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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
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I used a local builder to lay a concrete slab new garage.

Resolved Question:

I used a local builder to lay a concrete slab for my new garage. The was done whilst I was abroad. The concrete was laid in cold (freezing) weather and not protected. Consequently the surface is breaking up.
The slab does not comply with relevant NHBC standards and the falls towards a back corner, not to the front.
An independent chartered engineering consultant compiled a report on the problems.
The builder refuses to enter into discussions and their only response is I should remove the garage.
I am a Charted Engineer with 45 years experience in specialist remedials and could undertake the work. Obviously the builder won't accept my costs so should I obtain independent estimates for the work which I know will exceed the original costs and sue the builder or what?
Do Civil Procedure Rules apply? If so, at what stage?
Thanks in advance.
Peter
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Are you asking if you can bring a claim?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Jenny,
Having spoken to Trading Standards, I understand I have a legitimate claim under consumer law. My knowledge of construction industry standards and the behavior of concrete also confirms my belief that I have a legitimate claim.
I need to understand the best course of action as I am told this falls under consumer legislation not contractual law.
For your reference, my bona fides are C.Eng. FICE FISSE MASCE, this underlines my experience of concrete, not consumer stuff!
Regards,
Peter
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
Did you enter into the contract as a consumer?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Simple hand shake accepting their written estimate.
Local builder known to my wife.
Full asking money lodged with third party in advance as I was due to leave the country for a few weeks.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Additional funds paid on my return for extra materials the builder used.
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
Hi thank you can you confirm that this was for personal building work?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Yes, I am retired and spending much time working on my house and gardens.
If I consider any work is to heavy for me or beyond my capabilities, I employ local tradesmen as in this case.
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
In that case it would be normal consumer laws that apply to the situation. Have you asked the builder to either put this right or to refund the money? If so what was the response?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Quite a few letters/emails sent explaining problems and asking for their proposals for remedial works or just to come and talk. Copy of independent engineers report also sent to them,
No response!
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
Ok have you actually threatened court action yet?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Have explained we would seek to recover remedial costs/consequential loss etc. through the Courts but not threatened legal action in advance of starting remedials.
This is where I am unclear and need advice on sequence of events to secure successful recovery.
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
I think this is where being an 'expert' in the building field may lead you to think this should be more complicated than it needs to be. Where it is a commercial dispute a lot more is required in terms of pre-action protocol than in a consumer dispute. In a consumer dispute the situation is very simple. You need to write to the builder to say that you are not happy with the service provided because it is not fit for the purpose (doesn't meet building reg requirements) and is not of satisfactory quality. You can enclose evidence in the letter. You should say that this is contrary to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. You should say that in accordance with this Act this correspondence amounts to a letter before action and that if he does not either refund your money or make a satisfactory offer to put the matter right within 14 days you will lodge a claim in the County Court. As effectively this is a money claim (a refund or the amount to put it right -if this can be done), a claim can be lodged easily on line at www.moneyclaim.gov.ukIn consumer matters there is no need for further pre-action protocols to be followed. If you get to the claim stage you will be sent directions by the Court. If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
Hello Peter is there anything further you would like to know?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you Jenny.
You appear to have cut through the dilemma of litigation fog I faced. It seems my contractual experience from years in construction have unnecessarily complicated my approach.
Just need to talk with my wife about his and Iwill come back in about half an hour.
Regards,
Peter
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
No problem, please remember to rate my answer before leaving the site as I am not otherwise paid for the time I have spent answering your question. I will be happy to answer any follow on questions.
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience: Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
Jenny and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks Jenny for your advice.
I will follow your proposed procedure.
Positive feed back will be given.
Kind regards,
Peter

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