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  • FIRST POST
    • arsenalfan1234
    • By arsenalfan1234 5th Jul 17, 11:23 AM
    • 28Posts
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    arsenalfan1234
    Builder asking for too much money upfront for extension and shed builds
    • #1
    • 5th Jul 17, 11:23 AM
    Builder asking for too much money upfront for extension and shed builds 5th Jul 17 at 11:23 AM
    Hi all,


    Can I please get some advice from you all..


    I am doing a single storey extension (extending the existing lounge) with a bath/shower room in the corner on the side and a brick built shed at the back of the garden. I have been quoted £43.5k for the works, which I THINK is reasonable.


    Anyway I have narrowed it down to 1 builder, lets call him "Bob". Bob has asked for a third of the amount upfront £14.5k TWO weeks before he has to start (start time is around July end, beginning August). The initial work he has to do is just digging (manually dug, because there is no access for a digger to get through)and drainage I presume. So I said to him, that I am not happy paying so much up front and he said he needs the money to arrange for skips (how expensive are skips these days!) and get the "digging done". He then wants the remaining two thirds of the payments after a month and then second month respectively. I have spoken to a few guys at work and will propose the following payment schedule, does this sound fair to you:




    1) Excavation and drainage: 50% up front and remainder after building control have been out and passed it.


    2) Footings and damp proofing: 50% up front and remainder after building control have been out and passed it.


    3) Brickwork up to plate level and lintels: 50% up front and remainder after building control have been out and passed it.


    4) Carpentry, roof, soffits, guttering, soakaway: 50% up front and remainder after completion of this work package.


    5) First fix electric and plumbing (wiring and plumbing through walls, ceilings): 50% up front and remainder after completion of this work package.


    6) Bonding, plasterboards and skimming: 50% up front and remainder after completion of this work package.


    7) Floor screeding: 50% up front and remainder after completion of this work package.


    8) Second fix electrics and plumbing (plug sockets, light switches, radiator installation): 50% up front and remainder after completion of this work package.



    And 5% of the total price retained until the end of the works for any snagging.




    Thank you for your advice in advance.


    K
Page 2
    • arsenalfan1234
    • By arsenalfan1234 11th Jul 17, 3:23 PM
    • 28 Posts
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    arsenalfan1234
    @teneighty
    The builder and I have not committed to anything concrete. This is a non-committal agreement and I have told him to go ahead and work as he wishes in the interim. My obligation is to keep him updated of proceedings only.


    And yes it is a lawful Development Certificate, I just refer to it as a PD application in layman's terms.


    @the_r_sole
    I have just checked the ARB website and lo and behold he isn't even registered on there! I don't know what I will do with him now...Grrr!




    To conclude, it feels like I will have to start the whole bl00dy process again if this "architect" can't rectify the work. I emailed him on Sunday and he is yet to reply.


    Thanks again all for your continued help.
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 11th Jul 17, 3:33 PM
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    teneighty
    @teneighty
    The builder and I have not committed to anything concrete. This is a non-committal agreement and I have told him to go ahead and work as he wishes in the interim. My obligation is to keep him updated of proceedings only.


    And yes it is a lawful Development Certificate, I just refer to it as a PD application in layman's terms.


    @the_r_sole
    I have just checked the ARB website and lo and behold he isn't even registered on there! I don't know what I will do with him now...Grrr!




    To conclude, it feels like I will have to start the whole bl00dy process again if this "architect" can't rectify the work. I emailed him on Sunday and he is yet to reply.


    Thanks again all for your continued help.
    Originally posted by arsenalfan1234
    Did he actually claim to be an "architect", if he isn't using the specific term "architect" he doesn't need to be registered. It is a common misconception that everyone who draws plans is an architect but most of those who work on small domestic projects are not.
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 11th Jul 17, 3:48 PM
    • 2,323 Posts
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    the_r_sole
    @teneighty
    The builder and I have not committed to anything concrete. This is a non-committal agreement and I have told him to go ahead and work as he wishes in the interim. My obligation is to keep him updated of proceedings only.


    And yes it is a lawful Development Certificate, I just refer to it as a PD application in layman's terms.


    @the_r_sole
    I have just checked the ARB website and lo and behold he isn't even registered on there! I don't know what I will do with him now...Grrr!




    To conclude, it feels like I will have to start the whole bl00dy process again if this "architect" can't rectify the work. I emailed him on Sunday and he is yet to reply.


