Poor workmanship - 112ft feather edge fence installed

  • Hels's Avatar
    Level 1
    Having spent £2,850 on a new fence there are numerous issues with the fence and poor workmanship. I thought fence posts should all be put in place first am I correct? Fencing contractor put a couple of posts in then attached rail, feather edging and trim could this be the reason why the fence is not straight.
  • 8 Replies

  • Ajw's Avatar
    Level 14
    Have you Asked your contractor if he hit tree roots.
    this maybe why fence is not straight when putting in posts
    ​​​​​​​if off Checkatrade did you do your homework reviews etc
  • Hels's Avatar
    Level 1
    Nothing to do with tree roots, the whole work installing the fence is shoddy & substandard. Many of the feather edge panels have gaps between them, overlap wrong, top length of fence is wavy and not straight, part of the capping blew off 2 wks after the fence was installed, lots of other issues as well, including the rails on my neighbours side of the fence. He has offered a part refund and to re-take back the fence but this will leave me £1,000 out of pocket and no fence, I had an old fence which is took down and disposed of. Whatever happens the fence will have to go, it looks terrible but I need a full refund first.
  • ChelseaDave's Avatar
    Level 20
    Checkatrade's legal team should be able to advise you with this! I would put things on hold and tell the fencing company that unless it is put right or you get a full refund you will be taking legal action! Take as many photos as possible and keep all paperwork i.e. emails, quotes etc as evidence. Find out if there is a governing body for fencing contractors and approach them. They should visit you to access the work and take on your case if they feel the work is of poor quality. Whatever you do don't be bullied as you have legal rights! Any company with an ounce of common sense should weigh up the cost to their reputation if they do not meet certain standards, particularly if they rely on feedback and reviews, which I assume you checked before employing them!
  • Ajw's Avatar
    Level 14
    Information please did you check the company reviews?
    or was it taking the cheapest estimate?
    how much were the materials?
  • Hels's Avatar
    Level 1
    @ChelseaDave

    I checked all reviews, no negative ones. The reason I decided to go ahead with him is because he is in the local village and I didn't think for one minute he would **** on his own doorstep. I paid £2,850 which included not only £100 off labour but a 15% NHS discount. He knows I am taking him to small claims court and appears to have no problem with that, instead he is suggesting he is going to sue me for slander by approaching other independent contractors in order to gain a report which I need for court. I have approached over 25 contractors, 5 of which know this trader and informed me his work was substandard. No contractor is prepared to provide me with a written report for fear that he will attempt to damage their reputation via social media. I have informed them, following advice given, that I can withhold the company name of any third party report but am still struggling to get this report. First they didn't have a plumb line long enough so it was put half way down the garden attached to an old fence post. They didn't put all the posts in place first, instead a couple of posts were put in, then he attached rails, then feather edging, then trim which I don't think is correct. I have had a verbal report that where the ground level changes slightlt, the posts are not in line and all at different heights not gradually rising up post by post. The fence rails and timber kickboards are all at different heights on the posts. The feather edge boards have gaps in the fence and some overlapped by over 70mm. The trader informed me it is not necessary to affix all the posts in place prior to affixing the rails and feather edge. The capping has been nailed through side of the capping in places and on top in other places. Within 2 wks part of the capping blew off. He agreed to part refund me the cost of the materials of £1850 and to re-take back the fence. I declined this as it would not only leave me £1,000 out of pocket but no fence. I had a fence which needed replacing and was shocked that when he installed new fence the top was not level like my old fence. He informed me he had to follow the level of the ground which obviously slopes very slightly upwards. He also didn't start at the highest point which I've been informed he should have done. It looks terrible and I have spent over 5 wks on all my day's off trying to obtain a report. I have now found out 2 other people who contacted me stating he did a bodge job on their fence too but decided to put it down to experience so they are not willing to provide a statement. My gut feeling is that I think people are too afraid to post negative reviews on his page as he can be very arrogant which is what I have experienced also.
  • Hels's Avatar
    Level 1
    @ChelseaDave I can't put things on hold as I paid him in full. Prior to settling final costs I did inform him I had concerns about the fence and asked that he give me a couple of days to get the fence checked by a third party before settling bill at which he became angry and I felt very intimidated. He promised he would return to fix any issues I had so I paid him. On closer inspection more issues regarding his workmanship became apparent. He has been obsessed with wanting to know and insisting I inform him who has been around to check his work. It seems he is known to local traders for his substandard work and I have been informed he only set up his business during lockdown 2yrs ago. I think he is attempting to frighten me with accusations that I have slandered his business which is totally unfounded. I have also been informed that paying out £1,900 deposit should have been a red flag and would indicate that he does not have the funds to purchase the materials. Does anyone know what deposit I should have roughly paid. He also left £110 worth of timber unused at the side of my house and no offer of refund.
  • ChelseaDave's Avatar
    Level 20
    @Hels He canít run a business on intimidation! It sounds like his reviews are obtained dishonestly through fear of reprisals if anybody complains. Again, Checkatradeís legal team should be able to advise. Any threats to you or your property should be reported to the police. You could also Google for advice and the legal definition of slander and defamation of character in your situation. If he has a bad reputation and your complaint is true with the evidence proving so he would be very unlikely to counter claim.
  • Hels's Avatar
    Level 1
    Thank you for much for your help, I have found the AFI on checkatrade and they can help with me report. I appreciate all your help and advice. 👍