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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I'm a builder who has recently built a house extension for

Resolved Question:

I'm a builder who has recently built a house extension for a private client at a fixed price. When the works were part complete the client decided to change the contracted radiator heating system for an underfloor heating system, and they agreed an increased cost for this with the self employed plumber I was using on the works. I was not involved with recommending or specifying the underfloor heating. The client then asked me to amend our contract to include this change, and I agreed all in good faith.
Now the client are saying the underfloor heating system is faulty & that because they paid for the work through me then I am fully responsible for both the design & installation. They want the system replaced, which will require taking the concrete floors out, & are expecting me to pay for all incidental costs which will include removals, temporary rehousing of clients family, surveyors/solicitors fees, compensation for inconvenience, new flooring & redecorations etc etc.
The plumber has virtually no assets so I cannot recoup any costs from him. Am I really legally fully responsible for all these costs, as it could send my small company into insolvency, when all I did was agree to the clients request - it just doesn't seem fair.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please clarify that THEY selected the system and you had no say in relation to that?

Customer:

Hi Alex,

Alex Watts :

Hello

Customer:

I can confirm that the change to the heating system was discussed & agreed between the client & the plumber with no input from myself. (I actually said to them that I had no knowledge of underfloor heating) The plumber selected the underfloor heating components he needed in conjunction with his plumbing supply merchant.

Alex Watts : But you were paid for the entire job is that correct?
Customer:

Yes, the cost variation was made as amendment to the contract between the client & myself.

Alex Watts : And you paid the plumber?
Customer:

Yes, I paid the plumber.

Alex Watts :

Ok - if the product is defective in law you ARE liable.

Alex Watts :

You were paid so the contract is with you.

Alex Watts :

However the plumber is liable for you

Alex Watts :

You are responsible for all aspects of this but if there is any claim you can counter claim against the plumber

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

O.K. Thanks for this Alex,

Customer:

not exactly what I wanted to hear as the plumber has little assets to claim against, so if they pursue in court I'm snookered

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