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gardeners building shed - am I being ripped off?

(25 Posts)
MuminMama Thu 19-May-16 13:53:38

Well this is a weird one. I have some gardeners building my new shed, which is grandly called a summerhouse, but is basically a largish shed. The quote specified pouring and levelling a concrete foundation. I can see from the window of my office (I work at home) that they are building it on top of a few paving slabs. I'm quite stressed at the moment and not up for a fight. Do I have to go and ask where is the bloody poured concrete? Is there any chance they are nailing it together on top of slabs and will pour a foundation afterwards (clutching at straws here)? Does it actually matter?

MuminMama Thu 19-May-16 13:54:48

If someone else wrote this, I think I would say, hmm, you just have to go and ask them. So I suppose there is my answer.

LizzieMacQueen Thu 19-May-16 14:03:50

Perhaps they are putting the building together while they wait for the concrete to arrive. They, (presumably there are a few of them ?) can then lift the building into place.

Out of interest (nosiness) how much are you paying them?

BabyGanoush Thu 19-May-16 14:06:04

Go and ask

prettywhiteguitar Thu 19-May-16 14:06:53

Ask them grin

You're the boss !

MangoBiscuit Thu 19-May-16 14:08:32

Just go ask. Feign interest and get them to explain what they're doing and why, with lots of "Oooh, so that's how. Fascinating!" if you need to, but ask.

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Thu 19-May-16 14:10:00

Yes definitely ask preferably with the quote in your hand which mentions the poured concrete.

MuminMama Thu 19-May-16 14:13:59

Ha ha yes I did. I went to offer them tea, and said Ooh, are you going to put concrete underneath, though? And he said basically no, it's going on slabs, like the old shed was. And looked a bit shifty about it, too.

So I asked wouldn't it be weaker, and he demonstrated with much jumping up and down, and technical references to struts.

Fact remains that he was very naughty to quote for something he had no intention of doing. However, because of the aforementioned stress, I am so not up to fight this one and am going to let it go. I would not recommend him to my friends, though.

We are paying around £600, which makes me feel slightly defensive ... I live in North London, and my family in the Midlands are always sucking their teeth at how much anything costs, so I am quite used to it being implied that I am an idiot with more money than sense. smile

totallyrandom Thu 19-May-16 14:14:34

I have just had a workshop 16 foot by 8 foot installed with a solid concrete base. They wanted to do the concrete base 1 week before so it dries properly- apparently 2 working days is minimum drying time. They dug out some earth, made a timber frame, then put on plastic followed by a mesh and then they poured loads of concrete. Was expensive- over 800 pounds just for the base but this I think is the correct and best way to do it. Plastic stops damp and mesh stops concrete cracking. Hope that helps and gives you an idea if you are being ripped off/what the deal was. Am in south east so prices high but this company charges vat and whole thing including workshop installation done very professionally

MangoBiscuit Thu 19-May-16 14:17:25

I would just pop back out and ask him what the price is for the slabs, seeing as your quotes says concrete.

MuminMama Thu 19-May-16 14:20:58

That's interesting, Totallyrandom. Sounds like putting down concrete would have been a big deal, and probably not necessary in our case. How is your workshop, do you love it?

I think what I'll do is wait until they are finished and then bring it up when it's bill paying time. Much easier then!

Thanks everyone!

totallyrandom Thu 19-May-16 14:22:56

Op - I just checked for you and I paid 255 including vat for the shed installation. The base (including concrete and other materials) was 870 including vat. Poured concrete is expensive. I am in zone 5 outer London.

MangoBiscuit Thu 19-May-16 14:24:07

The tacit agreement would make me uncomfortable. I don't know the legalities of it, but it sounds like you've just agreed to them using slabs.

totallyrandom Thu 19-May-16 14:26:17

Yes thanks very pleased with workshop! But yes the concrete base did seem very expensive but as we had a similar structure installed last year I sort of knew that the materials were really expensive. If you just had slabs put that is what you should pay for. definitely have the chat once the work has been done/preferably with male back up if around.

walkingtheplank Thu 19-May-16 14:28:38

I just had a 2.5m x 1.8m potting shed constructed. I had 3 quotes and they all suggested the concrete base which for some reason I was against. They all insisted it was necessary. I have to admit I am pleased that it is just 1 solid base which is easy to keep clean. They had to leave it a number if days to set.

MuminMama Thu 19-May-16 14:29:52

Yeah I know what you mean Mango, but it's not like we're going to court over it anyway. I'm actually fine with him using slabs. Just not with paying for concrete if he's using slabs, but we will cross that bridge when it comes to paying. smile

walkingtheplank Thu 19-May-16 14:29:56

I'd expect the work to be what is quoted. You do need to ask what the new price is.

It's such a pain isn't it when you just don't want the fight.

DustOffYourHighestHopes Thu 19-May-16 14:29:59

We had a concrete base, many posh shed companies specify it. You need to demand a reduction in price or at least insist on the concrete base. I also need a backbone when dealing with builders. I want to be friends, when actually I'm their client.

totallyrandom Thu 19-May-16 14:34:10

Ps op my guys gave me a price list for different sizes, rows of Slabs vs platform base vs concrete base. Slabs for 16 foot by 8 foot would have been about 270-300 pounds

MuminMama Thu 19-May-16 14:39:54

Thanks, that's useful to know!

origamiwarrior Thu 19-May-16 14:54:13

I was going to say that you should speak to them now re the reduction in price, but actually I think leaving it til the job is complete and you are due to pay is fine. They're in your garden now sniggering to each other 'nice one, think we got away with it' so it will be all the more delicious to burst their bubble when it comes to payment.

specialsubject Thu 19-May-16 18:33:46

Take some photos before they put the shed on.

DailyMailFodder Thu 19-May-16 18:41:24

Oh dear, Can you drop them an email thus evening. It's crazy to say nothing until you come to pay the bill. They have shown that they are chancers so I can't imagine they are suddenly going to do the right thing after they have finished the work.

If you let them walk all over you they will carry on doing it to other people.

I'd want a concrete slab.

DailyMailFodder Thu 19-May-16 18:43:55

BTW I paid for a concrete slab for my large shed. It's worth the extra money.

He is basically stealing from you and you are letting him. If you don't want to deal with him have you someone else who could do it for you.

walkingtheplank Sat 28-May-16 13:07:54

OP, what happened in the end?

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