Faulty Render

shedboy83

New Member
I have just found out that the render on my property needs repaired, but the builders are refusing to give an official start date.

Should I log this with NHBC, I am really worried they turn up and start in the middle of the summer putting my garden out of bounds for the kids.

What makes this more worrying is a few houses have already had there's fall off, I shudder to think what would happen if my kids were below it when something like that happened.

I am now at the stage of going to the national press or contacting a tv show, as I feel we are being treated very poorly.

Do you have any advice ?
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
The good news is that your builders have agreed to replace the faulty render.
Presumably they know why it is falling off.

I would suggest that this may have been due to either:
Incorrect Mix
Frost Damage
Drying out too quickly ie in hot sun.

The builder obviously wil need to do the work in a period of settled weather and you should be patient.

When the work is being done you shoudl advise your children of the dangers and tell them not to climb on any scaffolding.

There is no need to "go to the papers or TV" just yet!
 

shedboy83

New Member
Thanks for that, my main concern, is that this has now been dragging on sinc September last year, three houses have randomly had the full gable fall down during hi winds, just the render not the brickwork, my worry is if it comes loose and falls down while somebody is out ther, to me this is a serious risk
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Blimey!

That is serious.

The house builder should at the very least take off the loose render as it is clearly a safety hazard.

They would be liable if there was an accident but so would you as the property owner.

You therefore need to make it crystal clear to Stewart Milne (IN WRITING) that you consider this fault a serious safety hazard and in the event of an accident, now they have been informed, they would be fully liable, not your insurers.

Having informed Stewart milne, if they do nothing and someone does get hurt they could face criminal prosecution and unlimited claims for negligence.

I hope they act soon before anyone gets hurt.......or worse.
 

philipd2904

New Member
Having spoken to the site manager, they're going to be on site until September this year and again next year as most houses need some degree of re-rendering. They are testing 93 houses (don't know why it's not the full 98) and only 2 houses they've tested so far don't require any remedial works.

This has been ongoing for over 3 years for me now having suffered the Wards re-rendering fiasco 2 and a half years ago where 2 sides of my house were re-rendered. They are just about to start the full re-rendering of my house now.

I found out that (amongst other things) Wards used their own base course rather than the Powerwall base course that they should have used. This in itself should not have been a massive issue so there were obviously other factors, but having seen them in action and the shortcuts they took, I'm not surprised there were problems and certainly not surprised they are out of business.

A friend of ours was told that houses that are being re-rendered this year will have received a letter to say so. So maybe the first question to be asked is to find out if you will be getting done this year at all?
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
philipd2904

If you have already had the gables re rendered and now they are doing the whole house, presumably the gables are being re done?

This has got to be a problem of one of two things:
Either the render itself was faulty or not applied properly
Or the blocks the render is applied to are not suitable.

My guess is it is the latter.
It will probably be necessary for EML sheeting to be fixed to the blockwork before new render is applied. the EML must be stainless steel as must all the beading.
Are the NHBC monitoring what is being done? They will have to take over the warranty on it after the re render.

Have the builders considered a one-coat system such as Webber Monocouche.
It is self-coloured and does not need painting.
 

shedboy83

New Member
Having spoken to the site manager, they're going to be on site until September this year and again next year as most houses need some degree of re-rendering. They are testing 93 houses (don't know why it's not the full 98) and only 2 houses they've tested so far don't require any remedial works.

This has been ongoing for over 3 years for me now having suffered the Wards re-rendering fiasco 2 and a half years ago where 2 sides of my house were re-rendered. They are just about to start the full re-rendering of my house now.

I found out that (amongst other things) Wards used their own base course rather than the Powerwall base course that they should have used. This in itself should not have been a massive issue so there were obviously other factors, but having seen them in action and the shortcuts they took, I'm not surprised there were problems and certainly not surprised they are out of business.

A friend of ours was told that houses that are being re-rendered this year will have received a letter to say so. So maybe the first question to be asked is to find out if you will be getting done this year at all?

Yes they have lettered me saying the start date shall be between May and August, but have yet to have it confirmed by SMHN, after reading the reply below I shall be notifying the NHBC also, along with this I have been taking photos of the works at the other properties.

I was also approached by a local councillor who offered to write to SMHN on my behalf but I have left in the meantime, but have made my solicitor aware also.

