ESTIA CONSTRUCTIONS LTD, Unfulfilled contract Dispute, I began looking for refurbishment works to be completed on my property - Disputes Register
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ESTIA CONSTRUCTIONS LTD
Ref: 2345
Filed: 18/09/2023

Accused Company:

ESTIA CONSTRUCTIONS LTD

File a Dispute against this company

Company number: gb-14299491
Website: www.estiaconstructionsltd.co.uk/

Flat 12 Cavendish House 27 Cavendish Road
Eccles, Manchester, M30 9JE
United Kingdom

Allegation: Unfulfilled contract



Value: GBP 19,396.00


Dispute details:

Avoid - Takes payments, doesn't want to complete the work! 4 months overdue on 3 month contract

I began looking for refurbishment works to be completed on my property at the start of March 2023. I decided use Estia after meeting with the owner who explained they had lots of experience in dealing with renovations like this. Works included:

• Reroof of main roof, rear flat roof, and garage roof
• Strip back to brick throughout, ceilings down, then board and plaster
• New loft insulation and boarding
• All new internal doors and woodwork
• Rewire
• All new windows and 2 exterior doors, convert a window to French doors, brick up 2 windows
• Wall removal in kitchen and dining room
• New kitchen
• Redecorate and new flooring throughout

The issues set out below are the main issues I faced, but there were problems with all items, all incomplete and some not even started in 6 months and 6 failed completion dates. They would begin one task, ask for money, begin another task, and stop the previous and ask for more money. It was a common trend.

In the 6 months they have been at the property they have not shown any commitment to the works. At current rate of progress, the works would take another 6 months. The owner misrepresented his capabilities and agreed to all requests to get the contract signed.

1 concern on the quality of work is the main reroof, I have had roofing companies come and carry out checks on the roof and they are appalled by the quality of works, under the slate and above the felt there is waste, the slates have been installed incorrectly and the roof will fail and will require a reroof. The flat roof is something anyone could do as they have covered the existing felt roof with rubber and clearly hasn’t been completed by skilled tradesmen.

The windows to be bricked up remain outstanding and open to the elements for 5 months. The owner tried to say this was not an originally agreed task, but why would you brick up internally and plaster if it wasn’t agreed? The workers are so messy, they left plaster and brick rubble inside the cavity of the bricked-up windows, I raised this to the owner and voiced concerns about damp as this waste in the cavity would act as a bridge, but he said this was normal and there wouldn’t be as he was using plasterboard.

The biggest works outstanding or not completed adequately which were part of the contract.
• Main roof poor quality
• Flat roof reroof
• Garage roof reroof
• French door installation and make good internally
• Main doors securing the property
• Kitchen installation
• Skirting boards downstairs
• Flooring upstairs
• 2 windows bricked up external only
• Woodwork all downstairs

I have given them 6 completion dates in total, made payments when requested to expedite works but refurb still not completed by them. They are in breach of contract, having already misled and misrepresented to get me to sign the contract in the first place. This contractor has failed me under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

The whole point of having a project manager is to oversee the works, but the owner and Estia are clearly not capable, he only likes to exaggerate their capabilities. The level of works completed is not great which has been confirmed by other tradespeople. The owner came across as friendly and even came to know about my personal situation and used this to manipulate the situation.

It’s been a common occurrence for the owner to mislead about delivery dates and timings throughout the process. I cannot say if this was done maliciously but it is against the law and against my rights as a consumer. As I say, all of this backed up by messages, not really a point to refute for Estia even though they will as always try to mislead. As an example, the cost of the scaffold, they give different figures of cost for tasks carried out. The work has been carried out by unskilled workers or by sub-contractors who rush to get the job finished, and it shows in the overall finish having caused damage along the way showing no respect the property. For all the issues I have supporting communication with the owner and photographic evidence.

I have totalled up all the works which are outstanding and obtained quotes from alternative contractors. Estia owe £16,596 in outstanding works and £2800 in project management fees, which they should refund as they haven't managed the project. I want them to finally carry out their commitments made to me and make the refund as they promised they would on the 16th of August 2023.

