How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

We paid our builder agreed amount

This answer was rated:

hello we paid our builder for an agreed amount for renovating our house.and we paid it.However he has now issued another bill for work he insists was not in the contract.We disagree because we asked him to quote on the plans we gave him in the beginning,which listed all the work needed.He is not only demanding £5,ooo plus,but also wants us to pay interest on that as well.we are very concerned as he is threatening to issue a ccj on us.can you please tell us do you think we are in the wrong.thank you
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Do you have a written quote from the builder please? If so does it detail the work he agreed to carry out or does it refer to something else - e.g. a conversation or plans - to specify the works he agreed to carry out?
Were additional charges ever discussed until now?
Does the quote specify itself to be a quote or an estimate?
Does the quote/estimate refer to the possibility of additional charges?
Finally was the agreement entered into between you at your home or elsewhere and when was it agreed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi we have a written quote,additional costs we not disscussed,jobs were done first then a bill issued towards the end of the renovations.It was a quote not an estimate and did not mention added costs as I recall.The contract was signed at our rented accomadation at that time and I haven't the paperwork at hand at the moment so can't give you an exact date,but probably february last year.He had also estimated the work would take six months but was 12 months before it was completed,the extra money he demanded was so high we decided to finish the work he didn't do ourselves such as roof repairs and guttering etc.he was supposed to include the 2nd bathroom and faulted on that as well.We had to foot the bill for this and many other ones as well.

Thank you. because the contract was concluded at your home, the builder should have provided you with a notice of cancellation which complies with statutory legislation and if he didn't, you had a right to cancel the contract and be refunded all the money you paid for a period of 12 months from the date of the contract regardless of whether you carried out some work or not. Unfortunately, based on the dates you suggest, that 12 month cancellation right has now expired but that does not mean that you do not have significant rights against the builder nevertheless. If you provided you with a quote as opposed to an estimate then he must carry out all of the work detailed on or referred to in the quote for the fee agreed. If it turns out that additional work is required beyond what he originally thought, that is for the builder to bear the cost of because a quote as you will know, is a fixed price and the building carries the risk for any cost overruns.. An estimate by contrast is just that and allows the builder to increase the estimate if he later discovers additional works are required. Therefore careful examination of the original quote you gave to ascertain recovers the cost of the works he is now seeking to charge for separately is your starting point. In addition, if he has failed to carry out some of the works referred to in the quote, you may have a claim against him for the cost of completing those works. On the basis that the quote does refer to the works he is now seeking to charge for you may consider applying to him referring him to his quote and advising that you will not be paying any further monies as the works he is now seeking to charge separately for were included in the quotation he provided you with. In addition, you can point out that he failed to carry out some of the works detailed in the quote-you can itemise these-and accordingly, you can reserve your right to make a claim against him for breach of contract the cost of having those works completed. In addition, if you are not satisfied with any of the work carried out, or he did not completed within a time frame confirmed in his quotation, you can remind him of his obligations under the supply of goods and services act which required him to carry out work of reasonable standard, within the timeframe agreed and with reasonable skill and care and on the basis he failed to do so, again, you reserve your right to make a claim against him breach of contract. You can go onto advice and that you will vigourously defend any claim he makes for wholly unjustified monies and that you reserve your right to issue a counterclaim together with costs against him for the above claims or two issues at a claim in your own right. If you decide to issue a claim of your intuition, the simplest way to do so is by using the courts online issuing service: I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

sorry to be a bother,can I add a little further information,Our first quote from him was on the 1st feb 2014,and it quoted "please find costings for building works at "The Cottage upper end Fulbrook"as per OAD Architects plans for contracted price of £100,000.00.These plans tell the builder everything has was needed to be done,but he says he hadn't quoted on all of these,yet we understood he had.Also we actually walked through the house with him and pointed out everything on the plans so there would be no misunderstanding.unfortunately there is no proof of us doing so only our word.If we stand up to him and go to court over this matter,would you have any idea of what it will cost us as we have virtually no more money as he has already squeezed £3,000.00 out of us and is demanding £500.00 every month till the £5,878 is paid plus wants interest to be paid as well,is he able to charge interest?plus it very very keen on us signing a document stating we will pay this money,I am not sure that is a good idea.

For the avoidance of doubt do the architects plans include the disputed works? Has the architect produced any other plans which did not include those works or just the one set which do?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi Joshua,The OAD plans include the disputed works ,no other plans just the set of plans we have.thanks

Thanks on that basis I cannot see the builder has a credible claim. If the architects plans are detailed as they usually are and include the works he is bound to carry them out for the cost of the quote. It is irrelevant if he did not think he was quoting for the works; he has said on the quote he is and he cannot later change his mind. many builders attempt this current builder is presently attempting claiming that they did not realise the work would be so much they did not quote for something but if they provide a quote and I referred to a separate schedule plans in the quote or include works specifically within the quote, they are bound by contract to complete those works at the quoted fee and any additional works that are required or any works they had not realise they were quoting for will be included in the quote with the builder likes it or not.If the matter proceeds to course, the claim would proceed under the small claims track where solicitors costs cannot be claimed. If you were to lose, though I see no basis on which think you would based on what you say, court fees would be £455 issue fee and £335 hearing fee which is usually charged to the losing party. In additionally, expenses for attending the hearing together with expert evidence fees could be claimed that there are low limits in respect of both of these heads of expense. Finally, interest can be claimed on any outstanding balance which is awarded in court at 8% per annum by virtue of section 69 County Courts act.Do not under any circumstances sign any document or agree any correspondence email or otherwise, that you owe him any further money. Doing so could be extremely prejudicial to your case I'm not surprised he's keen to try to get you to sign a document. Remember that you can also counterclaim for any monies for works he did not complete or for which you are not satisfied.I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi joshua,thanks for all your help,we are glad we didn't sign any thing.Do I now email the builder back saying we won't be paying him anything and he can issue a ccj if he is so inclined,and mention we intend to counter sue?????

I'm glad the above is of assistance. You can simply write your own email or letter using your own words including the above points. You can use a solicitor if you prefer though there is no need. I am happy to draft a letter or email you can use if you prefer for around £40 though as above there is no need and you can happily do this yourselves to save money. If you would like any assistance though please let me know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi joshua bad news I'm affraid,we have sent the builder back emails in the past trying to work out a way of paying what he was demanding,but also making it known we don't think we owe him anything,just don't have the funds to fight him in court.He was bombarding us with paperwork and demands and made us feel responsible.Does this ruin the case for us.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi joshua,bad news I'm afraid,we have in the past sent the builder back emails to try to work out a way to pay him the money he demanded,but also making it known we didn't think we owed him anything.We didn't have the funds to fight him in court and he was always threatening us with court action.Does this ruin the case for us,please let us know as soon as possible as he has sent us another letter with a schedule for payment and wanting us to sign it.

Sorry for the delay in reverting to you. I think providing you did not confirm or admit that you owed him any more money or acknowledge that you owed him money the above should not prejudice your case.