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  • FIRST POST
    • Lottie_1987
    • By Lottie_1987 11th Oct 18, 8:01 PM
    • 14Posts
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    Lottie_1987
    Block paving nightmare... Please help
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 18, 8:01 PM
    Block paving nightmare... Please help 11th Oct 18 at 8:01 PM
    Evening all.

    I don't even know where to start

    My partner and I have wanted our drive block paved for about 4 years. Its the last big smjob we have to do to our home. We have just had our first born so money is not what it was for now. We saw a few houses that had their drives done and they looked lovely. I thought about getting a quote but decided to leave it. However when we got home they had pushed a leaflet through the door (clearly telling the us our drive needed help) so I phoned for a quote. The chap came round and said 6k but if we had it done in the next few days 5k. He went off and we decided we just couldn't do it so I sent a message thanking him and told him once circumstances change (maternity ended) then I would be in touch. He sent a message back to say he would look at the price and we did not have to pay straight away. I said 5hats very kind of you but we aren't the sort to not pay for work, and understand as a business man he will have bills etc. Next thing he is at the door saying look I really want this job. Basically our house is on the corner so an awful lot of traffic goes by so he said he knows it will get him more work. He said 4,200 which was awfully tempting. We would need to do a 0% credit card money transfer so we said depending if we could get it we would go for it. We managed to get 4k exactly so I told him this and he said well I will have to do it for that then. I said you don't have to do anything. He said no don't worry I will. So here we are. Yesterday they came and dug most of the drive up and laid hardcore down. My partner would be doing this job himself had he have the time as he is an engineer and more than capable. He was worried about the lack of hardcore and the steepness that they had created at the bottom of the drive which had been filled with tarmac. I was getting anxious so I sent him a text asking him if we could speak as my partner had some concerns. Our cars are really low at the front and there is no way they are going to clear what they have done to get on to the drive. He called and my partner spoke to him. He basically said we were doing nothing but questioning him and that we should leave him to get on with it. He said shall I leave it as it is and you pay me for what I've done. I'm in such a state over this. So tonight my partner tried to get the car on the front part of the drive and the bottom of the car scraped it. How the heck do we approach this guy? What are our rights? To make matters worse once he started the work he told us he was a traveller but does a first class job. He looks the part, speaks it. We even went to people's houses across town to find out what they thought of him and were they happy with the work he had done. So we did research but they don't advertiwe the fact they are travellers. The work he has done on others is lovely. But he has just turned really unapproachable. I'm worried he is going to just leave it as it is and make us pay for it. What do we do? Please help
Page 1
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 11th Oct 18, 9:29 PM
    • 1,824 Posts
    • 688 Thanks
    sevenhills
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 18, 9:29 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 18, 9:29 PM
    What has he done to make the drive steeper, surely it will be the same?

    • Lottie_1987
    • By Lottie_1987 11th Oct 18, 9:35 PM
    • 14 Posts
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    Lottie_1987
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 18, 9:35 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 18, 9:35 PM
    The drive was a mess when we moved in very uneven dipped in the middle etc. So where they have cut out some of the path to retarmac they have done it on a steep angle up to the drive. So when my partner tried this evening to drive up to it it crunched and scraped it its not even been paved yet
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 11th Oct 18, 10:08 PM
    • 26,107 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 18, 10:08 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 18, 10:08 PM
    The black paving would build it back up though, wouldn't it?

    I do understand the problem with steep slants coming over pavements with my car. The way to get around it is to back the car up, not go in forwards. Obviously you want to keep the tranition smooth though - it might just be a case of more hardcore. I can't see what you've had done.

    It's either a case of negotiation or cutting your losses. If he is a traveller then it's fair to say there's no address to serve notice on in future. Buying from anyone on your doorstep is never a good idea.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Lottie_1987
    • By Lottie_1987 12th Oct 18, 5:34 AM
    • 14 Posts
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    Lottie_1987
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 18, 5:34 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 18, 5:34 AM
    We shouldn't have to get round it by reversing on. It should be a drive that we can pull on to forwards and backwards. It was on the door step buying we did research 5 well established homes have just been done near us and we went across town to speak to people about some that had been done a few years ago. We reviewed their we page also. No all hardcore is down today they are supposed to be laying the bricks.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 12th Oct 18, 6:31 AM
    • 26,107 Posts
    • 70,518 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 18, 6:31 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 18, 6:31 AM
    You're missing the point. The hardcore isn't all down if you go out there and "just like to make sure that the transition is smooth".

