Hello again, more trouble!!!

Recommended Posts

I’m sorry to hear that Mary 

It sounds like any relationship or trust that you had had now gone 

Ask building control what remedial measures need to be taken to satisfy them 

Then put it in writing what needs to be done to get you back on track Giving him 30 day to sort it out Or you will bring in another builder at his expense and take him to small claims court if need be 

I’m guessing he


The isolation would be fine 

The issue is that it should be separate from the brickwork 

Fixing a moister barrier should have been the first job

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, MaryM said:

@andyscotland  my builder is now demanding I pay him for the non-compliant work he's done and for the insulation, I've confirmed there are no vapour barriers at all anywhere.  


you expressed the thought the builder 'ought to be on the hook for putting that right', any ideas anyone on how to do that?  I've told him I want my garage made legal again but all he does is ask for money, today I got a demand for another few thousand 'I've got to pay' he says, and it doesn't even add up


I'm at the end of my rope, I just want him off my back but I don't know how, I'd even pay someone else to put his work right if he'd stop coming after me for money but I can't afford to pay twice

doesn't add up.JPG


I'm sorry to hear the situation has got so unpleasant - I think you said previously the builder was a family friend? That must be very hard.


It sounds to me like you're at the point you need another builder to fix the work, and to make a legal claim against the first one for the money you've already paid and the cost of putting it right.


It may be worth getting an architectural technician or building surveyor to produce a report with photos of all the defects. That way there's no room for the old builder to dispute that the new one has "fixed" things that were ok to bump their fee up.


I would check if you have legal expenses insurance anywhere - often on your house insurance policy but sometimes with other things / through an employer perk.


If you do then I would contact them and see if they will cover a claim. They may then pay the cost of reports etc as part of that.


37 minutes ago, MaryM said:

@nod  sorry I am a bit slow here, lack of sleep, do you believe the insulation would not have passed building control?  I already know that dividing the garage, putting in a radiator and a window needed approval, I didn't realise the insulation would also?  if that's true then it does help!


Now that you're not heating the space, the insulation doesn't need approval in its own right.


Under your original plan though, with the radiator, it would have done - and I am virtually certain on the info you've provided it would have been rejected as inadequate under regs. You would have been told to make the wall thicker, or to replace the wool with a more insulating product like celotex/kingspan/PIR.


Also worth noting I think it's the same in England that in most cases even if work falls into a category that doesn't need to go through a "building control approval" process, it still needs to comply with the building regs requirements. So it's not sufficient for your builder to argue he didn't think he needed to get the council in to inspect : the work he has done is substandard and he cannot expect to be paid for it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually just reading @nod advice and he's probably right that you need to give current builder a final chance to fix it (from a written list of defects, and at his expense) before you go to another builder.


I would still try and find out about / speak to legal expenses insurance before doing anything more. You are at the tipping point of it becoming a claim and so if you have cover they'll want to be involved early and may have their own opinion on what they want you to do. If you go too far without them they may then refuse cover down the line.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

morning @andyscotland and that you for yet again confirming I'm going the right way, very helpful that you are saying the same as @Sensus previously enlightened me, about work needing to comply with building regs even when it doesn't require approval, I would never have worked that out on my own


so, I spent last week trying to get an architectural designer/technician to do exactly as you advise and visit but because I cannot afford to go the full compliance route they are not interested so I thought about a surveyor


I found a local estate agent chain which offers surveying from a qualified RICS member who was originally an architectural technician and have mailed this morning asking if he will visit on a consultancy basis, I have said all along I will pay for consultancy if I can find anyone authoritative who will work on those terms


if I can get the list as you suggest above, then I will indeed give the present builder the option you suggest


he is pushing hard to visit this evening and I am certain it is with the intention only of pressing for money which scares me, I live alone and have asked a friend to be here as a witness because my verbal exchanges with the builder have been misrepresented


last week I found out you can apply to our local BC for a cost estimate for regularisation, I believe I can keep the window in a garage without having to go the full conversion route but it still needs BC approval, it was suggested to me that a simple sketch plan would suffice instead of the technical drawings I'd been led to believe I needed at a cost of hundreds of pounds, so I did a sketch myself using Word and sent it off, I'm a bit proud of it!  I told the builder I would not pay any more money until I had a reply from BC which hasn't happened yet, and I'm trying to stay strong and stick to that


I can't stress how much the supportive and informative views from people like yourself have helped me work my way through this blind maze, you can all be proud of yourselves


my builder wasn't a family friend, he did become a social friend when he got a dog for his kids and brought the family round for tea in my garden through the summer,  but I did his accounts for 6 years during which I was in a position of absolute trust, signatory to his bank account, registered HMRC agent, got him out of some sticky fixes and never, ever made a mistake with his client accounts, CIS returns, or statutory reports, he knows I made sure his records were 'squeaky clean' in the event he ever had a Revenue or VAT inspection and I did that to protect him and his family as they do not have limited company protection 


I thought he would realise that I would never do anything to try to evade regulations and he has let me down big-time blaming me for not applying myself


sorry I am dumping stress now but I am so very upset and worried, I have given my word to BC that the garage will be returned to garage status but I cannot get him to help me


let's see if BC accept my work of art and give me a price for regularisation of the window at least!

window sketch for BC copy.pdf



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

ps I do have legal expenses cover and I did talk to them a couple of days ago, they think the 'balance of probability' test (over 50%) that I did ask the builder for advice on permissions is likely to be fulfilled


since then I found an e-mail I wrote to a friend just a couple of days after work started, before anything significant had been done, saying that to cover myself when I come to sell the house I'd had to ask my builder for the exact words I'd need to write on the solicitor's enquiry form to satisfy them as to exemptions


because I said 'I'd had to' and not 'I will have to' or 'am going to' it's pretty indicative that I'd already asked the questions and received the negative answers I relied on


that was written a month before I found out the advice was wrong so I will go back to my insurers - thanks

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now