Couple awarded €291k after home ruined by damp
A COUPLE have been awarded €291,000 after the High Court heard their newly constructed dream home turned to a nightmare because of damp and they eventually had to leave it.
Dolores and Stephen Nimmo sued builders Mulreid Construction Ltd over its failure to install a proper damp course on the new two-storey over basement house at Tallansfield Manor, Tallanstown, Dundalk, Co Louth.
The couple paid Mulreid, of Ardee, Co Louth, €326,000 to build the house which they moved into in May 2006.
The court heard that instead of a proper damp course, a thin plastic barrier, similar to a radon barrier, was put in during construction of the foundation with the result that dampness seeped into the house.
Judgment was entered last year against Mulreid Construction in absence of a defence and yesterday the case came before Mr Justice John Hedigan for assessment of damages. There was no appearance for Mulreid yesterday.
The judge said it was the type of case relating to poor quality building that was too often before the courts. It was supposed to be the Nimmos' dream home but it turned out to be a nightmare and he was sorry for the trouble they had endured.
He awarded them €131,609 for the cost of repairing the damp problem along with €160,000 for trauma and suffering.
Mrs Nimmo told the court that she, her husband and three children had moved from Dublin to Dundalk into what they expected would be a dream home.
The house was very costly to heat and there were a number of other problems which Mrs Nimmo brought to the attention of Mulreid's Shane Rogers who himself lived in one of the houses in the small Tallanstown development.
He initially said he would deal with the problems but eventually refused to engage with her and she decided to take legal action.
Mrs Nimmo said the family lived in the house for six years before deciding to move out.
They employed a building surveyor who inspected the house in 2008 and found extensive damp mould growth in the basement.
The expert, who said a radon barrier type plastic membrane rather than a proper damp course was installed in the house, believed the damp problem could be rectified at a total cost of €131,609.