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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Madam, I am an Architectural Technician and have

Customer Question

Dear Sir / Madam,
I am an Architectural Technician and have my own sole trader company. I am involved in a domestic extension project. It is a VERY long story but I will concentrate on one of the main areas.
I specified a 'girder truss' for the proposed roof to support the existing. I spoke to the builder's preferred truss supplier and they said verbally that it was possible. The suppliers then, unknown to myself, supplied the roof, and was subsequently installed, without the girder truss and without my knowledge.
The builder called me to site to discuss an alternative solution. His carpenter suggested installing a site made up bespoke glulam beam. I sketched the beam, as agreed with the carpenter and builder, and said I would speak to the council about it and, if necessary, acquire structural engineer's calculations to prove, or otherwise, the design.
The council did indeed ask for calculations and I instructed the structural engineer accordingly. This process took a couple of days. When I called the builder to update him I was told "it's already in mate!!".
Ultimately the glulam beam was found to not be adequate. The client was not happy, understandably, with having to pay for the glulam if it didn't work. Therefore, another solution was required. The builder said that I had agreed to the INSTALLATION of the glulam beam but my stance is firmly that I agreed 'in principle' and that I would look to agree it with the council / engineer. The builder and I decided to 'go halves' on the design and installation of a steel beam. This has now been installed and the project is complete.
The builder and I have paid half each (approx. £800 each) except that he is refusing to pay for half of the structural engineer's fee (approx. £300 total engineer's fee) and says that if I don't pay this within 7 days he will claim, through his solicitor, for the other approx. £800.
The main issue here is the installation of the glulam beam. Even if I had agreed to the installation (which I didn't) surely the buck stops with the builder on instruction of his sub-contractors?
I trust the above 'shortened version' is clear. I would very much appreciate your professional advice.
Kind Regards
Kevin Watts BSc.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Do you have a written contract with your builder? Who is saying about £800 Solicitor fees?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I Alex,

Sorry. I replied to this email previously, by email, by mistake, rather than coming here!

The builder is working for the client / homeowner. There is no contract between me and the builder all we have done is shake hands on the agreement to pay ‘half and half, for the steel beam. The builder is saying that if I don’t pay for ALL of the engineer’s fees (£300) he will sue me for his half of the above deal (£800).

Sorry. I know it’s complicated!



Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
He can't, because there is no contract. Unless there is a contract between you and the builder he can't claim for it in terms of breach of contract. Further he can't claim for any lawyer fees either, there simply is no contract.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
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