Eastern European Builders

17 years ago...

In the last two years there have been a lot of complaints about dodgy Eastern Europeans who offer their services to Surbiton residents for building work at cheap rates but provide a shoddy service.

A number of people have been left out of pocket and left with half-finished rooms, conservatories, garages etc whilst the culprits disappear and lie low in their own countries.

A safe way to find a good tradesman is on the following websites:


If you have any experience of these crooks please contact: www.fmb.org.uk (Federation of Master Builders)


Care to ellaborate on these "crooks", are they like the polish builders who turned up for an estimate, gave a good price, did a good job and left the place tidy for my sister in Surbiton?


Ionkontrol, its clowns like YOU that have rendered the word RACIST useless!

Well done you PC nurd!

I used www.wolley.co.uk last month. I like the catch with their name. The guys who did my kitchen were fantastic. I guess because there is a way to spoil their future business if they mess up. I got 7 quotes in the end I went for the second cheapest which was a lot cheaper than what my nearest plasterer quoted me. Mostly because they are free of charge for the tradesmen I guess.

How can I be racist..I'm black you muppet!!

I am a Polish Builder myself.
I have been working in the UK for the last 12 years, and what I`ve always heard was that WE are destroying the Jobs market due to a much lower rates charged by us.
The truth is, that in the beginning I had to work for a little money only because my clients (sorry to say that - people originating from India) offered only a small rates of pay.
If they only paid on time, or sometimes - at all...
As I`ve decided to move forward and start my own business, I have RAISED the charged rates, as I had to support my workers, insurance cost, fuel etc. Now the important part: I HAVE MY PRICES STILL AT A LOWER LEVEL, THAT ENGLISH COMPANIES, WHO CHRGE HORRENDOUS MONEY FOR THE THINGS THAT YOU DON`T EVEN KNOW EXSIST! Many of the tasks are so "difficult", or even almost "impossible" to complete by some of those "builders". I had many comments from Clients, that They had like 6 builders TRYING to complete a job before me, but only I managed to actually deliver. I am not a nose-picker, no! I simply can not understand HOW this Country managed not to fall apart (literarily) so far.
Let me say, that I`m very sorry for all those, who suffer from the recent Job Market changes.
With all due respect - Andy

Thank God for the polish. I would never have got my house in London renovated with the rip off quotes I got from English decorators. When I moved to Surbiton the same Polish guys renovated my new house. I have been using them for 12 years now and they are so polite and work from 8-6 including Saturdays. Their work is of such good quality that all my friends friends use them. So us English will give praise and recommendations for good work. Maybe that is the reason the Polish are getting the jobs - because they are good, realiable and polite and they have never ripped me off.

I'm looking for a good builder. You wouldn't have those polish builders' number, would you?

I'm English born and bred and a builder. With the arrival of a large number of cheap workers from Eastern Europe finding work is very difficult. I haven't been able to find work for 5 months. I don't know what to do. I am 50 years old now. I have considered lowering my prices, but there is a limit. Workers from eastern europe are happy to work for a lot less money. They are even prepared to work for free just to get a reference. There are so many of them - if you get the local builders paper, you'll find that all the adverts are in Polish.

I have to put my family first and dont see why foreign workers get jobs at the expense of the English.

hi english born &bred builder,like you i am in my 50s, may i suggest you join up with ratedtradesmen.com.I have recently joined them and up to now have been extremely pleased with their set-up. regards phil (decorator).

My heart goes out to you Sid. I hope you manage to find work soon. Its a disgrace that you have to suffer like this.

I've seen plenty of good Polish builders, i recently used one from workbidder.co.uk.


I'd definitely use them again, they were spot on... and wiped their feet!

I'm looking for a good builder. You wouldn't have those polish builders' number, would you?


How can I be racist..I'm black

You are joking, right?

