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Old 02-10-2008, 11:11 AM   #1
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Hello,
I been searching the net to no avail for information on what is legal and not legal in a home improvement contract in the state of Pennsylvania. Does anyone have knowledge of a site for this? My state's consumer protection was of no help.
One of the things of interest to me is there a limit on a deposit that a contractor can legally ask for? I have seen recommendations of no more then 30% of the total costs of the job.
Some contracts are written to say that the homeowner cannot interfere with the workers. I did not like that at all but signed anyway because I thought I was hiring a contractor that uses skilled workers. I had to file a complaint on 3 of the four workers.

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Old 02-10-2008, 11:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
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...Some contracts are written to say that the homeowner cannot interfere with the workers. I did not like that at all but signed anyway because I thought I was hiring a contractor that uses skilled workers. I had to file a complaint on 3 of the four workers.
FWIW: We have that in our contracts as well.

Aside from your inquiry of Pennysylvania contract law....
This is the point of why the wording is in our contracts (and it is legal):
Our workers work for us. They are all highly skilled and experienced workers. They take their orders and their corrections from the company foreman or the company owners.
They are our employees, not the home owners. They have assigned work each day, and they know what they are doing.
If the home owner has a major issue, question, concern, request, or other, they are to bring it to the attention of the site foreman or one of the owners of the company, not the workers (That is also in our contracts).
Doing otherwise WILL, for a fact.... create work delays, confusion, possible injuries, and mistakes, among other problems.
In addition, our workers do not like having Home owners watch them, ask questions, or interfere in their concentration of their work.

Haven't you ever heard the saying in Auto Repair Shops:
$60.00/hr. labor...$100.00/hr to watch....$150.00/ to answer your questions, while you watch.

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Old 02-10-2008, 11:59 AM   #3
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Here is my idea of unskilled workers:

1. Cutting wood with dull tools.
2. Drilling holes through brick that have hallow spaces in them to install
anchors instead of going through the mortor joints where the screw can
grab much stronger.
3. Applying foam sealant around the gaps of windows and doors and not
making sure the sealant covers all areas of the gap.
4. Doubling over a nail on the aluminum trim and leaving it that way instead
of removing and replacing it.

If I was a contractor and found my employees doing any of the above or more, they would be told to shape up or be fired.
But all of the above does not answer my basic question. I am interested in the wording of home improvement contracts. What is legal and what is not legal?
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:00 PM   #4
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In that case, you should talk to a local Pennysylvania LAWYER...
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:16 PM   #5
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It would be a good idea to speak to the man in charge and not the workers, unless they are doing stupid or dangerous things. In your list of grievances, some were arbitrary and some were common sense.
The term itself, common sense ,is an oxymoronic one, as it seems, it isn't so common.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:14 PM   #6
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It may seem obvious, but the time to check on the wording of a contract is before you sign it.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:56 PM   #7
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At the time of installation, I am not so sure there was any particular man in charge. Each seem to be busy at their own task. I bought my products from a window store and they hired the contractors for the installation. The window store is national and is well known; so I assumed I was getting skilled workers.
I had to remove the indoor trim around the bay window because it was not taking a stain well because of factory glase. Afterwhich I inspected the foam sealant in the gaps and I could see daylight in over 6 differant spots and there were other complaints.
I agree that complaints should go to the foremen but I found the mistakes a day or two later.
AtlanticWBConst,
Yes I copied that saying(60.00 to 150.00) from another forum and passed it on. I put it on this forum or another about 3 years ago. It works real well when one knows all hands are skilled. But the way things are now with some workers that are not as skilled as they should be, then one has to watch. It appears I might have to stay away from business's that do the hiring of sub contractors to do their installations and just stick with smaller contractors because all have more pride in their installations.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:05 PM   #8
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did you ask if the contractor had full insurance se it in writing plus 'get half down on all jobs 'do to people can give bad checks and tie my money up for mo,iI have abook of alot of my referenceand jobs ihave done in hbg pa area you should look at that as much as a contract

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Old 02-20-2008, 08:58 PM   #9
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did you ask if the contractor had full insurance se it in writing plus iget half down on all jobs do to people can give bad checks and tie my money up for mo,
I am sure they had insurance or the company that hired them provided it. I hired the company, not the contractors. Its a big company that provided contractors with less then desirable skills. Speed in getting the job finished in one day was more important then checking their work before going to the next step.
If contractors are worried about getting stuck with bad checks, then can't they just call the bank and ask if sufficient funds are available to cover the check? They also can check the credit rating of their customers and judge whether or not to accept a check before buying the materials.
This mistrust of customers and contractors works both ways. I got banned from the contractors forum because I made a big stink over down payments. Customers are getting tired of putting money up front only to have to persue the contractor to fix mistakes that should never happen. They are supposed to be professionals and install their products in a craftsmanship manner. The word craftsmanship is not found in contracts because its been replaced with workmanship. Workmanship to me means, they sweep up after their done.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:27 PM   #10
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So who was it, Window World, Home Depot, Lowes, Sears ?? Do tell, if it was any of those four or several others I failed to mention, I don't pity you at all.
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:37 AM   #11
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The products were a triple pane wood bay window covered with aluminum trim on the outside and front door ordered through a "Pella" window store. I don't buy junk. The store sends the order to the local distributor for "Pella" and they in turn supply the contractors.
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
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The products were a triple pane wood bay window covered with aluminum trim on the outside and front door ordered through a "Pella" window store. I don't buy junk. The store sends the order to the local distributor for "Pella" and they in turn supply the contractors.
Pella Installers (subcontractors) have to go through an interview, screening process, back ground check and also must be trained and certified for installations.

However, that doesn't mean the goofs that were sent to you by that subcontractor, that showed up on your job, were the same ones that were trained and screened.

What you need to do is contact that Pella distributor. They need to know if hacks are putting in their product, so that they can get rid of them.

I had a meeting with a local Pella distributer about 4 weeks ago. They are concerned about situations like this, and want to know.... (no, it wasn't about our work, the meeting was about whether we were interested in assigning one of our crews to install their products. I'm still thinking over the profitability level). They get alot of dirtbags and goofs that come in wanting to do installations for them. They do not like that, they want professional companies, to install their products, in a professional and proper way, .....while representing Pella's quality.
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:01 AM   #13
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hmmm at least you can rest assured that you way over payed for a medium grade product.
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:04 AM   #14
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hmmm at least you can rest assured that you way over payed for a medium grade product.
Someone doesn't like Pellas...
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:05 AM   #15
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On a separate note;

PKHI, How would you rate window manufactures in terms of quality.
Let's say, on a scale of 1 to 10, or 1 to 5, or whatever.
Likes/dislikes/etc.

I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Thanks.

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