    If you know they're good then that's all you have to do. Frame your language positively, don't go out there saying "I'm worried about this". If he's tetchy then you have to manage your words carefully and treat them like they are helping you and you are working together, not like you don't trust them.

    If you've done due diligence and checked lots of other drives, there's no reason not to trust them. Posting under old 'cowboy builder' threads isn't helping your state of mind.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 12-10-2018 at 6:35 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • traineepensioner
    • By traineepensioner 12th Oct 18, 8:23 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 155 Thanks
    traineepensioner
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 18, 8:23 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 18, 8:23 AM
    Evening all.

    I don't even know where to start

    ...... To make matters worse once he started the work he told us he was a traveller but does a first class job. He looks the part, speaks it. We even went to people's houses across town to find out what they thought of him and were they happy with the work he had done. So we did research but they don't advertiwe the fact they are travellers....
    Originally posted by Lottie_1987
    They don't advertise that they're "travellers" for very good reasons. Cash in hand, no tax, no comebacks. Would you have employed them if they had told you upfront?

    I've nearly been caught out once or twice and now I check for a landline, company registration & address and customer feedback. I also use google street map to check out the address and try to spot the works van.
    No longer trainee
    Retired in 2012 (54)
    State pension due 2024 (66)
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 12th Oct 18, 9:20 AM
    • 1,233 Posts
    • 892 Thanks
    teneighty
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 18, 9:20 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 18, 9:20 AM
    I don't quite follow the description so I cannot visualise the problem but if the OP hasn't actually paid any money yet they have the upper hand.

    With a driveway it will only be as good as the sub-base/hardcore. If they have scimped on that and got the levels/gradients wrong then the paving blocks are likely to subside and move so you will end up with low spots and loose blocks.

    From the sounds of it there isn't a written quotation so it will be difficult to establish exactly what they have quoted to do or the agreed scope of work. All I can suggest is that you get someone else to look at the work done so far and advise you if it is suitable. I don't know who that would be, you could try a reputable groundwork contractor but other contractors aren't always the most objective when it comes to looking at others work.
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 12th Oct 18, 9:27 AM
    • 2,476 Posts
    • 4,115 Thanks
    k3lvc
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 18, 9:27 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 18, 9:27 AM
    I don't quite follow the description so I cannot visualise the problem but if the OP hasn't actually paid any money yet they have the upper hand.
    Originally posted by teneighty

    Your local 'groundwork contractors' must be more understanding of non-payment than ours
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 12th Oct 18, 10:12 AM
    • 8,625 Posts
    • 23,418 Thanks
    EachPenny
    However when we got home they had pushed a leaflet through the door (clearly telling the us our drive needed help) so I phoned for a quote. The chap came round and said 6k but if we had it done in the next few days 5k. He went off and we decided we just couldn't do it so I sent a message thanking him and told him once circumstances change (maternity ended) then I would be in touch. He sent a message back to say he would look at the price and we did not have to pay straight away. I said 5hats very kind of you but we aren't the sort to not pay for work, and understand as a business man he will have bills etc. Next thing he is at the door saying look I really want this job. Basically our house is on the corner so an awful lot of traffic goes by so he said he knows it will get him more work. He said 4,200 which was awfully tempting. We would need to do a 0% credit card money transfer so we said depending if we could get it we would go for it. We managed to get 4k exactly so I told him this and he said well I will have to do it for that then.

    ...So we did research but they don't advertiwe the fact they are travellers. The work he has done on others is lovely.
    Originally posted by Lottie_1987
    The underlined bits are the advertisement, it is all part of the standard method of working for people who operate like this. The 'estimate' starts high, and is then dropped rapidly if they can do the work quickly. That should be a warning sign to anybody - conventionally you expect to pay more for work done in a hurry, slashing one-sixth off the price suggests either the contractor has people sitting around doing nothing (in which case ask yourself 'why') or is desperate for some quick income to stave off creditors. In either case the customer needs to be wary.

