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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I employed a builder to build an extension and he employed

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I employed a builder to build an extension for me and he employed contractors to do the other jobs, e.g. a joiner to build the wooden doors & windows. The builder billed me for a door & door frame which was supposed to have a bespoke borrowed light over it. I paid the bill in Dec 2014 when the door & frame were delivered on site but ever since i have been chasing the borrowed light. We no longer employ that builder because he repeatedly billed us for things we had supplied, so we stopped using him. When I asked for the borrowed light I was told we couldn't have it until the door was in because it needed to be accurately measured to the ceiling. Now the door is installed I called him and he said it was nothing to do with him - I tracked down the joiner and he says he doesn't have enough money to build what we know want, as though we are now asking for something new. How do I proceed, I have tried writing to them both but the joiner is not answering and the builder has just sent me a solicitors letter?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.Just to be clear the light has not been installed when you paid for it?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No in fact they wouldn't build it until the door was fitted because only then can it be measured accurately up to the ceiling but now when I asked them to make it in Nov/Dec 2015, they didn't say anything until I chased them up a few weeks ago, then they said that they were just going to build a regular rectangular borrowed light not the bespoke pentagon shaped static window that is required for that space.
what is the cost of getting it done with someone else?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry, I don't understand your question. We had architectural drawings but when it came to building what the architect had drawn, building regs wouldn't allow it, so the builder had to go higher with the window sill, thus making the triangular gable end window shallower and not what was in the drawings. I said all along that I wanted the glass door and the borrowed light to go up to meet the triangular window so that there was predominantly glass between the garage extension and the house. The builder knew this, so when he raised the triangular window, I took that to mean he would raise the borrowed light, which is why he said that the borrowed light could not be built until the door was installed, so they would know the distance from the door to the ceiling. But now the builder who has messed me about on many of his tasks and who no longer works for us, is saying that I am asking for something new and that although they have had my money since Dec 2014, they are now saying that I would have to pay more money up front to get the borrowed light that I am now asking for. I maintain that it was known all along that the borrowed light had changed shape, even his builders commented on how they had not stopped the internal plasterboard in line with the door. I would not have ordered this expensive door and frame had it not included the bespoke borrowed light but they are saying I can either pay more or have my money back for the borrowed light. Can I insist that I have my entire £2168.40 (the amount for the door, frame and borrowed light) or must I accept their offer of £225 for the borrowed light? My back door and frame, which is also solid oak but from a high street joiners, cost me about £250. May I also ask for the interest back on my money for the 15 months that they have had my money, they are doing this to hold up our build and I am really not impressed with these school boy bullying tactics.
Right. What is it you want to achieve?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I want them to collect the door and frame and for me to have my money back. Then I will pay a reputable company to install a frame, a door, and a bespoke borrowed light. Because it is only when all of those are installed can we get the plasterer in, so it is holding up our job. But the builder is only offering to repay the money for the borrowed light even though it was billed as one item.
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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So you think I would be entitled to asking for the full amount of money back for the frame, the door and the borrowed light. provided of course that they come and collect the frame and the door? The builder is saying that I am only entitled to the money for the borrowed light because that is the only bit I don't yet have.
Yes. A judge can always go down, you can never increase your claim.
Does that clairfy?Alex
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