(Updated Again- Happy Ending) Issue With Contractor. What to do?

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health teacher
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(Updated Again- Happy Ending) Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by health teacher »

Final Update: No charge and 5 inches of the wall was added and the ductwork was added back to the bedroom. I am planning on remodeling the bathroom and will send up ductwork when it is gutted. I am satisfied.

wanted to take most of a wall out between my dining room and eat in kitchen. After a few quotes, I went with a reputable contractor who has built houses, commercial properties, etc. It was supposed to be started in a couple weeks, but it was really windy here Thursday and they had to postpone a roof job and a spot opened for me.

All seemed great, but work began on the $1,700 project without a contract since I was squeezed in. He said it was a simple job that would take 6-8 hours. They had to move some plumbing to the upstairs bathroom and they let us know and it wasn't a big deal at all. The wall itself turned out great; however, in addition to the plumbing in the wall, there were also two vents. One went to a bedroom and the other to my bathroom. They removed the vents that were in the wall, but did not reroute them to the rooms to supply heat, and, worst of all, didn't even tell us about it.

They also did some minor damage to a vent when they moved the thermostat, but I was going to chalk that up as no big deal.

I just noticed the venting issue last night (Saturday) and he has already cashed the check for the job. I have 3 small children (one who is 3 months old) and the bedroom was 60 degrees when I realized what happened.

I've called him twice and left messages, but haven't heard back from him yet which, to me, is understandable since it was Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Advice anyone?

UPDATES:

He did not pull any permits.

I got ahold of him Monday and he apologized and said they would come look and see what they could do to fix it. He scheduled an appointment with me for Thursday, which was yesterday.

He did not show up yesterday like he was supposed to at 4:00 and has not returned multiple calls or texts since yesterday. I called the city code enforcement department and they confirmed it was a code violation, but ultimately it was the homeowners responsibility.

As of 5:00p today, Friday, he texted me and said he was sorry. Apparently, a friend passed away and he was at the funeral home and admitted he forgot about me. He is coming Sunday morning at 10a to take a look see.

I have an HVAC guy coming on Monday too.

I will not back down and will take legal action in an attempt to recoup labor for the HVAC work and will seek punitive damages for the time we have spent without heat in two of our rooms upstairs. Even if I lose, I won't allow myself to get taken advantage of like this.

I do take some of the blame here obviously. I should have never left the check until I checked the work and was satisfied and I obviously should have required a contract.

As of right now, I have 3 pictures of his guys working on the project, a text from him asking for my address, a few phone records and the copy of the check and the proof it was cashed. That's about it.
Last edited by health teacher on Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.
FraggleRock
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by FraggleRock »

"without a contract" leaves only naming and shaming as leverage.
Small Claims Court probably will be a waste of time.
You can try BBB.
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dbr
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by dbr »

You mean they removed two heat ducts and left two of your upstairs rooms without heat.

The answer will be to talk to them on Monday and point out the problem. What the repair will be remains to be seen. Somebody should have taken a closer look and/or stopped work when the issue became visible.

It is way too early to characterize this as a problem with a contractor rather than a problem with a project.
staythecourse
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by staythecourse »

I built a house and can say contractors do NOT respond to messages on off hours. Can't blame them otherwise someone would be calling at any one time.

Give them a Mon. and Tues. If you don't hear from that give them another call. I would be surprised if he is reputable he did this intentional or would not fix this mistake. Besides I would be suprised if it was up to code to have a bedroom WITHOUT a duct for heat. Since you didn't ask them to do it in writing (maybe wouldn't matter either way) it would a big deal if they were reported to the state reg. agency. Doing stuff out of code without being able to blame the client is ?at best a fine and worst having a contractor license reviewed/ suspended.

