Patio Nightmare…

Discussion in 'Landscaping and Outdoors' started by SniperHC, Oct 3, 2021.

  1. SniperHC

    SniperHC New Member

    Hi All,

    New to the community and looking for some advice following a shoddy landscaping job which is starting to cause issues I can no longer ignore.

    long story short, a few months ago a landscaper laid me approx 70sqm of limestone paving (membrane, compacted type 1 base, full mortar bed, joint-it simple brush in grout). The ground in this area is largely clay. The job did not go smoothly from the get go with the guy hardly turning up and rushing/being sloppy when he did. When I challenged him about workmanship and some corners I’d found that he’d cut he got super aggressive and started sending threats to smash up all the work/my property if I didn’t pay him so the police had to be called. It was a really unpleasant and stressful time so to be shot of him I offered a lower amount of the agreed total payment which he accepted, he also got a warning from the police. He is insured and his work ‘guaranteed’ but when I asked for details of both he refused to supply.

    Now that a few months have passed my fears seem to be confirmed. Many slabs sound hollow when knocked, some are loose, the pointing in areas is cracking and coming away from slabs indicating movement/insufficient sub base. I dread to think how things might look next year after we’ve seen the winter through.

    I’m at a bit of a loss over what to do after investing a lot in the job. Not sure whether to focus my energy on just relaying loose slabs/repointing areas and hoping for the best (albeit I expect slabs will break when I try to lift them to do this as the did for him whenever he tried), investigating further with another contractor, pursuing this guy through legal channels to try and get some money back etc. I have thought about emailing him with photos to at least document the failings, however I can’t imagine it will end well based on his aggressive nature.

    Any advice or similar personal experiences would be welcomed. Wishing I’d just done the b****y job myself!
  2. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    It’s always saddening to read things like this. I appreciate that it probably won’t be any form of consolation - but for every 1 like this, there are 999 other lads/firms who will take pride in what they do, who will deliver exactly what they should - and whose work comes almost exclusively from customer recommendations. It’s awful for you.

    1 - Take pictures of all the shoddiness. Compile a letter outlining everything you’re not happy with and include the pictures. State that you give your contractor 28 days to put things right to your satisfaction, and also state that he fails to comply, you will place the matter in the hands of your solicitor.

    2 - When he fails to comply (as he most likely will) - file a claim in the small claims court. It’s quick, cheap and easy to do.

    3 - Write a letter to your local Trading Standards office. Outline everything, especially the police involvement, and request a suitable investigation. If he’s done this to you, it’s probably not the first time he’s done it.

    I appreciate that it’s all unpleasant and confrontational - but stay firm and focused, and don’t allow yourself to be intimidated under any circumstances. Try to detach yourself emotionally from the whole experience, and focus solely on the fact that you’ve paid out a lot of money for something which hasn’t been delivered.

    Hope you get the result you deserve.
    SniperHC likes this.
  3. SniperHC

    SniperHC New Member

    Thanks for your reply woodbutcherbower, really appreciate your practical advice. I’m gutted as we thought we’d done our homework on this guy/his company and the work he’s done for us seems to have little resemblance to any of his other work published online (perhaps he’s selective on what he posts!) Throughout the job he complained about the limestone saying he’s used to sandstone. He also did some oak sleeper work for us which was pretty disastrous as he had no clue how to handle it in comparison to softwood. The final straw was him bringing several of his young children on to site whilst landscaping (one was not even 2 years old!) which we couldn’t accept and was not safe.

    I’m concerned that the fact I’ve paid him a ‘completion payment’ lower than the quote (which he accepted) will work against me and limit my ability to take anything further? That being said, the slabs weren’t loose then and cracks hadn’t yet appeared, the lower amount was mainly due to a poor finish and wasted materials due to breakages. I paid him to be rid of him and his constant threats of coming to smash up our property, particularly as we have a small child and another due very soon which was understandably causing major security worries for us.

    Would love to see some justice done, I sadly wouldn’t put it past him or one of his ‘associates’ to follow through on any of the threats.
  4. furious_customer

    furious_customer Screwfix Select

    Does he have a fixed address?
  5. SniperHC

    SniperHC New Member

    Hi furious_customer. Yes, he does, business registered there too.
  6. furious_customer

    furious_customer Screwfix Select

    Have you seen it? Only asking because I often pass a traveller camp and there are lots of very legitimate looking vans parked outside of it with addresses printed on the side and city center phone numbers too.
  7. SniperHC

    SniperHC New Member

    Yes I have. Fixed address, wife has respectable job, kids at their local school and nursery. Fairly popular landscaper, not on check a trade but has a good social media following and all work local. Either there are a load of disgruntled customers who you don’t hear about (and with the threats we’ve had I can quite imagine people are reluctant to review negatively) or we are just very very unlucky on this occasion.

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