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Withhold builder's pay until this is sorted, or pay now and trust him?

(16 Posts)
ThePartyArtist Fri 10-Feb-17 14:44:14

Recently employed a builder to do various work totalling about £4k. One part of the work was on the patio. We gave him a written spec, talked him through it, and provided what we thought was a clear, to scale plan.

He has finished the job and unfortunately after he left we realised he had not laid 6 stones at the far end of the patio. He has left this as just gravel. He says this is because it was not clear on our plan, as it was in a different colour. The reason it was in a different colour was because this area needed NEW stones as opposed to already being paved and needing the old ones relaid (as with the rest of the area). Anyway we also talked him through it so there shouldn't have been misunderstanding even if the plan wasn't clear to him.

We have asked him to return to complete this area, which he is willing to do next week. However he is moaning at me that I shouldn't be withholding the money over 6 flag stones. My argument is that the job is not complete therefore we're not paying yet. DH thinks we should pay him in full and trust him to return. I think withholding the money is the only bargaining power we have.

Generally he seems to have done a good job, albeit there are a few things that aren't quite as we requested, and are done a little messily, and he has left a skip here despite saying it would be removed by now. But generally it's as we commissioned.

Should we pay him now, and trust him to return and finish the job; or withhold the money till he does?

reallybadidea Fri 10-Feb-17 14:47:31

I'd pay half now, half when done. There needs to be a big enough monetary incentive to return IME

Mumblesoldbloke Fri 10-Feb-17 14:56:13

I would definitely hold back funds as I've previously been caught out by this but don't think it's fair to hold back 50%. Why don't you hold back enough to get someone else to do it if he doesn't turn up. Hold back £250, agree a timetable to complete and if he doesn't get back in time then get some one else to lay the six stones.

Out2pasture Fri 10-Feb-17 14:58:44

We've always paid half when accepting a job half when completed.

putputput Fri 10-Feb-17 17:32:07

No you should not withhold the entire amount.
There is a small amount left to do which he has agreed to come back and do.
In the mean time he is still self employed with vast overheads and outgoings and a schedule of work to stick to.
You can not just make up the rules about paying people.

Cathelpplease Fri 10-Feb-17 17:34:49

You can't withhold the whole amount. Especially if your plans weren't clear.

10% when he comes back

MollyHuaCha Fri 10-Feb-17 17:36:41

Withhold a small amount.

minijoeyjojo Fri 10-Feb-17 17:36:58

Definitely don't pay him, it's only 6 stones so it shouldn't take long. If he wants his money then he can come and finish the job. Don't be soft with builders, I've learnt the hard way many times that they take the piss.

engineersthumb Fri 10-Feb-17 17:46:41

I think that you should pay all or most (90%). Times are tough and knocking someone for their money canow cause serious issues, how would you feel if your employer suddenly said you made a minor mistake last week I'll pay you when you've fixed it?
If there was a misunderstanding it's cost him twice as he'll have to bus the slabs and come back to lay them which he didn't quote for.

museumum Fri 10-Feb-17 18:11:36

How many days has he done? If he's done say 3 and needs one more visit I'd pay him 3/4.
Whatever you hold back needs to be at least a days worth of work or in my experience you'll end up bottom of the priority list in favour of "proper paying jobs".

engineersthumb Fri 10-Feb-17 18:24:29

The op caused this though by not writing a spec and instead relying on a drawn plan that was ambiguous. You may have talked him through it but how many jobs does he get talked through every month?

ThePartyArtist Fri 10-Feb-17 18:29:04

Engineersthumb We gave him a written spec, talked him through it, and provided what we thought was a clear, to scale plan.

engineersthumb Fri 10-Feb-17 21:50:00

OK hands up I should have read your post more closely!

SwearyGodmother Fri 10-Feb-17 21:52:18

Gosh don't pay most. At the most pay 50%. We've been stiffed by builders where we paid most before the job was complete only to have them never return. He hasn't completed the works so you don't need to pay him yet. If you pay he'll never return.

SwearyGodmother Fri 10-Feb-17 21:53:25

Oh, and to add ours ditched having done less than half the contracted works when we'd paid for what he hadnt completed but a lot less than the whole contract. I'll never pay until completion again.

Steve1970 Sun 12-Feb-17 18:39:32

With holding an end payment (retention fee) is common practice in the construction industry if the work is of a reasonably high value. Ie over 500 pounds. As a customer of course you are entitled to be completley happy with the work that you are paying for. However it is also common practice that this Mount should bebreasonable ie 5-15% of the contract price. I dont know how much you paid for thr work but with holding 100% or even 50% seems a bit excessive for a part of the work that may only cost 50 pounds to complete.

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