Would you choose a great result over a nightmare experience with the builders? - Part 2
Of course I'm talking about bathroom renovation, the saga from the previous post ( Choosing a bathroom contractor ) continues!
I finally choose the contractors (hint: it's the one I liked the best when asking for quote - see the post mentioned above) and since this is only my second time *failing* at choosing builders, we can't really say that it's statistically significant. However, we can certainly say that it's a trend!
As always this is my personal experience and the retelling is only from my point of view - so here's the summary of this experience - a renovation that cost a little less than €20,000.00 (almost twice as much as all the other quotes):
- There were constant mistakes and issues that I had to point out personally every other evening (when I visited the house after work).
- The payment schedule was entirely advantageous to the builders and when we withheld payment because of the constant issues, they had the nerve to call it "trying to strong arm them".
- The final result was very good thought and they fixed the mistakes when I asked.
Let's go through the highlights of my experience with this round of highly paid builders.
As per contract, I had already paid 60% of the fee by the first day and on the second day of work, I come to my house to collect some clothes... And find THREE MISTAKES in the renovation jobs (jobs on which we had agreed on in the previous TWO surveys).
The best part? The foreman has the gall to ask me "why this attitude?" (later on, the owner of the company called my attitude 'aggressive and antagonistic' and that they had to 'babysit me'). Here's what I wanted to answer (but didn't because they would have refused to continue the works):
"I am the paying customer and after multiple mistakes that I personally had to point out, I have every right to feel frustrated, angry and worried and to show it. Telling a customer you have to 'babysit them' because of their worry and questions is not very indicative of your professionality".
In the two weeks during which they worked:
- I had to point out 3 LEAKS caused by the workers (first day when dismantling the bathroom, Friday 12/09 because of issues caused to the main water pipe, and Tuesday 12/13 because of issues with the combi-boiler).
- I had to point out 2 jobs that were done INCORRECTLY (the plasterboards in the downstairs bathroom and the upstairs bathroom old floorboards had not been replaced).
- They tried to charge us €215.00 net for a supporting structure under the stairs.... that turned out to be not 'supporting' upon further questions on our end.
- They drilled holes for the bathroom fan's vent duct in the kitchen... and when I called them on the sloppy job, they said they did is a 'favour' and later on, when I asked that it be fixed they said "we are not qualified nor experienced to fit this and it's normally in the electricians remit" - My though on that is: you shouldn't be doing jobs you're not qualified to do, even as a "favour" (or at least let me know), but they did replace the ceiling plasterboards.
- They replaced the old boiler with a new Worcester combi-boiler, however instead installing the model 30i (ideal for a house with 2 bathrooms - as indicated on the Bosch's site), they installed a model 25i - the difference in price is minimal and yet we were not consulted.
Also... they did not include a room thermostat or programmer. In other words I had no way of turning it off.
- We strongly indicated that they should allow for space when tiling a closet for the washing machine and dryer... and yet they made it only wide enough for the appliances with no room for the plugs!
After all the works where finished, according to them... this was my snag list. Wanna take a guess? That's right! More leaks!
But here are the pictures of my two new beautiful bathrooms!
(for a peak at the before, check this post here).