Dealing with Dodgy Tradesmen or Builders


If it hasn’t happened to us, it’s happened to someone we know. Dodgy tradesmen and cowboy builders took ages to do the work, did it wrong or simply didn’t do it at all. Everyone has a story, which is why it’s crucial to know your rights and remedies so you can be prepared at the outset.

Firstly, don’t be taken in by what appears to be goodwill on the builder’s part. You may be confident of a positive outcome, but this is a business arrangement and you must ensure you have a watertight contract that you are happy with. This would include specific clauses in relation to how much the job will cost and how long it will take. If you do not, then the assumption will the job should cost a ‘reasonable amount’ and take ‘reasonable time’ – which is subject to interpretation and may drag things out if you find yourself in dispute.

Refer to the section on Doorstep selling if you signed up to having some work done after someone paid you a visit to your home (whether or not this was an unsolicited visit).

Your statutory rights

With contracts for Work and Materials where the main focus is labour and skill, you are always protected by three statutory terms, even if you have nothing in writing, or the contract you signed does not specifically mention them. They are:

1. Reasonable care and skill

As you are buying the services of a trained professional, there is the assumption that the builder or tradesman will act with ‘reasonable care and skill’. If he does not, you can claim a breach of your statutory rights and be entitled to terminate the contract and either pay nothing further or seek to get your money back through the courts. Where substandard work has been carried out, you may well have incurred greater potential costs to have the work put right, so it is not enough simply to ask for your money back. In such circumstances, it may be more appropriate to pursue a claim for damages. Remember that where the cost of the work is over £100 and you are able to pay by credit card, you would be well advised to do so. This would make the credit card company equally liable where you were not able to recover your costs from the builder.

2. Reasonable time taken

As mentioned earlier, if you have no contractual clauses specifically in relation to timeframe for the work, the assumption is that the work will be carried out within reasonable time. Once reasonable time has elapsed you would not be entitled to terminate the contract, but you would be able to give reasonable notice, providing a deadline at some point in the future and thereby making time ‘of the essence’. If the builder then fails to meet that deadline, you would be entitled to terminate the contract. If you did agree timeframe as part of your contract with the builder, and this timeframe is exceeded, then you can automatically move to terminate the contract if the deadline is broken.

For this reason, you would always be advised to specify a date for performance and make clear in the contract that ‘time is of the essence’.

3. Reasonable cost

Just like timeframe, if you have no contractual clauses specifically in relation to fees payable, the assumption is that you will be charged a reasonable price. However, problems tend to arise where a service is commissioned, exact price cannot be given and the buyer is then presented with an extortionate bill. Where this happens, and where you have little choice but to pay (for example an emergency plumber), but you must make clear your objections at the time of paying, so that you can take action at a later date. You can do this by writing “paid under protest” somewhere on their documentation or (preferably) on the back of a cheque, and by following this up with an immediate letter to the organisation in question to dispute the price you were charged including evidence of alternative ‘going rates’.

It may be that unforeseen additional work will be required and costs will go up. It shouldn’t be by too much and you could argue that the builder could reasonably have anticipated this when providing the estimate. In any case you should limit your liability by requesting that the tradesman or builder informs you if it is going to cost over a certain amount.

It is always advisable to pay the money in stages, leaving a significant amount until the end, when you are fully satisfied that the work has been completed to satisfaction. You may be required to pay money in advance for the ordering of specific goods, but never be afraid to ask for paperwork so you can check it for yourself.

The work is half done – where do we go from here?

With the purchase of a faulty good from a shop, you can simply return the item and get your money back – putting you back into the same position you were in before you bought it. You can’t say the same for building work, particularly if they have walked off the job with it only half done. The question is, is the contract severable? It very much depends on what you are having done and what payment plan you have agreed. Upon presentation of the finished item, can you simply say that you are not going to pay for it and you are not going to give them the opportunity to make it good? This may be a little unreasonable, but if you plan to cite a breach in contract due to an absence of reasonable care and skill, you must make it clear that you are rejecting the finished item. If you have accepted it, you may have to pay all or a portion of the price agreed in the contract.

What about work is taking place in phases? Let’s say you are having a conservatory built which involves the payment of four instalments. If after the second instalment it is clear that the work is substandard you can sever the contract at that point and ask them not to return. You can then pursue damages for monies paid and additional sums if any consequential losses have been incurred (the cost of putting right the poor workmanship). If however the builder offers to redo the work, then the reasonable response would be agree, as long as it can be done ‘in reasonable time’. But what if you have lost complete faith in the builders and do not want them back at all? This is also a reasonable response, although you would have to have good grounds to claim a loss of faith. For this reason, it is always advisable to take photos and keep a diary when having any long term building work done, so you have evidence should it ever become a dispute. Many trade bodies representing firms such as builders will offer a dispute resolution service – which is always cheaper and quicker than litigation! Therefore always choose a builder or tradesman who is accredited by a trade body, association or guild which can offer this service.

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70 comments… add one

  • bill 6 March, 8:43 pm

    the council has failed to repair a patch of tiles in my bathhroom they have been out twice to repair this but only placed tiles over the bump on both occasions what are my rights on this

    Reply
  • Beki Matthews 26 April, 1:59 pm

    Hi

    We are trying to sell our house and the buyer’s surveyor picked up that the conservatory has dropped. Subsequent structural engineers reports have shown that the conservatory was built on inadequate foundations for the subsoil and have recommended that the conservatory be rebuilt. Our insurance won’t cover it as its due to poor workmanship so it’s looking like we’ll have to negotiate on price (which is very painful as we are really extending ourselves on our purchase!)

