Building work dilemma

I just had some building work done by my trusted carpenter. He made a temporary screen in my cellar. I made a stupid mistake I should have got a quote but as he usually works for £140 per day I assumed that it would be consistent.

He worked with his brother, did a beautiful job and worked approx 20 hours each. I bought the materials and when he sent me the invoice tonight it was nearly £4,000.

I nearly died of shock. I thought 2 days work each would come to approx £1,200 between them.

What do You think I should do? My sister said just tell them you are shocked and they can’t charge that without a quote and just send them £1,200.

What would you do? I only rented my house so I could look after my mum. I’ve been living on 50.00 a week for 9 years. Gutted doesn’t come close.

In the abscence of an agreed price you just need to make a fair offer, the £1,200 sounds fair and invite him to sue you for the difference, he is highly unlikely to be successful if he goes down that route in the abscence of an agreement or a reasonble justification for the £4k figure.

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I would tell him that it was a lot more than you were expecting for the time it took, compared to what he normally charges and ask for justification, and then negotiate from there.

about 3 days each , Even at £200 a day thats £1200 What about materials. ? How much did they cost you? Ask for a breakdown of cost If no agreement hire a surveyor. How long ago was he charging £140 a day

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I supplied all materials, they cost 500. I also supplied screws and parking. I also paid 100 to take rubbish away. Labour only for 16 hours work x 2 has been charged at 4,000. The builder charged my sis 140 for a day just one week ago. He also charged her friend the same. The builder had done several days work for me for a similar price. That’s why I was relaxed about it.

I have emailed him to ask him to explain his hourly rate. If he says 100 per hour I will say it’s unacceptable. Here is 1200 if u don’t agree take me to court. The CAB said a judge would think the invoice was laughable.

I should never have gone ahead without a quote. I’m very experienced but we had a good working relationship so it never occurred to me he would charge 100 per hour from 140 day. It’s only a temporary solution and I would never have paid that kind of money.


I am a joiner I charge £140 a day of 8 hours. Stand up to him .You have a good case Your sisters example makes your case stronger if this goes further . £100 per hour? I will drop everything and come and work with him


Thank you for your advice.