I am not suggesting in any way that anyone is a racist, but I wanted to make the point that anyone irrespective of their colour can be a racist. Racism is not a white on black thing, it supercedes all colours, cultures and classes.

It is simply the act of pre-judging, habouring or facilitating a belief of a race of people or persons based on their colour or culture. There are plenty of examples of racists from every culture, country and race. It is not a 'respector of persons', racism doesn't limit itself to a particular racial group.

I am currently having my house converted into 2 flats and I am looking for builders to quote. Because I am on a limited budget I have to be loyal to my wallet but I am also mindful that my decisions may contribute to UK unemployment, discrimination and the economy.

I have had family members, both black and white (as I am from a mixed background) accuse Polish builders of being unqualified and full of rubbish. This concerns me as a whole race of people being discredited in such a derogative manner leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.

My advice is to do as you would any builder, go with recommendations and references. If the quote comes in too low think about whether the quality of the work may be compromised in any way. And if you are in a position to support our own English builders (who are offering a reasonable quotation), and are able to justify the slightly higher rates, then let's support them. After all we don't want to discredit the industry or undermine the years it takes to develop a tradesman. And neither do we want to encourage the exploitation of genuine Polish builders by offering them less than a decent standard of living within the UK.

If we seek to pay little, eventually not only will we send our own builders into improvished living, but we will force builders to retrain and find in twenty years the cost has hiked so much because there is a limit of skilled labour so the issue will be back to bother us.

God Bless

polish builders some are good some are not so good one thing for sure they undercut professional builders , ask how many have insurance not many, most work from mobile phone and the clients are exploting the fact that they live virtually below the poverty line in poland so working here for a pittance is explotation.If as people claim they are good builders then pay them the right rate for the job, not create a third world situation by exploiting desperate people

Comparing the last two lots of decorators we had, the first English, the second Polish:

The Poles worked about 8 hours a week longer and did a better job. They also charged much less.

Isn't suggesting that being black prevents you from being racist, .........erm....... racist.

another good website:

My guess is that there are many hundreds of thousands pounds worth of contracts just sitting on hold in Berrylands alone.

The reason is that many of us want work doing,organise for the builder or plumber or roofer to call and estimate and then no one turns up.
Or says crikey this is a difficult job,sharp intake of breath and quotes way over the odds just to ensure thay dont get the job.

We householders then think why bother with all the hassle of getting competitive quotes and the subsequent disruption of building works,often coupled with your builders nipping off to do foreigners for days at a time.

From what I glean the Polish work ethic is like ours of 40/50 years ago when builders expected to work hard in all weathers and complete a job on budget and on time in the hope of getting more referalls from happy clients.Most of us expect to pay a reasonable amount for honest hard working builders,after all in our own jobs we expect the rate for the job.

Good luck running your company but beware of employing english workers thay may well let you down.

Can provide a contact to a good Polish builders, that I used myself many times in the past, with good referrences, as well, as with my own.
Anyone interrested, please provide with some contact details, or e-mail me. Will provide an e-mail address on request, as I always support those, who are worth it. They are polite, hard working, professional, have all the tools needed for every job, and most of all - will not overprice you!
Jake Griffiths

Now - try to imagine the housing market, when all Poles immidiately leave UK tomorrow...
We would probably not survive that...
Our wallets in first place.
English Tradesmen would step into action with horrendous prices.
Do You realy think They moan against Polish workers, because They can not get enough work? Nooo.... They moan, because They would love to earn more for the same work, than They do now.

unemployed five months sid.and most people are struggling to find good builders.

Can I suggest www.checkatrade.co.uk - we have found an excellent plumber, plasterer and builder in the Surbiton area. All with good references.

another one to try is http://www.mybuilder.com, works more like Ebay and is quite easy to use...

I have been trying to find a good builder to take down an interior wall for months now, the quotes I've had have been extortionate.