    The conservatory was built in 1991 and although we weren’t owners of the house at the time we have a copy of the original invoice for the conservatory. The company who installed it are still in existence and I was wondering whether it might be worth us writing to them to see if they would rectify it. What are our legal rights in this regards?

    Kind regards
    Beki

    Reply
  • Stephen Mclean 15 May, 1:10 pm

    I am a good electrician that is consiencious they is to much corner cutting these and a lot of its lazyness like no capping no grommets in switches no earth sleeving cables slapped over attics and not clipped. I worked with blokes that hardly use a ruler this all cracks me up some electricians dont deserve to be paid by washers.

    They is some very good electricians out there who I have worked with nice and neat workmanship.

    My late father was a good painter and decorator he never glossed on gloss like I have seen some painters do.

    The other day when I was in Belle Vue Carlisle I seen a bloke on a tiled roof high pressure washing it thats one thing you dont do.

    Proberly done as much damage as he charged in blasting water in unecessary places and looseing the slate nails.

    I looked on the side of his van and it said high pressure washing driveways patios roofs.

    He would proberly be from Carlisle’s Hadrians camp gypsie camp.

    HOW DO WE POLICE ALL THIS. Please E Mail me back with your comments which I would welcome.

    Reply
    • john smith 2 January, 10:38 pm

      Stephen Mclean you are a narrow minded fool what has race got to do with pressure washing a roof?

      RACIST

      Reply
  • Sam 11 June, 9:22 am

    Hi

    8 months ago I had a new bathroom fitted. The man responsible for the job, has left me in dire straights. Iv come across a water leak, which is affecting my kitchen ceiling & my cellar is becoming flooded with water. So after 15 telephone calls, this guy kept telling me he would come over & have a look, yet has failed time & time again.
    I last spoke to him & out of desperation threatened him with legal action.
    What are my rights, what should i do?

    Reply
  • Mark Hillyard 5 July, 10:17 pm

    Hi

    I have a problem with the patio at my house. It was built just under 4 years ago and verbally has a 5 year guarantee (though nothing written on my invoice). During the first 2 years i had to have the builder back twice for some minor repairs on slabs that had become loose. These were fairly quickly resolved.

    Last summer many more slabs became loose and many are dipping one side and it now looks a total mess. The builder finally came back in October last year and agreed it was bad and he would be in touch to arrange a date to come and sort it out. That was the last i heard. Despite numerous attempts to contact him on both his mobile and home number i am not getting anywhere. I leave messages and he simply hasn’t got the courtesy to even phone me back.

    The patio is now so uneven that my son tripped on one slab sticking up last week and sustained minor cuts and bruises.

    Where do i stand legally on this matter? Is it a case of it not being “fit for purpose”?

    Any advice that anyone can give would be very gratefully received as i am about at the end of my tether over it.

    Thanks…Mark

    Reply
  • Natalie 12 July, 3:54 pm

    Why can’t we name and shame these bad tradespeople. I’m sick and tired of people getting away with poor workmanship. This country is such a rip off – it’s time we fought back – not through the courts which costs time and money. But where it really hurts – on the front cover of the local newspaper, all over the internet and leaflets posted locally naming and shaming the scumbags.

    Reply
  • Lucy 16 July, 11:17 pm

    We very recently had our bathroom refurbished. We had problems from day one with an argumentative builder who tried to tell us how we wanted our bathroom…looking back we should have stopped work straight away but we had saved for over a year to start renovating our house, beginning with the bathroom. To cut an incredibly long story short, the builders have now left the job “finished” but unfortunately there is still so much that needs doing and rectifying that they should have done that there are hours and hours of work to do before we can even paint the walls. We haven’t paid them in full yet as we were very careful to make sure they didn’t bodge the job with full payment. We have taken photos of most of what is wrong but we can’t live with the mess as it is. They also very kindly left us with a brand new leaking toilet! I have a list 17 items long of unfinished, shoddy, not done work and damaged items in our house. We have had the final bill come through and in total including VAT, it comes to nearly £1500 more than was originally estimated. Although he’s charging us for extra works undertaken such as replacing the old sink and bath taps with new ones of the same type, he’s also still trying to gain money for work he hasn’t done!!! To add insult to injury, he never once said that the cost was going to jump up by that amount…considering all of the bathroom hardware etc. we had already paid for we don’t know where this figure is from. I also kept a logue of times that they turned up for work on each day…on more than one occasion it was 11am or later. I can’t afford nor do I want to pay this man any more than he estimated as the job isn’t finished, things are damaged and not done and he was rude to deal with…I have completely lost faith in his abilities and I don’t want him in my home again…We are probably going to end up doing the works ourselves as we can no longer afford to pay someone else to do it so now something that should have taken approximately 2 weeks to complete is still ongoing. Where do I stand on payment to him as the job isn’t finished but I don’t want him in my house any more. He is regulated by the FMB. Can anyone advise?

    Reply
  • tim 7 August, 1:54 pm

    Had very poor service from a company called serviceteam ltd based in London. Ironic that they use the term service. Appalling service and so called customer service. Would NEVER recommend this company. Just see their terms and conditions and ask my neighbors what they did to me. I have now had the work redone by an excellent tradesman.

    Reply
  • Mina Savis 6 October, 11:21 am

    Dear Sir/Madam

    My poor parents have seen a leaflet advertising building services so they decided to call the builder in and use his services. Firstly the builder comes in with a child of probably 14 years old to carry out this repair for the front of the house.

    My father thought that this child is there with the father i.e the builder to help with odd jobs.

