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Dealing With Cowboy Builders

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 24 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Builders Construction Rogue Traders

Cowboy builders are the bane of the construction industry. There are, on average, at least 100,000 complaints every year about them. They ruin things for perfectly reputable builders, and for all the talk about them, they’re in the minority – it just happens to be a minority that gets a lot of publicity.

Cowboy builders are simply rogue traders, of course, often with little or no knowledge of building, so you end up with a botched job – that’s if it’s finished at all.

Protecting Yourself From Cowboy Builders

The best thing is to learn to spot the cowboy builders early, so you can turn them away – it saves a lot of trouble later. The first tip-off is if they asked to be paid in cash, or cash-in-hand all with a promise on no VAT to be paid. No legitimate business will work off the books like that.

If they say a contract isn’t necessary, watch out – it’s vital in a business transaction like this, and without it, your legal position is nowhere near as strong. Most rogue builders don’t carry insurance, either, which again could work to your detriment if an accident occurred.

Are they willing to provide a written estimate and costings for the job, as well as a time frame for each stage of the work? A proper tradesman would, quite gladly. Where they do offer a quote, it could be unusually low, and they might offer to begin work immediately.

Do they have references? Do they have premises and a landline number, or simply a van and a mobile?

All of the above should raise red flags. You can protect yourself by having everything in writing and ask for a guarantee. Check references, talk to the people who’ve had the work done, and look at the work if possible. Ask your family and your friends for recommendations. Get several estimates and remember, cheapest isn’t always a savings.

It’s a help, too, if the builders and members of some trade group – although check that as well, since cowboy building firms have been known to fake membership. Finally, never pay in cash, and certainly never upfront – you should only pay for work that’s been completed.

What To Do If You’re A Victim Of A Cowboy Builder

Sometimes, though, the cowboys do win, and the building work is a shambles. What should have been wonderful construction work is a mess, and the builders have moved on. What can you do?

What they’ve done constitutes fraud, so you should complain to the police, giving them as much information on the builder as possible. Also complain to Trading Standards, which takes a very harsh view of rogue traders.

If you can track down the cowboy builder and he refuses to refund your money, take him to court. In the event of a small job, small claims court will likely suffice, and won’t cost you much. In the event of a big job, though, you will be looking at some hefty legal bills.Either way, it’s a lot of problems, and you still need to employ a proper builder to do the work correctly. The best solution, always, is to take the time and find someone who’ll do it right the first time.

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You say trading standards take a dim view of rogure builders - NOT True. They are totally disinterested. Yiu say the police are available in the event of fraud - NOT True. Fraud, in the opinion the the police, is a civil matter. If caught by a cowboy you are on your own. Only avenue is wasting time and money on legal action to prove a point - builder will just go bankrupt and start trading again under a different name the following day. Welcoe to UK consumer protection - there is NONE
Big shim - 24-May-17 @ 7:47 AM
TheCavalry - Your Question:
Why have some of the comments been removed

