To learn about builders

I had a builder working for me a while ago to finish a work that has 2 steps. He has finished step1 and wanted to be paid in full for both step to continue step 2. So I paid.

After I paid, I called once and he said will be back on holiday next month, then I called next month he was saying will return my call and waited a week later I called again and he is saying the same thing.

Should I get worried or builders are genuinely that busy and don’t tell you much?

I supply insulation to builders ,I am busy , they are busy. BUT you should not have paid upfront for the 2nd step. What incentive is there to return? I Used to do 50k Building jobs 5 years ago and never asked for upfront money for work I had not done. He is fobbing you off

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So… what to do now? any method to get him back?

I guess its not a huge amount of money. Keep on at him. OR/ AND tell him you will get another builder to complete the work and sue him for the cost.

not sure if i understand builders, i called again third time actually he picked up and apologetically saying he is struggling with other jobs he booked in and looking to fit me in but looks like whole march is booked.

I mean… if he scammed me then he would just disappear, could he be actually honest and really not very good at organising and telling the truth?

at the same time it feels unbelievable you can actually get so much work that getting your whole month booked up…

any thing is possible. As I said no incentive to go back once paid.

well there could be more other work offered if this one done well though. would be silly not to treat potential more income source (owners) well for each job get good feedback and get more work or recommending to others. Or they are generally short sighted?

Some do not view it that way . I worked for 52 years just on reccomendations .Never advertised. Made decent money. Today I go to different builders sites and it really is chalk and cheese …I see rough work and superb jobs. A mixed bag, some of the rough ones think they are great

I had a builder lined up for a large job. After months of delay he finally provided a quote that was double his original estimate. He’s now upset I’m going elsewhere. I know materials have rocketed in price but it is true that builders seem to work in a different universe where reliability and customer service don’t matter.

Now looking for a good plumber who will actually take the time to produce a quote.

Crisis? What crisis?

in the last 2 years timber prices have tripled, steelwork,has tripled ., bricks and blocks have doubled., plasterboard and cement 50% up. Labour has doubled . Some builders now ask the customers to buy all the materials and just give a price for the labour . It is so tricky

but why would they ask customer to buy material where builder can get VAT tax relief and customer can’t get it any cheaper buying materials themselves?

Sounds like my problem except i paid in full as a deposit so they are happy to work for me to feel more secure at their end. So it has been a month since first time paid and chased, but from looking at your experience it seems it is common that they are just how they are not really trying to rip you of but rather living in a different universe where time management doesn’t matter?

Anyone else experience the same?

but they then have to charge Vat on the WHOLE job so the customer will pay more. They do it so if any increases during the job the customers have to stand it and the builder will not lose out

I see, also one disadvantage is if you want builders to get material there is a chance they try to reduce the cost as much as possible to a point almost crossed your line.

For example, when i replaced my floor they didn’t tell me the same colour is not available for reflooring one room and ended up contrasting colour. I noticed it when they started doing it. then i looked up on B&Q they have the one I need selling there.

Given the work has already started and they booked the slot with 2 people working on it. I quietly accepted it as they were recommended by a friend and arguing within them might cause more uncertainty.

The floor job was ok nonetheless, so it is difficult to argue.

So. is it common for builder to say… I am booked for a month or two and will work on your stuff later? I mean like… how intense is the job that needs for a month or two? would it be their delay tactic to put you on hold when they are able to get a more paid job and if they have a quiet time then they consider put you in?

somebuilders have work for upto 6 months Most of my jobs were a 6 to 8 week job and at one point I had a years waiting list . It varies so much , depends how much a customer wants you. I take insulation to builders who are doing 100k to120k jobs Two years ago half the cost

when I had a lot of work Iliked to choose the most interesting job so if a “mundane” job came up I would turn it down as i had enough work

What about jobs that you are paid with a deposit and you got more interesting ones coming in, will you be tempted to try postpone the one that was already paid the deposit and do the more interesting one?

I never took money upfront even when offered. I always had enough money to start a job . I always tell people NEVER pay up front When halfway thru I would ask for a payment . Worked for me . for 52 years !

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so you are going to start a big job for a few weeks and materials are expensive so you pay it out of your own pocket until the work is complete and satisfied by the customer? and then that is when you get paid?