Conversions - General Question

Garage conversion does not comply with building reg's or architects drawings, what can i do?

I paid the builder a 10% deposit before the job was commenced.
I refused to pay balance at the end until i got a completion certificate.
the building inspector was out and there are a number of basic things that the builder has done that are not in accordance with my architects drawings or building regulations.
For example, the drawings required 100mm insulation board on the external walls, the bulider has only used 30mm. There are no trickle valves on the window installed, which are required by the buiilding reg's in Scotland. The builder has not latex skimmed the concrete floor. The job was a disaster throughout and there are other minor aspects I am not happy with.
The inspector will not provide a completion certificate until rectified.
I really dont want the same builder back on site; i'd rather get a reputable local tradesman to fix/finish the job.
Do i need to offer the original builder the chance to rectify the job? If not, what if anything do I need to pay the original builder? He has not done the job as contracted.

10 Answers

Best Answer

Unfortunately, even though you dont want the builder back you must give him the chance to rectify the works, and hold any money due until you have the completion certificate, and you are happy.
The trickle vents can be retro fitted, the floor sounds easy enough to rectify.
As for the insulation not up to standard, if its in the cavity, then you do have problems.

Answered 30th Nov 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008

your in a tricky situation!!!

if you really dont want the builder back i can understand, make sure he is not out of pocket, for example if he has paid for materials that are on the job that are correct pay him for these.

you dont have to, just the moral thing to do.

then contact a reputable builder and get your building works finished.

hope this helps


Joe Williams

Answered 30th Nov 2011

Joe Williams

Member since 25 Nov 2011

if you are satisfied by the work carried out by the builder and depending if the work was to a gd standard by the building inspector spec then yes.
but if the building inspector does not rate the work he has done why offer him the work again to potetialy mess up. if i was not satisfied by the work i would not pay him and give him evidence of the building inspector showing that is did not meet regs and the poor work quality stated by the building inspector.

Answered 30th Nov 2011

GFI Services Ltd

Member since 20 Nov 2010

In your current situation,your conversion isnt worth a penny.Without completion from building control,all you have is a fancy unusable garage.The window problem is an easy fix,the insulation another problem altogether.Im presuming as you are after completion,all the walls are plastered etc and you have had to make a hole in the wall to show the building inspector the insulation that has been used? If so,why have you allowed this idiot to plough through the work without ensuring that certain things were checked before they were covered up? Hopefully the foundation for the door infill has been passed as it is unlikely to be suitable if he skipped the inspection on this too.Personally i would not entertain this fool again.Post this as a job on here and let someone who actually knows what they are doing take a look.Hopefully the money you have retained will cover sorting this out though i very much doubt it.One more thing.You get what you pay for in this game and if this guy was the cheapest at quote stage,he will definetly end up costing you more than a quality tradesmen by the time you have sorted his corner cutting.Hopefully other job posters will learn from this.Cheap jobs usually end in tears.

Answered 30th Nov 2011

Roc builders

Member since 25 Aug 2011

There's nothing wrong with paying a small goodwill deposit if that's what you both agreed prior to commencement, it shows commitment on both sides. I'm surprised your builder didn't ask for stage payments as the work progressed though, but then you don't say the extent of the work only that it was a garage conversion (so presumably not a massive job).
If the garage was converted (presumably from an existing outbuilding?) the builder should have upgraded the cavity insulation as part of the renovation work (whether 100mm is achievable on any existing walls you don't say) but any new external walls would need 100mm insulation as a matter of course (any builder knows this).
Your builder can retro-fit trickle vents to the new windows - it's a simple job and the vents can be bought online - most companies I deal with these days fit trickle vents as standard though, so where did your guy get your windows from?
Is the concrete on the floor that rough that it needs latexing, or has he just left the oversite exposed and not bothered screeding the floor? What did your drawings show? Has the floor been screeded, and then walked/worked on before it's cured properly, and then simply broken up?
As for getting it finished, you should at least give the guy the opportunity to put the work right. If he can't or won't then you'll have no choice but to use other contractors and deduct their bills from any monies outstanding to him.
Did you sign a contract with your builder, if so there should be an arbitration process descibed in the contract.
All the problems you've described should be simple fixes for your builder. The thought of getting the outstanding 90% should be motivating enough for him to sort them out for you, but there's plenty of capable tradesmen on mybuilder that will be able to get it done if he doesn't come through for you.
Good luck
Damon Smith
D S Interior Services Limited

Answered 30th Nov 2011

DS Interior Services Limited

Member since 8 Sep 2009

If the job has not been completed to building regulations and your own personal satisfaction then you could offer the builder one chance to rectify his mistakes and bring them up to standard. If he does not carry this out then you should not pay the builder and use the money to pay a reputable builder to come and rectify and complete the works.

Answered 30th Nov 2011

Caremore Construction Ltd

Member since 30 Dec 2010

Hello. Not sure where to start really. In England it is the home owners responsibility to make sure the work carried out on there property is up to the building regs standard ( not sure about Scotland). It is unfair I know as you have employed a builder to make sure this happens and quite obviously he has not.In the interest of fairness I would give the builder a chance to rectify his work with a very close eye being kept on him with photos being taken along the way. But if communication and or trust has broken down I would write to him and state that because he failed to meet the building regs required and it is now going to cost XXX amount of pounds to put right recommend that he walks away or you will seek costs from him to to rectify his work if he continues to ask for money from you.I am presuming you have had a detailed quote from him and not a verbal agreement.
As a verbal agreement can undermine your position greatly.
If I can help any further please do not hesitate to contact me. If you would like a sample quote to see what you should be looking for again please do not hesitate to ask.

Wesley Lee
W Lee Carpentry Ltd

Answered 30th Nov 2011

W Lee Carpentry Limited

Member since 28 Jul 2011

it depend did you and the builder agree a written pre-start contract? you could say to the builder if you have no agreement you will get a quote to put all the snags right and take it off the final completion payment, he probably wont want to complete the job anyway

Answered 30th Nov 2011

John Hodgins Plastering & Renovation Services

Member since 17 Nov 2011

yes you would be obliged to ask the builder to rectify his work give him a time scale to do the work as stated on the achitects drawings if not completed in that time, you are entitled to get someone else, shame i am not near you or i would have put the work right for you. if he does put the work right then you would have to pay him what is owed to him taking into account the inconvenience if you can get somthing knock of the original price.

Answered 1st Dec 2011

construction managment

Member since 5 Oct 2011

hi there all the convertions i have done in scotland all floors have to be insulated even if that means raising floor above house floor reinsulating the out side wall should be an easy fix as long as new wall does not not come over edge of window if this is the case then he has to narrow window you should give him the chance to fix the problems as you probably still have to pay him aprox £5400 it wouldnt cost this to put it right im not sticking up for him if he has to reduce the width of the window then this is why he used the wrong thickness of insulation and hoped building control wouldt notice hope this helps neil

Answered 7th Feb 2012

taylor made garage conversions

Member since 28 Feb 2009

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