I have been completely let down by Estia and their breaching of the contract, they make false claims to get that contract signed in the first instance. The point of appointing them was to have an easier quicker renovation process but it has been anything but easy. I will be pursuing all available avenues including legal action to recover this amount and raising awareness of their poor practices.

Below is a more detailed timeline of dealing with Estia outlining some of the many issues:

7th March
I met with owner of Estia, he was friendly and explained that he had lots of experience with projects like this and he could manage the whole project and make it easier for me. The company had completed several projects including 24 flats, and that customers usually found it better to have 1 project manager rather than trying to organise all the trades themselves.

He said they had a large team who would be able to complete everything in a much quicker time than I had been quoted by individual contractors. A full re roof would take a week as his roofers were so experienced and he had a large team of them, and as we weren’t having any extensions or works like that inside wouldn’t take long. As he had the team in place, he could organise them to come 1 after another to get it all done. He explained it would be a flat fee as he was confident of his team and costs and if costs rise then it would be Estia’s issue to resolve and not mine. He seemed very confident and assured me of these facts.

7-8th March
Over the course of the next few days, I asked several questions about what would be included, he answered everything and said the decisions and choices would be ours to make such as window colours, flooring options etc.

9th March
I entered into an agreement with Estia as described above all to be completed by the 30th of May and for a flat fee which would be set and wouldn’t be changed. This was the best option for me as this would mean the renovation would be completed quicker, as it meant I wouldn’t have to manage the renovation and all the trades on top of all my other commitments.

15th March
I had an asbestos survey prior completed on the property, and it came back with asbestos floor tiles on the ground floor. I let Estia know, and they assured me that they had the sufficient experience to remove these safely. I sent the owner full survey.

16th March
Things started off well and the strip out of the property commenced, it was after this initial strip out issues began to emerge.

20th March
The owner requested a meeting for the roof and window money, he said this was the biggest part of the project and it needed to be done quickly. I made the payment for both on that day.

28th March
The roof was stripped of all the old materials, and the owner advised roof slates would be delivered on the 3rd of April and the additional roof work would also start and the windows to be fitted soon after.

6th April
Still no roof materials or windows, the owner requested additional payment as he didn’t factor in the garage roof. So why did he say roof slates would be delivered on 3rd April? I made the payment as I have him a chance as mistakes can happen. Slate to be delivered the following week along with windows.

13th April
The owner now states slates to be delivered by the 14th and windows to be fitted on the 18th.
Whilst they were still waiting for roof materials. Internally the boarding was started, 2 windows were bricked up inside and plaster boarded. Externally one of the workers tried to brick up, but it was a mess, the bricks weren’t toothed into the existing brickwork, and lines of bricks wonky, I explained this to the owner, but he tried to say the existing brickwork was wonky and not the new work completed by his worker, he finally agreed it needed redoing.

18th April
The roof slates finally delivered and the owner stated reroof to finally begin on the 20th April. I asked about previous dates and the owner said it was because it was a large order, but again why even say those previous dates. All these dates are confirmed in messages between us, so evidence is available.

23rd April
The roof work was terrible, it was clear to see it wasn’t experienced roofers carrying out this works. Slates were placed on top of one another, and it wasn’t lined up. I messaged and emailed my concerns to the owner who assured me it would be completed properly and that I needed to wait.
Whenever I mentioned issues, the owner would get very defensive and start telling me of how much money had been spent, he’d give figures and tell me he was doing me favours. These figures were not what we had agreed in the contract or prior. He claimed he paid £5500 for scaffolding for the reroof, he should have known how much this costs when quoting surely? And this figure was way higher than 2 week scaffold quotes by other companies, to complete the job.

9th May
The new slate was taken off and reroof started again, but again issues could be seen, slates were fitted the wrong way round and the slate was lifting at the bottom, I again emailed and once again he said it would be sorted at the end. I let them carry out the works having voiced my concerns.

