Sunday, 5 August 2012

Condensed Cowboy Builders Work July 9th - Aug 5th

Work carried out in July 2012 by Cowboy Builders.

Today is 4th December 2012.  I have decided that due to the upset with the cowboy builders that I would condense the 13+ blog entries into one long entry and instead of 200+ pictures I’d make them into a slideshow video.  The work I had done by the builders of who said they were a qualified team turned out to be nothing but two con men.  A number of people have been involved such as trading standards, the police and others however there’s a ‘catch’ in that builders can’t be done for the work they carry out unlike gas men, electricians or anyone with a specific job title other than “builder”. 

Here’s the copied blog content, video at the end.

Day 1: 9th July 2012
Builders arrived at just gone 9am and made a start on removing the bulk of the old kitchen revealing strange wall décor and uneven flooring however they worked through to 3.23pm and they left the property in a clean state.  Super happy how it’s all coming together so quick and the kitchen looks massive can’t wait for them to make a start on removing the chimney breast – Imogen (and Joshua).

Builders Day 2: 10th July 2012
Removing Chimney Breast: The Builders worked from 9am through to 2pm none stop. Then they went home saying they'll finish this tomorrow which was a little disappointing and between choking on dust and goodness knows what else I feel that the rest of the chimney should be out tomorrow and it’s all looking very good :D :D Us2 x

Builders Day 3: 11th July 2012
Builders worked 9 – 4 today which was good and they got a bit done if not the rest of the chimney like I had expected.  Builders are not coming tomorrow due to taking Thursdays off and the Gas pipe that needed to be resolved. The rest of the chimney is not yet out as a result of this but Eric has started plastering the wall and supported the ceiling with bracers.  I’m not too happy about the bracers as they look like they’re already buckling however I’m hoping this is a temporary fix until the RSJ is installed.  Also YEY our new kitchen has been delivered :D :D

Gas Man: 12th July 2012
The Gas man came today which was lucky as we had a gas leak we didn't know about. THANK YOU BRTITISH GAS! So that's fixed although our boiler is f'cked. So have to look into getting a combi ... - Kind of happy that the gasman only cost £40 however I thought it was included in the builders work *shrug* meh.  Anyways can sleep safe tonight with no heating or hot water - joy!!  Lol xoxox Us 2

Builders Day 4, 14th July 2012
Had that box on the wall removed and moved old pipes out. Took the wall back (removing plaster etc) to brick and inserted new pipes into the wall. Additional £120, but looks nicer in my opinion although wasn’t expecting the additional cost or probably wouldn’t have had it done lol.  Once their 100% sure there's no leaks or water issues with the pipes they'll plaster over, plastering them into the wall - hidden, forever! Makes the overall job flush and nicer. (This counts as an additional job). Then you can see the plaster from last week is all but dry in a few spots.  Then removed the rest of the chimney breast and plasterboard and plaster and the ceiling...  it's impressive what they've done over the space of 4 days (apx 25-26 hours’ work!?!)  Paid £700 for chimney breast removal but thus far I'm overly happy let’s see if he can get the rest done in the next 4-8 days like promised heh! :P

17th July 2012: Builders Day 5. 
Eric started installing the electrical stuff, plastering, concreting and such...  (on to development having finished 95% demolition) which is looking good even if he replaced my choice of black lights with flipping chrome.  But he reccons it’ll give a nicer finish lol so what do I know eh… lol.  Not quite sure where he’s got the electrics from but he assures me it’s ok.  *shrug* anyways they worked from 10 – 4 today and I’m excited as it’s starting to come together and very quickly hehe.

Builders Day 6. 19th July 2012.
Builders worked from 10.15 – 2.30 and have now gone. Not quite got as far as they expected today - however the plastering work they have done looks nice :) and they got the rest of the chimney breast out too which is a bonus and they offered to store our kitchen work surfaces in their van which was really nice of Eric to do.  Hopefully get more done tomorrow but really pleased with how it’s coming along and getting all excited about having our new kitchen hehe even if there’s masses of dust in our lovely living room – poo.  Imogen xX

Builders Day 7: 20th July 2012 
Plastering, Lights and some electrics.  They worked 11 – 3 today and they will be back Monday to finish the electrics and plastering and sweep out the room ready for installing the kitchen on Tuesday.  I’m excited about the kitchen on Tuesday however feel disappointed that they’ve not seem to have got THAT much further today!  Should be finished Thursday/Friday so that’s a bonus hehe hehe :D Imogen is a happy bunny!!

