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Issues with the length of time a job is taking and financial concerns.

Hello all,

We are having some serious issues with the length of time our job is taking and we're not sure what to do next.

Our builder started work on our extension at the beginning of June. We're now more than 6 months later and we still don't have a roof on! The guy makes loads of excuses - or just doesn't turn up at all.

He's been useless in terms of organising the build. I had to organise the building inspector, scaffolding and we've ended up sorting out the supplies because he wasn't turning up because of issues like not being able to find bricks - strange because I found them at the building site 10 minutes from our house!

Tree stumps which we paid to have removed in June are still on our front drive and they are also leaving the site in a disgusting state - I've removed food and drink packaging half buried in wet cement from my front garden. They've also been pouring the left over mortar - some times entire wheelbarrows full - all over the front garden and have damaged the brand new fence in the process.

I've tried repeatedly to sort it out. I've sent him emails - which he won't reply to in writing. He says all the right stuff on the phone and then doesn't turn up again. He sent an email on the 3/10 saying that the walls would be finished in 3 days - we're over a month later and we're still not there.

We agreed to pay him in instalments - he has had the first two of those in full (the deposit of 8800 and the first payment of 8150) but then said he was unable to pay for materials. We discussed the issue with him and have subsequently paid for the majority of the blocks, joists and the roof (even though we shouldn't have done) just to try and keep the job moving. This has already eaten into the money he will get for completing the next part of the job - there is only about 1000 left of that payment which would have been 8150.

We found out this week that he hasn't paid the guy he has working on our site and hasn't done so for months!

I have no idea how he has spent our money, he refuses to give a date to complete the work. I feel responsible for not putting a completion date into the contract. The whole situation is making me and my family miserable. We don't know what to do. I want to find someone else to complete the work because I don't trust him anymore. He's not engaging with me in any way and seems to be suggesting that this is our fault - that our expectations for the speed of the work are too high. I've been assured that they're not and the walls should have taken a month at most (it's been 4).

What can I do to either get him to finish the work in a timely way or replace him? Can I do either without breaching the contract?

Thanks all.

4 Answers from MyBuilder Extension Builders

Best Answer

Hi ya
This project should be finished by now. I would look into taking him to small claims court. Specially as you have had to pay for materials as well as paying him.

Thanks Ben


Answered 14th Nov 2020

It is impossible to advise without seeing the contract. I would be surprised if he hasn’t already breached it.
There are some things that don’t need to be in writing.
Have a read through these. I think you would very easily pass as reasonable in any test.
If he promised something in 3days and didn’t do it, that is a starting point.

Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977
Consumer Rights Act 2015
Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982


Answered 14th Nov 2020

Wow, what a mess.
I’d enquire with your local planning or building control office, see if they can enforce him to get things in order and back on track. You surely must have had two inspections so far? (Foundations & DPc/drains). Or seek advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
I’d throw him off the job with NO further payments. Any unopened building materials, timber etc could be taken back for a refund. A handling charge will be applied though for this. Or keep it all covered over for a proper building company to use.
The best of luck seriously


Answered 14th Nov 2020

You need to formally put him on notice that if the work is not completed to a certain point by a chosen date then your arrangement with him will be ended. Give this to him in writing and state clearly that if this is not followed through you will hire someone else to finish the job and will look to recoup the cost from him.


Answered 23rd Nov 2020

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