    It turns out that he has left him all by himself to carry out this whole repair. My parents have paid cash upfront for the job and it is not even completed due to the rain.

    Had my father known the child was going to do the whole job he would have sent the child back.

    This guy is a conman we feel as he is not returning any of their calls now to come and complete the job. He has taken all this money and the job the child has carried out is well below the standard and even the postman asked my father what has happened to their front wall!

    My mother wants to report him for acting illegally with regards to child labour. The child is also illeterate by looking at the receipt and the his handwriting it shows he cannot read or write. So this builder has committed two offences child labour and cheating them out of their money and carrying out a bad job.

    My mother is scared on other hand for them to come and vandalise her house if they find out she has reported the builder.

    Please advise us what is the best course of action to take as she was going to threaten him by reporting him for child labour and being a cowboy.

    Many thanks

    Mina Savis

    Reply
  • Gill 3 December, 3:36 am

    Hello,

    Just wondering if anyone could help me?

    I started a two storey rear extension and new front dormer in May, the builder carrying out the work was recommended by a friend. Before work started he used to come over and spend hours planning the build and providing suggestions etc.

    A contract was drawn up with him which consisted off,
    1) Bricks and blocks (to build extension)
    2) Supply and fit double glazed doors and windows
    3) Supply and fit all electrics to extension and main house
    4) Supply and fit all plumbing (toilet, sink and shower)
    5) Fit mega flow cylinder in the loft
    6) Move electric and gas meters
    7) Supply and fit all timber and tiles for new roof
    8) Change all heating (new radiators and pipe work within the main house)
    9) Fit new kitchen

    All the above work was written up in the contract and the builder was paid in three instalments and one final payment was agreed upon. Everything was going well. The extension shell was built, roof completed. However suddenly the builder started asking for extra money which he seemed to justify so this was provided to him, as we didn’t want any delays in completion of the job (which was estimated to be November) He became in a rush to complete things ripped all the existing kitchen out, took all the bathroom out. When I questioned him about where I’m going to shower he stated ‘do you want me to complete the job on time’. After that I stayed out of his way and didn’t want him to have any excuse on why he didn’t complete the job on time,

    However 5 weeks ago the builder stopped coming and stated he won’t come unless he is paid more money. He was reminded that he has already been paid for labour and materials for jobs he has not completed. He stated then he can’t do anything about it as he is using his own money to fund the project and hasn’t paid any profit on this job.

    He has left my family and I in an unliveable house, we currently have no heating, no hot water, no bathroom or shower and no kitchen. We have tried to contact him but he just hangs up the phone. I am at my wits end and no longer know what to do. Surely you can’t leave someone in these conditions.

    Can anyone advise me on what I should do? Any feedback would be much appreciated!

    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Donna 18 January, 4:21 pm

      Hi, I have had a very similar problem. they arent asking for more money but have been paid over 2 thirds but have only actually done a fraction of the work. if i dont pay the rest now they are not continuing and will take the money i have already paid with no more work. they said that they will then charge me admin costs so that the final bill will be what i ahve paid so they wont owe me anything?

      this has been on going since sept. feeling so low about it all. so if anyone else has been through the same and knows what to do would love to know how to move forward

      Reply
    • dennis 5 March, 12:32 am

      Sorry to hear of your problems with this so called builder he obviously has used all your money and lost interest in your project . writ a letter to him stating that you want the work finished and include that if you do not receive a satisfactory reply within say 7 days you will seek legal advice from a solicitor and also include that you will be planning to get compensation from him for loss of use of your home keep copies of all your letters

      Reply
  • Kevin 20 December, 2:19 pm

    I am having a problem with the company who installed our windows and doors. The sealed unit in the kitchen has a crack on the inside of the sealed unit (which is quite obviously a manufacturing fault) but the company keep hiding behind their “guarantee” which doesn’t cover damage to the glass panals. Where do we stand leagally re getting this fixed as we have not caused the problem in the first place.

    Reply
  • Anonymous 7 January, 12:43 am

    I have had an extension built by a company called Chelsea Construction in Carshalton Beeches. The whole job was a nightmare and to cap it all I have an email from the company stating that they did not use qualified plumbers or electricians to install lighting, new shower, electrical goods, and move the boiler to a new location. Has anyone had a similar experience? Any advice on what I can do to report this?

    Reply
  • Mina Savis 22 February, 2:09 am

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Could you please kindly remove the situation I described with regards to my parents from your website. I thought it would be kept private and not publicised on the google.

    Could you please kindly let me know once you have done this for me. My email address is minasavis2000@yahoo.co.uk

    Much appreciations

    Mina Savis

    Reply
  • Lisa 24 February, 6:57 pm

    We commenced work with a building company called Aim (East Anglia) Limited who are a building company based in Norfolk. We must have completely missed their horses and stetsons left outside as we have had nothing but trouble from them.
    We paid a mobilisation and deposit instalment up front so they could order the glass roof, doors etc and then a further few staged payments (on reflection we know this was stupid but we started out our relationship with them in good faith). We found on many occasions either no contractors on site to complete the works or contractors on sites and no supplies. Some of the days they would arrive at midday and unload bricks and rubbish into our skip clearly brought from another site they had been working on (despite telling us they would not take on more work). When we have tried to meet him face to face to discuss he is either ill, in hospital or a member of his family is in hospital and we are told he cannot make it about half an hour before we’re due to meet! A month after the work was meant to be completed we are still roofless and building control have identified a number of issues with the build as it stands that needs to be rectified. Severely already out of pocket we now have additional costs to rectify the problems that have arisen.
    Does anyone have any advice or do you know anyone else that has had issues with this company. I suspect we are not alone!

