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Thursday 21 November 2019

'The builder installed wrong patio doors in new extension - do I have to pay for the error?

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Aine Carroll, Director of Communications with the CCPC (


I am coming to the end of a very stressful extension project with my builder. There is one outstanding issue I need to get resolved. The builder ordered and installed the wrong patio doors. He is now refusing to correct his mistake unless I pay for the right set of doors and his time to install them. I have paid him in full so I am not sure where to go next. What would you advise? Margaret, Templeogue, Dublin 6W


You have rights when you buy or use a service, but every case is different and the solution to a problem will depend on the specific circumstances. In general, you have the right to expect that the service is provided with proper care and attention; the business providing it has the appropriate skills to do the job; any materials used in the work are sound and fit for their purpose; and any goods which are supplied as part of the service should be of acceptable quality.

If you are unhappy with the work or believe that the builder didn't complete the job as agreed, he is required to fix the problem or give you a full or partial refund of the money paid for the work. In this case, you should make a formal complaint in writing to the builder explaining the issues you are having with the patio doors he installed and what you want him to do to resolve the problem. Further details on how to complain are available on

It is always best to try to agree a resolution with the builder before taking further steps. If you can't agree a solution, you could consider taking legal action. If the cost of the work was less than €2,000, the Small Claims procedure may be an option for you.

For larger jobs in particular, it is very important to research any contractor you hire in advance and also to have a clear agreement in writing, including details of their insurance and registration number before they start work. The agreement should describe what they will be supplying and the payment schedule.

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