Join Australia's most dynamic and respected property investment community

Handling incompetent tradesman

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by robbie_p, 17th Nov, 2015.

  1. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22nd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    411
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Hi guys,

    I just wanted some advice on how I should handle an incompetent “tradie”.

    I was quoted to have $890 to have 38sqm of my slate floor removed and grinded ($23.4o per sqm) and an additional $100 to dispose of it all. He said they would be in an out in a day, so I assumed 2 guys would be working on the job. Something to keep in mind is that this guy does landscaping, but took this job on when I posted it on ServiceSeeking.

    I agreed to the above and we scheduled to start the job last Saturday at 7am. The day before, I tried calling an texting to “double confirm” as i had a feeling he was unreliable, no reply. Saturday morning came and I waited until 9am. As I needed to get the job done, I went to Bunning, spent about $200 on a hammer drill, tile bit and some other items, and I started the job myself and got through 9sqm of slate… which was really tough for a first timer like me (but gets easier and easier)

    On Saturday night he contacts me telling someone bumped into his car on Friday night (which is a lie)and he said he would come on Sunday. He still should have had the decency to let me know. I call my boss when im not coming into the office, so should he. Sunday he arrived an hour late and dropped off a laborer with a jackhammer, then buggered off until 5pm. The labourer only got through about 4.5 sqm of slate, did some cleaning etc. I was happy with what he did as it was help I needed. At the same time I was also lifting slate.

    As I would prefer the help with the removal of slate, I obviously need to amend the initial quote or tell him to take a hike and use the money to hire a proper tool from Kennard’s and to it myself, which is what I will do if he doesnt adjust the quote or the don’t turn up on Saturday morning at 7am.

    I think its best we amend the quote based on the sqm of work needed…

    The original quote per square meter was $23.40, which included grinding for a 38sqm area. As they didn’t show up on Saturday (without letting me know), I have been chipping away as well as getting through things. By the time I need them again, I would have got through half the job (19sqm).

    The new quote will need to be for 19 sqm and will NOT include grinding as I will hire a proper machine (with attached vacuum to minimise dust) for this and not use a little hand held grinder like what they wanted to use, which will take forever.

    Long story short, if the previous quoute was $23.40 per sqm to lift and grind slate, what would be a fair price per sqm for just removing the slate (no grinding)? Keep in mind some companies charge $50 per sqm.

    Added to this, I think they under estimated the job, used the incorrect tools (hammer drill instead of a proper tool), which is why it took them about an hour to remove 1 sqm (using hammer drill) instead of 10mins (if they had proper tools).

    Added to this.. the boss arrived to collect the labourer, he stank of alcohol and brought a 6 pack of Jim Beam and coke and casually offered me a drink and had one together.

    Keen to hear to thoughts on what I should do, keeping in mind I will happily pay them to assist in removing the slate to speed up the job.

    Cheers,
    Robbie
     
  2. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    5,373
    Location:
    Somewhere in the land of Oz
    Basically Work out what you've done and deduct that from his price.

    Agreeing will be the difficult part, well him accepting the reduced amount!
    Keep it simple, original price minus %you completed may be best
     
    Bayview likes this.
  3. Hanison

    Hanison Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    241
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Dear oh dear. Sorry to hear of your dilemma. I remember mentioning not long ago that it is a very difficult job to remove slate ( physical and time consuming, not intellectually )

    I think your first problem was contracting a landscaper to do this job.
    Sure its something you could train a monkey to do but some monkeys are better than others.

    My advice, again, would be to get in touch with a professional.
    If you are unable to locate a specific company that removes the slate. Then I suggest contacting a company that does the concrete grinding ( which you will need anyway ) and ask them for a list of their preferred trades for removal of slate.

    Use their network and recommendations. At the very least it will be reliable.

    Price is what you pay, value is what you get.
     
  4. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22nd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    411
    Location:
    Adelaide
    As mentioned before, i am very happy with the job they did (4.5sqm), so no need to get a professional to do the job.

    To keep things simple.. the new job requires 19 sqm to be removed (4.5 already done), so $450 to remove the 19sqm slate seem fair?

    I am still adamant to do the grinding myself. If they did it it would take 10 times the amount of time and 10 time the mess, which they not at all considerate about.
     
  5. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    5,373
    Location:
    Somewhere in the land of Oz
    The hard part is this guy will probably expect full amount.

    Did you get another price that was a bit more realistic now you know the extent of the job?

    If you minus your work plusyd hirecosts there won't be much left, coming to an agreement will be hard
    Was the labourer any good? Perhaps you can offer to pay him cash for his help seeings you were there for the job with him. 20/hr cash and no going through the boss
     
  6. Darlinghurst Boy

    Darlinghurst Boy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    866
    Location:
    Darlinghurst Sydney
    Had i been you I wouldnt have accepted his excuse and refused his services, but I understand you wanted to get it done.
    You better tell him now before the job is done what you will pay him rather than wait until its over.
    He Sounds most unprofessional to me .

    Especially getting too friendly with him drinking alcohol etc but thats up to you.
     
