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  • FIRST POST
    • Annie1960
    • By Annie1960 7th Jun 17, 4:52 PM
    • 2,667Posts
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    Annie1960
    How would you stop cowboy builders before they cause problems?
    • #1
    • 7th Jun 17, 4:52 PM
    How would you stop cowboy builders before they cause problems? 7th Jun 17 at 4:52 PM
    Although most traders in the construction industry are genuine and do a good job, there are a significant number who do not, and cause untold misery to people.

    Figures from 2011 indicate that the OFT receives approximately 100,000 complaints each year, and the FMB estimated that £1.5bn is lost to cowboy builders each year.

    Most home owners who have been affected can take action through the civil courts, but wouldn't it be better if there was something in place to stop such people before they could ruin people's properties?

    The Estate Agency industry used to have a terrible reputation, and, having moved house a couple of years ago, it seems to me that many Estate Agents are complying with the current rules, and providing a fairly decent service. They are obliged to belong to a regulator/ombudsman, and they can lose their ability to trade if they step too far beyond the rules.

    Is it possible to come up with something similar for the construction industry?

    If you ruled the world, and could make up whatever rules you wanted, what would you do to stop cowboy builders and associated trades? You can suggest anything you think would help. so long as it is not illegal.

    To get the ball rolling, I would like to see all trades obliged to take credit card payments for work over a certain amount. This would need to be done without an intermediary such as Sage Pay, so that if, for example, Building Control failed to sign off the work and the builder walked away, the home owner would be able to get their money back from the credit card company.

    What would you suggest?
    Last edited by Annie1960; 07-06-2017 at 4:57 PM.
Page 5
    • Furts
    • By Furts 12th Jun 17, 8:32 PM
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    • 2,125 Thanks
    Furts
    How exactly was this my fault?
    Originally posted by Annie1960
    Like many posters have alluded to you have your own agenda and are hell bent on ignoring any advice given to you.

    There are countless questions to be answered regarding what you did, but there is little point in me going into detail:

    From the qualifications of your Architect, to this person exceeding their brief, to your viewing the builders work, to your competence at judging the customer and the work, to your inability to comply with Buildings Regulations protocol, to your inability to understand agreed Inspection regimes, to your unwillingness, or inability, to seek any professional help to guide you through all this.

    These are some that come quickly to mind, but there is also your mindset. You believed you were in control but decided to schedule the work to coincide with your holiday away. You also decided that you were competent to act as manager/inspector/surveyor but your countless posts on this Forum asking for guidance from everything from a sink to a worktop suggests you do not have the attributes to manage such work.

    You have been through a bad time with your problematic builder but your bitter, twisted, attitude should be pondered over. Is this a result of your experience? Or did it exist before this saga and contribute to the overall problems?
    • no1catman
    • By no1catman 14th Jun 17, 8:47 PM
    • 2,515 Posts
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    no1catman
    Not a good situation - I fully agree there. But it raises points. Your post suggests you chose purely based on price. What checks did you do on the roofer? What Specification did you draw up? What check did you do on his bag of cement looking at the date stamp? Why were you not looking for an electric mixer? What did you inspect and monitor? You will get my drift here. People need to be savvy, street wise, and competent before engaging people to work on their homes. If they do not they run the risk of being taken advantage of.
    Originally posted by Furts
    I chose purely on price? Hardly, he was the much more expensive. I suppose, I chose, based on perception of competence - judging by trade association symbols - EMB, Trustmark, signed van (wary of plain van), website with all the details and all their specialities. Date stamp on cement - there is there one!? Inspect & monitor - up on the roof? No thanks - saw from below, thought they had done more than expected - only for chunks to come down (as already related.

    What would I do different - try for a specialist in just roof repair.
    I used to work for Tesco - now retired - speciality Clubcard
    • Furts
    • By Furts 15th Jun 17, 8:43 PM
    • 3,374 Posts
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    Furts
    I chose purely on price? Hardly, he was the much more expensive. I suppose, I chose, based on perception of competence - judging by trade association symbols - EMB, Trustmark, signed van (wary of plain van), website with all the details and all their specialities. Date stamp on cement - there is there one!? Inspect & monitor - up on the roof? No thanks - saw from below, thought they had done more than expected - only for chunks to come down (as already related.

