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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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This question is how do we get our sliding doors made safe

Customer Question

This question is how do we get our sliding doors made safe by the fabricator/supplier or obtain a refund to enable us to have another supplier repair and make safe the doors? On May 13th 2015 Aluminium Trade Frames (ATF) fitted large glass sliding doors ( 7.5m x 2.45m) they were unable to complete the fitting as some parts were missing and after some delays by them, fitting was finished on June 18th 2015. We had identified some problems with water ingress and complained to ATF and were told that their " engineer" would deal with the issue on the 18th. The fitter told us one leakage was due to our failure to fully seal around the frame and the second was a normal part of how the door worked. We were unable to stop the leakage which continued but as the weather changed in direction and force in November 2015 we noticed the sliding glass doors ( huge glass panels weighing in excess of 150kgs each) moving by approx 100mm inwards, it looked incredibly dangerous. We immediately contacted ATF who requested photographs which we forwarded. depite this serious issue they never contacted us. My husband phoned repeatedly and spoke to various members of staff and had promises made, none of those promise were kept, two appointments were made but never kept by them. Eventually in desperation we went to Schuco UK (they provide the extruded aluminium from which the windows are fabricated) they sent an engineer who confirmed the windows are dangerous and advised us on putting in wooden supports to prevent the doors falling inward and killing us. The written report makes it clear the doors are dangerous and unfit for purpose. He listed a dozen issues of missing parts and poor fabrication. He identified the leaks as the result of gaps in fabrication, lack of sealant by the fitters and the frame being out of plumb in every direction.
We sent the report to ATF asking for a response, one week later Tuesday 12th April at 5.15pm the door bell rang. When I answered the door it was the ATF fitter who had come in June and mate. I don't know who was more surprised me or them( there was a missed call on our landline, they clearly thought we were out). The fitter introduced himself as the engineer who would inspect our doors. He had not read the report by the Schuco engineer and my husband printed him a copy. He took 2 measurements which took less than a minute, we suggested removing the blocks which were holding the doors in place to enable closer inspection of the problem and to allow the doors to be opened he declined. The half hour he was here was spent justifying ATF and attempting to blame our builders. He denied the doors were unsafe but he did not examine the doors thoroughly ( the Schuco engineer spent more than 1.5 hours taking detailed measurements). He left telling us he would phone on Monday 18th as we expected we have received no response despite 2 follow up emails from us.
Schuco confirmed today that they have removed ATF as one of their authorised providers so any hope we had that they could bring pressure on ATF to repair our doors has vanished. It looks at this stage as if our only option is legal redress. We have already asked Schuco if another of their providers might do the repairs ( at our expense ) and been told no one will want to take this on as it will require removal of and reframing the afore mentioned 3 x 150 kg glass panels without damaging them. We would need to have refund of all the money to ensure we can pay for new doors, removal of the old doors will be costly and will almost certainly cause damage to internal walls floor and ceiling, and externally to facia and soffit.
What should we be doing at this stage? I'm concerned this company may go bust and we have no redress.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.What is the cost of the repair? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How long is a piece of string? To remove the sliding doors to do the repairs will require 3 men and will take a full day, so probably £500 at least replacing badly fabricated parts and putting in the missing parts one to two thousand might cover it, survey by company doing repair generally £250. But as I said Schuco have said no one will want this job so they will want several thousand in risk to cover themselves if the glass breaks when being removed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Alex I'm waiting for an answer. If your available to chat surely your available to give feedback on my question
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Sorry I was just in Court. Have you had a price for repairing and making good please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I want to sack you and give you the lowest rating possible how do I do it
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I am about to give you the legal answer. Just to be clear its £250 for a repair? Have you asked them to repair and say you will go to Court otherwise? Its very important that I know this before I give you advice, otherwise it may be wrong.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Look if you read the summary youwould realise we haven't had a price for repair, we are desperately attempting to get them to repair their shoddy dangerous work. My first reply was ball park figures I would guess for different elements. If we are lucky we might get someone to do it for £4000 and upwards. We have verbally threatened to go to court if they don't fix the doors
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes I read that. But you need to get a price to repair or replace it and then send a letter saying you will go to Court.But you need to get a price for getting the work done first, that is your loss. 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 signed 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 claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex