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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71153
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I employed a tradesman to build me a garden office for the

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I employed a tradesman to build me a garden office for the agreed sum of £7500, he done a very bad job of the interior finish and I agreed with him to get someone in to redo this while he does the outside. He is due to come in and finish tomorrow, but the work he done so far on the outside is of very bad quality. Things are not level, straight, watertight and the list goes on. I don't want him to try and sort it as I believe he would just mess it up further. So far I have paid him £3500 and am due to pay the painter fixing the inside £500. So the cost to me so far is £4000. Can I ask him not to come back....and not pay him any more money as someone will have to come in to finish it. Or do I give him another £1000 and tell him to stop work?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How bad are the faults?
Why do you say you think he would create more damage?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo

He is just up to the job...He could talk the talk, but not walk the walk. He would not cause damage, but the finish would not get any better. I thought that after admitting to me the interior was not a good finish, he would have tried his best with the outside. Things are not straight, the downpipe is where a pillar is so it doesn't stay in. The cladding got big gaps, are not lined up, windows are not level, the roof membrane is loose in the corners and the list goes on. The decorator I got in is a friend and he pointed out the one mistake after another this morning...he is fully booked so there is no benefit in him trying to get the job, but he said to me he would not pay someone for the standard of work done. The original builder just text me for more money, and I do not want to pay him anything further.

Does he deny that the work is poor?
Why is he asking you for more money?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I haven't spoken to him regarding this last issue as I just wanted to get advice and know my options before he comes back tomorrow. He hasn't been back for a week as he has started another job. He is asking for more money to buy materials...all he needs a couple of pieces of wood and some woodstain...but if the job is due to finish tomorrow, he should expect all his money tomorrow? Not sure why he wants money today?

I plan to have a chat to him tomorrow when he comes in, and see what he says.

If the work is poor then it does not comply with his statutory duties to ensure that his work is delivered with reasonable care and skill. If that is right then he should return to put it right for free and he cannot charge you more money for doing so
However, he should be allowed an attempt to put it right.
Very exceptionally it is possible to argue that a tradesmen should not be allowed to put right their work because you have 'lost faith' in their ability. Losing faith is a very high test. Its not as simple as showing that you are displeased with their work. You have to show that you had no good reason to believe he was capable of putting this right.
If you can get over that hurdle then you can instruct another to complete and sue him for the difference cost.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Does this means I still need to pay him all money and what if I am not happy with the job after he was trying to put it right? How he said he would do things is not the way he has done it...what do I do about that?

Unless you are prepared to take the risk of being sued, it would be dangerous to try to argue that you have lost faith.
It would be safer to let him try to put this right.
If he does not then you can gather the cost of putting this right and reduce his payment by that sum or sue for the difference.
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