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Help needed - dodgy gardeners

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by TeeDub, 24 Jun 2019.

  1. NotSoNewboy

    NotSoNewboy

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    If you're bored and fancy putting a materials costing together then working figures are around (but anybody in trade would almost certainly be buying cheaper than these)

    Brick - £0.50
    Block - £1.30
    Cement - £3.20 (25kg)
    Ballast £35 (bag)
    Sandstone £20 m2
    Sand £35 (bag)
    Sharp £35
    Wall ties £45 (250 pack)
    Gravel board £8 - £15 (size dependant)
     
  2. TeeDub

    TeeDub

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    I'll give it a go - I don't even know if he's done anything with wall ties. I can't see anything tying the two walls together when I look down the gaps between them. Are they drilled in or something, or do they fit when you're laying the bricks etc?
     
  3. NotSoNewboy

    NotSoNewboy

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    (y)
     
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  4. TeeDub

    TeeDub

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    Sigh. I'll have a goooooood look down the cavity. I can bet they didn't fit them. They laid the block work first and put nothing in them at all, got plenty of photos to prove that - if they're required, I guess that means the walls should come down and have to be redone. If they're not required then I'll just have to say they haven't fitted them and ask them for an itemised bill and receipt to get the material back (same goes for the "blue bricks" they've charged me for). It's why i've been asking for receipts and invoices.
     
  5. NotSoNewboy

    NotSoNewboy

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    Probably blue double/bullnose headers

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Yes, there isnt £3k of materials there, maybe £2k

    But allowing for plant hire, material mark up, overheads and profit -its probably not loads out.

    Labour in reality is more like 20 days for skilled guy + 1 labourer, say £300/day =£6000 (Im only guessing at timescale, but prob more realistic).

    Theres no VAT mentioned so I guess the builders arent VAT registered, which is a bit of an alarm bell!

    I do hope you get it resolved ok.
     
  7. NotSoNewboy

    NotSoNewboy

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    Sorry - my mistake these are net and you need to add VAT
     
  8. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Might they have under quoted for the work and skimped on doing the job to minimise there losses?
     
  9. TeeDub

    TeeDub

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    Maybe - I'm completely open to if there's extra work and costs, and told him that if it's necessary. I bet he didn't bank on there being thick horrid clay in the entire of the garden (it's Birmingham, UK) - to me he should've used a machine to dig it... would've been done in a day or maybe two and cost less than a 2-3 people for a week. Our gate is 130cm wide (it was rotting recently so I widened it when it was redone) and the back has a driveway and good service road so access is easy.

    The company isn't VAT registered. I thought that wasn't a problem unless they were earning over a certain threshold (I've looked at going consulting myself).

    I have been growing in suspicion all along with little things, and it's clearly obvious now he's either incompetent or malicious or just plain rushed it. He wasn't the cheapest quote... there was definitely a couple of people who said it would be cheaper, but i didn't trust them!?!?!
     
    Last edited: 26 Jun 2019
  10. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Even more suspicious, you don't get people using muscle on a heavy job like that, unless there is no option to get a machine in. My guess is that their credit was so poor with suppliers, they could not hire a machine, or they just simply were not up to speed on tackling a 'larger' job than they were used to.
     
  11. opps

    opps

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    Ratedpeople.con

    My GF was ripped off by a guy she found on their website. He did a couple of small jobs and then took £2800 for materials to redo our downstairs bathroom.

    Needless to say he never got back to her once she had transferred the £2800. The police didn't give a toss. By all accounts he has a history of using those kind of websites to shaft people. When I last checked he had 5 unsatisfied CCJs against him.

    Ratedpeople have a track record of deleting negative posts. In the event of numerous complaints they will delete the "builder's" profile but in the case of Toby Smith, he just tweaks his trading name and is free to rip people off.

    The following isn't related to me but it was set up by one of Mr Smith's customers.

    https://homeowneruk.wordpress.com/

    I appreciate that when you move to a new area getting recommendations might be difficult but please do not assume that someone that has positive feedback on rated people is trustworthy. Apologies to the decent trades people on that web site. I know you exist but as the people that keep the sites in business, perhaps you should be more vocal about the cowboys that they promote.
     
  12. opps

    opps

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    Why not link to their website?

    AFAIK it is covered by "fair comment" and thus shouldn't be moderated out of existence.
     
  13. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    The fact that they even need to advertise for work, says a lot. The competent workers will generally be inundated with work where they have been recommended, able to pick and choose what they take on.
     
  14. opps

    opps

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    I kinda agree with you. I have never advertised and as a sole trader I am fully booked until the end of the year (other things being equal). I do however know reputable tradesmen that use those kind of sites. Personally I see them as being a race to the bottom. Many customers have no idea how much a decent job costs.

    I recently quoted 6K to paint the front elevation of a double fronted house. I was recommended by the guy who will be repointing the house. I went to great lengths to suggest that the home owner gets other quotes but stressed that the rated people type guy who charges half the amount will be using inferior products and wont be removing all of the blown masonry paint. The painful irony is that the cowboy is likely to earn much more per day than me and his work will need to be rectified after a couple of years.

    Whilst not wanting to potentially malign hard working home owners, and in no way being critical of the OP, people need to try to appreciate what is involved in providing a good quality finish. Granted, paying Rolls Royce prices does not guarantee a Rolls Royce finish but if you pay peanuts, you will probably have monkeys doing the work.

    I would never rip off a customer. I survive on my personal reputation. Most, but not all, of my customers know each other.
     
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  15. TeeDub

    TeeDub

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    No (undue) criticism taken. We had around 5 quotes. This was the middle priced one, with two of them being in the £9k to £10k range and one being around the same and another being around £4k. The cheaper one's I just didn't trust (I don't know why I trusted this guy). I do appreciate that the work is hard and I'd prefer it done right. If he had given me a ballpark quote and then realised (after digging and uncovering something) there was an issue I'd be all up for paying more to get job done right. I mean I can't afford the world. I thought that money for ~2 weeks work would be fine, but when he started only showing up half days, I was wondering how he'd be able to pay his people as at the rate he was going I could see it continuing for 4 weeks (and then it rained and "van broke down" - which isn't my problem).

    Wall foundations - been reading around - so the foundations were dug and was just a cement layer across. He left it dry for a day and then put the brick and block walls on them (not into the concrete foundation). Does that sound fine too?

    I've just got non-official contract legal counsel from people in my work and they say I'm in the stronger position as his contract literally says the acknowledgement of my satisfaction IS the final payment. I'm sure that doesn't align with the consumer rights act either. He hasn't even given me a payment due date, invoice, receipt of payment (although there was an acknowledgement in email).
     
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