    What would I do different - try for a specialist in just roof repair.
    Originally posted by no1catman
    Go into B&Q and you will see date stamps on all the bags of cement. I have bought many a bag when past the requisite date, and I have seem them selling pallets off at £1+VAT per bag.

    Inspect and monitor ... what can I say? Would you book a car in for bodywork repairs then just pay what ever was asked without looking at the paint match, or the finish on the paint, or the alignment of the repaired panels? Probably not so why adopt a different mindset on your home?

    In reality you are extremely foolish to not go up and examine the works. It was your requirement for the work to be done, it was done on your home, you were paying with your money and you were specifying the work. In return the builder was aiming to meet all these criteria with a proviso. That was provided the work was correct you would pay for it. You could not be bothered to see if it was correct, so you paid regardless. You were taken for a ride but you are a fool to yourself for allowing this to happen.

    I am not being harsh here for your specification would have been to work safely. This would mean either scaffolding or a tower would be part of your specification. As a trade off from this decision access for inspection would be quick, easy and safe. So no excuses for not doing what you should have done.
    • no1catman
    • By no1catman 15th Jun 17, 9:43 PM
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    no1catman
    You seem to assume that I 9or for that matter any member of the General public) would be able to tell the difference in situ of well mixed cement and non-well-mixed cement, all the while trying not to have a panic attack while being up on the roof - fcol.
    I used to work for Tesco - now retired - speciality Clubcard
    • Furts
    • By Furts 15th Jun 17, 10:05 PM
    • 3,374 Posts
    • 2,125 Thanks
    Furts
    You seem to assume that I 9or for that matter any member of the General public) would be able to tell the difference in situ of well mixed cement and non-well-mixed cement, all the while trying not to have a panic attack while being up on the roof - fcol.
    Originally posted by no1catman
    It is not rocket science to observe if ridge tiles are set to line and level - you just squint your eye along them. It is also easy to see if mortar has been smoothly trowelled off and without leaving any mess on the roof.

    But you also have to give me credit here for my views. I accept not everybody is able to go up a ladder even though a scaffold and a tower are safe. There is an elephant in the room here. If the consumer is not able to control the works then why do they proceed thinking that they can?

    Competent, professional companies exist who can do the work. Indeed, I am working with one at the moment. There is minimal need for me to check the standard of the work of their plasterers, or their painters, or their carpenters or their bricklayers. All are directly employed men and the company has scores of them. However there is an issue. Quality work costs realistic rates and there is no way this standard of professionalism, skill and quality is acceptable to consumers. They always want cheap, cheap, cheap. But that too is bizarre - all these men work for a company that avoids private consumers because they cannot be trusted to pay up, to be professional, and to offer decent runs of work. So they are working within the construction industry purely on trade work where rates are cut throat and conditions competitive!

    Many "tradespeople" working for consumers are those the construction industry has rejected. Yet consumers appear not to be bothered by this concept. Both these scenarios may have happened with your roof.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 15th Jun 17, 10:14 PM
    • 23,553 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    There is such a shortage of skilled labour that I can't imagine why anyone who is any good would work on small repair jobs. Bigger companies will scoop them up and/or they get fed up of people that don't pay.

    It's so unpredictable and it's so much better to know in advance where you'll be working. Larger jobs are infinitely better.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 15th Jun 17, 10:25 PM
    • 3,374 Posts
    • 2,125 Thanks
    Furts
    There is such a shortage of skilled labour that I can't imagine why anyone who is any good would work on small repair jobs. Bigger companies will scoop them up and/or they get fed up of people that don't pay.

    It's so unpredictable and it's so much better to know in advance where you'll be working. Larger jobs are infinitely better.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Spot on! Within recent weeks I have turned down a work offer because the commitment, the short run of work, and the payment terms meant it was crazy for me to get involved. Of course the other party did not view it like this!

    Just like my last post this too is crazy scenario. The client is going without the works they desperately need done because their stupidity, systems and whatever means nobody will come forward and do the work. The obvious is for them to improve the payments being offered, or to offer better terms. But they refuse to do so and their work does not get done. Utter madness, but not my problem.
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