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Discuss Is lack of tanking plasterboard enough to force redo of job? in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

D

DIYnoob

Hi all - apologies in advance for the essay.

Posted a week or two ago about a botched shower job and had some really helpful replies (tray installed too far back so enclosure is too big for tray and overhangs it; plasterboard also sitting on top of tray rather than tray being butted to boards which go down the edge of the tray).

I'll ask my question right now in case you don't want to read my monologue below. I understand since 2018 building regs say plasterboard in a shower area has to be tanked before tiling. I'm pretty sure (though not certain) that this wasn't done in my case. Do you know if the building regs make this mandatory (or mean that the 'reasonable care and skill' requirement of the Consumer Rights Act hasn't been met if not done)? Because the fitter is pushing back on what needs to be done to rectify the situation, I thought this may the easiest way to justify starting from scratch (I haven't raised the tanking point before as I've only just looked into it). There is currently some missing drywall exposing the plasterboard with doesn't look/feel tanked (photo included) and I can see where it goes behind the tiles and it doesn't look tanked there either (but the tile adhesive makes it difficult to see).

I outlined all the issues to my fitter (again, except the tanking) and he said he'd 'work some things out and get back to me'. Interesting that he didn't even ask to come over and inspect the issues I'd raised, or even see photos (most of the work was done by two employees who he later told me he'd sack as they kept botching jobs - but insisted mine had been done right...)

Anyway I chased him twice more last week and he kept saying he was still working things out, so finally yesterday I got tougher with him and he said he would refund me £500 for someone else to sort it (I assume because he hasn't got the staff now) which he claimed would be more than enough to rectify it. I asked him to clarify what he saw rectification involving as I thought it would need doing from scratch and £500 wouldn't be enough. He then suddenly changed tactic and said he would come and 'move the tray'. I said I didn't think it was as simple as that as tiles needing removing etc (I assume he envisaged some method of moving the tray forward without disturbing tiles and keeping the plasterboard resting on top - he isn't a tiler and outsourced that part of the job).

I suggested that I get some quotes to rectify the issue and we take it from there and he suddenly changed personality (or showed his true colours) and told me he wouldn't be held responsible for that (even though his £500 offer for someone else to sort it was apparently 'more than enough' - so if he's right why is getting quotes a problem?). He also refused to respond to my points that I felt more invasive action was required and he said 'you're not a tiler or bathroom fitter so it's irrelevant what you think.' I thought as the customer what I think does matter but I guess not...

Anyway long story short I kept pressing him on HOW he intended to fix the issues and what his response was to the specific problems I'd listed, but he wouldn't it got heated (I probably inflamed the situation by telling him I didn't trust him any more to fix it competently, but when he said my concerns were irrelevant I was agitated). The possibility of the county court came up (but I did say I didn't want to go down that road) and he said he wouldn't communicate with me any more and it would have be via solicitors. So obviously this has reached an awkward impasse.

I thought my next move should be to get some other tradesmen to confirm what's gone wrong and quote me to rectify it, and then write to him asking for that sum or giving him one more chance to fix it (I don't want to offer the latter option as it would be an extremely awkward encounter but I suppose I'll have to).

Grateful for any advice. I know I've probably been too trusting/naive throughout this process so be gentle :)
 

Attachments

S

Spectric

Hi

All I can say is that I would expect a tradesman to deliver a job that is fit for purpose. I am no tiler or professional shower fitter but would not use plasterboard or mdf for a shower area. The fact this guy has would have made me question him and probably just throw him of the job. When I did my shower(not the tiling) I did a bit of research and lined up a tiler before hand who gave me advice. What you find is the shower area is boarded in ply and tanked or much better it is cement boarded, ie no more ply or hardybacker and that can be tanked for an even better job. Then the shower tray is fitted up against this boarding with decent silicon. On the subject of trays many people recomend making a decent platform out of timber rather than use the plastic stick on legs because any movement in the tray during use will break the silicon seal. This I did for my installation using 4by 2s I had offcuts from a stud wall. The tiles are then put up and you leave space at the bottom to run a silicon bead after tiling. I dare say a proffessional shower fitter tiler may have other thoughts.
 
OP
D

DIYnoob

Hi

All I can say is that I would expect a tradesman to deliver a job that is fit for purpose. I am no tiler or professional shower fitter but would not use plasterboard or mdf for a shower area. The fact this guy has would have made me question him and probably just throw him of the job. When I did my shower(not the tiling) I did a bit of research and lined up a tiler before hand who gave me advice. What you find is the shower area is boarded in ply and tanked or much better it is cement boarded, ie no more ply or hardybacker and that can be tanked for an even better job. Then the shower tray is fitted up against this boarding with decent silicon. On the subject of trays many people recomend making a decent platform out of timber rather than use the plastic stick on legs because any movement in the tray during use will break the silicon seal. This I did for my installation using 4by 2s I had offcuts from a stud wall. The tiles are then put up and you leave space at the bottom to run a silicon bead after tiling. I dare say a proffessional shower fitter tiler may have other thoughts.
Thanks for your thoughts. I guess at this stage it's a question of what's ideal vs what's acceptable in terms of going after him.

Also slight correction to my OP... I appreciate tanking isn't in building regs as I said, just recommended in British standards.
 