Our Response:
Because of the inflammatory comments posted here recently, we have removed all posts which name specific builders (cowboys or not :-) )
If you have a valid question we'll endeavour to answer it and of course please continue to share your experiences for others to read.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 23-Mar-17 @ 11:20 AM
Why have some of the comments been removed
TheCavalry - 23-Mar-17 @ 10:59 AM
Good tradesmen rely on the quality of their work - the work speaks for itself. They get repeat business from previous clients and recommendations by other clients.A bad Internet review will not break their business as they have many happy customers who can vouch for them. Cowboys are a different story.... Existing regulations protect the cowboy builder. When customers who have been ripped off name these cowboy builders, to warn other people, they are taking a risk of possible repercussions and threats. So I very much doubt that posts on here are made up.
Good tradesman - 21-Mar-17 @ 9:17 AM
A builder carried out some work at my home address and ordered some gravel which was delivered to my address and I signed for it. I have paid the money directly to the builder via my bank account in a number of small instalments those instalments included all of the costs of the materials and labour. The builder that did not complete the work and we had to get a new builder in to complete the work. I have now had an invoice from a company and I cook a company asking for payment in the region of £576 for the gravel that I signed for. I told them that I did not place the order with them.Thr builder placed the order with them. I therefore had no contract with them and they should pursue it with the builder who is on the invoice as the customer. I have now received another letter from the company stating that they will submit a claim and take me to court if I don't pay an amount you now have 794.76.They will also charge 16p interest today until paid can you give me advice as I am not the customer but they are taking me to court
Sue - 25-Jan-17 @ 7:44 PM
I had a contract with a builder in slough to do a 6meter extension, he promised to visit the site 1-2 times a week but showed up approx 4 times in 6 months. His subcontractors, ruined my new kitchen and damaged my wood flooring and did a shabby work on the extension. We still have cracks and it needs completing to comply with regs even. Our drive and shared drive and bathroom ceiling and elecs are damaged due to his workers carelessness. The worst in my opinion is that he has left us with blocked draings with builders rubble, a gas leak since 9/10/16 and no heating for months. He has made no effort to fix this although we have 2 kids and temp has dropped to minus 2, my child was sick and we had to take him hospital last week, builder was told about this but he hasnt done anything. He lives in slough (sl1 3j) and is on rated people site too which is worrying. 6 months on his subcontractors have left the site in a mess as it is because the contractor hasnt paid them. We still have no heating for our kids!!!!
marina - 10-Nov-16 @ 5:32 AM
Moral of the story is you should NEVER get in a builder unless you or family or close friends have used them. Glossy websites, FMB/other accreditations, testimonials online etc, mean nothing. We've lost a lot of money on a terrible building project, not certified, not finished, bloody crooks. Disgusting.
KAS - 11-Oct-16 @ 3:43 PM
We used a company for an extension project. It's taken nearly five months and we still have no windows in. The guys who own the company sub out everything to people they've never worked with before. Sending us invoices for fictitious "additional works". Delays and extremely poor workmanship. Some jobs needing to be done up to three times (plastering/ rendering/ floor and sealant and grout issues). I'm at my wits end. The only payment I held back was due on completion and as yet there is still up to £15-£20,000 of work to complete and I've had to terminate their contract as thy just want more money. And not doing the job. Any advice as to what I can do please?
KAS - 23-Sep-16 @ 6:29 AM
I had flagging done in the past but company but but part of the work was delayed due to a boundary dispute which was resolved in May. The company asked for payment in advance to get materials etc to complete the work. As I had no problem with the original work I paid it (stupid I know). Since then I have been trying to get them to complete the work. I have had every excuse under the sun for the constant delays. Each time I complain they send someone over but they only do a few hours work then disappear until I have to complain again. He leaves skips on my drive for a week at a time, claiming that the skip company are busy. Ridiculous excuse. I am disabled so he knows that I need my drive to be done quickly but he doesn't seem to care. I am feeling really stressed about this now. Does anyone know what my rights are? He's not even had the materials delivered
moogie - 21-Sep-16 @ 11:43 AM
Remember: Builders need EXPLICIT instructions.Left to their own devices they will do it cheaply and you will get what they think is acceptable.Not necessarily what you feel is acceptable.They will do things that are easiest for them and place things where it is easiest not where you want them. Believe when I say:They will not do it as they would do their own home or building work.They will do it with one thing in mind, how can I do least work for most money! If you have a conflict with a builder, keep records, keep receipts, keep the written quotation, keep records of all phone calls, make a clear concise written list of all items you are not happy with. Tell them in writing you are not paying anymore until you are completely happy. Be assertive.
