Bathroom renovation not happening - help?

I have paid a substantial deposit to a building company for a bathroom renovation and to get some other work done, such as door installations.
The work was meant to commence on 2nd November and thereafter every day I've been told someone will come and there is always a different excuse as to why there is no one here. Be it the plumber had coronavirus, then someone else had to self-isolate and so on. So far I have had most of electrics done and two out of six doors have been partially installed (handles are missing, they haven't been sanded etc but they are handing off the frame). After hanging two doors one day last week I was promised the rest would be hung and finished that week, then that guy supposedly hurt his back overnight and didn't return. Now I was told there'd be someone here today and I haven't heard anything all day or in the weekend. 

The reviews for this company online look honest. Several of them mention delays in getting the work done but overall being happy with the quality of work once it was finished. One of the reviews mentions getting their deposit back when they asked for it. 

What makes this worse is that I am meant to travel and have a lodger move in in 2 weeks. My plan is to have a month and a half off work to take part in caring duties abroad - I have a family member with only a few weeks of life left in him and another family member caring for him alone. I have sorted out a house to stay in to self-isolate first and I've booked travel (the renovation was meant to finish on 6th of this month!). So I am at risk of losing income from the lodger as well as losing the money I've invested on the travel, including rent on the isolation house. I can't travel without someone living in my place due to several animals which the lodger agreed to look after. I can't have a lodger live here when there is no reasonable shower. 

What can I do next? If I cancel the job I will lose on the travel anyway. Any advice, suggestions or even virtual hugs...?

Replies

  • edited 30 November 2020 at 5:47PM
    grumblergrumbler Forumite
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    edited 30 November 2020 at 5:47PM
    How 'substantial'  was the deposit in terms of the total amount and the work already done?
    Any signed  agreement?

    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse. :(

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
    .definitely, NOT definately ......separate, NOT seperate
    should have, NOT should of
    .....guaranteed, NOT guarenteed
  • HannimalHannimal Forumite
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    I've paid over 50% of the work for the bathroom - this includes materials. I have paid the materials for the doors (but have only received two doors) but haven't paid anything toward the work. I don't have any of the materials or receipts that they've actually been bought.

    There is no signed agreement. Paid by bank transfer. I have a written quote that says the start date and what is included.
  • grumblergrumbler Forumite
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    Personally, I'd be tempted to get rid of these cowboys and claim a compensation for the lost income, but realistically, getting any money from them is likely to be next to impossible. And if you ask for a significant discount from the total amount they are likely to lose any interest and just disappear.
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse. :(

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
    .definitely, NOT definately ......separate, NOT seperate
    should have, NOT should of
    .....guaranteed, NOT guarenteed
  • HannimalHannimal Forumite
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    Well, I think it is a bit unfair to label them as cowboys as the reasons they have been doing no-shows may very well be real (there is a pandemic and my city is one of the worst affected). However, I am struggling with not getting hold of them and not getting any information. My main worry is not getting the job done before I am meant to be traveling and potentially losing the opportunity to see my dad alive again because of that. 
  • edited 30 November 2020 at 4:14PM
    HannimalHannimal Forumite
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    edited 30 November 2020 at 4:14PM
    What do I do now that I haven't been able to get hold of the builder? Someone came in today just to check on the doors for 5 minutes and then left but I haven't had any contact through the phone and I was told I'd have someone doing the bathroom today as well as a carpenter fitting doors. I am really desperate for advice. How do I start getting my money back if I can't even speak with them?

    I am losing hope of ever seeing my father again because of this. He has stopped swallowing and does not have long. I am feeling so desperate. 
  • edited 30 November 2020 at 4:21PM
    DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
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    edited 30 November 2020 at 4:21PM
    All I would say is that your dad has to take priority here.  

    Put your builders on hold formally, to start again *properly* on an agreed date.  Go and do what you need to do.  

    Deal with the rest afterwards.  It doesn't matter. 

    Virtual hug 🤗 
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • HannimalHannimal Forumite
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    All I would say is that your dad has to take priority here.  

    Put your builders on hold formally, to start again *properly* on an agreed date.  Go and do what you need to do.  

    Deal with the rest afterwards.  It doesn't matter. 

    Virtual hug 🤗 
    I don't know how I can because I am dependent on someone staying in my house and looking after my animals, which I can't do if I don't have a bathroom :( 
  • kdotdotdotdotkdotdotdotdot Forumite
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    Hannimal said:
    All I would say is that your dad has to take priority here.  

    Put your builders on hold formally, to start again *properly* on an agreed date.  Go and do what you need to do.  

    Deal with the rest afterwards.  It doesn't matter. 

    Virtual hug 🤗 
    I don't know how I can because I am dependent on someone staying in my house and looking after my animals, which I can't do if I don't have a bathroom :( 
    I'm assuming you're able to use the bathroom?  If so, can't whoever's pet-sitting do the same?  And they could also be there on the off-chance that one of your builders turns up!

    Most important is your dad, I think.  If you think your bathroom is un-useable, can you put your pets in kennels/cattery or whatever?
  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
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    I'm inclined to agree. You've got a rotten situation here, your stressed out and it's overwhealming. You need to move forward in another way so you can unwind.
    What about writing a letter (gives you time to lay the facts concisely and clearly before sending) tell them simply that you need to go and nurse and the date. That you need the place to be suitable for the lodger to stay and ask for them to do the bit that is most urgent so that this can happen. Keep it concise and say what you need because of the situation your are in.
    You could also add as a last sentence in an unemotional way that you will deal with the rest  on your return. That leaves them wondering what you will do. Bit of a ball in your court at last.
    I've said letter because emails and phones are easily ignored. Not so much a letter unless they are real rogues. I'd type and print, keep a copy so if there is any query about the situation down the line you can show you informed them.
    Then I'd speak to the lodger see what they say. And look into kennels etc as a last resort, but have it in line.
    I doubt you are the only one. It's hard at the moment with people being off isolating, parts not always delivered on time, a lot of work on. Good luck

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

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