Good luck.
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stan1
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by stan1 »

Give him time to respond. If you have an email address I'd follow up with that as well. I've found a lot of people (myself included at times) are not great about following up on voice mail these days. Or you can text him during working hours. No accusations, just state the ducting is not connected and let him propose a solution.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by Sandtrap »

I've been a Commercial General Engineering Contractor and R/E developer for 35 years. (hopefully reputable). It is unfortunate that you did not have a written signed contract (by both parties) with detailed job specifics, breakdown, and payment schedule . . . and warranty. However, as you say he is "reputable" and hopefully licensed and insured and bonded, contact him and try to work it out. Rerouting the ducts should not be a big issue given his experience. That he was able to do what he did in that timeframe is a good sign as he accommodated you and fullfilled most of the work on time. If he was unaware of the duct rerouting and sincere about it, perhaps you may have to work it out halfway in cost. It should not be much if it is flex duct and registers in the ceiling. Again, if he is a larger contractor and reputable, he may just absorb the cost to keep up his reputation and referral rates.
I hope this helps and is actionable. For now, be courteous, sort of the "by the way" and be persistent as he is very busy and will tend to meet the demands of the clients who make the most noise. (kidding). :shock: Call, leave messages, text, "and" email, showing your concern for your family and so forth. A sincere person will respond asap. (not an expert, just my o2)
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Fallible
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by Fallible »

dbr wrote:You mean they removed two heat ducts and left two of your upstairs rooms without heat.

The answer will be to talk to them on Monday and point out the problem. What the repair will be remains to be seen. Somebody should have taken a closer look and/or stopped work when the issue became visible.

It is way too early to characterize this as a problem with a contractor rather than a problem with a project.
Agree it's not a contractor issue at this point - not yet.

OP, when you hear from the contractor, let us know what he says. Also, you had no contract, but did you never sign anything at all related to this project or discuss details?
"Yes, investing is simple. But it is not easy, for it requires discipline, patience, steadfastness, and that most uncommon of all gifts, common sense." ~Jack Bogle
dbr
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by dbr »

I am not sure having a contract or not would have impacted what to do when he (his crew) made a mistake and disconnected the heat ducts presumably because no one had anticipated they were there. You can have projects under contract where something is discovered that wasn't known and isn't covered in the contract. It is not like there was an anticipation to relocate the ducts and he didn't do it or that the presence of the ducts was pointed out and they ignored it. How it happened that someone made this blunder is a different issue, but you first assume he will make it right. The boss may not even know this was done this way.
rralex1
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by rralex1 »

health teacher wrote:All seemed great, but work began on the $1,700 project without a contract since I was squeezed in. He said it was a simple job that would take 6-8 hours.
A contract is important for the contractor and the buyer. The buyer is the one typically most at risk however, without one. The contract although small should have spelled out the scope of the project as well as remedies if things were "disputed". The contractor knew that. Believe it.

When it comes to contracting, having done significant 8 figure projects as well as small ones, if it isn't in writing, it didn't happen. Liability issues alone as they relate to risk for home owners, are a solid reason to make sure that a contract and evidence of insurance coverage is acceptable as well.

With that said, these kinds of things happen often, and I expect things will work out as there are some fundamental things that are listed as issues. Wishing you well.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by iamlucky13 »

If he's been having to shuffle his schedule to fit within gaps in the weather, he might be extremely busy at the moment. Be persistent but polite.

You might not have a formal contract, but any written communication you have with him, like a quote, is still be useful in documenting what the agreed upon scope of work is. The first step if he resists completing the work is to refer to this documentation of what was agreed upon. And yes, it was agreed upon. He didn't break into your house to do work he'd heard you wanted done in hopes you would pay him out of the goodness of your heart. You let him in the house on the understanding that a certain amount of work would be done. The catch is he might argue your payment indicated you were satisfied with the work.

If you have a quote that includes moving and reconnecting those ducts, I'd be firm.

If he was unaware of the ducts when he quoted, he has a case to seek more money to reconnect them. However, the fact that he didn't notify you of the discovery would be unacceptable in my opinion, so if this is the case, I think it would be fair to seek a middle ground on price.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by mouses »

He might have had some moron working for him who never told him about the ducts and perhaps did not even realize the implications. Seriously.

