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    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 17th Oct 16, 12:03 PM
    • 1,454Posts
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    glasgowdan
    Dealing with incompetent bathroom fitter
    • #1
    • 17th Oct 16, 12:03 PM
    Dealing with incompetent bathroom fitter 17th Oct 16 at 12:03 PM
    Just looking for some general advice here.

    We got keys to a new house around 26th August and have been doing it up, and just moved in yesterday. In advance of getting the keys we'd looked for someone to refit the two bathrooms and chose someone based on the meetings, price and some local facebook group recommendations. The total cost for 2 rooms was £11k, around 1.5-2k less than a couple of quotes I got from companeis with extensive showrooms (I assumed this amount of cash could easily be saved by a smaller business who isn't paying for such company admin/extras). The quote suggested the rooms would be finished in around 2 weeks.

    Well, they're still not finished.

    A few things changed, such as the layout of one room due to the positioning of under floor drainage, which was fine. But basically throughout the process this guy has consistently failed to turn up when he's said he will, failed to sort things out efficiently at all, regularly fails to communicate things to us (e.g. 'I'll come over MOnday to do the silicon and finish x, y, z', and Monday comes, no sign, 4pm I call him to be told oh sorry he is delayed on another job etc).

    Almost all of our communication is on writing, via text/email, so I have a record of it all.

    Now, 7 weeks later, the rooms status is:

    En suite - door not fitted. I trimmed it (to fit with the new tiled floor) and it wouldn't close as it fouls the dimmer switch that he has fitted).
    Main bathroom light wasn't included according to him (there was no detail about the main light in his quote and I assumed that it would be part of a total bathroom fit), so I went and bought a dimmable light and it doesn't seem to work with the dimmer. I've not been advised what type of light is needed.
    Radiator pipes don't have the skirts fitted at the floor.
    The specced 'tall unit; wasn't available from the suppliers, which we were only told around 4 weeks in to the process, after he'd fitted most of the room. He has decided to fit two smaller slim units in line, but only had one. The other was apparently goig to be at the suppliers "next week", 2 weeks ago. No idea if it's in yet or not.
    The sink vanity unit is meant to have two small units either side, holding up a towel shelf. Only one unit is available and fitted. The other one, same story as above, re the supplier.
    Pipework behind sink hasn't been boxed in.

    The family bathroom - silicon around the bath is full of gaps where, I presume, the bath has settled. I also assume he didn't fill the bath before he applied it.

    Generally, he didn't offer to run much of the bathroom furniture choices past us, and as such we have square toilets rather than oval which I'd prefer, but this isn't a big deal.

    We've now moved in, and the added issue is that we've had expensive flooring fitted throughout which we don't want damaged but don't trust him to be careful around. The en suite isn't useable to it's full extent as there's no door. The main light doesn't work.

    My aim is to have the bathrooms finished yesterday and never see him again, but with the continued promises to come and sort, and maybe showing up, doing one thing but not the rest, then vanishing without any communication as to what's he's doing, I'm feeling more angry about it and wonder if I've simply been too nice. I have given a couple of deadlines but it's dragged on.

    Should I give a final notice of termination (we have paid £8500 of the total £11000) for Friday, for example, with the rest of the work to be completed by a third party, paid and this bill taken from the final account (minus an element for my own time sorting it out)? Is this reasonable, and do you think any small claims would go in my favour given the evidence I can produce?
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 17th Oct 16, 12:10 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 17th Oct 16, 12:10 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Oct 16, 12:10 PM
    You need to give proper notice. Friday is not enough.

    Write to him, giving him fourteen days to finish the job to a decent standard. Enclose the list of what needs to be done. Take some photos for your own benefit.

    You can warn him, as you say, that if he doesn't finish the job in 14 days that you will employ someone else. You have a decent amount of money left in your pocket, hopefully this will suffice.

    FWIW, I don't think two weeks is anywhere near enough for one guy to fit two bathrooms to any standard. Not turning up doesn't help that!
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 17th Oct 16, 12:15 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 1,546 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    • #3
    • 17th Oct 16, 12:15 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Oct 16, 12:15 PM
    He's a sole trader (well, actually, a Ltd Company as of a few months ago, but is the sole director) but employed a tiler, joiner, plumber, electrician. Actually he seemed to do very little of the manual work himself.

    Much as I hate the thought of still having this going on in 2 weeks, it does sound reasonable.
    Last edited by glasgowdan; 17-10-2016 at 12:25 PM.
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 17th Oct 16, 1:05 PM
    • 2,037 Posts
    • 961 Thanks
    the_r_sole
    • #4
    • 17th Oct 16, 1:05 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Oct 16, 1:05 PM
    Sounds like the classic case of getting prices without detailing what you want priced - the lower price probably goes with a lower spec of fit out. Getting a suite that you haven't chosen seems bizarre for a bathroom!
    How is the door fouling a switch? there's a few other worrying things you have noted in your post but it seems like neither of you are clear about what the scope of the fitters work actually is.
    If he isn't showing up, you have to write to him to give him a deadline and if he misses it then you have a case for getting someone in. However, in his initial quote/estimate had he detailed the proposed start and end dates for the work?
    Some smaller tradesmen are horrific are organising their time and judging how long things take, could be that he underestimated yours and is now trying to fit it around other jobs.
    In the first instance I would have an awkward chat with him - I know you have said you have done everything by text or email but sometimes face to face chat is much better at getting things resolved
    • Furts
    • By Furts 17th Oct 16, 2:33 PM
    • 2,885 Posts
    • 1,817 Thanks
    Furts
    • #5
    • 17th Oct 16, 2:33 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Oct 16, 2:33 PM
    Sounds like the classic case of getting prices without detailing what you want priced - the lower price probably goes with a lower spec of fit out. Getting a suite that you haven't chosen seems bizarre for a bathroom!
    How is the door fouling a switch? there's a few other worrying things you have noted in your post but it seems like neither of you are clear about what the scope of the fitters work actually is.
    If he isn't showing up, you have to write to him to give him a deadline and if he misses it then you have a case for getting someone in. However, in his initial quote/estimate had he detailed the proposed start and end dates for the work?
    Some smaller tradesmen are horrific are organising their time and judging how long things take, could be that he underestimated yours and is now trying to fit it around other jobs.
    In the first instance I would have an awkward chat with him - I know you have said you have done everything by text or email but sometimes face to face chat is much better at getting things resolved
    Originally posted by the_r_sole
    I am with this. To engage a trade in, possibly, the absense of a firm start and completion, firm materials choice and a realistic payment schedule leaves you on a weak case for litigation. If you also had no confirmed written order, or no contract terms, then matters get worse.

    To comment about lack of choice is surprising. You chose to avoid swish showrooms and you then have to be realistic about choice. Equally a judge would say why did you not specify what you wanted - this is an ordinary day to day expectation. For example, you do not order a Ford Focus and then just accept whatever model, trim and colour the dealer wishes to deliver to your home.

    Labour availability is a problem area for most folks, and likewise timescales. I have just had a bricklayer and labourer doing a job that "Would be done over the next weekend". Eight weekends later it got finished. There were reasons for this, and there was no point pulling my hair out over matters. Basically, like r-sole said, some trades are hopeless at setting realistic goals and timescales.

    Work hard to reach an amicable settlement with your contractor, even if it seems swallowing pride, eating humble pie and creeping.
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