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How long should this take?

Hi, just a quick question, we have had an 8m by 3m extension built out the back of our house, and our garage converted into a bedroom and bathroom. On average how many working hours should this take? I know this is extremely vague, but we were quoted as 320hours for skilled labourer and 320hours for unskilled. This has disappeared long ago, and we’re way over this.Our builder has also called our initial quote both a quote and an estimate so I don’t know where we stand on our final bill. Edit: We’ve had four men on site daily, rather than the initial two we were told, and it’s now been three and a half months and we’re still not finished. We did get three different quotes from local builders and they all ranged around the same, we actually went for the middle quote as his work had the best reviews. The build doesn’t include any of the electrical work or plumbing as we’re paying for that separately.

 

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Answer:

The time required for an extension and garage conversion can vary significantly based on several factors. However, based on the information provided, the duration does seem excessive. Here’s an analysis:

For an 8m x 3m (24 sq.m.) extension and a garage conversion:

– For skilled labor (carpenter, bricklayer, roofer etc.), a reasonable estimate would be around 200-300 hours. You were quoted 320 hours.

– For unskilled labor (laborer, material handling etc.), 150-250 hours is typical. You were quoted 320 hours.

So the original quote of 640 total hours seems reasonable for a project of this size.

However, with 4 workers on site daily for 3.5 months (approximately 560 hours for each worker = 2240 total hours), you have far exceeded the original estimate, even accounting for potential delays.

A few potential reasons for the delay:

1) Unforeseen issues like poor ground conditions, structural problems etc. that added complexity.

2) Supply chain delays in getting required materials on time.

3) Work being redone due to errors or poor workmanship.
4) Inadequate planning/scheduling by the builder.
5) Expanding the scope of the project beyond what was originally quoted.

At this point, you have a few options:

1) Request a detailed breakdown of hours worked so far from the builder to analyze where the overruns occurred.

2) Explicitly clarify if the quote was a fixed price or simply an estimate that can be exceeded.

3) If it was a fixed quote, you may have grounds to challenge the final bill if it exceeds the quoted amount without justification.

4) For an estimate, hopefully, you had set an agreed maximum budget before work started.

5) As a last resort, you may need to seek legal advice if you cannot get satisfactory resolution from the builder.

While some overruns are common, more than tripling the projected hours seems excessive unless there were major unforeseen issues or a drastic scope change. Being firm in getting explanations from your builder is advised.

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