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Floorers please - is this invoice for partial work fair.....


 
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aires69uk

from United Kingdom

Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Lancashire,
United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:09 pm Reply with quote

A work acquaintance gave us a quote of 200 to lay approx 7-8sq metres of solid oak flooring - we'll say 10sq metres to be generous, I may be underestimating.

[EDIT 27/03: I think I have underestimated slightly and in actual fact it's approx 9-10sq metres he would have laid.]

We have a moisture issue in the floor as our cottage is 350 years old. Needless to say when he came, he did say he didn't know whether he could just lay on top of what was there, or whether he'd need to screed a layer of self-levelling compound first.

We have oak on top of a parquet floor which itself is on to of plastic tiles. He and mate had to pull up the 5sq metres of parquet floor and plastic tiles (simple) and screed a layer of self-levelling compound. Although he arrived at approx 9:00am he didn't start until approx 9:30am and left approx 11:30am.

The floorer wanted to glue the solid oak to the floor in the lounge and the kitchen (which had also incidentally been screed with self-levelling compound 12 months ago). The floorer asked us to buy the glue and told us to go to B&Q and ask for flexible glue - to paraphrase slightly "there's only one and they'll know exactly which one you're talking about".

The local wood yard who sold us the oak advised "I know the glue you want and the only way to describe it is it's like snot. It's very expensive and it comes in a big tin but we don't sell it."

So we called the floorer back and he directed us to a timber merchants in town. The floorer sent us to the wrong branch of two branches in town - the non-flooring branch. When we got to the correct branch the floorer was asking the guy at the timber merchants over the phone for his advice as to what glue he had, how flexible the glue he had was, and what the moisture tolerance was. As a colleague of mine at work pointed out - "You would have thought the floorer would have known exactly the glue he would have wanted and asked for it by name. The bloke in the wood shop isn't a floorer and you would expect the floorer to know the exact glue he wanted."

We bought Laybond L16 (as directed to buy the floorer) - I had not looked at the label myself and blindly put my faith in the guy at the timber merchants and the floorer. It was pointed out to me on this forum by mointainwalker that Laybond L16 is not flexible but is in fact Rigid - I then looked at the label which confirmed this. I pointed this out to the floorer who cam around t the house and after spending 30 seconds reading the label turned to me and said where does it say rigid - I pointed with my finger to the word RIGID. Ahhh says the floorer "but it depends on what they mean by rigid, I mean how rigid is rigid?" - well it's rigid I said.

In the meantime I'd come up with alternatives myself like Laybond L19 and Sikabond T54 and also Elastilon, which I personally wanted to use. So we agreed he would use Elastilon because he had used Laybond L19 and Sikabond T54 before and also Elastilon (why he did not tell us this originally we do not know).

Unfortunately the self-levelling compound didn't dry as quickly as everyone thought including the floorer and I asked for a delay in work to start. Over a number of weeks he came 3 or 4 times to read the floor, however there were times when he said he would come and he didn't. Sometimes he had a prior engagement like his daughter's birthday party which he had forgotten about. Sometimes he said he would call to read the floor and then did not, but he did not call to say why or apologise. Although he did say his daughter had fallen and was at A&E for a short time.

Time was dragging on and when he agreed he would come he said "next week", but when that week arrived he did not come and he did not return two of my wife's calls. When she saw him he said he had been "very busy" and he said he would come "next week" again. However based on past history of unreliability we could not believe this, as he had agreed with me that he would order the Elastilon himself, and then call me so that I could call the firm and pay for it. This call never came so a promise of Monday work would seem to be bull as he didn't have the materials as far as we knew. I felt we had to move the job on and get someone else - at the end of the day we felt we had missed out slot with him so to speak and that he was busy with other work, and he only felt obligated to continue just because my wife worked with his wife.

On the Sunday this guy phoned about 10 times, obviously agitated that he had missed our call and the accompanying message telling him he was now not on the job. When we did eventually speak he said he had intended to come on the Monday anyway (yesterday) - too little, too late.

His invoice has now turned up at 150 for 2 hours work of laying approx 5sq metres of self-levelling compound, 50 of which is for 3 visits (he believes 7) to inspect the floor to ascertain if it was ready (it wasn't).

