All Topics / Help Needed! / Dodgey electrician.. what to do? :(

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  • Profile photo of NEWGENNEWGEN
    Participant
    @newgen
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 151

    Hi everyone,

    Well where do I start.. my girlfriend and I had been saving for renovations to our unit for a while now and 2 weeks ago we ordered our kitchen. The tiler came and tiled our kitchen floor on Monday this week and all was going well until the DODGEY ELECTRICIAN arrived yesterday to install some new sockets etc in the wall of our kitchen.

    The IDIOT (I hate to call people this but wait and see) didn’t lay out any protective covering over the tiles before he started drilling and hacking into the wall. And what could make that worse?……………. HE DRILLED INTO A WATER PIPE. I wasn’t at home at the time but I took a photo of the mess he left when I got home.. see below:

    http://img437.imageshack.us/img437/2071/img0042my.jpg

    Now I didn’t pay him and told him over the phone that I’d check the damage before I hand over ANY money. I was so annoyed thinking that he’d dirtied the brand new grout. So late last night my girlfriend and I started mopping/sweeping up the mess he left behind when we noticed this on a whole bunch of tiles:

    http://img437.imageshack.us/img437/9209/img0105sm.jpg

    YEP :( Deep, dark scratches in the brand new tiles. We don’t know what to do now.. the plumber is coming out tomorrow morning to relocate the piping (which is ok because the section of piping the electrician drilled into will be cut off anyways). We just had to turn off the tap so we’re without water for two days now…

    The kitchen is being installed on the Sunday.. is there anywhere I can go to that can help me with my situation? I have a very strong feeling the electrician won’t pay for the damages and we’re really tight on cash at the moment..

    Any help would be very much appreciated..

    Thanks everyone.

    Profile photo of roborobo
    Member
    @robo
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 155

    I would get the tiler back and get him to quote you to replace the tiles, then ring the sparky and tell him you are taking it out of his price and if it is more you will be sending him the bill. if he doesn’t like it tell him you can just go straight to consumer affairs. Some tradesman especially selfemployed ones seem to think they don’t have to clean up their mess these days.even if the tiles were ok i would get him back to clean up the mess before i paid him.
    i employ subbys and if their is ever a problem i have them straight back to the job or they don’t get paid and don’t get any more work.
    Robo

    Profile photo of NEWGENNEWGEN
    Participant
    @newgen
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 151

    Thanks Robo! :)

    My girlfriend and I have been so upset about this.. I guess something was bound to go wrong. We’ve done some researching online and found some useful info here:

    http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/building/homeowners/whenthingsgowrong.html

    It might help others who are in the same situation. I’d already told the electrician I wouldn’t pay him until I found out what the damage was.. from the looks of things I’ll need to replace at least 8 tiles (the ones up against the wall will be covered by the kitchen cabinets. It doesn’t look like he’ll be getting any money from me, probably the other way around. [crying]

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
    Participant
    @crashy
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 736

    was this work quoted?

    if you hired him and paid him by the hour, be grateful he didnt clean up the mess. Know any cleaners who charge $65 an hour? I dont.

    ‘dodgey’ should be reserved for tradesmen who do illegal or dangerous work. making a mess is what tradesmen do.

    I suspect your lack of experience is partly the problem. Who in their right mind gets tiling done BEFORE roughing in the electrics or plumbing? Did you explain that the tiling was new before he started? He probably assumed it was old and wasnt worried about damaging it. As for the water damage (if any), he should pay for that.

    Sorry to seem unsupportive, but being a sparky myself, I would take you to court. Its all too easy to blame the tradesmen. Dodgey developers should penalised just the same if they are incompetant (not saying you are).

    http://www.posigear.8k.com
    Positive Geared Share Investing

    Profile photo of NEWGENNEWGEN
    Participant
    @newgen
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 151
    Originally posted by crashy:

    was this work quoted?

    Of course it was. Would you pay for something without knowing the price?

