- John Alchin Builders
John Alchin Builders
October 2011 Update
It's now nearly a year since the project should have finished. John didn't do what he said he would. He didn't complete on time or on price and left us with a house we couldn't live in. I got pneumonia from having no heating and our family spent months sharing just one bedroom! Over the year we have found numbers of mistakes which have been very costly to put right as well as work that should have been undertaken that was never done. John in his defence will say 'you kept changing the specs'. We would agree that changes were made but some of the changes were made because they didn't build things the way they were designed (e.g. the stairs were meant to be large enough to fit a washing machine under them, but the stairs weren't made to the design and therefore we needed to find another space for the washing machine etc). John didn't get quotes off the plumbers and costs were simply dumped on us. We have found out that other projects John has undertaken have also ended in serious problems and needed to be completed by other companies.
To use Alchin Builders will probably be one of the worst decisions of my life. That's not to say it might not work out for some people. Clearly our project has ended in disaster but also we feel betrayed by John. He won our confidence and we were always honest and open with him. I have learnt a very hard lesson and the emotional cost has been almost too much to bare. Financially we have been crippled and got to the point that we nearly lost our property. I hope you have a better experience.
I would like to add that I do not have a bad word to say about Martin and Nick (part of his team). They became family friends and I wish them well in life.
Also other trades that John used did great jobs. Steve the brickie and the roofing crew were reliable experts. Dave the spark turned up trumps and, after John left, carried on to see his part of the project to completion.
This page contains our experience of our building work undertaken by John Alchin Builders. We will be reviewing them on build quality, professionalism, time scales, budgeting and attitude.
Our project was reasonably large and started in April 2010. It involved a large ground floor rear (approx 4.5m x 8m) extension, a front bay extension, a small first floor extension and a loft conversion. Additional internal remodelling included moving the stairs. The project has yet to be completed (original quoted completion date end of Oct 2010) so we cannot currently make a complete assessment on budgeting and timescales. We have largely been pleased with the build quality and John's team have been friendly and helpful.
Update January 28th 2011: Sadly things went wrong. John started demanding more and more money and threatened to walk out if we didn't pay etc. In December 2010 he said it was going to cost £30k beyond his original estimate to complete. Sadly that was money we simply didn't have. He went back on previous agreements that were made. When John left the site for the last time we were left with a house with no water, no electrics, no heating, no internal doors, plastering that hadn't been done, insulation needed, etc. That was the week before Christmas 2010. The earlier work we were very happy with and enjoyed having them working on our house - there's no doubt John knows how to build to a high standard. The last few months got worse and worse. A little bit of work that was completed towards the end failed to meet building standards and we need to get that rectified. The ground floor floor levels aren't right and to get the pipework in they need to be sorted. We were visited yesterday by the roofer who said that John hasn't paid him yet.
If the project had finished on time and on budget back in October we would have been delighted and couldn't have recommended John enough (he had become like part of the family). John knew when we started that we were really financially stretched using him (he was more expensive than our other quotes but had excellent references) and now we can't afford to finish it properly. All our budget has gone and we are trying to secure finances to make our house safe for our children. To be fair to John where there were extra costs some of them were as a result of changes we made.
We know John can do a great job to completion as we've been to peoples houses where he has. But sadly we weren't one of them and have been left to pick up the pieces.
If you have any questions about our experience please see Contact Us.
In due course this site may also contain reviews from other customers of John Alchin -and we hope they have positive experiences to tell. If you have had building work undertaken by J Alchin Builders please get in touch via the Contact Us page.