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Discussion Starter #1
So my elderly neighbour opposite (I use the term elderly advisedly as I suspect he's only just turned 70) claims his brakes failed in his Beemer just before Xmas and as a result he ended up in our front garden. Apparently he reversed down his driveway and couldn't stop. He came through our front wall (not a big wall - about 2 feet high) and his car ended up see-sawing over the remains of it.

Anyway - he was deeply apologetic. Called his insurers (RSA) telling them he was entirely at fault and gave us all his insurers details. His car was removed quite promptly leaving us with a car sized gap in the wall. He's given it a hefty wallop so the foundations are lifted in the gap he made so it's a non-trivial job.

Called RSA and asked them how they were dealing with this. They said that it was all no issue, all covered, just send in 3 quotes for rebuild/replacement of wall and they would cover it (pending an assessor coming to check it if quotes warranted it).

This happened the week before Xmas.

Since then we have been trying to get 3 quotes.

Have you ever tried getting quotes for rebuilding a partially bolloxed garden wall?

Gardeners apparently "don't do building work" and builders apparently "don't do gardens". So far - in 3 weeks (we didn't look over Xmas and were on holiday until 6th Jan) - we have managed to get 1 written quote from a reluctant landscape company who kept stressing that they would give a quote but couldn't be less interested in the work. Have had two "no job too small" guys turn up (one said it was indeed "too small", the other said it was too big for him....) with no joy.

So last Friday I finally lost patience with it all and called RSA and told them that it's actually a real pain in the erse to get 3 quotes on a job like this and since it wasn't me who drove through my wall can't they just either (a) use the 1 quote I have, or (b) just send an assessor and agree an amount? I can't see it costing more than 2 grand to rebuild what was there using the same materials. The one quote we have got was for 2,800 pounds but they really didn't want to do the job.

I've asked a couple of builders we know to just write us a quote even if they don't want the work, but they promise they will and then (unsurprisingly) we don't get to the top of their busy agenda...... Same with the gardener who reckons he's too busy to even quote let alone do the work.

On the call, RSA said they need 3 quotes. End of. It's policy. Have a nice day. Call back when you have the 3 quotes.

So the guy over the road (car now repaired, back on his merry way) is all done and dusted and I'm still spending hours at a time calling and emailing, getting rebuffed, waiting around for people to turn up to quote who don't arrive and being told by the insurers that it's down to me to do all the leg work.

And even when I do manage to rustle up 3 quotes - they will all end up being from outfits that don't want the job and then I am stuck trying to find someone who actually DOES want to do it.

I appreciate it's a sod of a job (not enough in it for most outfits, and a bit too big of a job for the handyman or gardeners) - but what a right old pain in the 'aris.
 

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It's not insurance that's your problem. It's this weird state of affairs where seemingly the majority of tradesmen just don't maintain behaviours which benefit their business.

We had a similar thing when we moved house and needed a gas fire re-instating. I must have gone through 5 or 6 heating engineers who all came, checked the draw, confirmed what the problem was ... and then disappeared off the face of the Earth. Fair enough you don't want that job - but if you tell me, I'll accept it. If you go radio silent I'll never use you again for any other job either.

Do you have presence on the dreaded Facebook? Local 'buy,sell, recommendation' facebook groups, or even chat groups have been a Godsend to me in finding tradesmen for a multitude of work we needed doing. Plumbers, landscapers, alarm fitters, window cleaners, etc. It's a great resource for finding people with genuine recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes and MrsDibnah has posted various times on local pages etc and (possibly unhelpfully) posted detailed pictures so people can make a judgement without traipsing out to see it (I fully appreciate how much time quoting takes up for trades people). I think it's just a funny old job.

The wall is made of some sort of decorative stone so it's not a straightforward bricky job, and with the foundation lifted it's probably a bit of heavy lifting/back breaking to get it all out and start again.

The reason I think it's (also) an insurance rant (IMHO) is that they are supposed to be there, with their sky high premiums for fully comp, to do the leg work in these situations. RSA aren't small and must have a preferred list of trades people or go to outfits for all sorts of work (RSA do as much buildings insurance as they do motor) so why can't they do the bit of assessing rather than me having to do it?

If I was to go and get 3 high quotes (tell 3 builders that it's an insurance job so slap on the extras and quote 5k) - they would then (quite correctly) send out an assessor to see if the quotes are reasonable. So why not do that first and just agree an amount?

To be honest - any company that just assumes that my time is their time (British Gas and their 8 hour job slots, delivery companies that demand a signature, and insurers who want me - the not at fault victim - to run round and get their quotes for them - get my back up
 

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I'll sort it. Without looking at pics (which I will google later, cos all over facebook I hear) I reckon it'll come to around £300.

I propose an avant garde faux rustique approach. Very fashionable in downtown Shildon currently.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Have you checked out mybuilder.com? at least that way you'll get people who want to do the job.
I did that last week. Got two calls back. 1 guy who contacted to say that it was too far away. Despite my postcode being on the request.

Another who is supposed to be coming to have a look later today. MrsDibnah is awaiting.
 

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Tell you what though, you'd have no problems finding someone to do that around here, Cumbria is awash with people who do stone walling.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is how hard he hit it. That "turret" thing was on the base.

I've also just noticed that glove. Wonder if there is a hand in it ... :oops:

932238
 

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To return to the original. That wall looks like a bit of amateur DIY by, presumably, a previous owner. Hence no self respecting brickie will want anything to do with it. As Dan says you need a dry stone waller. Have you thought about rebuilding yourself now that, being retired, you have time on your hands?
 
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