    Originally posted by crashy:

    ‘dodgey’ should be reserved for tradesmen who do illegal or dangerous work. making a mess is what tradesmen do.

    So you don’t think ruining a new tiling job isn’t dodgey? If you think making a mess is what tradesmen are paid to do then I hope you never do any work for any of the members on here… or for anyone actually.

    Originally posted by crashy:

    I suspect your lack of experience is partly the problem. Who in their right mind gets tiling done BEFORE roughing in the electrics or plumbing? Did you explain that the tiling was new before he started? He probably assumed it was old and wasnt worried about damaging it..

    Sorry Mr Experienced, but how many normal everyday people out there do you know that are experts in getting kitchens renovated? For your information, he came and gave me the quote for the work BEFORE the tiles were laid. And you’d have to be an idiot not to be able to tell the difference between newly laid+grouted tiles and old ones. And evem if the tiles were old it doesn’t give him a green light to go and create a mess on them.

    Originally posted by crashy:

    Sorry to seem unsupportive, but being a sparky myself, I would take you to court.

    Sorry to seem rude and pointing out the obvious, but you’re an idiot. You’re saying YOU would take ME to court? On what grounds?

    Originally posted by crashy:

    Its all too easy to blame the tradesmen. Dodgey developers should penalised just the same if they are incompetant (not saying you are).

    Well who else is to blame in this instance? Ever heard of plastic drop sheets? Did you even look at the photos?

    The least you could’ve said was that what he did was wrong and that it was unfortunate. Instead you came in here being all high and mighty saying I should’ve known better.. Well sorry! My girlfriend and I are only in our 20’s and we don’t know better yet. That’s why we got ‘professional qualified tradesmen’ to come and see what needed to be done, provide us with a quote and perform the job.

    But that’s all a bit much to ask from a tradesman from your point of view isn’t it?

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
    Participant
    @crashy
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 736

    Your rude and arrogant response shows your lack of maturity and inexperience. I can just imagine the childish tantrum you threw when you saw what he did. Wait till you see who the real ‘idiot’ is here.

    “Would you pay for something without knowing the price?”

    OK, here is a little nugget for you.

    QUOTES ARE A SCAM !

    Got it? I wont do any job unless its quoted. Why? When we do a quote, we estimate how much time and materials are required, then add 25% for things that *might* go wrong. Getting the picture? A $1,000 job will be quoted @ $1250, or if the tradesman doesnt need the work $1400. If its a crappy job he will quote $1600. Lets say I have an apprentice. I will quote a job @ 8 hours @ $65 an hour. When I actually do the work, me and the apprentice may spend 3 hours there. Thats 6 hours total. 2 hours bonus!

    Now if instead you just arranged to get someone out and said, “whats your rates, ok, do this and leave me the bill” you may find the end price is around $800. See that, $1400 down to $800. If he has an apprentice, he may charge $35 an hour for him. So they may be there 3 hours and charge you $65 x 3 + $35 x 3 = $300 in labour, as opposed to $65 x 8 + 25% = $625.

    So in response to your question, would I get work done without knowing the price? HELL YES !

    “If you think making a mess is what tradesmen are paid to do then I hope you never do any work for any of the members on here… or for anyone actually.”

    I hope to god I never do any work for someone like you. You are what is called a “problem customer”. They have no idea what they are doing and throw a tantrum when things go wrong, and unpaid tradesmen is the result. I have won numerous awards for my workmanship so my experience is documented. Is yours? Pay the man, or you may find yourself in the dark.

    “Sorry Mr Experienced, but how many normal everyday people out there do you know that are experts in getting kitchens renovated?”

    You dont seem to get it. That is YOUR problem. If you dont know what you are doing, hire a project manager. Dont blame others for your incompetance.

    “For your information, he came and gave me the quote for the work BEFORE the tiles were laid.”

    Bingo! So you stuffed up. Tip for you (whoever said common sense was common?)…..TILES GET DONE LAST ! You do the nice shiny things AFTER all the other trades have finished drilling out concrete. Duh!