    Thanks again all for your continued help.
    Originally posted by arsenalfan1234
    Does he claim to be an architect - plenty of people can do a job like this without the qualifications etc.
    What brief did you give this person? Did you get quotes from various people for the preparation of the application?
    Were they recommended by someone or have you seen other work they have done similar to this?

    It's a pretty big mistake to make if you have been asked to design within a set of criteria and then not look at (or understand) it!

    Has the application been refused or are they advising you what changes can be made to bring it under pd?

    At the start of a job I rarely discuss whether a project falls within pd, I find it more useful to figure out what the client wants rather than just avoiding a planning application. Sometimes it can be cheaper/easier to do something that doesn't fall witihn pd, even with the extra time in getting permission - although if you are applying for confirmation there's not a lot different in the process anyway
    • Furts
    • By Furts 11th Jul 17, 3:55 PM
    • 3,504 Posts
    • 2,185 Thanks
    Furts
    @teneighty
    The builder and I have not committed to anything concrete. This is a non-committal agreement and I have told him to go ahead and work as he wishes in the interim. My obligation is to keep him updated of proceedings only.


    And yes it is a lawful Development Certificate, I just refer to it as a PD application in layman's terms.


    @the_r_sole
    I have just checked the ARB website and lo and behold he isn't even registered on there! I don't know what I will do with him now...Grrr!




    To conclude, it feels like I will have to start the whole bl00dy process again if this "architect" can't rectify the work. I emailed him on Sunday and he is yet to reply.


    Thanks again all for your continued help.
    Originally posted by arsenalfan1234

    You really need to step back and take a reality check. You were posting about a builder wanting up front money when you did not even have Planning Permission. A typical scenario is once this has been granted detailed drawings and a specification are produced with input from you. Then an application goes in for Buildings Regulations. Also considered are any other items like building over drains, party walls, access, health and safety, inspections, contract and so on. When all these ducks are in line then a builder can firm up a start date.


    The reality is you were short of the first hurdle by a country mile. I suggest you sit down with your mature designer and agree a sensible programme for all that is required before you think about engaging a builder.
    • arsenalfan1234
    • By arsenalfan1234 12th Jul 17, 11:47 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    arsenalfan1234
    @furts
    Thank you, if think the PP being rejected is a blessing in disguise. Had it not happened, I wouldn't have raised my concerns on this forum and I would not have known all that I do know.
    • lucyloves
    • By lucyloves 12th Jul 17, 1:43 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    lucyloves
    Hi, I'm too late to advise on the upfront money thing (barge pole springs to mind). But, can I ask you to phone your Building Control Office at the council (separate to the Planners) and speak to a Building Control Officer.

    They are very helpful and can advise you on the whole process and let you know where any mains sewers are, and party wall details (google Party Wall Act 1996), and type of application.

    I'd do it now rather than later. Good luck
    • kkgree1
    • By kkgree1 12th Jul 17, 9:02 PM
    • 285 Posts
    • 146 Thanks
    kkgree1
    Late to reply but we are currently 2/3 of the way through a similar single storey extension so thought I would add our experience.

    We needed planning and were told not to get quotes until it had been passed. We were also set with delays to the process and it took almost 8 months to get full planning. When we then tried to get quotes we found that Spring/Summer is when everyone is looking and we found a lot of builders booked until the end of the year.

    We are now using builders we know who are based almost 50 miles away. We have a contract with them and the payment terms are £10k upfront, 10k once foundations/walls up, 10k once roof watertight and balance (almost 10k) on completion. They are on track to complete our job in the 11 weeks they initially estimated.

    Hope this helps.
    • arsenalfan1234
    • By arsenalfan1234 14th Jul 17, 8:07 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    arsenalfan1234
    Dear all,


    Thanks for the continued advice and support. I think this thread of mine has turned into a lessons learned for me now. I will take into consideration everything you have all said.