I would politely give him time to respond. Also, if you are in the area of the country that's having a blizzard, allow another day or two as most places are closed today.
dbr
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by dbr »

mouses wrote:He might have had some moron working for him who never told him about the ducts and perhaps did not even realize the implications. Seriously.

I would politely give him time to respond. Also, if you are in the area of the country that's having a blizzard, allow another day or two as most places are closed today.
Both statements above are quite likely. Situations like this deserve patience and communication.
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health teacher
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by health teacher »

Update:

He called me yesterday afternoon. He said he thought I knew and since I have kids he thought it was "common sense to look up" I didn't particularly like that comment since they didn't leave the water or electricity disconnected. And at least they informed me about the plumbing. I told him if it were my 3 month old daughters room could have died in the room without heat. In hindsight, I probably overreacted a bit on this since that scenario is probably realistically very unlikely. Anyways, to the point of the whole thing, he said he was sorry about the misunderstanding and he will fix it however I'd like and is coming on Thursday afternoon to determine options. Price was not discussed, but I have no problem paying for duct work and will be satisfied if he doesn't charge me any labor. I'll see what he offers first.

Edit: I'll probably offer him a beer from the kegerator as an act of unity :)
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by Frisco Kid »

The question will be what path the new ducting needs to take. If the ducts were in the now removed wall, another path will need to be found. Please keep us posted and good luck with your project.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by Fallible »

health teacher wrote:Update:

He called me yesterday afternoon. He said he thought I knew and since I have kids he thought it was "common sense to look up" I didn't particularly like that comment since they didn't leave the water or electricity disconnected. And at least they informed me about the plumbing. I told him if it were my 3 month old daughters room could have died in the room without heat. In hindsight, I probably overreacted a bit on this since that scenario is probably realistically very unlikely. Anyways, to the point of the whole thing, he said he was sorry about the misunderstanding and he will fix it however I'd like and is coming on Thursday afternoon to determine options. Price was not discussed, but I have no problem paying for duct work and will be satisfied if he doesn't charge me any labor. I'll see what he offers first.

Edit: I'll probably offer him a beer from the kegerator as an act of unity :)
Thanks for updating us and I'm glad he will correct his mistakes, as he should.

If you can meet him when he comes Thursday, have a list of questions to ask him, including showing you what he intends to do and a cost estimate and then get it in writing for you both to sign. Also, is he licensed and bonded? Do all this and when the work is completed correctly and to your satisfaction, then offer the beer. :beer
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barnaclebob
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by barnaclebob »

health teacher wrote:Update:

He said he thought I knew and since I have kids he thought it was "common sense to look up"
What does that even mean? Who would willingly have rooms in their house disconnected from the HVAC system? Common sense is to keep all house systems in working order after a job is completed.
Doug E. Dee
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by Doug E. Dee »

Yeah, this guy is a chuckle-head if he thinks it's ok to have rooms without heat.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by Rupert »

Doug E. Dee wrote:Yeah, this guy is a chuckle-head if he thinks it's ok to have rooms without heat.
I thought the same thing. OP, I'm afraid you're either dealing with a guy who is an idiot or a guy who thinks you're an idiot. Either way, don't let him get away with this. There's no way he (or someone working for him) didn't do this on purpose, hoping you wouldn't complain.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by staythecourse »

Rupert wrote:
Doug E. Dee wrote:Yeah, this guy is a chuckle-head if he thinks it's ok to have rooms without heat.
I thought the same thing. OP, I'm afraid you're either dealing with a guy who is an idiot or a guy who thinks you're an idiot. Either way, don't let him get away with this. There's no way he (or someone working for him) didn't do this on purpose, hoping you wouldn't complain.
Agreed. BTW, there are PLENTY of lawsuits where the contractors have lost saying stuff like, "I thought is was common sense". In these situations it is expected LEGALLY that the professional not asume the non professional has the same level of knowledge as they do.

