Builders from hell are the biggest stress point for people building and renovating a home. As an Interior Designer, I speak with clients who have had awful experiences (luckily not with anyone I have recommended). So what can you do?
Choosing the right contractor is vital when you’re building or renovating a house. You need to spend time comparing quotes and asking for recommendations from previous customers to make sure that they’re reliable… and not builders from hell.
Even then, there’s the chance that their work won’t be up to scratch or, in some cases, might not be finished. If there are a few small issues or if you feel their standard of work is not acceptable, what do you do?
Builders From Hell: Ask Them To Fix It
If you have an issue, contact your contractor immediately. Tell them you are unhappy and why. Be as specific as possible. It’s possible the contractor just made a mistake or misunderstood what was required. In this instance, they should be happy to come back and fix the problem.
It’s important that you don’t overreact at this point because you may be able to avoid a dispute entirely if you politely tell them that you have some issues and ask them to sort it out.
It’s also worth seeing if there are any jobs that you can do yourself, just make sure that you don’t make it worse. If the contractor doesn’t agree that there is something wrong with the work and they refuse to come back and finish it, that’s when you’ve got a real problem.
This is why retaining the final payment or a percentage of the total fee prior to finishing is a good idea. It’s much harder to get a contractor back in a timely fashion if you have already paid all their fee.
Understand the consumer law in your area and ALWAYS check the credentials and insurance of contractors including builders, plumbers, electricians, tilers, painters etc.
Builders From Hell: Take Legal Action
If they won’t come back to fix the problem, you’re going to have to explore your legal options. All work completed must be done to a certain standard and must be as advertised.
It must also be done using the appropriate materials. If any of those requirements are not met, you can take legal action against the contractors.
Get in touch with property solicitors and explain the situation to them, they’ll be able to tell you what your options are. You may be able to claim some or all of the money back or get them to come back and fix the problems free of charge.
It’s important that you keep hold of any documents and quotes that they gave you and always make sure you get a final quote, with a breakdown of what work you’re paying for.
Having that proof will help you if you’re trying to argue that they didn’t complete the work as agreed upon. Take some good photographs of the problems as well because you’ll need some proof that the work was not up to standard.
Builders From Hell: Leave Them A Review
This isn’t something that will help you get your issue resolved but it will stop other people from getting into the same situation.
Most people will look at reviews from previous customers when they’re choosing a contractor and they deserve to know if this company is going to do a bad job.
By putting up a review, you’ll be helping other people to avoid the problems that you’re having.
Builders From Hell: Find New Contractors
Even if they do agree to come back and fix the problems, you’re not likely to trust them. It’s a lot better to find a new contractor that can finish the job properly and then have the original company cover the cost of those repairs.
If you can claim your money back in court, you can use this to pay the new contractors so you aren’t out of pocket.
If you are the victim of a bad contractor it’s important that you keep good records of the work they’ve done and go down the appropriate legal channels to sort it out.
Need Help With Finding A Good Builder?
I work with a variety of contractors and builders that I trust through my interior design business, Plush Design Interiors. In Adelaide, if you need a quality recommendation for a contractor please contact me for further information.