    Reply
    • V 11 May, 10:37 am

      We have the same problems with AIM East Anglia. They have taken funds and have simply not tunred up for work sicne last year. They are also not respondign to any calls/ letters.

      Reply
      • Lisa 19 October, 5:30 pm

        Hi V

        Stephen and I have managed to get quite a long list of people who have fallen victim of AIM East Anglia Limited and Mark Peter Edwards, Mark Kirby and Clare Smith (Mark’s wife).

        If you would like to become part of the group (don’t worry it will take place offline) please could you contact Stephen via his website http://www.magna.demon.co.uk/

        Equally if anyone else has had problems with Aim East Anglia Limited please get in contact. They need to be stopped ruining other people’s lives.

        Sam

  • Mina Savis 4 March, 12:36 am

    please remove the post I have written above.

    Many thanks

    Mina

    Reply
  • Matty 2 April, 6:08 pm

    Have a builder we have used before who we have agreed to doing some further work.We have agreed a price in writing and he said he would start last week. He just didn’t turn up and says he hopes to start next week. Are we under any legal obligation to proceed with this builder if he continues to not turn up or contact us? Any advice?

    Reply
  • ian gibson 4 May, 12:38 pm

    i had my driveway done in imprinted concrete and at first looked amazing (may 2010)over the last 6 mths it started to fade in colour and little holes appearing and also in one place the colour had completely gone and just bare concrete showing.They have been round today the 3rd of may 2011 and just rubbed colour into it and it looks awfull,gritty,rough and looks dull,what can i do.

    Reply
  • Manchester Decking 23 July, 2:35 pm

    Not sure if its a problem with my PC but i can see horizontal lines across this site, i have clicked back and come back to this site and still the same Issue? does anyone else see these lines?

    Reply
  • Insurance v Personal 25 July, 5:26 pm

    ——
    We’re unsure as to a number of the costs included in a builders invoice. The was a variety of words done mainly on an insurance claim, however there were a few items we had done personally (using the same insurance builders/company).

    Essentialy we thought all was fine as throughout the works any additional personal works/costs that we discussed with the contractors were followed up with an email from them outlining the works and associated costs followed by ‘Please let us know how you want to proceed?’ or ‘Please let me know if you want us to continue?’. This was always very clear and we do not have any issue with the works that were agreed as a personal cost to us.

    However, there are a number of items included in their final invoice to us that they didn’t inform us would be an additional cost to us personally, nor did they provide estimates (if any) before the work was completed.

    We therefore dispute those costs, as we had understood when we discussed these items with them that they fell under the scope of the insurance repair works. Further, there were some works that they did without even notifying us that there was a problem.

    Where do we stand with payment for these newly added (yet not agreed) costs?

    ——

    Reply
  • Lisa 6 October, 4:46 pm

    Is there any chance we could get in contact with each other to take this further. Don’t suppose every time you tried to get them to come and meet you one of his members of family were ill??? I would like to take this further if I can get a group of people together. I also know someone else who has had problems with them. In the end they have cost us £30k in money they have run off with and repairs to what they did do (which was wrong).

    Reply
  • Lisa 6 October, 4:50 pm

    V any chance we could speak together about Aim East Anglia? i would like a group of people together to do something about it as apparently they have done it to hundreds of people – that is why he has a brand new car on his drive and can afford to send his kids to private school!

    Reply
  • Stephen 9 October, 3:19 pm

    Is this AIM East Anglia of Norwich and Great Yarmouth?

    If so I know a lot about them.

    Reply
    • Lisa 12 October, 10:51 am

      Yes Stephen please can you help out?

      Reply
  • Lisa 12 October, 10:49 am

    Yes it is. Please can you help out?

    Reply
    • Stephen 12 October, 5:26 pm

      I am an electrican and did some work for them, for which I haven’t been paid, so I have a vested interest in this case.

      Financially the position is clear, they owe many people a lot of money. I have a county court judgement awarded against them, which I have asked the court now enforce. That’s the easy bit. I can only pursue the limited company, who can go bankupt and pay nothing. What I’m lookin for is somone who could advise us on the potential of legal action against the owner personally, who has assets.

      I’ve seen building companies do this before. They declare themselves bankrupt and appear the next day, with the same people trading under a slightly different name.

      Stephen

      Reply
      • Lisa 13 October, 1:54 pm

        Hi Stephen

        Just so you are aware we tried to sue them but the solicitor in the end said to us that it will cost us thousands and they will just fold the company. I have spoken to the solicitor about this and there is away of getting a group of people together to go after the directors. In this case as the business is in Mark Edwards’s wife’s name Clare Smith we would have to go after her but need the support from a number of people to put the case together. I think I know the bricklayer who did the work on our house that hadn’t been paid too, plus various of other people.

        I spoke to Companies house and apparently they have a proposal to strike them off which is going to be shown in London Gazette on 18th October. If you want to ensure you get your money from them then I would get in contact with Companies house to say you are pursuing them and to dispute the striking off until that happens.

        Not sure how we can get in contact without putting our details on here and I’m not sure I want put that in the public domain!

        V, if you are interested then maybe we should all try to get in contact.

  • trickygj 12 October, 2:06 pm

    If anyone needs help with with dodgy trademen I can maybe help.

    Reply
    • Stephen 12 October, 5:28 pm

      How?

      Reply
      • trickygj 13 October, 11:09 pm

        Hi

        I help homewoners and the like with dodgy builders. I have had a quick look at this company and apart from unsatisfied CCJ’s of nearly £64,000 it looks like someone has petitioned (6/9/2011) to have the company wound up. This is likely to be a creditor who is owed at least £750.