Besides in this case the liabiilty is on the contractor IF (big IF) not having ducts go to bedrooms is against code. My guess is it is and a quick call to the city could be trouble for the contractor's license. Of course, that move is more aggressive then you would like to do.

Good luck.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by momo54 »

My nephew is building a 7,000 sq foot home in Florida. He also supposedly hired a {reputable } builder so he thought. His wife and himself are very busy professionals so they seldom oversee the construction. Well my nephews wife left work early and came to the construction site without prior notice. She caught the workers putting all kinds of garbage in the wall. Soda cans etc. And they were planning to seal them in the wall. She contacted my nephew who called the contractor and informed him what was going on . He responded and made sure the garbage was removed and the wall properly sealed. He then fired the contractor! NO EXCUSE FOR THIS BEHAVIOR. All the blame is on the contractor . He is the one who hires these idiots. If his wife did not come home and see this they would have had one big laugh.

If your having work done on your house make sure you are home to watch even reputable contractors .
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health teacher
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by health teacher »

Another Update:

He was supposed to be here at 4:00 est and it is now 5:00 est and he is not here. I called him and it went to his voicemail. Patience is running thin.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by ddurrett896 »

I would first contact DPOR (atleast that's what we have in VA) that approves all contractor type work. You can file a complaint with them and contractors normally get attentive when you mention them. He will get fined for no contract, I'm sure for not pulling a permit on a wall removal and a slew of other charges.

If that isn't an option, post a craigslist ad that's a killer deal (iPhone 7 for $250 BRAND NEW) and use his phone number on the ad. Be sure to post it with your email.

His phone will BLOW UP and odds are he won't change his business number so he will email the post and say something like "Please delete this, it's not funny!"

Respond back to call you. Took maybe 3 hours last time I did this.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by WJW »

Besides the current issue, did the contractor pull any permits for the project? Considering how lackadaisical they were about the vents, I would be concerned with how they performed the framing, plumbing and electrical. And if the wall was a load bearing wall, even more concerned...
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health teacher
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by health teacher »

WJW wrote:Besides the current issue, did the contractor pull any permits for the project? Considering how lackadaisical they were about the vents, I would be concerned with how they performed the framing, plumbing and electrical. And if the wall was a load bearing wall, even more concerned...
No permits.
2comma
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by 2comma »

No surprise. Be the squeaky wheel. If that doesn't work call codes compliance and see if they can do anything (but I wouldn't tell them who you are just in case). Consider small claims court, I've seen the notice to appear put a fire under contractors. He didn't pull electrical or plumbing permits so he knows he's flying under the radar on this one. That's your leverage and yes the goofs that didn't re-run the ductwork were trying to get away with something and the boss knows it too. Believe me, judges have seen all of this many, many times and it is extremely rare for a contractor to win a case like this and he knows this.

I cringed when you mentioned the kegerator. That's only appropriate after the job is finished to your 100% satisfaction. People who are knowledgeable hard nosed negotiators get what they want, unknowledgeable nice people often get taken advantage of.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by Fallible »

health teacher wrote:
WJW wrote:Besides the current issue, did the contractor pull any permits for the project? Considering how lackadaisical they were about the vents, I would be concerned with how they performed the framing, plumbing and electrical. And if the wall was a load bearing wall, even more concerned...
No permits.
I'm almost afraid to ask, but did he never show up or return your phone message?
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CaliJim
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by CaliJim »

Removing walls is no joke.

It is possible to do serious damage to the structural integrity of the house if a bearing wall is removed.

Do you know how to tell if the wall that was removed was a bearing wall?

Do you know about calculating allowable beams sizes, joist spans, live loads, dead loads, shear loads, etc etc?

Do you know when reinforcement brackets and simpson strong ties are needed?

Do you know about nailing schedules?

Do you trust the contractor enough to take his word for anything?

A reputable contractor will not do this type of work without pulling permits, since doing so puts future work in the jurisdiction in jeopardy.

