Creaking Floors

plot17

New Member
We have a problem with excessively creaky floors. As part of a 15 week remedial work program, David Wilson attempted to fix the floors with glue and noggins and hundreds of screws. However, the creaking never really went away and is now coming back worse than ever.

When sitting downstairs and someone walks upstairs, it sounds like (really bad) cracking noises are coming from the ceiling. We have a couple of places upstairs where the floor seems to have sunk by ~1cm or so. There are two sections of the floor where, if you walk on it for the first time that day, then massive creaks and settling noises are heard. The floor then won't do it again unless you don't walk on it for a couple of hours.

Barratt/David Wilson say that this is due to the drying out process. I find this rather far-fetched and am concerned that, given other problems we have had (Welcome - My David Wilson Home), they simply haven't built the floors properly.

Barratt/David Wilson sent me a letter which says that I should refer the matter to the NHBC under their Resolution Service. However, I am a bit wary of doing this as I have heard some bad things about the NHBC.

Would people advise me to go down the NHBC route or should I consider some other course of action?

Many thanks!
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
The NHBC are there to HELP you.
You only hear when the NHBC reject a claim, never from the 1000's of new home owners who ahve been helped by the NHBC.

However, it is unlikely that you defect is caused by "failing to build to NHBC standards" which is necessary for a successful claim.
Especially as Barratt have been back and attempted to sort it out and even added noggins etc.
That said your chipboard floor will now be a patchwork and this may be the cause.
Yes it is caused by drying out because the chipboard probably got soaked before the roof went on!
That is why you have hollows in the floor between joists/supports.
It also explains why the boards and creaking on the screws.
Usually adding loads more screws fixes this.
A better carpet and thicker underlay can also help.
 

Mugen

New Member
Hi plot17,

I'm wondering How you getting on with this issue? I have more less a similiar problem and seeking help too. My builder has also refused to do further remedial work and has played the 'nhbc' card and like yourself i am bit wary of them!
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Hi plot17,

I'm wondering How you getting on with this issue? I have more less a similiar problem and seeking help too. My builder has also refused to do further remedial work and has played the 'nhbc' card and like yourself i am bit wary of them!

Name your house builder!
The very fact that they are refusing to help you with an issue relating to a defect in one of the homes they built should be a warning to others.
Dont be wary of the NHBC they are there to help you. They can and will sort this out for you.
They are not in cahoots with any of the house builders despite what people think.
It is in their own interests to get house builders to carry out as much remedial work as possible before the initial tow year period runs out and they become 100% responsible for any major defects.

It is becoming increasingly common for house builders to refer their customers to the NHBC in the hope they give up and put up with minor defect(s)
The NHBc will refert he matter back to the house builder and so it goes on until you give up!

Great "customer care" Mr House Builders well done!
 

Mugen

New Member
Thanks for the advice on the nhbc. My house Builder is Redrow and i am disgusted with their customer service! . Instead of fixing things they make it worse and them say its expected....Complete joke
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
We don't hear much about Redrow here.
You may like to look at Redrow Gripe.

It does go the show that most, if not all, house builders are the same when it comes to customner 'care' and fixing faults in the homes they build.

The large national plc builders should hang their heads in shame but all the time they are making huge profits for the city and the government wants new houses built to provide jobs, who is going to care or change anything?

All the new home buyers can do is NOT BUY in the first place.
Failing that, complain and keep on complaining. Write to the man in charge the CEO. He gets the big bucks and needs to know what is going on. If he was getting 100 letters a week from a particular region in his company he would go down to that office and shake the tree!

Have you written to Steve Morgan?
Even his football club (Wolves) is not Premier League now lol!
 
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Mugen

New Member
Have you written to Steve Morgan?
Even his football club (Wolves) is not Premier League now lol!

Was u only kidding about writing to Steve cos i am so not sure who can actually help me. Redrows construction director came round at the very early stages and basically told me they aint fixing nothing!

I have thought about writing to people higher up, Do you think writing to to them will actually help my case? I should write to them even before i go to nhbc? I was told that if i go to nhbc and once they rule in builders favor that is it, i will have to fix things myself. Any advice or info would be much appreciated. Thanks
 

plot17

New Member
Not much movement on the creaking floors front at the moment. At the moment I'm busy arguing about the burglar alarm they forgot to install.

Floors will probably be referred to NHBC as David Wilson are dragging their heels and want to wait 4 months...they think sitting and doing nothing will solve the problem.
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Was u only kidding about writing to Steve cos i am so not sure who can actually help me. Redrows construction director came round at the very early stages and basically told me they aint fixing nothing!

I have thought about writing to people higher up, Do you think writing to to them will actually help my case? I should write to them even before i go to nhbc? I was told that if i go to nhbc and once they rule in builders favor that is it, i will have to fix things myself. Any advice or info would be much appreciated. Thanks

No I wasn't joking! Although Steve Morgan's management of Wolves by sacking Mick McCarthy was a joke!

