ADVICE PLEASE ON BOTCH JOB


Postby alison1971 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:59 pm

Ok, I feel I have been unlucky, but really strangely niave whilst doing my house up.
I am actually really surprised, as I am normally well 'on the ball' and ready for anything, but as in alot of cases I wasn't able to spend 24/7 with the workers I employed to do the house refurb, and now I am having problems....

Details;
I employed a handyman instead of a fully flegded builder, as theer was alot of work to be done, but done so structural. Though I did obviousley get a gas safe plumber in for heating and plumbing etc.

The handyman came with his own recommendations that he was a maintenace man for a property company, he was absolutely adamant that he could successfully do the jobs I required and easily within budget.
The guy, started well, but things started to go sloppy when in my opinion maybe teh jobs were to much for him, and he was doing jobs he literally couldnt do, yet wouldnt and didnt tell me, he botched his way through job after job covering the botch ups up as he went, and as i was living 30miles away with my two kids, couldnt be there on site at all times, though I hasten to say I was there every day and for long periods. Still he made hash after hash on my behalf.
Anyway, this started last june, he finished in september and we moved in in october ish, but straight away things began to go wrong, and basically the only things that stayed ok in teh house have been the things that this guy didnt touch -
tiles started parting company fom bathroom walls;
Bath tiles applied so bad as soon as water went in bath the seal would break, and a 'boxed in' sink and loo that upsets me just to look at it, so badly done that one other guy thought a child had done it - I paid him money, cash and cheques, he gave me receipts etc, and he made me feel uncomfortable in my own house whilst he 'worked', I was made to feel an intruder in my own house and that he thought he was in control of the job not me, and because I was straight out of a relationship breakup, I wasnt able to deal with it or see it either -

Now, my eyes are wide open, my head is sorted and I am very annoyed at myself and him for me now having zero monies left, and a botch job, particularly my bathroom, and i cannot afford now even a days pay to a decent builder to redo teh unsightly boxed in sink and toilet -
What can I do??
I have complained to this guy about the bath tiles, he came back yesterday, he redid them - and guess what, theyre so uneven its unreal, my brand new taps were coated in adhesive and if anyonesaw the tiling they would be guaranteed a good shock, its bad!
Now i have told him how bad the boxing in is, even he sort of admits its awful, ive been blunt and direct, and he says yes, he'll be back in a week and a halfs time to redo it, this is what worried me, he can't do good work, thats obvious, he cracks things, scrapes things, burns tiles, breaks things, and thats just 4 starters, it scares me, this is my home, not a building yard now, and hes a botcher, what can i do?? Where do i stand?? Hes redone one job yesterday and made a hash, i cant afford another tradesman, im broke, hes had every penny i had, and more, i feel he owes me at least the cost of a real tradesman to put right the boxing in? Can i demand money back to pay someone else?
Help please, i cant afford the costs and the boxing in is actually sharp and a danger, and i have a two year old.

Thanks
Alison
alison1971
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:03 am

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Postby brickpat » Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:11 pm

Alison get a free estimate from another builder then show it to that cowboy and tell him you want all the work that he screwed up redone but not by him he has to get a builder who knows what his doing,or you want the money you paid him refunded to you.He has a choice the chances he will not accept eather of them tell him you have taken legal advice and you will take him to the small claims court to get your money back,again the chances are he is probable on the dole,also tell him you have called the TV show "Watch Dog" this will worry him good,go for it Alison.
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Postby alison1971 » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:56 pm

My letter to my cowboy is typed and ready to be printed, I feel I cannot let this matter drop.....
Since posting my message on here I have had even more trouble with him -
Geez...
I got him back to redo some badly fitted tiles around my bath upstairs, he agreed they were fit bad, and agreed to come back, and so he did, so last tues he turned up and redid(badly) the tiles...but...
By the following day my teenage daughter flushed out loo upstairs, we have a maserator attached to it, and it was blocked...I couldnt understand it, all was fine with the loo the day before, anyway teh plumber came out again, he was confused as the loo had been the only thing ok in the bathroom, anyway, with abit of workin out we came to decision that it may have been tampered with, the reasonably expensive piece of bathroom equipment was 'knackered' -someone ''may'' have sabotaged it...erm wonder who that was, afterall the onlt people in there was my daughter, myself and a cowboy builder with a serious bad attitude whom used very bad language when approached about a leak he caused me with my electric shower that wasnt fitted properly...and this isnt teh first sabotage attempt i have had..
someone loosened the bath trap, causing a small leak and stain appearing in the lounge, fortunately it wa seen and dealy with before bath was ever used as a bath.
someone took, unscrewed a bracket off the maserator pipe making the vibration of the maserator loosen and leak.
Someone used no fittings other than forcing a roughly hack sawed off pipe into an electric shower - again causing a leak to run and soak a false wall and give me yet again another nice damp patch on lounge ceiling.
This guy wants naming and shaming, but im unsure i can do this, so i wouldnt mention names, but he is getting a letter in the post, again by recorded delivery, if i get no joy from him i will be again informing him of my intentions to have a lil chat with the inland revenue re cash in hand wages.
I intend to not let this drop, although my mum thinks i should cut my losses and put it behind me -
but how can i whne it is still causing me hassle?
alison1971
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:03 am


