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Builder has charged me for quotation!

(85 Posts)
Mitosisgirl Mon 16-Nov-20 17:53:52

Hi all,

We have a three bed semi which we are renovating. It's a small project. No need for planning permission, just building regulations.

We are in a bit of a situation with a builder who gave us a quote. We didn't go for him, as he was too expensive and the quote was wishy washy. He used a quantity surveyor for the quote. He was bitter when we went for someone else and complained about how we used his architect, ideas and that he spent 300 quid on the quantity surveyor. We felt a bit bad and said that we will pay that amount. He just sent us an invoice for 540 quid! We didn't sign anything and weren't told upfront about this cost.

Are we obliged to pay? Do we have a legal leg to stand on?

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Mitosisgirl Mon 16-Nov-20 17:54:50

I'm new to Mumsnet, so bear with me.

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AmandaHoldensLips Mon 16-Nov-20 17:59:00

It depends on the nature of the consultation, but if you have taken the outline of their proposal and had it costed elsewhere for a better price then you should pay the professional fees to cover the architect, QS and conceptual work.

StillWeRise Mon 16-Nov-20 17:59:11

whaaat???
no
that's the risk he takes
you used his architect? then pay the architect. If he spent a long time coming up with unusual and creative ideas which you then used, you may have an ethical issue I suppose but not otherwise.

AmandaHoldensLips Mon 16-Nov-20 17:59:23

(and 540 quid for that is cheap)

Mitosisgirl Mon 16-Nov-20 18:11:20

Thanks for the reply.

There was no consultation. We met the builder who suggested that due to the inefficient use of space, we can reconfigure the layout and have spare space for an extra bedroom.

He recommended the architect which was contracted and paid for. But we vetted this architect and looked at other architects for a competitive price and service.

The architect redesigned the whole house and we provided our architects plan to this builder and others for a competitive quote. No cost was mentioned at this stage or any other time.

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WombatChocolate Mon 16-Nov-20 18:33:03

If you since offered him £300 you clearly felt willing to pay that....so send him £300. He has incurred costs whilst quoting for you which you have benefitted from.
He was daft not to specify that you would need to pay for these so you aren’t obliged to pay anything, but given you have offered yourself. I would pay the £300 and tell him you would t be paying anything further and this is a gesture of goodwill rather than a contractual matter as he never specified you would need to pay.

Mitosisgirl Mon 16-Nov-20 18:59:25

Thank you. That's we are considering at the moment.

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Palavah Mon 16-Nov-20 19:02:12

Im unclear - did you contract the architect he introduced you too and use their olans to contract another builder at a lower cost?

Mitosisgirl Mon 16-Nov-20 19:12:14

Hiya, the architect was somebody who he recommended. They are totally independent of each other.

We paid the architect and he drew up plans.

We sent the plans to different builders, who gave us quotes.

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IndecentFeminist Mon 16-Nov-20 19:14:42

So he suggested a better use of space and suggested an architect, you used that architect to draw up plans as per original builder's suggestions and then used those plans to select a different builder?

SnowmanDrinkingSnowballs Mon 16-Nov-20 19:18:48

You don’t owe him a penny, tell him to do one.

Palavah Mon 16-Nov-20 19:29:20

Yeah, I'm not sure he has anything on you contractually but what you did was pretty shitty.

Zoolally Mon 16-Nov-20 19:30:27

Mitosisgirl

Hiya, the architect was somebody who he recommended. They are totally independent of each other.

We paid the architect and he drew up plans.

We sent the plans to different builders, who gave us quotes.

So all he really did was recommend an architect, who you used and paid? He doesn’t need paying for that

Mitosisgirl Mon 16-Nov-20 19:34:07

The builder in question was the first to come to our house, who suggested that there is scope for an extra bedroom. We had 2 builders come in the next day, who made the exact same comments independently.

The first builder recommended the architect. We contracted the architect to draw up plans so that we can fit in an extra bedroom. There was no input from the first builder regarding the architecture plans. Once the plan was done, we got quotes from all 3 builders and went with the most competitive quote.

