Author Topic: Multi-Award winning Taylor Wimpey homes are rotting, and we're stuck for help!  (Read 10024 times)

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PaulM

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We have BIG problems on our estate.  
I can't really sum them up fully here, but essentially timber frames, wet and dry rot, over 60%  of the estate labelled "at risk" after six years since potential problems with leaks first raised with, and indeed "fixed" by Taylor Wimpey.

All the new homes have NHBC warranty and they also did the Building Control.
Reports show in some cases NHBC guidelines were not followed?!  It is such a mess, help!

For more on our story click the link to our blog Oxley Woods A resident's view

We had our story covered by the Architects' Journal "Oxley Woods residents - we are in a terrible situation" but you need a login to read it!

I'm really just trying to get some exposure on this as Taylor Wimpey, their sub-contractors and the NHBC are still taking a "it's OK, we'll just roll on and "fix" your homes". But when the same people have screwed up time and again over six or more years, we need someone we can trust signing off any surveys and repair works.

We're stuck. :(

Thanks in advance.

Paul


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What a sorry state of affairs!
Time and time again learn of buyer's experiences with both house builders and the NHBC who fail to act quickly to sort out problems with defects in new homes.
In your case, it could be argued that had they done so the homes would not now be rotting!

All you can do now is generate as much bad publicity for both the NHBC and Taylor Wimpey.
I am of the opinion that perhaps for those that agree, the NHBC should buy the homes affected at full market price, releasing buyers from their hell.  (Note: The NHBC have done this in the past in certain circumstances.) For those that choose to stay, the NHBC will need to ensure that appoint a bone-fide vetted contractor who can permanently rectify all the defects house by house over the months perhaps years to come.

Can you confirm whether the homes are built in timber frame construction?
If this is the case then I would suggest that the only "solution" would be to demolish and re build.

In the meantime, keep pestering (at least weekly) the NHBC CEO Mike Quinton - e mail: MQuinton@nhbc.co.uk
and Taylor Wimpey CEO Peter Redfern -  e mail: peter.redfern@taylorwimpey.com
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Tim Fee Snagging Inspector

PaulM

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Thanks for the reply and the support!

We've contacted Taylor Wimpey regarding a buy-back option, both some of us individually and also at discussions with groups of residents and reps from NHBC and Taylor Wimpey.  They have declined to offer this as an option, but have said they would still be open to "trade-ins" (ie upgrades, more money) to other new-build Taylor Wimpey homes!

The properties are timber, the only exception being some of the balconies which are steel balconies.  However all walls are pre-fab cassettes with timber casing (Panelvent on exterior walls) and blown cellulose insulation - read PAPER insulation.  So yes, water, wet and dry rot are NOT good if not managed properly!

The issues here do run deep with NHBC and Taylor Wimpey.  Not least because from all evidence they didn't build them correctly, they knew there were problems on the site in 2008/9 and yet it's only in 2014 and after a GREAT DEAL of residents' pressure that they have disclosed to SOME residents SOME details on dry and wet rot.

Around 80 of 122 marked as "at risk" is shocking, and having seen some photographic evidence of the rot on some properties (not ours, scant relief!) it's really very disconcerting and distressful for those involved.

One neighbour has now spoken with BBC Watchdog who seem very interested, but I don't know where media exposure will lead us!

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From what you describe this is classed as timber frame construction.
There are always detailing issues, especially as most designs feature areas cladded with timber, other sheet materials, render or vertical tiling.
If the junctions where these meet brickwork or window and door openings that, if they are not detailed correctly, then rain water can and will get in.
As you have found, once the timber frame is wet, it cannot really dry out quickly.  
It has (or should have) a vapour barrier on the inside behind the plasterboard and a breather membrane on the cavity side.
The timber frame should have a moisture content of no more than 20% before it is boarded.  
Any water ingress or water from plumbing leaks will  saturate the frame.  This will gradually travel down (by gravity) to the sole plate that the timber frame wall panels are supported on and fixed to.  
If the sole plates are rotting it is very serious.
All structural timber should be pressure preservative treated whcih will give some protections against rot.
Any cut ends of timbers must be treated on site. (they never are!)

Apart from the fire risk, this is another reason to avoid timber frame  construction for new homes.

It is a possibility that should be considered for Taylor Wimpey take your rotting homes in part-exchange.  
You could always sell it on straight away, you may even make some money whilst it is being built.
At least then you would be rid of a defective new home that no one will buy and as a bonus, you would have handed back the problems and cost to Taylor Wimpey.