10th May
The asbestos tiles were the next big issue, these were not removed straight away, I repeatedly asked about this and was assured they would be removed. Until I saw stud walls being built on top of the tiles, this is not what should be done with such dangerous materials. The licensed asbestos surveyor explained to me in email all tiles should be lifted and disposed of safely and then screed laid over to encapsulate any remaining fibres. I was told by the owner of Estia that the tiles would not remain even under the studs, but I couldn’t see how as they couldn’t lift them off how HSE website states they should be removed, I gave them a chance to see how they could do the work. Then they started plaster boarding and plastering the stud walls making it impossible to reach the asbestos tiles under.

13th May
I arrived one day at the property to see one of the workers, not wearing a mask or any other PPE using an SDS chisel to lift the tiles. I couldn’t believe how dangerous this was as all fibres would be getting released into the air. I asked the worker about under the stud walls and he said they were going to leave them as it would be under a wall. I quickly left and raised my concerns with the owner and that they needed to get under the studs, he said it would be done.

20th May
The owner explained to me that all the asbestos was removed, they had erected more walls and that everything was now gone. I arrived at the property to see that there were still bits of tile on the floor and chunks missing from the floor and 1 room still had tile not touched. It was at this point it became apparent they were not taking my concerns seriously, I had to remove this task from them and get licensed asbestos removal in to do the job properly. I became irate at the owner as I had taken my family to the property, and he had placed them at risk.

26th May
The windows which were due to be fitted in April were not fitted. But they haven’t filled in large gaps around the windowsills and under the sill where it’s too large for sealer. Exterior doors not fitted.
Afterwards the owner sent me an invoice from the window company which showed the windows were paid for on the 22nd May despite taking payment from me in March.
The owner now requested a payment for the plastering internally. Raised concerns about the roof work not being done properly.

29th May
By this stage the completion date of the 30th May was going to be missed, the reason for this from the owner was due to Ramadan, Eid, Easter and the Coronation weekend. I was confused by this as 3 of these dates were already in the calendar when he set out the contract, it wasn’t like they were suddenly added. I felt these should have been accounted for, and any competent project manager would have.
At this point I became concerned about all the claims that were made the beginning of the project, the house was empty for multiple days at a time and when workers did come it was for a day or 2 and usually 1 person and then they wouldn’t come again.
The Owner gave a new completion date of the end of June for all works to be complete.

31st May
I arranged for the licensed contractors to come and explained to the owner because of the risk no one should be on site whilst these were removed. Even though I told the owner this, on the day of removal workers turned up and tried to enter the property. The licensed removers advised me of the stud walls and said they couldn’t get under and didn’t want to damage someone else’s work so I let the owner of Estia know that he had to remove some plaster for this work to be carried out. He said he would remove this plasterboard.

9th June
After a few days of not much work. My family went to the house and saw that the owner was playing with our safety and had not removed all the asbestos as he said he would, they saw asbestos tiles lifting under one stud wall and cut off the plasterboard to show that there was still a large strip of asbestos. It was at this point they wanted me to cancel the contract with them.
If they had not done this, the owner would most likely have left it and placed us at risk. I arranged again for the licensed remover to come and remove and for a floor screed company to encapsulate the floor. The Owner of Estia maintains he would have carried this work out and it caused him delays but the sequence of events shows that the reason we had to do this was his inability to carry this work out without risking my family. I told the owner I was getting other contractors for this and arranged for him to remove the additional studs to get to the asbestos tiles.

17th June
The screed was all completed the floor issues finally resolved by 3rd party contractors.

19th June
Again, no workers on site for a few days, the end of June deadline was looking unlikely, and the excuses started coming from the owner. I needed a date for completion, and we agreed the 14th July.

2nd July
The owner gave me the first schedule of works for works to be completed by the 17th of July.

3rd July
The first week of July there was 3 workers on site for 4 days.
The workers took off the front door to the property as new doors were meant to be installed the following week, they also removed an inner front door which was to be left in place without permission. When I raised this with the owner, he said they should take it off as it wouldn’t look good. Its not his decision to make on what happens with my house, I explained to him that I told him I wanted that door kept and it was never agreed to remove, and within the contract it’s stated to replace the outer front door and the kitchen door. He agreed to replace the door.

