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How do i get the builder to finish the work?

I hired a builder after getting quotes from several builders to build an extension to the front and rear of my house. I have a contract with the builder that details the agreed start and finish date, the total cost and payment schedule, etc.
The builder quote was based on an architects drawings, which I had produced when I was planning the extension.
The work was going to be done in 12 weeks, the builder assured me its an 8 weeks job but his company always add some time when quoted for contingency, which I was happy with.
Work started at the beginning of May as agreed, but it's still ongoing. It has now taken over 26 weeks and the job hasn't been completed yet. I have had one excuse after another for why he was not on site and why the work isn't progressing.
At the beginning of September he claimed that his plumber has let him down and wasn't turning up as agreed to do the work and that was delaying completion. So I got a plumber that can do the work through a recommendation from friends and neighbours. But the builder claimed the plumber wasn't getting the work done correctly and let him go and put the pipework in himself but its not fully connected or the rest of the plumbing completed.
I am getting the heating pipe extensions done by a qualified friend since the pipes the builder installed weren't done correctly (plastic pipes to go underfloor without any cover sleeves to protect it or no junction boxes to protect and allow future access to the connections).
I have paid 90% of the cost so far and I am increasingly getting concerned that the builder is trying to cut cost and not doing the quality work expected in addition to being significantly late.
I have had the Architect that did the drawings to come and survey the work done so far and he has found several things that needed to be corrected as well as a huge list of unfinished work.
what are my options? what can I do to get the job done properly and completed quickly?

Thank you so much for your responses.
My contract has a penalty clause which states if the builder fails to complete on the agreed date I can give notice and get another builder to finish the work at his cost (or something to that effect).
I contacted Citizens Advice in August, at the time they advised that I work with the builder for as long as possible as I have already paid 90% of the cost and going court wouldn't guarantee I get the money back. However, I am now at the stage where I have lost any faith that the builder will finish the work anytime soon. I want to give notice to the builder and get someone else to finish it, but I don't know how to get other builders interested in a job that has already been started.

Update 09/11/2020:
Thank you so much to you all for your sound advice. I have posted the issue on here and I have been contacted by few builders that are interested in helping. Wish me luck

5 Answers from MyBuilder Extension Builders

Best Answer

Does your contract include any retention or penalty clause? They would be the normal way of sorting this out.
Contact Citizens Advice and a solicitor.

Give them a sob story and tell them how much you need someone to help you out. Everyone likes to feel they are helping someone in need. They’ll probably make a point of being really good in comparison to the previous one too.


Answered 4th Nov 2020

Unfortunately there are people out there claiming to be builders that are not.
The chances are sounds like he either quoted the job to cheaply just to win it, spent the money or just simply trying his luck to get as much of the cash out of you before hoping that you get rid of him .
A lot of builders wont want to finish off a project that has already been started, and dosent sound that the work has been done to a great standard.
And you will probably find that you will be paying a premium for a good builder to take over this project and probably be correcting mistakes as well as completing your project .
The only other advise I would give is yes price is important but also asking to new their last project because as any builder knows you are only as good as your last job.
As far as the sob story I cant imagine that no matter how sympathetic I would be knowing your circumstances a fair cost is the cost
Materials still cost the same and so does the labour
Hopefully you can now get a good recommended builder
Kind regards


Answered 30th Nov 2020

Always hold stage payments back until the work is done completely and finished off properly and within the timescale if this does not happen then your only option is to get someone else in which this case may cost more money sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get someone else to do the job


Answered 4th Nov 2020

Hi, obviously agreed stage payments are the way to go. But unfortunately this does not look like an option for you.
You really do not have much choice but to get another builder in to complete the works.
I would suggest you meet the new builder with yourself and your architect to plan a way forward for the works outstanding and payments.
You could report the builder to trading standards they may already be known to them.

I think if you have the architect with you it will add confidence with trying to get another builder involved as hard as that may be.


Answered 4th Nov 2020

Such a shame, we feel for you. Since you have paid 90% I would not pay anything more until the matter is resolved. An independent experienced builder should be able to help you resolve the dispute, acting as a dispute resolution intermediary. But only when the other party is willing to help you resolve the matter. Unfortunately some builders give true professionals a bad name. Other than that its a small claims court matter.


Answered 9th Dec 2022

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