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to want to give my builder a kick up the arse here?

(9 Posts)
Sops Fri 05-Aug-11 15:29:40

We are now 3 weeks over schedule on a six month extension/remodelling project on our house. Our (third) completion date is now 'hopefully the 20th August' (IF it is finished by then, which going by the current rate of progress seems highly unlikely- we haven't even got any functioning toilets yet).
We have had not even one tiny hiccup that could have delayed the build (in fact there are a few things we have decided not to do that were in the original plans so there is actually less work to do). We have had amazing weather for the whole six months without being rained off even once.
As early as the foundation stage (and repeatedly since) I told him I didn't think the job was progressing quickly enough to be completed on time and was reassured that everything was going to plan.
He keeps telling us that things are going to happen on particular days and they never do. One window has been going to be delivered every day since 18th July- it has finally come today. Most days he tells us something is going to happen and it doesn't and we never get any explanation. I know this is how builders operate but I can't help getting pissed off about it. We are paying a ton of money for this and he won't be straight with us.
It's causing huge friction between me and dh. We are both tired of living in limbo. I want to vent my annoyance on the builder but dh thinks he will end up going off the job if we do.
Do we just need to be patient or should we get a bit more assertive?

thereinmadnesslies Fri 05-Aug-11 15:36:47

Builders are really poor at accurately predicting timescales - we had a predicted four month build end up taking nine months so I know how you are feeling.

I don't think venting your annoyance on the builder will help tbh, although it will make you feel loads better. Instead could you try to get a little more control by breaking down what remains into smaller tasks and try to agree at the start of each day/week what will be done. With the window - who are the suppliers? Could you get onto them direct.

Are you living on site? Could you give yourself and DH a bit of a break away, maybe a nice weekend somewhere when you don't talk about the build once?

When we were in the middle of it I was so stressed, but now, 18months on and stil with decorating to finish it is so totally worth it ... I have a space that works for my family, a kitchen to die for and pride that I made it happen smile

PorkChopSter Fri 05-Aug-11 15:39:28

grin We had a 12 week schedule. "But that didn't include bank holidays" says the builder wink

I don't think the builder will want to be your best friend afterwards, so be as straight as you dare.

thereinmadnesslies Fri 05-Aug-11 15:46:28

We made out builders an outstanding jobs list (actually five pages lol!) which they were not too pleased about, but it focussed them and they were like little boys in the end coming to show me what they'd ticked off the list (I should have given them stickers) grin

Sops Fri 05-Aug-11 15:47:57

I have tried to get him to break it down for us all along and last week asked for a written list of exactly what remains to be done and who will do it, but instead he saw dh and 'told' him everything, but then it doesn't actually happen.
The annoyance is that I believe it has always been possible to finish on schedule IF there are enough people working. For instance at the beginning of the job he told us he would not be using 'a single plasterer but a gang of two or three as there is no way one person can get all this done in the timescale'. Who do we get? One person.
This has happened over dozens of things. Every time we point out that this wasn't what we were told we were getting he just talks over us and blethers on without actually saying anything (he has an amazing talent for this!)
It's like torture for me to be told to expect X to happen on this day and it never bloody does happen- it drives me mad! This week he told us that he had someone extra coming in two days to help with fitting all the doors- he never came, but why tell us that he was?

ouryve Fri 05-Aug-11 15:50:18

Things like windows not arriving on schedule may or may not be within his control - depends how pro-active he is about getting the orders in and paying for them. If he's claiming anything else that is needed is being held up, ask him for supplier and contact details and ask if there is anything you can do to do the chasing up. If the delays are his fault, that might help to give him a bit of a kick up the backside, since the last thing he will want is to have his reputation with a supplier jeopardised.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Fri 05-Aug-11 16:31:45

Are you paying him bits of money here and there?

I find they are less bothered about sticking to schedule if they are getting paid as they go.

LordOfTheFlies Fri 05-Aug-11 17:43:07

We had an extension built 5 years ago. Schedule was Sept-Dec and it went as planned.
IIRC we paid part after foundations dug and passed, some halfway through, rest on completion.
I know alot of people say don't pay up front, builders get materials on account, but I suppose in this economic climate they need to know they'll be paid.
Did you have a clause (don't know legal name but it means they get fined if they over-run)

Only problem we had was builder was quite, erm, opinionated about decor and stuff.Had to keep saying "You don't live here, I do".
He didn't subscribe to customer is always right shock

Keep giving them tea and nice bikkies (keep them sweet)

Northernlurker Fri 05-Aug-11 17:56:09

YOu need to make a snagging list with them. I did that with our new kitchen (I was at work and dh was dealing with the fitters) It was hugely helpful as they did actually have all of that under control but just having the list helped communication no end. If you do that and still are unhappy then is the moment to wheel in the big guns.

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