Nov 08, 2023 11:18 am
Our house looked so beautiful until DISTINCTIVE HOMES destroyed our yard.
In September 2022 we were not building with Distinctive Homes but were unfortunate enough to be living next door to one of their builds. My family and I went away for a well-deserved and long awaited weekend camping trip. Upon our return we discovered our driveway pavers had been cracked and broken, two underground water pipes had been broken, our mains water had been turned off and our back yard/ side driveway had been turned into a muddy unusable mess. There was no information about what had happened.
We reviewed our CCTV and discovered a thirty tonne concrete truck from Hallett Concrete had entered our property destroying our driveway, backyard and breaking the water pipes. The driver didn’t leave a note apologising or contact details to get repairs done. We later discovered this truck was contracted by Distinctive Homes to pour the concrete foundations for their build next door to our house.
After returning home from our camping trip we discovered we had no water as it had been turned off at the meter, we presumed due to the broken pipes and water bubbling up out of the ground. We were to discover later this wasn’t the reason it was turned off it was because the contractors had been using our water meter to wet down the concrete slab during the pour.
After multiple phone calls and pleading with Distinctive Homes staff for them to arrange to have our damaged pipes fixed so we could turn the water back on. Finally late on the Sunday afternoon (After returning from our camping trip) a plumber was arranged to make emergency repairs to our pipes. It took Distinctive Homes a further 3 days to arrange for someone to complete the broken pipe repairs.
That was just the start of our problems. Distinctive Homes handballed the problem to Hallett Concrete who handballed it to another contractor who handballed it to the next person. No one seemed to care about the damage which had been caused or about fixing it. After getting the run around I finally had enough and contacted Distinctive Homes Manager. Distinctive Homes was the company building the house next door therefore they needed to make restitution for the damage.
Several months past and I continued contacting the Distinctive Homes Supervisor in charge of correcting the damage cause to our house. Finally after having to explain the events multiple times and having contractors view the damage and our CCTV we did have a single person attend our house unannounced with a small bobcat and a tip truck. His job was to smooth out our side driveway and back yard and lay new road base. As this was going to take a while I returned inside and left him to get on with the job (I wish I hadn’t).
The “road base” which was meant to repair our driveway, turned out to be poor quality, multi-coloured aggregate full of broken glass and tile, metal springs, bits of plastic toys and even a fork. It looked terrible and now we were left with the extra expense to have it removed (We couldn’t afford that). Having no other option but to use the driveway as is we have had to endure numerous punctures and it is dangerous for our children to use the area. I was baffled how Distinctive Homes thought this was a safe option for a driveway.
It is now over twelve months later and we are still trying to get DISTINCTIVE HOMES to make good on the damage caused. I have tried everything I can think of. It’s not covered by our insurance. There have been no offences committed so there is no legal avenue. We are not covered through the Ombudsman as we are not building the house. I have spoken to two lawyers who don’t really seem very interested. Our only option is to sue Distinctive Homes privately. Quotes to repair the damage and remove/ re-lay the aggregate/ road base exceeds the maximum we can claim through the courts and this would be at our expense and we are not guarantee to be successful.
In addition to this incident we have had Distinctive Homes contractors use our water meter on several occasions, even cutting off a padlock I fitted in order to use the water. We had to install gates on our driveway as we had contractors constantly entering our property in an attempt to access the build site.
We have done nothing apart from go away for a weekend. The system is not set up for these situations. We are just left to fall through the crack, suck it up and accept the damage. It appears Distinctive Homes don’t care that they have cause so much stress and heartache. Our house looked so beautiful until Distinctive Homes destroyed our yard. We worked so hard to get it looking nice. I wouldn’t recommend DISTINCTIVE HOMES to anyone.
Re: Our house was beautiful until Distinctive Homes destroye2
Nov 08, 2023 11:48 am
of course there are legal avenues. You've already mentioned it. Sue them.
I find it odd that lawyers wouldnt be willing to take on the case, given CCT evidence and clearly damage made to your properly. The only conclusion i can make around that is that youre trying to go down the "no win, no pay" route. THOSE types of lawyers generally dont take smallish civil cases because its not worth their time.
Go and see a lawyer you need to pay for. Start the process and you may find the preliminary communications they have with the builder wont progress to a civil case in court. A good laywer should help you navigate to a settlement given the preponderance of evidence. Also back up your CCTV fottage a few times to a few devices. Data like this has a way of becoming corrupted when you need it most :/ save to youtube as a private video too if you havent already.
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