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Extension built over sewers

I have a one-year-old extension built over access to sewer pipes and the drains are all blocked, with sewerage coming up the bath and showers. The builder doesn’t want to know. Will the house insurance cover costs? Extimates €12,000. Any comeback wit

I have a one-year-old extension built over access to sewer pipes and the drains are all blocked,  with sewerage coming up the bath and showers.  The builder doesn’t want to know.  Will the house insurance cover costs?  Extimates €12,000.  Any comeback with the builder.  May have to move out if second toilet blocks.

If this extension was built without an Architect or Engineer doing the drawings and/or supervising the work, and you just asked the builder to build, then I don’t think you have any comeback.  You undertook the project management of this and directed the builder to build in a particular way and in a particular place, and if he wasn’t involved in drawing up the plans or surveying the property or was not in any advisory capacity to you then he is not responsible.

Declan Carty asks: Surely Brian the builder has a duty of care.

Brian: Yes he does but only within the bounds of the contract. If there is a restrictive agreement only to build and the Listener is cutting cost by getting his own drawings etc done then any mistakes in that area are likely to be his responsibility. But of course if the builder provided a full planning and survey service then the builder would be responsible.

Regarding the insurance question, it is a matter for what the insurance policy says if it is covered.  My experience with these policies is however that there is a clause which requires the building to be built in a competent and well designed manner and if a loss adjuster has a look at this on behalf of the insurance company this might cause problems with the claim.   

 

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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