Postby alison1971 » Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:18 pm

[quote="brickpat"]Alison get a free estimate from another builder then show it to that cowboy and tell him you want all the work that he screwed up redone but not by him he has to get a builder who knows what his doing,or you want the money you paid him refunded to you.He has a choice the chances he will not accept eather of them tell him you have taken legal advice and you will take him to the small claims court to get your money back,again the chances are he is probable on the dole,also tell him you have called the TV show "Watch Dog" this will worry him good,go for it Alison.[/quote]



A letter has been typed already and ready for printing, I refuse to let this matter drop, its the damn principle, and although everyone keeps telling me i wont gain anything from sending a letter - my answer is short - i definately wont gain anything not even self respect if i dont send one - this cowboy will be receiving his second letter. Thanks for your advice , believe me, it has been read and noted.
alison1971
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:03 am


Postby marconii » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:36 pm

[quote="alison1971"]My letter to my cowboy is typed and ready to be printed, I feel I cannot let this matter drop.....
Since posting my message on here I have had even more trouble with him -
Geez...
I got him back to redo some badly fitted tiles around my bath upstairs, he agreed they were fit bad, and agreed to come back, and so he did, so last tues he turned up and redid(badly) the tiles...but...
By the following day my teenage daughter flushed out loo upstairs, we have a maserator attached to it, and it was blocked...I couldnt understand it, all was fine with the loo the day before, anyway teh plumber came out again, he was confused as the loo had been the only thing ok in the bathroom, anyway, with abit of workin out we came to decision that it may have been tampered with, the reasonably expensive piece of bathroom equipment was 'knackered' -someone ''may'' have sabotaged it...erm wonder who that was, afterall the onlt people in there was my daughter, myself and a cowboy builder with a serious bad attitude whom used very bad language when approached about a leak he caused me with my electric shower that wasnt fitted properly...and this isnt teh first sabotage attempt i have had..
someone loosened the bath trap, causing a small leak and stain appearing in the lounge, fortunately it wa seen and dealy with before bath was ever used as a bath.
someone took, unscrewed a bracket off the maserator pipe making the vibration of the maserator loosen and leak.
Someone used no fittings other than forcing a roughly hack sawed off pipe into an electric shower - again causing a leak to run and soak a false wall and give me yet again another nice damp patch on lounge ceiling.
This guy wants naming and shaming, but im unsure i can do this, so i wouldnt mention names, but he is getting a letter in the post, again by recorded delivery, if i get no joy from him i will be again informing him of my intentions to have a lil chat with the inland revenue re cash in hand wages.
I intend to not let this drop, although my mum thinks i should cut my losses and put it behind me -
but how can i whne it is still causing me hassle?[/quote]

alison.....

sadly these things happen.....much to your misfortune......

the lesson to be learned..very simply, is that we should all seek to find a builders credentials before first letting them loose in our homes..

however, that is sometimes more easily said than done...

my advice , like that of your parents, would be to let this cowboy go.....dont get swept up in the notion that you want retribution, "so i may as well get more work out of him" to make ammends for what he has done in your home.......the raw reality is this, if he couldnt get it right the first time, then reality tells you that he wont get it right any time later..... so let him go!!

eventually you will get the money from somewhere in order to eventually put your home right, nomatter how long it may take...in the end, you will rectify all of this mess..!!

i am an electrician, and have been since 1982 since entering the army.....if you live in Cumbria, or the surrounding areas, FREE of charge, i would be happy to rectify any electrical matters......

hope you decide to make the right choices and move on with your life, you and your daughter should not be enduring this.....

regards
Mark W...
marconii
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:56 pm


Postby claridge » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:02 pm

Although wanting to be sympathic this is really a valuble lesson. I have been a buidling contractor for some 20 years and my experience has taught me that customers on unrealistic budgets will always become embroiled with cowboy builders. In some ways the customers is as bad as the so called cowboy. they have the same objective to get as much as possible for as little as possible. I saw a woman the other day who called me in for a price on some work. It soon became apparent that the open plan kitchen dininer was half finished and she was looking for a quote to finish it. Shewas alarmed that her previous matey and economic handyman/builder had overlooked that the wall taken out was actually structural. I didnt take it any furhter because I know the minute you provide a price for a it to be rectified she would claim it was too much.
The process for instructing a builder is very straight forward.
Get references and look at past work
Get several estimates
ALWAYS involve structural engineers/the local authority where necessary, there their for your protection, and a necessary cost

and just to add dont take up free offers of lhelp eg electrics. as you will end up in even a worst place than you are now.

