the work to be completed.

We expect that due to the delay in commencing the work, the replacement mortar may not be fully dry and the builders know that we will not proceed to Exchange until we are happy that the exterior is consistent in appearance. The sales team have also explained that the property will proceed to CML approval on  the 17th so the property should otherwise be in an advanced state for us to inspect.

Any further advice and guidance would be appreciated

Big thanks!



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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2019, 01:34:34 pm »
Have the house professionally and independently snagged and  inspected.
Sounds to me its being rushed.
Who is the builder?
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Padge2001

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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2019, 09:54:46 pm »
The builder is Bovis Homes.

The rake out was completed on Thursday and the re-pointing to the 8 or so lines of affected mortar around the property on Friday

The scaffolding has now been removed but on visiting today, the new mortar is very dark (even more so than before). We know that there is a drying process but wanted to get a sense of how long this this may take and if, given the current appearance, it is still likely to dry out with an appearance consistent with that of the rest of the mortar?

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Re: New Build Brickwork
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2019, 10:02:38 am »
The new mortar is wet. It might takes weeks to dry out properly in this weather.
The darker the mortar the likelihood of more cement so it will last longer and not erode.

The mortar was never going to match 100% unless the whole wall was done.
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