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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I'm having my fascias, soffits and gutters replaced by

Customer Question

Hi
I'm having my fascias, soffits and gutters replaced by a company (Squaredeal)
After they removed the front fascias they found a beam at the front that was rotten, the fitters called me to say they found it. They said they suspected it as part of my soffit board is almost 2 inches lower due to water ingress. The surveyor didn't pick this up.
On my quotation they have a possible extras section, they have included 1 possible extra which is re-cementing the gable ends at £20+VAT per metre. I have included the 2 relevant sections of their terms and conditions. I am saying I shouldn't have to pay to have the beam replaced, they haven't even given me a price to do the work. Their surveyor said it was something they wouldn't do yet their manager and co director have both said it is an additional payment. Should I have to pay for this or not?
2. BARGEBOARDS
As with the Fasciaboards, only by removing the existing bargeboards can any rot in the gable beam be exposed. For similar reasons, it is ill advised to cover the existing bargeboards.
If, after removal of the bargeboards, the gable rafter is in good condition, it will be treated with an industrial rot-proofing preservative, if required, and the new uPVC Soffit and Bargeboards, as appropriate, will be fitted.
The bargeboard is not load bearing, and can be fitted directly to the gable beam, using marine grade stainless steel, plastic headed pins into the cross grain of the gable timber. The character of the bargeboards end box will be maintained or enhanced at all times.
Should the gable beam be rotten, this could mainly be due to cracking in the cemented verge. Where cracks appear, and even worse, where the cement falls out, this allows rainwater to reach the upper side of the gable beam and rot results.
The method of cementing verges, the materials used and the state of repair vary considerably. If the rot in the gable beam is confined below the wall plate, then this can be replaced with new treated timber, free of charge.
If the rot is above this point, then it is highly probable, and desirable, that the whole gable beam has to be removed and replaced with new, treated, timber. An extra cost may be incurred, which will be listed separately on your quotation. (see possible Extras)
6. POSSIBLE EXTRAS
On all quotations we have an area marked “possible extras”. This allows for any unforeseen work, i.e. re-cementing gable tiles or replacing rotten gable beams, whilst at the same time making the customer aware of extra costs before commencement of the installation. Although we are very aware that nobody enjoys paying for extras, we feel it is not fair to include these in the original quotation because in a lot of cases they are not required.
The only three extra costs ever needed involve re-cementing gable verge tiles, replacing rotten gable beams or Licensed Asbestos Removal (see Asbestos sheet). We list these separately because it is not possible to view the condition of the gable beam until the existing timber has been removed; and when removing the timber bargeboards, although every care is taken not to disturb the cementing, in some cases it cannot be avoided. At Squaredeal, we believe in doing the job thoroughly and will therefore re-cement the tiles, as explained in our specification, and not “face up” any damaged cement, which is not only bad building practice, but dangerous as well.
Should rotten beams be found, it is very important these are replaced and not just covered up to avoid this extra work, as failure to do this can cause ingress of rot into other areas of the roof structure.
Should the need for any of this work become apparent, we will immediately inform you of any costs involved before any work is commenced.
Please note, however, that the above is the worst case scenario, and in the majority of installations is not required at all. Should your quotation state “no extras”, then no additional charge will be made to the stated contract amount.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Had they originally given you a quote, I assume that was just for replacement?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The original quote is to replace soffits fascia's and gutters
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
These are the T & C's
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is what I got from their Co Director and this was my response his response is after that!Dear Mr Mileman
My Name is***** and I am a co-director of Squaredeal. I have reviewed all of the Emails and studied the pictures of the beam in question, and although I can empathise with your situation I am afraid that I disagree with your position that we are liable for the replacement of the structural support timber spanning the two bay windows.
As a company we endeavour to be as transparent with our quotations as possible, but when dealing with old properties there is always a possibility that unforeseen issues can arise, and as a reputable company we bring this to the customers attention as soon as a problem becomes apparent, rather than saying nothing and covering the problem.
At the time of the quotation you were provided with a detailed specification of the works to be carried out, on page 9 of the specification under the heading `Possible extras` there is a paragraph which reads,
Should rotten beams be found, it is very important these are replaced and not just covered up to avoid this extra work, as failure to do this can cause ingress of rot into other areas of the roof structure.