    Whilst reputable tradespeople also need to put round flyers from time to time, the best ones will be so busy with work through recommendations that they don't need to advertise.

    Some travellers do excellent high quality work, are reliable, and offer competitive prices. But unless they are an established business which you can thoroughly check up on (not just look at someone else's driveway) then you'll always be running a risk employing them.

    This is a bit late for you now OP, but said so you know what to avoid next time, and for the benefit of others.

    I don't quite follow the description so I cannot visualise the problem but if the OP hasn't actually paid any money yet they have the upper hand.
    Originally posted by teneighty
    I would suggest this would be an unwise thing to think, and to take any action based upon.

    If they entertain any notion of not paying the 'contractor' then they are liable to come home one day and find their driveway has vanished.

    Suggesting to the contractor that you have any plan not to pay them the agreed amount will normally lead to the situation escalating. It may also result in the 'agreed amount' escalating.

    By the sound of it the OP's best course of action is to let the 'contractor' get on and finish the job and hope the previously agreed 4000 settles the matter. Then if the work turns out to be a complete bodge look to employ a reputable company to relay the drive at some point in the future. It should be possible to reuse the blocks and bedding, so the future cost ought to be limited to the labour for taking up the existing, re-grading the sub-base, and then relaying the blocks on the reprofiled bed.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • TW1234
    • By TW1234 12th Oct 18, 11:35 AM
    • 142 Posts
    • 129 Thanks
    TW1234
    I would suggest this would be an unwise thing to think, and to take any action based upon.

    If they entertain any notion of not paying the 'contractor' then they are liable to come home one day and find their driveway has vanished.

    Suggesting to the contractor that you have any plan not to pay them the agreed amount will normally lead to the situation escalating. It may also result in the 'agreed amount' escalating.

    By the sound of it the OP's best course of action is to let the 'contractor' get on and finish the job and hope the previously agreed 4000 settles the matter. Then if the work turns out to be a complete bodge look to employ a reputable company to relay the drive at some point in the future. It should be possible to reuse the blocks and bedding, so the future cost ought to be limited to the labour for taking up the existing, re-grading the sub-base, and then relaying the blocks on the reprofiled bed.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    It might be the best "pragmatic" answer, but you are saying that because the work has been done by members of the travelling community, normal business dispute procedures do not apply. That is appeasement.
    I did not think there was anyone who still was unaware of the tarmac travelling cowboys.
    If you are "up for it", alert your local neighborhood police officer, put 999 on speed dial and then refuse to pay, but invite the contractor to sue you in the small claims court. Be prepared for property damage and possible violence or threats, but you might avoid being sh**ft*d.
    If they do remove the drive, it will still be cheaper and better to get it done properly.
    • macman
    • By macman 12th Oct 18, 4:23 PM
    • 42,793 Posts
    • 18,039 Thanks
    macman
    How about waiting for the job to be completed before condemning it as substandard?
    The contractor is under no more obligation to tell you that he is a traveller than he is to tell you he is a Methodist: what is the relevance? You've already seen other examples of his work and they were satisfactory.
    How much have you already paid for the work done?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • deanos
    • By deanos 12th Oct 18, 6:40 PM
    • 10,860 Posts
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    deanos
    maybe some pictures would help
    • phill99
    • By phill99 12th Oct 18, 6:51 PM
    • 8,270 Posts
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    phill99
    Two words: Due diligence
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 12th Oct 18, 7:10 PM
    • 10,167 Posts
    • 125,644 Thanks
    kazwookie
    You've been had by cowboys.

    Do not pay them ANY money, until you are happy.

    Block psving needs a hard core base, then sand then the block paving.

    I suggest you start taking photos.

    If the cowboys are travellers you have no chance what so ever of taking them to court.
    Sun, Sea
    Slinky is back on!
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 12th Oct 18, 7:15 PM
    • 2,569 Posts
    • 1,585 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    How about waiting for the job to be completed before condemning it as substandard?
    The contractor is under no more obligation to tell you that he is a traveller than he is to tell you he is a Methodist: what is the relevance? You've already seen other examples of his work and they were satisfactory.
    How much have you already paid for the work done?
    Originally posted by macman
    If you really need to ask.
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