Gransnet forums


paying up front?

(15 Posts)
anneey Fri 07-Feb-14 13:33:16

I am planning some specialist glazing. The chap doing the job is asking for the whole amount to be sent, before the job is done. The amount is £500. My son is advising me to pay 50%. I can understand in a way, the glazier has to travel quite a way, but I also have the concern that I might not get the work done. Any suggestions please?

durhamjen Fri 07-Feb-14 13:45:17

I agree with your son.
I had a problem with my roof, a valley gutter leaking, last October.
Because of the weather I needed it done quickly, noticed a roofer at my neighbours, and asked her about this lad. It seems he was living with her and her son. As her brother was a builder working for a local housing association, I assumed this lad was okay.
I paid him for the lead, then for the tiles and the work, etc.
He appeared to be doing the job, but then he left plastic sheeting and bricks on the roof until the cement had gone off.
A week later I asked my neighbour when he was coming to finish the job, and it turned out he had cleared off, then come back and broken into her house, stealing jewellery and her son's bike. He later came back and stole her car!
My roof has now been fixed by someone that the trading standards registered, and I haven't had the bill yet. I am unlikely to get my £450 back from the first roofer, and when I reported it to the police, I was told it wasn't criminal!
Agree to pay for the materials but not the labour until it has been done to your satisfaction.

sunseeker Fri 07-Feb-14 13:54:37

I would never pay the full amount up front. When I had a conservatory put up I didn't pay anything until it was completely finished, but that was a local company who my DH knew. I think your son's advice to pay 50% up front is a sensible one. If this is a "one man band" type of company then it is possible they would need money up front to buy materials. Have they been recommended to you?

anneey Fri 07-Feb-14 14:01:32

O.M.G. That certainly is a lesson learnt the hard way. Such a pity that we can trust no one.
Your experience has helped me to make up my mind. Thank You.

durhamjen Fri 07-Feb-14 14:12:00

Thanks, anneey. The stupid thing is that my husband was an architect and my son is a trading standards officer, so I should not have been caught like that.
The one consolation is that my neighbour feels more stupid than I do!

annodomini Fri 07-Feb-14 15:15:53

If someone asks for all the money up front, I say 'No, thanks,' and get another estimate from a different tradesman. I don't think I have ever paid more than a 10% deposit on any job.

Icyalittle Fri 07-Feb-14 15:22:23

If you buy anything over £100 using a credit card, you can claim the money back through the cc company, via a Section 75 refund. It does seem unfair on the credit card company, but that is the law.

D0LLIE Fri 07-Feb-14 15:28:30

I would never pay up front for work to be done but would pay a small deposit...there are so many cowboys out there you have to be really careful...

glammanana Fri 07-Feb-14 15:42:05

I would never pay up front anneey your son is quite right have you not got a specialist fitter nearer to your home who is registered with your local fair trades department you can find a list usually in local papers or on line,always get 3 estimates anyway and negotiate the price,I saved £80.00 on having my tiling done in my bathroom this way.

Aka Fri 07-Feb-14 15:54:53

Be careful this firm isn't called Botchit and Scarper!

I never pay any money up front. All reputable builders and traders have accounts with their suppliers, and if they haven't then there is something wrong. If its a big job then I've no objections for paying for work done at the halfway stage.

When I watch these 'rough traders' or 'house rescue' programmes I'm always amazed at how easily some people are parted from their hard-earned cash.

Charleygirl Fri 07-Feb-14 16:27:59

A few weeks ago I had a lot of brick paving fitted and also guttering replaced. I did not pay a penny until I was satisfied.

I do understand that some one man bands can have cash flow problems re buying material but 50% is more than enough to pay.

JessM Fri 07-Feb-14 16:40:39

Always worth checking your local trading standards list of approved tradesmen.
When we bought double glazed doors we did not select the cheapest - we went for an established firm with a local showroom, the highest energy efficiency rating and lots of commendations from satisfied customers etc
I think we may have paid a short term in advance as the units had to be manufactured for us.

Iam64 Fri 07-Feb-14 18:37:49

Good advice on here, and from your son.
We've had some maintenance and an extension in the last 4 years. I've tended to manage it (I believe the term is "project manage" can you believe it!) For smaller work, I've paid at the end. The big work was done by a local builder, who happens to live on our road. I've known him over 30 years, since he was an apprentice to a friend of mine. So, I felt in safe hands. We paid him some significant amounts of cash, but the builders were here for 5 months, so I knew he'd spent a lot of money. We probably only paid 30% of the total bill, before it arrived.
I honestly wouldn't hand over cash before any work starts. I'd be happy to contribute to the cost of materials, but only on sight of receipts/invoices. Good luck with this.

harrigran Fri 07-Feb-14 19:20:29

Not right to expect all the money up front. We had major work done on the house and money was paid to builder at certain stages of work and rest on completion. Windows we paid a deposit of 20% and rest when we were satisfied with finished job.

FlicketyB Sat 08-Feb-14 07:11:41

If a builder/glazier wants all the money up front, he is either out to cheat you or he is on the edge of bankruptcy.

We paid someone to do some specialist lime work on the outside of our house, we paid a 10% deposit and the balance, a couple of thousand £s when he was finished. There was another small repair job we wanted done and he asked us to pay upfront with the balance for the main work as he had done such a good job and the extra amount was trivial we paid him - and never saw him again and the small job was never done. We later discovered he had gone bankrupt the following week.

When we employed a builder neighbour to do some work. DH went with him to the Builders Merchant and paid for the materials himself and we just paid him for his labour at the end of each week.