Jude - 16-Sep-16 @ 1:11 PM
Have you ever seen a bad review on checka trade or other tradesman sites, NO, SO DON'T GIVE THEM ANY CREDIT. My builder was recommended from my surveyor who I totally trusted, however now, I dont trust anyone. I have had a garage conversion, some of the work good some dire.A shower trap was used where a wet room trap should have been used, minor except half the exit pipe was covered by the trap. Concrete poured in too quick and too much so garage floor levels were shockingly uneven and due to height being level with adjoining room, no screed was used, so rough concrete was my "finished" floor. The concrete had to be dug up for gas pipes, and then covered. But thegas pipe tothe cooker was forced down on the elbow joint, with two by two wood batten, to ensure it was under the patch of screed used. As prior to this it had run along the garage floor. The electrician put a normal light in my bathroom, (to test it) - they left holes in the outside walls, hanging venting material hanging outside the wall, waving around in the wind.Wrecked the coving to the lounge when knocking through to make double door entrance, and it goes on and on. But its my fault cos I kept changing my mind, so yes we started off with a cloak room and ended up with a wet room, I paid separately for the tiler and agreed to pay separately for gas fitter to move boiler, agreed with builder this was okay, he had time to do this etc etc. A dangerous gas leak from the main gas pipe feeding the combi-boiler after the boiler was moved. Stupid things like unlevel sockets, stupid place for thermostat, Builders should realise, 1. Renovation and building is an evolving journey, as it comes together customers can see the differences in their home, things may need to be altered or tweaked. 2. They are the SUPPOSED EXPERT, (one could question this) so we the client need to be guided by them, if we want to make changes, is this the best option for us as the client, is this the best option for the integrity of the building.My advice is treat your builder like a complete nincompoop!Do not assume anything.Draw and mark where you want things, tell him what quality of fittings you want or you will get the very cheapest. Or buy your own taps, your own fittings and sockets ect.Do you research and become a builder, know your subject, ask around. 3. They should not ask for anymore than material costs until the building is COMPLETELY FINISHED, and to ask for labour costs should be BANNED as BAD practice! 4. The council if being used for building regs, should be far more supportive.That is what they are there for, or GO TO A SURVEYOR. Or company that will support you.You do not need to use the council.They also charge more. 5. Have a completion date. Put in clauses and penalties for late starts, late finishes, poor workmanship. 6. Insist your job is the only job he does.That trainees are supervised by trained persons. 7. Ask yourself is it worth the stress
Jude - 16-Sep-16 @ 12:53 PM
My builder finished the extension work to the best of their ability, and lot of small works which they were supposed to do, were not completed when we entered the house, but we were told they will do them in the next few weeks. They took the money but did not come back yet. We have sent them a notice last week but it looks they are not bothered. They start new company every time they get a new job , which has written contract. Most jobs they do has no written contracts.They are local people but they are very arrogant. They have not given the electrical certificate yet. We have not informed the police yet but we are planning to take them to court. The loss for us is inthousands, less than ten thousands.
PODDER - 15-Sep-16 @ 1:35 PM
Lpw - Your Question:
I was having a kitchen renovation, a couple of interior walls ( not load bearing) knocked out interior manhole moved, electrics, plumbing and underfloor heating and a big window replacing back door and smaller kitchen window. I thought I had done everything right I'd got 3 quotes there was £2500 difference I had 3 recommendations for the middle quote, the middle quote also turned out to be a good friend of a good friend of ours who also gave us a good recommendation! They all told me I didn't need to get building control as it wasn't going out or up and I stupidly believed them! So this boiler starts 2 weeks late as previous job runs over and he didn't ask for any money up front in fact they did 3 weeks before asking for any. I paid the 2 of them £3000 each by bank transfer. All ok. The following week they laid my £2500 worth of floor tiles and it was horrific! I never seen such a bad job. I made them take them up and clean them up, they broke about 10 tiles. The next evening a decorator came round he was horrified at the state of the walls and the "levelled" floor! A few tilers came round and wouldn't touch the floor as its so bad. Same with decorators etc. The builders then wanted to fit my new kitchen and Said for me to get the floor tiled after! I sent them home until I get the floor done. In the mean time I got other tilers, decorators round and no one will touch it. I have now got a different builder and he has pointed out that they fitted Windows badly with no lintels they have crushed bare electric cables behind plasterboard causing the wavy plastering, they didn't lag any pipes and didn't even bury them in the ground properly hence the uneven floor they screened over the interior manhole which I had completely forgotten about! In fact they have completely wrecked my home. I am still living in my bedroom at week 10 of my kitchen being a bomb site my living room is piled high with my new kitchen. I have sent the builder an email asking him to refund my £6000 so far he has ignored. But he is stil working locally. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Our Response:
