Author Topic: Walker homes Scotland Advice please Ref various noises  (Read 601 times)

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firstnewbuild

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Walker homes Scotland Advice please Ref various noises
« on: August 20, 2017, 09:17:24 am »
Hello everyone thanks for taking the time to read this and any advice would be much appreciated, I would like to point out it's a timber frame home. :-\

We moved into our first new build home by Walker Homes in Dumbarton on March 2014 and to say I was naive was an understatement. The list of "Snags" within the first two years has been lengthy to say the least, but through mainly persistence the majority has been rectified for example:

1) Glass windows replaced due to damage prior to moving in.
2) Tile breaking through the night in the shower cubicle.
3) Interior doors replaced due to delaminating.
4) Car port re rendered due to cracking.
5) Failed switches.
6) Crack in render at the front of the house.
7) Mono blocks replaced numerous times and kept sinking.
I could go on and on, all in an email folder.

They have just completed drainage works to the rear garden and re turfed after three years of evidencing how the garden was just a drain for other properties as we are at the lowest point. Had to start a case with the NHBC to get this works carried out.

I have two outstanding issues that were reported within the first two years-
1) When you are flushing any of the toilets (refilling) or turning the hot water on in the sink there is a ticking noise from the ceiling in the kitchen which you can also hear coming from the bedroom floor above. This seems to be only when they have not been used in a while.
Walker have advised again no proposed actions, I requested an inspection from the customer care manager which is being scheduled.
If after this the proposal it is still the same I will be going through the NHBC.

2) The turn at the top of the stairs has five steps and during the first two years they carried out a repair on the top two as they were creaking. Now all five stairs creak and the last step before the landing flexes in the middle under body weight. Again no proposed actions and an inspection is taking place as above.

If I have to get the NHBC involved in this I know for a fact that all the carpet gripper was attached with nails to the stairs as it was their fitter that fitted all the flooring as part of the sale deal and most of the flooring has been fitted twice as the majority was cut short.
 
Recently there has been what can only be described as a cracking noise from the ceiling in the living room when someone is walking in the bedrooms above, bedroom 2 & 3 both cover the living room. The Walker group advised me that ceilings were not covered in year 3-10.
I have noticed over the past couple of days that the bedroom floors in both rooms are cracking under body weight in areas and this seems to be related to the noise in the living room. I am unsure who to contact first in relation to this as it seems the floor boards are moving/flexing and whether the NHBC warranty will cover this? Are the floor boards classed as structural? The main noise seems to be the same distance from the wall in both rooms if that makes any difference? We are not planning to move home any time soon and the fact that there are noises in year 4 doesn’t give me confidence going forward specifically where the NHBC stats that the structural components should last 60 years.

Any advice and help would be very much appreciated specifically on the last item as I know builders try and palm you of with rubbish and you have to be very careful how you present this to the NHBC to ensure that it meets their requirements to be covered. If you require any other information please ask.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this Kevin  :)


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Re: Walker homes Scotland Advice please Ref various noises
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 07:38:45 am »
Walker Homes do not have a great reputation for building quality or putting things right afterwards as you are discovering.

1) The clicking noise is the pipes expanding or contracting as water goes through them. Because they are trapped in the floor structure somewhere you here the clicking. Most good plumbers wrap the pipes in hair felt, which will stop this clicking noise.

2) The kite winders which you are talking about the rises have detached from the treads. Most builders blame the carpet fitters nailing gripper rods and in doing so detaching the stairs.  But in this case it was Walker's own bodger contractor who were reckless and Walker should attended to this.

3) Cracking noises from ceilings.
Floor boards are not structural but the joists are!
This is serious and can be due to a number of factors. In most cases the floor joists are spread to far apart for the spans involved. Work to fix this will mean you and your home contents moving out whilst the floor and ceilings are taken down.
If it is not due to excessive deflection, you will still have to move out.
Check this post out as most builders don't know how to stop the noise!

For anyone else reading this, please take note of Walker Homes attitude to attending to defects in a new home they have built. This is not an isolated case! 

New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

Tim Fee Snagging Inspector

firstnewbuild

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Re: Walker homes Scotland Advice please Ref various noises
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 01:50:51 pm »
Thanks for your advice.
Since we are in year 4 and never reported the noise from the flooring who should we notify first?
And what recourse do we actually have ?
Thanks again and the Facebook group is a great idea.


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Re: Walker homes Scotland Advice please Ref various noises
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 06:10:17 am »
As with most housebuilders after year 2 you only have the warranty provider to go to unless it is a previously reported item that has not been properly addressed within the first tow years.

I don't hold out too much hope with the warranty provider either as they will know and have experience of how to refuse and negate your warranty claim.

This is why a New Homes Ombudsman is badly needed.
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firstnewbuild

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Re: Walker homes Scotland Advice please Ref various noises
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2017, 12:37:46 pm »
As per your prediction.
I called the NHBC on Monday and went through the noises and explained I had taken advice over what potentially this could be, I was asked to check the gaps between the flooring and the skirting boards. After pulling the carpets back the ones at the exterior wall are tight to the flooring and the partition walls have a gap of a knife, which I assume would just be as the fitter installed them as there is no obvious signs of dropping in that area.

I was told, as you thought, that unless there is signs of structural movement then it would not be covered. After having a couple of days to mull things over I have decided the next course of action is to contact Walker Group with the videos included after all, they built the house and if nothing else should be able to advice me on what they think it is. This will gauge how honest they are with regards to the joint statement by the NHBC, GDPA and the Engineered Wood Product manufacturer's.

I'm still waiting on a response over the inspection I have requested by the Customer care manager about the stairs and the noisy pipe, will give them to the end of the week.

Just making a point of keeping everyone updated as with many posts on here people take advice and never come back with outcomes even if it does take along time. And if nothing else will show what Walker Group Scotland are made of......

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Re: Walker homes Scotland Advice please Ref various noises
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2017, 06:34:39 am »
Just making a point of keeping everyone updated as with many posts on here people take advice and never come back with outcomes even if it does take along time. And if nothing else will show what Walker Group Scotland are made of......

That is why I set up the forum.  As you point out, most come here get the advice they are looking for and never come back. Even a simple "thank you" seems beyond some!
It is essential to build up a picture of both what is wrong in the industry and which housebuilders are better or worse at sorting problems out.
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firstnewbuild

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Re: Walker homes Scotland Advice please Ref various noises
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2017, 12:06:42 pm »
UPDATE

As expected I have now requested an inspection by the NHBC for the stairs and pipe noise.
I also advised them about the noises coming from bedroom 1 & 2/living room ceiling.
I have to ask the inspector when he is here about the bedroom noises to see if this is something that is covered under the NHBC warranty.
The Walker group After Sales manager will also be attending, you really have to wonder why they go through all this ? Is it to wear home owners down so they give up? 
Thanks for all your advice so far NEW HOMES EXPERT I will be using some of your expertise guidance during the inspection.
 

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Re: Walker homes Scotland Advice please Ref various noises
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2017, 09:56:42 am »
The general idea is to try and hang out the expensive serious defects for as long as possible in the hope the buyer will give up chasing for the work to be done.  On most occasions, any excuse or explanation will be given to avoid doing anything that will be costly in both money and time.

In any dispute with a corporate entity, most believe that consumers will give up after around 2 years of getting no where.
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.