OP
D

DIYnoob

Need a picture further out.
Hi Simon. My original post here:

 
SimonG

SimonG

Plumber
Oh dear, that's a real shower of brown stuff.

Leg missing, no trim to tiles, sealed inside, over hanging tray. Looks like it was fitted by Stevie Wonder.

RIP it out and start again.

Get recommendations from friends, colleagues, neighbours for a good plumber and get a price to sort it.

If the work you can see is that gash then just think how bad the stuff you cant see.
Post automatically merged:

Just read response above now as well. Do not use ply on walls.
 
OP
D

DIYnoob

Oh dear, that's a real shower of brown stuff.

Leg missing, no trim to tiles, sealed inside, over hanging tray. Looks like it was fitted by Stevie Wonder.

RIP it out and start again.

Get recommendations from friends, colleagues, neighbours for a good plumber and get a price to sort it.

If the work you can see is that gash then just think how bad the stuff you cant see.
Post automatically merged:

Just read response above now as well. Do not use ply on walls.
Yes, I think you've summed it up pretty perfectly there.

Here's hoping I can get some money out of the cowboy fitters.
 
C

Chuck

I thought my next move should be to get some other tradesmen to confirm what's gone wrong and quote me to rectify it, and then write to him asking for that sum or giving him one more chance to fix it (I don't want to offer the latter option as it would be an extremely awkward encounter but I suppose I'll have to).
My advice is NEVER 'threaten court action' as a method of trying to coerce a second-rate trader to fixing a problem. Any good trader will jump at the chance to fix problems because they know that by doing this they can turn an upset customer into a happy one. If the trader is unwilling or unable to fix the problem then get someone else to put it right and at that point start down the tedious but straightforward path of recovering the costs from the original guy.

AIUI, you are not obliged to give the original company a chance to fix their own mistakes, it's just often the quickest/easiest route for all concerned and makes showing you acted reasonably easier. Any costs you want to recover from the original trader must be 'reasonable' but costs can be surprisingly high before they become unreasonable in the legal sense.

Keep in mind that traders who cut corners and don't care about their reputation have a habbit of going out of business so don't assume you'll ever get any money out of them. Just treat it as a nice surprise if you do.

Oh, and never get your legal advice from the internet. Some home insurance policies include cover, if not use a solicitor or Citizens Advice. If you use CA and can afford it, make a donation to them so they can help someone who can't.
 
OP
D

DIYnoob

My advice is NEVER 'threaten court action' as a method of trying to coerce a second-rate trader to fixing a problem. Any good trader will jump at the chance to fix problems because they know that by doing this they can turn an upset customer into a happy one. If the trader is unwilling or unable to fix the problem then get someone else to put it right and at that point start down the tedious but straightforward path of recovering the costs from the original guy.

AIUI, you are not obliged to give the original company a chance to fix their own mistakes, it's just often the quickest/easiest route for all concerned and makes showing you acted reasonably easier. Any costs you want to recover from the original trader must be 'reasonable' but costs can be surprisingly high before they become unreasonable in the legal sense.

Keep in mind that traders who cut corners and don't care about their reputation have a habbit of going out of business so don't assume you'll ever get any money out of them. Just treat it as a nice surprise if you do.

Oh, and never get your legal advice from the internet. Some home insurance policies include cover, if not use a solicitor or Citizens Advice. If you use CA and can afford it, make a donation to them so they can help someone who can't.
Yeah fair points. Anyway, in my mind I have given the trader the chance to rectify the issues (and I have the whatsapp messages), but he refused to explain what his intended 'fix' was or respond to the issues I'd laid out because what I think is 'irrelevant'. Pretty sure him saying 'I'll come and fix it but refuse to tell you how' isn't reasonable.

Also he's the one who's said he won't correspond any more so I guess going to someone else is my only option.

He's a sole trader so at least he can't just liquidate, although I know that still doesn't guarantee I'll get anything back (although the fact that he offered me £500 before oddly rescinding the offer might imply he'll cough up something). I may just have to chalk this up to experience as I did do a lot of things on trust (read: naively).
 
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king of pipes

king of pipes

Esteemed
Plumber
Gas Engineer
I have read the post and looked at the pictures and from my point of view this install is completely unacceptable, there is no way to fix this other than complete strip out and start again, don't be fobbed off this install will fail and there's no way of correcting it , now the tricky part how to get it sorted personally I would gather as much information pictures ect keep a diary and records of all contact with your contractor and his poor efforts and prepare a case for the small claims court don't keep messing around one final letter or email a complete refund or a day in court .
Find a new contractor and make sure this time they are competent to deliver a good job. Regards Kop
 
OP
D

DIYnoob

I have read the post and looked at the pictures and from my point of view this install is completely unacceptable, there is no way to fix this other than complete strip out and start again, don't be fobbed off this install will fail and there's no way of correcting it , now the tricky part how to get it sorted personally I would gather as much information pictures ect keep a diary and records of all contact with your contractor and his poor efforts and prepare a case for the small claims court don't keep messing around one final letter or email a complete refund or a day in court .
Find a new contractor and make sure this time they are competent to deliver a good job. Regards Kop
Thanks for your thoughts - I totally agree.

I've got 3 other tradesmen (all with good credentials) to come and quote in the next few days.
 
S

Spectric

Hi

Let us know their thoughs once they have inspected and what they suggest, could help others.
 

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