If he was not careful about your vents, I wonder how careful he was about the structure of your house.

There is a reason you should always pull permits... the permitting authority will require that appropriate engineering and planning is done, and that appropriate inspections are performed to insure that the work is done according to sound construction principles.

Trust but verify.

If you have any doubts, get a qualified third party in to review the work that was done.

What am I saying? Get someone else in to take a good look at the work he did.
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tibbitts
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by tibbitts »

the bedroom was 60 degrees when I realized what happened.
This is Bogleheads, where 60 is probably warmer than anybody else sets their thermostats in winter.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by F150HD »

would appreciate an update on this.
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WJW
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by WJW »

health teacher wrote:
WJW wrote:Besides the current issue, did the contractor pull any permits for the project? Considering how lackadaisical they were about the vents, I would be concerned with how they performed the framing, plumbing and electrical. And if the wall was a load bearing wall, even more concerned...
No permits.
If he doesn't respond, I would threaten him with legal action. I would also either have the local building inspector or another reputable contractor inspect the work to make sure it is code compliant.
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runner9
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by runner9 »

tibbitts wrote:
the bedroom was 60 degrees when I realized what happened.
This is Bogleheads, where 60 is probably warmer than anybody else sets their thermostats in winter.
I'm pretty frugal and energy efficient but 60 is cold to me.

To the OP, I'd also appreciate an update:)
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by ponyboy »

No contract...nothing you can do about it.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by Sandtrap »

There may be a certain point of trying to "chase" down this "contractor/handyman" for results that it would be better to "cut your losses" rather than get more invested in his work. If he will not install the HVAC ducts as part of the original work, (no charge), then it may be better to not give him that work and find someone else to install the ducts. It should not cost much if it is just flex duct and ceiling registers. If done neatly, you might not even have to touch up paint around the registers. A "reputable" handyman or carpenter can do it as well as an HVAC contractor. Be sure it is in writing. Get 3 written estimates with agreement on work to be done and how long, completion by what date, and total price. Do not pay in advance.
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health teacher
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by health teacher »

runner9 wrote:
To the OP, I'd also appreciate an update:)
OP here for updates:

He did not pull any permits.

He also did not show up yesterday like he was supposed to at 4:00 and has not returned multiple calls or texts since yesterday. I called the city code enforcement department and they confirmed it was a code violation, but ultimately it was the homeowners responsibility.

I have an HVAC guy coming on Monday.

I will not back down and will take legal action in an attempt to recoup labor for the HVAC work and will seek punitive damages for the time we have spent without heat in two of our rooms upstairs. Even if I lose, I won't allow myself to get taken advantage of like this.

I do take some of the blame here obviously. I should have never left the check until I checked the work and was satisfied and I obviously should have required a contract.

As of right now, I have 3 pictures of his guys working on the project, a text from him asking for my address, a few phone records and the copy of the check and the proof it was cashed. That's about it.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by edge »

That is a very low amount for knocking down a wall and moving plumbing and HVAC...
WJW
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Re: (Updated)Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by WJW »

I would request all of my monies be returned in exchange for not posting negative online reviews or taking legal action. Then have the work inspected and repaired accordingly. And as a general contractor, I agree that this was very inexpensive for the scope of work.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by tacster »

momo54 wrote:My nephew is building a 7,000 sq foot home in Florida. He also supposedly hired a {reputable } builder so he thought. His wife and himself are very busy professionals so they seldom oversee the construction. Well my nephews wife left work early and came to the construction site without prior notice. She caught the workers putting all kinds of garbage in the wall. Soda cans etc. And they were planning to seal them in the wall. She contacted my nephew who called the contractor and informed him what was going on . He responded and made sure the garbage was removed and the wall properly sealed. He then fired the contractor! NO EXCUSE FOR THIS BEHAVIOR. All the blame is on the contractor . He is the one who hires these idiots. If his wife did not come home and see this they would have had one big laugh.

