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Should I pay this tradesman

(12 Posts)
user1493035447 Mon 24-Apr-17 14:11:28

I recently got the 11 sash windows in my Victorian home replaced with new wooden sash double glazing. As soon as the new sashes arrived I regretted it, as they weren't the same. For example the horns were not the same shape as the original, even though I asked for them to be. In hindsight, I should have got the original sashes refurbished with slimlite, but I am where I am.

Anyway, the joiners were doing a very fast job (it was just before Christmas), and they didn't pilot the screw holes (for handles, simplex hinges, baton rod screw...) properly. Now wherever there is a screw, on all 11 windows, the wood is split. I didn't mention it at the time, although I did bring it up later.

When the painter visited he wouldn't stop asking me how I'd paint the ceiling in my bathroom (I'm getting it refurbished). After telling him 5 or 6 times I'd think about it later, and that I had to go, I eventually said do you want to paint it. He did for £140, though due to ongoing work, holes have had to be drilled and it needs repainted, so it was a bit of a waste.

Anyway, during the course of the painting he came in smelling of alcohol, drank some of my alcohol (I found empty bottles only he could have drunk), broke tiles in my bathroom, broke 2 panes of glass in an internal door, went through my belongings (he asked to buy some sports equipment I had for well below market value. Who asks to buy other peoples stuff after rummaging around in it?), he left the place littered with fizzy juice cans and some of his language towards another tradesman was sectarian. On top of this the window pointing was left full of cracks, and I'm don't believe there were 3 coats of paint that I was told there would be. I didn't witness him breaking anything or his discussion with the other tradesman, but nobody else could have broken the stuff or drank my alcohol.

I got the company manager round and he dismissed the broken things saying I had no evidence. Even the split wood he just said he wouldn't have done it that way. And as for the harrasing me into giving him extra work, he told me the painter was doing me a favour by painitng the ceiling!! The only thing he was angry about was the sectarian language (which I lied about and said I had overheard, even though I hadn't but I trust the other tradesman).

Anyway, I've paid them 90% of what I owe them, but there is still 10% for the painting outstanding. The windows need some additional paint and grout due to cracks. I've been ignoring calls and emails from them for the past 6 weeks as I don't want any of them back in my house. They offered a £200 discount if I finished the painting myself, but for all the damage and inconvenience, I'm witholding £1000, and just refusing to speak to them. Is what I am doing wrong, and how should I fix it?

Zampa Mon 24-Apr-17 14:19:14

I don't think deductions are unreadable but don't refuse to speak to them as if the situation gets to court, you'll have limited defence.

Price up the cost of a third party rectifying the damage, send this to the company and request that as a settlement.

If doing the work yourself, allow yourself a decent hourly wage (£10?) and deduct this x time taken plus costs for materials etc. Do include your time in sourcing materials as well as doing the job.

I don't think you can deduct money for messiness, bad language or rudeness.

Good luck!

Zampa Mon 24-Apr-17 14:19:33


whifflesqueak Mon 24-Apr-17 14:21:02

sectarian language?

FrancisCrawford Mon 24-Apr-17 14:24:12

Sectarian language is sadly not uncommon in some parts of the country

user1493035447 Mon 24-Apr-17 14:26:08

I live in Glasgow and he started talking about "fucking huns" to the other tradesman, which I found extremely offensive. I'll add up the cost, but when the manager was round he really didn't seem to care, and was more concerned about evidence. Will give what you suggest a shot, thanks!

floraeasy Mon 24-Apr-17 14:27:59

Does the tradesman use Netmums? wink


user1493035447 Mon 24-Apr-17 14:31:46

I've no idea! How would I know?

whifflesqueak Mon 24-Apr-17 14:47:12

ah I see.

had to google that.

didn't realise it was a thing.

lougle Mon 24-Apr-17 14:57:58

I think you'll have to let the language go. You didn't hear it, you're just going on other people's reports. The alcohol....well again, you say it couldn't have been anyone else, but unless you have evidence, you can't really use that in any way. You're not happy with the style of the windows but didn't say anything at the time, so you can't do much about that now, and you weren't keen to have to paint work done on the ceiling, but you did agree to have it done, and he didn't force you, so not much you can do about that, either.

So I'd stick to the poor quality of work and price up the cost of the work that would need to be done to put it right. Which is probably a bit of wood filler, pilot drilling the holes and screwing the screws back in. Replacing the broken glass in the doors. Repairing the window pointing.

You can't claim for repairing the ceiling if you had to have holes drilled in it after it was painted. That's just bad planning.

I strongly doubt it will come to £1000, to be honest.

user1493035447 Mon 24-Apr-17 15:08:44

I agree with everything you've said lougle, except the bad planning bit. My plan was to paint it when everything was done. Have you ever been alone with someone who keeps at it when you've repeatedly said you need to leave, and they just ignore you? It's the only thing that could come to my head, and he instantly said yes which indicates that was what he was angling after. Oh and on the drink thing, I facetiously said we could get a DNA test on the bottles, and he just went quiet. So it definitely was him.

User2468 Mon 24-Apr-17 15:56:44

Ok, so you need to open lines of communication again.

In writing lay out all your grievances, imagine that they are planning to take you to court and lay them out logically without emotion or guess work.

Obtain a quote for rectifying the issues and use this as part of your argument for underpaying.

Are they part of any professional bodies? You could state in your letter that if the issues is not rectified to your satisfaction you will be reporting them.

Send it to company directors/branch manager etc depending on company structure. If you like include a timescale for them to get back to you.

Keep it formal, professional and fact based.

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