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To ask for help on dealing with this builder

(11 Posts)
Gryffindor Wed 12-Feb-14 15:19:44

Since last November, I have had a builder in the house working on my loft conversion and replacing some windows to the front of the house. He came recommended as he had just finished my NDN's loft which looks lovely.

Almost immediately, work fell behind schedule. This was partly due to Christmas, his childcare arrangements, illness and a variety of other excuses. Due to his payment schedule (which looked reasonable to me at the start of works) he has now had the overwhelming majority of money, but lots of work is outstanding. He has focussed on the work that will 'earn' him the next payment, leaving until last things not explicitly on the schedule. We therefore do not have a fully watertight roof (weathered in but not fully tiled etc, still leaking), lots of carpentry unfinished, new bathroom furniture in situ but not plumbed in and lots and lots of odd jobs unfinished.

Today, even though I practically begged him to finish the roof, he insisted on ripping out the front window. I have really tried to keep a good relationship but today it has really soured. I had to query the placement of the new windows and asked him to speak to DH on the phone.

Builder now v aggressive and is packing up to leave - I'm worried he won't come back.

I know I sound utterly weak and ridiculous in this but trust me when I say that this is NOT my normal self. I am usually extremely assertive and have a job in a tough male dominated area. Not one to be pushed around.

I think I have just been so worried about rocking the boat unless he fucks off mid job that I've put up with the slowness etc for the sake of getting it all done to a high standard in the end.

anyway, just tried to get him to speak to DH and he is playing the whole "I'm not speaking to your DH as he was rude to me" even though DH really is the most mild mannered bloke around.

Panicking now and trying not to cry as that would make me seem even weaker to him.

Any advice please?

Gryffindor Wed 12-Feb-14 15:22:04

Fuck that was long, on iphone and couldn't see length or proofread.

Oh and over time he is seemed like an actual nice bloke. To the point that I gave him and his helpers token chocolate gifts at xmas, supply biscuits etc. He brought his toddler round one weekend to see his work, I gave him sweets etc.

I know, he thinks i am a prize mug.

Famzilla Wed 12-Feb-14 15:24:28

Is it because of the weather that he can't finish the roof?

DH is a roofer and can't work when it's raining. My dad is a window fitter and the rain doesn't affect him. Just wondering..

Pendeen Wed 12-Feb-14 15:24:57

Do you have a written contract with him?

Gryffindor Wed 12-Feb-14 15:27:58

Yes I have a written contract.

I think it is in part due the weather that he can't do the roofing today, but making the outside watertight is something that all loft builders do first, and he has had since November. All he wants to do is move on to other parts of work that come with payment tranches, leaving the rest until last.

Gryffindor Wed 12-Feb-14 15:29:15

I know that he has other jobs lined up to move on to, and I am terrified that he will not see enough value in finishing my job as he has already had a lot of cash.

missfliss Wed 12-Feb-14 15:29:47

Listen, you need to sit him down over a cuppa and explain your worries.
A lot has to be on trust regardless, but I remember querying aspects of our job, but it's true, his insurance may not cover the roofers if they try and work in these conditions.
Maybe ask if there's any additional waterproofing to do.
If he came recommended then surely he is trustworthy ??
You need to prevent th relationship deteriorating and on the one hand get some reassurance whilst showing g you respect his expertise

Gryffindor Wed 12-Feb-14 15:32:14

He is now packing up to leave for the day, despite yesterday saying he would stay until 8pm tonight to get the new windows in. He is planning to just put a thin tarp over a 6ftx5ft hole in my front wall.

Lottiedoubtie Wed 12-Feb-14 15:32:31

Sit him down and go through the outstanding work point by point.

Make it clear that you will not be paying any further money until x y z is done.

If he says things like 'I'm not talking to x he was rude' politely suggest he start behaving like an adult and offer him a cup if tea.

Good luck!

Pendeen Wed 12-Feb-14 16:06:46

If it's any use (e.g. JCT, FMB or similar small building works agreement) your contract should contain provisions for dealing with disputes. I agree with the 'informal' advice given here however it does sound like you will need to look to the contract for help with this builder!

ajandjjmum Wed 12-Feb-14 16:16:12

If he's adjusting his schedule, the payment terms should be adjusted accordingly. And he shouldn't get paid for something until it's properly finished - ie. the roof watertight etc.

Why don't you just ask him why he's packing up to go, when he told you yesterday that he was staying late to try and catch up a bit?

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