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Monday, October 9, 2017

Not Up To Scratch: Dealing With Bad Work From Tradespeople


Look through a guide online of how to carry out DIY repairs or maintenance to your home. Literally, any one of them. You will probably see instructions. There will be photos. Probably a few frequently asked questions answered.

Then there will be the addition along the lines of: “of course, if you’re not sure your DIY skills can handle this, ask a professional to do the work for you!” 

This line is often included as a disclaimer more than anything, but it’s something we tend to take to heart. The conclusion we draw is simple:

DIY = Potential for a bad job to be done. 
Professional = Work will be exemplary. 

Anyone who has ever had any work done will know that the above doesn’t always quite work out like that. Though one might hope that a professional builder, plumber, electrician, or whichever tradesperson you require can do a job better than you can, that’s not always the case. If you hire someone to do work and then realize they’re doing bad work, what can you do about it? 
Refuse To Pay

Before handing over any money, take the time to inspect the work rather than just politely nodding and handing over cash. If you’re not happy, refuse to pay due to the quality of the workmanship. You should give them a chance to rectify the problem, but if they don’t, then you can continue to refuse. 

Cancel Any Future Work

Don’t give a bad tradesperson a second chance-- it’s your money, and your home on the line. If you notice any issues emerging, then cancel any planned projects for the future. Sadly, there is too much money and hassle at stake for you to be giving someone the benefit of the doubt. 

The above will work if you notice the bad workmanship on the day, but what if it takes awhile for it to kick in? What if you’re happily enjoying your newly-installed bathroom suite, then six months later, the tiles begin to crack? Is there anything you can do when the evidence of the bad work is delayed, and you’ve already paid?

File A Complaint

Contact the tradesperson and explain your issue. Hopefully, they will want to help to solve the problem-- that is what a reputable tradesperson would want to do. Accept this offer; a court will expect you to, so give them a fair chance to right their wrongs. 

If they don’t fix the issue -- or refuse to even try -- then you may need to consider legal action. 

Learn A Harsh Lesson For Next Time 

Sometimes, life deals in harsh lessons, and this may be one of those times. The best you can do is make a note in future to be more cautious. Any reputable company of builders, electricians, or plumbers will usually offer a guarantee on their work for at least six months. These policies can help you be sure the work is of good quality on the day, but protect your investment for the future. 

Dealing with bad workmanship from the very professionals who are meant to be expert is hard. If all else fails, and you truly think you have been wronged, then you should always consider taking them to court. This is a big step but, ultimately, if you pay someone for a job then they should be able to complete it to a good standard. At the very least, they should be willing to repair any errors they make. If this doesn’t happen, you’re well within your rights to challenge them in court.