scaffold price dispute

31 May 2018
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United Kingdom
hi all.

im not actually a scaffolder. travesty right? hopefully im not boo'ed out of here for that!

i am however developing my third property as ive moved up the chain. this is my final resting place!

so on my last 2 projects i used a tried and tested excellent local scaffold company. who done an amazing job at a good price. everyone was happy including my builder.

however on my most recent property a friend of a very good friend has a scaffold company and persuaded me to use them (i shall not name names) but being a very close long term friend i took him up on a tin hat for a large detached property (lots of scaffold) showed him all the drawings, site walkaround, measure up etc. He seemed knowledgeable came up with a good price no issues.

upon starting the scaffold we had a few dramas with his lorry, (requiring testing, lads not turning up) but it got done. i paid half the amount upon 1st lift CASH as he asked for.

5 weeks later he installed the second lift and started on the tin hat. but he then said my builder requires another lift for the gables which wasnt in his price? he wanted an extra £1000 cash. i wasnt too happy about this and said. "u see the drawings, you gave me a price. the house hasnt grown or been changed in anyway?" he was insistent and being a nice guy and a friend of a friend i be-grudgingly paid!

2 weeks later the tin hat finally goes on as the roof trusses were craned in. after lots of messing around. not turning up when he said. lads let him down etc etc. ive had a few projects so i understand these things happen. but it was constant. and having to turn certian trades away because of rain a few times obviously costs time and money.

heres where some alarm bells started to ring and the quality of the scaffold was questioned.

the tin hat wasnt long enough so when it rains the fall at the rear of the property would bounce the rain water all off the scaffold boards and into the finished ply floor of my property. so we have had to put tarpauling over the rear of the property.

The scaffold boards all overlap eachother which surely is a trip hazard? missing lots of toe boards and had to constantly ask for more boards. had to move the boards round from side to side ourselves.

Ive been doing this a while, and to get every single trade telling me its the worse scaffold they have ever worked from was slightly worrying.

Anyway.. so now we are at 12 weeks from when the first lift went up and i get a txt message (as he doesnt like to answer the phone, almost everything has been done via text message which atleast gives me a log)

saying the scaffold has been up 12 weeks and now theres a rental charge of 7.5% of the total price of the scaffolding every week after. being a tin hat this is ALOT.

So my questions are

When is the 12 weeks payable from? first level? second level ? or when tin hat is complete? Should the 7.5% be paid on the total cost at the time rather than the total cost?

Is 12 weeks reasonable?

Is 7.5% of total price of scaffold per week reasonable ?

Where do i stand legally as i never had anything written, no paperwork, no receipt, no contract. not even a mention of the 12 weeks. not that i expect it forever for free.

He seems to have a signwritten firm, lorry, website etc. No reviews which is worrying.

And yes i know i should of looked into it more but i am where i am and would really appreciate any advise and/or answers.


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Mine was £3000 and they were useless too but plenty of boards, roof was plenty big enough.

They came in drips and drabs to put it up and said after the 6 weeks it would be £100/week extra.
ours was around 4500 I think, over a semi with 2 lifts at the back including one at roof level all around. and a tin hat. The back lift at roof level was quite a big area presumably for storing materials etc.
The guys were very quick and efficient, all went up over 2 days (and down at the end the same)
Everything seemed safe apart from they made provision to get from lift 1 to lift 2, but nothing to get to lift 1. They put a kind of materials hoist wheel at the front and back.
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You needed to state before hand you were not happy with what's been provided. You can't wait untill you come to pay the bill to complain.

Amicably the best option might be to say no time periods where stated and no paperwork indicates a cost for hire over a certain tiwm so you will pay the initial agreed amount but no more.
Just be mindful that they are swinging long poles and bub sheets of metal over your new house.
I know a couple of scaffolding companies around mine that should not be touched with a ... Scaffold pole. They tend to live in caravans but that's another story.

Just kick you best friend in the shins and don't listen to them again.

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