Any coverage in the media would be helpful, especially if you can get the TV involved.
I have also started a Facebook Group "Unhappy New Home Buyers" that you are welcome to join.

"Modern methods of construction" is a recipe for disaster.
House builders have struggled for years to get the basics of 'traditional construction' right to a reasonable standard. Now with new technology and techniques they won't have a clue!
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PaulM

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I am of the opinion that perhaps for those that agree, the NHBC should buy the homes affected at full market price, releasing buyers from their hell.  (Note: The NHBC have done this in the past in certain circumstances.) For those that choose to stay, the NHBC will need to ensure that appoint a bone-fide vetted contractor who can permanently rectify all the defects house by house over the months perhaps years to come.

Could you perhaps point me to any evidence of the NHBC offering buy-backs?  That sounds better than an average of about £40 per house for a peer review!

I understand some residents have asked Taylor Wimpey for a buy back and they have flatly refused.

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The "evidence" I have does not exist because the home owner was gagged by the NHBC.
A confidentiality agreement must have been a condition of the settlement he signed as he would not confirm or deny the deal he got. 
But he is now happy so we can only draw our own conclusions!

You need to write to the NHBC CEO and demand it!
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PaulM

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The "evidence" I have does not exist because the home owner was gagged by the NHBC.
A confidentiality agreement must have been a condition of the settlement he signed as he would not confirm or deny the deal he got. 
But he is now happy so we can only draw our own conclusions!

You need to write to the NHBC CEO and demand it!

Seems to be the case in a lot of these property situations, complaints get louder and louder and louder... then silence.  I guess either folks suddenly get very happy, get paid off, or are under their newly laid patios?!  ;)

It seems a complex situation as we have a contract with the company who sold us the house, Taylor Wimpey, yet it seems so much fault and liability lies with NHBC... but how to get to the bottom of that we just don't seem to be able to!  :(

Thanks for your input so far, helpful. :)


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At least "New Home Expert" via my Facebook Group Unhappy New Home Buyers has got some publicity for you in today's Daily Mail. The defects on your estate is featured in today's Daily Mail.
Curse-botched-new-build-homes-riddled-problems.

It was a pity that this website didn't get a mention, especially after all the help I gave their journalist on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon!
This was a lost opportunity for the campaign for better quality UK new homes.
It would have cost the Daily Mail nothing and could have benefited thousands of buyers and potential buyers of UK built new homes.

Regarding your home, Taylor Wimpey built your house so the fault lies 100% with them! 
They can hardly claim that it is the NHBC's fault for not properly inspecting it! 
The NHBC probably have a legal obligation as Building Control inspectors though if the home was passed and does not comply with the statutory Building Regulations.
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PaulM

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Yeah the Daily Mail were all over us last week asking for input/advice etc.

So far we've had coverage in the Architects' Journal (multiple stories), Financial Times, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail.  BBC Watchdog are also in touch with a few residents.

Taylor Wimpey still playing the line of basically "a few complaints, we're fixing it", and they're really not. :(

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It would be great if you and other new home buyers could mention this website if you get the opportunity next time the press have an interest.
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PaulM

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Will do.  It helps highlight how the problem here is crappy house-builders and the NHBC, not because "oh, they were built in the wrong place" or "oh, they're made of timber" or "oh, we discovered unusual issues with the groundworks" or whatever... it all paints a picture of ineptitude.

jellybaby

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I've live in a Taylor Wimpey property, it is less than 3 years old and I've just discovered two external walls hidden behind built in cupboards are rotting away.
I've been told by the housing company that sold the property to me, their buildings insurance company, Taylor Wimpey and NHBC that it's not their responsibility.
I'm going to pursue this and get legal advice but I wondered if anyone had any tips as to what worked best for them? Many thanks.

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External walls are usually structural and therefore this should be covered by the NHBC warranty.
My guess is, that the NHBC already know this, but are concerned that expensive repairs required to your home, may be necessary throughout the whole estate so are trying to give you the brush off.
Write to the CEO of the NHBC Mike Quinton giving him 14 days to respond.
If he fails to do so make your story as public as possible.
The NHBC do not like bad press on Twitter & Facebook.
Ask your neighbours if they have similar problems then start a legal class action against the NHBC.
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.