This looks like one for the small claims courts if your builder is refusing to refund anything.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 9-Sep-16 @ 2:16 PM
I was having a kitchen renovation, a couple of interior walls ( not load bearing) knocked out interior manhole moved, electrics, plumbing and underfloor heating and a big window replacing back door and smaller kitchen window. I thought I had done everything right I'd got 3 quotes there was £2500 difference I had 3 recommendations for the middle quote, the middle quote also turned out to be a good friend of a good friend of ours who also gave us a good recommendation!They all told me I didn't need to get building control as it wasn't going out or up and I stupidly believed them! So this boiler starts 2 weeks late as previous job runs over and he didn't ask for any money up front in fact they did 3 weeks before asking for any. I paid the 2 of them £3000 each by bank transfer. All ok. The following week they laid my £2500 worth of floor tiles and it was horrific! I never seen such a bad job. I made them take them up and clean them up, they broke about 10 tiles. The next evening a decorator came round he was horrified at the state of the walls and the "levelled" floor! A few tilers came round and wouldn't touchthe floor as its so bad. Same with decorators etc. The builders then wanted to fit my new kitchen and Said for me to get the floor tiled after! I sent them home until I get the floor done. In the mean time I got other tilers, decorators round and no one will touch it. I have now got a different builder and he has pointed out that they fitted Windows badly with no lintels they have crushed bare electric cables behind plasterboard causing the wavy plastering, they didn't lag any pipes and didn't even bury them in the ground properly hence the uneven floor they screened over the interior manhole which I had completely forgotten about! In fact they have completely wrecked my home. I am still living in my bedroom at week 10 of my kitchen being a bomb site my living room is piled high with my new kitchen. I have sent the builder an email asking him to refund my £6000 so far he has ignored. But he is stil working locally.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Lpw - 8-Sep-16 @ 9:32 PM
I recently used a builder on and off over a 2.5 year period. The quality of his work was high but he never liked to agree to fixed price projects. I soon realized why. His time management is very bad. He is unreliable so I often had to chase him up to be onsite to work at an agreed date. There were days when he would not call to say he would not be onsite as agreed and would not return my call for days or at all.He is quick to issue invoices but less quick to finish work and he will not fix any of his mistakes without being paid for his time and he has no gaurantee. And if another project comes along that he prefers, her will come up with any excuse not to complete a project that has been agreed.I could not recommend him and he knows this but the quality of his work is good if you can get him to work and he has nothing else to do.Stay clear if you have a timeline or if you don't have endless cash to fund his hobby approach to working.
ER - 6-Sep-16 @ 4:42 PM
Hired a firm of builders that had been recommended for a simple but high quality orangery - estimate of £50000. Build should have taken 12 weeks, starting in March & finished by July. Now September nearly, we have paid over £40000 yet have no glass, no plumbing, no electrics, flooring and external improvements incomplete. We have a contract in place, including a penalty clause due to the late completion. I'm more than happy to take legal advice & action but need pointing in the right direction please.
Iain - 31-Aug-16 @ 7:44 AM
Heartbroken- Your Question:
A nightmare of a 2 storey extension project. After £45,000 and almost 6 months no habitable house, no plumbing, no electrics, no bathroom nothing. Hired a small business buildings (AGM joinery and buildings contractors based in Bradford). Project started in February and was going well until it became evident there was a cash flow problem. Probably used my deposit to pay his workers for previous jobs and then they refused to come work on mine. Soon it became a one man job most weeks on end until I'd get wound up and he'll bring in additionall help. I started to pay for things undone in advance just to get my house back. Stuck in a catch22 situation.some of the subcontractors confirmed he didn't like to pay and payments were often delayed. The builder started another job giving him even less time for working on mine. He soon started blaming delays on "extra wiring" I'd requested and demanding payment and then refused to provide a working schedule or commit to a firm deadline. The original contract is all in breach. Only wished I had made payments with my credit card than debits onto their business account. The budget for the job is almost out and no house. Got them from my architects recommended list of builders. Go figure.turns out to be my greatest regrets. Hopefully I can recoup some money back even if it means taking him to court. Simply gutted and disheartened

