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Aibu to ask builder to ask for references and see his work

(31 Posts)
Purplepoodle Wed 06-Aug-14 15:54:19

The guy I had out thinks I am.

He gave me a quote for job - great I thought, seems about right. Showed me lots of pictures of work they had done, had business card. So asked him today if I could see any decking he had previously completed - ours is a large job and quite a bit of money.

So got an incredibly aggressive text saying if the portfolio and references on my builder and rated people weren't enough then to go with someone else. I tried to get onto rated people to see references but ended up posting a job in which I cancelled straight away.

He sends another text saying he had seen me readvertised, that it's costs him x amount to be short listed and that I had no intention of going ahead with job unless for nothing'

Sad thing is I was going to hire him until his aggressive text when I asked to see his previous work.

So aibu

MagratsHair Wed 06-Aug-14 16:05:25

I don't know I've never engaged not the correct word I know a builder.

Do you mean you wanted him to give you someone's address or take you to somebody's house to show you their work?

unadulterateddad Wed 06-Aug-14 16:07:44

avoid avoid avoid, any builder who is happy with their work would have no problem with you contacting a reference piece of work.

msrisotto Wed 06-Aug-14 16:09:50

You've had a lucky escape. Finding a good tradesman is super hard in my experience. When you find one, keep hold tight.

MrsWinnibago Wed 06-Aug-14 16:11:45

the fact that it costs him is nothing to do with you. He chooses to use Rated People and the charges are his issue.

I work on a similar site and I always avoid ANY client who is overly fussy, demanding or aggressive so as a client you should too!

Did you just ask for decking pics and that set him off?

PerfectlyPosed Wed 06-Aug-14 16:12:52

Agree with the above. My DP is in the building trade and would be more than happy for prospective clients to view his previous work as he is very proud of what he does. As you say, you are spending a lot of money and need to be sure you are getting what you pay for.

TheCraicDealer Wed 06-Aug-14 16:13:30

Stay well clear. There are too many potential pitfalls in any building job to take a punt on a tradesman who behaves like this without even getting the job. Hardly suggests it's a professional outfit, does it?

I'm sure those websites would absolutely love to hear about one of their users harassing a potential customer.

MrsWinnibago Wed 06-Aug-14 16:16:23

My DH is a painter and decorator and also does joinery...he'd be able to and happy to show any client pics of his decking, fencing, shelving...not a problem. This guy sounds like he's a liar to me.

Cyclebump Wed 06-Aug-14 16:17:53

He shouldn't have been rude. However, while DH (also a builder) has given contact details of previous clients to potential new ones (obviously with previous clients' consent) to give references, it's a bit much to expect a previous client to let you snoop around their property to critique his work.

He's had this request before and none f his previous clients were willing to have a stranger come into their home and I can see why. It's weird.

As I said though, his attitude was way off.

MrsWinnibago Wed 06-Aug-14 16:32:24

The OP wanted photos though....not to snoop other people's homes.

KirstyJC Wed 06-Aug-14 16:38:57

I thought OP has seen photos already, and was actually asking to see the completed work? I must admit that is a bit OTT - I am very happy with the work our builder did but wouldn't have people traipsing through our loft and home to have a look at it! I would however be happy to take a phone call from a prospective client to say how pleased I was.

OP - were you asking to go to other people's houses and actually look at the work? If so, YABU.

His reaction was still wrong though, he should have simply explained it wasn't really possible but maybe he could ask one of his old customers if you could speak to them?

KirstyJC Wed 06-Aug-14 16:40:10

OP says he had showed her photos so it sounds like she DID want to snoop other people's homes.....?

mommy2ash Wed 06-Aug-14 16:45:26

by see his work did you mean Go to someone's house? if so yabu he doesn't have the authority to send people to ex clients homes. I wouldn't agree to strangers coming to my house to inspect work I have done that seems like a crazy request.

teacherwith2kids Wed 06-Aug-14 16:48:10

When we refurbished our house (big job, total replumbing, total rewiring, all new windows, rebuilt kitchen, new bathrooms...) I followed up references for every single tradesperson / company we used. We walked away from anyone who wasn't happy to do so.

