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Collapse of ceiling following new bay window Roof

Postby doingupmyhouse » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:17 am


I recently had the roof on the front Lounge's bay window house replaced by some local builders. I currently do not live there but a few days after the job when i was working out what decoration i needed to do i noticed that the ceiling below where this work was done was sagging, and some of the coving had cracked!

i asked the builder to come back and review it. He did acknowledge that the banging of lats/felt/nails etc had contributed to this. HE said it could be screwed back up to fix it. Whilst waiting to return to do this that section of the ceiling has now fallen down ( revealing the old laths)!

The builder is naturally trying to avoid any responsibility for this and states that " this occured because this is an older victorian house 1910 etc and so ceilings are old however i believe it was a consequence of their work.

Also the builder did not assess the ceiling before or after the job ( the latter he also acknowledged to me)

What position am i in with respect to whos responsible financially for its repair? Can i make a claim if he refuses to get it sorted? Also he evetually said that he cannot pay for all the costs, implying we both contribute?

finally the small section of coving will need repair/replacing. Can this be included in this repair cost from the builder?

Any advice or help would be gratefully appeciated


[color=red][/color][size=18][/size] :x
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Postby thedoctor » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:08 am

If the builder was not negligent when he was doing the work and all normal precautions were taken and good building practice was followed he has done nothing to deserved being slated because a very old ceiling has fallen down as a result of the necessary work involved in doing what you asked.

From a builders point of view its not always possible, when asked to do a particular job, to take into consideration the state of repair of the rest of the house. If the builder had priced for the work you asked for and also priced for the possibility of a ceiling falling down or the floor boards all splitting because of ages or cracks appearing all over the house because the plaster is 100 years old and probably blown.......The quote would be so large you would laugh at him. It sounds like the guy has priced what you asked for and done what you asked for. If the ceiling was in poor condition its hardly his fault unless he deliberatly went out of his way to disturb it.

Yes it may have been sensible for him to have looked round a little more and warned you that you have a very old ceiling and it may crack etc. But surely you knew that, it is your house and you are aware of its age. Had HE done that you would have been warned. If it had then come down and you had been warned, the cost would obviously been yours to bear. He did not warn you but now its his fault?

Things happen as a consequence of other work. Always have, always will. Not just in the building trade. Builders, if something is totally obvious, will sometimes warn customers that this may be the case but in all honesty if every time we do a job we have to assume that the rest of the house is going to fall to pieces we might just as well buy the house and have done with it. Of course it was a consequence of his work, it didn't come down on its own (although it sounds like it might have later) but that does not make him liable for the cost of replacing it. From the information you have given it sounds like he is a good builder to even offer something towards the cost of repairation. I have to repeat IF THE BUILDER WAS NOT NEGLIGENT when he was doing the work and all normal precautions were taken and good building practice was followed he has done nothing wrong.

If you use a computer at work (properly) and it freezes or breaks, would you expect to pay for the system?
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Postby doingupmyhouse » Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:16 am

thanks for the advice. Just to clarify that i had just bought the house and so was new to it!

I appreciate your comments. I was never present at the time of the roof work and neither am i qualified to assess the quality of the work so cannot comment on any negligence.
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