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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I signed a contract with a builder to complete some work, this

Customer Question

I signed a contract with a builder to complete some work, this was a fixed price for £40,000, after completing 50% of the work he is now requesting £8,000 more to complete the work as EXTRAS that he did not envisage. He refuses to come back on site until I pay him this extra money up front. What are my legal options if I want to hold him in breach of contract? and even if I pay it how can I prevent him do the same in another month or before the work is finished.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Have you asked him to do more work than you did originally?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No the work was outlined in a quote for a fixed price. I have paid him based on work undertaken and certified he has completed approx. 50% of the work and I have paid him about 60% of the fixed price. We have not asked him to undertake anything from the original design. These extras are work he says he has undertaken, extra labour , extra materials that he says he could not envisage at the time of the quote

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
If its just that he didn't assess the situation properly and therefore gave you a quote that is unprofitable for him then that is his problem. He is under a duty to complete at the agreed price.
There is some leeway with quotes but usually only about 10%. He cannot just add thousands because he has found it unprofitable to do this job.
If he is alleging that you asked him to do work in addition to that described at the time then he can obviously charge for that.
If he refuses to return though then you cannot hold a gun to his head to make him do so. Your only option is to instruct another to complete and sue him for the additional costs.
You do need to warn him of your intentions to do that though. Send him a letter before action warning him of your intention to get another to complete and recover from him if he does not return within 14 days.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for this, can you send me some text or letter format that indicates that is the course of action. Also he has tools on site can I HOLD these as security?

Also if the other builder will charge more than his extra and the balance should I still instruct someone else and what route do I go down to sue him, the work outstanding is about 15K?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
I'm not sure what you mean about a letter?
You could argue you are holding a lien over his tools but if he went to court you would have to give them back - although in the meantime he can't work.
You will have to pay the fresh builder the agreed rate but you can sue the old builder for the difference.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What I mean but letter is can you supply sample text that I should write in my letter .

Understand the position on the tools - thanks

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
There is no particular formal wording.
Just a letter to the effect that he is contracted to do X, Y and Z. Unless he begins by Y date you will instruct another and sue him for the cost.