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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22303
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I had a contractor - Canterbury Diggers Ltd - construct an

Customer Question

I had a contractor - Canterbury Diggers Ltd - construct an ' exposed aggregate driveway ' at a cost of around $ 12.000,- at a house in November - December 2015. Some 5 months after pouring that drive several clearly visible cracks appeared although the drive had hardly been used as the house is still under construction.One crack is even in the footpath section where there has never been any ' stress ' above possibly 100 kg. On contact the contractor said that the drive was nearly half a year old, that we had some more earthquakes and that I was initially happy with the result and therefor paid him. I do, of course, see that in a slightly different light and told him I expected a concrete drive to last a lot longer and not be disturbed by some minor shakes. I had another experienced contractor look at the situation and he tells me that there were possibly several mistakes made in the construction of the drive.
Same guy took on a job to ' hydroseed ' lawn at another property that I was also not happy with as he provided topsoil for that section in the first instance and after he did the hydroseeding told me that there was not enough topsoil there for the job to turn out well.
On a third property his company poured a foundation for a double garage and it was 50 mm out of square. As I had contracted this whole job out to another building company he is telling me that this is none of my concern - and he is possibly right.
Because of the dispute about the drive I withheld the outstanding account for the hydroseeding - around $ 1100,- incl GST - and have received a letter from Baycorp for $ 1500,- demanding payment.
How can I go about the driveway dispute ? Small claims court ? Fair Trading Act ? I do not think the guy is a ' Licensed Building Professional ' so I can not complain to that organisation. Looked at the companies office site and since 2008 he's now on to the 3rd company with the first one going into liquidation after not quite 16 months.
Regards Gerhard
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 6 months ago.
You need to contact Baycorp and tell them you are unhappy with the quality of work, and that they can claim in the Disputes Tribunal if they want, but that you will likely have a counterclaim to repair the cracks. I suggest you get a Licenced Building Practitioner to inspect the work and give you an estimate for repairs to bring this to standard, and use this as a basis for the counterclaim. Similarly with the other jobs you should get experts to give you a quote for repairs. You can the make claims for any remedial work
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 6 months ago.
The best place to take this is the dIsputes Tribunal, and they can look at the consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act for remedies

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