It is ALWAYS a good idea to go to the top when complaining.
The CEO's are paid the big bucks to care!
If Steve Morgan doesn't care then you let the world know about it.
I am sure he would want to know Redrow's customer care policy is "we ain't fixing nothing"

The more you have tried with the builder before going to the NHBC the more likely you are to be helped by them.
If the NHBC rule in the builder's favour then that is it, but they find in favour of the owner 75% of the time!
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Not much movement on the creaking floors front at the moment. At the moment I'm busy arguing about the burglar alarm they forgot to install.

Floors will probably be referred to NHBC as David Wilson are dragging their heels and want to wait 4 months...they think sitting and doing nothing will solve the problem.

Dragging this on and doing nothing is a way of hoping you give up, please don't.
It is said that 80% give up after 12 months and nearly everyone gives up after 18 months.
House builders rely on this.

Forgot to install and Burglar Alarm?
Makes you wonder what else David Wilson Homes (AKA Barratt) forget when they build their new homes.
 

plot17

New Member
Just filled in an online NHBC form about the creaking floors - will see what happens now.

Below is the reply I received from the Customer Services Executive that I received in response to a burglar alarm mail that I sent. Perhaps things are looking up?


I write to advise that Ian Ruthven has been appointed the new Managing Director of our Yorkshire West Division with effect from Monday 2nd July 2012.

Ian is aware of the history of your property and your previous correspondence with Chris Burton.

In order to seek resolution of your continued concerns, Ian would welcome the opportunity to visit your home to meet with you. Should this be acceptable, I would be grateful if you could advise dates that would be most convenient for yourselves and I shall seek to make arrangements for Ian and myself to attend.

Your detailed concerns regarding the provision of a hard wired burglar alarm would also be discussed at this time.
 
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plot17

New Member
and here is my burglar alarm email... perhaps I should have started a new thread?


Thank you for re-confirming that the specification document I sent you is the correct one for my property. As we have discussed before, in writing, this is the document that we were shown by your sales advisor, Jacqueline Smith, when she was explaining the specification of our property prior to purchase.

Regarding the Consumer Code for Home Builders: As you are aware, if the Home is not yet completed (this is the case with our property), the Consumer Code requires Home Builders to provide Home Buyers with a list of the Home's contents. In this case, it can be presumed that the specification document constitutes this list - we were not provided with any other list.

One item on the specification document is a Burglar Alarm System installed in accordance with BS4737. This is a British Standard that relates to hard-wired intruder alarm systems.

When we moved into our property we were surpised to discover that instead of a hard-wired alarm system, we had a completely inadequate wireless system. This system only contained a couple of sensors and it would have been possible to break down the front door, walk upstairs and enter any room without the alarm going off. I believe that the alarm that was installed was identical to the cheapest that was available in B&Q at the time.

I believe that you were also surprised to discover that no hard-wired system was installed at our property. Enclosed within my recent Subject Access Request was an email sent to you from your sales advisor on 26th August 2011 at 11:03am. At the end of her email she stated:

"I wasn't able to see the inside of plot till in plaster stage when I happened to be about & it was in 2nd fix & I popped in for a look, when I did notice that there was no b/alarm wiring."

It is a reasonable conclusion that she wrote this in response to a question raised by yourself as to why there was no hard-wired burglar alarm installed. My view that David Wilson Homes believe that a hard-wired system should have been installed is further supported by an email sent to me from your Managing Director, Chris Burton on 1st May in which he stated:

"In connection with the burglar alarm this was clearly an error with this being omitted during the construction of the house."

It is obviously beyond dispute that a hard-wired burglar alarm should have been installed at my property. In an attempt to rectify the situation, during the 15 week period of extensive remedial works, you fitted a different wireless system. We did not agree to this and although this system at least functions, I have made it clear to David Wilson Homes that it is completely unacceptable because it permanently takes up a plug socket in the hallway, requires ugly trunking to run down the wall in the hallway and needs the batteries to be changed regularly. I also believe that having the current system installed instead of the proper hard-wired system, devalues my property.

In your recent letter of 13th June, you stated:

"Burglar Alarm: We have allowed additional electrical work to power the alarm. However, I must confirm that we are unable to accommodate your request to replace the wireless alarm system with a hard wired system."

On the plan of work that you have produced you state that on the first day of work your electrical contractor is to:

"Provide an additional single socket spur to the side of the front door to provide power to the burglar alarm system"

Your proposal fails to address the issues that I have with the wireless alarm installed at my property. I believe that the only solution is to install the proper hard-wired system.

