Total Pageviews

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Nickel and Dimed to death

Nickel and Dime to death is an expression we use in Canada (where I lived to the age of 21), not sure if there is an equivalent here in the UK, but basically it means that you keep asking for little bits of money here which then amounts to a huge amount in the end.

I really don't want to whinge, but I am fed up to the eye teeth. The plasterer has ripped off loads of lining paper in the hall, almost all the way down to the dado rail so that he can 'match in' the old plaster, and has left me with a massive wall that is going to have to be stripped, relined all the way up, and then re lined. It is a mess. I have rung the project manager and asked that he confirm that he is happy with leaving me with this as the final finish. The plasterer then came downstairs 5 minutes later and told me he will make it good after all. WTF is it with people trying to do the minimum work and just seeing if you will accept it?? I hate that attitude. If I want the whole wall re skimmed, there will of course be the charge for another whole days work.

I have also had issues with the fitting of the rooflight. When we had the initial site meeting, I showed the project manager the rooflight I proposed using. I then printed off all the information for him and the lead builder. I emailed details of the rooflight across. They kept telling me, no problem, no problem. The rooflight arrived almost two weeks ago and has been sitting on my patio since. A fox has done a big poo beside it. Well, I assume it was a fox but it might be the builder, because they have since told me that they are 'worried' about installing it, and that it is bigger than they thought (even though I told them the dimensions of it, and they built the hole for it about 3 weeks ago). I had the project manager waffling on the phone about it the other day, and I asked him to cut to the chase and he said they are going to have to make an 'extra charge' for the installation because it isn't 'standard'. I asked him how much the charge would be and he said he couldn't tell me until the rooflight had been installed. Who runs a business in this way??!! I was on my way out the door when we had this conversation, so I told him I would need to speak to Mr SLS about it. I came home to a letter saying that 'he had tried to ring me a number of times about this matter' (news to me!!) and that he would be making an additional charge. To say that I find his approach unprofessional is an understatement. Here it is, sitting on my patio, not on my roof.... (I left the big pile of poo out of the picture).

I rang the project manager to question the letter. I also stated that I feel that asking us to make an additional payment should have been mentioned when I showed him the rooflight at the outset. He then started saying I am being unfair, that I am now blaming him.... blah blah. Really, it was like a conversation with a petulant child. We eventually agreed that he would give me the cost in writing and then we could discuss. So apparently this is being dropped by today. If it is anymore than a couple of hundred quid, I am not paying it. I am so hacked off with the way the situation has been handled. I have generally been very happy with the quality of the work, and the speed at which it has happened, but this really takes away from that.

OH, and today he told me that the cost of the doors to the ensuite and new bedroom aren't included, and I need to pay for them. You will find it in the small print of the contract....

SO, hopefully I won't be on here ranting and raving about the £1000 he proposes charging for the rooflight installation, but I have a feeling I might be. Feel free to tell me if you think I am being unreasonable. Am I???


  1. I think you are right to feel aggrieved. It really irritates me when a very competitive price is given only for the contractor then to add on and on until such time as the end price does not even vaguely reflect the original quote. Do you know what they had quoted for the original skylight's fixing? Pin them down and make sure you are given that allowance too.

    BTW, I did not actually agree to give my opinion on this matter at the outset and so I will be writing to you shortly to tell you how much I will be charging.

  2. PMSL Helen, I shall await your invoice and will be paying in mussels, chips and hoegaarden!! x