Urgent self build help please

(27 Posts)
Fedupofallthemud Sat 26-Mar-16 11:59:13

We are approaching the end of a self build project, we have used a main contractor and a few other contractors to do smaller pieces of work. We have always worked round main contractor to make sure his work hasn't been held up by the other contractors. We were trying to arrange access for the flooring fitter and he's now refusing access till the final invoice is paid. It's not overdue, his workers only finished yesterday!!
He's also not allowing us in to do other stuff like sealing wooden worktops, putting in additional shelving etc.
I think this is completely wrong. Our contract talks us about us allowing him access, not the other way round.
Does anyone have any experience of this? We have a good weeks worth of work to do with flooring, carpets etc and really don't want another week delay by him not letting us get on with it.
Thanks in advance

Micah Sat 26-Mar-16 12:03:01

Is he living there? How is he preventing access?

If he's finished his work and you're happy why aren't you paying him?

Fedupofallthemud Sat 26-Mar-16 12:14:46

Each stage payment takes a couple of weeks to come through the money has to be applied for us each stage completed.
He has the keys. We don't. Therefore we can't get in

choirmumoftwo Sat 26-Mar-16 12:18:21

Surely the answer is to pay him, if that's the agreement. Is there a reason why you don't want to/can't pay? Apologies if I've misunderstood.

Fedupofallthemud Sat 26-Mar-16 12:45:00

As above, waiting for stage payment to come through

Fedupofallthemud Sat 26-Mar-16 13:14:22

If anyone has been through the self build process id been interested to hear their experience of this

cruusshed Sat 26-Mar-16 13:23:51

why don't you just go around and change the locks?

cruusshed Sat 26-Mar-16 13:24:07

...and then bill him...

kittybiscuits Sat 26-Mar-16 13:27:01

I think people have misunderstood. This is not a reasonable way to go about things. Do you have the final invoice? I'm wondering if there's going to be a surprise. I'm afraid I would talk to your solicitor immediately and yes get in an change the locks. You may also want to talk to the police on 101.

Palomb Sat 26-Mar-16 13:27:06

^ that's exactly what I'd do.. Get a locksmith the change all the locks and knock what it costs of your builders bill.

Cheeky fucker.

kittybiscuits Sat 26-Mar-16 13:27:54

I wonder also be thinking his hostile behaviour might be hostile aggressive defense of something he knowsis a big problem in the build.

snowspider Sat 26-Mar-16 13:34:07

I did a self build but didn't have a "main contractor" so I employed subs and ordered materials and managed the build so only paid people once I was happy with their work and I definitely had full control of the property

it sounds like your builder has somehow got very much too much the upper hand

you need to make clear it is your property, which you have fully paid for up to this final stage

you shouldn't pay him off finally until you have snagged (professional snaggers are available if you don't know enough) and you have the completion certificate

Fedupofallthemud Sat 26-Mar-16 13:45:13

I think part of the problem is that he normally does new builds and the only self build he's done before the people were paying cash at each stage as they don't need a mortgage
I just spoke to him and he point blank refused to let us have the keys to get in to do various work. He says he'll meet us on Tuesday and we can do stuff if he is there to supervise!! We have full site insurance and he knows that.
He wants to do a handover once he's been paid but we can't have keys till then!!
I too think we need legal advice but suspect it will be Tuesday before we can speak to solicitor due to bank holiday so another weekend goes past and we can't get on with stuff angry

asthmaboy Sat 26-Mar-16 13:55:55

It is your house. Your property. But I would be careful and I wouldn't contact the contractor until you have a locksmith at the property. I wouldn't say a bad word to him either in case of him retaliating via the build.

He shouldn't get paid final invoice until you've checked over his work.

snowspider Sat 26-Mar-16 14:01:50

have you never been there on your own all through the build?

who is supervising the builder, is there a project manager or architect

is it under NHBC or equivalent gew build guarantee

if this was a house refurbishment for you or a builder working on an extension to your home then you wouldn't get locked out by the builder, i am shock

it's not his build

Palomb Sat 26-Mar-16 14:41:02

You don't need a solicitor. This is your property!

LIZS Sat 26-Mar-16 14:49:11

I guess from his PoV he doesn't want to be held liable if something he has started gets damaged by you or subcontractors. Once you have done a proper handover and snagging list he may be more amenable.

Fedupofallthemud Sat 26-Mar-16 15:19:13

We've been going in on our own most weekends as we knew where the key was but he wasn't always aware we'd been in. We've had other contractors in at weekends on their own too and again this has never been an issue.
He seems to think letting us have access means it will slow down getting paid but nothing could be further from the truth. We are waiting for bank to remortgage the self build to pay the last invoice but bank assured us we would have the money by yesterday. Clearly the bank are taking the mickey too. The whole thing has been a complete nightmare and caused us more stress than we can take. This really is the final straw for me sad

LIZS Sat 26-Mar-16 16:01:31

And the key isn't there now?

Fedupofallthemud Sat 26-Mar-16 16:11:12

No. We'd agreed with site foreman he'd leave us key in usual place so DH could go in this weekend. He obviously told builder who went in earlier this morning purely to remove the key (seen by our neighbour who told us this)
I really don't think there is some huge problem he's covering up, just that he's treating it the same as new build and won't be told otherwise

snowspider Sat 26-Mar-16 16:16:55

This sounds all backwards on to me, he isn't selling you the house, you have contracted his services and it should be you who has the key and calls the shots

shanghaismog Sat 26-Mar-16 18:36:09

How strange! Your build, your house, your site - you are the boss! Weird. Mind you, we did things ourselves through various contractors. How could you not have had keys already, you know the doors come with 2/3 sets?
He's obviously just trying his luck to make sure he's top of the list to be paid!
Good luck, no real advice unfortunately...how long until you get your stage payment?

Fedupofallthemud Sun 27-Mar-16 09:53:09

The complicating factor with that is that we are remortgaging self build mortgage with normal residential which will also allow us the pay builder. Reason was to speed things up as each stage payment taking 3 weeks or so to come through. Bank said they could do this within week of getting completion certificate which we sent them on 15th!! Still nothing through so I'm beyond frustrated with the bank too (clydesdale bank, avoid)
I'm planning a sit in at bank when it reopens till they give me a definite date. We've given notice on our rented house so need the money through ASAP (we allowed 3 weeks from time of certificate to give the bank plenty of time hmm
Not to mention getting date for carpet and floor fitter, removals company etc etc! Had a good bawl about it yesterday and went down to the beach in the stormy weather which always makes me feel a bit better!

shanghaismog Sun 27-Mar-16 16:56:57

Poor you, not fun at all! It'll all come together x

shanghaismog Sat 02-Apr-16 07:40:59

How are you getting on? Hopefully in and sorting the never ending last bits...

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