I am also considering Writing into the judge in the Sunday mail, as I feel this needs highlighted to anybody thinking of buying a SMHN house !!!
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Adverse publicity will not specifically help your cause, which is to get the matter resolved.
Stewart Milne may have built a defective new homes on this development but they are actually trying to resolve the matter even though it is taking time.
It is also questionable if the remedial works will stand the test of time - but they aren't ignoring the problem which is when you should make it very public.

You are wise to notify your solicitor and the NHBC and taking photgraphs is always advisable.
Perhaps if you can, you will put some on here.

Not sure how a councillor will help, but it is reassuring for you and others to have local independant support.
 

philipd2904

New Member
The impression I got from them was that they have to fix this issue before it gets to the press. I think everyone single person on this site has probably threatened them with going to the press but nobody's actually done it!

I believe the issue was due to the application of the powerwall wet dash render rather than the blockwork. I did speak to Powerwall and although they couldn't discuss our development and its issues, were very helpful.

We're now 2 weeks into the works and only the render on the front of the house still needs to be removed. The guys taking it off informed me it was coming off 'scarily easily' and it was coming off in such big sheets they could have taken it off with a spade!

I have to say that so far, the approach taken by SMH on all fronts is a massive improvement on their previous efforts. There's still stuff getting damaged but they have at least tried to protect everything to minimise it.
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
I am pleased it is getting sorted out for you.

I would still say the problem with render is that it did not "stick" to the backround.
It stuck tio itself ok else why did it come off in "large sheets" as you say.

If there was a problem with the wrong blocks being used, do you think anyone would tell you?
The Powerwall people probally have a gag order on them!

What you MUST DO is get a guarantee from the builder that this render will last 20 years.

Get the NHBC to extended their warranty to cover this re render.
Perhaps the NHBC should send someone down to inspect it and the re application!
If they refuse, you may need to start worrying again!
 

philipd2904

New Member
I forgot to mention, because it was so long ago (sorry!), that we had core samples taken (about a 6" diameter core through the render and breeze block) from 3 sides of our house (as did 4 other homes) and analysed by an independent company. They would not, however, provide me with a copy of the results...!!!

I also acquired information that the company that had applied the original render (Wards) made up their own mix for the base course and didn't use the approved Powerwall base course at all.

I can only guess that SMH must be confident that it's not an issue with the background to risk rerendering so many homes again (rumoured at a cost of around £1.3m) without taking a different approach? This is information we will never be able to obtain...

I have in writing a statement that SMH will reinstate the 10 year guarantee on the render from the date of completion (from themselves, not the NHBC). It was pretty hard to get even that from them. They really just wanted the original NHBC 10 years from house purchase to cover it. We have decided that we will not be staying in the house any longer than that anyway.

I do think your point about getting the NHBC back involved is a good one. They would have inspected the house at various points during the original construction and now that we are back into a construction phase. I'll see what they say...
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
You have a right to the information regarding your home.
You should make a subject access request under the Data Protectiion act 1998.
The house builder must then give you everything they have about you and your new home on their files.
This will include e mails and the report you are after.
It will cost you just £10 and will be the best £10 you ever spend in my opinion!
have a look here:- http://forum.snagging.org/barratt-homes/1840-barratt-david-wilson-home-file.html

You need the NHBC to extend the warranty as it is underwritten.
The house builder may cease trading and not be around when you need to make a claim.

Regarding the NHBC, they would want to be aware of the problem, and would probably want to inspect the remedial work too.
They are standard setters so if there has been a problem they may through greater knowledge be able to prevent this happening again.
 

philipd2904

New Member
Thanks - that is really useful information! I did a further search and the found another site that gives more information (I don't have enough posts to post links so will do it in following post). I will definitely be doing this!

I also contacted the NHBC today but they are not interested at all as the builder is in the process of rectifying the issues. Even technically they would not provide any help as she stated they are 'insurers' rather than there to manage how the builders go about rectifying these issues.

She also stated there was no way they could provide any extension to the warranty for the rendering - that would have to come from the builder
 
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NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
I am surprised by the NHBC's attitude with this.
"she stated they are 'insurers' rather than there to manage how the builders go about rectifying these issues."

They provide a warranty and as such should and do inspect the work to ensure it is to standard to reduce their risk.
Why else would they inspect homes as they are being built?

Secondly are the NHBC sayiong that any remedial works is only warrantied for the remaining years left on the warranty?
This cannot be correct, as they do cover things after the two years are up provided they were reported and remedial works were done inside the two year period even though the problem still exists after.
If you had subsidence on year 7 surely the work would be warranteed for 10 years from recification?
Perhaps someone from the NHBC would clarify this?