    “And you’d have to be an idiot not to be able to tell the difference between newly laid+grouted tiles and old ones. And evem if the tiles were old it doesn’t give him a green light to go and create a mess on them.”

    Maybe he thought the tiles were old. maybe he forgot. You certainly didnt tell him to be careful. If you had half a clue you would have put something down yourself. Some quotes dont include cleaning up, as being paid $65 an hour to clean is dumb. But then some developers dont have a clue do they?

    “Sorry to seem rude and pointing out the obvious, but you’re an idiot. You’re saying YOU would take ME to court? On what grounds?”

    very rude. Its obvious that someone here is an idiot. lets see. Your inexperience caused the problem. You didnt pay your bill. Accept that you have to share the blame and put it down to experience.

    “Well who else is to blame in this instance? Ever heard of plastic drop sheets? Did you even look at the photos?”

    Yes I did. I dont know what the agreement was for cleaning up. Like I said earlier, it is better for you to clean up the mess rather than pay him to at $65 an hour. Or do you earn $120 an hour and can afford it? Quit ya friggin whining and count your blessings.

    “The least you could’ve said was that what he did was wrong and that it was unfortunate.”

    How do I know it was wrong? We only hear your side of the story. he made a mess, big deal. he hit a water pipe, his problem. make him pay for damage in that case as he was negligent.

    “My girlfriend and I are only in our 20’s and we don’t know better yet. That’s why we got ‘professional qualified tradesmen’ to come and see what needed to be done, provide us with a quote and perform the job.”

    Just because you get tradesman to do the work doesnt mean you did nothing wrong. it is YOUR job to ensure all work is done in the correct order. You failed to do that and stuff-ups is the result. The scratched tiles pictured are clearly not the ones in the previous photo. Telling a fib perhaps?

    http://www.posigear.8k.com
    Positive Geared Share Investing

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
    Participant
    @crashy
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 736

    and another thing:

    how would a plastic drop sheet have helped?

    you think clumps of concrete would have their fall broken by a thin sheet of plastic? it would have ended up with hundreds of holes in it, would not have protected the tiles in the slightest, but would help with cleanup. In this situation it was unreasonable to expect the tiles not to get damaged. you should have put cardboard over the tiles.

    I suspect a court case would look like this:

    the electrician could not be reasonably expected to:

    a) know that the tiles existed and required protection
    b) have the nessesary cardboard / blanket with him

    the owner was negligent in that:

    a) they failed to disclose the tile addition during quoting
    b) they failed to warn the electrician of the possible damage before work commenced
    c) they failed to adequately protect the tiles against likely damage

    Court finds for the plaintiff in the amount of $200 for water pipe repairs and water damage. The defendants counterclaim of $x for unpaid work is approved. Case dismissed.

    http://www.posigear.8k.com
    Positive Geared Share Investing

    Profile photo of PenPen
    Member
    @pen
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 28

    I would like to know if the job was actually completed ?

    Stop all this bickering and DEAL with the problem, find a SOLUTION and get on with your life.

    In my experience, and I have built a few houses in my time, tradesmen always make a mess. Just deal with it and move on to happier times.

    Five years down the track, I am still finding rubbish in the garden, buried in the soil that builders, tradesmen have left.

    From a sensible MUM.

    Profile photo of DazzlingDazzling
    Member
    @dazzling
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 1,150

    Hiya NEWGEN,

    Well…I suppose you haven’t found the support you were initially hoping for.

    Sitting on the sidelines reading all of the above it is clear to me the root cause of your troubles is the laying of the new tiles (a finishing trade) before any of the primary work has been completed.

    With the actual kitchen being installed on Sunday I hope you are now prepared to protect the tiles with a foam or cardboard covering. How will the cupboards go abutting against the tiling, or is the tiling across the entire floor ??

    When the tiler came in and laid the new tiles, did he or she mention anything about job order after you told him / her your plans for the room, and what the full workscope was going to be ??

