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 Post subject: bad builder advice needed
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:05 pm 
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Just used I thought a friend and his workers as a builder plumber and electrician come painter to do work on our new home. English with siret number
Yes stupidly didn't do a devis as agreeded the work to be done and a price per day to do the heating system, fit the kitchen, bath, shower and 2 sinks and plaster 3 rooms, fit 3 windows
Had problems from the start but as nearly Christmas thought I wouldn't get anyone else and needed to move in as our house we was living in was sold.
Now the house is a mess. They have done plastering I said to do later because they all had 15 days to do the job
The electrics don't work properly the kitchen is badly fitted. The plumbing leaks in a couple of places, there is more paint on every surface but the walls. They fitted a the fire but not the boiler for the heating system and they have drained all the system and cut some of the pipes but not repaired them and the windows are not sealed properly you could see through the gaps.
When he came back to finish his jobs my father asked him why did he do jobs we asked to do later and not do the agreeded work. Words were exchanged and they left.
We agreed on a price per hour etc and since they did work not agreed the have knocked off 5 days each but still insist we owe them 2000 euros for materials but they have put their price per day up to make up this short fall and keep demanding payment
and i'ts going to cost us a lot to put the work done right X(
any helpful advice welcome


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 Post subject: Re: bad builder advice needed
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:33 pm 
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Location: Ille et Villaine (35)
Hi Toby, and a warm welcome to the forum.
It sounds as if things aren't going too well .....

1. You say you didn't ask for a devis. But do you have anything in writing and did you sign it ? I'm not sure how much clout something agreed verbally would have in law - MAD87 is the one with the legal knowledge.
2. Are you sure that the Siret number is genuine (you can check with the Chambre de Métiers). I say this because we thought we'd been had once and it turned out that the man had just applied for for a Siret.
3. I believe that if you signed and agreed a daily rate, the builder cannot just change it to suit himself.

I would suggest you do not pay them a penny until the work is finished - unless of course you have a written agreement that you would pay them in stages.. Builders/workmen in France sometimes don't come back to finish the job unless there is some incentive for them to do so !


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 Post subject: Re: bad builder advice needed
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:34 pm 
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Location: somewhere in the "pays de dropt"
Hi and welcome.
As an ex master builder for 50 years I have lost count of the number of times I've heard of your problems, don't help you now but one should ALWAYS get a minimum of three Devi's for works to be done.
Friends and friends of friends are the worst and the other side of the coin, when I had my business back in the UK they were the only ones who caused problems and cost me.
Just refuse to pay another penny, sue, to them unless they put things right for which you've paid for.I suspect that like an awful lot of Brits here they are working on the black.

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 Post subject: Re: bad builder advice needed
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:50 pm 
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Yes he does have a siret number and yes he does work on the black and drives an English reg van even though lived over here for more than 10 years. I should have known better I have never seen such bad workmanship in my life
the kitchen cabinets don't close even the drawers won't
The fridge won't go under the counter top, you can't get to the light switch for the tall freezer
You can't even put liquid in the washing machine drawer as it doesn't come out from under the work top and if you pull the washer forward you can't get in the cabinets next to it never mind the electrics
The lights flicker one plug blows all the electrics, 2 plugs you can't put the plugs in as they are jammed
Even the toilet seat is fitted badly and won't stay open and the toilet itself is loose

He has offered to finish the job but I have to pay for the repairs as he says he never finished the work he got to be kidding

Now he wants more money I don't owe


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 Post subject: Re: bad builder advice needed
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Location: Ille et Villaine (35)
If he has a Siret number, I'm surprised he's doing work on the black. You probably know, he could get into serious trouble if found out, but then so would you as his employer. He will have not sort of insurance either.


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 Post subject: Re: bad builder advice needed
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:10 am 
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The only proof of work over €1500 is a devis signed by the customer. As Blaze says, you yourself are in a dodgy position agreeing to have work done onn the black and without a devis. The authorities see this as a tax/vat/social security fraud by both parties and are especially tough with foreigners.

Certainly don't pay them a cent more and if you can, try to get back anything you've paid. You can tell them you've learned it's all highly illegal and you're afraid of being prosecuted. I doubt that you'll get anything back, but if you try to sue you'll find yourself exposed to the full and draconian weight of the law.

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 Post subject: Re: bad builder advice needed
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:12 am 
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Blaze wrote:
If he has a Siret number, I'm surprised he's doing work on the black. You probably know, he could get into serious trouble if found out, but then so would you as his employer. He will have not sort of insurance either.

I've come across some (excellent) registered artisans who ask for some of the price to be paid en liquide.

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 Post subject: Re: bad builder advice needed
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:48 am 
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i only paid by 3 cheques 1 for materials and 2 cheques one each as wages the rest he wanted in cash but I never gave him any more as he did an awful job and did work not agreed


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 Post subject: Re: bad builder advice needed
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:55 am 
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MAD87 wrote:
Certainly don't pay them a cent more and if you can, try to get back anything you've paid. You can tell them you've learned it's all highly illegal and you're afraid of being prosecuted. I doubt that you'll get anything back, but if you try to sue you'll find yourself exposed to the full and draconian weight of the law.

Equally, if you don't pay him a penny more, he can't sue you either as he is in the same position !

You might be better off consider sacking him toute sweet, not paying him any more and getting someone else to finish or redo some of the work If you let him continue his bad work, you will be throwing good money after bad and will be very dissatisfied at the end of it.

I think most of us have seen appalling work done by so-called builders, particularly Brits, at some time or other. They come to France never having done more than bricolage in the UK, and set themselves up as builders, plumbers and electricians. They may well register themselves legally, but many do not follow French norms which renders the customers insurance nul and void should there be, for example, a fire.


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 Post subject: Re: bad builder advice needed
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:29 pm 
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Location: Basel and Suffolk
Blaze wrote:
I think most of us have seen appalling work done by so-called builders, particularly Brits, at some time or other. They come to France never having done more than bricolage in the UK, and set themselves up as builders, plumbers and electricians. They may well register themselves legally, but many do not follow French norms which renders the customers insurance nul and void should there be, for example, a fire.


I have heard stories - not sure if true - of houses being rewired (in France) using Flat Twin and Earth and square pin plugs.

I have seen (father's) places where UK windows were installed that open outwards - stopping shutters from being used.

So OP is not alone.

J


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 Post subject: Re: bad builder advice needed
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:08 pm 
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toby wrote:
i only paid by 3 cheques 1 for materials and 2 cheques one each as wages the rest he wanted in cash but I never gave him any more as he did an awful job and did work not agreed

Ask at your bank whether you can 'faire opposition aux' those cheques - it may sound daft but we did that recently with 2 web payments that we didn't recognise, 1 from 6 or 7 weeks earlier. It's worth trying to get your dosh back this way, especially if you cite fraud.

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