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AIBU or is a quote subject to increase once work begins?

(31 Posts)
GardenFrustrationAGGHHHH Wed 11-May-16 12:29:22

So, got a quote a few months ago to have my garden transformed from a sloped jungle to a flat gravel paradise.

This would include levelling of the garden, replacement of patio and a fence between me and the neighbours.

Guy said he could blitz it over 2 days and quoted me £1,700.

Booked him in and a few days prior to arrival said that he had found a quote "on his computer" for £1890 which I agreed would be okay.

So, he gets a skip and is busy disposing of the fuck tonnes of earth coming out of my garden and on Day 2 tells me that there's frankly too much earth and what they'll have to do is get some sleepers and have one part flat and the other raised, to which I agreed.

A few days later, now that the patio has been redone and the flat part has been gravelled etc, they tell me that there's not enough earth left to build up the raised area and so it'll need another 2 tonnes of sand to level and and they're also another 2-3 tonnes of gravel short.

I've always been very clear that I only have what he quoted saved up and he thinks that if they were to come back again to finish off when I've had chance to save again, it'll cost another £5-600 to finish.

I'm very annoyed about this because it's very obviously, literally, half a job.


Sorry to post in AIBU but I feel like a need a Viper's perspective!

lottielou7 Wed 11-May-16 12:33:47

Did you have a quote in writing? I think if it would be subject to change then that should have been made clear by him in the beginning.

GardenFrustrationAGGHHHH Wed 11-May-16 12:43:53

I have some text messages.

I feel very loath to pay out more money to buy soil/sand when they disposed of tonnes of it!

rallytog1 Wed 11-May-16 12:53:45

Was it a quote or an estimate? The language is really important - a quote should only be changed with the express agreement of both parties. An estimate can be changed once work starts.

Tbh he sounds like a chancer and it's probably worth you ringing the consumer helpline for some advice, seeing as the work is already underway.

GardenFrustrationAGGHHHH Wed 11-May-16 13:00:24

I've got a QUOTE. Just gone back through the messages that we've sent.

£1,390 for materials.

He quoted £2,765 to patio all of it, I wish I had done that now!

Pinkheart5915 Wed 11-May-16 13:08:21

Talk to him about it (again if you already have) and go from there?

You should always ask for a written quote, not text messages

GardenFrustrationAGGHHHH Wed 11-May-16 13:14:30

Surely text on a piece of paper and text in a message are the same? It's still written correspondence?

I've said that it seems silly for me to pay extra when they disposed of so much and that he had no forethought, but he told me that it's just "one of those things".

I also said that surely whether they had to raise some of the garden or have it all flat, they would still need the same amount of stone for gravel cover, but again, was told that it couldn't have been predicted.

I have gone through the messages though and he expressly says 4 tonnes of stone and he has only purchased 3 - now saying that he needs 2/3 more.

Comiconce Wed 11-May-16 13:27:13

I was about to come on and say YABU because sometimes things turn up that weren't expected (dry rot, damp, whatever). But he's trying it on big time. Print out your text messages if you can and get some advice. Tell him you will pay him for half the job, as previously agreed, and you will find someone else to finish the job unless he's willing to do it for the quote you agreed on at the start. What a complete bastard.

GardenFrustrationAGGHHHH Wed 11-May-16 13:34:02

I've already paid the majority, just another £690 to pay upon "completion" today. Hence the post, I totally do not know what to do!

WhatchaMaCalllit Wed 11-May-16 13:45:11

Tell him that you had agreed an all-in price of whatever you agreed in your text message of X date and that is all you are paying. That is a fixed and final offer and accepted at that price. If he can't bring the job in at that price I'd be considering contacting local Trading Standards to get them involved.
I wouldn't pay the extra £690 today. I'd say that you're awaiting legal advice on whether you are required to pay it or not based on the other earlier price increases.

GardenFrustrationAGGHHHH Wed 11-May-16 13:51:11

I haven't paid for any additional work/supplies. The £690 is what is outstanding of the £1,890 "Quote" for the work.

He has not bought as much gravel as he quoted for one thing and I do not have the cash for the additional £5/600 that he expects that it will cost to finish the job.

They have had to take out a lot more stone than they could have predicted but the fact that they expect me to pay extra for sand/top soil to replace soil that they have taken out and disposed of does not impress me at all!

He again, says that it's "just one of those things".

