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Builder must pay €67k over shoddy work

A COUPLE have been awarded €67,500 in damages over bad workmanship on an extension to their home which a judge described as "a mess".

Mr Justice Michael Peart said the building of the one-storey extension to the home of Gavin and Michelle Collins in Jamestown Avenue, Inchicore, Dublin, had been a disaster and will have to pulled down and started again.

Mr and Mrs Collins had agreed a price with builder David Core of just under €30,000 for the extension which was to include a larger kitchen as well as a utility room and a downstairs bathroom.

The rebuild, the High Court heard, could now be in the region of €74,800.

Apart from having to rewire the house, there has been foul and noxious odours throughout as a result of a faulty sewage installation, the judge said.

There has also been an infestation of flies and toilets have been blocked.

Mr Justice Peart said the fall of the roof is too shallow and there is pooling of water on it. The house is now also very draughty and very cold.

The case was before the judge for assessment of damages only after judgment was obtained against Mr Core, of Chapelwood, Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford, trading as A1 Property Maintenance two years ago.

"Mr and Mrs Collins have been left with a mess," the judge said. "They wanted a simple extension to the back of their house and due to bad workmanship by the defendant they have been left with one which will have to be substantially taken down and rebuilt in a proper manner. They cannot afford to do this."

Mr Justice Peart said Mr Core defended himself and claimed the Mr and Mrs Collins should have been held partly responsible for the problems as they caused some delay at the beginning of the project.

This was because they waited for a mortgage drawdown and this, Mr Core claimed, put additional pressure on him to finish the job by Christmas.

Mr Justice Peart said he suspected that whatever the amount of the damages awarded, Mr Core will have difficulties in satisfying it, particularly in the current economic climate and the severe downturn in the building trade.