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  #2437156 12-Mar-2020 20:30
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Handle9: Oh you should also request the builders address for service and advise him you are off to see your lawyer about what can be counter claimed due to his delays. Do it politely but make it clear you are seeking advice and you will vigorously pursue your right to counter claim on him.

 

Yep. There's nothing else in this thread that you should take account of but the above advice. And this is coming from someone who deals with construction disputes regularly.

 

 

 

 


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  #2437284 13-Mar-2020 08:29
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People will be surprised by this, but I finally agree with dejadadnz about something - that the advice from Handle9 has provided the right advice.





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  #2437309 13-Mar-2020 08:55
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aucklander:

 

There is a Contract, which is a standard contract he brought. It is titled "Fixed Price+ (Labour Only) Building Contract" right on top of the first page. It is a 25-page document which appears downloaded from somewhere, so it must have been a standard form put together by some professional body.

 

 

This is where your need to seek help becomes really obvious. You can't assume that anything is standard form. There are Ts&Cs of use for a lot of industry standard contracts that changes must not be written into the general conditions but must instead be expressed as special terms. This hasn't stopped a lot of users. Depending on the express terms of your contract, certain common law duties (e.g. efficient progress of works) may still be implied but you really can't just pluck arguments out of thin air.

 

 

 

 


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  #2437316 13-Mar-2020 09:01
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aucklander:

 

Handle9: Don't pay anything and see a lawyer. There is a fairly reasonable chance of a nice letter from a lawyer, complete with counter claims will get him back to work.

Your builder is likely in breach of the Construction Contracts Act but you need advice on this.

 

 

 

Lawyer will charge at least $2000 - $2500 to become familiar with the case and write the letter. I guess these costs might not be recoverable.

 

If we get to court somehow, then I can claim expenses in preparing the case and the party found at fault then is asked to pay these costs to the other party. (the lawyer, time off work, etc). Unfortunately stress and frustration, along with uncertainty and the risk arising from dragging the project for longer than needed is not quantifiable and nobody cares about that (house insurance, building works insurance, float rate for the construction loan, etc).

 

 

 

 

Justice in NZ is so expensive, it appears the contract you have is very standard and you comes with a good faith with the builder.  Does any one has any suggestion for this kind of renovation, what kind /template we should use to get the house owner legally protected (other than any insurance purchase from the builder).


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  #2437340 13-Mar-2020 09:38
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The OP signed a contract worth approx $72k without understanding it. He didn’t spend extra money on the guarantee/insurance, or auditing the builders work record (I am assuming this, but since the quality of work of poor so that’ll be the builders history).

 

this is an expensive lesson to learn for the OP. But the investment in a property lawyer is going to be worthwhile in terms of getting to work completed and faults remediate.

 

would strongly recommend using a specialist lawyer here, rather than a dingbat generalist out of the phonebook. The dingbats won’t provide quality advice even though they will purport to do so. 





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  #2437637 13-Mar-2020 17:49
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pj2019:

Justice in NZ is so expensive, it appears the contract you have is very standard and you comes with a good faith with the builder.  Does any one has any suggestion for this kind of renovation, what kind /template we should use to get the house owner legally protected (other than any insurance purchase from the builder).



NZS3910

Any form of construction contract should include retentions. Basically 10% of each claim is held back by the principal. Once practical completion is reached then half is released. The balance is released at the completion of the defects liability period.

While this is standard practice in commercial contracts it's not normal for domestic contracts. Liquidated damages for day are also very effective in getting performance.

You should also be ruthless in assessing claims. The CCA is very clear on the process for this and it stops the type of nonsense that the OP has been subjected to.

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  #2437845 14-Mar-2020 09:54
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BlinkyBill:

 

The OP signed a contract worth approx $72k without understanding it. He didn’t spend extra money on the guarantee/insurance, or auditing the builders work record (I am assuming this, but since the quality of work of poor so that’ll be the builders history).

 

this is an expensive lesson to learn for the OP. But the investment in a property lawyer is going to be worthwhile in terms of getting to work completed and faults remediate.

 

would strongly recommend using a specialist lawyer here, rather than a dingbat generalist out of the phonebook. The dingbats won’t provide quality advice even though they will purport to do so. 

 

 

Totally agree. It is essential that the OP is able to obtain a Code Compliance Certificate on the work. Based on the cladding photo and what we have read here, there’s no way the job will comply. There appears to be a stand-off and goodwill between the parties has gone. The builder is not going to complete this properly unless compelled. If it was me, I wouldn’t want him to be on the job any longer due to incompetence.

 

It seems unavoidable that a lawyer is going to have to be involved. Regardless of how it’s resolved, it’s probably going to be messy and definitely expensive.





Sometimes I just sit and think. Other times I just sit.


 
 
 
 


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  #2437876 14-Mar-2020 11:22
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Handle9:
pj2019:

 

Justice in NZ is so expensive, it appears the contract you have is very standard and you comes with a good faith with the builder.  Does any one has any suggestion for this kind of renovation, what kind /template we should use to get the house owner legally protected (other than any insurance purchase from the builder).

 



NZS3910

Any form of construction contract should include retentions. Basically 10% of each claim is held back by the principal. Once practical completion is reached then half is released. The balance is released at the completion of the defects liability period.

While this is standard practice in commercial contracts it's not normal for domestic contracts. Liquidated damages for day are also very effective in getting performance.

You should also be ruthless in assessing claims. The CCA is very clear on the process for this and it stops the type of nonsense that the OP has been subjected to.

 

 

 

Yep spot on.

 

When we built (new build) the contract the builder supplied did not have a due date for completion or LD's - so I added them in. They grumbled but accepted. There was no way I was going to let them take as long as they wanted without some sort of consequence/(dis)incentive.

 

Neighbours (with different builder) didn't amend their contract and their build took 1 year as opposed to the "6 months" they thought it was going to take :/

 

 

 

TLDR - Read your contract and ensure you get advice from an appropriately exp lawyer before you sign up.

 

 


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