    In your defence, I’ve found many tradesmen to be very arrogant, especially in this climate where everyone is encouraging their children to go to Uni and get a degree…and hence there is a short supply.

    This attitude of “I’m my own boss, I don’t answer to nobody, nobody tells me what to do” has certainly become more prevalent with all of the reno’s and building craze over the past couple of years. Ask any tradesman and when you get to the heart of the matter that’s what they really value…being their own boss and answering to no-one. A bit like the farmer attitude.

    NEWGEN, count your lucky stars, I have it far worse than you. My father-in-law does most of our electrical work (paid of course…no freebies here…I keep asking him if he wants an oil well drilled in his backyard, but unfortunately there’s not a big demand for those here in Oz, so I don’t really have much to swap…

    He’s a sparky and a farmer and a relly, a triple whammy combo headed for disaster when I’m not happy with the work standard. He’s half way thru re-wiring our PPoR at the moment and has wires hanging out and switching dangling out of the wall by live threads. He left 2 weeks ago to go back to the farm and doesn’t know when he’ll be back. If I say anything it’s on for young and old in WWIII.

    I wish I had your problem. [blush2]

    Profile photo of NEWGENNEWGEN
    Participant
    @newgen
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 151
    Originally posted by Pen:

    I would like to know if the job was actually completed ?

    Stop all this bickering and DEAL with the problem, find a SOLUTION and get on with your life.

    In my experience, and I have built a few houses in my time, tradesmen always make a mess. Just deal with it and move on to happier times.

    Five years down the track, I am still finding rubbish in the garden, buried in the soil that builders, tradesmen have left.

    From a sensible MUM.

    Hi Pen,
    The electrician left things as shown in the photo. I’ve called the electrician and explained the situation to him. He asked me how much it’d cost to repair it all and told me that he’d look after it. I have a feeling he won’t come on Saturday though but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. Sorry to hear about your garden..

    Originally posted by Dazzling:

    Hiya NEWGEN,

    Well…I suppose you haven’t found the support you were initially hoping for.

    Sitting on the sidelines reading all of the above it is clear to me the root cause of your troubles is the laying of the new tiles (a finishing trade) before any of the primary work has been completed.

    With the actual kitchen being installed on Sunday I hope you are now prepared to protect the tiles with a foam or cardboard covering. How will the cupboards go abutting against the tiling, or is the tiling across the entire floor ??

    When the tiler came in and laid the new tiles, did he or she mention anything about job order after you told him / her your plans for the room, and what the full workscope was going to be ??

    In your defence, I’ve found many tradesmen to be very arrogant, especially in this climate where everyone is encouraging their children to go to Uni and get a degree…and hence there is a short supply.

    This attitude of “I’m my own boss, I don’t answer to nobody, nobody tells me what to do” has certainly become more prevalent with all of the reno’s and building craze over the past couple of years. Ask any tradesman and when you get to the heart of the matter that’s what they really value…being their own boss and answering to no-one. A bit like the farmer attitude.

    NEWGEN, count your lucky stars, I have it far worse than you. My father-in-law does most of our electrical work (paid of course…no freebies here…I keep asking him if he wants an oil well drilled in his backyard, but unfortunately there’s not a big demand for those here in Oz, so I don’t really have much to swap…

    He’s a sparky and a farmer and a relly, a triple whammy combo headed for disaster when I’m not happy with the work standard. He’s half way thru re-wiring our PPoR at the moment and has wires hanging out and switching dangling out of the wall by live threads. He left 2 weeks ago to go back to the farm and doesn’t know when he’ll be back. If I say anything it’s on for young and old in WWIII.

    I wish I had your problem. [blush2]

    Hi Dazzling,
    I guess we’ve learned an expensive lesson. I’ve just ordered replacement tiles and contacted our tiler who is giving us a small discount to retile the kitchen again. The tiling covers the whole floor. I’ve rescheduled the kitchen delivery and install for the weekend after next which is my girlfriend’s birthday 

    When the tiler, electrician and plumber came to give quotes I explained to them all exactly what was happening and when. No-one raised the issue of the tile laying before the electrical and plumbing work at the time.