    Anyway just to update and confuse you al more so, I informed my architect of the incorrect drawing which he did which subsequently got rejected from permitted development by the council. I emailed him the letter which he received in hard copy and asked him to contact me to propose what we do next (he never answers or returns calls). I also attached to the email a mock up drawing of what I would like the new plans to look like excluding the extended area which does not fall into permitted development guidelines. (Long story short, I need to submit an additional planning PERMISSION application for that proposed build (the architect SHOULD have known this)). I told the architect to call or come to my house so we can draw up together how we need it to look. Anyway I arrive home yesterday to find that my architect has already posted me drawings of the new layout (not taking into account what I said to him in the email that he needs to come round re-measure up and draw up again in consultation with me). The plans are awful and nowhere near what I wanted, this is something we should have agreed wen he comes round to revise the plans. I am at my wits end with this guy, please advise what I need to do? I am planning to get him round (he doesn't answer calls for some reason) and tell him how I want the plans to be. Bear in mind, I will not be paying him an additional penny for his lack of knowledge on the guidelines (he text me a few days ago and said "the council must have changed the guidelines for permitted development recently").


    This project will have to start again by the looks of it; new architect, new designs, re-submission and additional cost. I have already paid him £1000.


    Sorry for the rant, I don't know what to do.


    K
    • Schoolworker
    • By Schoolworker 14th Jul 17, 8:32 AM
    • 161 Posts
    • 366 Thanks
    Schoolworker
    I think you have to change architect as he is not listening to you and does not know the current rules. Yes you will need to pay another set of fees for this but I would not be competent with his work.
    We have plans drawn up for our 2 storey extension and our architect was a friend and very helpful since we got 3 different layouts for downstairs and it went through not too bad (a few hiccups due to objections).
    Our builder is due to start end august but I'm waiting for replies to my emails about when to order kitchen and bathroom stuff. I have a quote from our builder and a start date but nothing about payment. He mentioned weekly paid but no amounts - still trying to find this out. I know he will be busy and hope he responds this month with this.
    I did struggle to get builders to get to me when looking for quotes in February. Got 4 quotes eventually but builders who were recommended did not not get back to me - I think this is very bad I would have like them to say we are busy for next so many months so I knew it. I hope our builder is OK as we have spoke to previous people who he did works for. Time will tell.
    Good luck and hope it works out.
    • arsenalfan1234
    • By arsenalfan1234 14th Jul 17, 8:37 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    arsenalfan1234
    @schoolworker, thanks. Good luck on your build, it's a stressful time and I also have two little babies to deal with; a 3 year old and my boy who will be 2 in August.


    I have emailed my architect and told him I am not happy and told him to come round and lets draw up together what I want as the customer! If he doesn't reply within a week or is dismissive, I will look for other architects.
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 14th Jul 17, 8:48 AM
    • 2,323 Posts
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    the_r_sole
    can everyone please stop calling this guy an architect!?
    • arsenalfan1234
    • By arsenalfan1234 14th Jul 17, 8:51 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    arsenalfan1234
    @the_r_sole...good point lol! let's call him the clown!
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 14th Jul 17, 9:33 AM
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    teneighty
    This is something that crops up almost as often as cowboy builders.

    All sorts of people draw plans for small domestic jobs. Some, (although generally only a few) are registered "Architects". Some are "architectural designers" who are still qualified have professional indemnity insurance and are regulated by professional institutions and these tend to do a lot of the smaller projects. And then you get the numpties with a set of crayons who scribble out rubbish on their dining room table.

    The first 2 are regulated so you have a complaints procedure that you can follow. The third category are unregulated so it is down to you to try and come to an amicable resolution or take him to small claims/moneyclaim to get your money back.

    How does your "architect/clown" describe himself in his correspondence and on the title block on the plans? Does he have letters after his name other than C.L.O.W.N?
    • Schoolworker
    • By Schoolworker 14th Jul 17, 9:53 AM
    • 161 Posts
    • 366 Thanks
    Schoolworker
    Well I'm back to square 1 about finding a builder as our builder has too much work commitments and can't start until end Nov. Trying to approach the other builder who gave a reasonable quote and see what start date they can give. Luckily we have not downloaded the extra funding. Good lu k. Its very stressful the now never mind when build works start. I also have 2 kids but older than yours but we are moving in with friends when its the knock through.
    • arsenalfan1234
    • By arsenalfan1234 14th Jul 17, 9:55 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    arsenalfan1234
    Hi Teneighty, on the title block of the drawings it just contains his initials SJO. In correspondence there ae no letters after his name, on mail nor hard copy. He is 70 years old (or so) and claims to have been doing drawings, plans, etc as an employee for decades. But he isn't on the ARB website. He trades via a limited company these days as he is retired but looking at companies house's filing history, his turnover is peanuts.


