plumber problems

Options
OK, please bear with me on this as it might be long/complex.

We're renovating an old house in a conservation area. After several meetings and quotes we finally decided to go with a plumber who is from slightly out of town but who had done plenty of work with friends of ours who live nearby.

Now i'll hold my hands up and say we dont' have a formal contract BUT as part of the negotiations and discussions we do have emailed copies of letters etc with;
plans of house, detailed outline of works to be carried out, agreed price, materials specifications etc.

We had to move the start date after the plumber told us they needed various structural thigns doing first (stud walls etc)
We fixed a new start date - and the problems started
they were 3 days late turning up (did let me know)
it was only one guy on the first day - and not the person in charge (MR S)of the job and who I had been communicating with
The guy who turned up (Mr B) didn't have copies of the plans/ works details etc and didn't know what to do about one or two more challanging things (moving a waste pipe etc)
Then found out we hadn't needed to do that work on stud walls and floor as they proceeded to take most of it up again.

Then there was a 5 days gap with no-one on site, Mr S finally let me know that he had 'swine flu' although oddly enough there was a distinct sound of drills in the background when he spoke to me
They came back unexpectedly next week without letting me know, Mr B hadn't bothered to get my phone number and I hadn't been given his contact details so we were playing merry go rounds with me ringing MrS, asing him when either one of them would be on site, and MrS giving messages to MrB.

Things got a bit better as most of first fix piping laid over 3 days

I went in each morning to check on progress and talked through the works spending about an hour there each day.

Saturday: went over to house to get on with some indoor work ourselves; discovered disaster zone.
A) cast iron soil pipe was fallen down in yard and broken :mad:
B) taps I had stored away safely were open and plaster dropped all over them scratching the surfaces
C) they had used our tools without asking and had even taken a plug off our drill to use another tool
D) the gas pipe for the cooker was in the wrong place
E) the waste pipes for the ensuite came down through the ceiling halfway across a room (not in the boxed in section as requested)

Back and forth with plumbers, finally got response on Monday - they said the cast iron pipe was 'unsafe' and coming off the wall so they pulled it down.
a) it wasn't loose as when we viewed the house we chekced that ourselves
b) they had used OUR hammer drill to punch new hols in back wall for connection to soil pipe and had been hammering against the soil pipe so loosened it.
c) they hadn't checked with us despite us being available by landline or mobile ALL DAY
d) they had broken the dammed thing! and it costs about £1,000 to replace let alone the labour costs.

OK, DH handled phone call and smoothed things over (a bit too much). Basic agreement was they would finish first fix ASAP, and give us 3 options plus costings for replacement of soil pipe (full replacement in cast iron, partial replacement, replacement in UPVC).
We would talk to the conservation officer with those options.

Went on holiday for 10 days, got back to discover precisely NO WORK has been carried out on site. Options for fixing soil pipe have come through with only UPVC as an option and no costs.

Contacted MrS via email and txt (couldn't reach him by phone and wanted it in writing) and was told today by txt that I needed to contact MrB as he 'had our job in hand'.

What do I do?

If it wasn't for the soil pipe I would pay them for work to date and get someone else in.

But I need the soil pipe fixed. A first quote for like for like replacement was in the region of £2,000 (materials and labour) because its a 3 storey building and needs scaffolding.

Help!
DEBT: £500 credit card £800 Bank overdraft
£14 Weekly food budget



Comments

  • Canucklehead
    Canucklehead Posts: 6,254 Forumite
    Options
    halia wrote: »
    OK, please bear with me on this as it might be long/complex.

    We're renovating an old house in a conservation area. After several meetings and quotes we finally decided to go with a plumber who is from slightly out of town but who had done plenty of work with friends of ours who live nearby.

    Now i'll hold my hands up and say we dont' have a formal contract BUT as part of the negotiations and discussions we do have emailed copies of letters etc with;
    plans of house, detailed outline of works to be carried out, agreed price, materials specifications etc.

