How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

My builder has caused some damage to my patio, by driving a

This answer was rated:

My builder has caused some damage to my patio, by driving a digger over it. He claims that it was our fault as slabs not installed properly and asked for £5000 for a new one? There is also damage to two ceilings, one the bathroom fitter has agreed to repair, but i think it needs replacing as water damage has separated the plaster from the backing about 2inches. Also tonight rainwater has entered through an unfinished roof creating a lot of water damage. He also damaged an old sink unit, which has sentimental value. Also he has left that house with gapping holes (where a broken window has not yet been replaced and the wall beneath another window removed and left so that the house (where we are living during the renovations) is open.
Is the builder obliged to repair damage?
Is the builder obliged to keep the house secure?

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Have you obtained a surveyor report as to the cause of the damage and whether the slabs etc were faulty please?
Customer: No survey
Alex Watts :

You should get this done and this will set out who is at fault. This will then give you an idea of the cost to put right and forms your loss

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.


If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.


The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.


If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation. You can then use that surveyor report in Court should it become necessary to show the Judge about the problems the builder caused.


Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: How about the other issues?
Alex Watts :

In terms of other damage to the sink etc this forms part of your loss.

Alex Watts :

In terms of damage you need to get quotes for fixing that, but the surveyor can pick up on all the faults in the same report

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify the position for you?

Customer: No there is also the question of leaving the building unsecured - open for anyone to walk in and take £1000 s of £s of equipment, and when my husband is away i cant sleep for fear of intrusion. Should the builder make the property secure when he's not on site!
Alex Watts :

He should take reasonable steps

Alex Watts :

But obviously he can not be expected to make it more secure than the property was before

Alex Watts :

But should take reasonable steps to make sure the property is secure

Customer: Before he knocked the walls down people could not walk through them.
Alex Watts :

Yes indeed.

Alex Watts :

He should take reasonable steps to make sure the property is secure.

Alex Watts :

If not then he should employ a security guard

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify for you?

Customer: Yes thank you
Alex Watts :

Great. I hope this works out for you.

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.


Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help:

Customer: Not satisfied as the arrangement was for a free trial, and you've taken my money at 21:00, before even answering my question
Alex Watts :

I am an expert, I have no control over the billing, you need to speak with customer services for that.

Alex Watts :

The rating is for MY answer and MY service, which I hope has been excellent.

Alex Watts :

Might I invite you to reconsider the rating?

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you