I had signed a contract with M/s Vasanth Builders to build our home at Vengaivasal, Chennai 79. We were not having problem until we make payments claimed by the builder. They retain about 30% of our money and invest only the balance on construction. Gave bills saying some extra work done, which I did not agree and there started the problem. The guys threaten to stop the work after getting 75% of the money and having finished only 50% of the work. Fearing that we will lose, if we terminate the contract at that stage, we went along. At the end, he ran away without completing with lot of work pending. Never give work to these guys.
MY PROBLEMS WITH THE BUILDER
Delay in delivery
There was no commitment on Delivery date. The contract said 6 months. The commencement was started in Jan 2013 and must have been completed by July 2013. In Dec 2013, I entered the house with many work pending, to save rent. Nearly 5 months’ rent was lost.
There had been consistent progress in the work for about 4 months. Payments were made as per the demand. When the builder sent unreasonable extra bill, I did not agree to pay. Since then the work suffered a lot. The builder made a lot of tricks to accept the extra bill. He delayed the work. Once he even threatened to stop the work and made me agree for the extra bill demanded by him.
From the 1st week of Sep 2013, the builder did not deploy adequate man power. There was no intention to handover soon. He never cared for the loss of time. He deployed deliberately lesser man power. Many times only 1 person was working. Where some works can be done in parallel, no attempt was made to speed up the work. As there is no penalty clause for the delay in delivery, in the contract and since the builder has taken all his margin from the earlier payments, the work suffered a lot.
Deviation from agreement
The spec said Anchor Roma switches. But the builder provided only Anchor switches.
Agreement said Sintex tank but unbranded tank was delivered.
Rain water harvesting system was promised but it was not delivered.
The builder said the Ramp cannot be delivered as part of the contract. I had to build the Ramp at my expense.
Elevation work is part of contract. But no work was done. The building looked much awkward and I had to spend a lot to make it look good.
List of pending work on entering the house
There was may work pending while entering the house. Attempts have been made to get those works done. But it was not done. So I said I will do the work on my own and the builder has to bear the cost incurred for completing the house.
Poor quality of work
Many jobs were of substandard quality and I had to spend a lot of money in fixing them. The builder must bear the cost in making them good. I am not sure whether the materials used by the builder were of good quality.
I am not sure of the quality of cement sand mix. Also not sure whether the structural design is the correct one. No structural design by a certified engineer is given, even though it was demanded. Quality of plumbing is horrible. Seepage of water from bathrooms to bedrooms and hall has made the walls damp. All western closets were not working properly. Water was dripping from the closet. In many places water was dripping. Water seepage was noticed from terrace to the room. This was seen in the rainy season and can be shown during the next rainy season.
There are many cracks found in the building. Tiling work is not proper in many places. The horrible tiles fixing in the kitchen shows that it is done by someone who does not know the work. The plastering in many places was not even and putty work was done on uneven surface. This will require a lot of money to fix the work. Quality of doors given is horrible. One door is showing termite attack.
The builder has 2 different pricing schemes. One pricing is for economical and the other one is for better quality of work. I committed for the higher priced one. There is no premium quality seen. There is a difference of around Rs. 3 Lakhs between those 2 options. There is no justification in terms of quality for the extra money paid for the building.
Unreasonable deductions for the tasks done by me
The deductions made for the Doors and Windows provided by me were not realistic. The builder gave a costing and deducted very much less. So the deduction made was unrealistic and included the profit margin. Fair deductions need to be made for the doors and windows provided by me.
Improper estimate for Tiles deduction
I purchased tiles at a cost and the builder gave a rough estimate for deduction. He said the correct deduction will be done later. Later he tried to justify what he has deducted is correct. There is a cost difference between approximate value given by the builder and my estimate of the tiles requirement based on the quantity I purchased at the cost agreed by him.
Exorbitant pricing for those extra work
Even for a small change that is not as per the standard that he gave he gave exorbitant prices and forced me to pay. This includes the cost of raising the floor by 2 feet and the 2 feet slab between I floor and II floor to conceal the rods required for expansion.
No receipt for the money spent by me directly
In Sep 2013, when he demanded money, I asked him to complete all the work that must have been done for the payment I had made. As per the contract I had to pay Rs 2,02,700/- (Two Lakhs two thousand seven hundred only). But the values of pending works were more than Rs 4 Lakhs. So I said I will not pay. Builder said the value of pending work can be completed within Rs 2 Lakhs (without any margin to him). Finally he agreed for the direct payment for all the materials and labor. I made the expenses and sent statement and asked him to give receipt for the payments I made on his account. He did not give the receipt. I have receipt for Rs. 18.65 Lakhs only as email acknowledgement.
Money paid in excess of the contract terms to be returned
As I had entered the house and started making payments for fixing the problems and pending work, the payments made by me in excess of the contract terms must be returned to me.
Cheating on the floor raise
Builders normally assume 3’ basement construction. This 3’ basement is above the plinth beam. The total height of floor level will be 4’ above ground level. Thus when the builder computes for 2’ raise, he must have given 6’ basement. This builder computed for the floor raise including the plinth beam and thus gave only 5’ height by increasing just 1’ but computed for 2’.
Agreed for the reduction in portico but never did it.
As per the terms of the builder, the normal height difference between the Portico floor level and the Ground floor level will be just 6 inches. I specifically wanted the portico to be lower by 1’, as it will be very difficult to climb on the portico, if the portico is raised 6 inches lower than the ground floor level.
Claims not shown in the contract
The builder claimed for the Watch man Salary and the temporary shed. These were not shown in the agreement. As the persons who did the watchman work said that the builder did not pay extra for the Watchman duty, I did not agree for it. However the builder made me pay 50% of the cost of the shed. The builder was unhappy since I did not pay the Watchman Salary. I was made to pay for the Electricity charges at the time of construction. Many builders were paying the cost of electricity at the time of construction. This was never highlighted at the time of giving the quotation.