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 Post subject: Is it worth it....
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:41 am
Posts: 434
Taking builder to smalls claims court?

Situation is that we had our bathroom refitted in March 2013, looked great and we were really happy with the job. Then much to our dismay, the shower started leaking yesterday. Whenever it's turned on, it leaks into the living room ceiling/wall. Very disappointing - the workmanship lasted a whopping 7 months :twisted:

I contacted the Bathroom Fitter and he basically said "it wasn't his problem" and "good luck fixing it!" :twisted:

The Bathroom Company aren't registered with any trade organisations so I can't use their dispute mediation service.

Any legal types here offer advice on whether it's worth going to small claims court or whether we should grin and bear it and get it fixed (at our cost)

Any advice greatly appreciated.
SleepyHead (can't sleep)


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 Post subject: Re: Is it worth it....
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
SleepyHead wrote:
Taking builder to smalls claims court?

Situation is that we had our bathroom refitted in March 2013, looked great and we were really happy with the job. Then much to our dismay, the shower started leaking yesterday. Whenever it's turned on, it leaks into the living room ceiling/wall. Very disappointing - the workmanship lasted a whopping 7 months :twisted:

I contacted the Bathroom Fitter and he basically said "it wasn't his problem" and "good luck fixing it!" :twisted:

The Bathroom Company aren't registered with any trade organisations so I can't use their dispute mediation service.

Any legal types here offer advice on whether it's worth going to small claims court or whether we should grin and bear it and get it fixed (at our cost)

Any advice greatly appreciated.
SleepyHead (can't sleep)


Sorry about this situation, it is horrid, but sadly not unprecedented.

Not from legal, but I am from construction/engineering sector.

Before pursuing a small claims action, I honestly think it is worth finding where the leak is coming from.

Should it be the shower tray, it may simply be that it needs it's mastic seal re-applied as the tray has settled and pulled it slightly away from the walls, even a tiny gap will suffice to make a big water leak.

Should it be the shower waste then the tray may need to be removed, and the waste pipes looked at to see if the connections have failed. This is not as massive a job as it sounds, depending on the route the waste follows, and where the fault is. (Does the water come down directly under the shower or further away).

The problems start if it is a push/ fit plastic connector or copper fitting in the shower feed that has failed. This could be an easy fix, if it has failed directly below the tray, or re- tiling job, if it has failed in the section ftom the tray to the shower head.

So look to see exactly where the water is coming from before panicking too much. Until then, no showers or you risk soaking your floor joists, and having to re-plaster downstairs.

Write to the fitter offering him a chance to survey the problem and put the work right, before approaching other firms. This letter should be very polite but inclusive of an expected response time, explaining the urgency. Phone calls will not really count as well in small claims, and also allow him to be flippant and you to get angry, so best avoided at this stage. Also do you have all the original paperwork, invoices and any guarantees?

Good luck....sb3


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 Post subject: Re: Is it worth it....
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:41 am
Posts: 434
Hi Southbucks3 thanks for your reply , the bathroom fitter is not willing to even do a site survey - as his guarantee is for 3 months which I have exceeded. I will send a letter requesting him to survey the problem and see what happens. Failing that if the leak is easy to fix then we will get a contact from FMB (federation master builders) to repair it.

Thanks for your advice
Sleepyhead


Last edited by SleepyHead on Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it worth it....
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:21 am
Posts: 2125
Sounds as if they don't have much confidence in their own work if they're only willing to guarantee it for three months! :shock:

Hope you manage to sort it out soon.

_________________
Marylou


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 Post subject: Re: Is it worth it....
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:40 pm
Posts: 966
We had a similar problem and still have the marks on the ceiling below. It was the sealant around the plug area that needed replacing.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it worth it....
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:41 am
Posts: 434
Thanks for your replies, beginning to feel a bit calmer about the situation. The thing is the company that did the job for us 'look' very professional, spoke well, had great references, turned up in a suit for the initial meeting. Not quite sure where we went wrong.

For any future home improvements I think we will choose a company that is registered with their trade association and check that the guarantee is more than 3 months.

Live and learn!
Sleepyhead


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 Post subject: Re: Is it worth it....
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:39 pm
Posts: 20
Hi - you could claim on your house insurance for the repair - then they would re-claim the money from the plumbing company (or their insurance).
Maybe next time you do some type of home improvement, try using your local, recommended, long-established retail shop, not Joe Bloggs man-with-white-van or Smart Alec direct-sales-person. Anyone can buy a suit & brief-case, it's no guarantee of quality.
Any construction work can have issues but go to someone who has established premises, then you know where to find them when things go wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it worth it....
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:18 am
Posts: 306
justkeepmoving wrote:
Hi - you could claim on your house insurance for the repair - then they would re-claim the money from the plumbing company (or their insurance).
Maybe next time you do some type of home improvement, try using your local, recommended, long-established retail shop, not Joe Bloggs man-with-white-van or Smart Alec direct-sales-person. Anyone can buy a suit & brief-case, it's no guarantee of quality.
Any construction work can have issues but go to someone who has established premises, then you know where to find them when things go wrong.


You can do this, and I have in the past. But it put our premiums up for the next 5 years or so, so I'm not sure it was worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it worth it....
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Posts: 865
justkeepmoving wrote:
Hi - you could claim on your house insurance for the repair


One thing to bear in mind is 'escape of water' excess is very high on most buildings policies, you'll probably be better off getting a reputable local tradesmen to repair the leak. Like others have said, in my experience its probably a small thing that should be fixed quite easily :)


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 Post subject: Re: Is it worth it....
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 1360
As has been said before, it will most likely be a leaky joint or seal, and if it is any decent tradesman will do it in about 10 minutes flat. Problems will only arise if it's buried/hidden.
As posted above, do a bit of investigating and see what problem you have before making any decisions.


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