7th July
A payment was requested for the kitchen and said they would get ordered. I made the payment to them, and they said they would order the kitchen.

11th July
Owner stated waiting kitchen delivery so unable to update on completion.

14th July
Now owner says wants to order kitchen on 17th July as only takes 2-3 days to deliver. He stated more materials such as external doors now ordered even though they were due to be fitted now.

10th to 31st July
After the first week there was 1 person on site for 3 days out of a possible 15, all timeline dates missed.

20th July
I raised the issue of the slow progress, I said at this point it will take another month with this slow progress, the owner replied it won’t take a month.

24th July
No one on site yet again. After a meeting with the owner and his business partner I was given a new of August 14th and a new timeline, but once again the following week there was only someone on site for a day.

30th July
Finally, the main roof completed and scaffold down. In the end the main roof works took them 4 months to complete, the roof started on the 28th of March and finished on the 28th July.
They did not connect the gutters to the downpipes. There was a period of heavy rain where the gutters were soaking the brickwork, I kept asking about this to be done but still outstanding.

1st August
The flat roof was worked on, the agreement was to replace the existing roof. Instead of replacing the flat roof felt with rubber, they decided to cover the existing material with rubber they have nailed the ends into the existing boards which will lead to leaks.
Initially the owner accepted this needed replacing but then stated this did not need replacing.

7th August
No on site for a few days, chased again and arranged a meeting with the owner.

8th August
I had a meeting with the owner and his partner, and they gave another date of the 25th of August. they said they didn’t have the team in place to carry out the works, the workers kept letting them down, but they would get it done. I agreed to this as at this point, I knew if I went with other contractors I would be started again and would be delayed with completion.

12th of August
It was the same story, no one site and works not moved along since the start of July. At this point I wrote a letter to them outlining the fact that they were well over their contractual end date and whilst I was understanding this was beyond any reasonable delay and it couldn’t continue. If works not completed by the 25th I would be getting alternative contractors and I would be expecting a refund for what id paid and wasn’t completed.

At this stage there was still no front doors to the property, the property was not secure even though new doors were meant to be fitted in July.

They responded to this email saying they had completing additional works which they hadn’t charged for, and delays were my fault, but I’m not sure if they realised all the works and costs they attributed as being additional they had confirmed were covered at the beginning of the process. And now the owner stated the scaffolding costs for the reroof were £4000.
Messages between us confirm that these charges were included, and in the contract by this point they cannot raise any new charges if they haven’t initially been agreed.
The owner tried to say the window colours affected the cost, even though he agreed before the contract was signed on the colour. He said boarding the loft and new insulation wasn’t agreed which they completed but again he agreed this. He stated French doors weren’t included but again he agreed this in messages. It seemed to me basically he said yes to everything to get the contract signed. Misleading me from the outset, this is illegal to get a contract signed by misrepresentation and now was trying to fraudulently obtain more money.
They requested a meeting to discuss next steps.

16th August
I met with the owner and his partner, they stated they wanted to complete the works, but they would need time, they requested until the 8th September and I wouldn’t owe anything extra as they emailed as they did the work as a favour. I told them the charges are false as they agreed to them before contract signed, they said this would be the last date and if it wasn’t completed, I would get refunds for works not carried out. They stated they would send a contract to this effect for this agreement. They had issues with their workers and subcontractors, and this is what has led to the delays.

They now said I should make the payment to the kitchen company, and they wouldn’t be involved. Even though I had made payment on the 7th July. I agreed to this as a contract was meant to be sent and I wanted the works to finish rather than start again, and I explained to them it would be the last date I gave them. I chased the contract, but they didn’t send even after stating they would.

8th September
I left them to complete the work on the property, the works were not completed. I even asked about the contract, but they said they didn’t send yet. I requested a meeting for the 11th with them.

