Our electrician has been paid £2K to complete a rewire in a 2 bedroomed semi. He is also our project manager and because the build has been delayed by 12 weeks we have withheld the last project management payment.
He is now refusing to finish the work. Can we get someone else in to finish the job and can they sign off the work?
There’s nothing more annoying than having a contractor do a disappearing act in the middle of your project. Tempted by an easier life or better wages, this situation arises frequently and there’s sadly very little you can do to about it. Demand for electricians is at an all time high, so unfortunately they can afford to play loose when it comes to keeping commitments.
Calm and Collected
If the worst has happened and your electrician’s left you in the lurch, don’t panic. There are contractors out there who will willingly take on a job half done, especially if you’ve been let down. Remember that most electricians rely on word of mouth recommendation to drum up trade, so don’t allow one bad experience to cloud your judgement of the whole industry, as tempting as that might be.
For next time, there are steps you can take to lower the odds of your electrician pulling the plug on your renovation project. Putting together a contract before work commences is a good idea if agreeable to both parties. Detail the specifics of the work involved and agree a timeline for completion, even including a penalty clause enforceable in the event of breach of contract.
Word of Mouth
When selecting an electrician try to obtain some word of mouth recommendations from people who have had good experiences with reliable contractors. There are some excellent, committed electricians out there – don’t assume they are all cowboys! Once you find a reliable electrician you’ll have made a contact for life, so build and nurture the relationship.
Host with the Most
In order to build a good relationship with your electrician, be reasonable and don’t move the goalposts of your agreement. The more effectively you can run your project, the less likely it is that a contractor will decide your money isn’t worth the stress. Help your electrician to feel comfortable within your home. Offer drinks and make sure he or she feels welcome. It’s much harder to let someone down when you like them!
A Little Help
If you’ve paid any contractor for work they have not completed, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice. Make your local branch of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau your first stop.