We are often asked to review existing building projects and comment on the quality and suitability of the work. We always pay particular attention to ensure the works meet current Building Regulations and are being carried out in accordance with Healthy and Safety Regulations.
One such flood damaged project had suffered two failed Contractors and two failed Project Managers, leaving the property owners out of their home and in alternative accommodation for over two years. We were tasked to survey the building and our subsequent report highlighted a host of poor or inappropriate material selections, low quality workmanship and in some cases, dangerous repairs. We have listed below a few observations from the report which might prove useful when reviewing the quality of your own building projects;
- floor preparation is often a good indicator of the general quality of a project. In this case the sand cement screed was uneven leaving an awkward surface for the planned floor finish. We recommended a self leveling compound having first understood the owners final decoration plans.
- blockwork had been poorly tied together using inappropriate lengths of Helifix ties. These had also not been correctly bonded in place as per the manufacturers instructions. A simple fix to follow the correct installation instructions but an example where the correct materials were specified but rendered unsafe through poor installation.
- room partitions had been built without consideration of support for sanitary-ware using either internal noggins or internal ply linings.
- lined expansion runs hadn’t been provided for the central heating pipework which could cause potential failures in the future.
- the Damp Proof Membrane had been carelessly applied around the uPVC doors leaving black bitumen marks on the door frames. A general indication that the works were being being rushed and whilst still providing a DPM the over spill onto finished surfaces was unsightly and unnecessary.
- insufficient and incorrectly sized noggins had been used to support the floor and ceiling joists. These were also of cheaper and inappropriate softwood timber. All required replacing.
- the general appearance of the site is often a good indicator of the quality of the work being carried out. For example; are there obvious Health & Saftey notices, are materials stored correctly, is the outside patio/path/road clean and free from splashes of cement etc
If you have any doubts about the quality and/or safety of your building projects then please don’t take the chance. Call in a RICS Surveyor to report on the works. They will be able to recommend suitable contractors if necessary and in a practice such as ours, offer you a complete Project Management solution to get the work completed to the highest standard, in accordance with all regulations and in good time.
Some related articles from The Chawton Hill Blog we thought you might also like;
Please can you help advise me I have had a patio laid in 2016 which I got 3 year guarantee. However the last 3 years the company have had to come out and fix loose stones and replace cement between stones with different material. This has still disappeared and approx two thirds of the stones are loose. Now the company won’t come out to even look at it, I paid over £7000 for this patio plus I had my lawn done so spent over another £1000 with this firm. I moved into this bungalow after being widowed and took earl retirement due to health issues so don’t have money to pay to have it done again., Can you please advise me of my rights .