A farm house in West Wales
A Homeowner with a rather large farmhouse was in a dispute with a Contractor regarding the installation of a new hot and cold water supply system. The Homeowner had issues with the invoice he had received from his contractor. In particular he objected to the cost of the pipes and fittings used in carrying out the refurbishment. He also had issues with the hours invoiced to complete the work.
Both parties Solicitors had recommended that the two parties seek mediation regarding their dispute. They agreed to accept an Independent Expert Report regarding this matter. RAH Consultancy attended at the site and surveyed the entire water system renewed by the Contractor including an itemisation of all the pipe and fittings used in the work. We also had access to the Contractors diary and worksheets.
Major points of contention arose because the Homeowner had identified a website offering extremely cheap fittings which he believed should have been used. A further issue arose with regard to the hours that the Contractor worked to finish the project.
RAH Consultancy investigated a number of websites offering plumbing fittings including the one the Homeowner had identified. We were immediately aware that the Homeowner’s suggested supplier was a S.East Asian manufacturer who had no proof of the Standard required to satisfy UK Regulations. The Contractor, who was an experienced and competent person, would only use fittings which would satisfy the Regulations and which he would believe are fit for purpose. In addition being based in rural W.Wales he had ordered a small percentage of stock in excess of the estimated requirements. This stock was in usually large sizes and was non-returnable. He was therefore left with some fittings at the conclusion of the works which he had paid for and which were unlikely to have been used on another contract.
The Contractor had however, used some fittings which were incorrectly installed and had to be removed. These were impossible to reuse. We also considered that the length of time the Contractor had logged in the invoice to be to be too high. The Report concluded that were in general agreement with the choice of materials and the amounts used. We suggested the excess fittings were the property of the Householder and should be returned to him or bought by the Contractor for his future use. We amended the hours taken, in particular we removed those hours resulting from the Contractor’s mistake. Both parties agreed that the conclusion was acceptable.
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