Ask a tradesman


Builder changed plans without telling us and we're unhappy with end results. what are our rights?

Hi there
We've recently had an extension built and the plans specified a solid concrete sub-floor. However the builder changed the plans and installed a floating wooden floor without telling us, after they discovered that the rest of the house was serviced by air bricks. They say they installed what they claim is adequate insulation, however there was no SAP calculation done for the new plans and building control didn't come out to see the build before an engineered wood floor was laid and stuck down over everything.

Now that we've been living in the house for a month we've noted just how much colder the extension is than the rest of the lounge which it's attached to. The wooden floor is colder and more 'springy' underfoot in the extension (furniture literally moves when you walk past) and the skirting they have installed is cold to the touch. An electrician who came to change a light switch noted a bad draft coming out of the wall and there are drafts coming out of those holes where the skirting is still to be fixed properly.

Our builders are being challenging about the entire thing, saying that they made the change to the plans when they saw the issue with the airbricks, however our architect has challenged them on this saying they could have used telescopic airBricks under the concrete.

As it stands the builders are saying they will take up the wooden floor, but if it passes the building control check that we'd arrange at the same time then we'll be liable for the cost of taking up the floor, plus over £1k for the new floor itself, even though this appears to be an issue of their making.

I'd love to hear people's thoughts on this. It's so frustrating to be so close to finishing and our builders seem to want to back away from taking responsibility for their decisions. On top of all this we've just spent a large sum of money on a really cold room!

Are they able to hold this threat over us whilst the build is lacking in quality and they changed plans without engaging either us or the architect on the subject?

Thanks in advance for your input!

1 Answer from a MyBuilder Extension Builder

Best Answer

Hello, If you building company has deviated from the building regulation drawings without firstly your approval but more importantly building controls approval then they are completely at fault.

Not only have they broken the rules but they have skipped an important inspection stage, building control should have seen any insulation in the floor before it was covered.

Do not panic about having to pay extra.... if you are getting draught through the floor/walls then it is impossible that they have done it correctly so they will be footing the bill for correct installation.

If you have agreed a concrete floor with the contractors then a concrete floor is what you should have.... a floating floor is much cheaper to install this will be the reason they have opted for this.

If this was me regardless of if it conforms to building regs or not I would insist on having a concrete floor installed or taking them to court for breach of contract.

Good luck


Answered 6th Feb 2017

Post your job to find high quality tradesmen and get free quotes

Can’t find an answer? Ask a new question

Question Categories