Bricklaying Question

How can i get my money from ex-best friend builder?

My best friend is a builder. We asked him to build us an extension as a favour... He gave me a rough price and started work. It's been a difficult project because we did not get planning permission and to be honest we decided to put in for it after it was done if need be. Silly I know. Anyway he has built a lot of this extension but due to problems with the elderly neighbour we have had to halt the job and get planning involved. My friend in the mean time has got a new job and will not come back and finish the job he has started. I have paid him cash on all occasions. I have no receipts, no breakdown of costs and no contracts. He said we owe him money as he is out of pocket but we believe he should have enough to finish this job. We have asked for receipts etc but he won't play ball.... I also think he paid his two helpers cash... What can we do? Our friendship is over and we are out of pocket with a building site in our garden.

2 Answers

Best Answer

Oh dear, where to start!!

This so called friend of yours can't be much of a builder if he advised you to get cracking on an extension without planning permission. You were doomed from the start! It sounds like he was short of work and used you to fill a gap until something else came along.

You don't have a leg to stand on to be honest. I would also suggest that you get the work checked that has already been done as my guess is its utter rubbish if this is the way he conducts business. Normally these guys take shortcuts beyond belief and as he has just carried the work out off his own back and had no inspections from building control I am pretty certain there will be problems!!

Live and learn.

Answered 14th Oct 2013

R.Hughes Building and Conservation Ltd

Member since 25 Feb 2009


This is what I call the favour trap.

You thought you were doing him a favour when he was out of work, he thought he was doing you a favour by doing the work cheaply.

The problem with that type of relationship...where both sides feel that the other side owes them something for their gesture... is that it always, always end in tears.

Problems with the elderly neighbour did not stop the build, problems with the house owners not having planning permission stopped the build.

You have got what you paid for, nothing more, nothing less. You can't possibly believe that you have got a certain part of the whole job, when you do not even know what the whole job was. To throw away a friendship without knowing that, is brutal.

The only sad thing here is that you have lost a friend, the rest is just money that you may have thrown away because you did not do the right thing. The right thing being, specification, quotation, planning, contracts. I work with my best mates all day every day, but business is business and there are no shortcuts that are worth any friendship.

Sorry couldn't help any further

Answered 15th Oct 2013


Member since 4 Oct 2013

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