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Holding deposit for a builder- have you heard of this?

(10 Posts)
MrsGherkin Mon 11-May-15 20:06:04

We lost our apparently 'booked in' builder because he turned around at the last minute after several emails, in which he never mentioned he'd want a holding deposit; and despite not being able to start for 4.5 months.

We had a problem with this for two reasons; we'd never heard of this approach and it seemed a bit jammy, and we'd secured a loan for 4.5 months time not some now some later. When we said this, he offered our slot to someone else straight away and did not wish to negotiate further.

This guy's on the Federation of Master Builders website sure, but it seems to me that certain (South West London) builders think that they are in a class of their own and their wishes are more important than the clients'. Sorry I am a bit fuming as it's just happened; possibly we should have swallowed it gratefully and nabbed this guy cos he's 'that' amazingly good.

ThunderboltKid Mon 11-May-15 20:12:43

I was desperate for our builder to take a deposit so that we had a contract...didn't want him to turn around last minute and say he'd got a better job. Good builders are really hard to find at the moment!

glitteryflange Mon 11-May-15 20:13:53

I've heard of 'half now rest when finished' but not a deposit as such.

Have you tried check a trade ?

MrsGherkin Mon 11-May-15 20:38:29

Still fuming

I don't know any other trade that's so very expensive, but you as a client are not valued much at all. Instead of being looked after - like when you buy a new car say; with builders you virtually have to beg them to take you on, they provide a back of the envelope quote, followed by undertaking sporadic, days with all staff on the job, quite few with reduced staff on the job. Then, more often than not, they'll come in over budget and not on time and you have to pay a deposit for the privilege....

Think I'll go and lie-down now!

MrsGherkin Mon 11-May-15 20:41:07

Yes glitteryflange we did quite a bit of research. Back to the drawing board I think.

TigerFeat Mon 11-May-15 20:44:45

Think of it like you've had a lucky escape. He might have ditched you halfway through the job!

glitteryflange Tue 12-May-15 08:56:31

He may of been on the federation but he sounds like an absolute cowboy.

You've had a lucky escape I think!

May be a silly question but have you asked friends and family if they know a good builder. Word of mouth recommendations speak volumes.

frankbough Wed 13-May-15 07:05:02

Maybe he thought you were being a PITA, I work in the construction industry, I take deposits for all jobs over £1000, 50% on the start date and the rest on completion.. All variations are agreed before starting and they have to be paid in full before I start them..

There's too much money involved to take a chance on flaky clients, the construction industry is more akin to building a car rather than buying a completed vehicle from a showroom..

The SIL and BIL bailed two thirds thru a job due to financial difficulty and it still annoys me now, caused me and my family and at that time my work force now end of bother..

If you want work doing secure the finance, have it to hand and pay promptly, non of this I'll have it next week, month etc..

People seem to think it's all about tea and biscuits, it's not, it's about going to work to earn money..

MrsGherkin Wed 13-May-15 17:25:46

Useful insights Frankbough.

I'm an artist and appreciate a deposit for materials idea, and to seal a commission and then I know the client's serious etc. I am also up for staged payments with some at the beginning of the work, but this isn't that.

He won't be starting for over 4 months. And no doubt he'll want money up front as well if he were to start. We're also excellent payers and alway trust any tradesperson to do their job. What I'm annoyed about is the deposit idea was never mentioned over several emails, not until chatted to his other clients and asked to book him in. It was a bit of unpleasant surprise; we've never heard of any builder doing this before.

I also think round here, it's a builders lot. There's so many lofts and extensions on every street that they've got their pick of clients and can afford to be in the driving seat and cheeky with it.

redcaryellowcar Thu 14-May-15 05:06:19

If I were you, I'd contact the federation of master builders and ask them what is normal, I seem to remember they have sample contracts etc?

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