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Beware of "Professional Polish Builders"


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#1 paulcox

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:32 PM

Just had my 1830 house refurbished - 2 month of nightmare + 3 months of fun
Then nightmare started when hired so called "Professional Builders from Poland"..I wish I've never met them....

A bloke called Tomek gave me a reasonable quote of 50k for the whle project (labor only), took 30% deposit...and sent me 1 guy (ONE builder speaking polish language only) promissing to give me some more people on site.After 4-5 weeks nothing changed ! No progress, no sign of Tomek.
So started looking for replacement.
On one of the forums i foun an article about another Polish builder who takes problematic/unfinished projects on regular basis.
Don't ask me why Polish one - my wife is Polish and she assure me that them guys are good, hard working and reliable
Anyway, Alexander - the new bloke - gave me a quote of 55k to finish it.
This time I've checked his references - they were marvelous.
He asked me for 20% advance....
I wasn't keen on doing that...but to be on a safe side� - gave him a cheque

The very next day he turned up with 3 other blokes, van, tools and even own scaffolding !!!
He even gave me some Polish smoked sosage.

Just before Xmass and after 3 months they finally finished.
On time, but slightly over budget (added some extras)

I'm blody proud of my house as it look magnificent. I've spent 15k on that motherf**** who disapered, 65 with alex and 28 on materials.
I had it valuated this week and it is worth 155k more.
And that means, that I made 47k in just ver 5 months
Nice one !
For all interested - a contact number 0785-400-2217. And his name is Alexander
Boys are hard working but funny. And extremaly helpfull
I'll definately use them again

Edited by paulcox, 26 May 2011 - 11:34 AM.


#2 joiner

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 07:13 AM

No British builders around then? As if our own trades aren't already being kicked hard enough when they're down!

#3 paulcox

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 04:36 PM

It's all about time and money.
Our local builder - Jason, priced it at 84k - 6 months.

#4 joiner

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 07:27 AM

Fair enough, Paul. But on here we always recommend three quotes and to ask around about the guys who bother to turn up, that way you don't get one of them (Polish or British) taking off with a chunk of your money. At least if he's British you might stand a chance of seeing some of it back through the courts, and if the work is bad then Trading Standards can apply some pressure.

It's always a touchy subject on forums where trades are present because, just like our potential customers, we're having to survive in a country where the cost of living is higher than in ex-Eastern-bloc countries where monthly salaries for professionally-qualified people can average £500.

A lot of good British building firms have gone to the wall and their apprentice-trained tradesmen to the Job Centre because they're consistently undercut by foreign construction gangs who come and go as they like, returning to a cheaper home country after living here in cheap B&Bs.

I'm pleased that you got what you wanted, but not so pleased that you came on here and shouted about it at the expense of our own guys. And good luck at getting your money back. Most of the people on here couldn't have taken such a hit and still paid to have the work done. Does make you wonder how you can continue to insist that you got a good deal. And if Jason quoted 6 months he'd have considered all the possible problems (it's called covering your ass) which, if they hadn't occurred may well have brought the timescale down to 5 months. But we'll never know.

#5 agb657

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 07:38 AM

Good deal as long as Alexander and his guys were legitimate tax paying insurance holding Builders and the work was All passed by Building Control and you have your ten year warrenty in place well done.

#6 joiner

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:00 AM

Exactly, Andy. And notice the heading of the thread?

The moral of the story, as related by Paul himself, would appear to be that there is a 50/50 chance you'll get ripped off by a Polish builder.

And if you add the time from the (lost) payment to that first Polish builder to the time it took to complete the job, it comes to significantly longer than the 6 weeks quoted by Jason, Paul's local builder.

#7 pete

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 05:57 AM

View Postjoiner, on 28 January 2011 - 09:00 AM, said:

Exactly, Andy. And notice the heading of the thread? <BR> <BR>The moral of the story, as related by Paul himself, would appear to be that there is a 50/50 chance you'll get ripped off by a Polish builder. <BR> <BR>And if you add the time from the (lost) payment to that first Polish builder to the time it took to complete the job, it comes to significantly longer than the 6 weeks quoted by Jason, Paul's local builder.

You can screw a good forum up by side issues in this case bordering on the racist, consider for example that early on in the 20th century Poland was a nation of toolmakers, many of whom emigrated to the USA and quickly became the primary driving force in taking Chicago to become a toolmaking powerhouse of global renown. Poland and it's people have a wonderful and proud history period.

