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Builder wants to sign off

  • 12-05-2022 9:26pm
    Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭

    I have refused to pay the builder the final payment because their work is very poor (crooked walls, etc). The builder hasn’t replied to my email stating I’m not paying and instead had his second in command text me the other day asking to visit the house, get the project signed off and any issues with variations, works that need seeing to and discuss final payment. I’m wondering what their motive might be here? Are they just trying to get me to sign off so I can’t sue them in the future? I have already told them that I am getting other contractors in to fix their work and paying these new contractors out of the original builders final payment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,642 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring

    " I have already told them that I am getting other contractors in to fix their work and paying these new contractors out of the original builders final payment."

    You can't just do that. To remove a contractor and have his work made good out of his bill is difficult.

    When you say " sign off". What do you mean?

    I assume you have an architect or engineer to sign off completion?

    Snag lost issued?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,488 ✭✭✭Ginger83

    I would be signing and agreeing to nothing. Let him know your building surveyor will inspect and put together a list of works required

  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭BalboBiggins

    I had a professional make a snag list and the builders have snagged the job three times now and it was pathetic. Lads were coming on random days and just arsing around in the house for the day, barely fixing anything. Then in his final email to me the builder asked for final payment and said there is only one more thing to snag, so I said "I'll take that as you're not willing to properly snag the rest of the stuff, so I will get another contractor to do this and pay him with some of your balance".

    I have an engineer signing off but he said he's waiting for info from the builder on some materials used, so I assume they are in kahoots together until the builder is paid fully.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,488 ✭✭✭Ginger83

    I would not allow anyone to sign off until you're satisfied with the work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,642 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring

    I'll start on the engineer. Why are you making that assumption?

    He is probably working in your best interest, ensuring that he has all requisite information prior issuing cert.

    Has he inspected throughout and has he done a final inspection (issued it to you) showing that all is in compliance with Building Regs etc?

    Talk to him and do not pressure him into issuing anything. He is your weapon to get anything important rectified prior his cert.

    On the money. Unless you have a very tight contract it is difficult to simply take the money and pay someone else to do the works. However equally it is especially difficult for a builder to get that money without completing the snags. In fact as most will advise, just don't give it to him until you are satisfied.

    You had a professional make a snag list. Forward the list to the builder again with the outstanding items highlighted. Make it very clear, in one line that he is to let you know when this list is completely closed to his satisfaction.

    Tell builder he gets his money when

    1. all items are closed and verified closed by your professional snagger.
    2. your engineer has issued his cert.

    Don't muddy the waters by mentioning other builders finishing things or making other threats. He is the builder you employed to carry out the work. You were satisfied to employ him day 1 due to his reputation or on seeing other examples of his work. Now ye need to work together to finish out the snagging.

    Now really is not the time to be agreeing variations. Should be costed and agreed prior the work but that's a different argument and do not let it muddy the waters of him completing the works satisfactorily.

    Post edited by Wildly Boaring on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,030 ✭✭✭Casati

    The OP has given the builder three chances to fix the snags already so surely its reasonable to get another contractor in at this stage?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,733 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    no, OP is entering legally murky waters without any need to do so. you cannot make unilateral changes to the contract (without consequence). you can ensure builder lives up to his obligations. this is what OP should focus on.

    OP's threats are not helping their cause. Simply follow the excellent advice already given.

    "Tell builder he gets his money when

    1. all items are closed and verified closed by your professional snagger.
    2. your engineer has issued his cert."

    Builder wants the money. Builder knows how to get his money. Simple consistent approach without mixed messages.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,642 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring

    There are 2 sides in a contract. You enter with your eyes open. Both sides should act in good faith.

    Situations like this are why most advise using a professional to run a project or at least issue payment certs etc.

    The OP is in a situation that most find themselves in at the tail end of a build. It is normal for builders to drag their heels now as anything the builder spends snagging affects his bottom line. You must be firm and resolute. Clear communication and holding as much money as possible under the contract are key.

    This is where the variations are a secondary item. The OP may have to pay these now if they are complete and the builder has claimed correctly.

    OP must keep holding what hopefully is a large lump of contractually allowed retention.

  • Registered Users Posts: 39,228 ✭✭✭✭Mellor

    Builder and OP still have a contract. By completing the works for him you remove the ability for him to complete the works. You’d end up owing both builders.

    Needs to proceed contractually.