A builder who slavishly follows an architect’s plan without thinking through the consequences cannot ‘pass the buck’ for problems arising if the drawings are defective, according to a decision of the Court of Appeal.
The case involved problems following the construction of an extension to the flat roof of a residential home. The difficulties arose because the builder retained for the building project failed to spot that the architect’s drawings supplied to him, which were used for the construction, were defective.
The home’s owners sued the builder regarding the defective roof. In the opinion of the Court of Appeal, the understanding of plans provided by the architect was in effect a part of the work of construction. Failure to appreciate the consequences of building to the plan, and to warn the home’s owners, was a breach of the builder’s duty to the owners of the home to exercise reasonable skill and care.
This decision has implications for anyone engaged in the building trade who thinks that blame for defective construction cannot fall on them if what they have built follows the architect’s plan.