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Don’t Employ Builders before Checking Their Financial Status

Georgian HousesThose thinking about renovating their homes should check out the financial stability of their builders as well as their competence. One unfortunate couple only found that out when their basement extension went disastrously wrong, leading to the collapse of their home.

The couple just had time to evacuate their terraced home with little more than the clothes they were wearing before one of its flank walls crumbled. The property had remained derelict since, forcing them to move between a succession of temporary homes, and their home insurance had not covered them for the loss.

The High Court found that it was overwhelmingly likely that the collapse was caused by a building firm’s failure to carry out its work on the extension with reasonable care and skill. It had taken no effective steps to prop up the flank wall or to lay a concrete floor slab which could have averted disaster.

The firm was ordered to pay the couple £287,754 in damages. However, it was believed to be insolvent and the couple thus faced an uphill struggle in recovering any of that money. Their claim against an engineering firm, which designed the essential structure of the extension, failed.