Extra charge and time scale

Discussion in 'Kitchen Fitters' Talk' started by sld2012, Dec 13, 2021.

  1. sld2012

    sld2012 Member

    The next day on Tuesday 14.12 he texts me to say he has Covid and needs to isolate (very convenient). I said ok fine let me know when you can resume work. Hadn't heard from him so texted him today to ask when will he come back, he says he is in isolation till 26.12 (thought it was supposed to be only 10 days) and that will probably be sometime in the new year.... Again sent him a text asking for a definite date and his reply is 'lets say the 7th'. Is he taking the ****?????

    I want to sack him but paid him 80% and he was supposed to buy the window, tiles, switches and sockets, toilet and sink etc which he hasn't bought. What can I do? My wife and I are so stressed and upset, our lil kids are even more upset as our house is a mess and haven't been able to decorate it for Christmas.... Any advice will be much appreciated.
  2. Truckcab79

    Truckcab79 Screwfix Select

    Regardless of the percentage how much actual cash will you be out of pocket if you pay someone else? Personally I’d try to negotiate him calling it a day and returning the balance of what you’ve paid for but he hasn’t bought (not easy to quantify if you’ve just paid 80% of his total bill as he can just say that the remaining 20% was for all the materials not yet purchased.)

    Doesn’t sound like he wants to be there so weigh up how much stress this is causing you and what you’d be willing to write off to be able to move on. Not ideal but might be the best option. I wouldn’t want him back if it was my job.
  3. sld2012

    sld2012 Member

    That's the problem, the amount paid is unquantifiable. Although, each time I paid him he said he has bought the stuff. It seems that he wants me to tell him to quit instead of him saying it himself, in that way he would say he offered to complete the job but it was my choice.

    I recently had my bathroom fitted by another builder who was excellent, I've spoken to him about my situation and has has said to contact him if I need him, will call him over to give me a quote and his availability.

    My kitchen fitter has caused us too much stress and I don't think I can face him even if he comes back.

    Has anyone faced anything similar and been to small claims court?
  4. Truckcab79

    Truckcab79 Screwfix Select

    Been a few times in my previous retail career. Customer always wins in my experience, even when they’re clearly in the wrong. However difficulty you have is no contract and unquantifiable payments and timescale as you say. At the moment he says he’s coming back to finish it so difficult to know what you’re claiming for (in the courts opinion at least).

    Get your other quote and if you can swallow it then sack the other bloke off and see what you can get back off him. Nobody likes finishing other peoples work though so might not be cheap.
  5. jonathanc

    jonathanc Guest

    I previously asked whether you were aware of the term of the quote: time-cost or fixed price and you said a bit of both. I don’t see how you can agree a fixed price that is also dependent on the time taken (hours worked) and therefore variable cost. Without being clear on your contractual position forget any legal claim as you’ll not be able to make a clear statement of case.

    If you can make a clear strong statement of case then the small claims process may galvanise action but otherwise move on
  6. sld2012

    sld2012 Member

    This is what the last bit of his qoute stated,

    'Price to be £XXXX amended for spot lights. plus £XX for waste disposal which has recently gone up.

    How does the Friday the 5th of November for a start date sound? providing we start on this date I can
    make sure the works is completed for Christmas. Also, I would ask for a couple part payments as work
    progresses. Providing you are happy with the work so far'.

    He started on 05.12.

    (the price went up a bit more due to a couple outdoor lights to be installed).
  7. Truckcab79

    Truckcab79 Screwfix Select

    Well it’s a contract of sorts but you’re still on slightly shaky ground in the sense of there is no guarantee of completion and no mention of what might happen if he doesn’t. Small claims is cheap enough to take a chance if you can be bothered but he’ll say that any changes you made, however minor, we’re the cause of those delays. Perfectly normal for building work to run over and he’s not even past Christmas yet so you’d really need to be appreciably over the timescale and have given him clear revised deadlines to meet, before you were seen in court to have made efforts to resolve it in a reasonable manner without court action. They don’t like to be the first port of call for disputes. That always goes against you.

    You still haven’t said how much is at stake and I appreciate you may not want to and also an amount that I feel isn’t worth worrying about may be different for you.

    Have a conversation with him. Tell him you really want it finished by X and if he can’t meet that agree how much he will return to you by way of labour and materials paid for but not received.

    Then go to your decent builder and get it finished. Life is short and is best spent enjoying rather than stressing over people who will never give you what you want.
    sld2012 likes this.
  8. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Screwfix Select

    Ask him to either deliver all the materials paid for or reimburse the cost. If he doesn't you immediately have a good case. Get someone in finish job. Be happy. Start a MCOL for the materials paid for and not delivered. You will def win that bit.

