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FAQs: Major Works

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Major Works: Pre-Commencement

Why has the contractor not removed all of my garden furniture and planter from my terrace/garden area?

Unless agreed otherwise by the Landlord/Managing Agent, it is the individual Leaseholder’s responsibility to provide a clear working area to enable the Contractor to carry out their work. The Contractor is usually prohibited to move residents' items due to the risk of damage etc. To avoid potential disputes in terms of damage it is best for the residents to arrange for their temporary removal. This will be covered in the initial project notification letter.

Do I need to leave my windows open during the works?

The Contractor will require your windows to be opened during the works if the windows require painting on the outside. This is to ensure a good finish of the new paint and to minimise sticking windows. The Contractor will coordinate the dates for opening of the windows with you and the usual process will be to provide a 7 day and 24-hour reminder. If after 3 attempts to arrange the opening of windows the Contractor has not been able to arrange the opening, the Contractor will be instructed to proceed to paint the windows whilst they are shut and the Contractor will not be liable for the poor finish of painting or sticking windows. This is a situation that all parties will endeavour to avoid.

My windows will not open.

The Contractor will usually ensure that all operating windows (windows that are openable) will operate on completion of the works. Any minor sticking of windows following painting will be addressed by the Contractor as part of the snagging works. If the windows have been screwed/painted shut previously, or if the ironmongery/ sash cords are broken, the repairs would not usually be undertaken by the Contractor unless specifically requested and paid for by the leaseholder.

I am going away for two weeks, can you work around this?

Yes, the Contractor should be able to work this into the programme. Please let the Contract Administrator know early and they will liaise with the site team to develop a solution.

I have damp/a leak into my flat, will the works resolve this?

Please notify the Contract Administrator at the start of the project or as soon as possible in order to ensure that the correlating external areas of the building can be inspected and any defects correlated to the internal dampness.

I am concerned that people will be able to access my flat from the scaffold, what steps are taken to prevent unauthorised access to the scaffold?

The Contract Administrator will typically specify that scaffold is alarmed at first floor level outside work hours. In addition, all access ladders to the scaffold at ground floor level will be removed and locked up at the end of each day.

Will I still be able to use my garden/ balcony during the works?

No, typically access to private balconies will be restricted during the works to ensure the safety of occupants. Scaffolds are dangerous and unauthorised access is to be prevented.

The Lease says that the window frames are my responsibility to repair, how does this work?

The works will include for repairs to the windows. Once the extent of repairs are confirmed the Contract Administrator will write to you outlining the repairs required and cost and seek your authority to proceed. Subject to the terms of your Lease, the works and costs for the repairs to your windows will be communicated to you in advance.

What do I do if I see someone on the scaffolding that I did not think should be?

If there are operatives onsite, contact the Contractor’s Site Foreman. If the person is noticed out of working hours then the police should be called.

The builders have put a portable toilet outside my window and I don’t want it there. Can I get it removed?

Site welfare is a legal requirement under all Major Works projects. The position of the site welfare is arranged to cause as minimum disruption as possible during the works. The position will usually be agreed prior to commencement. If the location of the toilet is causing you concern, please liaise with the Contract Administrator. However due to site constraints moving it to another location is not always possible.

Will the contractor remove all mess form the gardens etc., when the works are completed?

Yes, the Contractors are required to leave the site clean and tidy at completion of the project.

The scaffolding is up but no one appears to be working, why is this?

Once the scaffolding has been erected, the first phases of the works involves the Surveyor/Contract Administrator carrying out a further detailed inspection from the scaffolding and firming up instructions before the Contractor commences works. This process can take a few days. Sometimes during the works areas of the scaffolding can appear quiet. This may be because the site team are working elsewhere on the site. We would highlight that the Contractor is in full control of their programme and are responsible for resourcing the works to meet the contract completion date.

I am not happy with the standard of workmanship being carried out, what is being done to manage this?

Earl Kendrick Associates undertake 1–2 site inspections a week depending on the scope of works and size of project. The Contractor has their own snagging process which is usually checked at least twice before being handed over to Earl Kendrick Associates to snag. Earl Kendrick Associates undertakes snagging throughout the project, not just at the end of the works. We ask residents to report any issues they have to the site manager and Earl Kendrick Associates aim to respond to any comments within 24 hours. Earl Kendrick Associates’ role is to monitor the works on site, ensure the works are being undertaken as per the specification of works and to ensure the quality of workmanship is acceptable throughout the project until completion.

