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Disagreement with builder.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by ladymarm, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. hello All,
    May be a daft place to ask this but i am trying not to cry and need some advice.
    Last Sept we had our house painted by a local builder. He did a fair job and so my inlaws who were living with us at the time asked him to do some work on the house they were buying in December. We asked him to quote us to redo our bathroom in the new year, he emailed a quote and we verbally accepted it back in dec , work to be done mid to end of Jan.
    He did a good job of plastering and decorating the inlaws house and they asked him if he sanded floors which he said he did. Anyway unfortunately he made a complete hash up of sanding the floors.It was total mess and the original floorboards are now uneven, patched with polyfilla. Awful job. They refused to pay him for the floor but paid for everything else. he was very threatening, upset them both, insisited on payment as he had spent two days sanding, made them feel uncomfortable in their own home. This went on for a couple of weeks. eventually he left with payment for the work they were happy with and none for the messed up floor.
    We heard nothing about the bathroom job and booked someone else to start on monday. i assumed that after the very bad experience with my OHs parents we would never see him again.
    On Friday night at midnight he emailed me to say he would like to start the job this Tuesday.i was shocked that he contacted us. I mailed back saying i'm sorry, we both work full time and that would never have been enough notice. I said we had heard nothing from you since DEC regarding dates and assumed he wasn't interested any more.
    He has just emailed to say i have broken a verbal contract and he will be seeking legal advice about how much money he can claim back from us.
    I'm 5 months pregnant, really tense anyway and now feel like bawling my eyes out. My OH will go nuts when he gets home and phone him up and swear at him i know. Have tried to ring the buiilder hopefully to have a rational conversation but feel a bit panicked. Help!
     
  2. hello All,
    May be a daft place to ask this but i am trying not to cry and need some advice.
    Last Sept we had our house painted by a local builder. He did a fair job and so my inlaws who were living with us at the time asked him to do some work on the house they were buying in December. We asked him to quote us to redo our bathroom in the new year, he emailed a quote and we verbally accepted it back in dec , work to be done mid to end of Jan.
    He did a good job of plastering and decorating the inlaws house and they asked him if he sanded floors which he said he did. Anyway unfortunately he made a complete hash up of sanding the floors.It was total mess and the original floorboards are now uneven, patched with polyfilla. Awful job. They refused to pay him for the floor but paid for everything else. he was very threatening, upset them both, insisited on payment as he had spent two days sanding, made them feel uncomfortable in their own home. This went on for a couple of weeks. eventually he left with payment for the work they were happy with and none for the messed up floor.
    We heard nothing about the bathroom job and booked someone else to start on monday. i assumed that after the very bad experience with my OHs parents we would never see him again.
    On Friday night at midnight he emailed me to say he would like to start the job this Tuesday.i was shocked that he contacted us. I mailed back saying i'm sorry, we both work full time and that would never have been enough notice. I said we had heard nothing from you since DEC regarding dates and assumed he wasn't interested any more.
    He has just emailed to say i have broken a verbal contract and he will be seeking legal advice about how much money he can claim back from us.
    I'm 5 months pregnant, really tense anyway and now feel like bawling my eyes out. My OH will go nuts when he gets home and phone him up and swear at him i know. Have tried to ring the buiilder hopefully to have a rational conversation but feel a bit panicked. Help!
     
  3. Did you reply to his email quote via email.? Whichever way, he does have a case as long as he can prove a verbal contract was agreed. You should have had the decency to contact him mid Jan and request a start date. Just hiring someone behind his back was a bit of a no no. If he can prove that he has spent money and time on acquiring materials for your job ,then you may well be liable. Put a call out for ExistentialTyke, he'll point you in the right direction.
     
  4. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

  5. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on...
    Sorry, couldn't resist!
    ((((((((ladymarm)))))))) to be honest he sounds a nasty piece of work- OR he's struggling in the current economic climate (which doesn't excuse threatening behaviour). i hope you get a satisfactory resolution one way or another.
    Isn't there a professional/trade body for builders, who could clarify who's right and who's wrong in this scenario?
     
  6. Thanks all.
    We have no agreement in writing. Ive been through all my emails. We agreed he'd do the work mid- end Jan whilst standing on our landing so no witnesses.
    He now wants to start 1st Feb which by my book isn't january.
    Don't know if that helps. i wish we'd rung him but we didn't and assumed wrongly he wanted nothing to do with the family again.
    Hate this worry :( 20 week scan tomorrow and just need to sleep tonight ...
     
  7. You've just admitted on here that you AGREED for him to do the work. Above everything else, where are your morals?
     
  8. Couldn't agree more!

     
  9. My morals are fine thanks. I have made a mistake in not contacting him to cancel this threatening man. As he didn't ring me to arrange a date to do the work plus details which had not yet been arranged ie tiles, showerscreen, which taps etc in early jan i assumed he didn't want the work.
    If you agree to do a job mid-late Jan then email onthe 29th asking to start on the 1st isn't this also breaknig a verbal agreeement?
    Ah well am talking to a solicitor later tonight. Thanks for the advice, supportive and otherwise!
     
  10. Nevermind where her morals are, where are HIS morals threatening a couple in their own home after HE did a hash job? Any decent builder would at that point either offer a) to put it all right free of charge or b) run off with their tail between their legs and no payment.
    I would also have assumed the work was not taking place after not hearing anything from him after that incident. It may have been more helpful to have rang him to clarify this straight away, but the OP obviously has alot else on her plate at the moment.

     
  11. It's damn close and seems quite reasonable that he propose it given your original agreement!
     
  12. But that incident involved different people who were only unhappy with part of his work.
     
  13. His verbal contract with you - which you agreed upon - has nothing to do with whether he botched up the sanding of your in-laws floor.
    Sorry, but I think he does have a case and I think you were a bit unwise to not check with him first before hiring someone else. As far as he was concerned - the agreement still stood as you did not call it off. Common DECENCY dictates that you call it off if no longer satisfied. And you WERE satisfied with all the other jobs he had done (bar the sanding). How was he supposed to second guess=
    You say he did all the other jobs well - so he messed one up. It happens.
    He has a living to make and he won't be earning a packet, believe me.
    I appreciate you are pregnant and could do without the hassle but hassle you have and it could have been avoided.


     

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