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Bathroom Fitting

Bathroom refit with awkward finish ... well almost finished


We commissioned a builder to redo our bathroom entirely -- new tiles, shower, bath, everything.

We got a quote for the job which came in at just under 5k. We supplied the tiles and bathroom fittings in addition to this, so the quote was labour to refit, cart away all rubbish and make everything good. We assumed this was a "fixed price no matter what" arrangement.

There were a few "snags" along the way when they tried to figure out how the new plumbing should go for the new design. They explained their frustrations each day, and due to a lack of progress clear to see, this resulted in several extra unplanned days on the job for them. Apparently this also cost material as they wasted plumbing supplies on failed attempts at the fit - or so they told me.

Anyway, towards the end of the job a final call for funds was issued with an additional 2,500 for "extra work". It felt outrageous at the time, so we confronted him about it and got it reduced to 1,250.

We have yet to hand over this extra because he has since moved on to other jobs and has still left some of his buckets and rubbish behind. I have also now realized that the underfloor heating that we had him install actually doesn't do anything. None of the tiles heat up at all. I have asked him a week ago now to come back and clean up the remaining things and take a look at the heating but haven't heard anything.

I really want to tell him to either come back within the week, or forfeit the remaining money and I'll do what I can from here. Would I be within my rights to do this? Would it be unfair to him?

Extra details
1. We were firstly quoted almost 10K for the fit by someone who had done previous work here, so thought we were getting a good deal at 5K!
2. Natural marble tiles, so assume that costs more to install
3. It is a flat, top (4th floor) of a building
4. He travels 2 hours each way to get onsite, so probably factored fuel into the quote
5. He was onsite for about 17 days. Quote said he expected to take about 8.
6. Bathroom is 2x8x3
7. Previous configuration was standin bath/shower. New is whirlpool bath and separate shower
8. Black and white grout used. He kept making the point about how messy and difficult the black was to work with
9. He did take down the false wall in the bathroom to expose plumbing, put up new backing board to tile over
10. Moved the washing machine from kitchen to utility cupboard, a of new plumbing too
11. When pulling up the floor he was surprised at how little room there was to work with for piping. I believe this is where he lost time and had to experiment with plumbers.
12. Unfortunately we had two incidents of flooding to downstairs 1) water spilled when moving washing machine 2) Shower not hooked up properly initially. Bit annoyed that he didn't take ownership of these. Fortunately no extra cost to us

Does any of this change anyone's opinion? As I said, the last thing I want to be is unfair.

4 Answers from MyBuilder Bathroom Fitters

Best Answer

unless he removed any walls etc I think you have been well ripped off at 5k and certainly would not pay him any extra, have a word with your local trading standards or citizens advice , they will advise you, regards terry.if he expected to be finished in 8 days then he seriously underestimated the work,even so 5k for 8 days?.it is quite normal to find hidden problems you have to grin+bear these and get on with it,as has been said DO NOT FEEL SORRY FOR THIS ROBBER, just hope it all turns out right and you are happy with the result


Answered 18th Sep 2012

Your being robbed!!! As mentioned above the underfloor does not work. The only way to rectify, if he has messed it up, is to take up the floor and do again.
Any-way why employ a plumber who is 2hrs away ? He isnt even cheap,does a bum job and leaves you in the lurch. GREAT!!


Answered 18th Sep 2012

I recently charged a cusotmer 4.5k but installed a wet room to a very very high spec, they supplied fittings and tiles , I supplied circa 170 hours work ( all trades ) over 10 days, breaks down to around 2 men a day give or take from rip Out to empty shell to full install of wet room the correct way. my earring were close to £1k for this whole effort, and high standard of work.... You must check your detailed quote, see what was described , what wasn't ( I'm my case there's not much not included. ) and take it from there, follow procedures etc etc, get quotes to put right his work and counter claim?


Answered 20th Sep 2012

5k for a bathroom fit!!
Either you have a massive bathroom or you have been well ripped off.
I would tell this joker where to stick the rest of his money.
£2500 in extra labour that's 2 1/2 weeks pay for a top notch bathroom fitter.
You don't say what the quality of finish is like.
the fact the underfloor heating is not working says it all no wonder he's not come back.
Think you have seen the last of him.
Regards and good luck
With ref to your edited question
8 days to complete the bathroom what is he thinking.
The fact he's traveling for 4 hours a day is abit alarming
You don't say weather the quality of the finish is up to a high standard or not.
At the end of the day he is still charging you £6250 for just over three weeks work for a bathroom where the under floor heating doesn't work!!
As for charging the customer for "wasted materials" thats just wrong if a tradesman makes a mistake he must foot the bill to sort it.
Some times jobs throw up unexpected extras that nobody can quote for but it's up to the tradesman to let customer know at the time the problem arises and let the customer know of any extra costs,delays etc..
Best of luck


Answered 18th Sep 2012

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