        Once the notice has been placed in the London Gazette the company’s bank account will be frozen. It will be upto the liquidator to investigate what has happened and he will also investigate the directors if he believes that the directors are guilty of wrongful trading (trading while knowing that the company was insolvent). They may recommend that the director is banned from all current and future directorships for a period of time.If struck off, a Director will have to give up all other directorships that they currently hold.

        If company directors are found guilty of continuing to allow a business to trade while insolvent, they may become personally liable for the debts incurred by the company from the time they knew the business was insolvent.

        From my experience it is difficult and costly to pin the debts of the company on the directors. You need to be sure that at the end the director has the assets to be able to pay any judgement. Lots of things to consider.

        richardgjohnson.co.uk

  • trickygj 14 October, 8:39 am

    Just a note. It might be best if you post on the consumer forum and start a thread. That way there is more chance of the comments being responded to more effectively.

    Reply
    • Stephen 15 October, 4:37 pm

      Thanks for the tip Richard if anyone wants to email me direct my website is

      http://www.magna.demon.co.uk

      As a responsible trader I get very angry with the rogues, who give the rest of us a bad name.

      Stephen

      Reply
      • trickygj 15 October, 6:44 pm

        If you need any company information/directors checks etc/documents lodged with companies house let me know and i will try to help.

      • Stephen 16 October, 1:30 pm

        Thanks for the offer Richard.

        I presume the first step is to identify the dirctors of the company, so that we can look to assigning some personal responsibiity. The next step being to identify if they have any assets. The HMRC will be on their trail. I expect there will be considerable tax bills due, even if they wind up.

        Stephen

  • Barry Compson 1 November, 9:19 pm

    Hi. My daughter has just had a block paving driveway laid.Within a few days the concrete haunching had cracked and the blocks had started to open up, and several areas have sunk. The company have been very rude to my daughter and have not admitted that their work was defictive. It appears that the edging blocks have not been laid on contrete to secure them, only haunched with concrete on the edge.An independent contractor has inspected the drive and has said that it is a very poor job and has not been laid properly.The contractor says it is acceptable but the problems have not been resolved and the drive will only detiorate. Can she take the contractor to the small claims court?

    Reply
  • Stephen 14 November, 6:39 pm

    AIM (East Anglia) Ltd status

    Followers of this case will know that I have considerable confidential information, however I’ll issue a simple status reveiew of what is in the public domain, to stimulate discussion.

    The company has been forced into liquidation by a creditor, MKM Building Supplies. The official receiver in Norwich is scheduled to interview the directors. I think they are having trouble locating them, but I am being informed weekly about their whereabouts by interested parties.

    The position now is that if the directors can be shown to have been trading while knowingly insolvent, they can be pursued personally for the debt.

    The director and company secretary is Claire Smith, who appearas to be the wife of MArk Edwards. She owns a house in Norfolk which she is selling hurriedly for £142,000 the lendor being the Bank of Scotland.

    There are a number of creditors of Mark Edwards personally, who went bankrupt in 2008 and owns a house in Norfolk. I expect it to be fairly easy to link all these liabilities jointly to both Mark Edwards and Claire Smith.

    I haver no legal training so if anyone if can contribute to the pursuit of justice, let me know.

    Stephen

    http://www.magna.demon.co.uk

    Reply
  • Bob builder 19 February, 10:57 pm

    Actually I find your reply to this message racist!

    Reply
  • London Plumber 19 May, 11:07 am

    The number of schemes the Government have conjured to certify the building trade and all of them have failed – al least plumbers have the Gas Safe certification (formerly Corgi) which does carry some weight.

    Reply
  • Julie 19 May, 4:31 pm

    we had a connservatory built last sept, the company were also paid to do a number of additional things such as lay lamibate in our hall etc. since then we’ve had numberous issues, conservatory parts popping up, leaks, leaking toilet as they didn’t fix it to floor etc etc.. we’ve given them so many chance to put this right, they fail to turn up for appointments, fail to call back when promised, are arguing that they should not be held responsible for some of the work. Nightmare. We just don’t know what to do next.

    Reply
  • Julie 19 May, 6:54 pm

    Julie

    Probably need a bit more information in order to answer effectively. If you want to look at my website and give me a call I will try and help you.

    Richard Johnson

    Reply
  • afolashade oduntan 8 June, 7:01 pm

    can you pls advise me,i moved into a rented property not knowing that is dampy,me and my children btw age 3&5yrs,had to be sleeping in living room because the rooms nd the bathroom were so damp nd smelly,with so many work to be done in the house,so many of our personal belonging got spoilt,but after reporting him to landlord association,he got rid of the damp,but would’nt do the holes in the house and around the windows,there are broken windows,weak front doors,there is no fire alarm in the house,lots of unprotected cables,all he wants is his rent we’ve been paying him but had now decided not to pay him until he put things in order for us,he’s made a lots of empty promises,saying if we pay he will do it but once we paid him,we won’t hear anything until when another rent is due,he keeps sending different people to the house just to cajole us to pay his rent were always falling for his tricks,it’s very essential to have smoke/fire alarm in the house but he is not just ready to do it,he has no regard for our dignity,he treats us like animals,because of the way he made the house for us,even if we leave his house,we don’t another family to suffer what we’re suffering,please what can we do?whats our right?we need your help and advise

