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Just had a falling out with my builder

(121 Posts)
Itsgettingbetter Tue 28-Nov-17 13:55:09

Having our bathroom done. Admittedly I'm not paying for all of it myself - I'm a housing co-operative tenant, so the organisation pays for basics but I've gone for extras so it looks contemporary and am paying for these myself.

The ceiling is uneven and the labourer and his boss are suggesting filling a significant gap with plaster. I'm going for a high standard finish but they're suggesting it's the best they can do. I had firm words with the labourer this morning about the importance of finish (for example they've installed a crappy looking dimmer switch). Maybe I'm paranoid but I imagine they look at me, single mum, social housing tenant and are not trying their best.

The boss called to discuss something minor then bought up the talk I'd had with the labourer about the tiles. I said 'that would look crap.' He maintained, 'there's no other option' then contradicted himself saying 'we want you to be happy and we'll let you know what the options are.' Communication has been poor and the job is in it's fourth week. In the end we ended up squabbling, with him complaining that the job has been for too long (due to the inefficiency of his labourer).

I feel vulnerable as I live alone with my son. The 'boss' pops around while I'm out and don't want them disrespecting my home while I'm out. Plus the labourer is holding a set of my keys while on the job and I'm worried about security...

Missonihoni Tue 28-Nov-17 14:01:57

Your living in significantly cheaper social housing and your complaining about your luxury bathroom.

You won't get any sympathy on aibu.

If it was your own house you had saved for and purchased you would still struggle!

Good luck.

TheVanguardSix Tue 28-Nov-17 14:10:33

What are you actually paying for? It's not your property. You're a tenant. I'd imagine your say isn't strong here. They will not do a crap job. They will do their work to a good, safe standard but they have to work within the framework of a budget.

TheVanguardSix Tue 28-Nov-17 14:13:03

4 weeks on a bathroom is silly.
What's happened there?
Is it just your flat having the work done or are they working on the whole block?

scortja Tue 28-Nov-17 14:13:54

Can you ask the HA to get someone else in? Mention this bit =

The 'boss' pops around while I'm out and don't want them disrespecting my home while I'm out. Plus the labourer is holding a set of my keys while on the job and I'm worried about security.

mrsm43s Tue 28-Nov-17 14:15:31

I'm not quite sure if I'm understanding it right, but it seems like the housing association is paying for the basic supply and fitting of the bathroom, and you are paying for a few extras.

You can only really expect to have any say on the quality and finish of the bits you're paying for. The bits that the housing association are paying for will almost certainly be being done to the cheapest, functional level, rather than the "high standard finish" that you're wanting.

If you want to change the spec of the things the housing association are paying for, then you'll have to pay for the extra to bring it up to the finish you require (if they allow you to change it at all). So if you want a chrome dimmer rather than a plastic one, for example, you'll have to pay for it yourself. And if you want the ceiling totally replastered rather than filled/skimmed, you'll have to pay for that yourself etc.

This won't have anything to do with you being a single mum, btw, it'll be about the budget and standards that have been agreed between the builder and the housing association. They don't renovate social housing to a luxury spec, they renovate to a functional standard!

MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 28-Nov-17 14:17:41

It sounds as though they don't know how to do a good job. If you're unhappy with their work, you should talk to the HA. And get those keys back if you can - I wouldn't be comfortable with that, either.

Pengggwn Tue 28-Nov-17 14:18:53

Housing associations don't have the budget to pay for a 'high standard finish'. If you have the budget for it, pay for it yourself. I can't believe you are on here moaning about not liking the dimmer switch when there are people who would beg to be in your position. angry

Creambun2 Tue 28-Nov-17 14:20:04

You sound entitled as hell tbh OP. If you want a luxury "contemporary" bathroom maybe buy your own place? With the budgets of councils and HAs you are lucky to be getting a new bathroom at all.

DJBaggySmalls Tue 28-Nov-17 14:22:39

The basic standard isn't good enough.
Private landlords dont tolerate shoddy DIY from tenant, why should tenants tolerate if from builders?

Frouby Tue 28-Nov-17 14:23:04

It doesn't matter if it is a housing association property or not, the work should still be of a good standard. And any extras you arw paying for yourself should be fitted and installed properly.