What does anyone think with regards to the invoice price please? Your comments would be welcomed.....


Last edited by aires69uk on Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:02 pm, edited 3 times in total
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freddymercurystwin

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:32 pm Reply with quote

Frankly your cheap as chips quote was the first clue then whole rigmarole of you having to get the glue should have been the second clue you were embarking upon employing a monkey.
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aires69uk

from United Kingdom

Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Lancashire,
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:55 pm Reply with quote

freddymercurystwin wrote:
Frankly your cheap as chips quote was the first clue then whole rigmarole of you having to get the glue should have been the second clue you were embarking upon employing a monkey.


Well with the benefit of eagle eye hindsight that may well be the case, but can I have your opinion on what he has billed us for please - is it a fair price of him to be asking?
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freddymercurystwin

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:10 pm Reply with quote

Well blindingly obvious hindsight aside we both know his invoice is dog doodoo but there appears to be more than just 2 hours work by one monkey? Of course your wife has to work with his so it may not be as easy as just refusing to pay him ....
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aires69uk

from United Kingdom

Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Lancashire,
United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:33 pm Reply with quote

freddymercurystwin wrote:
Well blindingly obvious hindsight aside we both know his invoice is dog doodoo but there appears to be more than just 2 hours work by one monkey? Of course your wife has to work with his so it may not be as easy as just refusing to pay him ....


What I'm getting at is - throw a price up in the air. Let's assume I feel obligated to pay him something (because my wife works with his wife etc), what would you suggest is a fair figure I could look him in the eye with? Even though he's messed us about and he feels messed about by us, what should I pay him for laying the self-levelling compound and his visits/waiting period?

EDIT:
____

He has charged 20 per sq metre for laying the self-levelling compound. The 3 additional visits were in the evening on his way home to test the moisture level of the floor (with the self-levelling compound laid), for this he has charged 50.
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flooringman

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:46 pm Reply with quote

Is the person concerned, a floor layer or just someone who is having a bash at it?

A reasonable charge for laying a decent screed (F.Ball/Ardex/Mapei) would be approx. 10 a m2. but you would probably looking at a minimum charge dependig on distance travelled etc.

The first thing that would worry me are the words 350 years old cottage.

If the sub floor does not have a built in dpm I would worry that the screed will ever dry out sufficiently.

I would suggest you find an installer who knows what he is talking about before you go any further. Whereabouts in Lancashire are you?
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aires69uk

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Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Lancashire,
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:11 pm Reply with quote

flooringman wrote:
Is the person concerned, a floor layer or just someone who is having a bash at it?

A reasonable charge for laying a decent screed (F.Ball/Ardex/Mapei) would be approx. 10 a m2. but you would probably looking at a minimum charge dependig on distance travelled etc.

The first thing that would worry me are the words 350 years old cottage.

If the sub floor does not have a built in dpm I would worry that the screed will ever dry out sufficiently.

I would suggest you find an installer who knows what he is talking about before you go any further. Whereabouts in Lancashire are you?


No to be very fair he is a proper floorer and despite the described comedy of errors, he is actually quite a nice bloke and not a monkey as rather unfairly described by freddymercurystwin. Admittedly I get the impression he is probably a commercial floorer rather than a domestic floorer and he was essentially doing us a favour, but he is a proper floorer.

He did recommend we strip back the whole floor and apply a DPM but it's a one bedroom cottage with a lounge, kitchen, and ground floor bathroom. The oak runs throughout the whole of the ground floor into the bathroom (and will run through into the kitchen), and in areas some of the oak is up to 10 feet in length. It is simply just not practical to relay the whole floor but that is another story?

Are you saying I should pay him 50 and that's it?
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flooringman

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:41 pm Reply with quote

If it's 7/8m2 then he would normally have to supply enough for 10m2 as one bag usually covers 5m2.

The 10 /m2 would include VAT for me so that would work out to 100.

If it was within a reasonable distance that is what I would quote.

However you did not get a specific quote, so you've got an argument as he might work for a minimum charge.

Hope you sort it.
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HMCFlooring

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:51 am Reply with quote

But he has no experience with wood flooring.

