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Builder demanding extra payment not agreed in writing anywhere

(27 Posts)
pinkcarpet Mon 13-Nov-17 14:31:34

We've had builders in for a week doing renovations in various rooms. Before the builders started we signed a contract which had itemised costs in it but they missed off a couple of small things that we asked for as part of the work.

We separately agreed the additional work that was required (rewiring some sockets) but were not given a separate price for it. As it was only a minor part of the total works I didn't think anything of it, until it came to paying when they suddenly claimed I had to pay an extra £370 for the additional work.

They asked for payment in cash so obviously I didn't have the extra on me at the time and they've been calling me repeatedly chasing for payment since then. Nothing was said about extra costs until after the work was done. I'm wondering how enforceable the extra payment is and what to do?

Lucisky Mon 13-Nov-17 14:38:32

You asked for some extra work that was not initially itemised, but you are surprised that it has incurred a small extra cost? Have I got that right? I think you should pay it.

Herbcake Mon 13-Nov-17 14:44:25

They've done more work than what was in the itemised quote so therefore why would you not expect to have to pay more than the original quote?

pinkcarpet Mon 13-Nov-17 14:46:26

Considering everything else was itemised and put in writing I was expecting them to tell me a price for the extra work. When they started work without telling me any extra I assumed it was included. I've never dealt with builders before so maybe I'm naive but I really wasn't expecting to pay any more than what was in the contract.

SilverSpot Mon 13-Nov-17 14:48:39

You always get stung on the extra costs for extra work! builders always put any extras in at a massive price.

Unlucky, but too late, you need to pay.

Ttbb Mon 13-Nov-17 14:52:29

Right, so you carried the contact because you asked for extra work. Therefore they will charge extra. This is standard. However the additional cost must be reasonable. What I would reccomend you do is ask for quotes for the work from two or three other builders. If the charge is similar to the quotes you must pay. If it is significantly higher than all quotes then you should challenge them. Ask them for a breakdown of costs and show them the other quotes.

NoSquirrels Mon 13-Nov-17 14:57:45

I'd be saying "gosh, that sounds much more than I was expecting to pay - could you itemise the costs for me please?" so you can understand extra labour hours etc.

But ultimately your fault for not getting a cost from them for the extra work.

Sillybillypoopoomummy Mon 13-Nov-17 14:59:48

How many sockets was it - when we had extra sockets fitted a few years ago they were £90 each if that helps at all?

NoStraightEdges Mon 13-Nov-17 15:02:59

You had a quote for x amount of work at £x.

You asked for extra work. Therefore extra £.

You should have asked for a price on the extra work before you let them do it. Now you owe them this extra money.

unfortunateevents Mon 13-Nov-17 15:11:02

I would absolutely have expected to pay extra for each socket. When we had an extension built some years ago, we got a very detailed quote but as the works progressed it became apparent that we needed/would like some extra spotlights and sockets. We were given a price for each one (and they were pricy) because it's not just sticking a socket in the wall, there was extra ducting, cable etc. Can't remember how much they cost but could easily amount to £370, depending on the number.

Why are you not paying them? What do you hope to gain by delaying?

karriecreamer Mon 13-Nov-17 15:16:45

Did you seriously think they wouldn't charge for the extras and just throw them in as a freebie? Really?

pinkcarpet Mon 13-Nov-17 15:20:18

So the responsibility is on me to ask for the price rather than the builder to tell me in advance?

Is it normal to have all the extra costs without anything in writing or should I be asking for an extra invoice? I don't know how they've come up with the price. It was for a new socket, a new light and a new switch. I'm not deliberately delaying I was just surprised to be suddenly asked for more money without anything being mentioned in advance. Is that what is accepted in the trade? My first experience of dealing with builders has not been positive at all but maybe that's just how it is.

Sillybillypoopoomummy Mon 13-Nov-17 15:21:26

yes, get an itemised invoice.

pinkcarpet Mon 13-Nov-17 15:22:12

And maybe it sounds stupid but yes considering the total cost was over £7k I didn't expect to be asked to pay more without being told about it upfront.

Baxdream Mon 13-Nov-17 15:25:13

Sorry I think you should pay too

TrojansAreSmegheads Mon 13-Nov-17 15:27:50

ask for an invoice and tell them you will not be paying in cash.

karriecreamer Mon 13-Nov-17 15:34:23

And maybe it sounds stupid but yes considering the total cost was over £7k I didn't expect to be asked to pay more without being told about it upfront.

You really should have asked for a quote before giving the go ahead for the extras.

As for the actual costs, it depends how much time etc spent. The materials will be pretty minimal, but electricians' time is expensive. We paid £500 for a couple of new wall lights to be fitted and the electrician was here for most of the day doing it (we were also working from home), so we know he was actually working all that time.

You also have to remember that over £60 of that will be VAT, so closer to £300, of which probably £50 will be materials, so maybe £250 for the electrician time, which is basically half a day's work.

I don't think you'd find any other qualified electrician willing to fix new lamps/switches for that kind of money. It sounds pretty average pricings to me.

NoStraightEdges Mon 13-Nov-17 16:04:39

Yes-you should have asked-what if the price had have been ridiculous and you didn't want to pay what they wanted to charge? The only way to avoid that situation is to get the costs in advance.

You wouldn't go to a shop, buy a sofa and mention that you wanted the armchair too without a) asking how much the armchair was and b) expecting to pay for the armchair.

Now you're in a situation where you have an extra bill that may or may not be more than the going rate for the work. They should issue you an additional invoice, presumably you've asked for one?

SilverSpot Mon 13-Nov-17 17:15:52

Well it would have been best practice for them to say "that will be an extra £[x]" but of bloody course your should have asked how much it woudl be! I can't believe you thought it would be for free?

Ask for an itemized invoice for the additional work to see how its broken down then just pay it, chalk this one up to experience, move on.

AppleAndBlackberry Mon 13-Nov-17 17:23:52

Yes, this is normal, especially if it's an essential part of the job (e.g. I had some extras on my recent work that were requested by the building control officer so had to be done. I agreed but didn't ask for a cost although I'm sure I could have at the time). The assumption is that he's charging labour costs at the same rate as the rest of the job, mine gave a breakdown of labour & parts on the invoice.

BritInUS1 Mon 13-Nov-17 17:25:40

You asked for extra work to be done so yes of course you should pay for it. You should have asked for a quote at the time

pinkcarpet Mon 13-Nov-17 17:26:44

I have asked for another invoice but they've not sent one yet. Unfortunately they've also been threatening to pass this extra amount onto a collection agency despite the fact they only finished work on Friday. However it seems that everyone is saying it's normal to be charged extras so I've paid them and told them their communication is really poor and if they'd sent me the extra costs in writing last week I would have been able to pay on Friday when they asked for it.

Definitely an eye opener in how builders deal with people. Their customer service is appalling

TrojansAreSmegheads Mon 13-Nov-17 17:39:07

i would email them and say that you are happy to pay but not in cash and not without an invoice.

TrojansAreSmegheads Mon 13-Nov-17 17:40:36

they cant send it to a collection agency if they arent willing to do any paperwork.

i wonder if they want it cash in hand. if so i wouldnt agree to that. what if something goes wrong with the work and they deny having done it?

NoStraightEdges Mon 13-Nov-17 17:44:01

No, it's not normal to be charged extras on a fixed price job if all the builders do is complete the agreed work.

It is normal to be charged extra if you ask for extra work. I don't know why this is difficult for you to understand.

I agree it's crap that there isn't a new invoice and that they're threatening collection agencies.

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