In this construction horror story a Builder disappears with the deposit and advanced payment. You can look this story up online as its a great example of badly a building project can go.
In Mapperley, Nottingham, a home occupier called Leila Simms needed a builder.
She went online and found a ‘trader website’ as a lot of homeowners do — these websites spend a lot on advertising and come up on the first page of google.
After getting some quotes, she hired one builder that she said provided a great price.
She paid £2,000 upfront as a deposit and then when he started onsite requested £3,000 to buy materials included the kitchen from Magnet.
Then the builder basically did not do much work.
For sure, he knocked down some walls and did some plastering but apart from that he just did not turn up for work. He left the house in a complete state with electrical wires poking out of the walls and building rubble strewn about the place. (even though Mrs Simms had young children in the house).
He used excuse after excuse including:
Eventually Mrs Simms had to get a different builder to finish the job and attempted to get her money back from the builder. It was at this point that the Client learnt from Magnet that no kitchen had been ordered.
And of course, all of this caused a huge amount of stress.
If the Client in this case brings the builder to court they will spend thousands of pounds on legal fees.
Local trading standards recommend getting three quotes and asking for examples of finished work from the builder. This is all good advice but it is the tip of the iceberg when protecting your finances and stress levels.
How about hiring an Architect, or a quantity surveyor or a project manager? Why just get some quotes and trust that the builder is a good person? Doesn’t that seem really foolish? That builder should have been thrown off site the minute he left rubble lying around an area that a young kid could conceivably enter.
Its really difficult on home occupiers and any Client really to get a construction project finished successfully. But trying to navigate the process yourself without independent help is like trying to swim the English channel without any help. Its possible but not a good idea!