In most cases, we got to see the work - the plumber showed me his own house, which he was in the middle of replumbing - but in some such as bathrooms where access inside a house would have been needed we saw photos and called the clients once the tradesman had checked that was OK. We have happily returned the favour by providing references in our turn.

Maybe we were lucky, but we didn't have any duds. If it helps, we got many of our tradesmen through the local free advertising magazine that comes through the door. All lived and worked locally.

teacherwith2kids Wed 06-Aug-14 16:53:49

I think, btw, that you would be unreasonable to ask to physically see previous work if it is likely to be in a private part of a house [we drove around town looking at driveways when we needed ours redoing - but they are obviously easy to see from the road]. However, contact numbers of previous clients, after a short while for the tradesperson to contact them to check they are happy to be spoken to, is absolutely reasonable and, IME, the norm for reputable tradepeople.

Purplepoodle Wed 06-Aug-14 19:18:05

I have been stung in the past by utterly crap joiners so I was following the advice on my builder about hiring a builder, it states

'For larger jobs, ask to view previously completed work and if possible speak with that customer about workmanship and general conduct.'

So I just thought I would ask as that what it's says to do on the web site. I asked very politely if it was possible to see previous decking he had done and then got a very aggressive reply. I would have been happy enough if he had given me a couple of numbers to ring or even a polite bloody reply.

Guess it just makes me highly suspicious that there's something weird going on.

Purplepoodle Wed 06-Aug-14 19:19:14

Oh and his my builder site has nothing about decking, it's all bathroom refurb

queenofthemountain Wed 06-Aug-14 19:27:26

No decent builder will mind.It's pretty standard. Yo do realise though he is taking a bigger chance on you, than you are on him.I used to do the accounts for a very in-demand builder.Some people got very indignant when he told them he would have to run a credit check on them before accepting the job!

Purplepoodle Wed 06-Aug-14 19:31:00

It can work both ways queen - if he was crap I'd be thousands of pounds out of pocket with an area I couldn't use

BookABooSue Wed 06-Aug-14 19:56:49

YANBU It is standard practise for large jobs. My friend has a construction company and they take prospective customers to see past work. Also if they are employing a subcontractor, they'll ask to see their work before taking them on.
Maybe he was having a bad day. Maybe he didn't consider it a big job. Either way you were right to walk away.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 06-Aug-14 20:44:25

YANBU. I've just had a minor job done by a carpenter who's happy to provide references. Lovely guy, fast and good value.

Insist on seeing evidence of public liabilty insurance and check the VAT number. Doesn't weed out all the cowboys, but it cuts the number right down. Especially the VAT: if they're not turning over enough they're part time bodgers, and if they are they're thieves.

cardamomginger Wed 06-Aug-14 21:09:24

YANBU and run for the hills! We have just had a huge building job completed and our builders were perfectly happy to take us round to a project they had completed and allow us to talk to the property owners. Our builders have asked us if we would be happy for them to bring prospective clients round to view their work. It is standard practice.

His aggression is very suspicious. Avoid and go elsewhere!

cardamomginger Wed 06-Aug-14 21:11:00

Sorry - it's just not the case that he, the builder, is taking a bigger risk by accepting you as a client than you are by employing him.

We didn't have a credit check run on us.

queenofthemountain Wed 06-Aug-14 21:38:32

How do you work that one out cardamonminger
The norm in the construction industry is for £x of work to be done and certified, after which the client pays that amount less a retention.
The client has something before he parts with a penny.The builder on the other hand has to buy materials and labour before he sees a penny from the client.

BookABooSue Wed 06-Aug-14 23:00:29

queen all the builders I know take a part-payment upfront from any new customer. They wouldn'y risk paying for staff, materials, etc without the security of some kind of payment.

It's only their repeat customers who benefit from a credit system like the one you suggest.

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