The signal from my televisions/ satellite has been disrupted. Is this related to the works?

Because of the nature of external works, particularly where scaffolding is erected or roof work is undertaken there is a risk of intermittent disruption to televisions and satellite service. This may be the result of a dish or antenna being knocked out of alignment. At the time of preparing the specification, we will make allowance for re-positioning of such apparatus where required and to also ensure that the Contractor provide protection. If your TV/satellite has been affected please contact the site manager immediately, copying in the Contract Administrator. The team will arrange for the dish/ antenna to be realigned.

The scaffolding alarm has been triggered, what do I do?
  1. If the alarm is triggered it will automatically ring through to a 24 hour security response company, usually someone will be on site within 1 hour. They will disarm the alarm and investigate the site, if suspicions are raised for any reason they will investigate further and if need be the police will be notified.
  2. Occasionally animals (birds and cats) can trigger the alarm. The Managing Agents will be issued with the alarm code once installed. You can obtain this code from them in order to silence any false alarms which may occur.
I have seen operatives smoking on site. Is this permitted?

The specification and contract documents contain a strict behavioural code and smoking within the confines of the site is strictly prohibited. If you see a member of the project team smoking on site please inform the appointed site manager immediately and also confirm this to the Contract Administrator.

The works are very noisy and interrupting my evenings, is this allowed?

The works will be carried out in hours agreed with the freeholder when specifying the work and drawing up the contract. These will normally between Monday–Friday 8.30am–5.30pm with no noisy works before 9.00am. If work is being carried out outside of these times contact the Contract Administrator to notify them.

I am not happy with the quality of painting on my windows, who do I talk to?

You can contact either the site manager to raise you concerns or the Contract Administrator. It should be highlighted that no works will be certified as satisfactory completed until the CA is satisfied with he works. The process of inspection/snagging is on-going throughout the course of the project. Before scaffold is struck Earl Kendrick Associates undertake a detailed inspection of the completed work. In addition, all leaseholders will be contacted to ensure they satisfied with the works undertaken.

Why has the contractor has only painted the outside of my windows and not the inside?

Decorations to the inside of the windows is a Leaseholder responsibility under the terms of the Lease.

Having had a look at the final account I have noticed that not all of the specification allowance of say brickwork pointing, has been completed. Why hasn’t all the pointing been carried out?

The specification is written based on the surveyors inspection of the building (usually at ground level) and their knowledge and experience of undertaking external repair and redecoration works. Following erection of the scaffold a more detailed inspection is undertaken by the Contract Administrator and Contractor. The Contractor and Contract Administrator will then agree the extent of works that is required which may not necessarily be the amount stipulated in the specification. Within the specification there usually is a contingency which is used if there is more pointing required than allowed for within the specification.

The Contractor recently undertook refurbishment works to the external areas of my property. However, the paintwork is already peeling and one of the gutters is leaking. Is the Contractor liable to repair these defects?

After the Major Works are complete the Contractor is liable to repair any works that they have undertaken which have subsequently become defective over a certain period of time. This is called the “Defects Rectification Period” (or DRP) which is stipulated within the contract. The DRP usually ranges from 6 months to 1 year. At the end of the DRP, the Contract Administrator will carry out a further inspection of the works and identify any issues that are to be made good by the Contractor prior to final discharge of the Contract. The CA will write to you prior to the end of the DRP to ask for your own comments/observations.

Why are my windows stuck shut following the external painting works?

Sticking windows is a common issue following external repairs and redecorations. The windows stick because of the application of wet paint. The contract for the works with the Contractor typically includes a 12 months rectification period and during this time the builder will return to ease and un-stick any stuck windows. Should you experience issues with sticking windows please contact the Contract Administrator who will coordinate the remedial works.

The works on the lower floor levels are not progressing as quickly as on the upper levels?

It is common that the Contractor will progress the works on the upper floors/levels of the building. This is so that the scaffolding can be struck as soon as possible. There is the potential for dust/damage to occur to works on the lower levels as the scaffolding is removed and therefore the works on the lower levels is often progressed and completed after the scaffolding has been removed to ensure a high quality finish.