If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do a job, wait until you hire an amateur - Red Adair

I was recently asked by the Building Owner  to assist in a matter where their surveyor had died. Apparently he was a really nice guy.

I requested all the current documents to be emailed to me and I duly received two awards.  I had been informed that the surveyor had been paid in excess of £2k.

The works consisted of a single storey rear extension and a loft conversion.

The 'Award' announced the surveyor as 'agreed surveyor' appointed to act on behalf of all parties. It then goes on '.... the surveyor so appointed has selected Mr ........ to act as an 'independent' surveyor in accordance with the Act..... and if the two surveyors are unable to agree; a 'Third Surveyor' will be selected in accordance with section 10(8) of the Act.'  This is totally wrong, he has tried to create an agreed surveyor award from a two surveyor award.

The 'Award' referred to Sections 1, 3 (2.2) & 6. It referred to the notices which had been verbally served by the Building Owner. No drawings were handed over.

The works referred to, only related to the rear extension, no mention of the loft conversion.

'In witness thereof having set their hands ............. day of ....... 

Surveyor to the Building Owners and Adjoining Owners'

This award could create more problems than it purports to solve and could cost the parties a lot more money in the event of a dispute arising. 

Builder wins case brought against him by solicitor

This situation arose when a Building Contractor (BC) carried out external rendering to the existing house and two storey side and single storey rear extension. BC had virtually finished the works and had already received 50% (£3k) of the quoted price. The Client (C), a solicitor by profession, decided he was not happy with the work and demanded that the £3k be returned.

Lee Kyson was requested by BC to inspect the rendering. The rendering left a lot be desired, however having a background in plastering and rendering Lee was able to suggest remedial works which would have given C a higher quality of work than originally quoted for. However, C had employed the services of Chartered Surveyor (CS) who compiled a report, a couple of Site managers and two ‘expert’ renderers all of whom who suggested that the rendering be hacked off and redone.

C commenced litigation to reclaim the £3k. Lee prepared a defence for BC; partly based on the fact that the ‘expert renderers’ grounds for hacking off the render conflicted with each other and all conflicted with British Standards for Plastering and Rendering.  

When in court the Judge informed C that his prospects were not good and after a short hearing from both parties judged in favour of BC. C requested leave to appeal, which was promptly denied.

Although there were various arguments put forward the basic reasons why C’s claim and the arguments against defective work failed:

·         The CS report conflicted with BS for plastering and rendering.

·         One ‘expert renderer’ stated that both the base coat and top coat of render were of the same strength and that the top coat should be of a weaker mix.

·          The second stated that both coats should be the same thickness and that as the top coat was thinner than the base coat it should be hacked off.

 In actual fact both the views of the ‘expert renderers’ were wrong; if both the base and topcoat are of the same strength the topcoat should be thinner, if both coats are of the same thickness the topcoat should be weaker.