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Patio Pointing


2 years ago I agreed to point a customers patio that he layed himself with Indian sandstone. He laid the paving slabs upside down and very poorly the mortar he jointed with had started falling in the joints.my brief was to clean out any old jointing and re point. I did state to the customer that the whole patio would need lifting and laying properly to prevent the jointing failing again but he was reluctant and just wanted it pointed. I carried out the work which is now failing.He has said I need to come back and put it right otherwise he will use another contractor and recover their costs in court.

has anyone had a similar experience or any advice on what I should do moving forward

I wish now I had got him to sign a disclaimer 

thanks for any advice







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  • Neil, I would write to this prat keeping a copy saying- Dear Mr *****,

    I have noted your concerns regarding the repointing of your patio that was undertaken 2 years ago. 

    However I made clear at the time the work was done that the reason the original pointing had failed was the original installation of the patio slabs had not been carried out properly or professionally. 

    Therefore any subsequent repointing was not going to resolve these issues and I advised that the patio slabs should be lifted and relaid, you were unwilling to follow this advice and instructed me to carry out the repointing regardless of my advice. 

    I did not offer or imply any guarantees or warranties for the work you instructed me to carry out, as such I cannot accept any liability. 

    Yours sincerely 


    Neil , If he wants to pursue this his legal fees will be well in excess of any repointing costs. I would send the letter, respond to any response reiterating the facts of the matter ending your reply that the matter is now closed and you will not reply to any further contact from him.

  • I think Peter is spot on: and the way forward is to ALWAYS have something in writing.  If I've had a conversation on site like that I will often precis it in an email, ending 'Please could you reply to this email to confirm you're happy for us to proceed on that basis' or similar, or for a big job have an actual signed agreement.

  • Thank you for your replies 

    I have agreed to call round and look at the pointing and will take the opportunity to get some photos

    I have since spoke to a legal advisor who suggested I offer a partial refund or carry out the pointing with the proviso that no further claims will be made if it fails again 

    I have never experienced anything like this in all my years of trading 

    Any further advice would be greatly appreciated 

    Thank You



    • Neil, I would reiterate what I posted previously.  Did your legal adviser point out that by taking his recommendations  that you are admitting liability for the failure? If you wish to offer a refund or redo the work you MUST have a written agreement signed by the other party that this will be a gesture of goodwill without prejudice and that you are not implying or recognising any liability for the pointing failing.  Be careful!

      • Good point Peter thank you


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