The everyday experiences of a young family taking on full home renovation

Home renovation, Kitchen extension, Renovation tips and advice

The cowboy builder and sliding timescales

Everyone says house renovations take longer and cost more than you plan. That’s true. In the short time we’ve been renovating the house, we’ve made several costly mistakes.

Our biggest error was employing a builder who was very good at saying the right things, but not very good at actually delivering on his promises. Being nice natured people, when he was going through a break up in the first month of the renovation, we gave him some leeway and gave him the benefit of the doubt when it didn’t look like much progress was happening. We accepted his excuses when he didn’t show up for three Monday’s in a month. We tried to be patient when the schedule kept getting put back week after week.

When the bricklayers informed us the footings for our extension were way too small and they had to fix them (our builder’s mistake which he hid from us), we made the decision to pull him off the job and pulled in another building firm. Thank god we did. The new company quickly realised a supporting brick peer the steels for our extension was supposed to sit on was missing.

Soon many more of his mistakes started surfacing. He’d ordered the wrong steels. He’d ordered the wrong architraves. Unbeknown to us hired tools were left on site, accruing charges. Other things were missing. His shoddy workmanship and general sloppiness cost us around £10,000 and have already added six weeks to the build time.

Our new building firm is pulling out all the stops and working hard to get the house finished. Our project manager Alex is great, he’s taken a lot of weight off my shoulders and I’m feeling far less stressed.

Thankfully we also managed to get another month in our rental flat (which is currently on the market) but our lease is up on the 5th July. So we have just over two weeks to make the house liveable and move in with a 2 year old. Currently there’s no running water, no mains electrics and no roof on the extension. Wish us luck!!

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