Sash window restoration - Windows job in Streatham Hill, South London

Job description

Refurbishment of five sash windows, 4 medium sized (approx 3.5' by 4.5') and one small (approx 2.5' by 4'). The windows are not in particularly bad condition, but:
- all 5 are draughty and rattly and need draught-lining with a brush pile system;
- 4 have small sections of rotten timber at the base of the lower sash that need repair with epoxy resin;
- 2 need rebalancing/planing because of gaps at the top/bottom when closed;
- 1 needs a new set of pulleys; and
- all 5 need new (polished brass) window furniture.

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Feedback for D&L Builders

My “job” involved the thorough overhaul and refurbishment (including the installation of hidden brush-pile draught-lining strips) of 5 sash windows. I had almost decided to give this job to Ventrolla, but - having discovered the MyBuilder.com website and posted the job on it - I decided to give it to Mr Budden instead, for two reasons: (a) his quote was substantially lower, with no VAT on top, and (b) his profile indicated that he had several decades’ experience in carpentry and joinery, which I thought meant he would do a good job.

I now deeply regret not having given the job to Ventrolla, because I have had a plethora of problems with the job Mr Budden did on my windows :

(1) to begin with, he did not start work on 31 July as promised, but 2 days later (he claimed to have had an accident with his van which I believed at the time, but now I’m not so sure);

(2) he squeezed the job into 1½ days, instead of the roughly 2½ days which he told me it would take to do the job properly when he came to view the windows;

(3) the repairs (with wood or epoxy resin) which he undertook to make to the small sections of rotten wood in the lower sashes of 4 windows were not done at all;

(4) one of the brush-pile draught-lining strips which he installed has already fallen off, and several others are loose - clearly none of these were securely pinned as they should have been;

(5) one upper sash which opened easily before now will not open at all;

(6) two of the Brighton fasteners he installed have defective threads - one is unusable, and the other will not move more than a few turns;

(7) when I agreed - entirely at his urging - to do without the restrictor bolts I had initially wanted, he only reduced his quote by £34, rather than nearly £60 (i.e. one third of the £175 I was due to pay for Brighton fasteners + restrictor bolts + finger lifts) as he should have done;

(8) nearly 2 months after he was paid in full (I gave him a cheque on 3 August when he left the site, which was cashed on 6 August), he still hasn’t given me the 10 year transferable guarantee which he promised, or even a receipt;

(9) I sent Mr Budden several emails and one SMS, over a period of about 1½ months, asking him to sort out these problems, all of which were ignored;

(10) he did eventually contact me about a week ago, and promised then that he would send the missing receipt & guarantee in a couple of days, and "definitely" sort out all the problems with my windows by no later than the end of last week. We agreed that he would come last Friday (19.9) to do the work, but (a) he never turned up, and (b) didn't even bother to ring to let me know he wasn’t coming (I waited in all day), much less try to arrange another date;

(11) I STILL haven’t got the missing receipt & guarantee.

These are exactly the sort of ghastly “take the money and run” problems which I had hoped to avoid by going through the MyBuilder.com site, but unfortunately I engaged Mr Budden to do my job, so I’ve encountered them anyway.

Based on my experience I certainly would NOT recommend Mr Budden to anyone else - I have found him to be highly unreliable (particularly so when he starts sentences with "to be honest with you”), and to do shoddy work. I suspect that the last is not because he isn’t capable of doing good work, but because he has taken on far too much work lately, and is cutting a lot of corners as a result. That, however, in no way relieves him of responsibility for all the problems he’s left me with, or alter the fact that he has let me down very badly