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Builder estimate for renovation work on our house was £7,500. Work included removing window & replacing with patio doors, removing two internal walls, fitting insulated plaster board in bedroom, laying hardwood floor, converting a bedroom into a bathroom, including external pipework.

We paid an initial £5000. He took over seven months to do the work, with very long, unexplained absences throughout (the longest was 9 weeks).

During the work, we also asked him to fit respatex in the shower, board out the new bathroom with plasterboard (uninsulated), he added coving in the kitchen and supplied underlay for the wooden floor. He has now billed us for the remaining £2,500 of the original estimate

and a massive £4260 for the extra work. This seems far too high for the additional work. I have asked for an itemised bill, but think I am being taken for a ride.


Any advice much appreciated.



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Well the delays certainly seem to be excessive and although I have no idea why you tolerated it, it's too late to do anything about it now.


We don't really know what the extras were all about but we take your word for it that the figure is rather high.


By section 15 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, SGSA, where a price has not been agreed then a reasonable price will be implied.


Make your own private list of all the works you think has been carried out and try to identify materials which have been supplied. Receive his list and then compare the two. If there is a significant discrepancy then you will probably need to get an independent third party to take a look and to give you an evaluation of the work which was carried out. If the amount of money which is now being demanded by your builder seems to be particularly excessive then let us know and we will help you with the next step which will be to refuse to pay, to offer a reasonable sum for the work done and materials supplied and then to make it clear that if he wants anything more that he will have to see you in the County Court for it.


One mistake that people often make is that they refuse to pay anything against an excessive bill. This has the effect of maintaining the level of the alleged outstanding money and makes it more worthwhile for an angry claimant to begin an action. The trick is to reduce the disputed sum as much as possible by paying a reasonable amount of it and then leaving it to the claimant to decide whether he wants to go to the trouble of claim back the diminished total.

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Didn't you discuss the price of the extra work at all?

Maybe informally, rough figure?

If not, list all the extras in bullet points here with measurements where applicable and I can give you a fair range of prices.

Then you can try to amicably negotiate with the builder and if he doesn't bulge, you'll need to do what bankfodder said, getting independent estimates and pay that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi king12345,

I'm really questioning the following 2 items on his bill:


£1800 for plasterboarding & taping & coving kitchen ceiling (£1560 labour) - 15 feet x 14 feet

£1100 plasterboarding & taping bathroom (£680 labour) - 14 feet x 6 feet.


Any help greatly appreciated. Cheers

Edited by Invoice
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I think in order to deal with this you will have to get some independent assessments as to whether the work was necessary and whether the cost of the work and parts was reasonable or excessive.


If you can get somebody to tell you in writing that the work was either not necessary or the price which is being charged as excessive – and better still if you can get to people to say that then we can help you.


Also, if you want help on this forum you will need to engage with this thread

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Thanks. I'm not questioning if the work was necessary, I'm questionaing if the labour costs are excessive. I only received an itemised bill from builder today, hence the delay in my second post.

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Get the independent estimates as to the reasonableness of the charges. Then come back here

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Get independent estimates

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