Ask a tradesman


Builders progress, costs and reliability

Good morning all.
Im having an small extension built 2.5m x 2.5m (ground floor cloakroom with toilet). Job been going 4 weeks, footings, walls up, lintells in and part drainage. No door or window fitted yet, no floor, no roof. I am doing part payments and have paid £5000 so far. Is this about the right speed and cost? Where do I stand if I'm not happy with the progress and he is now stating there could be extra costs. He hasnt shown up again today and he sets deadlines but has failed to keep one.
Can I look for another builder and what would the likely hood of one taking the project on?
Many thanks for any advice on this as I'm losing patience fast with him.

2 Answers from MyBuilder Extension Builders

The issues you describe are sadly common within the industry and the solution once in it are not easy.

You are in contract with your builder and he with you. You don't say its a formal agreement so assuming its a simple quote and acceptance. Be careful about kicking your builder off, he has the write to sue for damages. You have rights as well but have to prove that he is not conforming with the terms of your contract and being slow is not a reason to "determine" the contract. Its not always easy to find a new builder, we don't like finishing other peoples work and from my experience the clients are not always easy, because by then they have had such a bad experience they don't trust any builder.

So my advice is to stick with it but collect evidence.
Get a written programme from the builder. If he gives it verbally then confirm the dates given back to him by letter or email. If the dates are not hit, then keep a record and refer back to this in writing. If you do get to the point where you wish to end the contract I suggest you take advice from an architect or building surveyor at this stage.

Keep a substantial payment until completion, decent builder knows this is your safety net. Don't withheld payments unreasonably though, it starts to ring alarm bells with a builder about your trustworthiness. Perhaps agree up front when you will pay so its clear.

Most jobs have some variations, but a builder will need to justify why his original contract did not cover the items and give a labour and materials breakdown if requested. One line quotations are the most difficult to deal with, but bear in mind this leaves the builder just as much exposed as the client. EG Build one extension 10k - just keep asking why it was not included originally as would reasonably expected. By the same respects REASONABLE is the key.

I know its hard when its your home, but try and be patient. Better 4 weeks later than you expected than a 5 yr court battle with costs exceeding the original claim. Keep the dialogue going, you may be really annoyed and its ok to say so, then stick to the facts.

Hope this helps.


Answered 22nd Feb 2016

always agree a two week valuation and hold back 5 per cent from payments any extras should be agreed in writing and verified you should beware of dismissing builders unless you have professional advise as to your rights most situations can be sorted out by a good meeting


Answered 19th Mar 2017

Post your job to find high quality tradesmen and get free quotes

Can’t find an answer? Ask a new question

Question Categories