Be gentle, I'm new! Vertical cracks under each side of first floor UPVC bay

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by hannah36, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. hannah36

    hannah36 New Member

    We purchased a 1930's end terrace at the end of Feb this year and the building surveyor found the above cracks (under some dodgy wallpaper).... house is brick but first floor windows have tiles on the outside and we can't see any movement or cracks there, downstairs is brick and looks ok.

    A structural engineer has said the only way to see if the problem is structural and was caused by the installation of the windows less than two years ago, is to take out the windows and look to see what has been done (sounds like a nightmare).

    My questions are, is it true that the guarantee for the workmanship of the window installation doesn't apply now the house has been sold AND how on earth do we go about taking out the windows? Do we try and get the original installers to do it while the engineer is present?

    Any experience of this would be greatly appreciated.

    ps the cracks go all the way to the floor and you can see daylight through one of them!
  2. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    the chances of you getting the original installers to carry out remedial works is minimal, would you really want to let them loose again on your house now it's been shown that they aren't competent ?

    what sort of survey did you commission when you purchased the property and was this failing mentioned ?
  3. hannah36

    hannah36 New Member

    True about the fitters, I'm just not sure what else to do. FENSA says I must approach the firm before I do anything.

    We got both Building and Structural and yes it was. Structural engineer says it was due to window installation.
  4. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    was the fault noticed during the survey, and therefore you were aware of it when you completed, or

    was the fault not noticed during the survey, and was found by you after completion ?
  5. hannah36

    hannah36 New Member

    Yes it was noticed during the survey by the surveyor under dodgy wallpaper as I've said. Yes we were aware of it when we completed. (Not sure of purpose of question)
  6. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    the purpose of my question was to check that this fault wasn't missed by the surveyor, as you may well have been able to claim off their indemnity insurance for the omission

    so you've purchased the property knowing there were faults, a qualified person has now told you that the fabric needs exposing to ascertain the fault of the fault - that's reasonable advise

    I suspect the chances or you getting the original installers out to witness those investigative works are minimal, the chances of you being able to get them to willingly, and competently, carry out any remedial works as soon as the cause has been found are even more remote - if you want to commence a potentially long winded battle of blame, whilst suffering the affects of the investigative works - good luck

    my advice - bite the bullet and get a good general builder in to support the bay, take the window out, add whatever supports are needed and make good - so that you can enjoy your new home
  7. hannah36

    hannah36 New Member

    Thanks for your advice. My question however, was directed to people who may have had the same issue and I was looking for advice about how they dealt with it. I'm not that interested in letting incompetent people get away with shoddy workmanship, I think far too much shoulder shrugging goes on in this country.
  8. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    do you have the FENSA cert for the works ?
  9. Cheburashka

    Cheburashka Active Member

    This problem happens often as the cowboy fitters do not support the bay while changing the windows and they seldom fit new windows with support pillars, meaning there is nothing really supporting the overhang of the floor/wall above.

    Forget what Fensa say, Take Seans advice of getting a good general builder in to investigate and make good.
  10. Phil the Paver

    Phil the Paver Screwfix Select

    Wrong place then, Google, lawyers.

    Keep your fingers crossed though as you have zero chance of claiming off anybody, you put yourself in this situation.
  11. hannah36

    hannah36 New Member

    Gee thanks Phil! So we should have walked away? Is that what people do?

    Yes, Sean we do have the FENSA cert.
  12. Phil the Paver

    Phil the Paver Screwfix Select

    Well yes when buying something it is, would you buy a car with a broken engine, then moan about it???, didn't think so.

    Sean has told what to do, but you seem to think someone is to blame, maybe they are, but not to you, to the previous owner.
  13. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    you must have liked the house, complete with the known faults, as you've now purchased it

    it now looks like you are wanting someone else to pay to rectify those known faults, which is fair enough as it appears there might be some form of insurance backed warranty (FENSA) - if that was your aim pre completion then sadly your plan will come unstuck

    as I have said before - your chances or making progress along that route are minimal

    get a builder in, get it sorted and enjoy life
  14. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    just for a bit of clarity, the idea of the FENSA warranty is that it can be passed along with the ownership of the property - so you do have a couple of options

    A, get a builder in and have it sorted within less than a week (that's including completion the interior decor)

    B, get the works exposed to ascertain the cause of the fault - if it can be concluded by the £250/day SE that is was due to a faulty method of installation by the window fitters you then have to start the very long winded process of claiming, which has no guarantee of being concluded in your favour (remembering that the property will remain exposed due to the investigative works) - also factor in the chances of the investigative works exposing another cause of the fault, which might not so easily be laid at the feet of the window fitters
  15. Cheburashka

    Cheburashka Active Member

    I have only just had a claim settled, I've done it before, know the procedure etc. It took 1 year to get paid out.

    As you bought this house 'as is' I think it is a case of Caveat emptor.
  16. hannah36

    hannah36 New Member

    Okay, thanks again. FENSA isn't a warranty, FENSA will only become involved when building regulations have not been adhered to. Call me silly but if there are cracks appearing after the windows were installed logic says building regs were not adhered to.

    A warranty for the work is separate but as I have said before it belongs to the person who purchased the work NOT the work itself which to me is mad. In other countries the warranty belongs to the work and must be passed on.

    Regarding your example of a car with a broken engine, it is hardly the same thing. The house is liveable and fit for purpose. A car without a working engine is not. A more appropriate example would be if the car had had a window repaired and it wasn't working within a couple of years of it being fixed. Oddly enough that would be covered by a a warranty!

    Cheburashka if you have had an experience I'd like to hear about it. I don't think of it as Caveat emptor, if window fitters and builders do shoddy work they should be made to fix it or pay to have it fixed.
  17. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    that isnt correct, here's a direct quote from FENSA - hence my question about the cert

    ''Insurance-Backed Guarantee (IBG): Insurance-Backed Guarantee (IBG): A FENSA Registered Business must also give a guarantee or warranty covering the cost of completing rectification work in respect of defects and in the event of ceasing to trade. This is called an Insurance-Backed Guarantee (IBG). ''

    for context, here is the rest of the text, which you might wish to read and digest before you go barking up the wrong tree ....... linky
  18. hannah36

    hannah36 New Member

    I think that is out of context, as the conversations I've had with FENSA state what I have told you.

    The warranty as supplied by the window fitter belongs to the person who purchased the work. It does not get passed on to the new owner of the property. I have checked this several times. So yes, a warranty does exist but it is not belong to the work and expires when the property is sold.
  19. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    if FENSA cannot be relied upon to give you the correct information at this early stage of the process does that not fill you with impending doom for the accuracy and speed of response through the actual claim ?
  20. hannah36

    hannah36 New Member

    Prices to have it rectified are upwards of 4k so I'm not sure why you think it will cost 5 x 250!!

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