All stone products used within the Construction Industry need to be supplied with a Declaration of Performance, this has been a legal requirement since 2013.
This law has not been widely publicised (or at least not widely publicised enough) as many suppliers are unaware of the requirement, or perhaps choose to ignore the law while pursuing cheaper buying prices.
In the almost 6 years since the law has been in place, we have been frustrated by companies offering non-compliant stone at discounted rates without consequence.
But three events this week have proven that the law is slowly filtering through the tile and stone industry.
Firstly, we received an email from an Architect requesting DoP’s (Declarations of Performance) be sent before he would issue an Architects Instruction for his stone purchase. A refreshing and welcome first for the team at Devon Stone.
We then received a call from a contractor who had refused to fit stone supplied by a well-known stone supplier, due to the poor quality of the stone. After visiting site, we advised the client of their rights and they have subsequently received a full refund. The request being based on the illegal supply of non-compliant stone.
The third event started with a call from a main contractor accusing Devon Stone of supplying poor quality stone. As the call progressed it became apparent that the stone in question was supplied by another local showroom rather than us, in fact the client chose the other supplier as they were marginally cheaper. The stone has been down for 12 weeks and is in terrible condition. We have advised the contractor and client that grinding and re-polishing may work for a limited time (at a cost of several thousand pounds), and that the only long-term solution will be to remove the downstairs joinery and replace the floor. A claim for this significant cost is being sent to the original supplier, again using the 2013 regulations to support the claim.
With failures and quality issues becoming more widespread, the CE regulations are becoming better known but what are the real consequences for those choosing to ignore the law? An occasional financial hit is not (in our opinion) enough. Should The Tile Association or The Stone Federation compile files on those choosing to ignore the regulations for Trading Standards so they can prosecute? Or will it take a dramatic, high profile failure to change the working practices of unscrupulous stone traders?
For information on the regulatory environment of natural stone supply or how it affects you as an architect, interior designer, main contractor or end user, please contact Devon Stone on 01392 879767.