    To make things worse the plumber came out this morning (he’s still here) and accidentally jack-hammered into some wiring which cut out all of the power except for the lights. He’s getting his sparky in to fix the wiring but he won’t be out til later on this afternoon. He’s temporarily patched the power back in so he can work for now. So a 2 hour morning job has turned into a whole day job and I’ve had to take another day off from work. (Not really the plumber’s fault though, and I do feel sorry for him as he’s paying for the electrician out of his own pocket).

    I wasn’t after sympathy by posting this, just some advice and/or constructive criticism, neither of which Crashy gave.

    I apologise to everyone else if I sounded rude in my post to Crashy but I stand by my comments. I’m already annoyed enough as it is without having ANOTHER DODGEY ELECTRICIAN joining the party.

    Thanks to everyone else who provided some helpful advice/comments. I extremely appreciate it.

    Cheers.

    Profile photo of CeliviaCelivia
    Participant
    @celivia
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 886

    Newgen, I am sorry to hear about the way the electrician treated your property with disrespect. How hard could it have been to throw a heavy protective canvas down before he started the job? My husband is a tradesman too (carpenter) and always protects the area with thick canvas whenever necessary.
    It is IMHO disrespectful and arrogant to leave someone’s property in such state. It is totally unnecessary to do so.

    I hope you are going to show us the pictures of the finished project!
    Something nice to look forward to huh, after all the aggravation![axe]

    Celivia

    Profile photo of PsychiatristPsychiatrist
    Member
    @psychiatrist
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 70

    Im sorry to see your lovely tiles ruined like that. Id be so angry!

    I look foward to hearing some good news from all this! and some after shots as well.!

    Profile photo of Endless SummerEndless Summer
    Member
    @endless-summer
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 62

    Crashy,

    … Now if instead you just arranged to get someone out and said, “whats your rates, ok, do this and leave me the bill” you may find the end price is around $800. See that, $1400 down to $800. If he has an apprentice, he may charge $35 an hour for him. So they may be there 3 hours and charge you $65 x 3 + $35 x 3 = $300 in labour, as opposed to $65 x 8 + 25% = $625.

    So in response to your question, would I get work done without knowing the price? HELL YES !…

    I find this really interesting. It looks like I’ll be organising to have my new home built within the next year (organised by building company), but once the house is built I will be organising things later like extra concreate around the house, shelter area next to the house etc.

    I will be using tradies for these things. So from what you are saying instead of asking for an overall quote, ask the tradies for their rates and this should,generally speaking, cost me less for the job??

    I’m glad you put forward your point of view because it has provided another perspective on how to get things done through trades people and how to deal with them. Any comments welcome.

    Newgen,

    for what it’s worth, my favourite question (and I always ask this at the end of all my questioning about issues I’m new to is:

    “is there anything I’ve forgotten to ask?”

    99% of the time this gives me extra info I had not thought of. It may have helped in this instance and it may not have but it would not have hurt. Hope the end result is worth it for you.

    ES

    Profile photo of calvin_thirty4calvin_thirty4
    Participant
    @calvin_thirty4
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 556

    Where is the Emotion Off Switch? Would love to re-read this post minus the emotions! Definite Learning to be had here!!

    NEWGEN – too bad about the tiles! I know that when the budget is tight that these things make you more cranky than anything. Looks like the Sparky might just surprise you and pay for the damges – lets hope so.

    Crashy – I see where your comming from! You have valid points that I have managed to learn from. I don’t agree on your format in presenting them here, but that’s just me.

    You all have a great weekend and I hope things go better from now on NEWGEN!

