Ask a Tradesman
Bathroom Fitting Question
What is fair and reasonable?
I have had a small bathroom fully refitted, with fairly straightforward swaps - just the WC moved by 90 degrees and the old radiator replaced with a tower rail (similar position).
The work also involved breaking into an adjacent cupboard and reclaiming a small amount of space from the kitchen next door (a 1m lintel had to be installed).
The builder quoted £4,200 and 2 1/2 weeks. Four weeks on, he has pretty much finished and while the building has been well executed, the tiling and decorating are mediocre at best.
We've already paid him £3,400 cash so far. He now wants the remaining £800 plus £440 extra because he says he unexpectedly had to deal with a lead pipe behind the WC.
Is this reasonable or would you expect to find that in a job of this type? The property is a ground floor flat in a 1930s mansion block.
Also, is it reasonable for us to withhold a small sum because the tiling and decorating is substandard? I don't really know whether £4,200 was a cheap quote - hence we should expect poor results.
The builder came through personal recommendation, not competitive bidding (big mistake...).
Update six months on:
Thank you for the answers. Sadly, the trader and I have been unable to come to an agreement. I did a lot of research into what would have been reasonable amounts to pay for the extra work he did, and offered to let him off some of the sub-standard work. He still refused my final offer and said he'd take me to court. It hasn't happened yet, although he's still got another 5 1/2 years to do so!
Meanwhile, I hired a couple of very good traders from this site who completed a few unfinished jobs and redid some of the very shoddy work the original guy had produced. So we do have a nice bathroom now, although it was a more painful and expensive process than it should have been.
if i got £440 for doing a lead pipe i would be singing in the bath and not having to rely on a Equitable life pension thats only worth the paper its written on.
You never know £440 could be his Xmas bonus.
Answered 22nd Dec 2012
He has quoted the job so he should expect to find little obstacles in his path that he can easily deal with.(especially at that price) plus what did this lead pipe do that had to be removed? I would defo keep monies back if your not happy with the finish, i always keep asking my customers if they are happy and satisfied with the work as i am progressing with the job.
Collum property services
Answered 11th Feb 2013