Should the need for any of this work become apparent, we will immediately inform you of any costs involved before any work is commenced
I have attached the relevant page for your information.
You have stated in your Email that you have been very satisfied with the work that has been completed to this point and I appreciate your comments, and as you have rightly pointed out, there is an area that has been left exposed at the front. If you intend to replace the timbers yourself this weekend I will leave this area as it is, as covering it will not allow access to the beam. If it is your intention to engage another builder to replace the beams, then I arrange for a team to temporarily weather the area.
Should you wish to cancel the remainder of the contract I will re-calculate the the quotation to reflect only those areas which you have stated as being completed to your satisfaction.
Yours Sincerely
Steve EkeMr Eke
Thank you for your email.
Your terms state this
On all quotations we have an area marked “possible extras”. This allows for any unforeseen work, i.e. re-cementing gable tiles or replacing rotten gable beams, whilst at the same time making the customer aware of extra costs before commencement of the installation. Although we are very aware that nobody enjoys paying for extras, we feel it is not fair to include these in the original quotation because in a lot of cases they are not required.
Then the next paragraph after your quotes states this...
Please note, however, that the above is the worst case scenario, and in the majority of installations is not required at all. Should your quotation state “no extras”, then no additional charge will be made to the stated contract amount.
My quotation clearly states possible extras £20.00 plus VAT per metre to re-cement gable verge tiles if required.
That is all it says so by your own terms as it isn’t included on the list then no additional charge will be made.
It’s been a long time since I have been a manager in a retail environment but your terms aren’t clear in this situation. If you look at it in black and white no charge will be made unless stated as a possible extra.
The wood itself is cheap enough, the screws come to more than the wood! Then there is the time it would take me, I have nerve damage in my back, if I’m having a good day then it won’t take too long, if its a bad day it could take me all day or maybe 2. At least if I do it I know the exposed ends would be treated with wood hardener.
Kind regards
Chris MilemanDear Mr Mileman
Thank you for your comments, I have taken them on board.
Please could you let Karen know when the beam has been replaced, so that she can arrange for the installers to return at the earliestRegards
Steve Eke
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. I have read the documents you have provided. If the work quoted for was for replacement of the facias only etc and you seem to accept that it was then it would appear than any additional work is at extra cost.Looking at the terms and their document provided it seems clear that they warn you that there may be additional rot which is an extra cost to put right.If it was the intention that to include this as work within the quote, the documents would have made it clear, but it seems that just because the surveyor didnt pick up on this, does not mean the work isnt needed.You can get another surveyor to come out to make sure they are not trying to just get you have extra work done - but it seems to be that if the work is an extra and there is rot, then this is an additional cost.I would get a second opinion but if it says there is rot - sadly you have to pay for it.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi AlexThe wood does need replacing but their terms say if it says no extras then no additional costs will be incurred. The only possible extra they quoted for was the recementing. For this reason surely the wood should be replaced free of charge?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No, I dont think so. If it was common ground that it was replacement only and now they are saying wood needs to be replaced, then I cant see how you can argue it would be free.There is a cost to them which is not anticipated. You can refuse and take it to Court, but I suspect you will lose as a Judge will consider as in law they are entitled to a reasonable sum for reasonable work done.Does that help?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Section 2 states
If the rot is confined below the wall plate then this can be replaced free of charge.Section 6 states
Should your quotation state no extras then no additional charge will be made to the stated contract amount.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes I understand this but law allows for additional works at cost to be implied.If you disagree with the survey and think they are trying to get additional works you can get a second opinion.Or you can seek a Court order to make them to the additional works free of charge if you wish.Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not really.
It's additional work but they say no costs will be incurred when no extras is on the quotation. They only put the re-cementing as a possible extra.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Then you need to seek a Court order if they refuse to do it for free. You need to complete forms N1:http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdfAnd N16a:http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n016a-eng.pdfThe court will set the matter down and decide whether or not to make an order making them do it for free. If the court does and they refuse then this may be contempt of Court which they could be warned, fined or sent to prison.But that is what you need to do if they refuse to do it for free.Can I clarify anything else for you?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No that's great thank you.
So just to clarify are you in agreement with me or with them?
Is it a 50/50 situation?
Please excuse my ignorance
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I think its 50/50. It will really depend on the Judge you get on the day. Does that clarify? Alex
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. Alex