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Cracked Granite Fireplace

Discussion in 'Building' started by ChrissyM, 15 Jan 2020.

  1. ChrissyM

    ChrissyM

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    In Oct 18, I paid a fair whack to what I thought was a reputable company, to have a gas stove fitted. They knocked a big hole in the fireplace to sit the stove in, a wood beam was put up on wall with granite base for fire, and granite hearth and heat resistant slate effect back and sides. Last Sept I noticed both pieces of granite had cracked directly down the middle. Can anyone advise why this might happen? I have been point blank refused a free replacement granite by the company, who say there must have been subsidence or rising damp under the granite. My house is about 130 years old and the previous marble hearth was fine and down about 20 years! Im looking at taking them to a small claims court but thought I would ask about this here, first.

    Thanks for reading
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Post some photos please
     
  4. ChrissyM

    ChrissyM

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    20200115_061346.jpg

    20200115_061353.jpg

    20200115_061408.jpg

    20200115_061340.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 15 Jan 2020
  5. ChrissyM

    ChrissyM

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    See how the crack doesnt seem to go right through?
     
  6. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Lucky for you you had one company doing the whole job. Their subsidence line is a tad specious (unless there are similar cracks appearing in that area in the rest of the house), damp subfloor in a 130 year old house would have been obvious to them when they fitted the slab and since they were fitting the gas fire they were aware that a heat source was being placed on the slab. So I reckon you have a decent case to say that the granite was not fit for purpose under Consumer Rights Act 2015.
    As a matter of interest, did they notify Building Control of the installation? (You should have received a few documents regarding this)
     
  7. ChrissyM

    ChrissyM

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    No I didnt.....should I have?
     
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  8. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Apparently so https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/media/2178/notification-factsheet-for-consumers.pdf
    Got any letterhead from the company with the Gas Safe logo on it? Or any commissioning documents for the fire that should have been handed over to you?
    For fun, look the company up on the Gas Safe Register- don't panic if they're not there, they may have brought a qualified and accredited subbie in to do the work (whose number should be on the commissioning docs).
    As far as I can see, installation of gas fires is notifiable in the UK.....trouble is it is your problem if they didn't comply with the regs (as far as Building Control are concerned) so don't go phoning the council just yet....

    And back to your main point, they're not looking very reputable at the moment :)
     
  9. ChrissyM

    ChrissyM

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    I thought they had been going for YEARS but they seem to go into liquidatio then set up again, same directors, slight name change, different ltd co registrayion number. I think im cattled .... my main query is though, are they tsking the p*ss saying its damp or subsidence?
     
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  11. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Ah, a deeply standard Phoenix company- when was their last reincarnation? Have you been exchanging letters/emails or is it all phone so far? If you've already got emails then send them a final one (outlining your complaint and what you want to hapoen about it) marked Letter Before Action- give them 14 days then Trading Standards and Small Claims. Are they a local company? Not sure who you'd dob them into about their unlawful and potentially dangerous gas work- if theey're on the Gas Safe register then they'd do for starters. Again check any commissioning documents you got with the gas fire.

    And they're taking the mick re subsidence (unless there's other evidence) and the damp sounds like rubbish to me as well
     
  12. Jackrae

    Jackrae

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    Your second photo looks like your hearth is made from 2 thin slabs bonded together. Both slabs are cracked - the upper one from the top down to the joint line and the lower from the bottom up to the joint line. Rising damp cracks granite :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     
  13. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Well spotted- and really? Do explain
     
  14. Jackrae

    Jackrae

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    I was being ironic and quoting imaginary newspaper headline.
     
  15. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    I did wonder...but good spot on the 2 bits of stone, curious as to what they're bonded together with. Bit shoddy really.....
     
  16. gasbanni

    gasbanni

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    It appears it's the base that's cracked, it's cracked because it's insufficiently supported across its width. From the info supplied I'd guess it's a bodged job.

    Those stoves can be quite heavy ....marble ....slate ....stone have no fkexability and will crack if unsuported. I used to fit fireplaces.

    I'd guess they haven't put compo ( mortar) under the slips in the centre of the hearth. That's why I'd call it a bodged job.

    In the first instance contact gas safe and request them to carry out an inspection ( it's free) don't mess about with the installers. It could be argued that the hearth is part of the installation and the stove is not fitted to manufacturers instructions on an adequate hearth.
    If that's deemed to be the case ' not fitted to manufacturers instructions ' ( don't underestimate the power of that phrase regarding gas workwork it's paramount ! ) you've got them. Gas Safe is now your next step no ifs or buts.

    They're the policemen of the gas industry but it's the HSE that prosecute.

    Have they carried out the brickwork in the builders opening those black bricks ? If they have it looks very poor.
     
    Last edited: 16 Jan 2020
  17. ChrissyM

    ChrissyM

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    Thanks for all of that. The black bricks are slate effect heatproof sheets of some description. They are supposed to look uneven x
     
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