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Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland with 35 years of experience in private practice and I hope that I can help you with your question today. Let me have a quick look at your question and I will either give you an initial answer or ask you for further information. I aim to respond as quickly as I can but sometimes I may want to take a little time to consider your question so as to give you the best possible answer.
You can sue your builder on the basis of breach of contract. If he is worth suing. You say he is retired. Did he contract with you as an individual or through a limited company. If he traded as a company it will probably have no assets and may even be dissolved. If he traded as an individual would he have the means to satisfy a court decree? Often, time bar issues arise in these type of cases but as this defect has just come to light that should not be an issue. You could also sue the block manufacturer not for breach of contract as there is no contract between you and them but for negligence. If they are imminently closing down and perhaps transferring assets to another organisation you might need a court order to stop that happening pending the case that you would intend to raise. I suggest you see a litigation solicitor local to you as soon as you can to discuss these options.
I hope this helped you today. Please do let me know if I can clarify anything. I am always happy to help. You are always welcome to ask a follow up question if it will help you further.