David Wilson Homes made the original mistake of forgetting to install the hard-wired alarm system. David Wilson Homes knew about this prior to completion but failed to inform us. In my opinion David Wilson Homes are now failing to live up to their responsibilities and correct the situation. Your stubborn refusal to install the correct burglar alarm is completely unacceptable and I believe that your position is based upon a reluctance to incur the cost that would be involved.

On the David Wilson Homes and Barratt Developments websites the following claims are made:

* "Obsessed by quality for over 40 years"

* "We aim to provide the highest standard of design, construction and customer service in the business"

* "Designed and built with care and attention"

* "David Wilson Homes are proud of the great superior quality of our homes"

Please can you explain how the previous actions and the current stance of David Wilson Homes in relation to the burglar alarm at my property are consistent with the above claims? Please can you also explain how they are consistent with the Barratt Group Ethics Policy found at Ethics Policy | Barratt Developments Plc Please can you also confirm that you are now prepared to install a hard-wired burglar alarm at my property?
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
What an excellent letter.
Well-written and backed up with indisputable facts.
This shows the value fo both ethe Subject Access Request and ensuring everything is recorded in writing.

No doubt Barratt have been "obsessed by quality for over 40 years"
In 1983 "World In Action" did a programme about their timber frame homes and followed it up with another about their homes having a depreciation after a short period due to the appliances and sometimes furniture that were included in started studio homes.

Good luck with this, but be aware they can make a mess installing wires behind drylining and the scars may not be made as good as the wall was before.
To get an insurance discount your burglar alarm needs to be Narcos approved.
 

plot17

New Member
Update - we referred the creaking floors problem to the NHBC who came and carried out an inspection. They found in our favour and have asked David Wilson to resolve the problems. They say that work should start by the 10th September (!!- not heard much from David Wilson so far) and that work shouod be complete by the 5th October.... Let's see what happens now...
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Now this will be the real test of Barratt's (aka david Wilson Homes) Customer care.
In my opiniion they have already failed in that it was necessary for you to claim on your NHBC Buildmark warranty to get the creaking floor issue resolved.
You first posted back in June and it is now September.
It is worth noting that many people give the NHBC a bad press (particularly BBC Watchdog)
But when home owners like you have a problem that the housebuilder will not resolve, the NHBC can and do help new home owners.

So you have not heard anything from DWH and they are supposed to start on Monday?
What's the betting no one turns up?
 

mkfc1981

New Member
Same Problem with Barratt Home in Maple Park SS17, completion in 2016

I have the same issue. We completed in October 2016, and the list of snagging is endless. Wonkey installed hobs, wonkey walls and ceilings, Rotting fence, dropping ceilings, and worst of all the creaking floors and stairs.

Multiple attempts have been made to remedy this with no success, in fact 2 weeks ago, they ripped everything out (carpet, floor boards and screwed and drilled for 2 days) just to "fix" HALF of one bedroom. I was then told buy the team that the other half would fixed another time. Since then the NHBC got involved and came over yesterday, and like some you say, they just subjectively make a decision what they think is ACCEPTABLE level of noise (like one of you said, without actually measuring the level of noise, it's a new build and there should be NO noise).

The noise is substantial enough to wake people up. But they now deny a) that they said they'd complete the work b) that there was a problem in the first place.

NHBC is useless, what other options do I have? I don't think suing would get me anywhere? Bad publicity? Thought about it, but i really just want my floors fixed. If i wanted to sell my place the floor issues would impede my sales price.

Any help would much appreciated.
 
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mkfc1981

New Member
I have the same issue. We completed in October 2016, and the list of snagging is endless. Wonky installed hobs, wonky walls and ceilings, Rotting fence, dropping ceilings, and worst of all the creaking floors and stairs.

Multiple attempts have been made to remedy this with no success, in fact 2 weeks ago, they ripped everything out (carpet, floor boards and screwed and drilled for 2 days) just to "fix" HALF of one bedroom. I was then told buy the team that the other half would fixed another time. Since then the NHBC got involved and came over yesterday, and like some you say, they just subjectively make a decision what they think is ACCEPTABLE level of noise (like one of you said, without actually measuring the level of noise, it's a new build and there should be NO noise).

The noise is substantial enough to wake people up. But they now deny a) that they said they'd complete the work b) that there was a problem in the first place.

NHBC is useless, what other options do I have? I don't think suing would get me anywhere? Bad publicity? Thought about it, but i really just want my floors fixed. If i wanted to sell my place the floor issues would impede my sales price.

Any help would much appreciated.
 
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Makebetterhomes

Administrator
see my latest post about appealing NHBC

there is also a complaints procedure if you dont think your claim is being handled correctly ,,,call them and ask for details

if you're thinking of legal action Geoff Peters at Wingrove law Wingrove Law is a good man , he will normally advise if you have a case or not
 
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