I would suggest you call again and ask to speak to someone who knows what they are talking about, or write a letter.
 

philipd2904

New Member
Urgent advice re: window sills required...

Hi. I'd have to say I'm not really surprised by the NHBC having had previous experience with them before. And yes, the woman at the NHBC actually worked out how much warranty I'd have left (it wasn't a difficult calculation for her 10 - 4 =? !! )

Things seem to be taking a real downturn at the moment - the builders seem to be racing ahead of themselves and trying to start new jobs before finishing the previous. I actually met with the current (temporary) site manager today to go through everything I spotted. I am still not happy with his answers on most things...

This is my most pressing issue, I'd appreciate some advice on...

My house render was actually meant to have be rectified last year but ended not being done because 2 houses being re-rendered before ours took far longer to complete than expected (a story in itself!). As part of the exercise of taking off their render most window sills were damaged and ended up being completely replaced. At that time a complete pallet of new sills was ordered for my house and delivered to the site because of their experience with the first 2 houses. When they ran out of time to do my house before the weather turned they disappeared off site taking the window sills with them.

Needless to say in the current process of taking the render off my house they have damaged most, if not all my window sills. But now they are saying they are going to have the sills repaired rather than replaced. I do have in writing an e-mail from their inept Head of Customer Services that quotes "c. Any damaged sills shall be replaced." (dated 30/03/12) and I have also questioned their option of repairing by asking what warranty they would provide if I agreed to this approach but they have not responded to that as yet (I only asked today but I would expect it to be treated with appropriate urgency given what is going on at the house)

What I'm really not sure of is my rights in this matter. Even though I have something in writing I guess there's nothing stopping them pressing ahead quickly to give me no option but to have them repaired (it would make more of a mess to have them replaced after the render was on). I would think they will be hoping to put the new base coat on by Wednesday this week, so I'm needing advice asap!. Is there some legal route I can take to ensure they replace these sills rather than repair them? Or are the repairs made to sills typically durable enough to allow me to let them to do this (if they provide a long enough warranty)?

Any suggestions/advice would by highly appreciated! Thanks in advance...
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
After many many weeks of delay they have finally got around to your house.
The cills they did have have been used elsewhere or damaged.

It is a well known fact that stone cills are on a very long lead in time 10-12 weeks.
This is why they now want to repair them.
Repairs are never successful. You will always see the filled bit unless the cill is painted.

Under no circumstances should the render to re applied if the cills are being replaced. This will cause you even more problems.

Legally:
You have a house that was not built properly.
You do not have a full (bonded) warranty for any remedial work being done.
The builder has said what he is doing to fix the issue in writing.

He now wants to go down a different route to the agreed course of action.
Legally I feel he cannot do this without your consent.

If you havent done so already get a solicitor on board and tell Stewart Milne they will be paying your legal fees as well as compensation for their poor management of this.
 

philipd2904

New Member
Thanks for the response. I think I'm going to have to accept a repair (sills will be painted) as I don't want to be left with scaffold around the house for any longer than is necessary. SM have agreed to put a 10 year guarantee on the sill repairs so I'm just trying to ensure it will be worth the paper it is written on...

I've also seen the final result on my neighbours property and whoever does the repairs does do a very good job. Onto next battle:)
 

shedboy83

New Member
Thanks for the response. I think I'm going to have to accept a repair (sills will be painted) as I don't want to be left with scaffold around the house for any longer than is necessary. SM have agreed to put a 10 year guarantee on the sill repairs so I'm just trying to ensure it will be worth the paper it is written on...

I've also seen the final result on my neighbours property and whoever does the repairs does do a very good job. Onto next battle:)

The repairs are done by a company called sterling precast, once done they will look like new.

My main concern at my property is the amount of time that the repairs will take, and the mess caused by them, also during the repairs the amount of dust and stour that then gets in to your house.

There seems to be offer of sorry about what has happened, the stress of coming home to see scaffold every night in my garden is not filling me with joy !!

Unlike the other person who has written above I plan to stay in my home till carried out in a box!!

I have also written a letter to to one of the Scottish papers explaining what has gone on and asked if they would like to follow the repairs through from start to finish, the letter was only sent today, but will update you on there reply, I have also sent off a letter to watch dog, I really don't want people to go through the misery of owning a new build propert like I have
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
I think this matter deserves national exposure on BBC Watchdog.
However, they only like reporting on the firms that don't do anything to put matters right.
But you have a new home and you should not have to suffer this without a decent financial compensation.

It is always a good idea to contact local papers about issues like this.
 
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