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Homeowners

Do you feel the wrong or inferior materials have
been used on your job?

Builders

Have you used what you believe is the right materials
and the customer has changed their mind?

Mediation4Builders can help resolve these issues for both builders and homeowners without
costly litigation or court. Contact us today

Material Disputes

One of the most common areas of dispute between Builders and Homeowners relates to the type, specification and quality of the materials used by the Builder in the construction project on which he has been instructed. The law covering this area is fairly clear and was recently enhanced by the Consumer Rights Act of 2015. The position is essentially that materials provided by the Builder for use in the project should be of satisfactory quality, be fit for their purpose, and should match their description.

Trying to interpret what these terms mean can be a rich area of dispute in itself. Let’s look at a few scenarios that could arise:

– Householder chooses a cooker/Hob to be built into a new kitchen. It’s not only that the cooker must work properly, it must also be the specific make and model chosen by the Householder and have all the features promised. Here clearly the law states the cooker must match its description.

– If the Builder installs a faulty pipe in the kitchen or bathroom that leaks water, the allegation would be that the pipe is not of satisfactory quality.

– If the material is used on a door or roof that is not waterproof and lets in water, the allegation would be that the material is not fit for its purpose.

These sort of issues can arise in any building project, large or small and can soon turn into a serious problem. The stressed Homeowner dreaming of his new kitchen doesn’t get what he thinks he’s ordered, and the Builder gets a disgruntled customer, possible damage to their reputation and a hit to his cash-flow, if the customer is withholding payment – disaster all around.

So what can be done to avoid this?

The good news for both sides is that increasingly Mediation4Builders is being used to solve these type of problems, rather than court proceedings, which are fraught with risk and can be hugely expensive and stressful.

The real beauty of Mediation for both Homeowner and Builder is that it attempts to lower the temperature between the parties and reopen closed lines of communication so they can engage again on a reasonable basis and reach a sensible, fair and measured agreement at a fraction of the cost of court proceedings.

Again, the new Consumer Rights Act helps because it imposes a requirement that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which covers Mediation, should be explored before court proceedings.

The process of Mediation is straightforward; a Mediator, who will usually be an expert in the field and accredited to a professional mediation association, is chosen and the parties agree on how any costs will be shared or paid, and then they are essentially ready to go.

Other advantages are that the process is confidential so anything said cannot later be used in any subsequent court proceedings if mediation fails, and this again encourages people to speak freely and facilitates early settlement.

The success rate for Mediation is high, so both Builder and Homeowners need have no fears when embarking on a new project, that any dispute will get out of hand because mediation is there to smooth out and resolve any such problems.

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