Free comes with baggage. Keep it official pay for an honest days work and remember you get what you pay for.
claridge
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:19 pm


Postby rose » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:01 pm

Alison... I am in the same boat as you and out of principle, we are going thru some claims court. These 'so called builder' that take you to the cream of one of their jobs, and then do a crap job on yours should be struck off any lists they are on. And as for the local council, they can't do anything as they can't keep track of all these foreign builders coming over, that's what my council said!!

Like you said we are usually on the ball for most things and you feel as if you've had blinkers on thru the jobs.

For the amount we've lost thru this project, the court fees are peanuts to us.

Wish you luck
rose
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:03 pm


Postby VL » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:16 pm

Hi Alison - I work on the BBC 1 programme Cowboy Trap. Would you be up for having a chat with me about your recent problems. We are looking for people who have been through situations like yours and we can hopefully get them all fixed up again!

Please email me if you're interested vicky.lee@mentorn.com

Cheers
VL
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:58 pm


Postby thedoctor » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:02 am

Anybody else in this position or just about to hire a builder PLEASE - PLEASE - PLEASE read our project page on Avoiding Cowboy Builders. You can get to it by clicking the link below.....For the record, although we deplore the cowboy activities going on out there we have to agree with Claridge when he says that a great many people out there are behaving in the same way as the cowboy builders they employ. They are trying to get a silk purse for pigs ear money.

Handymen are Handymen. They cut logs, mow grass and dig holes. They do all this for £50 per day (cash!) They do this because they cannot get a job anywhere else.

A real tradesman has trained for years, owns tools worth more than a lot of peoples cars and delivers a job he or she is proud of. If you are qualified to the same level in an office you command a £40,000 salary and people pay it happily but many customers seem to think that paying £50 for a builder will give them that same level of service.

Please people read our page and take responsibility for your homes.....Would you employ a "Handy" Dentist or "Handy Doctor" who was happy to work for the minimum wage ?

Having said all that, at DIY Doctor again, we absolutely deplore the fact that people are passing themselves off as builders and getting away with it. We each have the power to stop them, please read the project page and subject any trades person you employ to the same interview you would give the headmaster about to look after your 5 year old for 6 years.

Nobody but us, the general public, can stop Cowboy Builders. Why do we keep surrendering to them when we are the ones with the power?

http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/cowboybuilders.htm


Mike Edwards - Director - DIY Doctor
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Site Admin
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Postby jbslord » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:11 pm

Most cowboys will swear to the heavens that they're really good. I do a lot of work for people inside and out and I have found that the best way to reassure clients is with a contract.

This sets out the work, the conditions and at what point I get paid (very important); in other words a point of mutually agreeable progress where the client agrees to pay for the work done so far.

Most cowboys won't offer you a contract and will ride off into the sunset when you ask for one
jbslord
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Postby the-demi-god » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:39 pm

I agree with virtually all that the other folk have said, and my story is not any better I was conned by a father and son firm who were doing work for a neighbour.
Initially the work they did was ok it was a number of smallish jobs (hubby had died 6 months earlier) that I was unable to do, they commented on the front windows which were in need of replacement but I said no thank you however 6 months later they were across the road and asked me if I would like a price for the windows they had brochures etc , I will cut an embarassing story short they said they could replace them for a reasonable price but it was cash up front. I could not afford to have them done any other way so took them up on the offer. I don't know whether to be grateful that they just disappeared with the money or angry that I was taken in.
I have finally sorted the windows out and a valuable lesson learned, anyone can be taken in if the circumstances are right.
On an aside builders don't always make it easy not to choose the cowboys. Prices can vary so much and it is not the first time I have seen the tradesman look arround with a distinct "well she can afford to pay a bit more" look on their face and the price I get is often considerably more than I know others have had the same work done for.
I hope Alison finally put it all behind her and found someone else reputable to do her work.
the-demi-god
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Postby JRS » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:21 pm

My advice would be. Never pay for any work up-front. I would NEVER ask only for materials which i would give a receipt for. And every other person i have worked with are the same.

I agree with the above it is hard to tell a bad builder, I try to be fair on all my jobs but prices vary, Every job is different in there own ways.

But i cant stress enough pay for materials used but i never ask for money unless my customers are 110% happy which 9/10 times they are. :roll:
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Postby Erictaylor1 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:21 pm

Hi there guys
I've been worried about our extension to our new house and I therefore have been searching for ways to avoid cowboy builders. So far the only thing I can find that seems to answer the problem is on this website Google "goldcrestsurveyors.co.uk" . I have been ripped off before for £500 and I felt like a right gullible Pratt, so God only knows how it feels to loose q few k. I hope you got sorted in the end.
Cheers
Erictaylor1
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Postby TheDoctor4 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:09 am

Hi All

Check out our new Cowboy Control area packed full of useful information on how to avoid cowboy builders, what to look for and also how to deal with a cowboy builder.

Also, download a copy of our Desired Outcome Contract. For more information on this click through to our Building Contracts Project: http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/Bu ... tracts.htm

Kind Regards
TheDoctor4
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