When an individual has a new house built, he generally calls on a builder who takes charge of the site after signing the CCMI (Individual house construction contract). Although many future owners entrust the reins to this professional, some do not hesitate to regularly take a look at the site, in particular to ensure that everything is done correctly. What to do when a defect is noticed when the work is not finished? And what happens once the work is received? Our answers in this file.
Poor workmanship on a construction site: what to do?
Most new home construction sites are contracted out to professional builders. If the biggest agencies have their own teams, some small companies are forced to call on other independent craftsmen that they know more or less. Indeed, the availability of contractors depends on the periods of intervention and it is not uncommon for builders to be forced to seek the services of unknown craftsmen or temporary workers whose qualifications are unclear in order to respond quickly to requests. of their customers.
As the owner, you can absolutely go to your site while it is in progress. It is even a recommended act. On the other hand, you do not have all your freedoms, you must agree with your builder so as not to disturb the workers in their work or compromise your safety. However, you have the right to visit the site during meetings with your builder or on a simple visit after having fixed the date, time and conditions with it.
During these visits to your current site, it is quite possible that you will notice poor workmanship. These are not rare and if all are not definitive, some can be left as they are by the professionals who have already intervened. Electrical outlet position error, plasterboard not straight, badly made band, holes in the walls or doors, bad positioning of the water inlets, electrical hole not drilled, badly positioned windows, non-straight threshold, cracked tiling… errors can be numerous and sometimes very anxiety-provoking for future owners.
You should know that these errors are classic for the most part and monitored by your site manager. It is he who ensures that the work of the various craftsmen is properly carried out, whether or not they make up his teams and whether he knows them or not. After each intervention, the site manager is supposed to check that any imperfection, error or anomaly has been corrected.
However, this does not prevent you from checking these details and mentioning them to your site manager. Do you notice that the socket of your kitchen hood is placed too low? Do you doubt the correct positioning of the bathtub? Do you notice that a switch has been forgotten? Report all these points to your site manager. He may have seen them and reported them to the professional concerned, but he may just as well have omitted them. As a precaution, it is better to mention them to him. However, there is no need to be alarmed; your project is in progress and not finished!
Defects on a construction site after acceptance: what to do?
Notify your builder
When the acceptance of the construction site has been carried out, an acceptance report will be given to you. This document must list any defects noted during the acceptance meeting. The craftsmen concerned are then forced to repair them. It is also often advised that the owners of the new house only pay the remaining 5% once the repair work has been completed, otherwise some professionals are slow to intervene. The remaining sum must then be deposited with a bank, a third party or the district court.
If you notice defects not mentioned in the acceptance report, you must first notify your builder. He will come to your home to see the damage and check their link with the site. This notification must be made by post with acknowledgment of receipt, even if you notify your manufacturer by telephone or email. If the link is made correctly, the craftsman at fault will have to intervene at his own expense to repair the poor workmanship observed.
Play your insurance
Any defect is covered under the ten-year insurance, taken out by the builder, and the work damage insurance, taken out by the owner. The latter, valid for 10 years, is mandatory and very useful in the event of poor workmanship that affects the solidity of the structure. The repair work is thus pre-financed even before knowing the responsibilities, in order to allow the owner to live as soon as possible in decent housing. The insurer then exercises the necessary recourse against those responsible in order to obtain reimbursement.
Other insurance protects the owner in the event of damage to his equipment. It is essential to have them played to benefit from the support necessary for their repair.
Go to court
It may happen that despite his requests and reminders, the owner is unable to obtain a response from his builder or the craftsmen in question. If an amicable procedure does not succeed, it is advisable to seize the courts. In the event of damage of less than 4,000 euros, the local judge will be competent. The district court deals with damages of less than 10,000 euros and the high court deals with poor workmanship for a higher amount.
All you have to do is request an expert opinion or the payment of interim damages by means of a registered letter and inform the company in question by means of a bailiff.