Builder in a building site

What to Do if Builders Do a Bad Job

Working with builders is generally a smooth process if you’ve taken the time to vet them carefully and know who you’re hiring. That’s not always the case though. Sometimes you need to hire someone on short notice, or there might be a lack of specialists in your area that provide specific services.

In this case, it’s possible to run into a situation where you are left dissatisfied with the work done by your builders. It’s important to know what your options are in that situation.

1. Check your contract

builders looking at the plans on a table

The first thing you should do is to check your contract and verify what points were violated specifically. This is why it’s important to have a solid, well-defined contract that outlines your expectations as clearly as possible. If there is any room for different interpretations, this could lead to trouble if you are not satisfied with the work.

2. Collect evidence

construction worker at work

Once you’ve identified specific points that have been violated by your builders, it’s time to start gathering evidence. Take pictures and videos in as much detail as you can. Don’t be afraid to go overboard. You might not need all of that evidence in the end. But it’s better to have it and not need it, rather than the other way around.

Make sure all your evidence is properly timestamped so there’s no doubt about when exactly the pictures were taken. 

3. Try to approach the builders for a remedy

builders shaking hand with a customer

Don’t immediately go on the offensive. It’s possible that the builders themselves are not aware that they’ve left you dissatisfied. Try to approach them directly and see if you can’t work out a solution that suits both sides.

Sometimes it might be possible to convince your builders to fix the issues out of their own pocket. They might also be willing to offer you compensation for the time you’ve spent dealing with the problem.

4. Consider legal action

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to take legal action. This can be a lengthy and complicated process. It’s important to have all your bases properly covered. This is where the evidence you gathered in the previous steps is going to come in play.

Get a good lawyer as well. Ideally, work with someone with specific experience in construction work. There are many unique details to this field that a general lawyer might not be aware of. Remember, you only have one shot at remedying the situation, so it’s important to play all your cards right.

5. Ensure you have new builders lined up

construction worker in a building site

If you’ve confirmed that you will not be working with the original builders any longer, try to have a replacement lined up as early as possible. Your new builders will need some time to assess the current situation and figure out how to fix all issues that the previous ones created.

Make sure to inform the new builders that they’re specifically being tasked with fixing problems left over by the previous ones. Don’t let them go into this blind, as it will make things more complicated for them and more expensive for you.


Clara Annesley

Clara Annesley is an interior design and construction content writer. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Architectural Design Technology from the University of West London. Clara specialises in residential construction for topics like health & safety, architectural design and writing cost guides for renovation and remodelling projects.