If your having work done on your house make sure you are home to watch even reputable contractors .
Plus one million on this post. These people simply cannot be trusted. It's a shame but that is just the way it is.
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WJW
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by WJW »

tacster wrote:
momo54 wrote:If your having work done on your house make sure you are home to watch even reputable contractors .
Plus one million on this post. These people simply cannot be trusted. It's a shame but that is just the way it is.
That is simply not true...I have been a general contractor for 20+ years, and I and several of my competitors can be trusted. We treat our client's homes as if they were our own. It's these type of contractors who give us all a bad rep and get all of the publicity. I inform any potential client that they need to do their due diligence before hiring a contractor. It seems as if most homeowners are so price sensitive that they will forgo their due diligence for the sake of what appears to be a bargain.
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Re: (Updated)Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by Wellfleet »

WJW wrote:I would request all of my monies be returned in exchange for not posting negative online reviews or taking legal action. Then have the work inspected and repaired accordingly. And as a general contractor, I agree that this was very inexpensive for the scope of work.
I agree with recommendation. It sounds like both parties will be unable to reach a good agreement and from my view on the internet this isn't going to get better. Personally if I was in this position I would not want this contractor in my house again.
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Re: (Updated)Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by Rupert »

OP, I'm sorry this happened to you. But at least you've learned a valuable lesson about working with contractors. In my experience, the reputable contractors will insist on a written contract before beginning work because they know that the contract protects them as much as you. Good luck to you.
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by CaliJim »

health teacher wrote:
runner9 wrote:
To the OP, I'd also appreciate an update:)
OP here for updates:

He did not pull any permits.

He also did not show up yesterday like he was supposed to at 4:00 and has not returned multiple calls or texts since yesterday. I called the city code enforcement department and they confirmed it was a code violation, but ultimately it was the homeowners responsibility.

I have an HVAC guy coming on Monday.

I will not back down and will take legal action in an attempt to recoup labor for the HVAC work and will seek punitive damages for the time we have spent without heat in two of our rooms upstairs. Even if I lose, I won't allow myself to get taken advantage of like this.

I do take some of the blame here obviously. I should have never left the check until I checked the work and was satisfied and I obviously should have required a contract.

As of right now, I have 3 pictures of his guys working on the project, a text from him asking for my address, a few phone records and the copy of the check and the proof it was cashed. That's about it.
good good. happy st pat's.
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Yooper
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by Yooper »

WJW wrote:
tacster wrote:
momo54 wrote:If your having work done on your house make sure you are home to watch even reputable contractors .
Plus one million on this post. These people simply cannot be trusted. It's a shame but that is just the way it is.
That is simply not true...I have been a general contractor for 20+ years, and I and several of my competitors can be trusted. We treat our client's homes as if they were our own. It's these type of contractors who give us all a bad rep and get all of the publicity. I inform any potential client that they need to do their due diligence before hiring a contractor. It seems as if most homeowners are so price sensitive that they will forgo their due diligence for the sake of what appears to be a bargain.
Yes and no. I certainly wouldn't paint all contractors with the same brush, but there are bad apples out there. Without going into a lot of details, when I was employed by the USG overseas, their policy was "No work will be completed on your residence unless you are present. This protects you and the contractor from any problems that may arise during the work". I.e. You say the contractor broke a lamp and the contractor said it was that way when they arrived. I've since stuck with that policy even after I left their employment. I think it keeps the bad ones honest and the good ones don't mind a homeowner's presence while they're working.
diy60
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Re: (Updated)Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by diy60 »

health teacher wrote:
As of right now, I have 3 pictures of his guys working on the project, a text from him asking for my address, a few phone records and the copy of the check and the proof it was cashed. That's about it.
The dollar amount might fit nicely within filing a claim with your State Attorney General. With no more documentation then the OP has and about the same dollar amount, I filed a claim on 2 separate occasions with my SAG office. Both times the work was corrected to my satisfaction. Be forewarned though, in my case the 1) the work did not require a permit, 2) it took about 1 year to work up thru the queue in the SAG office, and 3) I left the work uncorrected during the whole wait period. IMO, getting someone to correct their own work is easier then getting them to agree to refund you for a third party that corrected their work.
WJW
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by WJW »