In truth what emerges as crux of the problem is the forum contributors own lack of experience i.e., what happened to due diligence?

Surely the first step was to review all/any potential builders track record, including whether or not they were licensed, bonded & insured, next up does the company have any prior claims or liens against them? Do they have verbal and, written professional references including banker's?
Can you view similar residential builds of their construction locally? and how long have these homes/buildings been in use?

[i]Discretion seems to have gone out the door in the listing of a telephone number for what could well turn out to be an illegitimate company
resulting in the possible arrest and deportation of whomsoever answers the phone; which is then compounded by 'crowing' about being taken for a ride. What comes to mind as appropriate is the phrase "for heaven's sake wake up" as also a reminder that losing a bunch of hard earned money to a fly by night and then posting it for all to see on the Forum is simply asking to be held up to further ridicule.

Let's keep it technical, thx pete

discretion seems to have

#8 joiner

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:05 AM

You're wrong about the racism, Pete. And as for attributing Chicago's rise to engineering global powerhouse to the influx of Polish emigres - hmmm, stretching a point.

I can see where you're coming from, but unfortunately in your rush to make your point you overlook the fact that this has never been a TECHNICAL thread.

To expand on the earlier inferences of mine and Andy's posts, Britain used to have a VERY global presence in engineering, leading the world not just in research and development but in manufacturing. Once the Iron Curtain came down across eastern Europe then companies saw the opportunity for increased profits by reducing their manufacturing costs by exporting jobs to those emerging east European states, of which Poland is just one. So factories closed and jobs were lost. So, good for the eastern European states and bad for British industry and its workers, many of whom took jobs in the construction industry (in a roundabout way, I was one of them, I was 20 years in engineering) because there was nothing to be had in engineering and housing was on the up. You see, that's the problem of expecting a reasonable standard of living (not a fabulous one, just to get by and give your kids a good life) because since we opened up our markets within the EU there's a fair chance that someone will come along who's prepared to accept a LOT less and you're stuffed. Good for them? Well of course. Nothing to stop you competing is there? I mean, what makes you so special that you can't let the building society or bank reclaim your house, and why can't you take your family to a cheap B&B close to whatever work you can find for the duration. I mean, east European (in Paul Cox's case POLISH) building workers do it, so what's so special about you? Ah, I forgot, the east European workers can bugger off home to where the costs of living are a damn sight lower than here. That's it then. Sorted. What's to stop you going over to Poland and working there? Ah, damn. Forgot. Why do you think the Polish workers come over here to work? Simple. You emigrate to Poland and buy a house there and just nip over here to work because there won't be a shortage of work then because with your mewly acquired lower standard of living you can undercut the natives.

I don't know what your background is Pete, or what your business is, but I'd bet it isn't one threatened by the influx of cheap labour who undercut local guys with a mortgage to pay and a family to support, who then add insult to injury by exporting their earnings back home.

(Although have just discovered that 'Pete' is American. Perhaps I ought to copy the emails I've had from my nephews in Arkansas, who've seen their friend's businesses hit by the influx of cheap, illegal, Mexican immigrants.)

#9 Goofy

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 06:26 PM

I have come across this conversation will looking for a builder to work on a barn conversion and a plaster is someone I will need. I know builders humour can verge on racist but I think someone has over stepped the mark.

You know 1 in 10 fighter pilots during WWII were Polish, many Polish service men who fought their way to the UK joined British units and then flew back and parachuted into France & Germany to fight to help rid the world of Nazi's, they suffered in concentration camps, along with the Jews they were gassed, they built the tunnels in Channel Islands bodies lay where they fell.

There have been Polish nationals living in the UK working on the building sites, doing your plumbing work, plastering walls, building extensions, mending watches, weilding aicraft and working in all industries in the UK since 1939!!

So before you start to slag off the Polish they have been the backbone of British society, along with the Irish, Italians, Germans and many other nations so shut the F**** up and accept what is happening.

btw How many of you went to Germany in the 80's and made a lot of money, just like the Eastern Europeans coming here!

#10 jsharris

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 06:40 PM

Pity you didn't bother to look at the date of the post you were replying to.

Had you done so, you'd have realised it was over three years old, so long since past its sell-by date.

Also, this forum tends to steer away from offensive political views, if you wish to stay and discuss self-build and renovation, then that's fine. If all you want to do is have a bit of a rant, then I suggest you look elsewhere for your fun.

#11 SteamyTea

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 10:31 PM

But this was funny, only a few days left to listen:
http://www.bbc.co.uk...rammes/b04bs0m9