Builders Day 8 ~ 23rd July 2012
Start installing kitchen tomorrow!! (after a lil more clean up).  Anyways paid for the electrics £200 as I have his word it's all up working and such lol with the exception of that switch for the extractor fan that needs moving.  Apparently the electric board has to come approve the work once the kitchen is finished which to me seems a lil odd lol…  Also paid for the plastering to be finished £300 and utterly can't wait to start installing the kitchen :P super pleased with what they got done today.  More work and less play makes Imogen a very happy bunny indeed lol heh.  Anyways less of my rambles...  and no I haven't won the lotto lol :P :P

Builders day 9.  24th July 2012.
What a shitty horrible day, they have done nothing but speak to me like I'm an idiotic child who knows nothing.  Eric is so flaming rude!! They spent most of the day doing things their way only to re-do them my way and they didn't move the two switches which was the first task on the list...  Not impressed.  Not impressed at the cabinet under the sink and all the issues and upset with that.  Anyways they're on day off tomorrow and back Thursday so gives me a while to chill and calm down!!  To be honest I don't like it when you have to repeat yourself and/or threaten people just to get what you asked for!!  I spoke to them (ok so I shouted a lil) and told them exactly what they will do and if they have a problem with that then I'll get someone else in to do it. I think they learnt the hard way that you should never walk away from me when I'm talking or talk over me.  However they're going to charge me extra to cut this cabinet (under the sink/window) down so I've got Granddad to come over and do it tomorrow while they're on their day off. Bloody try to charge me for such a fricking simple job!! LOL! ~ I'm feeling a little happier, shocking what yelling at someone and then plotting behind their back can achieve. (Bolshie Cow :P lol) Josh feels bad because he doesn't know what to say because I've organised the kitchen and everything and so he is taking a back seat but standing by me for support. We make a wonderful team!! xX  Hope Thursday will be better than today :(

None Builders but yet constructive day!!  25th July 2012.
25th July 2012. Today the builders are not coming. However... I asked them to cut down the double unit under the sink of which they said it would be a 2 day job (with specialist equipment at their workshop) and it'd be the best part of £300 for them to do the work. So my Granddad came today and did a proper professional job (work bench, jigsaw and a drill) and spot on what I asked for in under 2 hours saving time and money!! ~ Thank you Granddad (happy days)

Builders Day 10:  26th July 2012.
Keep in mind they said they could do the whole job in 7-9 days and here we are on day 10 nowhere near where we wanted to be.  Anyways today we did not get off to the best start.  The first hour they were here they cut one corner off a work unit, had 2 drinks and about 20 fags and stood in the garden chatting to anyone over working, or at least that's how it seemed!  They arrived at 10.30 however it was going on 12 by the time they cracked on and actually did some work my main builder (Eric) called me down to explain to me we're missing a single base unit.  Which completely threw me, I was so happy that we'd resolved the issue without spending any money from yesterday/day before and now here we are.  When I realised what the issue was which caused me so much upset.  On the right they have built 3 single units together not the single and double like it was meant to be.  Which means I did originally order a single for in that corner but it was them putting the double there and cutting into it for the pipes which threw me and resulted in me getting my Grandparents in to cut down the unit which wasn't to be cut.  So now I need to buy yet another single unit anyway due to cutting up the double due to them being total fuck wits and not reading the plan of which I spent time drawing up.  Why do I bother?  So it cost me £44 out of my pocket to set right something that had I not been in so much pain would have realised 2 days ago saving my Grandparents time and money, us time and money and essentially generally just time and money.  To which when I realised this mistake had me in tears - but that has been resolved we bought an additional base unit at £44, lucky for us Wickes had 2 in stock (I was able to reserve one) and our builder drove Josh to go and collect ... and the show goes on. So today the builders have built up the rest of the base units.  Secured the right hand work surfaces.  Cut up the left hand work surfaces.  Oh and cut a diagonal cut out of the right work surface (as I asked). We are at due date yesterday!!  They still have all the cabinets on the left side to level out, still have to attach all the left units to the wall, still have to add the edging strips to all work surface edges, 2 double wall units to build and put up, 2 single wall unites to build and put up, wooden flooring to cut and put down, wash away all tell tail signs of plaster etc outside so they're not treading it into the grooves of the lino after laying down the lino flooring (which needs to be to cut and put down), plinth to cut (inc hole for plinth heater) and install, sink to install (inc hole cut for sink), replumbing (moving pipes) inc buying new plumbing pipes (something else I didn't know I need to buy!) in kitchen to do, moving 3 switches and rewiring electricals, securing work surfaces, tiling all the walls, put a silicone strip around the room, washing down units and windows etc, installing unit shelving and drawers etc, putting up a shelf, adding the new wood around the hatch door, putting new face plates on the kitchen light switches...  have I missed anything??  (Probably) And we've now extended the project to Saturday & Monday (maybe Tuesday) but then as of Wednesday they're off to do a big job in Manchester for a couple of months.  I also have to get my own gas man in to connect up the oven (yet more money).  I have to paint my own kitchen (which we knew but still).  He's decided he doesn't have time to do the door so we're going to have to pay someone else to come do the door on the kitchen and over all this week has been nothing but upset and problems!!  Stress much!??

