Feb 13, 2020 10:54 pm
Hi, I am looking for some advice based on people's experience as I have run into some complex and unfortunate situation.
I am building a new home through project builders in Brisbane (2 storey). I hired the electrical contractor myself directly. After 4 days of rough-in work by 2 qualified electricians, I noticed the work was not of the right quality. I asked 3 other qualified electricians and they all raised concerns, and that the work was not upto the standards, and not fit for purpose. I had asked the original electrician to reassess his work and fix things that he could but he refused to talk to me before I make 100% of the payment.
I insisted on fixing things before I could release any more payment (paid 65% plus). On his refusal to act any further, I engaged another electrician to do the work, after giving him notice of couple of days to fix. I was under pressure from the builder to complete work on time.
Furthermore, my builder later discovered that he had drilled holes in the joists - through the bottom of the posts of the joists and some holes were drilled less than 300mm away from the corner. Frame inspection failed by council inspector. The engineers are assessing the complete damage, as I write this post.
So the key errors he did, in summary
- poor workmanship on wiring - many were not clipped even where roof cavity was more than 600mm, and loose wiring all around the house, going diagonally across the house without any organised manner, wrapped around the timber, many number of wires from a same hole, short cuts used for some type of wiring etc.
- not as per plan - some power points were not as per location in the plan, and few light / power points were completely missed
- electrocution risks - smoke alarms circuit didnt have an earthing cabling, data and electric cables not isolated
- structural damage done to the property - drilling holes through load bearing structure etc
Things to support my claim
- I have pictures of the work the electrician had done
- electrician who did the rework / fixing of the above is preparing list of defects as mentioned above
- there was another qualified electricians inspected the site and he is also happy to provide few defects he noted in writing
- engineering report will be provided by the builders to support the structural damage
- I have made more than 65% of his total invoices (including the initial lead in work he did, and materials he bought), so I have not withheld everything
- he sent me a text message saying I have complete the work as per plan (no other written evidence on that, though)
Weakness in my claim
- there is no contract that I signed with this electrician (came through a known referral)
- he only gave the hourly rate, so he is saying I was working on pay for hours done basis and he would charge more to come back and do further work and he will only come back after I pay the due invoices (I have since used another electrician to fix certain things)
My builder is working out the total cost impact to me - for engineers report, joists replacement, revisit of plumber and aircon person if the joists are replaced as some of that work was going through the damaged joists, my new electrician will have to come back again and do more rewiring if joists are replaced. And other incidental costs I am not aware of as of now.
1. What should be my next steps? and what claim do I have against the original electrician?
2. Likelihood to get all my expenses back (as mentioned above) from the electrician?
3. Do you think the electrician can challenge any of the above, given there was no written contract and he was working on hourly rates basis?
4. What legal avenues do I have - small courts, QCAT etc? Any idea on the timeframe it can stretch, and how difficult these proceedings could be?
5. Any recommendation on any law firm who take such cases on 'no win no fee' basis?
Appreciate any insights / help / thoughts on above.
Re: Electrician poor workmanship and property damage2
Feb 14, 2020 3:07 pm
Did you give the electrical contractor a copy of the Enginerring?
I dont know what the rules are in Queensland, I would of thought it would be hard now to get the original electrical contractor to pay anything as you engaged a second contractor to finish the works, how can you prove anything against the original contractor if there wasnt a schedule of works written?
Re: Electrician poor workmanship and property damage3
Feb 14, 2020 10:35 pm
I will have statements from other qualified electricians stating the defects in the work. My builder have already issued me a notice of breach stating the defects due to electrician. Engineering report is awaited. All the pictures of the defected work were taken by myself and the builder.
Shouldnt all of the above be sufficient to prove his sub-par work?
Re: Electrician poor workmanship and property damage4
Feb 16, 2020 1:06 am
I think you will spend more money pursuing it than you would get back, but I dont know, could work differently in Queensland.
The fact you were paying an hourly rate and no schedule of works or a contract is going to work against you, a lawyer wouldn't take on a pro bono in a civil matter, the risk would be to great for them. If you did choose the path and take the electrician to court and do win, still doesn't necessarily mean you will get compensation.
My wife used to work for a law firm and before they started a case they needed basically the full cost up front from the client that's held in a trust account.
As frustrating as it is I think you should just walk away.
Sign in or Join to reply to this Topic
Stewie DInsurance options to cover damage to neighbouring property?Insurance options to cover damage to neighbouring property?
What is the extent of your reno and addition? If it is relatively minor I'd tell him to go jump. In all the years I've been in the industry both as a builder and a…
newontheblockPoor Brickwork on Boundary Wall!Poor Brickwork on Boundary Wall!
Thanks Hart's for the advice. Would you suggest it would be worthwhile them replacing the suspect bricks? I'm just not sure how far I should go and what decision to…
SejaeDNew house poor quality brickwork..New house poor quality brickwork..
Apologies for saying this, but I have seen some poor brickwork in my time but nothing that comes close to this. I feel awful for you. Gogo65 is correct, you need an…