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What to do if you are unhappy with your builders work


Most builders provide their customers with a high standard of work.  You can also make sure that you have fully specified and set out your expectations prior to the work starting to make sure misunderstandings do not occur.

If you are dissatisfied with your builder you can’t just fire them without cause otherwise you may well be sued for being in breach of contract.  Just because you do not have a documented contract in writing may not protect you.

You need to terminate the ‘contract’ formally on legal grounds.  You should first set out the areas that you are unhappy with, in writing, preferably by recorded delivery and detail what the builder must do to resolve the dispute.  It’s important that you can prove the steps taken to resolve the dispute, sometimes these documents can be deemed to have formed part of the contract.

If you do terminate the contract you will usually have to pay for the labour costs and all material used up until the termination date.  However, you may be able to deduct money (as long as it is reasonable) to remedy any inadequate work.

Keep plenty of records and photographs as you still may end up in court if the builder sues you. If you are sure that the work is not completed to a satisfactory level you don’t have to pay until it is fixed and you may need to obtain independent statements that the work is substandard if you go to court.

Most reputable builders will want to fix the work straight away and if possible its always better to work with your builder to resolve any issues.
You should always seek professional legal advice before terminating a contract to ensure you fully understand the implications.   In addition, you should also have a contract in place to make sure both sides understand their obligations prior to work starting.  This should include what’s required, how payment will be made and suitable remedies also who has responsibility for insurance.

We suggest asking for copies of any insurance and always check with your own insurance company to make sure you’re covered.

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What to do if you are unhappy with a builders work

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