Forum home Garden design

Unreliable tradespeople

Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

We hired a tradesman that we know who lives in our street to lay block paving on our front drive which is broken, ugly concrete, rebuild the steps to the front door and make a large raised bed out the front to give the house some much needed kerb appeal and smarten the whole place up.

The current steps mean you have to do the Fosbury flop into the front door as the top one is missing.

Got it all arranged for Saturday just gone, we were going with him to the builders merchant to buy the necessary and he was going to begin the job. Not cheap either.

Saturday came and we got up at 7 as it was to be an early start, no sign of him. At 10 we knocked on his front door, car was there but no answer, all the curtains drawn. 12 o clock came and went and we knew then it was too late as the builders merchant was by then shut for the weekend.

He finally turned up at 3pm to say he wouldn't be doing the job this weekend as he'd been out on the lash with his mates and was too hungover and thought this was funny! We told him as he was so unreliable and we had needed the steps doing today as we have guests staying for the next 3 weeks, we'd have to get someone else in, there followed a load of verbal abuse and him flouncing off in a huff.

We have someone else booked in but it's a grand more expensive and we have to wait an extra 10 weeks to get the work done.

I am livid, this is at least the 3rd time we've been let down. The best one was the carpenter who did half the picture rails in all the rooms then left suddenly and never came back image Luckily my son is a carpenter and had some spare time so came and helped out.

Anyone else had a problem with trade?



  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,277
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,066
    As I go through this life Lou, I find you cannot rely on people, people will let you down, if I were you I would get several quotes then play them off against each other.

    Whatever they quote, tell them you have a cheaper one.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    We did that in the end Lyn, we got someone with really great references who is local. It's a fairly big job. We only gave it to the last guy because we know he is quite hard up and needed the work.

    Acts like a 17 year old when he is in his late 40's. Pathetic.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,135

    Sadly it seems to be the way the world is these days Lou. I've had similar experiences over the years, and the worst ever was a plumber who had the top rating locally on Trusted Trader - he really didn't have a clue, but had the best score, and the work he done had to be re-done at a cost to me of £750.
    I always try and get recommendations from neighbours who have had similar work done and get quotes from the firms that done work for them.

    Good luck

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • It took us about 12 weeks to get the glass fitted on our conservatory; admittedly that did include 3 weeks for it to be made but it took him 4 weeks after measuring up just to order it and as many again to come back and do it. After a whole lot of chasing, more chasing and berating him he did return and for what it's worth did do quite a good job.

    I've come across so many tradespeople that are just terrible at communication and organisation of themselves.  It's very frustrating but they get away with it because when you go find someone else they're no better!  Fortunately we live near a plumber and a builder that are both exceptions to that rule (although the builder is always fully booked for over a year!)

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,241

    I HATE it when tradesmen don't keep appointments!

    I'm not stupid, I know that other jobs overrun, I know that vans break down, suppliers don't always supply etc etc. But I also know that I have a phone, they have a phone and it only takes 2 mins to let me know they'll be late. Communication is all...

    We have been very fortunate since moving to our village. We now use a builder, plumber, electrician, landscaper and decorator who all live either in the village or within 2 miles. They all know each other so they liaise between themselves on jobs requiring more than one trade. They are all really nice, reliable, honest, helpful, clean working guys. Not the cheapest in the business  but also not the most expensive. 

    Only problem is - every one else knows they're good too - so there is always a long wait to get work done. Worth it though..image

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,730

    I'm always wary of tradespeople who provide a quote and say they can do the job almost immediately.  If they're good they are normally busy!  We are fortunate in that my brother-in-law is in the building trade so we can use him for recommendations.


  • I'm with holly hock, my hubbie can do most jobs for us and I'm his labourer. But on the occasions we've used tradesmen successfully (we've had some not so good too) it's always referenced thru friends of friends that have actually worked with them on site or failing that, located via the website checkatrade.

    We've found a chimney sweep, roofer and drain clearer thru check a trade, it seems to be the best way to find genuinely reliable people. 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,735

    Tradesmen in these parts are pretty laid back and not , erm, overly focused. 

    They get stuff done in the end, but nailing them down to a fixed time can be a fruitless exercise. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353

    It's infuriating really - no wonder British tradesmen constantly get ridiculed.

    Perhaps they're all so well off they don't need the work...image

    Unfortunately, the good ones are always in demand so the ones that are available at short notice are usually the ones with spurs and a stetson....image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
Sign In or Register to comment.