    Reply
  • JULIE 22 July, 2:20 pm

    JUST WANTED PEOPLE TO NO THAT WE CONTRACTED EYG TO BUILD A CONSERVATORY WE THOUGHT WE DID ALL OUR HOME WORK BUT BELIEVE ME THIS HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE AND THERE IS STILL NO SIGN OF IT ENDING AFTER TERMINATING THE CONTRACT, WORK STILL NOT FINISHED THIS COMPANY IS STILL LOOKING FOR FULL PAYMENT OF 30K AND HAVE ALSO INLISTED THERE SOLICITORS TO ENFORCE THE LAW WE WILL NOT ALLOW THEM BACK ON SITE TO FINISH THE CONSERVATORY AS WE BELIEVE THIS IS NOT IN OUR BEST INTERESTS.ON EACH OCASSION (4 ATTEMPS) OUR PROPERTY IS LEFT IN A WORST STATE OF REPAIR.
    MY ADVISE TO ANYONE THINKING OF DOUBLE GLAZING IS
    CHECK YOUR CONTRACT BEFORE SIGNING
    WORD OF MOUTH IS THE BEST RECOMMENDATION
    THE BEST OPTION IS TO DO THE WORK YOURSELF IF POSSIBLE

    Reply
  • Maggie 13 September, 3:40 pm

    Oh dear. Reading all of the above and watching rogue traders, cowboy builder’s and it all just makes my blood boil.

    We are a building company, we are not the cheapest – but we always to a great job, and never let our customers down.

    I must say that SOME CUSTOMERS – are rogues themselves – they want things done for nothing and when you do this once – then they want it all the time and then get funny – when they are charged!! We have had all sorts but the majority of our customers are brilliant.

    Onto the above …….. I bet most of you go for the cheapest …… and most of you probably end up having ESTIMATES and not fixed Quotes (which is what we do). If we cannot price something when doing the Quote for whatever reason, we always state Not Priced For!!

    Also people always think the best way is to pay CASH!! By doing this there is no paperwork! No paperwork because it does not go through the books – they do not pay the VAT etc etc. If there was paperwork – then they would get done – if they got caught for doing cash!!

    People should have a contingency to allow for items under the ground, in the roof, etc where things cannot be seen until they have been opened up!!

    We have also seen before that sometimes word of mouth recommendations is not 100% fool proof either!

    There is a recession out there, there is competition!! But we always wonder when we get told – ie “you are £5,000.00 dearer” or “we’ve gone with someone nearly half the price” – WAS IT STILL THOUSANDS CHEAPER by the time the job finished – or if it even got finished????

    As some of you have said – you ended up being put in the position of not being able to say “no more” as you have paid out thousands of pounds and have not had much work done – so you stay put with the cowboys and are forced into paying out more!!!!

    Just remember – cheapest isn’t the best! Cash is no good! If the builder’s are builder’s – they should be VAT registered too!!!

    Reply
  • Belinda 28 September, 1:20 am

    I agree we have been badly ripped off paying tradesmen, that seemed trustworthy, vast sums of money and since finding out that we have paid tens of thousands of pounds more than we should have done. Had I known about the role and uses of a Quantiyy surveyor I would not have paid their continual invoices and got the work properly costed. We paid £100,000 for work that should have cost £35000 we have had to double our mortgage to pay for it. It has nearly cost us our marriage and our health . We are currently looking into taking legal action but again this is costly stressful and there are no guarantees. Trading standards are involved but have been extremely slow and have no legal powers.

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  • fedup 7 October, 5:42 pm

    Roof Cleaning twerps

    My idiot neighbour had their roof cleaned by what can only be a pair of cowboys ,,,,,,,,,,,,,the mess my side was inccredible

    When challenged got the retort “we put a note thru your door”

    I told them that prior notice + a trapaulin to cover everything my side was minimum requirements and that i want all the mess and damage cleaned up properly

    Guess what NA Da Nothing !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • ssss 23 October, 6:22 pm

    I paid a painter for the stabaliser paints also half labour he worked a few hours in total, work not complete since august keeps coming up with excuses doesnt answer calls!!! what action can i take against him

    Reply
  • isabella 18 November, 3:43 pm

    you may need to take insurance cover if you have problems had to get cover when i wanted to sell my home

    Reply
  • stuart 29 November, 12:35 pm

    got a carpet fitter to fit flooring in our 4 downstairs rooms, all work was meant to be done in one day. 2 floors were done, then next day never arrived. Now someone from the company has come to fit one more floor and they are demanding full payment or they will rip up the flooring.. We already gave them £350 of the £450 cost quoted and the receipt they gave us states the full balance was due on completion. Then whilst a fitter was doing the one floor the owner of the business rang and said if we didn’t pay the full amount now then the fitters would rip up the flooring. When my wife refused he threatened her with violence. Now we have 3 floors almost finished, but they are refusing to finish the work

    Reply
  • Umar Ahmed 10 December, 4:25 pm

    Recently my father had some work done to his house, he had refitted his whole whole house with double glazed windows costing a total of £1,200.00 on which on a cold day you can hear a whistling sound and a breeze coming in through the gaps. So I decided to get the ladders out and have a check on the upper floor windows, only to be suprised that the outside frames have not been sealed. I could still see the foam and screws on the outside, with gaps.
    I am shocked at the poor effort and care of these cowboy fitters.

    So where can I go from here? any advice?
    We were promised to receive a guarantee, but havnt yet received it.

    Coventry, UK

    Reply
  • David Price 15 December, 10:52 am

    Watch out for a contractor called JB & Co Enterprise Construction in the Slough area as you will probably regret using them as I do. They are probably OK at gardening or knocking a wall down but don’t contract with them for painting unless you want paint spots everywhere and do not use them for electrical work unless you want your house burnt down. For instance when they redid our batrhroom they forgot to re-install the extraction fan. When I pointed this out they installed it using screws directly into the plasterboard ceiling, they forgot to connect the extract tube and they screwed up the wiring so that the printed circuit board blew up. They are a bunch of cowboys and they refuse to admit they need to fix things. A complete nightmare.