Sallyingforth Wed 11-May-16 13:56:18

If it's a quotation rather than an estimate then he can't insist on more. But if you don't pay more, be careful that he doesn't scrimp on those extra materials. You don't want the job spoiled.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 11-May-16 14:00:18

Dear xx,

You gave me a quotation for xyz and you have not been able to complete the described works on that quotation due to your own professional error. I do not feel that it is fair or my responsibility to be out of pocket for your own error. Therefore I will not be paying the remainder of monies due until the works are carried out as described in your quotation. The sum I will pay will be that on the quotation, many thanks


GardenFrustrationAGGHHHH Wed 11-May-16 14:00:30

I don't think there is going to be extra materials. He's even "run out" of suppressant to go under the gravel and again, was like, "that's just how it is".

DoItTooJulia Wed 11-May-16 14:00:57

I really hate these threads-people like this give the industry a bad name. DH is in the industry and never does a fixed price quote-for various reasons.

If you've got a fixed price quote that states the price and works then that is what should happen-for the sun you were quoted you should have the specified works delivered.

Trouble is what happens next? It's no skin off his nose to leave your garden half done-he's had the money for the materials and labour so he's not out of pocket if you pay the remainder left. If you don't pay the remainder you're in a horrible stale mate.

In your position I would get a breakdown of what he's spent on materials to date compared with the quote. Then you're going to have to discuss with him a way forward.

Good luck

QuiteLikely5 Wed 11-May-16 14:01:23

Needs tweaking slightly but act swiftly so he knows where he stands!

LupoLounger Wed 11-May-16 14:05:36

Depends if it's a Time & Materials Estimate or a Fixed Bid Quote.

Typically with a Fixed Bid Quote, you end up paying a little bit more than the lowest possible number on a T&M Estimate, as the contractor will pad a little to reduce their risk. It's the nature of fixed bid.

That said, with a T&M estimate, you take on the risk of running over time or 'more work being involved than initially expected'. You take your choices there based on your attitude to risk and how much tolerance you have for project-management.

If it was unclear when you had the initial conversation, then it's really on him as the professional tradesman to be absolutely clear. That said, you're better off talking about it amenably if you can, as when if it goes hostile, it'll get harder to get a decent result.

LupoLounger Wed 11-May-16 14:08:14

P.S. Good luck though!

GardenFrustrationAGGHHHH Wed 11-May-16 14:15:44

Okay, thanks everyone. I'm going to ask him for the breakdown and see how it goes. Just stress that I do not need and for me, £2K was enough for a garden, £2,500 is just too much sad

WhatchaMaCalllit Wed 11-May-16 14:22:36

Is suppressant like a roll of underlay (for want of a better description) that goes under the gravel/patio and stops weeds growing up through the gravel or is it a spray/weedkiller thing? If it's the first, then he should have measured your garden and worked out exactly how much was required (kind of like carpeting a room) and costed for that.

LupoLounger Wed 11-May-16 14:25:14

Just stress that I do not need

Been there, got the t-shirt.

It's why I now explicitly ask up front now what sort of 'quote' it is. I've been caught out more than once previously and I'm too conflict adverse come crunch time to have it land in our favour.

Better to bang it out up front for me, but it was an expensive lesson to learn.

GardenFrustrationAGGHHHH Wed 11-May-16 14:26:41

Whatcha - It's underlay, it's me calling it suppressant incorrectly. Totally agree that he should have measured properly though when I said that he started the "one of them things" crap again.

Sallyingforth Wed 11-May-16 15:25:08

Dear contractor, I'm sorry for you that you calculated the materials wrongly. Just "one of them things" innit?

GardenFrustrationAGGHHHH Wed 11-May-16 22:26:39

I sent a message along the lines of QuiteLikeys after I had a word with a solicitor friend and said that if be seeing my SHL tomorrow and that in the meantime suggested that he send me a breakdown of costs.

You will not believe the message I received in response!! He's going to see his SHL as well and he's legally allowed to come and take away all the work done to date, which he will.

So I left it. If he had nothing to hide, he'd provide the receipts and the breakdown. He'd do all he could to show its water tight to get his money.

Then he phones so I ignore it.

Further message saying that he'll complete the work at his own expense rather than risk getting a bad name.

So, although I think that I've gotten what I wanted, I want to go on holiday while they do it as I fucking hate confrontation and really do not want to see him again.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 11-May-16 22:42:57

Wahey! Result! might be an idea to have a friend or relative in the offing while he finishes, in case he buries something nasty.

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