11th September
I arrived at the property to find only flooring to 1 room and hallway had been completed since 16th August and kitchen fitters at the property. I spoke to the owner on the phone and reminded him of the agreement on the 16th August, he now said he wanted until the 16th September to complete all works. I refused this and requested refunds as he agreed. They have taken payments from me without the intention of completing the works or to a reasonable standard.

Attempts to resolve dispute:

• Calls
• Emails
• Numerous Meetings
• 6 completions dates (nowhere near close to completing)
• Pre Cancellation Letter
• Letter Before Claim

Response to accusation (by accused):

Family members destroying during night the on going works messages and pictures of the customer(available)apologising on their behalf, cancelled credit payments without notice, outstanding balance of works out of the contract being multiple thousands on every visit crying out for not having money to pay, too many start and stops messing with all our projects, building control verification of works messages available of the customer being happy with the quality of work we couldn’t just keep doing things for free the loss of revenue is huge the case will be handled legally we will update the outcome


Counter Response (by complainant):

Thank you for taking the time to reply to the dispute. In response to your assertions: • This has already been covered. On the 9th June, my family visited the property and upon seeing fragmented asbestos tiles under stud walls, which you were aware of, hadn’t been removed as you stated, they removed some plasterboard on a stud wall to show the danger. If this wasn’t done, you would have left this in situ as you stated numerous times these tiles aren’t dangerous and as your employee said they would remain under the stud walls. I sent you the asbestos survey and if you had the knowledge you would know how HSE and official guidelines state they should be handled and disposed of. If you recall you sent your team to fully remove the plasterboard from the lower portions of the stud walls to expose the asbestos. I apologised as I wasn’t present at the time so out of courtesy and due to the stress of the situation, but it was the correct action to highlight the danger you posed to us all hence why I didn’t trust you to resolve the issue. I am yet to receive a waste certificate to show the asbestos you did remove was disposed of properly at a licensed site • Credit payments have not been cancelled. As is my legal right, upon your failure to deliver on your contractual obligations and services not rendered, I requested a refund from you in my letter before claim. You agreed i would be entitled to a refund on the 16th August if works were incomplete, therefore I also disputed the charges as works were incomplete or not started, with my credit card company. Once again this is perfectly within my rights, if you are unsure of this please seek further advice • Outstanding balance of works outside of the contract. Why did supposed work not agreed get carried out? All works were agreed prior and in instances such as extra material to complete the garage roof I made payment but this wasn’t started in over 6 months. You chose to sign a contract for a flat fee, any cost increases are your responsibility, legally you are unable to change the terms midway through the contract as you are now trying to do. Of course I don’t have money to squander and I made that very clear, but I met all contractual obligations and paid when requested. The amount you owe is £19,396 due to your contractual breach, as I made all payments when requested • Building control haven’t provided sign off yet, as the works are incomplete because you didn’t complete them. I sent you 2 emails and numerous messages concerning the roof quality as an example. The building control visit was to ensure works were progressing as they should and to discuss health and safety issues such as site cleanliness and your team smoking within the property which didn’t stop even after this warning • Stop and start of your projects, if you recall you provided me with completion dates and timelines. Due to your lack of safe working, I arranged licensed asbestos removers and screed team to deal with the floor as highlighted above. You set expectations and failed to deliver multiple times, that is your lack of planning. Sub contractors such as the electrician complained about your lack of planning, the second fix should not have been completed after decorating as damage was caused. Is it also common practice to leave a property without front doors for over 2 months, and to require 4 months to complete a re roof? In addition, my legal advisor has found you have fraudulently claimed payment for the kitchen twice, once directly to you and once to the kitchen company on your account. This will be forwarded to citizens advice and trading standards to review along with the issues with the flat roof and main roof. Legal action and terminating the agreement was always my last choice and that is why I gave you so many opportunities to fulfil your contractual obligations. Laws are in place to protect consumers in situations like this, I wanted to amicably discuss and agree refund options as you failed to complete the job in a reasonable time as is stated by law, but you were not willing to discuss this. Ultimately you have left no options but this recourse.




Complainant:

Kadar

Manchester , United Kingdom