Dangerous building mess....

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by peterz, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. peterz

    peterz New Member

    Hi folks, seriously need some opinions on here as to what is going on.

    I paid a builder to build a summerhouse in my garden, usual things, promised he would build it in 4 weeks, and now it has been 3 months, most of it is done, but it is all now going at a snails pace.

    I have paid him his instalments he asked for, but as stupid as I was, I have now realised that there are a lot of things unfinished that should have been 100% done before paying him some money, such as finalising the electrics, leaving the garden in an absolute mess [cement, dangerous tools, old wood, rubble etc), such that my son fell over and hurt himself, roof leaking water down onto front render when it rains (despite having a gutter, fascia and soffit), also they have left the ceiling lights dangling down on their wires, plumbing and drainage--well there is none installed and a sink is needing to be installed.

    Anyway, I send him a letter stating that things have to improve and that he is in breach of contract and dangerous, that very same day and since then, workers have been coming every day and completing the tasks I raised.

    Fine so far...
    Today he replied to me stating that he has received my letter and that his secretary who happens to be a LABC building control inspector will write back to me with a reply next week, but also that they are in contact with the local council head of building control inspector and they will reply back to me next week.

    I do not get it, I raise issues about safety and him not completing the work , so why would he want to contact building control?? Is he trying to call my bluff??

    The building is within 30m2 and is made of non combustible materials, and so according to planning portal, building control should not theoretically apply.
  2. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Screwfix Select

    Couple of things:
    - don't be harrased by him, stand firm. Not sure what the BC involvement is about. May be he's trying to put on a bold face and scare you a bit.
    - As long as you haven't paid the full amount then you're ok - withhold appropriate payment until the job is completed to your satsifaction and what you've asked for. What do you have in writing in terms of spec or quotation etc? This forms the formal contract between you.
    - Keep a well documented paper trail of whats going on, its always a good idea when push comes to shove.
  3. peterz

    peterz New Member

    we have a contract that we have signed that states the work to be done and also the instalments that will be needed to be paid. Only one instalment left.

    He then goes on in his reply that the main house electrics were a shambles, but then I am not raising that issue, its about the summerhouse electrics, the house electrics have nothing to do with the contracted work for the summerhouse.
    Every day , there has been an excuse, workers are ill, or they are working elsehwre, so builders can only come on wekekends from now on etc There ahve been 2 arguments on the phone- one time he told a family emmber that we should try and find someone else.

    Then of course, he employs people that are illegal immigrants - don;t think border force will like that.
  4. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Screwfix Select

    Defo withhold final payment until all work is complete then, that's all the leverge you have other than taking him to court.
  5. peterz

    peterz New Member

    Is there a list of approved building control inspectors anywhere? because I am bit dubious that he has anyone at all in his office!
  6. Astramax

    Astramax Screwfix Select

    Can't see building control being interested if it falls within an exempt structure.
  7. peterz

    peterz New Member

    Astramax, is that even if it has ceiling lights and a hot water tap ?? it is under 30 m2 and made of non combustible materials / bricks (thermablocks etc) so planning portal says that building can be exempt, but wasnt sure if is still exempt if it includes lighting/ a water supply
  8. peterz

    peterz New Member

    Update: so i receive a message today stating that he has "more pressing issues to deal with such as family matters at the moment", so he is passing on my query to his secretary who happens to be a building control inspector.

    It all seems a bit dodge to me.
  9. wiggy

    wiggy Screwfix Select

    Wait until he has completed the job before you pass judgement.
  10. peterz

    peterz New Member

    true, but i dont get the scare tactics, just because I told him to hurry up and he is in breach of contract basically.

    is there an online list of LABC inspeftors at all??
  11. greenback78

    greenback78 Active Member

    Whether his secretary is an inspector or not is irrelevant and they are not independent anyway. It sounds like you are not going to get this resolved without going to court. Get your paperwork in order and then start the legal process. It sounds like you have taken reasonable steps to resolve so now five a final letter stating your position and next steps. Offer an independent inspector if you want someone to arbitrate first. Sounds like an absolute cowboy.
  12. peterz

    peterz New Member

    HI folks, this is an update to my first post above...first, I have no letter whatsoever from so called building control or his secretary (or whatever), I phoned the local council and they said that there is no such thing as a LABC approved building control inspector.
    So anyway, after my letter he quickly sent in workers to finish the things that I requested, one of them was to re-render the outside as his workers had not done a good job and it was just, well bumpy in places.
    Anyway, he ignored this and his workers got asked to pain the render, Now according to him, the render has been finished.

    I attach pictures of what I am not happy with. Firstly the brick work and render around one of the windows which looks fine (I hope, I am relying on you guys to tell me), the second image is around the left window. Firstley, there does not seem to be a ledge like the other picture, and also the render has just been lapped on, bumpy and painted ina rush.

    Give me your opinions please.
    He tried to threaten me once with building control (I ddon't know why), and he will try to shut me up again I am sure, but I need to be firm and tell him that this work is unacceptable

    Attached Files:

  13. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Well-Known Member

    His secretary is an LABC inspector:D, my secretary is Nicole Kidman;), no, I don't have a secretary, and nor does he, his wife probably does a bit of paperwork for him!

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