    Reply
  • Grandma 16 December, 2:03 pm

    When I wanted my drains and drive relaying I tried to be very careful choosing a contractor. I thought I would be so safe using my neighbours grandson-in-law as he was always visiting next door and had done for years. He took all the money for the job, took longer than agreed and when he wanted more money I said no till he finished the job – so he just walked off and hasn’t returned. I’ve rung, complained and demanded he finish the work he’s been paid for. He says he will come but then doesn’t. Now he says it’s too cold.
    Citizens advice have told me to write to him and if that doesn’t work, I can take him to court but the address he gave me is his mothers not even his own. He’s now driving round in a second new van, I wonder who paid for that? I have since found out that he owes one of the labourers he was using, over £2K so I can’t see me ever getting my money back.
    I have no more money to pay for courts or solicitors or to have my drive and garden finished and I’m left with a skip in my front garden which I can’t get moved as he hasn’t paid for that either!

    What a lovely Christmas this widowed grandmother will have now thanks to theiving cowboy builders

    Reply
  • Marion 20 December, 6:28 pm

    2 years ago our house was badly flooded from the attic and as it was -15 on many days the winter was bad that year. we contacted our insurrance compant who hired there own loss adjuster and suvayor, they were rude un help full and difficult , insuurance company would not help , they hired a builder who has made our home in a worse condition than it should be . defective repair work , holes all over , leaking pipes dangerous electrics and so much more , we have not been able to live there for the last 2 years and are still fighting the inssurers to get the work redone, we had a new report done by a suvayor, but they still wont except this , we need help on what to do now , this has cost us thousands all our savings. we contacted ombusman 14 month ago and are still waiting for them to decide, so any help or advice would be great, our health has suffered as we are not young .

    Reply
  • Nick Silver 3 January, 9:52 pm

    Absolutely correct. The guilty parties should be named and shamed.

    Reply
  • John G. Dell 11 January, 1:30 pm

    Has anyone else used ‘Safestyle’ for windows and their sister company ‘Virgo’ for guttering and facias ? We paid cash for the full windows and doors treatment plus the same for gutters, bargeboards and facias, £13000 plus,fifteen months ago. We have also had at least a dozen visits to have bad workmanship put right. The result…more water IN the house than out. They keep saying ‘condensation’, I did not know that this came by the gallon everyday, along with black mould around all the units, on the sealants and on all the window reveals. Due to this firm’s lack of care or consideration of our problems living with this second rate job, we are now having to spend thousands more for a builder to damproof and replaster most walls and window reveals. Total redecoration follows at more cost. Do not believe their stupid adverts -’You buy one, you get one free(you don’t)- you get nothing but trouble with no-one prepared to accept responsibility. As pensioners and with our health being affected, we feel that our complaints are not being treated with the respect all complaints should be treated with. We feel that we are being talked down to and being given a sympathetic (or should that be pathetic) pat on the head.

    Reply
  • dee 7 March, 2:12 pm

    Hi,
    My mum and dad are elderly my dad has a good few health problems , due to this they decided to get a downstairs toilet and have the garage converted to another room. My dad heard of a builder and apparently a few ppl had told him he was ‘good’ my dad spoke to him and he gave them a quote of £6000 to complete the work to decorating standard. They agreed the work would be done and finnished for christmas 2012.
    As my dad new the builder he and mum went and got a LOAN to pay him the builders started the next day. My mum and dad was actually going to ireland for christmas on 17th dec 2012 but i was staying at there house anyway. Before they left for ireland my mum payed the builder his money stating she knowswas paying him incase he needed materials. ‘ BIG MISTAKE’ I TOLD HER. Specially as i was there she could have give me the money to hold. Anyhow cut a long storey short the work was still ongoing when they returned from ireland on 3 jan. When work was finnished or near enough there was still bits to be done but hardly anything and the builder said he would be back when snow gone after snow cleared we could get a proper look at the work .
    The external wall is wavey and the edge is not straight at all. The new bricks interlock with old ones then they dont then start and stop again the morter is redicuasly thick and in one place it doesnot look like there any morter at all the joinery inside is atrocious there is gaps filled with cork on all corners of skirting board. The door frames ave over a inch gap in places there is silicone all over one wall we he fitted a window. We contacted him he came and to me has tried pull yet another fast one he has tried to make the brickwork look straight with yet more morter overlapping bricks in parts but the whole wall

    Reply
  • dee 7 March, 2:15 pm

    Sorry hit submit by mistake. The whole wall is uneven still and at a horific angle i just need advise as what to do next and were to start please any comments would be greatfull
    regards diane

    Reply
  • G GRAY 19 March, 8:39 pm

    Hi,
    My builder has just built an extention for us it is an extention to a dining room with a room above. The room downstairs has been built but they have left a concrete floor . I have been told it needs to have screed. Surely this is the job of the builder to finish it properly . He says the carpet company will do it, is this usual?

