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Old 15th Feb 2013, 11:52   #1
matt9b
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Builders - Why so rude and unreliable?!

I contacted 3 builders to quote for a garage conversion... they turn up but never get back to me with a quote.

I ended up having to call loads more builders and spend more days off waiting for them to turn up, to eventually get just 3 quotes.

According to online guides, small single garage conversions should be around 2000 - 8000 max.

One guy quoted 4500, didn't seem to know anything, couldn't speak english or understand what I meant by damp-proofing, and omitted to include anything I told him to in the quote (radiators, damp proof course etc.). When I reminded him of it all, he replied "damp-proof course is very important that is why I raised the issue with you"

Another building company that seemed *good* assured me they'd get back to me with their quote... but after chasing for 2 months for their quote and not heard back, I've given up. Then yesterday they emailed me saying they want to send another builder out to me to quote, when I'd already been over all the details with their first 2 builders for over an hour.

One builder seemed really good, I was set on going with him, he said it'd cost no more than 7000, but then 2 weeks later emailed me a quote for 16,000 ! - That's for a small single garage conversion into an empty room with no decorating (!)

From my experience, none of them ever turn up on time or provide quotes when they say they're going to, or stick to their word, or provide good quality workmanship. We're not talking about the 5% cowboys, I'm talking about literally all tradespeople we come into contact with.

I must have had to take 3 days off to call around 40 people for various jobs and still almost all of these jobs haven't been done. And the ones that are done, are atrocious in quality.

It's exhausting. How is anyone meant to get anything done in their lives with tradespeople behaving this way?!
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Old 15th Feb 2013, 11:55   #2
the shadow
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Old 15th Feb 2013, 11:57   #3
the shadow
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Electricians Why so rude and unreliable?! lol beat you to it

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Old 15th Feb 2013, 11:59   #4
:(Rhodri:)
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Couldn't you have rolled your tradesmen complaints into one post

Generally it's worth asking any friends and neighbors that have any work done to the house who they went with and if they'd recommend them, doesn't guarantee you a good tradesman but massively increases the likelihood.

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Old 15th Feb 2013, 12:01   #5
matt9b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhodri2311 View Post
Couldn't you have rolled your tradesmen complaints into one post
I could write an entire essay on the subject, I don't think I'll bore people any more!
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Old 15th Feb 2013, 12:36   #6
cjgardens
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Where do you live
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Old 15th Feb 2013, 12:43   #7
Stretch
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Although it's a sweeping generalisation, "tradesmen" are terrible because they come from low achieving backgrounds. They'd be useless at anything, but be a builder has few barriers to entry and they just fall into it.

Worse still are the ones that are "qualified". They think the light shines out of their backside and means they can take the **** even more. Plumbers are the worst.

Last edited by Stretch; 15th Feb 2013 at 12:46.
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Old 15th Feb 2013, 12:44   #8
Dugganator
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Couldnt you have just done one post explaining both stories and titled it Trades men

"I just refer to my self as a pc monkey.... feed me a banana give me a spanner and I'll swing in and fix the pc, server or infrastructure."
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 13:15   #9
Nightglow
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Waste of time phoning builders, better to have a look around your area & see what building work going, then go & ask the person who having the work done for their views on trade person.
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 18:53   #10
russ9898
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
Although it's a sweeping generalisation, "tradesmen" are terrible because they come from low achieving backgrounds. They'd be useless at anything, but be a builder has few barriers to entry and they just fall into it.

Worse still are the ones that are "qualified". They think the light shines out of their backside and means they can take the **** even more. Plumbers are the worst.
Qualified Electrician here. Not only that but I have 2 A-Levels, qualified site manager and currently studying for my degree in Construction management/facilities management. Guess I'm from a low achieving background.
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 22:22   #11
maccapacca
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What you have is something easily DIY if you know what you are doing, most builders want an easy buck not something that takes up all their time with little profit, not everyone is prepared to work for wages. The job is probably no where near big enough for a manager / supervisor and you won't want to pay for them either.

Have you thought about individual trades and managing it yourself, it's not rocket science if you have a plan.

I converted my garage for at the most 1k as I did most of the work only calling in a plasterer to skim, a plumber to second fix and a sparky to test.

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Old 17th Feb 2013, 08:12   #12
Dave L
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
Although it's a sweeping generalisation, "tradesmen" are terrible because they come from low achieving backgrounds.
That's a very bad thing to say - so you're tarring me with the same brush as other tradesmen?? I think you'll find that statement is very wrong.

The OP - I find it odd that all those builders have failed to quote - I look at every quotation as a possible job and treat the customer as such. Do you come across as a possible pain in the ass customer, perhaps? Builders would see this and give such a person a wide berth. I get those in my trade, too, but I grin and bear it - and get on with the job.

Just a thought.
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 11:13   #13
Admiral Huddy
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I have an extension starting any week now.

I’ve not found any rude , but just thoughtless to say the least.

It's been a nightmare getting a builder and taken nearly a year to get the work started from when I started looking after our plans had been approved.