Our Response:
Poor you, sadly it's not an uncommon predicament. There is hope in that they don't seem to be insolvent so you may have some success recouping some of your funds via the courts.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 23-Aug-16 @ 10:12 AM
A nightmare of a 2 storey extension project. After £45,000 and almost 6 months no habitable house, no plumbing, no electrics, no bathroom nothing. Hired a small business buildings (AGM joinery and buildings contractors based in Bradford). Project started in February and was going well until it became evident there was a cash flow problem. Probably used my deposit to pay his workers for previous jobs and then they refused to come work on mine. Soon it became a one man job most weeks on end until I'd get wound up and he'll bring in additionall help. I started to pay for things undone in advance just to get my house back. Stuck in a catch22 situation...some of the subcontractors confirmed he didn't like to pay and payments were often delayed. The builder started another job giving him even less time for working on mine. He soon started blaming delays on "extra wiring" I'd requested and demanding payment and then refused to provide a working schedule or commit to a firm deadline. The original contract is all in breach. Only wishedi had made payments with my credit card than debits onto their business account. The budget for the job is almost out and no house. Got them from my architects recommended list of builders. Go figure....turns out to be my greatest regrets. Hopefully I can recoup some money back even if it means taking him to court. Simply gutted and disheartened
Heartbroken - 20-Aug-16 @ 7:51 AM
just because someone's in a recognised trade body such as HETAS or trust mark does not mean they are any good they are all schemes that the trade pays into they are assessed maybee once a year on one job that could be his mums house. If any work is no good you will only be covered for the person who did it to come back and make it right and if hes no good then it will never be right. Dont just go off the word of someone you know because that person might not have a clue about things. Best thing is to read reviews on google and yell and spot the genuine reviews from the fake ones
disgruntled - 29-Jul-16 @ 9:27 AM
We engaged a builder in Feb 16 to carry out a loft conversion. He came with a quote, an FMB contract for us to sign and a lot of verbal promises. We paid for scaffolding and 15% deposit before any work was done and agreed that we would pay in instalments during the expected 8 weeks of the project. We had issues from the first day that the builder was on site. To be fair, we did have an unknown problem with our chimney stack but he assured us that it would not delay the project and that he had the experience to repair the chimney. The job progressed well enough for the first 2 weeks and 2 out of the 4 instalments were paid as per agreement. At the beginning of week 5 things started to rapidly go down hill. The chimney suddenly became a huge problem to the builder and he started telling us that we would need a structural engineer and probably steel support from ground level and that he wouldn't do anymore work until he had been advised by building control how to progress. Building Control arrived , decided that all that was needed was for the chimney stack to be dismantled and then rebuilt - immediately we were given a quote for £1440 and told that it would be 4 days work to repair our chimney stack. Then things got really bad. They removed an almost new Velux window from our house along with the flashing and when we asked them where it was they told us that we had told them to throw it away. We then had to purchase a new