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Building & construction disputes

Making extensive changes to your home or business or investing in the construction of other property is a big commitment. Most people require the help of building firms or individual professionals to perform work such as planning, plumbing, wiring, and a host of other skills. If you have become involved in a dispute speak to our specialists for advice on 01616 966 229 or complete our enquiry form.

Paying for these services creates a contract, even if nothing is in writing. Disputes can arise in a variety of circumstances. For example, the work might not be of the quality that the property owner believes he has paid for, or the work may have taken longer than he believes it should have done.

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Building disputes solicitors

Some of the common building disputes that you might need legal assistance for include:

  • Negligence by engineers, including during planning stages
  • Building contract errors
  • Negligence by the contractors carrying out the work
  • Dispute over contractor payments
  • Substandard work completed by or poor quality materials used by contractors

How do you resolve a building dispute?

There are several different tools and processes that can be used if you’re involved in a building dispute with a contractor. These are mediation, adjudication, arbitration, expert determination and court proceedings (in that order). Take expert legal advice if you cannot resolve the dispute by speaking to the other party involved.

What to do if a builder does a bad job?

If your builder does a substandard job on the planned works, you can try to ask them for a partial or full refund on the work carried out, depending on the nature of the issue. If they refuse to do this, you may need to take legal advice to find out what your options are to take the issue further.

You may be able to make a legal claim against them to recover your money.

Can I sue a builder?

If your builder has not completed the job they were paid for to a professional standard, which has caused you loss (e.g. a decrease in property value) then you may be able to make a claim against them not only for the return of your money, but also for compensation for the loss you have suffered as a result of their negligence.

How do I sue a builder for poor work?

If you have been unable to resolve your dispute with your builder through alternative means, you might have no option left but to take legal action against them. Speak to your solicitor about the process, which can differ, depending on the sums of money involved.

The small claims court deals with claims against builders worth less than £10,000. If your claim has a higher value than this, your solicitor will be able to advise you on the process and trying to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

How can construction disputes be prevented?

There is never a way to prevent 100% of construction disputes, but the chances of a dispute arising can be minimised by putting in place a legally binding contract that outlines the responsibilities of both parties so that everyone knows what is expected and when. Good communication throughout the project if things crop up is also essential.

How do I report a dodgy builder?

If you’re unhappy with the quality of work done by a builder and they have essentially not provided the service and standards promised, you can report them to Trading Standards. If you believe them to be cowboy builders, who have essentially defrauded you, you should report them to the police.

How long does a builder have to fix defects?

If you have had building work done which is defective, your builder should fix the problems within a reasonable amount of time, usually a matter of days or weeks. If they fail to do so, you can seek estimates from other contractors and use these to claim the costs from your original builder.

If you’re in dispute with your builder and haven’t been able to resolve the issue by speaking to them, you may wish to take expert legal advice about the next steps for dispute resolution or making a claim against them for the defective work.

Resolving the dispute

The first step should always be an attempt to resolve the disagreement amicably by discussing the problem with the person or firm in question. This can often result in a solution that is agreeable to both sides. However, if you find that you cannot reach a satisfactory conclusion our legal team can help you reach the solution you want. This might be through dispute resolution techniques such as negotiation or mediation, or a claim for breach of contract.
 
Although we understand the value of amicable relations between construction service providers and their clients, we are also prepared to take a strong stance when required. If you’ve been the victim of ‘cowboy builders’, we can help. 
4.5out of 10
4.5 score on Trustpilot Based on count 1447

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