I would write down everything that you are unhappy with and speak to the boss about it. If he can't help try and contact whoever deals with this sort of work in your housing association. Start with the repairs team unless you have an alternative contact.

Shit tradesmen working for HA and councils rely on tenants not calling them on their work. That's how they get away with being shit.

AlternativeTentacle Tue 28-Nov-17 14:23:10

Labourer? Labourers should not be working trades alone, that's the thing with labourers they only provide supervised labour not a level of skill.

He needs to provide a tradesperson not a labourer.

Cabininthewoods69 Tue 28-Nov-17 14:27:14

Buy your own house and fund your own improvements paying the people you choose. Or just pay for the whole thing yourself through other builders

lionguard Tue 28-Nov-17 14:28:05

They're working on your house and doing a shit job - I'm not surprised you're pissed off. I can't imagine the HA wants them to do a shit job either.

There's a difference between going all-out and going with the cheapest quote and I accept the HA will go with the cheapest. However not doing the work up to an acceptable standard is unacceptable no matter what the budget.

Jaxhog Tue 28-Nov-17 14:28:37

I agree with @Froudy . Just because you're a HA resident doesn't mean they can get away with doing a shit job. BTW, they'll try this on a non HA job too, speaking from experience.

Make sure the boss knows clearly, what you expect, and check everything.

ImAMarshmellow Tue 28-Nov-17 14:29:35

Sadly councils are not going to pay for high quality finish. You'll get functional and safe. If you want high quality pay for it yourself.

Your lucky to have a roof over your head.

Birdsgottafly Tue 28-Nov-17 14:31:18

"They will not do a crap job. They will do their work to a good, safe standard"

Unfortunately they don't.

"Housing associations don't have the budget to pay for a 'high standard finish'."

They often pay out, but are ripped off, sometimes by the companies and sometimes their own Works Supervisors.

After every big refit, here in Liverpool, a 'scandle' is discovered and people are sacked, contracts removed, but it goes on in a cycle that means the HA pay Plastering rates and it's done by a general builder.

It's shortsighted to patch properties and tenants deserve better.

What I pay on my HA house, my DD pays less Mortgage in a bigger house and better area.

Many people in HA houses are subject to the bedroom tax, which private rentals aren't.

OP, can you contact your HA, they will have someone in charge of the whole works?

You can get your keys back, at least.

Birdsgottafly Tue 28-Nov-17 14:33:51

"Your lucky to have a roof over your head."

It's a disgrace to make that statement in the UK.

We were peddled this shot in the 80's when minimum wage was being rejected and ML etc.

You aren't lucky to have a home, it's disgusting that people don't.

Missonihoni Tue 28-Nov-17 14:34:32

@birds Many people in HA are subject to Bedroom tax because they get HB to pay for it.

Most people in private rentals are not because they work to pay their rent or contribute to rent top ups because private is so expensive.

19lottie82 Tue 28-Nov-17 14:37:15

What do you mean they installed a crappy looking dimmer switch? If you mean they put in a plain where the one and you wanted a brushed steel one? If so then YABU on that part yes. You could always offer to pay the extra to upgrade the materials they are using? Such as switches and tiles.

user1495451339 Tue 28-Nov-17 14:38:04

I think you need to talk to the housing association if they are doing bad work.

It doesn't matter who owns the house, the OP has to live there and if the bathroom could be done better why can't it? The housing association will still be paying a significant amount for the bathroom and are entitled to a good job being done for whoever is living in the property.

RatRolyPoly Tue 28-Nov-17 14:39:28

You aren't lucky to have a home, it's disgusting that people don't.

In the name of absolutely bloody everything, THIS. Jeez.

Scrumptiousbears Tue 28-Nov-17 14:39:53

biscuit

PyongyangKipperbang Tue 28-Nov-17 14:45:40

Since when did having a safe and decent place to live, be considered "lucky"?! Not having one is a disgrace in this day and age and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fucking arsehole.

As for the "buy your own house" comment, words fail me.

It's shit like this that gives this place a bad name.

Mittens1969 Tue 28-Nov-17 14:46:56

It was a disgraceful comment, ImAMarshmellow, saying that the OP is lucky to have a roof over her head. She has a DS to take care of, would you really want them to be homeless??

Your grammar is poor, too. It's you're lucky not your lucky. hmm

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