    I have emailed him to call me to sort this, because I don't really want to fork out another 1k on a new architect and new plans especially when I wasn't even at fault.
    • arsenalfan1234
    • By arsenalfan1234 14th Jul 17, 10:00 AM
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    arsenalfan1234
    Hi schoolworker, may I suggest that any work you do undertake occurs in summer. Think of the additional cost of heating your house in the winter when the doors and access is open 24/7. Also take into consideration that the build may take a little longer due to the weather and lack of control of the elements. Which also equals higher heating costs.
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 14th Jul 17, 10:24 AM
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    • 690 Thanks
    teneighty
    Hi Teneighty, on the title block of the drawings it just contains his initials SJO. In correspondence there ae no letters after his name, on mail nor hard copy. He is 70 years old (or so) and claims to have been doing drawings, plans, etc as an employee for decades. But he isn't on the ARB website. He trades via a limited company these days as he is retired but looking at companies house's filing history, his turnover is peanuts.


    I have emailed him to call me to sort this, because I don't really want to fork out another 1k on a new architect and new plans especially when I wasn't even at fault.
    Originally posted by arsenalfan1234
    Sounds like he might be a retired draughtsman who is just trying to supplement his pension. Hopefully if he is "old school" he will do the decent thing and agree to re-draw your plans free of charge. Mind you at £1000 for a single storey extension he is charging the same as a qualified professional with insurance and all the associated overheads so he is being a bit cheeky.
    • arsenalfan1234
    • By arsenalfan1234 14th Jul 17, 10:42 AM
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    arsenalfan1234
    @teneighty
    I think you are right about just topping up his pension. I think what bothers me most is his lack of communication, but part of me puts that down to age. I respect his age and would never disrespect him, I have been raised better than that, so I will try and reach an amicable solution for it, i.e. like you said, getting him to re-draw the plans. And yep, £1k I've handed over to this guy. It's a lessons learned, I will not use him again for any future works.
    Last edited by arsenalfan1234; 14-07-2017 at 10:43 AM. Reason: to make changes to the content
    • arsenalfan1234
    • By arsenalfan1234 14th Jul 17, 1:53 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    arsenalfan1234
    Mr clown has come back to me by email and claims that the permitted development guidelines have recently been revised, this is what he said " the guidelines have been revised, they state that the 6m extension can only be achieved over the width of the original house. As far as trying to extend the kitchen, I do not think this would be accepted.". But many people I have spoken to and some of you have given me the same advice, is to submit a planning permission application for the single storey additional extension off the kitchen. Anyway like I said he amended the drawing without consultation with me and just posted it to me. I have told him in email that the amended drawing is nowhere near hat I wanted it to look like and to contact me to discuss how I ACTUALLY want it...no response yet.


    To save confusion, I have linked the original rejected plans for your perusal. I have blacked out confidential information obviously and drawn a red box around the area that was rejected.
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bze6M_WihvilLWdtbjBiaTExRVE
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 14th Jul 17, 2:47 PM
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    • 690 Thanks
    teneighty
    Mr clown has come back to me by email and claims that the permitted development guidelines have recently been revised, this is what he said " the guidelines have been revised, they state that the 6m extension can only be achieved over the width of the original house. As far as trying to extend the kitchen, I do not think this would be accepted.". But many people I have spoken to and some of you have given me the same advice, is to submit a planning permission application for the single storey additional extension off the kitchen. Anyway like I said he amended the drawing without consultation with me and just posted it to me. I have told him in email that the amended drawing is nowhere near hat I wanted it to look like and to contact me to discuss how I ACTUALLY want it...no response yet.


    To save confusion, I have linked the original rejected plans for your perusal. I have blacked out confidential information obviously and drawn a red box around the area that was rejected.
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bze6M_WihvilLWdtbjBiaTExRVE
    Originally posted by arsenalfan1234
    So it was a householder prior notification/larger extension application. The rules have not changed since the scheme was introduced in May 2013.

    Assuming the kitchen is itself an earlier extension then technically if your proposed extension is joined to that at all (even allowing for the bathroom to be omitted) you might have problems as it will become a wrap around extension and not PD. But sometimes the Planners let that go as I don't think they understand the rules themselves half the time.

    Overall the drawings are pretty poor with lots of generic notes. The roof as it is drawn will not work and you will have to be careful what tiles you use for a 15 degree pitch not just "tiles to match existing" as the existing roof has a much steeper pitch.

    This guy gives clowns a bad name.
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