one. They then sent us an email stating that the chimney had caused a delay and that they were going to charge us for 12 man-days at £200/day. My husband disputed this with the builder and it ended up with the builder intimidating my husband in our own home. Then on the 18th April we received the demand for the 3rd payment, I argued stating that I did not think that the job had progressed sufficiently to warrant us paying 90% of the contract price. The builder insisted that the job was 85% complete (at 18 April) and that we therefore must pay the money - we did. After we had paid this invoice then the progress of the job became really slow and it appeared that they had lost interest and we began to notice that they were carrying out work that in our opinion was unacceptable. We were between the devil and the deep blue sea. We had parted with 10s of 1000s of £ and we didn't have a roof on our house. The builders had removed the roof on the 7 March. It took a lot of pushing and stress but they did finally finish on the 27 May - 4 weeks after they were supposed to. They never had sufficient resource - we had a carpenter and an unskilled labourer in our home for most of the time. The parting shot was smashing the double glazed panel in our oak front door and then denying it - I was given verbal and character abuse just for suggesting that the 2 workmen on site that day were possibly responsible for the damage. We were just glad to see the back of them and waited for the final invoice. Then just when we thought things coul
Neps - 10-Jul-16 @ 3:09 PM
My builder quoted to knock down wall between kitchen and dining room, I accepted the quote. Prior to work begining I asked if building regulations was required, he said NO that he had checked.Once work commenced and steel beam put in I had it inspected by a builder friend and he said it most definitely needed Building regulations.I called the council and they inspected and said same.My builder then admitted he should have checked if building regulations required and confirmed to remove 1st beam and replace since the 1st was too short.Now the builder wants to charge me for the additional work to replace the beam which now does meet building regulations.(I paid for the building regs application)At no time did he give me a price or quote for the removal and re-installation of the beam - I expected it to be done at no cost since I relied on his advice and in my eyes he tried to pull a fast one.What astonishes me is that there is no public domain that shows complaints against builders, where and who is complaining and what about.My local council are aware of builders dodging the system, but do not offer out any information who these companies are, so as the consumer we are always going to be taking a risk.Builders quotes and work should be audited in some way.
ALR001 - 2-Jul-16 @ 1:58 PM
Feelingveryletdown - Your Question:
> We are due to meet a builder this week to take the keys of a house he has renovated for us.> In a nutshell he has't done three of the major works he said he would do (we have paid him £30k in cash) and told us we owe him £5k more for "extras". When we challenged him last week he flew into a rage and threatened to smash up the kitchen and stormed out and brought a shovel in from his truck. We placated him. He dropped £500 off for not doing one of the jobs he said he would (moving an inside wall) and offered to remove an outside toilet and tidy up the outhouse it is housed in which we thought he would have done anyway as part of the renovation. We left it at that.We are due to meet him this week but don't want to pay him any extra. Obviously we are very concerned about what he might do. Any advice? Should we involve the police?

