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How soon after completion do i have to make my final payment to my builder?

We are in the final stage of a six month two story side extension project. Relations went well at first, with a reasonable payment schedule, some extras quoted for and agreed as we went along, and some little things thrown in. Now we are at the snagging stage and have several issues.

A couple of the bathroom fittings we bought through a third party bathroom shop were faulty. The builder's plumber spent 4 hours trying to stop a faulty cistern from leaking. The builder now wants to charge us for this. Is this justified or can we say the plumber should have twigged earlier that the cistern was faulty?

In the course of the build, the cooker hood chimney had to be dismantled (unforeseen). The builder did not quote a cost for reinstating it, and we assumed it was thrown in for good will. It was reinstated. Now he clearly wants to include that labours and materials in his final account. Are we at his mercy as to what he charges for this?

Throughout the build the garden has been turned into a builder's yard. Understandable, but a largish area is not going recover, ever, without some serious roatavting and reseeding. Where the concrete mixer stood, concerte has sloshed out and covered an area 1 metre square. Are we justified in insisting he digs up the concrete and rotavates the worst bits of the lawn?

The original contract allowed for removing some decking, as the extension was slightly larger than the conservatory which stood there before. The contract also allowed for restoring the decking around the new footprint. Early on in the process the builder said that the state of the decking timber and the way it had originally been constructed wasn't good enough for him to do this. He agreed to refund the money allowed for this, but the amount is not specified in the contract. We suspect he will underprice that refund. Are we justified in requiring him to stick to the original contract and reinstate the decking, even if it means supplying new timber, and him creating better footings?

The original contract also specified moving the conservatory from the side to the rear of the house. The builder was confident he could do this and the glazing firm he subcontracted also came round and measured up. Once work had commenced, however, the ground levels meant that reinstating the conservatory as it was would have jeopardised the foundations of the main house. We agreed an alternative level which involved us paying for a new roof at a cost of £5000. We swallowed this at the time, despite feeling that he and or the glaziers should have taken responsibility for saying they could do it.

The builder says he expects to complete the project by the end of this week and will present his final account then. How long can I reasonably delay payment while we haggle over these issues?

Advice on any or all of these points gratefully received!

3 Answers from MyBuilder Extension Builders

Best Answer

not sure how a conservatory would undermine your house foundations,as for the cistern unfortunately i would charge you again to re-fit, find the problem as i had not supplied it,as in regards to the garden /decking it should be left how it was found,you need to write a snagging list and hold payment for as long as you want until you are happy,


Answered 2nd Nov 2011

It seems you have had quite a distressful time.

Usually, full payment us dye on completion and once all certificates are handed over however this can vary depending on initial agreement made with the builder.

If you have supplied a faulty cistern then the builder does have a right to claim the time spent on finding a fault but a good plumber should not have taken 4 hrs to determine the fault.

Once the builder has adhered to his contact and completed all works and restored any damage then payment can be made.

We hope this has helped


Answered 2nd Nov 2011

about the only things wrong are the cooker chimney hood, that you should have agreed a price for, the bathroon cystern should have been priced and he should at least clean the area where the mixer has been

the decking issue has been sorted if you had wanted him to install new footings this should have been discussed at the time not at the end of the job.although a price for doing the decking should have been agreed

as far as i can see from your letter everything else you have agreed to, although you now feel you are being hard done to and are trying to haggle over the final bill

youve have had 6mth to raise any issues you felt unhappy with

do you have the fund to complete the project ?


Answered 2nd Nov 2011

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