Viewing 27 posts - 1 through 27 (of 27 total)
  • House Extension
  • cultsdave
    Member

    Morning folks,

    We are planning an extension on our house. So far we have got planning permission, builders warrant and full architects drawings. We have been going out for quote to various builders. We have had five so far and all but one have come back at around a similar price, around £42k this is for the building of an extension and complete renovation of the downstairs including install of the new kitchen. One however has come in at £33k which is significantly cheaper. Its so much cheaper that its got us wondering if its too good to be true.
    When the guy came round to quote he was clearly a builder he was friendly and professional, he asked questions and seemed genuinely interested in what we were planning and came up with some suggestions. Some of the other builders almost seemed like it was a hassle to come and quote, others seemed just as good.
    The cheaper builder is A&J Forsyth LTD based in Kemnay near Aberdeen. They are a small family run business. They currently don’t have a website as it is getting re-done and is taking longer than expected as it is a friend of a friend doing it for them. The guy seemed a bit cheesed when he told me about it, like it was turning into a hassle. The have a Facebook page and all seems good https://www.facebook.com/ajforsyth.co.uk/
    Question is, do you think it is too good to be true?
    Thanks all

    MTT
    Member

    What are the terms of the quote? Fixed price?

    johndoh
    Member

    Can you ask them for references and be able to see some of their other work in person?

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    aye, could be out of town builders have lower costs (apart from travel). Round here – also in NE Scotland – have seen quite a bit of work done by builders from e.g. Portsoy rather than the main guys in town.

    cultsdave
    Member

    This is something I haven’t discussed yet. I assume that is the price we pay unless there some issues that appear on they way such as when digging foundations if they come across a huge boulder and it takes them an extra week to dig it. Its a very simple 4×5 meter extension onto a 1970’s house with no structural work being carried out to the existing property, so I don’t for see too many unforeseen circumstances.
    All the other quotes will be the same, so as they already start 10k more if we go with the cheaper guy we already have a 10k contingency.

    nickjb
    Member

    The price alone is not enough to tell which is good or bad. The £42k could just as likely be a worse job or extra hassle as the cheaper one. You need to look at the people involved and decide who you can trust and who you can work with. Not easy to get right, and easy to get wrong so there is a degree of luck

    cultsdave
    Member

    Johndoh – yeah that is the next plan, I mentioned that too him and he was more than receptive to the idea.

    Premier Icon Giallograle
    Subscriber

    Speak to recent clients for similar work. Check their resources eg team. Use a clear contract eg JCT.

    If a contractor underprices a contract, they won’t complete.

    glasgowdan
    Member

    Go and find neighbours that have done recent extensions and get a recommendation/quotes that way

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    A high quote is no guarantee of quality. Some people don’t want to do a job so price it high, expecting not to get it. If they do get it, it can be a right bleeding pain to them, so expect to share the pain.

    b r
    Member

    Having done a load of building work last year I’m surprised you got 5 quotes, as you say it’s a cost if you don’t get the job.

    We ended up with the middle (of 3 quotes), but more importantly I’d seen the company work as I’d used them on a job at work and they just gave an impression of ‘folk that can do’.

    Our work came in on budget and to quality. Time slipped but that was a combination of weather and one of the trades chosen went
    busted, so needed to find another.

    Rockape63
    Member

    Certainly give the £33k Guy the chance to prove his has got it all covered and is capable and reliable.

    I would also get him to itemise exactly what he is allowing for and what he is not allowing for. Once you have a list, get your Architect to check its all there.

    There was another thread recently about what to allow cost per/m2 for an extension and the general agreement was it would cost around £1500 per m2, so if your extension is a 20m2 ground floor then £33k would be about right depending on internals.

    trail_rat
    Member

    You know I’m local Dave. Concerns me slightly that I’ve not heard of that mob nor has my dad and private building projects was his game and has been for last 20 years after he sacked big site management.

    I’d have referred him to you but he’s stopped doing private projects due to ill health and just does his own builds at his pace now.

    Not much help i admit but I’d check out their previous work for sure.

    It’s a huge percentage difference. Given that they all have to buy the same materials savings would appear to be on on labour, overheads and profit. That much difference would concern me that a) they haven’t allowed enough time to build it (labour cost lower) b) they have missed something or c) they really need the work and have put in a very silly/competitive price. In any of the above, if there is the slightest problem they will be struggling and it will be a complete pain and or they will go out of business which really will be a pain. That the others were all similar would normally tell me that is the real price. If you go for them do not agree to pay a deposit. Make absolutely sure you do not pay them for more than they have done. As others have said ask for a couple of their recent jobs to go and see. Has your architect heard of them?