    In future, never, ever pay up front for work not done and goods not delivered, except for perhaps a small "goodwill" deposit. Stage payments for actual work done and material delivered is fine, but should be unecessary on jobs less than 1 month. But be a good customer - don't quibble over pennies, pay on time for good work. This philosophy has worked for me.
  9. sld2012

    sld2012 Member

    The last day that he worked for 2 hours (13.12.21) i had asked him how many days over the six weeks he would take and his reply was 'how long is a piece of string'! As for the extra work, it was just 2 outdoor lights, which his electrician just wired to a swtich but not to the outside so that isn't even complete to say that has caused the delays.
    On the 14.12 he said he has to isolate, usually isolation is 10 days from when track and trace tell you to but he says he is isolating till the 26.12. His reply to asking for a definate start date was 'lets say 07.01, that doesn't seem like a definite date does it?
  10. sld2012

    sld2012 Member

    I was paying him in good trust. I hve certinly learnt my lesson.
  11. jonathanc

    jonathanc Guest

    so as I read it. Variation in price is only for spot lights and waste disposal. You have fixed price quote. As other have said, you should be able to recover materials costs but provided he has sufficient time to complete then you could recover the cost of someone else doing the work.

    All communication should now be in writing to build an evidence trail if needed. Do not focus on when he will start work but when he will finish. Ask him when he will finish the outstanding works: as an experienced tradesman he will know the time.

    essentially you need to get to the point where he says I will be done by a date and after that you can employ someone else due to breach of contract
  12. sld2012

    sld2012 Member

    His Original quote mentions he will be done before Christmas but then he had to go into isolation which i very much doubt he was infected with Covid. He seems to be stalling the work. How long can i stay without a finished kitchen as his reply about restarting workdoesnt seem too convincing. We have been exchanging texts via whatsapp so that i can have a record.
  13. jonathanc

    jonathanc Guest

    Honestly. It’s pointless asking him when he will start work. It is finishing work that matters. That is what you should be asking. If his reply is “I don’t know” then your reply is “ as a professional who understood the scope of work when you quoted I would expect you have a clear idea of the outstanding work and when it will be completed. If you cannot give a completion date then I assume you have not intention of completing. Please either give me a completion date or if you fail to I will be forced to find alternative contractors and recover any costs from you”
    sld2012 likes this.
  14. AndBlue

    AndBlue Member

    In part you sound like the client from hell as well as the carpenter being your neighbour there!!! Lots of expectations of the carpenter and et also a very fluid situation.
    Has he done a good job so far? if so, agree a time-rate to get the work completed, including snagging. Swallow the extra costs of the tiles. Do not deduct any money.
    You want to end up with a nicely installed kitchen and the carpenter wants a fair rate for the work he has done.
    Thats the balance.If the carpenter has done a naff installation, tell him that, give him one chance to fix things. Of just pay auto date for the work done and close the door on him and get someone else to finish things off. I can't see how you can deduct money at the end, if you have seen the quality of finish thats been going on from day one.
    This sounds like one of those cases where it could have all been done brilliantly and you would have a nice kitchen and he'd have a few quid in his pocket. Alas, that didn't happen and now you have to accept that without a contract its all about who said what to who.
  15. sld2012

    sld2012 Member

    Thanks, thats what i'm going to ask the next time he replies.
  16. sld2012

    sld2012 Member

    How am i a client from hell?

    if you read my previous posts you can tell the type of sub standard job he has done, for instance, dotting and dabbing the tiles, asking for more payment for replacing the larder unit which he installed despite me asking him to check if he can fix it first.
    jonathanc likes this.
  17. jonathanc

    jonathanc Guest

    you have demonstrated you have a contract in place. Fixed fee for fixed scope of work plus a couple of extras. Timescales are harder to enforce but the work needs to be done for the price quoted. That is not the client fron hell that is the customer expecting a contract to be fulfilled. Stand your ground firmly
    stevie22 and sld2012 like this.
  18. sld2012

    sld2012 Member

    Thanks for backing me up.
  19. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    I had it with a wet room, mother had lost her leg, and needed downstairs toilet and shower in a hurry ready for when she returned home, builder very aware of time limit, and we had rejected lower quotes because could not be finished on time.

    Main problem which we now know was he bought a load of out of date tile cement which was not drying, in the end we were forced to DIY except for fitting of lintel. But the job was then bigger that the original as had to remove his botched work, and well as fit new.

    I was only really worried about getting the wet room finished, but once panic over did try to get some money back, only to find builder had been taken to court by LABC and was now no longer trading. You can't get blood from a stone.

    So you need to decide, when to call it a day. To my mind the installer should provide all materials, there is no come back if you supply materials as always the installer says materials faulty, and the supplier says installer faulty, you have been lucky Wren have replaced it.

    Working on your own is hard, specially when use to working as a team, which is why when mothers house needed rewiring I used a large firm who could get in and out in a week.

    I would say get some one to give you a quote to take over the job, then make up your mind. You may have no option but stick with him, when we did the wet room we could not find anyone willing to take over the work, it was DIY or nothing. No good throwing him off the job if no one to replace him.
  20. sld2012

    sld2012 Member

    Hi MGW,
    Sorry to hear you were let down by your builder. I have someone coming over this week to quote me, he has already told me there's still a lot to be done as I had sent a list of things that need doing. Like yours mine might need to be ripped down too as the current fitter used the dot and dab tiling method. Will have to see if I can afford the new quote or might not have any option than to stick with my current fitter. His attitude and the way he speaks to us just stinks and we are finding it so stressful to even speak to him. Still waiting for him to reply to my last text. Will then take jonathanc's advice.

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