Our Response:
You could try contacting the police, but they will probably not have the time/inclination/resources to cover this. It might be worth taking a professionak with you, perhaps a friend who works in the law industry or another builder who will be able to check the work quality etc.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 7-Jun-16 @ 2:33 PM
> We are due to meet a builder this week to take the keys of a house he has renovated for us. > In a nutshell he has't done three of the major works he said he would do (we have paid him £30k in cash) and told us we owe him£5k more for "extras". When we challenged him last week he flew into a rage and threatened to smash up the kitchen andstormed out and brought a shovel in from his truck. We placated him. He dropped £500 off for not doing one of the jobs he said he would (moving an inside wall) and offered to remove an outside toilet and tidy up the outhouse it is housed in which we thought he would have done anyway as part of the renovation.We left it at that. We are due to meet him this week but don't want to pay him any extra. Obviously we are very concerned about what he might do. Any advice? Should we involve the police?
Feelingveryletdown - 6-Jun-16 @ 10:37 AM
A roofer we'd used before & recommended to others without issue or concern over a three year period was given the job of re roofing our bungalow in January 2016 along with £3250 in cash,the materials arrived as did several start dates the latest being 3rd May 2016. When he didn't arrive,yet again,we contacted him asking for our money back less the cost of materials,this was verified by the very helpful Manager at The Roofing Suppliers who copied the original invoice for £1701.76. The difference was £1548.24,we asked for £1500 to be returned by 8am on the 31st May,giving him nearly a month to return the money & allowing him a "fee" for his services he'd requested in his abusive emails & texts that had followed our request,(I have copies). As we said earlier this tradesman had previously completed satisfactory work for us & others however this was when he worked for another roofing firm,he belongs to the local BNI (a group to pass work to each other,we'd previously used two other members of the same chapter (as they call it) without issues or concerns,no other organisations,think this says it all. His latest post on Facebook says he's getting married in September,no doubt with the aid of our cash !!! More fool us choosing someone we thought we could trust,he & other local tradesmen had recently put right a "rogue traders" work for a local oap,now he's one himself !!!!
Jeanie - 31-May-16 @ 1:51 PM
Hi, first of all I would like to tell you I am a retired builder and seriously disabled , I can't walk and waiting for a shoulder operation . Two years ago I contacted a friends son to reroof my utility roof I supplied all the materials and he charged me £500 for just over 1 days work ( I paid cash ) . After 2 days and it rained The roof started to leak , I told him and he came back at night a few days later . He put some mastic in a couple of places and left . It rained a couple of days later and it leaked again , so I rang him up and told him . He said he couldn't come again . Ever since then my wife who is only a small person has been going up the roof to try and fix it .( she knows nothing about building but tries her best ) I have to try to explain to her but she being a Filipino it's hard for her to understand . Last week we got another so-called roofer in he charged me £190 for only 3 hours . He estimated £100 + £20 for materials + any extra's . He said I could keep any materials left . He used 1 tube of mastic and a half a bucket of compo . The other £70 was replacing 7 tiles which I supplied and only took 5 - 10 minutes . He was banging up on the roof lots of the time I don't know what he was doing . He pulled a lot of my ridge tiles off and said they were loose and need replacing and checking the rest of my roof trying to find more work . It now leaks more and places which never leaked before . I don't want him back . I only live on benefits being disabled . I had to retire early due to my illnesses so all my savings have gone . We had to save up for months to pay the roofer , I just don't know what to do anymore . I get angina when I think about all these worries .I need advice please . Jed
Jed - 31-May-16 @ 9:55 AM
Gullible - Your Question:
I used a builder I knew through work and who was recommended by several colleagues so I thought it would be ok despite him not providing a written quote or contract. He has delayed the job so badly and not completed anything fully. He did the work out of sequence painting before final plastering was done, used emulsion and chalk paint as an under coat so painting has to be re-done. It was supposed to be a 3 month job. After 6 months I don;t have a rainpipe and the guttering has not been done, the roof is left semi exposed and water is getting behind the unfinished render. The worst is the electrics cert was incorrect and building control could not sign it off. On inspection by an independent company they have found the electrics are not earth bonded properly and the cert previously issued had false information. I know he commissioned the gas an hour or so before the gas safe guy arrived (also his friend) but this has been tested and a correct building reg cert issued. He held the threat of walking of the job over me from the beginning so I had uncertainty throughout whether he would do what I paid him for. He has finally walked following a visit from building control where he refused to test the drains and took offense to his electrics cert being questioned. He had a scope of works from me and I have a voicemail confirming the price but nothing in writing his end. I have paid him over and above his original quote to include some extras (which we were added very early on - not sprung on him ) His attitude was to always blame me for the job taking longer and I believe he was deliberately not finishing to get more money. The work slowed to a halt - for example fixing one internal door a day and claiming this was a day's work for a man. Where do I stand on this? Even if I insist he comes back to finish he will be a liability and I am afraid he will cause damage. This was implied in a previous conversation where he said he was not the type to destroy work which put the seed of doubt in my mind as it was a strange thing to say. He has been gone a week but contacted me yesterday to say his electrician could come back and do the proper cert - I already had booked the independent tester so stuck with that.

