Materials Dispute


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


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

Who We Help


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

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.

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.


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

This saying certainly runs true when it comes to attempting to fix and figure out the reasons behind material disputes.

The best place to start is by communicating with the project manager and builders who are working on the project. Calmly and politely ask them about the issues that they have been facing.

What has caused the change in matierals used?

How can they help to commincate with the home owners?

What do they need?

You’ll often find them to be both helpful and honest in their answers.

Building work Mediation plays a huge role in successfully helping with material disputes. It will typically involve both parties sitting down with a knowledgeable mediator. If you’re having an issue communicating with your project manager or builders, then this is the best way to go. Mediators have the tools and skills to be able to quickly resolve issues in the most efficient manner. Although a mediation service will come with an extra fee, it will be sure to save you plenty of time and money in the long run.

It’s worth noting what you can do to prevent the time-consuming issue of jmaterials disputes in the future. The first is to really work with a company that you know and trust.

Perhaps you can get reviews from friends and family and from people who have done a good job for them in the past.

You should also ensure all of the correct documentation is in order, and that any contracts have a clause which states what will happen if materials need to change. 

Follow the above tips and you will be well on your way to resolving materials disputes and preventing new ones. Good luck.

Contact us today to find out more!

Feel Like You Are Stuck, Unable to Move Forward?

Mediation 4 builders has dynamics, timetable, structure that “ordinary” negotiations do not have. The process is confidential, private and enforced by law.