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My Building Project: What a Mess! PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 August 2009


It is always hugely disappointing to hear that someone has had a bad building experience.  When you hand over heaps of money because you expect the contractor to do the job properly and afterwards you find that the workmanship is shoddy, or just not up to standard - it's devastating.

We recently received an e-mail from Gerrit who wrote the following:

Hi there, I want to find out if there are standards that a builder must comply to if he is registered?  Just renovated my house and added a brick wall (150m) and garage. Brick wall is starting to crack. I also drilled into the wall and the cement is very soft.

Do I have any rights, is it possible to test the strength of the cement?
The answer to your question will depend on the type of contract that you  had with your builder and the specification that was written for your alteration. (See Building Contract: Do I need One? ; and Your House Specifications on the website).

If there was a written contract and a specification and your builder has not complied with it, then yes, you would have recourse and you could then legally compel your builder to rectify the problem.

In the absence of these two items, there is not much other than the goodwill, honesty and integrity of your builder that you can fall back on.

At best, you could obtain the opinion and report of an architect regarding the quality of the work and the standard of materials used to counter anything that your builder might say about what he did.

An architect would also be able to arrange for the testing of any of the materisls to see if  they conform to the National Building Regulations and your specification.You did not mention which organization your builder was registered with but if he is registered with the Master Builders Association then you can contact them regarding the issue and forward any report that you may have on the quality of workmanship that he produced.

Whether you will get any recourse is another matter.

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Shoddy building work is unfortunately an issue that comes up time and again and we can only hope that the advice that we are giving on the website will in some way help people to avoid the many pitfalls that are unfortunately associated with the building business.

I hope that I have managed to answer your question. If you need any  further information, please contact me.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 August 2009 )
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