    Reply
  • Julie Ruddick 4 May, 4:30 pm

    Hello,

    Could someone please advise me where I stand with the following:

    Had a builder start work on my bathroom this week, the first plumber came and did some aspects if the job then left, the tiler has done the tiles, the 2nd plumber broke a tile and has walked of the job, the new plumber this morning has come and when the tiler turned up looking for the boss to get paid his money, the plumber has stopped work and left the job. We are all trying to get hold of the boss and he’s stopped answering his phone and his right hand man has told me its down to the boss to resolve, no further communication from the boss they have left me with the following:
    Bath not sealed, shower not fitted correctly, no sink, nothing boxed in, all my doors are off and lying round house, rubbish everywhere, light fittings hanging off, window ledges broken etc

    They have taken nearly all the money throughout the week, in cash and I only have the original quotation from the company

    Does anyone know what steps I can take, I do not want this man to con anyone else

    Reply
  • ayse 14 May, 8:51 am

    Oh my god, that’s £75k more. I thought mine was bad when it went up by £15k. We agreed two storey extension at £60k, went up to £75k however still not finished. I hate the way the extension and house looks, it looks really cheap and the extension hasn’t added anything of value to the property. Next time will buy a bigger property rather than do any sort of extension. One thing I have learnt is get EXACT quote, detailing right down to the nails!! Ive paid all the money now , so really at mercy at builder to complete.

    Reply
  • nadia 15 July, 4:01 pm

    Hi,
    Had a cowboy attempt to re-install our good running boiler in a new place in our house…complete shambles!! He ruined our gorgeous kitchen before realising he can’t get the parts for the boiler anymore more!…where do I stand with this as I want to take it further asap.

    Thanks,
    Nadia

    Reply
  • Alex 23 August, 10:21 pm

    Has anyone in South London had any dealings with AOD Building & Maintenance Limited, SE14? I’m trying to establish whether an ex-building site manager was contracted by them. I tried contacting them but they never got back to me. We had no problems with the builders that were used to do my elderly mums house guttering and roof, but the site manager has done a runner with money we were due back. The reason why I ask about the company is that he handed my mum a flyer with that company name on it then took it off her a few days later. He claimed he needed it for one of her neighbours.

    Reply
  • rhona 18 September, 11:37 pm

    Why do tradesmen get away with behaviour that wouldn’t be tolerated in any other context?
    We have just sacked a joiner who refused to give us an estimate, refused to commit to a date, disappeared for days on end without answering our calls, and downgraded our job in favour of a more lucrative one. He consistently gave assurances that he didn’t keep and expected us to accommodate his family commitments as well as turning up with a door that wasn’t suitable for purpose and leaving it in our garage. He then had the nerve to say that we probably wouldn’t find anyone else to do the job!
    I think we’ve had a lucky escape, even though he was recommended by another tradesman – but isn’t it time zero tolerance was shown to these idiots by consumers? I’d see someone like that in hell before I’d let him loose on my property. Everyone else has to behave like civilised human beings – shopkeepers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, all have to behave professionally, and even the gas board now has to give a time when they will come to fix a problem or do a service, so why should these people be exempt? It’s about time some laws were brought in to squeeze the timewasters out. This might also have the effect of nipping in the bud some of the horror stories before they happen.

    Reply
  • marie 14 October, 9:08 pm

    I recently got a builder in to do some work. We agreed what was to be carried out, even gave him drawings. The builder did not give me a quote before he started but promised a written quote after he started. No written quote received, all the work was not carried out and what work he did carry out was badly done. He damaged the new kitchen cupboards I bought and did not supply a Part P certificate for the electrics that are not of a good standard The builder also invoiced me a very high price for the work. Wickes quoted £700 less than the builder for fitting a larger kitchen including building the cupboards. My builder was not to build the cupboards. Something should be done about tradesman like these. It does not make it easy for good, honest builders.

    Reply
  • Annette Craine 25 October, 11:30 am

    Kevin Foulkes has ripped of hundreds over the years taken there money like £1000s and either did a crap job or didn’t do it at all
    I am one of his victims
    He changed his company name
    From kmjf building and construction
    Bootle builders covering south east
    We surply the tradesman same area
    He was so nasty and rude to me when I have a fixed address for him and taking him to a small claims court
    I have drugged deep and my builder has permantly restricted him advertising as you will see complaints made against him
    He done this for over 20 years he now is in newhaven east Sussex he was in Essex but he covers all over
    Stop this bloke

    Reply
  • Mr j r Scott 12 November, 10:16 am

    I had a conservator supplied and fitted by 1st Choice conservatories of Addlstone or sometimes Walton on Thames the owner is Gray Bolam the build is second rate the customer service is nil, He gave a ten year guarantee but will not honour it, will not return calls. He covers Sussex and Surry SO BEWARE .

    Reply
  • cheryl tebbutt 20 June, 7:41 am

    I was happy to find someone at last! small kitchen in the corner of a lounge.
    HE SENT AN EMAIL saying the price…
    later he would not remove stuff-I assumed it was included,

    He took about 5 days! he wasted time.
    Kitchen looked clean/modern I was happy so paid him CASH IN HAND…
    but the WORKTOP was not joined well and I told him…and now the sink lifted out on left!
    He did not do all I asked but I over looked THINGS.
    then I noticed he had cut off the back odf a cupboard and not attached another so things fall out!
    He took £150.00 FOR EXTRAS (NO RECEIPTS)
    and I noticed the tiling corner did not have plastic piece.
    I am single and found the process tiring and I choosing and RETURNING was stress and living without a kitchen……….(food) etc….
    SO I WAS not alert TO SEE DETAILS…….he did not put bottoms on the cupboards!why?
    he took me for a ride.-
    I called him over 14 times and he eventually came in and looked at problem worktop-said he is busy
    I could see he does not want to fix!(
    FOR a single female immigrant it is hard in SOUTH LONDON…he closed email account and I KNOW WHY
    WHAT TO DO?

    Reply