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Has anyone been lucky enough to have builders that turn up every day and the work is finished on schedule?

(12 Posts)
sandyballs Tue 27-Sep-11 13:27:18

The extension to our house has been going on since May, upstairs first which was finished a week or so over the original timescale but no big deal. They've now started downstairs and seem to have lost interest slightly, no-one there yesterday, a vague ansaphone message left this morning about having to take a couple of days of, see you Thurs. I'm frustrated, I like these guys, the work is good, the price is very good, but I feel they're taking the piss and I wonder if they are taking on others jobs now and slotting us in as and when.

Problem is, our kitchen is sealed off, minus a roof, so the longer they take, the longer we are making do with a makeshift kitchen. And the winter is drawing in.

Pendeen Tue 27-Sep-11 14:23:50

I have dealt with dozens of building projects (I'm an Architect) and I can reassure you that, no your situation is not unusual.

Perhaps a bit more unfortunate than the average, but it's almost unknown for any project of any duration more than a few days will suffer at least some delay or problem.

Do you have a contract with a completion date and if so does it contain a 'Liquidated Damages' clauses which act to ancourage a contractor to complete on time?

sandyballs Tue 27-Sep-11 15:33:50

Thanks Pendeen, not sure if the contract contains that, I will look when I get home from work.

GooseyLoosey Tue 27-Sep-11 15:35:15

Your experience sounds like our experience. Took much longer than intended and there were days when I could have sobbed with frustration at the lack of progress.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 27-Sep-11 15:52:10

I guess I'm one of the lucky few. We have used the same builder twice, his people turn up every day on time and work all day. Everything on schedule and on budget. You have to wait a few months for him, but I can definitely recommend him if you're in Warwickshire!

AgentProvocateur Tue 27-Sep-11 15:58:38

[hollow laughter emoticon]

AgentProvocateur Tue 27-Sep-11 16:00:34

Posted too soon in anger! I'm now on my second day of sitting in, waiting for builders to come and give me a quote to render my wall and stop the rain from seeping in. I need it done before the freezing weather starts, and I've contacted four builders, none of whom have appeared.

chrchrch Tue 27-Sep-11 16:00:44

Yes, they were from a family firm, whose owner supported us wonderfully in our deliberations while planning and deciding. He was recommended by the local surveyor we used. They came on time, they swept up at the end of every day, so it was tidy albeit 'dusty' where they worked, they even refused to eat their packed lunches in the house, but did so in their van, always worked in good humour, only accepting hot drinks from us. They finished on the day estimated, the entire experience was pleasant, the work is still great, twenty years on.

We popped in a few years ago for some window catches and they remembered the house, the gentleman must have been over 80 then. They were not the cheapest but they certainly were the very best value possible, and a lot cheaper than large firms with good reputations. That's the difference between contract penalties and professional integrity. From what we saw last, the business has flourished onto the next generation, and service portfolio has grown substantially, but still really exquisite standards.

Fizzylemonade Tue 27-Sep-11 16:54:56

Sadly I am one of the few who had an amazing builder. Here every day at 8am, it ran like clockwork.

Builder did some work, we paid him every Friday. I think that helps. It is a trust issue, they do the work, we pay them after it is done. Any decent builder has a trade account so can buy materials and pay later.

He also hoovered up every day, and washed down the drive when needed. Loved him! He even charged me less than quoted as some things had come in cheaper shock yes, rare.

stealthsquiggle Tue 27-Sep-11 17:07:36

Getting quotes was the hard bit - once we had contractors on site we have not (touch wood) had a single person/team/company who I would not have back. Reliable builders do exist - but I suspect a large part of that is because we live in such a rural area that they very much trade on their reputations and simply cannot afford to get a bad name.

I think you need to start getting a bit "assertive" with them, OP.

Francagoestohollywood Tue 27-Sep-11 17:09:05

Yes, but not in the UK!

Indaba Sat 01-Oct-11 22:12:05

yes, three times, not meaning to brag but people always tell you about when things go wrong...you don't hear the good side

we always asked when builders could fit us in/when was the job best for them, often meant a delay in starting but it meant they weren't stressed to start with

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