Any recourse against slow builder?

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Any recourse against slow builder?

Postby Baht Man » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:41 am

The 150 days as specified on the contract has been exceded now by 100 days.
Most of the time there is little activity or none.
There is no completion clause in the agreement.

The Ms. and I hae had talks with him over the last 2-3 months and nothing has changed.

His tomorrow never comes, his promisses are worth nothing and I'm having to pay rent where I'm at long after I'd expected too.

Elec. is prewired, and plumbing stubbed out. Window frames are in, but no glass. Painting in and out is complete.

I still owe him his last 20%, half of which would be due soon, the other half after completion. I also owe him some additional funds for work done and figure I may be ahead about now.

What are my options, besides sitting on my a$$ waiting?

And I really don't care abot the RICE excuse.

Thanks in advance.
The more hair I loose, the more head I get.
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Re: Any recourse against slow builder?

Postby Mike Judd » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:10 am

As long as you owe him money as far as payments are concerned, I would notify him that you have no option but to bring in other contractors to get things moving , with the costs coming out of his contract price. It works both ways as far as the futility of legal action over contracts in these sorts of situations. The bottom line is "He who has the gold calls the tune." Obviously it depends on whether there are contractors looking for the sort of work you are requiring as to what you will have to pay, the simple ploy of inferring that you are getting different prices usually ensures a reasonable price. Good luck.! :? :?
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Re: Any recourse against slow builder?

Postby Baht Man » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:28 am

Thanks Mike.
Always a help.. :)
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Re: Any recourse against slow builder?

Postby Baht Man » Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:14 pm

Mike Judd wrote:As long as you owe him money as far as payments are concerned, I would notify him that you have no option but to bring in other contractors to get things moving , with the costs coming out of his contract price.


Thinking back a month or two prior, I used this approach after an extended time of in-actiivty.

"Get your guys here by Monday or I will hire my own"
They showed up on Monday, but I'm tired of this motovational approach.

I'd just like to tell him I'm finsihed with him and will complete the build myself.
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Re: Any recourse against slow builder?

Postby Ians » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:41 pm

Well get them there on Monday, don't threaten just do it. He will soon hear about it and when he comes around looking for any outstanding monies - well you now know how to play the next Monday game. Legally I guess you need to pay at some time (in the future) for any outstanding work - but of course there will be a fair bit of rectification work to come out of his payment :wink: :wink: :wink: .
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Re: Any recourse against slow builder?

Postby Shastadad » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:58 pm

This is probably one of the most frustrating things about building in Thailand. But before anyone starts to jump in with the refrain that it also happens in the West, true, but at least in our home countries we have some recourse. If not the law then word of mouth warnings to others. Here in Thailand they don't care since they get referrals through connections, not competence

The worst part of these slow build is the jacked up prices any other contractor or sub contractor will charge you to wade into someone else's mess. So you are forced to wait till the original contractor gets off his ass and finishes or take a chance of firing him and then paying the premium to get someone else to finish

And even if you do get someone else to come in an finish you can never guarantee that they will not be as slow to finish as the first guy. While I was waiting to get my house done, after the main contractor did a runner, I couldn't help but feel that my project was just a "hobby" for him. Just enough work by the subs to keep the job, but not enough to get the damn thing over and done with

Good luck and eventually it will be finished, then like most bad memories, it will fade and you can enjoy your new build
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Re: Any recourse against slow builder?

Postby jomoblues » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:07 am

Baht Man wrote:
I still owe him his last 20%, half of which would be due soon, the other half after completion. I also owe him some additional funds for work done and figure I may be ahead about now.

What are my options, besides sitting on my a$$ waiting?


I empathise with your situation Baht Man---- its exactly the same frustration that I'm living with, (even the rental situation you describe), and the same for many more who are building/ have built in Thailand. No consolation for you I know!

I think Shastadad makes some excellent points on his post, especially those pertaining to swapping teams, if you are indeed considering getting someone else in. In my experience when builders have left the job without completing it, whether block work, plumbing, painting whatever, no-one really wants to pick it up. Yes, you'll eventually find someone but they'll either want a premium or they'll do it only because they need the work and possibly be no better or God forbid even worse than the original guys.

With my contractor it took me months until I finally cut through his crap and discovered the real reason why he was always so slow at getting things done. He has a high opinion of himself, the reality is that he's scarcely any different from the jobbing builders he employs who live hand to mouth. I don't believe he knows what working capital is and he certainly has none in his business. When he receives a payment from his customers, he pays off the contractors that he absolutely has to, gives himself a living wage and doles out the rest in part payments. The excuses are always just excuses and it may be your man has similar problems to mine.

