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Plumber woes- price to install new shower?

(10 Posts)
whataboutbob Tue 02-Feb-16 09:03:29

Some of you kind people may remember my various posts concerning the student flat I manage for my Dad.
The shower unit needed removing as it had leaking pipes, and the sealant was defective leading to a large leak on the floor and a sodden wall behind the shower head. I found a plumber through local recommendation and starting late November he removed the old shower, installed a new one, did the tilling and got a carpenter mate to put up a new wall (about 2 feet by 7), wall was not plastered.I transferred £1000 into his account around the 1st week of December.
Work started stalling and in the end he did not finish the job. He did not box the shower in, he did not remove materials, he did not answer any texts after about 28th december. I got the managing agents to finish the boxing off.
Now he's back in touch, wants more money. What should I do? I feel he's trying his luck.

HeyMacWey Tue 02-Feb-16 09:05:57

What was his quote?
Definitely don't give him any more money.

whataboutbob Tue 02-Feb-16 09:59:41

Funnily enough there was no written quote, just waffle on the phonbe and a demand for £1000 down payment for materials (1 shower unit, piping, a small wall's worth of tiles) Also his mate the carpenter's job.

HeyMacWey Tue 02-Feb-16 10:21:52

Any price detail in the phone conversation that could comprise a verbal contract/agreement?

No way would those materials cost £1000.
Carpenter would prob be about £150 - 200 depending on the region.

I'd roughly price up what hes bought based on builders merchant prices and then add in the labour costs. How many days did he actually work? We're you therein person to vouch for the hours? He's chancing his arm - I'd tell him to see you in court if he wants any more money.

In future don't pay anything upfront - decent tradespeople have accounts with merchants to allow them to simply invoice you at the end of the job.

evrybuddy Tue 02-Feb-16 10:45:54

I remember your woes!

I think I would firstly consider whether I would just ignore him (this is what he did to you) - would that suceed?

If not, I would not contact him - I would wait until he contacted me again.

Mainly because I would make him do the chasing he made you do.

I would be even tempered with him and state clearly:

Well, the problem is you didn't finish the job.
Are you saying that what you've done amounts to more than what you've been paid?

Because you not only didn't do the job but your failure to do so cost me much more money in getting people to finsish the job.

Are you Mr Builder prepared to compensate me for that extra cost?

I didn't think so!

Well, unless you are - I don't see how we can go forward.

You can't diasappear and leave me in the lurch - I tried to contact you repeatedly - you were gone - fecked off.

You cost me a lot of money. I've been decent and not chased you for that.

If you are going to play silly buggers - get togeter an itemised receipt - an actual real/retail/trade suppliers receipt for every item you claim to have purchased + labour

And when I've got that - I'll send you the bill for the extra money I had to pay because you vanished.

I'm a wuss but I'd be so furious - I think I couldn't let this go.

wowfudge Tue 02-Feb-16 12:01:59

Has he called or texted or what? I would put in writing, even if only in a text, that you'd like a breakdown of what he needs the money for. See what he comes back with then respond that you're struggling to see where the £1000 you gave him went, he didn't finish the job and you have had to pay someone else to so you won't be paying him a bean and, in fact, think he owes you money.

Does he have keys? Do the tenants know that he is not to be given access to the property under any circumstances?

whataboutbob Tue 02-Feb-16 13:27:09

Thanks guys it's so nice to have your support as I am starting to doubt my own judgment (no sanity) in dealings with tradesmen. A couple of texts came in yesterday. This after him ignoring about 6 of mine till I gave up and got someone else to finish the job ie he did not box the shower in to the wall (he mentions this as "sorry I did not finish the cosmetic aspects ").
He tells me his mother died of cancer and while I am somewhat sympathetic, I cannot help remembering that about 25 years ago a builder ripped my late mum off to the tune of about £500 (a lot more in those days) and his ongoing excuse for not turning up was "my wife has cancer" (that turned out to be a lie he used repeatedly and eventually went to prison for conning a neighbour out of their life savings- I digress.
He does have keys and wants my address to send them back. I am not going to give him my address, but ask him to send them back to the flat. I wil lask tenants not to give him access.
I am going to outline how much finishing his work has cost, plus removal of his materials form flat. I am going to ask for a breakdown of all his costs, materials, labour and also ask to see receipts and ask for all contact now to be via email. I will challenge any creative accountancy and tell him that from the offset I don't believe I owe him anything and he needs to prove it.

Qwebec Tue 02-Feb-16 22:54:16

About the cancer thing, even if it was true, nothing prevented him from telling you. I had a self employed contractor who's father died in december. We got a call the next morning from her explaining her circomstances and she told us how long her leave would be (a few days). Taking time off for personal reasons is underestandable, but not without telling you first.

wowfudge Wed 03-Feb-16 06:28:17

Last year we had the guy who did our bathroom try to charge a whopping extra 20% once he'd finished, never having mentioned any of the things he said had incurred additional cost along the way. He'd given an attractive quote then tried to say it didn't include certain things - so full tiling didn't include tiling the window recesses, for example. He also underestimated how long the job would take so had to keep coming back from other jobs - though strangely only when he knew we weren't around so he could bodge sealing the shower and fit skirting boards over the unsealed bits.

I got told I could have my keys back once I'd paid him the extra. I paid what had been agreed originally and no more. It was the way it was done and the blackmail over the keys that did it for me. We changed the alarm code and the locks. I was shocked by his behaviour and it shook me up, but I am glad I stood my ground.

Ask him for a breakdown of his costs plus receipts, etc within 14 days and take it from there. Once you have his info you can counter it with your costs. And provide your receipts too. That will be very difficult for him to argue with.

You have done nothing wrong. He has messed you around. My guess is that he just won't respond to your request for details of his costs.

I would just change the barrels on the locks and give the tenants new keys. Keeps the place secure and means he can't go back and hassle the tenants or attempt to get back anything he says he's left there.

whataboutbob Mon 08-Feb-16 14:35:00

Thanks again to everyone who posted with advice and support.On thursday I sent an email stating that while i am sympathetic to his situation, having heard nothing for 5 weeks i assumed he was no longer in contact so i got the work finished at my own (father's ) cost. I pointed out I have already paid £1000 and that if he feels more money is justified i require a fully costed invoice.
I also added in that I also had a very sick relative over the period (true, my dad's dementia deteriorated steeply , he went into hospital for 5 weeks then into a care home, on the back of me supporting and caring for him for 5 years) and that repeatedly being assured work would be done/ had been done and then discovering it wasn 't true added to my stress.
Haven't heard anything back yet, but given that he was incommunicado for 5 weeks it's probably not the end of the story.

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