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Landscape Gardening

Please help me get out of trouble - landscaping project

Please kindly help point me the right direction, your comments are highly appreciated.

I moved into a new build development with bare garden. A colleague recommended me a guy so I checked with him too. The guy came and quoted at a very competitive price, he seemed genuine and polite so after a few rounds of emails back and forth, I decided to pay deposit done. (there is only a quotation, no formal contract).

My project is 6*6 sqm of pavement and the rest is turfing.

day 1, his guy only came to manually remove some top soil and put some hardcore down quickly. 2-3 hrs job done
day 2, he and his guy came for one hour to compact the hardcore. I did question about not enough hardcore was put down, the answer I got is it is light use so 2-3cm is enough, maybe some more later..
they came 3 days later.
day 3, full day paving, with only a spirit level, no strings or anything to control levelling.
A few days after
day 4, seal the joints with resin. 2 hrs max.
Job done!

Then I noticed the patio looks strange! There is a big raise up to a corner and the answer was due to my ground condition.However, I showed them the photos of original paving and it was all the way along below 2 brick course. Also,the elevation map from the building site shows the area is flat so the raise was caused by their poor workmanship!

After I did the research online I found what they did was wrong:
1. Patio needs to be 15cm below DPC, some areas that the paving goes all the way up to DPC, this is breaching building regulation.
2. Not leaving enough gap to avoid rain splashback. Some gap were left to only 1-2cm, they were not even bothered to cut a single slab to make enough gap between the walls!
3. Patio should be leveled or slope away from my house, not all the way slope towards my house, If it has to s, there should be some draining system in place, otherwise water can go nowhere but damaging my house.

Given these issues found, I asked the guy to rectify his job, he initially said I had to pay extra I refused, he accepted to redo it from scratch.

The second time he hired a digger and dug about 10-20cm, and poured some hardcore in, however he also put back some dirts he has dug out claiming that it was too much digging, I told him that 300mm below surface it was compacted clay done by developer, unless he has touched that base, how can he say he dug too much? His answer is rather vague and now the majority of the area is boggy and digging 10cm will form a pond of water.

He wanted the water to go naturally before he can compact hardcore. My point is, he hasn’t done enough digging.

I don’t think I could trust him on getting the job done properly so I wanna cancel his job. I would like to know what would be my right? Can I claim back what I have paid him partially or rather lose it? In this situation, what would be the best solution for water to drain and to have solid subbase?

Thank you

4 Answers from MyBuilder Landscape Gardeners

Best Answer


firstly I am sorry to hear that you have had such a bad experience, there are some rogues out there, which brings me onto my second point. DO NOT allow this man to continue carrying out works without him specifying exactly what he intends to do (personally I would not allow him to do another thing as he has already proven that he is incompetent). Be sure to get all further correspondents in writing.

Under the Consumer Rights Act, any building work should:

Be carried out with reasonable care and skill. (this is measured not by perfection but by what a reasonably competent contractor would do)
Be completed within a reasonable/agreed time frame.
Use materials that are of satisfactory quality and fit for their purpose.

I hope this helps and good luck


Answered 3rd May 2018

1)Be reasonably care an skill.
2)Complete the job's within a reasonable agreed time to finishing off.
3)Use the materials that are of satisfactory quality and fit for their purpose.
4)Try to be there on time, making happy costumer, stop make delay by the Man.
5)Try to leave the site job tidy an cleaner before you leave the site.

I hope this is helps you!
Thank you!


Answered 19th Jan 2019

hi and sorry to here about you're bad experience in what has happened.first of no upfront payments at all this is one of the big issues we are having in all trades it opens the door for problems.2 every job needs to be written and explained in what is to be done in detail so you have a better understanding in what to expect in whats to be done.last but least do some research in who you are you a idea in what they can do has a team . thanks hope this helps


Answered 2nd Feb 2019

Wow I really don’t know how people like this make a living, you have a right to kick anyone off your property at anytime.

If you take him to the small claims court I’m sure you will get your money back.


Answered 13th Jun 2019

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