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#61 kanina

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 09:26 AM

I contacted Dave O'Brian mentioned a couple of times above. He came to give a quote, but wants 3rd money up front, 3rd halfway through and 3rd on completion. Bearing in mind it's fairly small jobs and he wont need much material. Is this normal? I've never had to pay in advance before.

#62 anopheles

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 01:44 PM

I contacted Dave O'Brian mentioned a couple of times above. He came to give a quote, but wants 3rd money up front, 3rd halfway through and 3rd on completion. Bearing in mind it's fairly small jobs and he wont need much material. Is this normal? I've never had to pay in advance before.


I remember being advised by a wonderful roofer/builder (now retired) that you should always be cautious about a builder who asked for money up front as it could mean that he did not have good credit with his suppliers. Having said that I have come across the payment-in-thirds regime several times recently and if there is a large outlay on materials it seems fair enough. And I think there could be an element of the builder self-protecting against the unscrupulous consumer. In the event, trust your instincts and if it is a small job you may find someone else happy to do it.
:unsure:

#63 dragregory

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 07:35 AM

David O'Brian came to discuss a building project with me and I was impressed by his attitude but wondered if anybody who has used him for a major job would be willing to let me have a look at the completed work ? Also I've phoned Renown Smith twice and both times went to answer phone and have had no call back from them, has anybody used them recently, are they still in business ? Any help with this much appreciated

David

#64 guineagirl

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 08:25 AM

You'd be very welcome to come and have a look at my bathroom which David O'Brien did just before Easter.

However he's now doing my kitchen so the whole house is rather chaotic...but thankfully the bathroom still fully functional; getting things done in stages is certainly more bearable if you are still living in the property, we can't all be like the people on TV property shows and move out for the duration.

I have also used Renown Smith in the past and they were very good in terms of the work they did at the time, but they weren't prepared to take on the bathroom project so I had to find a builder that was - so have been using O'Brien since then.

Based on past experience with Renown, if you've been trying the landline, that doesn't tend to get answered very often, but they'll usually return calls on the mobile if you leave a voicemail. I certainly havent't heard they aren't in business any more.

Edited by guineagirl, 04 August 2009 - 08:28 AM.


#65 rosemarie

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:07 PM

Hi guineagirl,

wonder as David is working at your place whether you would ask him (or you may know this already)whether he can change our kitchen base units, fit a new worktop and change the sink and taps? We have bought most things for the job already so am just trying to find someone recommended to help us (we used a plumber off the virtual norwood site at the beginning of this year and it was a disaster but am not giving up on local recommendations).

Best regards

#66 dragregory

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:17 PM

Hi Guineagirl,

thanks for your reply however I won't intrude while you're in the middle of building works. Renown have called me back and we've agreed an appointment for them to look at the project and I'm sure that I'll be happy to go either with them or Dave O'Brien.

Appreciate your info,

best wishes Dave Gregory

You'd be very welcome to come and have a look at my bathroom which David O'Brien did just before Easter.

However he's now doing my kitchen so the whole house is rather chaotic...but thankfully the bathroom still fully functional; getting things done in stages is certainly more bearable if you are still living in the property, we can't all be like the people on TV property shows and move out for the duration.

I have also used Renown Smith in the past and they were very good in terms of the work they did at the time, but they weren't prepared to take on the bathroom project so I had to find a builder that was - so have been using O'Brien since then.

Based on past experience with Renown, if you've been trying the landline, that doesn't tend to get answered very often, but they'll usually return calls on the mobile if you leave a voicemail. I certainly havent't heard they aren't in business any more.



#67 guineagirl

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:00 AM

Rosemarie - I'm sure that they would be able to help you out, would definitely recommend you explain the situation to them and see what David thinks.

For the work I've had done, I mostly picked out the items in conjunction with him - the big things at least like the bath/sink/toilet and the main kitchen base units, but I'm sorting out things like the kitchen worktop, light fittings etc myself so they are very flexible about letting me pick out things for myself!

Dragregory - depending on when your work is going ahead, you are welcome to come and have a look at my finished kitchen in a month or so, as that will give you the full picture rather than looking at just one room.

I have a new back door/window going in today, can't wait to see how it all looks when I get home!

#68 Izzy

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 01:51 PM

Hi Kanina

When David O'Brien did work at our house, I asked him about the payment of 1/3, 1/3 and 1/3 and he said that although that is what they usually state, it really only applies on the larger jobs where they have a significant outlay up-front for materials and even then, they wouldn't expect the money up-front but when items are delivered.

I paid for my work in stages and wasn't expected to pay anything up-front.

Worth having a chat with him I think!

#69 Chloews

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:48 PM

hello,

We've just moved to CP, and are having a major overhaul. I'm looking for a couple of reliable labourers to strip out the existing stuff ready for the electrician and heating engineer to come in.

Does anyone have any recommendations? I've seen someone recommended Andymans services, but couldn't get a response to the mobile number posted. Has anyone used him recently?

Any help much appreciated!

Mrs Travers

#70 Dazza

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 10:24 AM

If you are looking for a general builder I would happily reccomend Del

He has just finished of my Garden wall & tiled the step area. He has also just started another property in my road as they were impressed with my job.

He is also an excellant tiler & did my Bathroom a few years back.

He can be contacted by mobile 07834617127 or by email myradelboy@aol.com

Make sure you tell him Dazza reccomended you on the VN !

Also works with Big Al sometimes who has done loads of work for VNers over the years!
Your obviously mistaken me with someone who gives a fig

#71 anopheles

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 05:47 PM

hello,

We've just moved to CP, and are having a major overhaul. I'm looking for a couple of reliable labourers to strip out the existing stuff ready for the electrician and heating engineer to come in.

