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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I'm having some repair work done on the first floor wooden

Customer Question

Hi
I'm having some repair work done on the first floor wooden windows or my flat. They wouldn't do fixed price so are on time and materials. I have two inter related issues:
1) 3-4 weeks in we found out that a day is always 5 hours to this person, anything they do above that they charge extra for. We never thought to ask how many hours a day's rate covered as prior building work has always been on a 7-8 hrs and we assumed this was 'normal' for the trades. We were aware they mentioned 5 hours / day when working off a ladder in the quote but as we were asked to provide scaffold for all the first floor work we assumed this didn't apply. When I found out about the 5 hour days I questioned it and they referred me back to the quote. I should have acted then but they had already removed parts of all the windows so we felt cornered and that we had to continue with them to get the job done before the bad weather set in. Does this mean I have accepted their 5 hr days and therefore am stuck with it permanently
In the estimate they said the following:
'Because of the work being on the first floor, it involves much of the time being spent on a ladder and it isn’t feasible to do more than about 5 hours a day working like this, due to the toll it takes on the body'
'The cost for a day’s labour will be £200'
2) The estimate for the job was originally 6 days for a very big window and 10 days for two smaller windows. If you work on 5 hr days the big window took 22.4 days (16 on a 7 hr day) I was expecting it to be worse than they estimated but not that much.
They are still working on the smaller windows. On the 9th October they confirmed an estimate to complete these of 12-14 days, which would mean it would take 22 days rather than the 10 quoted (15.85 on a 7 hr day). This was crazy so we replied with 'If work is likely to take longer than estimated could you please inform me in advance of the issue and estimated cost to rectify' They have not told me of any such issues however this morning they said it would be another week which on 5 hrs / day will take us to a total of 19 days with no explanation or reason.
We had allowed 30% contingency on this but the whole job is now over 185% more than the original quote.
In their quote they said 'there is the ‘unknown factor’ but any unexpected findings will be discussed with and agreed by you before any additional work proceeds'. They send photos of issues but provide no indication of what is over their original estimate and the cost of rectification.
I know this is a time and materials job but is there anything I can do about this? After today there will be 2 outstanding invoices to be paid plus next week if they finish the job. If I ask them to stop do I have to pay all outstanding? If they continue where do I stand?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Have you had any alternative quotes to find out how much the work should be?
Do you have any other firms that also say its a 5 hour day?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The windows are not standard sizes as it is an old property. We had several people in to quote before allocating the job. Many other companies would only quote to replace them in their entirety not repair, some just didn't want to do non standard sizes & construction. This person specialises in repairing old, non standard windows.

Everyone else I have spoken to in all trades in the area says a standard day is 7-8 hours

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok and they never specified how long the day was?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Only what they put in the quote:

'Because of the work being on the first floor, it involves much of the time being spent on a ladder and it isn’t feasible to do more than about 5 hours a day working like this, due to the toll it takes on the body'
'The cost for a day’s labour will be £200'

BUT I have paid for scaffolding to all first floor windows so they are working off that not a ladder.

I only realised they where 5 hrs days on invoice 6 when instead of charging by the day they put hours on the invoice.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
So they never said on the estimate it was 5 hours a day?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

As I said in my last response. The quote said:

'Because of the work being on the first floor, it involves much of the time being spent on a ladder and it isn’t feasible to do more than about 5 hours a day working like this, due to the toll it takes on the body'

'The cost for a day’s labour will be £200'

BUT I have paid for scaffolding to all first floor windows so they are working off that not a ladder.

I only realised they where 5 hrs days on invoice 6 when instead of charging by the day they put hours on the invoice.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Are they spending any time on a ladder?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I'm not there so have just texted a local friend to verify.

Ladders will obviously be used to get on and off the scaffold and between levels but he should have no reason to balance on a ladder to do any work.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok, just time up and down the ladder? Why didnt you question the 5 hours point before you agreed to the work please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Excuse me but I'm not sure you've read my correspondence correctly. I have already answered the questions you are re-asking. I am not happy with this service. I either need a different 'expert' or to get my money back. I certainly am not happy paying for the correspondence I have received to date.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Its a one off fee. You need to wait until they have done the work. Then you need to deduct the reasonable costs for working a full day.
This means you should allow an additional 2-3 hours a day, especially if they are simply going up and down ladders rather than working on them. What is against you is that their estimate made it clear that they were quoting for a 5 hour day - you accepted that and you can't get away from it.
But I would work out how many days has been worked, how many hours worked and how many days they SHOULD have worked based on a 7 hour day.
That is the sum you pay. Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Alex. Much appreciated.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Good luck.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
If the system won’t let you please click reply.
Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hi

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If you have not done so already might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.

Alex

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