  7. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

    Joined:
    13th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    5,569
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Just ask for an invoice (not a quote) for removal of whatever amount of metres the Sunday guy x $23.40sqm and pay that.

    Then put it behind you, move on and sort it out yourself with proper equipment.
     
  8. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22nd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    411
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Surely this guy wouldnt expect the full price ($890) when he did a no show and i ended up doing half the job myself.

    I paid him $200 (on the day), but I am not getting him in again until to work further until the quote is amended.

    At this stage, i think halving the quote from $890 to $450 (excluding grinding) is fair (considering i did half the job) and i wont let them do any further work until we agree. He seems pretty slack about things, so im sure it will be fine.

    When i spoke to him yesterday, he was happy for me to hire the laborer through him.

    I will let you know what he says.

    With regards to hiring a concrete grinding company, i would be looking at about $1600, but most of them are busy until the new year (which doesnt help me) OR i can hire a grinder (with vacuum) from Kennards for a weekend (Friday to Monday) for $450
     
  9. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    8,113
    Location:
    Brisbane
    There are some odd people out there, but that's not the most unusual thing I've ever heard.
    Is this regional or in the big smoke?
     
  10. Hanison

    Hanison Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    241
    Location:
    Brisbane
    4.5 meters in a day is a joke.
    I removed over 100 square meters of slate myself, one man, by hand, 2.7 tonne. It took 2 days, 18.5 hrs. Which included 2 x trips to refuse tip.

    I then had the existing slab exposed and polished.
    It was a nightmare. I told you months ago it was going to be a nightmare.

    Your next problem is your trying to do this project on a shoestring budget. I know this because I have been there myself.
    It's an all or nothing situation. Do or do not. I'm sure you understand this, now that your property is a mess and in pieces with not even half the job complete.

    Let me tell you how I reviewed my performance after I stupidly embarked on the same project.

    If smoking a cigarette is said to take away 6 mins off your life expectancy. Then removing all this slate and grinding this floor has cost me around a month.

    Jokingly of course. But that's the seriousness of what your dealing with.

    I'm not going to say anymore.
     
    jim1964 likes this.
  11. DaveM

    DaveM Adelaide Buyers Agent & KFC Strategist Business Member

    Joined:
    14th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    2,098
    Location:
    Sydney & Adelaide
    Give him $100 for the labourers 4.5sqm and tell him to get lost
     
    bob shovel, Bayview and Hanison like this.
  12. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,688
    Location:
    Brisbane..
    At least they were not on the medical cannabis,i would not let this crew back on the site..
     
  13. jim1964

    jim1964 Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    674
    Location:
    At tha beach
    Why are you still giving him the impression of more work.This isn't going to end well. Untill he confirms and agrees to a price for the work done,i wouldnt be talking to him about giving him more work.
     
  14. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22nd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    411
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Listen guys, its not all doom and gloom at all. In terms of removing the slate, half the job has been done, only 19sqm to go. There was not much adhesive left, so it actually looks pretty flat (without grinding).


    I spoke to the guy about completing the job and he said he would charge me $600 for 19sqm slate removal (finish the job basically). He realizes he underestimate the job and under quoted, but $600 to remove 19sqm is still cheap ($31sqm). Considering he has done 4.5sqm already, he only has 14.5 sqm to go.


    If this guy doesn’t pull through, I will go to Kennards and hire a decent size jackerhammer and trolly for $160 and eat up the remaining 14.5 sqm in a day.
     
  15. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    8,113
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Tend to agree with this, can't see him being happy about getting paid less than the originally agreed amount unless it's discussed.
     
    Hanison likes this.
  16. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22nd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    2,716
    Location:
    Mornington Peninsula
    This.

    If there is no written contract, I would simply work out what the labourer was worth for his effort, pay that, tell him how disappointed you are in his lack of professionalism, and show him the front gate.
     
    jim1964 and Hanison like this.
  17. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22nd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    411
    Location:
    Adelaide
    I'm not paying him less, im actually paying him more.. $890 for the full job (38sqm), now its $600 for half the job (19sqm).

    He is happy with this, i am happy with this. If he doesnt pull through i will not wait around for him i will call him and tell him im off to Kennards to hire proper tool to finish off removing the 14.5sqm left

    How can this end badly?
     
  18. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    8,113
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Ah, as long as you've both discussed it now you should be right. If he gets narky too bad.
     
  19. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22nd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    411
    Location:
    Adelaide
    He offered me half the job for $600, which he was happy with. I asked him if he could finish the remaining 14.5 sqm in a day, im still waiting for a reply.

    I really dont want this job (removing the slate) taking longer than another full day.

    Is it acceptable for me to request it gets done in a day (14.5sqm)? He did initially tell me the FULL JOB (inc grinding) would be a day!
     
  20. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22nd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    411
    Location:
    Adelaide
    In his defense, it took him about 3-4 hours to do 4.5 sqm. He did a REALLY good job though, all adhesive was removed and the flat slab was exposed. He was using a rotary hammer drill (like me).

    What tool did you use?