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Builder asking for money but we’re not happy

(45 Posts)
Footdrama Tue 13-Mar-18 23:57:48

Hoping someone can offer some advice. I’m not long out of hospital and feeing really crap at the moment, trouble sleeping and this is making me really anxious.

We’ve had building and renovation work done just before Christmas. We held back £1500 for snagging and for some work not completed, all agreed with our builder. However one of our grievances is that we are not happy with 7 (out of 10) internal doors. They are too short in my opinion, I can basically put my hand completely under some of them.

Our builder came round a couple of weeks ago to complete some snagging and fill a few settlement cracks etc, when I mentioned the doors he said it was for ventilation and a building reg, and as he feels they are ok he won’t adress it.

Well, to cut a long story short he wants the final payment now and is insinuating we are being difficult and not wanting to pay. This isn’t the case at all, we’ve compromised on other issues easily and never deducted money previously. He subcontracted some of the work and some gas and electric issues have only just been rectified last weekend.

I’m anxious as I feel he will get nasty and dh goes away to the US for work in a couple of days.

Any suggestions to diffuse the situation? What usually happens when the builder doesn’t agree there is a problem?

Many thanks in advance.

JaniceBattersby Wed 14-Mar-18 00:07:41

Wow, that’s shockingly bad. Ventilation my arse. Ask him politely to point you in the direction of the building reg that dictates there’s to be an inch gap at the bottom of a door —it doesn’t exist—

Internal doors provide an absolutely vital function in preventing the spread of fire, for one. Secondly, they just look like shit (sorry).

He doesn’t want to fix them because the only solution is to buy new doors.

What happens if he doesn’t agree is that he needs to file a claim with the small claims court for his money and then that court will decide.

I’d remain polite but firm. If he gets aggressive then you need to phone the police. Tell him you’ll only communicate in writing then keep it all for your evidence. My guess is he’ll never go to court for his money and you’ll probably have to spend it getting new doors (and seven new doors plus hanging may well come in at a grand, depending on spec.)

Footdrama Wed 14-Mar-18 00:12:59

Thank you and please don’t apologise, I know they are shit.

It was such a rush job, one of the doors can be pushed open from closed position as the latch doesn’t hold at all (iykwim.)

DancingLedge Wed 14-Mar-18 00:38:34

I do detest a lying builder.
Tell him to give the precise Building Reg for door ventilation.

TamaraDrankMyMilk Wed 14-Mar-18 06:21:32

Ask for that building regulation whilst holding your phone or laptop with your fingers poised for typing.

He clearly can't hang doors or his chippy can't.

You are not being unreasonable to ask for new doors to be fitted and hung correctly.

Footdrama Wed 14-Mar-18 07:05:27

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

He said we can’t get our certificates or warranty (for boiler) until after we’ve made the final payment.

AJPTaylor Wed 14-Mar-18 07:13:25

do you have legal expenses on your household insurance? if so, contact them this morning and get some legal input.
also get another quote to replace the doors. he is taking the piss and had joined the well known builder school of saying any old flannel to get out of it. sit tight.

AJPTaylor Wed 14-Mar-18 07:14:23

and whilst you are about it find out the value if the warranty he is witholding.

parkview094 Wed 14-Mar-18 08:12:52

What is the actual gap beneath the doors?
In your first photo, it looks like the floor slopes. Is this an optical illusion? The door gap on the left looks acceptable, but on the right it is increased to keep the door level at the bottom. When the door is fully opened, what is the clearance beneath the door at the minimum point?

On your second photo, it looks like you have an iphone under the door, which would suggest a gap of around 15mm? Whilst that is indeed a large gap, I'm not sure it's excessive?

Were the doors fitted before the carpet was laid?

SuperLoudPoppingAction Wed 14-Mar-18 08:14:43

The certificates for my boiler came straight to me. I wonder if he's registered to install them in the first place. If so, you could contact the boiler company maybe?

LIZS Wed 14-Mar-18 08:18:49

You could ask the Fire Brigade what their recommendation for door height is, to prevent spread of smoke etc, especially on rooms like kitchen.

Spartacunt Wed 14-Mar-18 08:22:37

Send the photo to your building regs dept at your local council and ask them to confirm they're appropriately fitted?

WhatWouldOliviaPopeDo Wed 14-Mar-18 08:23:47

The first photo makes it appear that there is an issue with your floor - does it slope? The second one is shock and he's taking the mick if he thinks that's acceptable. It's also nonsense there should be a gap for building regs. Tell him you're going to seek clarification on the gaps from the council's building regs dept and once you're satisfied with the explanation he'll get his money.

Also, SuperLoud is right - the warranties and certificates should come straight to you (we just had our electrics done and that's what happened). I would be very worried about the installation and maybe get another plumber round to check it.

AjasLipstick Wed 14-Mar-18 08:29:14

He sounds like a lying sod. Phone the boiler people and check that they come to you and not him (the certificates) and then send him a copy of that letter or email. Also tell him you've spoken to the local council authority about building regs and door gaps and there's no such regulation.

Then tell him to fix the issues or bugger off.

Baxdream Wed 14-Mar-18 08:35:23

We're just finishing up on our extension. We've had all our doors replaced but this is in the new part (and building regs are more than happy with our doors!)
Do not give him any money, they are shoddy and he knows it.

Ragusa Wed 14-Mar-18 08:39:40

Do NOT pay the money. You will never see him or those certificates again.

Tell him you require the certificates or you will report him to Gas Safe. Your contract is with him and not with the subs.

ajandjjmum Wed 14-Mar-18 08:41:09

The windows will provide ventilation. If ventilation is needed via the door, a grille should be incorporated.

Personally I have never known this to be a requirement in a domestic setting.

You're going to have to be firm.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Wed 14-Mar-18 08:45:08

Our builder did the same in our new build.
They allow a gap for carpet and underlay but make the gap too big so that you don't ask them to come back and shave a sticking door.
There's "clearance" and there's "here's a spare letterbox"

WorriedAndTired Wed 14-Mar-18 09:11:28

That is utterly shit.
Do not pay him and keep complaining until he does it properly

Footdrama Wed 14-Mar-18 10:23:15

Thanks once more for so many helpful replies. Dh sent a long text last evening but we’ve not had a reply.

I don’t want the doors so short. All carpets were down! - the first pic is my bedroom door and yes the floor slopes slightly. However the bathroom door and threshold is the same and I’m happy with this door.

Footdrama Wed 14-Mar-18 10:30:39

I meant to add this to my post above of the bedroom/bathroom doors.

Other pic is the kitchen door which I feel has been butchered. It has an oak veneer so the chip board underneath is exposed.

WorriedAndTired Wed 14-Mar-18 10:32:37

Even crapper.
But don’t text.
Write to the builder instead.

HisBetterHalf Wed 14-Mar-18 10:38:30

wow they are shocking. I would definitely seek legal advice from your insurance if you have it. Are the doors fire doors? if so, there is no way that gap is acceptable and the other is wonky as hell

Footdrama Wed 14-Mar-18 10:47:06

I meant to add this to my post above of the bedroom/bathroom doors.

Other pic is the kitchen door which I feel has been butchered. It has an oak veneer so the chip board underneath is exposed.

mydietstartsmonday Wed 14-Mar-18 10:51:13

Write to him with photographic evidence. Say he has 30 days to rectify.
Do not pay him any more money you are going to have to buy 7 more doors and get them fitted.

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