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    • Dan J
    • By Dan J 6th Mar 18, 10:02 AM
    • 19Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Dan J
    Advice re: incomplete building work
    • #1
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:02 AM
    Advice re: incomplete building work 6th Mar 18 at 10:02 AM
    Looking for some advice on how to proceed with a building dispute.

    Building firm were commissioned to do certain works, which is all contractually agreed to in writing. Building firm appear to have run into financial difficulties and essentially downed tools stating that they had "worked up until the budget" without completing the work as contracted. Following this they ignored calls.

    In response I emailed pointing out they had breached their contract etc etc, and highlighted the thorough paper trail. They came back to the table and agreed to complete works for what we agreed was a reasonable additional fee.

    Although they then completed some works they have again failed to complete their contracted works and have again "gone to ground".

    The question is how to now proceed? My plan is to demand that work is complete within a short time frame (above the frame that was agreed in our most recent communications) or else seek quotes from 3rd parties which will then need to be reimbursed from the modest amount left outstanding for the firm to complete the works and also from the firm itself for anything above and beyond that.

    What I do not want to do is pay someone else for work and then not legally be able to pursue the money from the firm with whom I have a contract. Are there more reasonable steps I should take before potentially commissioning the work to 3rd parties? Obviously I hope that the suggestion I will do so will encourage the firm to complete the work they are contracted to do.

    Many thanks for any advice.
Page 1
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 6th Mar 18, 10:19 AM
    • 1,133 Posts
    • 814 Thanks
    teneighty
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:19 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:19 AM
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5768398 Some information in this thread about contractor abandoning work and potentially terminating the building contract.

    It seems your builder just wants more money to finish so either you let them take advantage and pay the extra or throw them off the job and get someone else to finish (probably even more expensive).

    If you terminate the contract you should be able to recover any additional expenditure you incur to finish the build. However, make sure the builder has some assets that could be seized if it goes to court and ends up with bailiffs otherwise it is rather pointless.
    • Dan J
    • By Dan J 6th Mar 18, 10:56 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Dan J
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:56 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:56 AM
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5768398 Some information in this thread about contractor abandoning work and potentially terminating the building contract.

    It seems your builder just wants more money to finish so either you let them take advantage and pay the extra or throw them off the job and get someone else to finish (probably even more expensive).

    If you terminate the contract you should be able to recover any additional expenditure you incur to finish the build. However, make sure the builder has some assets that could be seized if it goes to court and ends up with bailiffs otherwise it is rather pointless.
    Originally posted by teneighty
    Thanks for the response teneighty. Yes they want a modest amount of extra money, which was agreed, but it was also agreed that this would be paid on completion to a satisfactory standard. However they appear to be reneging on the revised agreement.

    So if I instruct someone else to finish the work I will be terminating the contract but will technically be able to litigate to recover the funds? Is there a due process I need to follow, for example taking quotes and informing the original builders of he amounts before proceeding?

    Thanks again

    Edit: also, thanks for the link. The link within the link is useful and shows that caution needs to be used. Saying that, I think we are now at a reasonable stage to terminate our contract in order to get the work complete.
    Last edited by Dan J; 06-03-2018 at 11:01 AM.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 6th Mar 18, 12:48 PM
    • 4,238 Posts
    • 2,745 Thanks
    Furts
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 12:48 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 12:48 PM
    Be careful - termination is a dodgy move. If the builder is financially dodgy, then you are unlikely to win through the courts - you cannot get blood from a stone. If the builder is a rogue then they will have been through all this before. Again you are unlikely to win in a court because the builder will have all the slippery answers be they correct or not.

    You have not said if extra payment is justified - additional work, changed Specification, bad weather, cost increases or whatever.

    The default setting is to negotiate with, and work with who you have.

    You have not commented on quality of materials or workmanship. Remember any new builder is likely to condemn what has been done and say it is defective. So you end up with extras and more hassles.

    Where do you stand with Buildings Regulations Inspections? What has been discussed and agreed by you so far here?
    • Dan J
    • By Dan J 6th Mar 18, 1:20 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Dan J
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 1:20 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 1:20 PM
    Be careful - termination is a dodgy move. If the builder is financially dodgy, then you are unlikely to win through the courts - you cannot get blood from a stone. If the builder is a rogue then they will have been through all this before. Again you are unlikely to win in a court because the builder will have all the slippery answers be they correct or not.

    You have not said if extra payment is justified - additional work, changed Specification, bad weather, cost increases or whatever.

    The default setting is to negotiate with, and work with who you have.

    You have not commented on quality of materials or workmanship. Remember any new builder is likely to condemn what has been done and say it is defective. So you end up with extras and more hassles.

    Where do you stand with Buildings Regulations Inspections? What has been discussed and agreed by you so far here?
    Originally posted by Furts
    Thank you for your reply Furts.

    I may be being naive but I do not believe the builders are rogues / dodgy per se - I think their problems have arisen through under quoting and also personal difficulties. However, their means of dealing the mess has been to make up a new narrative as to what we agreed, ignore us and bury their heads in the sand (OK, pretty rogueish behaviour!).

    We negotiated modest extra payment (following having to throw a carefully worded email at them letting them though we were not going to bend over for them)on the basis that they had done a couple of extra jobs that were not in the original quote and as a good will gesture given that I don't doubt that they are out of pocket (which I do realise shouldn't be my problem, but I just want the work completed).

    I have no problem with the quality of works completed. There are only a few remaining jobs to be done, but they are jobs that are preventing us being able to use our home fully and which it will cost a few thousand to have done by someone else.

    Building inspections have proceeded as expected but final sign off is needed on completion, which the builders should be arranging.

    It would be great if they just came and finished the damn work, which is in both parties best interest. However, if they continue to stonewall us (presumably as they want us to just go away and as they are now focused on another project) what do we do next?

    Thanks again
    • Furts
    • By Furts 6th Mar 18, 1:55 PM
    • 4,238 Posts
    • 2,745 Thanks
    Furts
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 1:55 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 1:55 PM
    The Buildings Regulations are your responsibility, and not the builders. Which raises a question - what has happened so far? Certainly it is you who should be calling in the Final Inspection. But is the work done up until the current walk off of a suitable standard? Have the builders vanished knowing the Final Inspection will throw up issues? Such a scenario does happen. Remember the last visit by the inspector may have been joists or the roof. A lot of work gets done after that including electrics, heating and insulation. A lot of potential problem areas!

    Regardless, you would be prudent to check everything done to date and liaise with the Inspector on what may be outstanding, or defective.
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