Not All Cowboys Carry Guns

Not all cowboys carry guns. Some of them carry testimonials and photographs of work successfully carried out to high standards. Beware! These can be deceptive as we found out when we employed a building firm to renovate our bathroom. A job that we were quoted £2,050 cash.

The work started well with an old airing cupboard successfully removed and a false ceiling being fitted. From here on in the whole project went rapidly downhill.

Delays began to occur and with Christmas looming (we were going on holiday for the Christmas period), we began to get concerned. The builder, a very affable chap I must say, assured us everything would be finished on time. Warning bells belatedly began to ring when he requested £200 on account as he had hit some unexpected snags. We foolishly paid him.

The new suite was fit in time for Christmas, but the flooring, grouting and some finishing touches were not. The builder assured us that the bathroom was fully usable and he would be back when we returned from holiday to finish off. We took him at his word and incredibly paid him for the work. I know!

The next day we used the facilities for the first time. Within an hour we noticed a wet patch on the kitchen ceiling. The bathroom is situated immediately above. We also noticed a puddle on the bathroom floor at the side of the shower bath.

We contacted the builder who assured us there was no cause for concern and that he would be with us later in the day to sort it out. He was as good as his word and arrived that evening and fixed the leak. We pointed out the leak near the bath. He took a quick look and assured us that it was coming through the shower screen and was a design fault. We said we would contact the suppliers and see what they said. He seemed to be of the opinion that we would get nowhere with that approach. He left, assuring us that everything would be fine now and he would return to finish off after Christmas. We were not happy, but had to settle for that.

The morning after our holiday I took a shower and was horrified on getting downstairs to find water pouring through the kitchen ceiling. We tried to contact the builder but got only his answering machine. Messages went unanswered. We were forced to contact an emergency plumber who couldn’t believe what he saw. He fixed the leak quickly and took stock of the work that had been done. There were a lot of faults, not least that the shower wasn’t even fixed securely to the wall. We hired a firm of plumbers to fix the faults, which included the shower poorly fitted, the bath not level, the shower door fitted incorrectly and the washbasin leaking. These repairs cost us over £400 on top of the £2050 already paid. The grouting and flooring we finished ourselves.

Please do not make the mistakes we did.

Make sure you have full contact details.

Never pay anything upfront

Make sure you know how long the work will take.

Don’t take testimonials on trust. They may be genuine, but can easily be faked.

And never hand over any money until you are fully satisfied with the work.

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