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Author Topic: Bad Build - We Really Need Help  (Read 3956 times)

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NotMeAgain

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Bad Build - We Really Need Help
« on: December 12, 2023, 10:39:59 am »
I think we need to rescind our contract, but have not been able to find the right solicitor to help us.
Failing that, I think we need some legal protections against the builder as they are steam rolling us and we have no support.

Please help us.

The Story:

We moved in to this "builder will guarantee construction to NHBC standards" home 5 years ago and have had a raft of mostly small issues, since - it was built by one of the big ones, but withholding the name in case it complicates legal stuff.

We had a kid, and this prompted us to get many small snags pushed through and fixed.
Rooms kept getting stupidly cold once the heating turned off, and our heating bill started to gain a few zeros.

During the course of them rectifying small faults (door not fitting, draughts under the bath etc), we just kept finding little thing after little thing, and raised issues with noise complaints (we can hear our neighbours urinating!)

Their customer services reps and head of inspections berated me with the usual builder jargon: "Built to NHBC standards, Robust details section E, etc", to avoid running any tests for us.

So like any good home owner, aware of the 2 year liability period, I pored over those standards and regulations and queried every deviation I could find.

Pipe work under the bath just ran into a hole in the wall, no insulation or stopping, and wind whistled through.
The most egregious and obvious was the waste pipes were not insulated, contravening the NHBC standards, they came and shoved some insulation in and called it a day.

Fast forward to 6 months ago - I am still battling with the builder after 4 years to get the small issues looked at!

I had a roofer in our attic checking for leaks, and he queries the party wall.
He points to the apex and states he can pass his hand clean through to the neighbours home, and that it should be fully insulated against fire.

I check the regulations and sure enough, that's not up to snuff - I did some research and find out that it's actually ILLEGAL for it to be constructed this way.
I chase the builder, who send their head of inspections to have a look.

He also passes his hands through the wall. Then leaves and does nothing.
No report to the builder, no remediation, nothing. He didn't contact our neighbours.

12 weeks pass and they send a "bodge it and scarper" maintenance crew who tell me:
"That's a roofer's job and we're not trained in firestopping" - they didn't know the regulations, didn't know the NHBC standards and argued with me AND the actual technical drawings in the NHBC standards.

I refused to allow them to fix it with "expanding foam" and insisted that they carry out an inspection in the other areas I had highlighted.

They found:

  • Missing firestops and huge holes around service pipes:

  • Incorrect materials and insufficient closing around pipes:

    • Entire areas of boxing missing, entire areas uninsulated:

    • Missing firestops, and entire sections of insulation across the entire front and back of the house...
      There is 12.5mm of plasterboard and a 6inch strip of rockwool between my sons bed and the guttering outside.

      • Cooker extractor fan was never connected and had been venting combustion products into our home.
      • Immersion heater was wired incorrectly and had shorted, actively melting the socket every time it power cycled.

      Builder has just replied that they can "fix it" but have only listed what I can visually see, and refuse further inspections.

      They have not built this house to NHBC standards, and we bought new - off plan - because of the contractual guarantees, so we could avoid all of this hassle and actually be able to enjoy starting a family.

      It's been 5 years of hell, and we want out.

      Please help!







NotMeAgain

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Re: Bad Build - We Really Need Help
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2023, 10:47:34 am »
I messed up the videos, they are here


  • Missing firestop in the attic: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70-bk70arBA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70-bk70arBA</a>[/youtube]
    • Missing firestops and huge holes around service pipes: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CknJpfNENM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CknJpfNENM</a>
    • Incorrect materials and insufficient closing around pipes: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9P3uOLdOT0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9P3uOLdOT0</a>
    • Entire areas of boxing missing, entire areas uninsulated: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YX_bSHDMUU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YX_bSHDMUU</a>
    • Missing firestops, and entire sections of insulation across the entire front and back of the house...
      There is 12.5mm of plasterboard and a 6inch strip of rockwool between my sons bed and the guttering outside.
      <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LRQ2SdASzQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LRQ2SdASzQ</a>
    • Cooker extractor fan was never connected and had been venting combustion products into our home.
    • Immersion heater was wired incorrectly and had shorted, actively melting the socket every time it power cycled.



New Home Expert

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Re: Bad Build - We Really Need Help
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2023, 12:31:57 pm »
First of all, your house is a fire hazard. If there was a fire in your house or the one next door it could be fatal. please check your smoke alarms work right now!
As I know the builder you are talking about. Threatening the CEO with publicity wont work at all, he doesn't care.

What you need is the faults fixed so get the NHBC down first week in January and get them to inspect it.
Send them the video links. Don't let the NHBC fob you off with a cash settlement for the works either.

Everything you mention is dangerous.
Clearly your home has never been properly inspected during and after construction by anyone conscientious. 
Please let your MP know about this as they are being bombarded by the Home Builders Federation spin and PR about improving quality and customer satisfaction. A five star rating means nothing!

A lot of solicitors are only interested in a case if they can see a good chance of
1) Winning and 2) A likely high settlement pay out.
If you have legal expenses insurance it will only be active if the solicitor believes there is more than a 51% chance of winning.

As I said on one of my national TV interviews, plc housebuilders have more money than you do and will keep going as it is a deterrent for other home buyers.

That said a New Homes Ombudsman Service of sorts) does now exist for those that reserved after
2 October 2022.  Google "NHOS" Sadly that is not available to you.

I only suggest Timothy at Andrew Gold. There are others but some take a large retainer and when they have burned through that say they cannot do anymore.
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