With extensive experience in the management and resolution of building and construction disputes, the BDTSA is fast becoming is fast becoming a recognised and respected entity.

The BDTSA provides nationwide services to the building and construction industry as well as members of the general public.
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Tiling & Carpeting Disputes

The most critical factor to remember here is that not all tiles are suitable for all surfaces. Floor tiles can sometimes be used as wall tiles, but wall tiles can never be used as floor tiles. The traffic in the area to be tiled also needs to be taken into consideration as different tiles can handle different kinds of foot traffic. It will be senseless to install tiles used for residential purposes that have less foot traffic in areas accessible to the public, such as malls or shops.


Another point to consider is how slippery the tiles will be when wet. Installing slippery tiles in a high traffic area is an accident waiting to happen and you will not be able to hold your contractor liable in case of an accident. Some of your tiles will have to be cut to fit the available space. This increases the risk of breakage, which cannot be always controlled.


For this reason, it is not always advisable to choose and buy your own tiles without the knowledgeable assistance from a contractor that has proven experience with tiling. You cannot keep the contractor liable for cracked tiles, tiles that’s busy lifting or tiles that show wear and tear on the surface due to traffic, if you bought the wrong tiles from the beginning.


On the other hand, mistakes and errors are a feature of any building related work and some tiling contractors fail to have adequate quality assurance processes in place to ensure they achieve the agreed/specified scope of work to the specified standard, and/or to complete their work by the due date for completion. Joint width and grout type and colour selection are also common causes for complaint.


Waterproofing is often an integral part of tiling work and problems can arise when leaks appear below and around showers and wet areas. Insert a clause in your building contract so that your contractor will return after the completion of the work, to attend to water leaks as this is rarely detected immediately after completion of the work.

Technical (in the legal sense) disputes – these are disputes that arise out of non-compliance with the technical requirements for making and responding to payments.

Merit based disputes are disputes about the merits of the parties arguments in terms of the construction contract that governs their relationship.


Remember that the contract could be orally or in writing. For obvious reasons a written contract is the first prize as oral contracts are sometime difficult to prove.

Typical merits-based disputes include disputes in relation to:


• non-payment for work undertaken;
• contract interpretation – what the parties actually agreed;
• scope of work;
• quality of work;
• quality of materials;
• time for completion;
• estimates vs actual cost;
• variations – whether certain work is in fact a variation to the agreed scope of work and the value of that varied work;
• defective work;
• scope and cost of rectification work.