    Cheers
    [email protected]

    Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to always try something one more time.
    – Thomas Edison

    Profile photo of ToolsTools
    Participant
    @tools
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 363

    The tiles should not have been laid before the roughin stage,but that doesn’t give the sparky open slather on them.Respect for other people’s work is sadly lacking in the building industry.Tradesmen need to remember that they are in someone’s home.The damage to the tiles aside,it would take less than 5 minutes to run a broom over the floor and put it in the bin.I would be back charging for both the clean up and the damage.With the damage to the pipe,I wouldn’t hold him responsible for that,unless I had told him exactly where all the pipes were,and marked them on the wall,or if the position should be blatantly obvious.He has no way of knowing where all the services are buried in the wall.

    Tools

    Profile photo of jhopperjhopper
    Member
    @jhopper
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 278

    Irrespective of what order the work was performed, one thing that aggravates me is tradesmen that don’t respect the work of other tradesmen or the property in which they are working. Granted, the tiles should have been done last but that dosn’t excuse this sort of behaviour. Respect your job and leave it tidy, how hard is that to do?

    Newgen, I would have been angry too but sounds like the sparkie has realised and is being accomodating.

    Profile photo of NEWGENNEWGEN
    Participant
    @newgen
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 151

    Hi everyone,
    Well.. what a long day today has been. This is what has happened since the plumber accidentally struck the electrical wiring:

    – In the morning, he called his sparky to come out and fix the job (out of his own pocket). Sparky couldn’t make it til about 1pm.. ended up coming at 3pm to have a look, left, came back at 5pm to do the repair.. left about 30 mins ago :) Very nice and understanding bloke..
    – Plumber finished up at around 4pm..
    – The extra nice and friendly plumber offered to render the walls tomorrow.. he even went out and bought cement to do the work.
    – The EXTREMELY nice plumber even loaned me his jack hammer to remove all of the damaged tiles.
    – The nice electrician who came to fix the plumber’s mishap kindly offered us his skip which he has in front of his house at the moment for us to dump our BRAND NEW broken tiles into!

    So even though we’ve had some major headaches, the two tradespeople who helped us out today have made things so much better. There are some really nice tradespeople out there (please note my rant was just about the dodgey electrician :p).

    My girlfriend and I have decided that even though we’re extra tight on cash now due to the extra expenses.. we’ll be paying the electrician bill for the plumber. Accidents happen, and these guys have helped us out so much today we can’t thank them enough!

    Cheers everyone, I’ll be sure to post photos once everything’s done :)

    Profile photo of ToolsTools
    Participant
    @tools
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 363

    Good to hear Newgen! I am glad both that your experience with tradesmen is looking up (there are many around like these guys!),and also that your project is getting done with a litle less stress.Interesting to note the difference in attitude it provokes when workers behave in a respectful and tradesman like manner.I bet you wouldn’t hesitate in having this latest crew back for future works,or have any hesitation in recommending them to others.If only the cowboys in the industry realised the injustice and damage they are doing to their business and the industry with their lack of respect and high and mighty attitude.

    Tools

    Profile photo of CeliviaCelivia
    Participant
    @celivia
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 886

    I’m glad that things are working out for you, Newgen.
    A little normalty, respect and compassion usually work wonders.
    Can’t wait to see your finished project.

    Celivia

    Profile photo of RichLeeRichLee
    Member
    @richlee
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 25

    Have to add my 2c here as we are in the electrical trade too. My husband prides himself in his electrical work and always cleans up his mess and always respects other peoples homes whether they are old or new. We have renovated and built homes ourselves and have seen first hand how some trademen (not all) basically dont give a toss about other peoples property! We work hard for the things we have and thus respect others. And no, we dont add on extra hours in labour and charge for the mess we clean up. We do it because its the right thing to do and people talk, as u can see from this post. I feel sorry for you poor buggers who saved and were burnt with your reno’s. I guess it is all a learning game and to research your tradey is a brilliant idea, hear first hand from others who have got them to do work before you get them in yourself. But rest assured we arent all like that and some of us do respect other peoples homes like they were our own.[exhappy]

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