There is a distinct pattern with my guy. Immediately after a payment, there's a flush of work that slows to a trickle, or dries out completely and then a surge of activity as a new payment phase approaches.

How I manage him now is to delay payments until he's completed a phase and I've checked it. I insist that remedials are done before paying him and it has proved to be an effective method of controlling the work. Yes, I have advanced him money on one occasion but I built quite a large back end payment into the contract so that should he walk away, I'll have the money to see it through to completion without going under water. Sounds like you have the money under control, which is good.

For me, I'm reconciled to continuing on with this guy now that I've sorted out an extension to my rental situation. If he was to go, I'd finish it myself rather than employ another contractor. Best of luck sorting out your problems. I hope you get your house completed.

JoMo.
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Re: Any recourse against slow builder?

Postby Roger Ramjet » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:05 pm

Ians wrote: Legally I guess you need to pay at some time (in the future) for any outstanding work - but of course there will be a fair bit of rectification work to come out of his payment

And they will sue you too. When I withheld the last 50,000 from my builder number 1 (the Thai builder who did most of the build by the Farang book): Within two months after he walked, my wife received a letter of demand from a lawyer......and was she pissed.
It had already cost me close to another million to complete the work that was on his building agreement and various other fixes that three months of flooding had caused. And there was the stolen 10,000 baht I had given him for the cement renderers, who had stayed on the "castle surround by the moat", during that time, the incomplete plumbing, the incomplete electrical, all the materials (electrical etc) that were ruined because he didn't listen and move them to the second floor.
If I was angry, my wife was really really angry because that money was for my secondhand Jag, which was the main reason we'd (I'd) gone for a two car garage with mini workshop and her real reason was peace and quiet (in the country). So she immediately picked up the phone and rang the lawyer. The fact that she's university educated also played a role, as many Thais would have either ignored the letter of demand (intimidation), changed their name, done a runner or just ignored the problem hoping it might just go away. Etc, etc etc.
And when she spoke with the lawyer and started reciting all the unfinished work, lost equipment, extra cost to us etc etc the lawyer said it was standard practice for builders to sue in Bangkok, even if the job was not completed or if there were problems with the house.....he was actually sympathetic after the very very long burst from my wife (she must have actually talked non-stop for 30 minutes) and told her it was a standard trick of builders in Thailand, next to changing their name (which ours had done twice before). By the time it came to mediation most paid some more money because they were sick of the letters of demand, going to court and being screwed around for months or years and many had forgotten what had not been done anyway. The fact that my wife pointed to this blog and the well documented lapses of the builder, recorded as they happened just reinforced the fact that we would bypass mediation and go straight for a court hearing (Court Case Number).... Just like a policeman in court asking the Judge if he "could refresh his memory from his notebook", we were going to use what I had written on a daily basis in this blog to refresh our memories.
It seemed to have worked because suddenly our builder contacted us and wanted to know what had to be finished. When we met at the house I pointed out what was not completed as per HIS contract and how much I had paid for other contractors/builders to do his job for him. Then told him he was sacked for the second time. That ended the charade.
I have great empathy with anyone going through the same or similar positions. I know the floods played a major role in my builder's downfall, but by the end of the build - 85% through - he was becoming sloppy and had reduced the number of workers to two and had restarted another build (just down the soi).
He'd also shot himself in the foot because I refused to recommend him to any other Farang's who were thinking of using a great builder (at the start) for their future builds. My big regret was having to sack my builder manager Mr. Cheong so early in the piece because he would have made sure the lapses just didn't happen and would have also filled in the gaps that the builder had no knowledge of.
Mr. Cheong is on the mend fortunately and will return to my building story at the start of next month with a new motorbike (I hope) when his broken leg has fully mended.
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Re: Any recourse against slow builder?

Postby gliffaes » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:41 pm

Baht Man wrote:
Mike Judd wrote:As long as you owe him money as far as payments are concerned, I would notify him that you have no option but to bring in other contractors to get things moving , with the costs coming out of his contract price.


Thinking back a month or two prior, I used this approach after an extended time of in-actiivty.

"Get your guys here by Monday or I will hire my own"
They showed up on Monday, but I'm tired of this motovational approach.

I'd just like to tell him I'm finsihed with him and will complete the build myself.


Id do it yourself if you can youll be much happier but tired, I did
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