Widow awarded €9,500 for leaky conservatory after four-week job took three months

Widow awarded €9,500 for leaky conservatory after four-week job took three months

A widow has been awarded €9,500 after a leaky conservatory which needs to be torn down was built on to her Dublin home.

Iryana Guryanova, from Huntstown Rise, Blanchardstown, successfully sued construction firm Delta Windows and Doors Ltd, based at Walkinstown Road, Dublin 12.

Judge Michael Coghlan heard at Dublin District Court that she paid a deposit on February 21, 2017. Later that month her husband passed away.

The work, which cost €4,500, was supposed to done in four weeks but took three months.

She agreed with solicitor Carla O’Farrell-Byrne that it commenced in March 2017 and she had been advised it would be finished in four weeks. However, it was not completed until the end of June.

She noticed problems immediately and the conservatory was constantly leaking, the court heard.

Ms Guryanova claimed she contacted the firm and was told the wrong windows had been installed on the conservatory roof and the correct ones were ordered. Six weeks later, changes were made but that did not stop the leaking, the court was told.

She agreed she made on-going efforts to engage with the respondent to get it resolved.

Building surveyor Michael O’Malley inspected the conservatory and noticed a number of issues.

Double glazed windows had been installed but the roof was built from window frames as opposed to rafters or roof structures.

The slope of the roof was just under 6 degrees while a roof with a pitch of less than 12 degrees was defined as a flat roof, he told the court.

It was located under a back bedroom which served as an escape route in the event of fire.

The back of the conservatory was sealed with Mastik which was inadequate and over-lapping lead flashing should have been used. This was the source of water and dampness, he said.

Wall panels were sealed with home fillers which can break down or shrink.

A narrow, light brown margin could be seen running along the base of the conservatory which was constructed with paving slabs and there was no foundation underneath the structure. The conservatory walls were 25mm off plumb, Mr O’Malley said.

There was no down-pipe from the roof gutter resulting in saturation on the ground where there should have been a gully. He said that could have caused a “frost heave” problem that over time could have moved the structure.

Window frames were inadequate and liable to sagging and the structure would not have supported footfall from the back window of the house in the event of a fire emergency, which was required, the surveyor said.

Mr O’Malley recommended the conservatory should be removed in light of the deficiencies and replaced with one that met building regulation standards.

It was estimated it would cost €2,000 to remove it along with another €1,000 for repairs to the house.

There was no appearance by the respondent company but Judge Coghlan noted it had been served a claim notice with supporting documentation.

Ms Guryanova’s solicitor asked the court to note excessive stress had also been caused to her client.

Judge Coghlan said it was clear that not only was the conservatory not fit for purpose, the claimant was deprived of use and enjoyment of a proper structure and he put a figure of €2,500 against that.

In addition he decreed €4,500 to cover the initial amount she paid the firm to build the conservatory, and the €3,000 she will have to pay to remove it and carry out any necessary remedial work to the house. Costs and expenses were also awarded.

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