Many of the comments are realistic but so many full of s*it, excuse my French! I lived in England for 6 years now and running a building company (providing only eastern european labour) in the South East for nearly 3 years now. We have build a very good reputation locally and this is not because we have lower prices (which I actually just realised, one of our customer was kind enough to show one of the other's quotes, and the differences between what I quoted and their quote was next to nothing) but because we provide high quality. The word of mouth is working better than any other advertising and I am so happy that this is the case, in spite of all the "racist" comments about eastern european builders. "You're only as good as your last job" so before making any comments just sit down and have a think about, at the end of the day it is not only about the money! And for those who said that eastern european builders don't have an insurance, yeah, you're right I am not NHBC registered as I am not that big to invest over 1000 pounds application fees + the yearly fees for ay work you register. I do have public liability insurance and the limits are above of those of an well establish local English company.
And by the way, I guess you never picked up the phone and instead of Hello, you hear " just get the h*ll back of your country" of "F*ck off , what the F*ck are you doing here??" guess not. Imagine how would you feel if your son would pick the phone up and not yourself. I forgot to mention that I am a woman and really didn't make me feel on top of the world hearing all those comments. But it does make me feel good when a customer is so happy to recommend my company. Good luck to all of you!
I do not intend to go back to my country to improve the economy (not Poland anyway) as my son was born here (and for those who would jump into conclusions: I never claimed one pence in benefits, nor child benefit!)

My company offers business and domestic removal services across the UK from £25 per hour. I believe that it is a very reasonable tariff for removals. However, recently I have read some adverts from Polish guys who offered similar services for £15 per hour, which seems rediculous to me as you have to pay for petrol, car repairs, insurance etc...There would be no profit in doing this business with such charges. I seriously, do not get it.

Another good company: www.manandvanremoval.co.uk

I have just had a firm of Polish builders in to do a major refurbishment project for me in Surbiton and they have been excellent.

The price was good, the work ethic fantastic and the quality and finish even better than specified.

I would be more than happy to recommend them to anyone interested. The owner of a neighbouring property is already lining them up to do work for him having seen what they did with my place.

My experience with local firms was not so good when I was trying to get quotes. Some did not bother to turn up and others took forever to get a quote together which usually included a fat margin added on top even though they were in turn using Eastern European guys to do the work.

'Dodgy East Europeans'? Take a drive down the M4 when you're next heading West and have a look at the cemetary full of 'dodgy East Europeans' who fought for your fantasy little England. A few less generalisations, please. If you're losing work, maybe you should turn up on time and finish the job you're paid to do?

I'd appreciate you passing on the contact details of your builder as I'm looking for someone in the Berrylands area, but have been strung along by all I have spoken to thus far.

lets be honest its not the poles fault they wanna come hear earn money and send it back to there families if i could go some wear else and get paid more i would!and no one can say any different the problem is greedy bosses exploiting all of us in the uk they give us low wages because they can get away with it and now things are gonna get worse i dont know how il survive ive got bills to pay and im not earnin what i need to pay them im a hard worker who always works to a high quality maybe i should jus sign on lease then i wouldnt feel like im gettin robbed people in jail are living better than me! every year my boss turns over 10 million he gets this because like most bosses hes in it for the money he could easily up all of our wages and still have 9 million a year but i guess thats not enuff for some people:(

sorry ive got to disagree. i have to work 10-12 hours a day just to put food on the table because my firm have lowered rates because the polish are happy to work for much less! the difference is im a well trained english decorator who takes pride in my work and never leaves a job without it looking perfect and the polish go in do a really poor job get there money and go! my quality of decorating is 5 times what the polish produce because i actually know what im doing!but now im the one having to leave my own country just so i can earn what im worth!(which i work ten times harder for already!)

Another thing to bear in mind is that a lot of Eastern European immigrant workers, particularly Poles, are returning to their homelands.

Their economy back home has improved, with increasing job opportunities, similar wages to UK and even better weather. Not to mention a simplified family life and the chance to buy a property.

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