The real world sounds terrifying. I know some Irish builders who operate in the New Malden area, an was a labourer for one of them in 1008, but that probably isn't much help.
That's right, I'm over 1,000 years old.
I guess even the immortal have to earn a wage.
"...if he's flipping out now when work has hardly begun, would I be better off being rid of him now..?"
Yes - it's not a good sign and if he thinks he can get his own way by behaving badly he might try it again (child psychology!). You shouldn't employ people you have little confidence in and it's not like you're actually saving any money by employing him, as you originally thought.
You might not get your kitchen before Xmas, however...
I don't think I'd even be considering keeping him on if it wasn't for the fact that I don't want to spend the next two months doing my washing up in the bath.
Best of luck, whatever you decide!
Getting a new builder may be a pain as they tend to not like to finish others work.
well, did you sign an actual contract with him? If not I would start calling around to the other contractors to see if you could get them to come and do the work, because he seems like the kind that will be all pissy* and probably do shitty* work in retaliation for making him mad. Also, I know this is after the fact, but did you check his references? My dad is a contractor here in the states and he would constantly be fixing the problems of a lower bidder until people started getting references...
*excuse my americanisms
I did get references, and the guy actually lives on my road, which is why I'm surprised he's suddenly giving us this trouble - we're going to be seeing a lot of each other in future, so if this ends badly it could get awkward. We're certainly thinking about looking at other builders, but dreading facing many more weeks without a kitchen!
If it was me, just one episode of irrational fury would be enough to ditch him. Unless he has a very good excuse, like his pet mongoose having just caught scabies or something, and is unpromptedly and genuinely apologetic.
There are some jobs where it doesn't really matter if the person doing them for you has unpredictable hypersensitivity and rage issues, but I think building -- like haircutting -- falls into the other category.
The sentences: "However we won't feel comfortable with you continuing the work if you are always going to lose your temper when we misunderstand something. If you feel like we can continue to work together, then please let me know, and if not then please let us know the cost of the work and materials so far."
seem...well, provocatory and like he'd be unlikely to come back and work for y ou even if you offered an extra 1500. Perhaps more: "We hope that further confrontations can be avoided in the future. We are, however, thoroughly likely to misunderstand things from time to time, and would appreciate your patience with us during those times. While this matter of money is really nothing to sneeze at, we felt your actions may have been overboard, and would not be able to continue a working relationship if this is your standard reaction to clients' ignorance. As much as we would we regret losing your experience and the time spent on the project so far if you would prefer to end things as they stand now please let us know the cost of work and materials so that we can settle the balance. " Something like that?
Except minus run-on sentence
2010-10-28 07:55 pm (UTC)
he is a contractor. you can be as firm as you want with him because till he gets the work done and you pay him you are HIS boss
My family has made its nut in property, mostly residential. Here is my advice, as someone with some experience on the topic:
Find a new builder.
If your local contractor licensing board is the sort that polices its membership, report on the basis of deceptive bidding. "The estimate didn't include labour" is bull.
2010-10-29 08:21 am (UTC)
Hello. Susan here. Um... I'm in two minds. One: my gut says to end things now in case things get really buggered up when he's even more fully on the job, but Two: that might be a bit hasty.
You know we installed our kitchen in Hither Green ourselves from Ikea, right? It is possible to do it yourself and just get a joiner in to fit the work surfaces (if wooden) and get a plumber in to do those bits. That might be a back up plan if you can't find anyone to do it.
I'm also not liking his "you have til the end of the day to decide" deadline. More bullying tactics as he knows full well you won't get someone in to take over the job in a day.
I think you should end things with him now, but you need to decide how hasty that is...
Yep, he is playing hardball trying to strong-arm you into making a decision without really questioning him. And probably because once you start to look into it more, you'll find more things that disturb you.
Yes, you might see him around a lot in the future, but in terms of total hours, I assume you're going to spend more overall time in your home than you will running into him in the neighborhood.
My advice is go slow and do it right. Unless you're a secret millionaire AND a masochist, I am pretty sure you don't want to have to do this again four months after the work is "done." You wouldn't want to have to send the speedboat warlock after him. (Added bonus, he may not even have worries about seeing you often in the future if he bullies you, cheats you, and acts like a total jerk.)
2010-11-01 02:01 pm (UTC)
Ditch him, hire someone else.
I've had great success with mybuilder.com. I'd highly recommend popping on there and checking it out. You post job with details and then multiple builders will reply with quotes and you can pick and choose.
I wouldn't deal with anyone who's decided to have a hissy fit because they've made an error in judgement over their costs. If you want to let him down easy just say you've got a family member who's said they can finish the job. Can't argue with that.