Bloor Homes, poor brickwork

Discussion in 'Other developers' started by trooperwar, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. trooperwar

    trooperwar New Member

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    I'm new to this forum but it appears to have a wealth of information.
    I put a deposit on a brand new Bloor home two weeks ago 'off plan' when the house was just a base. Only two weeks into the build and I have some serious doubts about the quality of the bricklaying.
    Courses are not straight and level. Individual bricks dip one way and the other and the gaps between the bricks laid next to each other vary so much that some bricks hardly have any mortar between then when others have plenty. I raised all this with the site manager who brought in other Bloor managers to take a look.
    Whilst they accept a panel between two windows and a corner of a wall on the side are below standard and they are going to knock it down and rebuild, I have many issues with the front wall and other side wall which they deem as acceptable. I haven't managed to inspect the wall at the rear properly due to fencing.
    The site manager is friendly and appears to want to make sure I am happy with the build but we still have a difference of opinion.
    I've provided pictures of the walls either side of the front door which they deem to be acceptable. They show uneven courses, bricks dipping one way and the other and varying gaps between the bricks. what does anyone think?

    Am I being too fussy or should I dig my heels in and if they wont budge, walk away?

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  2. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    The brickwork shown in yiour two photographs is totally unacceptable.
    You need to remember that you will be looking at this for many years to come!
    The vertical joints are too small and due to the brickwork not being set out properly (coursed) and the poor sizing of cuts.
    The tipped bricks are just down to bad workmanship.

    In my opinion you should walk away. (unless you have already exchanged contracts and paid the 10%)
    I realise you will lose your reservation fee but if you are having problems like this alreday, what else will end up being badly built too.
    And Bloor tend NOT to use the NHBC for warranties (they use LABC) so you may have problems there too.

    Failing this, instruct the site manager in writing, to STOP WORK immediately as you are writing to John Bloor insisting that the brickwork is taken down completely and re built using another bricklayer contractor.
    The one that built this rubbish doesnt care about anything other than money.
    If I had been the site manager, I would have put my boot through it as soon as it was built.

    If you do decide to buy, then please get the house professionally snagged and tell the site manager NOW, at the outset, that you or your agent will be checking everything from now on and you will be reporting all defects to Bloor's office.
    That way, at least he may pay a bit more attention to your home from now on.
     
  3. trooperwar

    trooperwar New Member

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    Thanks for your quick reply NewHomeExpert. Your post confirmed everything I was already thinking, the build is truely shoddy and I wouldn't want to have to look at that every day for however many years we may stay there.
    I've followed your advice and verbally told the site manager to stop building and followed this up in writing. Ive written a letter regarding the problems so far and action taken and what we now expect of Bloor and this has been emailed to Bloor HQ for the attention of John Bloor and copied to the area CEO construction director.
    Fortunately contracts have not yet been exchanged and I have spoken with the Solicitor today to inform them of the problem and have told them not to exchange until this issue is resolved.
    Bloor wont be getting one penny more for us until this is resolved one way or the other. I will only accept a full rebuild or we will walk away. It will be interesting to see if they accept that the build is poor and rebuild to a high standard or if they hand us our deposit back. Either way would be fine.
    I'll keep you informed of developments.
     
  4. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    I am pleased you have done everything correctly.
    Instructing your solicitor to hold the exchange of contracts was also good idea.
    I wish more people buying UK new homes would be as careful as you have been.

    One thing you should know is that you will have to say goodbye to your "deposit" aka "reservation fee"
    In my experience with a number of national house builders this is non-refundable otherwise it would be pointless to require it.
    I expect it should be no more tha £500 - a small price to pay for peace of mind and to escape from many months of hassle!

    Even if they do re build your brickwork, do you still have confidence that Bloor's plumber, carpenter, dryliner, roof tiler, kitchen fitter, painter, wall tiler etc etc will do a good quality job?
     
  5. trooperwar

    trooperwar New Member

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    Bloor have been very helpful since raising the issue of poor brickwork with senior management. :D

    A week after stopping the build and contacting the Construction Director we were informed that the build was taken down to the base and started again. The quality of the brickwork is vastly improved and I've attached some pics to show how it looks like now. Whilst the build really shouldn't have got that far without us making a fuss, the problem has been quickly rectified.

    I'll post further, good or bad, as the build develops.

    Interestingly, the Construction Director mentioned about the posts on this forum and topic in a conversation with my wife, without us mentioning that we had sought advice here. It is clear that Bloor, at least, are monitoring discussions about their builds. I'm guessing that this can only be a good thing because they appear to care about the company, which indicates a sense of pride.

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  6. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    In Photo no 2.
    The Air brick appears to be very high! Normally these are just below the DPC.
    The red bricks under the main yellow ones are very dirty and mortar splashed.
    There appeasr to be two extra courses of red bricks around the airbrick area.
    (I am obviously not sure where the DPC and finished ground level will be.)

    The brickwork is much better. It just show it CAN be done - especially if buyers don't put up with the rubbish quality they are first given.

    I would think that all house builders 'know' about this forum, even so, it didn't stop your new BLOOR home having bad brickwork first time did it!
    And not one house buillder has ever replied to any post to publicly state what they are prepared to do to solve their customer's problem(s).
    Bloor Homes Thread.

    I would hope that given the reaction you have had you will now have a well-built house and they will take extra care with it from now on.
    Let us know how you get on and what standard the other houses have been built to.
     
    #6 NewHomeExpert, Aug 25, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  7. trooperwar

    trooperwar New Member

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    Uh Oh

    There have been further problems with the facework on the upper level of the property, specifically with a panel between two windows at the front of the house. The same problems as before have resurfaced including varying mortar joint sizes, uneven courses and tipping bricks.

    This was brought to the attention of the construction director on Mon 10th Sept who, on the 11th Sept, stated that the contracts manager was tasked to investigate.

    After some chasing we have had a reply today (20th), some of which we don't understand, specifically the sentence below:

    ' It is a fact that at the window lift of a property the scope for adjusting the bond which the band lift below allows is significantly reduced which can result in the use of cuts to maintain bond.':confused:

    They are saying the panel has been constructed as required, but again we disagree. I have attached a photo of the said panel with the main problem area circled (best to zoom in).

    Thoughts?

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  8. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    I have had a look at your photograph and whilst I would agree that the perp joints are a liitle narrow, I could see no tipped bricks.
    The Contracts Manager is quite correct that it is necessary sometimes to use a "three quarter/Batt" to maintain plumb perp joint bonding with the courses below.

    The other option would be to reposition the window to elliminate the need for a cut brick (3/4) but this may not always be either possible or desirable. Why the so-called "architects" don't size new homes and window openings/positions to suit brick sizes is a mystery!

    As they used to say in building "a blind man would like to see it!"
    I think this time you do not have a case. The use of cut bricks are somewhat inevitable in most buildings.

    Don't forget to watch BBC Watchdog on Wednesday 26 September at 20.00.
    Featuring cracks in brickwork in new homes built by Taylor Wimpey!
     
  9. Dwain1980

    Dwain1980 New Member

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    Hi all I'm have bought a house with persimmons and we have issued a snagging list with one issue as poor brickwork work. It is as you walk in through the front entrance. Where do I stand and what can be done to resolve this? Cheers Dwain if you need photos shall upload them when I get a reply.
     
  10. Tony

    Tony Administrator

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    It's difficult to comment without seeing them Dwain...
     
  11. newbuildinspections

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    Dwain ...send me some pictures and I will tell u exactly what's wrong
    Or see no hbc guide to good Brickwork off found on web

    Ryan
    New build inspections
    Professional snagging inspections
     

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