Our Response:
If he won't refund any of your money, you're left with the only option of getting the work completed/rectified by another company and trying to claim some of your costs via the small claims courts. You might also want to try Alternative Dispute Resolution, to try and come to some mutual agreement with the builder.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 27-May-16 @ 11:33 AM
I used a builder I knew through work and who was recommended by several colleagues so I thought it would be ok despite him not providing a written quote or contract.. He has delayed the job so badly and not completed anything fully. He did the work out of sequence painting before final plastering was done, used emulsion and chalk paint as an under coat so painting has to be re-done.It was supposed to bea 3 month job.After 6 months I don;t have a rainpipe and the guttering has not been done, the roof is left semi exposed and water is getting behind the unfinished render. The worst is the electrics cert was incorrect and building control could not sign it off.On inspection by an independent company they have found the electrics are not earth bonded properly and the cert previously issued had false information.I know he commissioned the gas an hour or so before the gas safe guy arrived (also his friend) but this has been tested and a correct building reg cert issued.He held the threat of walking of the job over me from the beginning so i had uncertainty throughout whether he would do what i paid him for.He has finally walked following a visit from building control where he refused to test the drains and took offense to his electrics cert being questioned.He had a scope of works from me and I have a voicemail confirming the price but nothing in writing his end. I have paid him over and above his original quote to include some extras (which we were added very early on - not sprung on him ) His attitude was to always blame me for the job taking longer and i believe he was deliberately not finishing to get more money.The work slowed to a halt - for example fixing one internal door a day and claiming this was a day's work for a man.Where do I stand on this?Even if I insist he comes back to finish he will be a liability and I am afraid he will cause damage.This was implied in a previous conversation where he said he was not the type to destroy work which put the seed of doubt in my mind as it was a strange thing to say. He has been gone a week but contacted me yesterday to say his electrician could come back and do the proper cert - i already had booked the independent tester so stuck with that.
Gullible - 26-May-16 @ 7:04 AM
We have had some work done guttering rendering roof repair they kept asking for money and like a fool we gave them all in all we paid them &6000 within 2days of so called finishing the work the down pipe fell off then my husband discovered they hadnt done nothing to the roofthe guttering wasnt attached right we contacted trading standards and they told us to wrightto them documenting all that was wrong and giving them 14 days to respond we have done that but yesterday a man came to our house and said that he lives at that address and he dosent know them he gave us his number we rang later on that evening only to discover that it wasnt his number so he is in on the scam too
Debra - 22-May-16 @ 5:59 AM
Last year we had building work completed and paid for and then subsequently found out that insufficient building control had been submitted.We have an email that said they would pay but they have since refused.I have contacted the council to submit a regularisation request and the list of faults is endless, provided from photographs we supplied.A couple of structural engineer companies don't want to touch it and our orangery, which is apparently now an extension because it doesn't have an adjoining door is going to cost us £1000's to correct.Company have said they'll let us have the information regarding materials etc if we pay them more money but I don't believe they are competent enough to provide the correct info. I'm hoping my house insurance might help, I've contacted trading standards but they have said because the total price is over £10k they have simply referred us to seek legal advice - is there anything we can do, and who do we ask - an architect, a surveyor, a builder or an engineer?They want thermal calculations, cross ventilation, cavity overlap information - it's all double Dutch to us :(Do you have any advice for us?
PA19 - 19-May-16 @ 6:25 PM
shay - Your Question:
I have had a company carry out the replacement of facias and soffit. they provided me with a written quote stating that VAT was included but their paperwork shows no VST registration number.The project manager' has two men do the work which quite frankly was of a diabolical standard. The written quote stated 3/4 days to complete. They started on Monday and on Saturday claimed they were coming sunday to finish off, but I would not let them as I had taken photos of all the work and wanted to get some expert advice as the work was not carried out to even a half decent standard. The Project Manager then insisted as a trader he is entitled to have the opportunity to correct and redo anything we were not happy with. I agreed with this via email on the condition that I would not part with any money until I had an independent surveyor check the work and provide me with a written report. since then he has avoided answering if he will come back and do this, instead trying to say that its me that wont let him. I think hes going to try and pull some sort of claim for materials and labour as he also asked me for a goodwill payment for loss of these which I said no way too. id just like to know where I stand legally as he keeps spouting some Traders rights act. Thanksshay

Our Response:
Send him an email (keep a copy) and phone him to make sure he received it (leave a message if he is not answering). Asking him for a date for the work to be carried out within the next two weeks. If he refuses then you can ask someone else to rectify the work and claim the cost of this from your original company. You can ask a surveyor to check the work over before agreeing to pay for it in a case like this. Here's what the Consumer Rights Act says
ConsumerRightsExpert - 19-May-16 @ 10:06 AM
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