The first builder did not mention any charges, explicitly or otherwise at any point during our contact. When he contacted us the other day we said we are no longer interested in his services as we went with another builder. This was when we got an invoice for the quantity surveyor.

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Sarahandco Mon 16-Nov-20 19:48:04

I think that if he gave you a quote off of your architect's plans then it should be a free quote unless otherwise stated prior to the quote. Did the other builders charge for their quotes?

Oreservoir Mon 16-Nov-20 19:48:16

Did he say he would use a quantity surveyor for the quote and you should pay?
I think he’s trying it on.
I wouldn’t pay him a penny. Giving quotes is part of running his business and it’s generally unpaid.

OMGisthisforreal Mon 16-Nov-20 19:50:23

You should never pay any builder for a quote unless this is agreed at point of instruction or request, and then only if the price is notified - who would ever agree to work being carried out without knowing the cost? Suppose it was £1000? You wouldn’t consider paying it. Before he used his QA to cost the job he should have cleared and agreed that expense with you or the Architect. Similarly, had the Architect required a structural engineer or other professional input, he would have cleared that fee with you first.
It sounds like this builder thought he had your job in the bag and is put out that you have selected another instead. It is his fault he assumed his expenses would be paid by you. Don’t be bullied into paying for his shortcomings and assumptions.

OMGisthisforreal Mon 16-Nov-20 19:56:18

I would add that your Architect should have notified him and the other builder that they were not successful in their quotes for your job - as a matter of courtesy. The Architect knows how time consuming it is for a builder to cost any job and it only takes an email to say thank you for your quote and sorry but another builder has been successful - particularly as he’d been recommended to you by that disgruntled builder.
The Architect will be charging you for going out to tender to those 3 builders so he should be handling it all for you.

cheesesandwhich Mon 16-Nov-20 19:56:34

I know it's a different trade but my OH is a carpenter. He is self employed and works with a lot architects. He always does free consultations and unless it's an VERY big job his clients don't pay a penny until the work has been done and he's invoiced them. The only time there may be a charge is so certain materials but clients know this as it's always agreed prior to the work starting.

cheesesandwhich Mon 16-Nov-20 20:01:51

Sorry continued.. I just asked him out of curiosity And he said don't pay him anything he's a chancer. He basically is saying that quantity surveyors are not normally that expensive. It was his job to price the work. He chose to get the surveyor in to do it for him, therefore it's his bill to pay not yours.

Mitosisgirl Mon 16-Nov-20 21:11:06

Sarahandco

I think that if he gave you a quote off of your architect's plans then it should be a free quote unless otherwise stated prior to the quote. Did the other builders charge for their quotes?

No, the others didn't.

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Mitosisgirl Mon 16-Nov-20 21:12:45

Oreservoir

Did he say he would use a quantity surveyor for the quote and you should pay?
I think he’s trying it on.
I wouldn’t pay him a penny. Giving quotes is part of running his business and it’s generally unpaid.

He said that he would use a quantity surveyor. Didn't mention anything about payment at the start. I thought giving quotes is part of his job too.

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Mitosisgirl Mon 16-Nov-20 21:15:00

OMGisthisforreal

You should never pay any builder for a quote unless this is agreed at point of instruction or request, and then only if the price is notified - who would ever agree to work being carried out without knowing the cost? Suppose it was £1000? You wouldn’t consider paying it. Before he used his QA to cost the job he should have cleared and agreed that expense with you or the Architect. Similarly, had the Architect required a structural engineer or other professional input, he would have cleared that fee with you first.
It sounds like this builder thought he had your job in the bag and is put out that you have selected another instead. It is his fault he assumed his expenses would be paid by you. Don’t be bullied into paying for his shortcomings and assumptions.

Thank you so much!

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Mitosisgirl Mon 16-Nov-20 21:15:28

cheesesandwhich

Sorry continued.. I just asked him out of curiosity And he said don't pay him anything he's a chancer. He basically is saying that quantity surveyors are not normally that expensive. It was his job to price the work. He chose to get the surveyor in to do it for him, therefore it's his bill to pay not yours.

So kind of you to ask. Thank you!

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