Help With Builders/Builders Contracts!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Suave, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Suave

    Suave
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    Hi All,

    We have all seen the horror stories on shows like Cowboy Builders etc & the absolute nightmare people can go through. Only last night I was watching a show whereby a many people got caught out by small clause in the contract whereby, people could get sued by the builders for breach of contract even though they were left stranded high & dry for months on end by the builders who would appear for a day or so & then disappear for weeks/months on end. Then, of course, there is the usual nightmares of shoddy work etc.

    We have not had the best of luck over the years either but this time I really need to make sure I am covered fully & want to protect myself as much as possible as it is for the needs of my elderly disabled mother.

    We need to make a large doorway into the side of the house (external wall) from the inside which leads to the garage, convert the garage into a sort of transition room leading to a walk-in disabled bathroom at a sort of extension at the side of the house. There is a shower room with toilet there already but it will have to be taken down & rebuilt to a larger one which allows a wheel chair access.

    I know nothing about building contracts & catches etc & was wondering if there are ready made standard contracts out there that negate tricks & clauses builders use to protect ourselves. We have so much going on & my mother really is not well & we cannot afford to go through a horror story or nightmare. I guess I just do not trust builders to do a safe, legally complaint & decent job let alone all the crap about turning up on time etc.

    Any help or ideas anyone can give would be greatly appreciated! I know this may sound harsh but I really do not feel comfortable anymore paying anyone any money upfront or even a sizeable deposit - I only want to pay in instalments as & when the work is done so I cannot be held hostage & any works can be inspected beforehand to ensure it mets safety/compliance standards if that makes sense? I have learn't that once you give any money upfront, they either disappear or just hold you hostage & demand more & more!


    Suave!
     
  2. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong
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    We are about to have an extension built, and are basing our choice of builder on work that has been done locally - we've gone to see recent projects, and projects in flight - we see how hard the builders work (at an extension over the road, the builders are on-site at 8am 6-days a week, and make good progress). We talk to the customers to get their opinion. One candidate builder lives all of ten houses away - so no escaping :)

    Just a suggestion.
     
  3. technoman28

    technoman28
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    You need to do a lot of homework basically, but also try and get the builder to give you detailed plans as to what he plans to do with an estimate regards timescale. Where the plans involve extensions, you need details of any new foundations that are planned, as on a programme on channel 5 last night showed where an extension had been built on founds that were 300mm when they should have been 900mm!
    You should also check that when they carry out the work, they are doing exactly what they said they would and are not cutting any corners,
    Another thing to watch out for is where builders sub-contract, as the subbie may not be as good as the main builder.
    Basically it can be a bit of a minefield as the man in the street does not know as much about building regs and methods as someone in the trade.
     
  4. mjn

    mjn
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    Do it the right way to begin with:

    Pay no money up front
    Get references, and actually go and see them
    Draw up exactly what needs to be done
    Ensure the quote is broken down into all materials / labour / extras / VAT

    If you're in Herts / North London i can recommend my builder.
     
  5. Billo

    Billo
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