Yooper wrote:
WJW wrote:
tacster wrote:
momo54 wrote:If your having work done on your house make sure you are home to watch even reputable contractors .
Plus one million on this post. These people simply cannot be trusted. It's a shame but that is just the way it is.
That is simply not true...I have been a general contractor for 20+ years, and I and several of my competitors can be trusted. We treat our client's homes as if they were our own. It's these type of contractors who give us all a bad rep and get all of the publicity. I inform any potential client that they need to do their due diligence before hiring a contractor. It seems as if most homeowners are so price sensitive that they will forgo their due diligence for the sake of what appears to be a bargain.
Yes and no. I certainly wouldn't paint all contractors with the same brush, but there are bad apples out there. Without going into a lot of details, when I was employed by the USG overseas, their policy was "No work will be completed on your residence unless you are present. This protects you and the contractor from any problems that may arise during the work". I.e. You say the contractor broke a lamp and the contractor said it was that way when they arrived. I've since stuck with that policy even after I left their employment. I think it keeps the bad ones honest and the good ones don't mind a homeowner's presence while they're working.
There are bad apples in every profession. To say that all contractors cannot be trusted is just not true. I personally do larger projects that take on average 4-6 months and have no problem with a homeowner being present at all times. However, this would not only be unnecessary but a burden on them.
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runner9
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Re: (Updated)Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by runner9 »

I've had success with a complaint to the better business bureau. Really got the ball rolling with 2 different companies in completely different fields.
tacster
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by tacster »

WJW wrote:
tacster wrote:
momo54 wrote:If your having work done on your house make sure you are home to watch even reputable contractors .
Plus one million on this post. These people simply cannot be trusted. It's a shame but that is just the way it is.
That is simply not true...I have been a general contractor for 20+ years, and I and several of my competitors can be trusted. We treat our client's homes as if they were our own. It's these type of contractors who give us all a bad rep and get all of the publicity. I inform any potential client that they need to do their due diligence before hiring a contractor. It seems as if most homeowners are so price sensitive that they will forgo their due diligence for the sake of what appears to be a bargain.
The problem is the homeowner simply has no way of knowing that a given contractor can actually be trusted. Unfortunately there are more than enough examples of bad apples out there. Given that fact, the prudent course of action is to assume they all need to be watched. IMO the homeowner's due diligence includes checking the contractor's work to ensure it's being performed as expected. Is this unfair to trustworthy contractors, well a trustworthy contractor should not mind at all since they should have nothing to hide. Not trying to offend you here, but this is just what I've learned the hard way.
INSERT PITHY QUOTE HERE
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lthenderson
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Re: (Updated)Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by lthenderson »

runner9 wrote:I've had success with a complaint to the better business bureau. Really got the ball rolling with 2 different companies in completely different fields.

I too have had a 100% success rate every time I've dealt with my state's BBB. It is a respected organization and bad reviews on their website are generally wanted to be avoided by most reputable businesses.

OP - I know you are upset and who wouldn't be. But I think the worst thing you can do is to take these people to court in an attempt to get a portion of your $1700 back. You will spend more than that in court/lawyer costs and all it will do it make your life miserable for a year or two until it gets resolved. By all means try to shame the contractor into refunding your money. By all means file a claim with the BBB. By all means fill the rating sites or any other media site with bad reviews. I really like to put pictures on if allowed because pictures are definitely worth a thousand words when reporting shoddy work. However at the end of the day, consider it a lesson learned about paying for work you haven't personally inspected first. Fortunately, it was only a $1700 lesson. I've had more expensive ones.
dbr
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Re: (Updated)Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by dbr »