    We had to move the start date after the plumber told us they needed various structural thigns doing first (stud walls etc)
    We fixed a new start date - and the problems started
    they were 3 days late turning up (did let me know)
    it was only one guy on the first day - and not the person in charge (MR S)of the job and who I had been communicating with
    The guy who turned up (Mr B) didn't have copies of the plans/ works details etc and didn't know what to do about one or two more challanging things (moving a waste pipe etc)
    Then found out we hadn't needed to do that work on stud walls and floor as they proceeded to take most of it up again.

    Then there was a 5 days gap with no-one on site, Mr S finally let me know that he had 'swine flu' although oddly enough there was a distinct sound of drills in the background when he spoke to me
    They came back unexpectedly next week without letting me know, Mr B hadn't bothered to get my phone number and I hadn't been given his contact details so we were playing merry go rounds with me ringing MrS, asing him when either one of them would be on site, and MrS giving messages to MrB.

    Things got a bit better as most of first fix piping laid over 3 days

    I went in each morning to check on progress and talked through the works spending about an hour there each day.

    Saturday: went over to house to get on with some indoor work ourselves; discovered disaster zone.
    A) cast iron soil pipe was fallen down in yard and broken :mad:
    B) taps I had stored away safely were open and plaster dropped all over them scratching the surfaces
    C) they had used our tools without asking and had even taken a plug off our drill to use another tool
    D) the gas pipe for the cooker was in the wrong place
    E) the waste pipes for the ensuite came down through the ceiling halfway across a room (not in the boxed in section as requested)

    Back and forth with plumbers, finally got response on Monday - they said the cast iron pipe was 'unsafe' and coming off the wall so they pulled it down.
    a) it wasn't loose as when we viewed the house we chekced that ourselves
    b) they had used OUR hammer drill to punch new hols in back wall for connection to soil pipe and had been hammering against the soil pipe so loosened it.
    c) they hadn't checked with us despite us being available by landline or mobile ALL DAY
    d) they had broken the dammed thing! and it costs about £1,000 to replace let alone the labour costs.

    OK, DH handled phone call and smoothed things over (a bit too much). Basic agreement was they would finish first fix ASAP, and give us 3 options plus costings for replacement of soil pipe (full replacement in cast iron, partial replacement, replacement in UPVC).
    We would talk to the conservation officer with those options.

    Went on holiday for 10 days, got back to discover precisely NO WORK has been carried out on site. Options for fixing soil pipe have come through with only UPVC as an option and no costs.

    Contacted MrS via email and txt (couldn't reach him by phone and wanted it in writing) and was told today by txt that I needed to contact MrB as he 'had our job in hand'.

    What do I do?

    If it wasn't for the soil pipe I would pay them for work to date and get someone else in.

    But I need the soil pipe fixed. A first quote for like for like replacement was in the region of £2,000 (materials and labour) because its a 3 storey building and needs scaffolding.

    Help!

    Good afternoon: cut your losses, get someone else based on a full specification, written quotation/contract, and take those friends of yours off Christmas card list.;)

    The cowboys continue to roam:eek:

    HTH

    Canucklehead
    Ask to see CIPHE (Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering)
  • halia
    halia Posts: 450 Forumite
    Options
    thanks, plumber is in tommorrow and I will see if they are agreeable about finishing off the obviuosly half done jobs. Will either pay them for work to date + one day tommorrow finishing up, or say 'no thanks' and pay them for work prior to this.

    Have contacted someone else about soil pipe and the remaining undone work.

    Whats a reasonable price for 5 days labour (9.30 - 4.30)
    plastic piping for plumbing of 10 radiators, 1 WC, 1 bathroom and 1 kitchen sink.
    Coppper piping for gas hob and combi boiler (boiler on first floor)
    DEBT: £500 credit card £800 Bank overdraft
    £14 Weekly food budget



  • DVardysShadow
    DVardysShadow Posts: 18,949 Forumite
    Options
    halia wrote: »
    thanks, plumber is in tommorrow and I will see if they are agreeable about finishing off the obviuosly half done jobs. Will either pay them for work to date + one day tommorrow finishing up, or say 'no thanks' and pay them for work prior to this.
    You are not going to make a retention for removal of the cast iron pipe? Seriously, throw them off site, ask for an invoice for work to present, set your losses against that, knock off anything unreasonable and make a 'full and final' offer.

    edit: I see the cast iron will cost £1000 - they may owe you!
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
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