Builders Day 11.  27th July 2012.
While still unimpressed with them I am impressed at what has actually been done today! 9-3.20 and…
- Units have been levelled out (with scrap wood, which is going to f'up my flooring as planned.
- All base units are now attached to the wall except those under the sink.
- All work surfaces have been attached except the one with the sink.
- The hole for the sink has been cut, the sink has been put in place and the taps have been connected.
- The oven has been put in place and connected (spite they're not gas registered, apparently "if there's a gas leak I'll smell it".)
- Two single wall units and 1of2 double wall units have been built.
- One Double and One single have been installed onto the wall.
- The extractor fan switch has finally been moved and rewired.
- The electric socket at the back of the sink has been removed.
- The electric socket at the side of the sink has been disconnected and the face plate has been put back on.
Still a hell of a lot to do and very little time to do it!!

Builder Day 12.  28th July 2012.
Builder finished at 6, I've spent the last 2 hours cleaning up masses of plaster, brick dust, wood, general dust, dirt etc etc... cleaned the window inside and outside of all units and work surfaces and glass cleaned windows etc etc...  Very impressed with what the builder (on his own) has done today, he did in fair-ness clean up about 60% of the mess and we've finished it off.  Super excited to have water (even if we still don't have hot water or heating at the moment lol) but wasn't expecting the £25 for the plumbing pipes though!!  But that's my choice...  meh.  Anyways really excited as Monday is cutting and laying the wood flooring base, tiling the kitchen and cutting and fitting the lino, oh and put the work surface trim on.  Then the builder is done.  After that it's down to us to paint the kitchen and put everything back in ... not to mention everything outside in the back garden!!  D:  ... but HAPPY TODAY!!

Builders Day 13.  30th July 2012.
Builder was here from 9-5.30 he'll be back tomorrow to do all the grouting of the tiles, cut the wood flooring and lay it, cut and fit the lino, cut and filt the plinth inc plinth cutting for the plinth heater, installing the heater too, cutting and installing the shelf, bringing in the Fridge Freezer, Tumble Dryer and Washing Maching and plumbing the washing machine.  He said on Saturday that he'd have all of this done today and that today would be the last day of project kitchen.  Not happy.  Not impressed.  Really not impressed with the tiles as not of them are flat nor straight and he’s made a real mess but Grandma says it’ll look better once grouted somehow I don’t feel she’s right on this one… and the cheeky bugger has also pissed off with one of my mugs with coffee in it.

Builders Day 14 aka Final Day. 31st July 2012.

To be honest now I feel we’ve just been messed about I’m not particularly happy with the tiles but I guess after a while I won’t see them.  Not too happy about the flooring either but Grandma said to get him paid and get him gone so I’ve done just that.  He says the receipt and warranty will be in the post in the next week.  I've paid the last £800 I'm about 70% happy truth be told as we do have a kitchen and it’s not aertex and yellow!! lol. We have just spent over 4 hours cleaning up excess grout and silicone which was all over the sides. Then cleaned all tiles and sides and mopped the floor. Painting starts soon!!? Doing the painting ourselves but soon as that’s all done we can put stuff back in. Notice how my shelf was forgotten so going to have to do that tomorrow ourselves... pfft. Lol... So long builders!!  Woooooo hello kitchen!  Imogen & Joshua