I guess thinking about what might have been inside that wall and what became of it being addressed before completing payment might have been the crux of the issue, more so than having or not having a contract.
cherijoh
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by cherijoh »

Yooper wrote:
WJW wrote:
tacster wrote:
momo54 wrote:If your having work done on your house make sure you are home to watch even reputable contractors .
Plus one million on this post. These people simply cannot be trusted. It's a shame but that is just the way it is.
That is simply not true...I have been a general contractor for 20+ years, and I and several of my competitors can be trusted. We treat our client's homes as if they were our own. It's these type of contractors who give us all a bad rep and get all of the publicity. I inform any potential client that they need to do their due diligence before hiring a contractor. It seems as if most homeowners are so price sensitive that they will forgo their due diligence for the sake of what appears to be a bargain.
Yes and no. I certainly wouldn't paint all contractors with the same brush, but there are bad apples out there. Without going into a lot of details, when I was employed by the USG overseas, their policy was "No work will be completed on your residence unless you are present. This protects you and the contractor from any problems that may arise during the work". I.e. You say the contractor broke a lamp and the contractor said it was that way when they arrived. I've since stuck with that policy even after I left their employment. I think it keeps the bad ones honest and the good ones don't mind a homeowner's presence while they're working.
+1
This can also be an issue with contractors for more routine jobs like plumbing repair or HVAC maintenance.

During my last furnace check-up the technician insisted that a portion of my system was undersized and that it would cause the system to fail prematurely. I pointed out to him that his company had done the installation and that the system had been inspected many times by other technicians at his company and no one had ever found an issue. He was unfazed and still insistent that there was a problem, so after he left I called the dispatcher and told her that according to their technician, they had installed an undersized system and that it had gone undetected for a number of years by their other technicians. :oops: The lead technician called me back within a few minutes to apologize and offered to come out himself and check out my system for no additional charge. He also promised to provide the employee with additional training, because of course there was nothing wrong with my system.

A few years ago, I called a plumber because my shower was leaking. (I had used this company before with no issues). The plumber they dispatched indicated they would have to cut a hole in the sheetrock in my closet to access the back side of my shower and replace the whole fixture because the one I had was obsolete and parts were no longer available. I was skeptical since this was a very generic unit from a widely available manufacturer. So I looked online and found something that looked identical to my shower by the same manufacturer. I called another plumber, who asked me to email some photos of the shower fixture. They found the parts at a local plumbing supply and dispatched someone to replace the leaky valve. It took less than 5 minutes and didn't involve cutting any holes in the wall. :oops:
WJW
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Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Post by WJW »

tacster wrote:
WJW wrote:
tacster wrote:
momo54 wrote:If your having work done on your house make sure you are home to watch even reputable contractors .
Plus one million on this post. These people simply cannot be trusted. It's a shame but that is just the way it is.
That is simply not true...I have been a general contractor for 20+ years, and I and several of my competitors can be trusted. We treat our client's homes as if they were our own. It's these type of contractors who give us all a bad rep and get all of the publicity. I inform any potential client that they need to do their due diligence before hiring a contractor. It seems as if most homeowners are so price sensitive that they will forgo their due diligence for the sake of what appears to be a bargain.
The problem is the homeowner simply has no way of knowing that a given contractor can actually be trusted. Unfortunately there are more than enough examples of bad apples out there. Given that fact, the prudent course of action is to assume they all need to be watched. IMO the homeowner's due diligence includes checking the contractor's work to ensure it's being performed as expected. Is this unfair to trustworthy contractors, well a trustworthy contractor should not mind at all since they should have nothing to hide. Not trying to offend you here, but this is just what I've learned the hard way.
The homeowner should know if a contractor can be trusted by doing their due diligence before hiring them. Checking in with the contractor is one thing, but they should not have to be babysat after the fact. Otherwise, you chose the wrong contractor.

See related link; '18 Tips for Finding a Reliable Home Contractor'
http://money.usnews.com/money/personal- ... contractor
Last edited by WJW on Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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