    Liftman
    Member

    I’ve just risk disk ed them, I would avoid as they are coming up as maximium credit risk, accounts are 3 years over due and they have had a couple of ccjs.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Companies House accounts don’t look too clever either.

    glasgowdan
    Member

    How much of an extension quote might consist of internal work, insulation, boarding, plastering, skirting, decor etc?

    i.e, what might an extension cost if you only want foundations, walls, roof, windows and electrics done comparatively? We’re planning a 4×3 utility extension in a couple of years and would like it as cheap as possible!

    b r
    Member

    There was another thread recently about what to allow cost per/m2 for an extension and the general agreement was it would cost around £1500 per m2, so if your extension is a 20m2 ground floor then £33k would be about right depending on internals.

    Does this include VAT?

    Only asking as many of these ‘guesstimates’ don’t, our recent granny annex was a full renovation of an existing building but because the planning consent didn’t allow for resale as a separate building we had to be pay VAT. So suddenly £1500 per m2 becomes £1800…

    Be warned. Do your homework on A&J Forsyth ltd.
    Here is a list of customers who used him and he took the money and ran. Why not ask Andy Forsyth why he hasnt finnished these jobs that he has been paid for. Braemar, Mile End Aberdeen, Cromwell Road Aberdeen, Drumoak, Dunecht. Inverurie, Newmachar, Udny, Cruden Bay, Peterhead and thats just the ones I know about. These are people waiting For windows, roofs etc all getting the same answer ” i have no money” and thats been going on for about 18 months if not more. Many in the process of taking him to court. Ex employees also taking him to court as he wasnt paying them. Many due thousands in back pay.
    The company has also been given notice by company house that it will be struck off in June. Check out the link link here

    He currently has very little staff left as he hasnt been paying them and those that are left are expected to do work they are not trained for.

    Please please do your homework and avoid A&J Forsyth ltd

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/SC374152

    mw1979
    Member

    Hi all, especially scrappydave, we unfortunately are one of the said customers in your list. A&J Forsyth took our money and after some initial work did not deliver the finished project or even the materials paid for and have still not repaid us what we are due.

    A year later than projected, following a winter without windows/roof etc, we have now finished our extension at considerable additional cost to ourselves.

    We are keen to hear of other experiences of using A&J Forsyth and if anyone has any information they’d like to share outside of this forum please let us know.

    We are in discussion with Trading Standards about them and they would like as much information and customer experience as possible.

    Thanks

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    That’ll be your answer then.

    Ooft.

    irvine
    Member

    I to am on the list re A&J Forsyth

    I have sent you a message mw1979

    cultsdave
    Member

    Just thought I would update on this.

    I read the first few replies to this at the time and after having a good feeling after meeting with Andy Forsyth we decided to go with them. Had I read the rest of the replies I am not sure would would have, but I am glad we did.

    The job was completed to a good standard by people who clearly cared for their work and work hard. There was a substantial delay mostly due to issues with the windows and lack of resources.

    At the end of the day we are pleased with the result and the cost despite adding a few extras was still far below what others had quoted.

    I mentioned this thread to Andy and he seemed to think he knew was giving his company negative reviews, he didn’t go into his side of the story other than to say there are some people who are never happy.
    Scrappydave, MW1979 & Irvine are all new users of this site who seem to have set up profiles just to comment on this thread which to me arouses a bit of suspicion.

    Anyway just wanted to end this thread by saying the work we got done was to a good standard at a good price, it just took longer than we hoped.

    Rockape63
    Member

    Well that didn’t turn out as expected! As you say, some reet funny business on the thread, but hopefully you did the recommended checks prior to taking him on and getting a decent job?

    cultsdave
    Member

    We did some checks, contacted a previous customer who was nearly finished and they were quite happy too, although they too were waiting on windows.

    Like I say it all turned out well in the end. Some photos can be found on the link below. There is a mixture of extensions in the album but mine is the one with the decking (done by me) out the back and should be the first photo that appears.

    Posted by A & J Forsyth Ltd on Thursday, September 21, 2017

    sharkbait
    Member

    Glad that worked out for you. Going back to your original quotes… sometimes people are just greedy.
    We’ve had a quote for some work in our kitchen (creating 3 new openings for bifold doors, digging up and relaying the floor and removing a wall between the existing kitchen and the room next door) and although there is quite a bit of steelwork involved I know this work should not come to more than about £25k.
    They quoted £72k!
    and they did want the job too

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