We hade various quotes ranging from 15k to 45 for the same job. The problem with such a wide range of quotes it became difficult to judge what the correct quote was for the job and which best value was for money. One builder went on about the quality of the scaffolding??

We decided that 20k seemed about the right price.. On agreeing and finding a builder, he never got back to me on various questions I had. He was due to start last May 2012 but each time I had arranged for him to come round but a number of times, he just failed to turn up. Once ai can forgive but the second time I gave him the boot as it became evident that this would only carry on during and after the job which concerned me.

I then found another builder in our area that could start last September and I was prepared to wait given his credentials. . That got pushed back to November then to End of Feb 2013.. I still have no official start date. Yet again, I can wait a week before my calls and emails are returned but I can’t afford to wait anymore. We have now moved all our stuff in preparation so hopefully things will go ahead. My guess is that a bigger job came along.

Builders have to remember they never always had it this good and they need to think about customer relations. There may be a day when they wished they had. They need to be honest if anything. If they can’t do a job, then say so rather than trying to take the job on or charge a ridiculous prices because they don’t need the business.

It’s very stressful business given all the rumours and TV publicity they receive.

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Old 19th Feb 2013, 13:47   #14
JonnyGeee
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because all builders are chavs.
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Old 3rd Mar 2013, 20:24   #15
wnb
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We use alot of tradesman over the years, none are rude they are busy and are often late or dont turn up to meetings. Because many of them are one man bands they often run their office from their mobile so end up organising things when they are working for someone else.
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Old 3rd Mar 2013, 21:06   #16
Derek W
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a good tradesman is judged by his workmanship. If customers are happy he will be recommended. If you want a good tradesman then speak to friends and colleagues who have had work done. Better than online recommendations etc that seem to be the quick and easy way to find someone to do the work for you.

If you do that then you wont get 'rude and unreliable' builders or tradesmen of any sort


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Old 3rd Mar 2013, 22:01   #17
maccapacca
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I can see where people are coming from and sympathise however clients can be utter idiots sometimes.

I work for a few local builders helping them price work and some clients think it's a free service to price their every whim and thought, at a moments notice then string them along until they finally make their mind up and want them to start Monday, then get angry why they can't drop everything and come running.

The biggest problem I find is people don't compare like with like, they get 4 prices and think the lowest is the right price and everyone else is taking the pee, employ the lowest then have no end of problems from day one.

Fundamentally a job costs,

Labour
Plant
Material
Overheads & profit

1 2 & 3 shouldn't really change if everyone is pricing like for like, only 4 should change and as probably 10% of the total so even if they are 100% out it isn't going to make a massive difference. When someone is twice or half as much they have mostly 1 2 or 3 wrong and you are not comparing like with like.

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Old 3rd Mar 2013, 23:12   #18
BF-Bert
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Labour, plant and materials are probably where you'll get the biggest differences.......... wages vary, plant whether owned or hired will vary and trade discount on materials will vary hugely.

Biggest error is under or over estimating how long a job will take.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 06:12   #19
Dave L
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As above, too many people just look at the bottom right hand figure on a quote and skim over the detailed part of the quote.

Winds me up no end.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 16:32   #20
Marvt74
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Have you considered the website Rated People? We used it when we had some work done 2 years ago and settled on a builder who we found to be excellent and have since recommended him often.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 18:19   #21
PlacidCasual
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I'm an engineer and write specifications all the time but can I get a general builder to give me quote on a basis that allows me to compare like for like. Can I buggery. Lots of builders are keen to make it difficult or just don't understand what you're after. I guess the bigger the job the more likely it is you'll get some show of competence.


edit: i should frame that statement, can i get a good quote for a small job. No

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Old 4th Mar 2013, 18:39   #22
MatteH Oxford
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The biggest problem I have giving quotes is getting through to people that sometimes you really can't estimate the amount of work that will have to be done initially, especially when dealing with old property that is being refurbished. Unless the place is stripped back, you can't say 100% for sure what condition the building is actually in. I try to quote for the job in stages, and mention to the client from the get-go that there may be problems at key stages which will have to be addressed if problems arise (and give an idea of what that would cost too).

Thankfully that doesn't always happen, and it's good when you can tell a client that no further work is needed - they do tend to appreciate this approach!. Although sometimes you get the odd woefully overoptimistic **** who has watched too much Sarah Beeny and thinks you can double the price of a place by swapping out Kitchens and bathrooms.

They are the ones builders don't get back to......

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Old 4th Mar 2013, 18:46   #23
MatteH Oxford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlacidCasual View Post


edit: i should frame that statement, can i get a good quote for a small job. No
I can have some sympathy here, but is it worthwhile for a builder, to say, come out and hang one door?. I've been asked to before but to be honest it would probably take me longer to get my tools in/out the vehicle!

Sorry, but sometimes small jobs really aren't worth it, I'd say try and look out for a semi-retired person after a bit of cash who doesn't have the overheads.

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