August 4th 2012.  So yesterday I had an accident as a direct result of the kitchen wall units not being installed properly. Unlucky for us this is not the only thing that wasn’t installed properly including dodgy electrics and who knows what else!
Hey,  So using tape and balancing skills I can kind of see through my scratched and broken glasses enough to write this.  I thought I'd write about what happened yesterday with the 'kitchen incident' and the results of which thus far.  Right there I was minding my own business, the kitchen was "finished" (to a none professional standard but one that 'would do' because it was better than the old one).  Anyway...  after a rest for a few days we decided it was the day for painting (that and we got paid so got some new rollers and brushes etc).  Anyway, I was laying sheeting down on the sides and a triple (single and double) just fell off the wall and smacked me on the head.  Thankfully it was me and not next doors kid; who comes in through our kitchen (at will) and/or that it wasn't full of glasses and crockery especially my new dinner set.  So it simply fell, I wasn't touching it I just happened to hear a noise and next thing I know my glasses are broken on the floor, the kitchen cabinets are smashed on the floor, my head seriously hurt, I felt paint, faint and dizzy and to be honest shacking with shock and felt sick.  To be honest I don't actually remember it happening nor do I remember the first maybe 5 minutes after everything just went dark and blurry.  I tried to calm down and collect myself together since I was home alone at the time as Josh had popped out to get the painting supplies.  So I started out by phoning my Grandparents and explaining what had happened (and they came over), I got a bag of sweet corn out the freezer and a cushion cover for my head and then rang the builder and explained (while shook up in shock etc) what had just happened and he said "I am in Manchester there is nothing I can do, I will phone you at 7 and come over late tonight."  Josh got in soon after and he insisted I went to hospital, which we did and was first to be seen as it was THAT serious.  The Doctor said I am seriously lucky not to have cracked my skull and lucky that I was wearing my glasses or I could have lost an eye not to mention coma, stroke, blood clots etc etc...   Anyway, I got home and rested my Grandparents stayed until 8pm and Joshua looked after me as he always does bless him.  They took it in turns to look after me and do bits around the house.  Joshua took some pictures of the mangled situation in the kitchen.  Anyway unsurprisingly Eric did not phone me at 7 when he said he would, and so from 7.20 I was calling him constantly for over an hour (with no answer)  and additionally that I have been calling you constantly for over an hour since 7.20 with no answer so at 8.42 I wrote him an email ...and threatened that the payment for the issues as mentioned above is to be made by Monday 6th August 2012 morning at 9am.  Also that if he fails to do this then he will be hearing from my solicitor and trading standards. On the grounds of dangerous work, neglect, actual bodily harm to a disabled person not to mention the above costs due to damage to property etc and compensation due to the trauma and harm I have experience.  Additionally today we decided to move the broken cupboards out of the kitchen since we have enough evidence via pictures and there's two wall brackets which just don't exist they're no where to be found in the kitchen they're not attached to the units they're just not in the house.  My Grandparents came back over and cleaned the whole of downstairs along with me and Josh and none of us found these two missing wall mounts and the single cupboard was glued to the double making me think that's why it fell too much weight and no support and the existing wall brackets are everything but straight and even!!

5th August 2012:  Adding insult to injury.
From:    BatleyBuilders (
Sent:    05 August 2012 20:16:46
To:     Imogen Cane (
Dear Imogen,
i don t understand your email and calls. It seems like you don t want to pay for my labour. I would say your grand parents give you money and you want to keep it for yourself. I just want to remind you that all the jobs been checked and the quality was to your satisfaction. Now you are saying you are disappointed. It seems like you had an accident when been doing painting.
Anyway as agreed I’m waiting for my money outstanding balance of £2000 till this Friday then will past to debit collection company.



4th December 2012.
This is where we leave this story after over a month (nearly 2) of trying citizens advice, trading standards, anyone and everyone including the police, watch dog, cowboy builders, my local MP.  Nothing was done.
We discovered not only were the eclectics Eric did dodgy but the whole house needed rewiring which wouldn’t have been such an emergancy if it wasn’t for Eric.
We found out that Eric has no paper work, insurance or generally any form of being ‘true’ to what he claimed to be.
Due to the work surfaces being put up on scrap wood it was too high for the oven which was also on scrap wood!  The gas board has shut off our gas until this is rectified.
As a result of our cowboy builder we’ve had to buy a total new kitchen as the other was too cut up, scratched and incorrectly fitted including parts missing and the screws were old rusty ones which I have no idea where they came from.
We had to get our whole house electrically rewired which meant the whole house replastered which meant all the lovely work on the living room and craft room was for nothing.  It’s now December 4th and we have finally got a working kitchen as of this time last week.  We have a plastered undecorated house which is an utter mess and dust everywhere.  We will work on decorating, unpacking and generally cosmetics of the house however here’s the work been done.
New electrics all through
New boiler, pipes, plumbing, gas fitments and radiators
New kitchen units and worksurfactes
All plaster (including kitchen ceiling and living room ceiling) had to be removed and replaced.

Imogen & Joshua
We cannot recover any cost that we have lost nor claim on any insurance.  Beware of Cowboy Builders and make sure you know your FACTS even if you have to pay more!  Cheaper isn’t always better!!


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