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peach20

Retrospective charges for design and installation

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This is in relation to another post regarding stair work caried out by a steel fabricator.

 

We have paid the fabricator in full for the entire staircase although the work is far from complete.  The fabricator is asking for additional money for work that has already been undertaken.  He is asking for an additional £1500 for design drawings and an additional £2500 for additional installation costs, plus other costs in relation to increases in material costs.  In no case have we made aware there would be any additional cost and we did not agree to any additional cost.  However, he is saying he will not progress with any work or documentation until the bill is settled.

 

My question is - is there anything in my consumer rights that says I must be made aware of costs and cannot be retrospectively charged?  I am aware of clauses regarding costs must be reasonable, or are these really one and the same?

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Hi.

 

Did you have an estimate for the staircase before you went ahead with the work?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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What I suppose I'm asking is if you had a separate written estimate for the staircase or was it all lumped in with the builder's estimate please?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, honeybee13 said:

What I suppose I'm asking is if you had a separate written estimate for the staircase or was it all lumped in with the builder's estimate please?

 

HB

We have a separate / specific specification and cost for the stairs from the stair fabricator.  It is not lumped in with broader works.

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Did anything change, design, significant delay on your part etc?

 

roughly as a percentage what do the extras come in at?

 

Was he always going to design and have them approved as part of the project?

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Nothing changed in the design.

 

In total, the extras are c.25% on top of the agreed cost.  About 5% of this is due to delays - increased labour and material prices.  This is tolerable as there was a delay of 12 months from paying to installing.

 

The other 20% is for additional costs due to:

  • his cost increasing because he moved premises
  • installation difficulties (although, nothing changed from spec or areas being installed in)
  • other random reasons that have no bearing on reality

 

 

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23 hours ago, honeybee13 said:

What I suppose I'm asking is if you had a separate written estimate for the staircase or was it all lumped in with the builder's estimate please?

 

HB

We have a separate / specific specification and cost for the stairs from the stair fabricator.  It is not lumped in with broader works.

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Does anybody know of there is a need or right to have been given a heads up of possible price increases before work is conducted?

 

We have paid the full agreed installation cost but have only received 70% of the agreed work to date. We are now being asked to pay an extra 25% on top of the agreed amount for the work that is complete (so, we will have paid 125% for 70% work).  This extra has never been requested or discussed.  But, they are saying they will not return or finish work until the new balance is settled (new balance being the requested extra to cover the work already completed).  Work has now stopped until the (unagreed, retrisoectuve) increases is paid.

 

Surely we should have been told that there would be an increase before work starts and before getting into what is basically now a hostage situation.

 

Is there any legislation we should refer to when discussing this with the installer?  Or does this fall under the legislation that says costs must be reasonable and it is unreasonable to request retrospective payments with no prior warning?

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Yes you are exactly in a hostage situation.

As all this exchange being carried out in writing or is it on the telephone?

It seems to me that you have only two options:
one is to get quotes from someone else to complete the work, have the work completed by them and then to sue your existing contractor for the money.
The other is to simply get the work underway and finished so pay the installer that make it clear that you are really happy about it because it is not what was agreed in the contract that you are going ahead simply because you feel that you have no other choice because clearly you can't have your premises with only half the job done.
Once the job is done then sue the installer. That seems to me that you will probably be suing for less than £10,000 which means it can stain the small claims court.

I'm not too sure why you're asking what your rights are. It seems to me that you are dealing with a man or a company that is not interested in your rights. He is set out his terms and he is going to object to any variation.


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1 hour ago, ericsbrother said:

so what work hwev they done so far?

 

They have installed the main structure (steel) and roughly installed the balastrades.  They still need to clad the treads in timber, add hand rails and finish the glass.

 

Quote

As all this exchange being carried out in writing or is it on the telephone?

 

Mostly by email.

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Hi - just following up on my question. 

 

If one has a specification and agreed price for some work and at the end is told there is extra to pay for whatever reason, is there anything that says you need to be told in advance?  I assume there must be, otherwise people will just charge whatever they want.

 

Or, is this all covered in section 51?

Quote

51 Reasonable price to be paid for a service
1 This section applies to a contract to supply a service if—

(a) the consumer has not paid a price or other consideration for the service,
(b) the contract does not expressly fix a price or other consideration, and does not say how it is to be fixed, and as included in the contract does not fix a price or other consideration either.
2 In that case the contract is to be treated as including a term that the consumer must pay a reasonable price for the service, and no more.

 

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