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Oak sleepers

After installing oak sleepers for a client 8 years ago, they have started to rot. They are installed upright  as a small retaining wall. My timber supplier obviously isn't going to want to know after this period, and I'm concerned about the outcome - I could be massively out of pocket potentially for something which isn't technically my fault? Does the client have a case against me?? I want to help, but can't afford what I know they are going to want...

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Replies

  • Mark, after 8 years the client has definitely not got any comeback on you, unless a guarantee was supplied or implied by you at the point of sale in writing. ( My daughter is a solicitor).  It's always best to try and sort these things out amicably but sometimes you just have to walk away. 

  • PRO

    It's a natural product and as such it will decay over time especially if in contact with soil or vegetation. The fact that's it's an hard wood dosnt mean it will last for decade's. If the customer has had 8 years our of it I would say that's a good run.

  • many years ago, I had oak sleepers installed to make a raised bed.................... they put heavy duty plastic sheeting behind the sleepers to protect them against rot even though they were a hardwood.... this must have been some 20 years ago and they're still fine.    

  • if they were new untreated moden sleepers they have done well if they were old reclamed sleepers they should have done a coupple of more years but all said after 8 years i dont think they have a comeback on you 

    if you go back to your supplyer they will probably laugh you out of the yard and if it went to court the same thing 

  • Thanks guys - pretty much as I assumed. I've installed sleepers for 25 years, and some are still going, whereas other last a few years. Doesn't make a sense. Will be making all clients painfully aware of the longevity and preservative options, with no guarantee.  I can almost hear my supplier laughing already!! Stand my ground, and try to keep it amicable - fingers crossed.....

    • PRO

      Not just soil contact , some damage is due to insects , How can you monitor nature once the timber is installed , treatment cannot remain effective for the life of the installation .

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