Does anyone have any recommendations? I've seen someone recommended Andymans services, but couldn't get a response to the mobile number posted. Has anyone used him recently?

Any help much appreciated!

Mrs Travers


:)

Well I am going to whole-heartedly recommend David O'Brien and there are a number of reasons for that. Firstly, his name keeps cropping up on this Forum; secondly after initial inspection you get a proper itemised and thoroughly detailed quote (a huge asset we discovered when on a separate job we had to involve an insurance company), unlike another estimate I received which had clearly been written by the builder using his foot and consisting of two lines; thirdly he turns up exactly when he says he will, and that applies to his excellent workmen as well; fourthly he stays on the job until it is finished; fifthly no job is too big or too small; sixthly all rubble is removed from site (some builders will not do this); 7thly no blaring music; 8thly he and his team are respectful of their surroundings, your pets, your privacy etc.; all the workforce are courteous, charming, friendly and helpful at all times - a soothing quality when building work can be so stressful. Another point, and I think this is important (particularly given the construction vagaries of old houses) when a problem arises he is very good at assessing it swiftly, dealing with it where possible and amenable to making financial adjustments where necessary. And the final point which I learnt when talking to a colleague of his - they think of themselves as a One Stop Firm who can do anything you throw at them: construction/plumbing/electrical/landscaping etc. etc. In my long experience of employing and working with teams of workmen -
and the background here is that it used to be my job - this is at least unusual and at best unique. If you ally that to efficiency, full understanding of work required and a job thoroughly well done, it's a cocktail of talent which would be very hard to beat !

Good Luck with your overhaul !
Anopheles
:rolleyes:
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#72 Emster

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 05:59 PM

I'd like to add my vote for David O'Brien and his team. They've just finished doing some jobs in our flat including installing new radiators, a shower and changing some tricky electrical sockets and lights the previous owners of our flat had 'diy'd' themselves.

I initially got their details from this forum, along with a few other recommendations.

From start to finish the whole team were really easy to work with, very courteous and tidy. Always turned up exactly when they said they would and never let us down. Being an old flat every job threw up some problems but every single one was dealt with really quickly and easily. They even managed to fit a new radiator when 3 other builders had said it was impossible to do without pulling up our solid wood flooring. David came up with a solution straight away.

We're already planning to get them back in for some more work in the near future and would happily recommend them to anyone.

#73 dragregory

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 11:06 PM

This is yet another recommendation for David O'Brien. I would echo the comments of other recent postings in that Dave's work is high quality and competitively priced, he can offer a full service and he is determined you should be happy with the finished job.

This review is based on a project Dave has just finished for us which involved conversion of our ground floor garage and utilty room into a living area, kitchen and shower room plus renovating our tired patio garden and decking. The finished job is excellent. Dave provided drawings, liaised with the planning department, suggested suppliers, and has a team of workers who can provide all the necessary trades and building skills which for our job included plumbing, electrics, carpentry, brick-laying, paving, decorating and PVC work. There was always somebody on site and working hard and the attitude of Dave and his team is positve, friendly and flexible. Particularly worthy of mention are John who is Dave's foreman and an excellent craftsman, Mick the plumber who is incredibly helpful and skilled and Frank the bricklayer/paver whose extensive experience shines out.

At various points we asked for revisions and additions to the original schedule of works and Dave was always happy to accommodate these. Dave will guide you as to what is practical and sensible for your project but will listen to what you want and clearly acepts that the customer is always right. The project did go 10% over estimated budget but this was due to a combination of extra requests from us and some additions that the building officer insisted on. The build time was just under 3 months which was about 2 weeks more than we hoped but see earlier comments regarding requests from us and the wishes of the building officer.

To summarise I think I'm a demanding customer but I would happily recommend Dave to you and he is in fact currently building a balcony and stairs for us which will allow installation of french doors to our first floor living room and give access to our garden. Dave will then also be working with me on renovation of a flat which I think speaks volumes about my faith in him. Finally just to say that if you're thinking of doing the type of project I've described then feel free to get in touch to come and have a look at Dave's work.

#74 Paramali

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 07:20 AM

Another mention for Del. I used him last week for a tricky repair to my shower room and a couple of other minor building jobs outside. He did a great job at a very competitive price. A nice fella to boot! He does the full range of building work I believe. Contact him on his mobile 07834617127 or by email myradelboy@aol.com.

#75 toby1kenobi

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 09:45 AM

I'm aware that this is becoming something of a David O'Brian fanclub thread, but I thought it only fair to add our recommendation too, as it was from reading posts here that we came to contact him and we too have had a very good experience.

We moved into a fairly worn out three bedroom terraced house in Streatham last autumn, and having wound up at this discussion included David in the people we contacted for quotes to remove the wall between our kitchen and dining room. He impressed from the word go really, coming round to quote immediately and giving us what seemed like a very reasonable price. He made some very useful suggestions, and was very responsive to our queries, and when it came down to his team and one other firm (a friend's recommendation) we went for David on this basis.

As it turned out, we were impressed enough with his team's work that we ended getting them to renovate the entire house (kitchen, bathroom and every floor, ceiling and window)! It was a fairly gruelling experience (we had to live here for the 3 months the work was being done) but we absolutely love the end result. Throughout this process David and everyone else showed great flexibility and ingenuity, and some of their ideas about how certain things should be done were much better than ours. Allison, who works in a mostly overseeing role as far as we can tell, was particularly invaluable, making sure that everyone and everything were where they needed to be and keeping things moving even in the depths of the ice and snow this winter.

So yes, we would definitely recommend getting David round to quote if you're thinking of getting work done (I'd go so far as to say you'd be daft not to!).

Best wishes,

Toby