Considering Building Work? Get It In Writing!

When it comes to having building work done on your home there are still many people neglecting to ensure a contract is completed between the builder and themselves despite there being huge risks and potential issues that can arise and the likes of tv shows such as ‘Cowboy Builders’ that highlight certain cases.

Recently, a couple bought a house for £375,000 with the plan to turn the single dwelling into two properties. The female of the couple’s father knew a builder and employed him to carry out the work. Plans and instructions for the work were mainly issued face to face by voice or by text message. Had professional legal advice been sought before hand from qualified solicitors, the expensive civil litigation that subsequently took place could have been avoided.

A dispute broke out concerning how much money was owed to the builder and issues regarding the quality of work were raised. Because there was no written contract in place it was difficult to even work out the rate of VAT that would be due on the invoices of the builder.

The builder commenced legal proceedings against the couple. Both parties had considerable concerns about the building project, including details such as bi-folding doors and their correct fitting. The builders work was assessed and then deductions were taken out for any defects and other expenses. The judge found that an amount of £44,000 was still outstanding to pay to the builder along with an extra 17.5 per cent VAT on top.

The Court of Appeal dismissed both the builder’s and the couple’s appeals. The Court also complimented the manner in which the judge dealt with a case they considered to be petty, where considerably excessive legal costs had arisen as a result.

To avoid builder disputes like this, it’s essential to get things down in writing. If you find it difficult then we can help make the process a lot simpler so get in touch today. Contact us online.