The moisture level should have been checked before the screed went down. The floor is and always has been damp. The screed will never dry. He should have known this at the start and had a DPM with him.

He would turn up to site with his own adhesive also.
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cajar

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:47 pm Reply with quote

I'd give him 50 tops and even that is just a goodwill gesture. Remind him that the 200 was to lay the floor and he had plenty of opportunity and was the one specifiying the materials. Surprised he had the cheek to send an invoice of 75% when the floor isnt down and you are even worse off than you were before.
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aires69uk

from United Kingdom

Joined: 30 Jan 2012
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Location: Lancashire,
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:51 pm Reply with quote

HMCFlooring wrote:
But he has no experience with wood flooring.

The moisture level should have been checked before the screed went down. The floor is and always has been damp. The screed will never dry. He should have known this at the start and had a DPM with him.

He would turn up to site with his own adhesive also.


As I say he is a proper floorer and he did recommend we DPM the whole floor. Unfortunately it is just not practical for us to do that. We would have to go and live in someone else's house while the floor was drying out. And that's just not possible. We have sent a cheque for 75 and we will see what happens. In the end we will use Elastilon as it has a moisture tolerance of 3.9% and that should do the job.
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flooringman

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:36 pm Reply with quote

aires69uk wrote:
HMCFlooring wrote:
But he has no experience with wood flooring.

The moisture level should have been checked before the screed went down. The floor is and always has been damp. The screed will never dry. He should have known this at the start and had a DPM with him.

He would turn up to site with his own adhesive also.


As I say he is a proper floorer and he did recommend we DPM the whole floor. Unfortunately it is just not practical for us to do that. We would have to go and live in someone else's house while the floor was drying out. And that's just not possible. We have sent a cheque for 75 and we will see what happens. In the end we will use Elastilon as it has a moisture tolerance of 3.9% and that should do the job.


Oh dear!!!!
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aires69uk

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Location: Lancashire,
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:58 pm Reply with quote

Well the last time the floorer tested the floor it was 3% moisture in some areas, 4% moisture in other areas. Basically it is going to have to be a suck it and see situation with the Elastilon. If we do get the floor boards rising again in the future then we will just rip up the whole floor, DPM it and fit a carpet. I am hoping that given there was no expansion gap before and there will be this time, that we shouldn't have a repeat occurrence of the floor boards rising. But like I say, if I'm wrong and this does happen then we will just rip up the whole floor, DPM it and fit a carpet - simple as.
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HMCFlooring

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:31 pm Reply with quote

aires69uk wrote:
HMCFlooring wrote:
But he has no experience with wood flooring.

The moisture level should have been checked before the screed went down. The floor is and always has been damp. The screed will never dry. He should have known this at the start and had a DPM with him.

He would turn up to site with his own adhesive also.


As I say he is a proper floorer and he did recommend we DPM the whole floor. Unfortunately it is just not practical for us to do that. We would have to go and live in someone else's house while the floor was drying out. And that's just not possible. We have sent a cheque for 75 and we will see what happens. In the end we will use Elastilon as it has a moisture tolerance of 3.9% and that should do the job.


I can guarantee he is not a wood floor fitter! And 3 hours for an epoxy DPM to dry does seem an eternity when I need to get a job done i agree, but for you to live in someone else's house?

In fact lets see.
Where in Lancashire are you?
If he claims to be a wood floor layer and this is your story i may be able to guess his name! Know a few 'round these parts!
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mac391

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:16 am Reply with quote

Both parties may be to blame here..From what i have read, i think your fitter has some experience, just not enough. He should have demanded that you pay for a DPM before screeding, instead he advised and you declined. He may have given you the wrong advice though, i.e 3% moisture content readings would have been the driest floor i have ever come across.
I don't expect you to know about or how to read moisture content in sub-floors but if you think your fitter is a "proper floor layer" then you are wrong. It sounds to me that he has used a simple moisture meter and got the figures all wrong if what you have told us is correct. Nevertheless, he did advise you have a dpm laid which was correct advice and you chose not to. whether that was through his bad advice or your misundertanding isn't quite clear.
In the end it is always up to the installer to give correct advice for you to decide on. If the advice was correct you should pay his invoice, if it was wrong you owe him nothing
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