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Old 12-16-2011, 04:10 AM   #1
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What to do with this contractor?


I am having an addition built. My contractor had been pretty good till the last month, where we have passed the final inspection and he got 80% of the money. Now he shows up 1-2 days a week, leaving a ton of little things dangling here. He just claim too busy with his other clients and he is trying extremely hard to call things done.

So far, there are so many tiny little things left over that I don't know when he could finish them all:

many missing paint area on the walls, missing caulking areas around windows and doors, mis-aligned one door, tape popping out in ~5 locations, non-smooth paint (due to poor mudding job), issue with the AFCI switches, couple of big gaps to seal off between new addition and old building at the roof. Many missing paint area in the stucco walls, touch up the floors,touch up some dry wall corners, redo some corners of the baseboards, stucco on the window glass, on and on.

He did my kitchen remodel 6 months ago and he was not like this. Back then he did things pretty carefully. Right now, he is trying to be OUT so he is rushing things, which in fact cost him more time since I am picking those defects out. He grumbled a couple of times citing that I am being too picky and slowed him down. And he has told me that tomorrow will be his last day of work this year and that he will continue working on my house 3 weeks from now.



What to do with him? I am holding off a few thousand payment but he doesn't seem to eager to get that money (He knows that he will eventually get it once he finally finish all of the work here, in the distance future.) I am just pretty pissed off at the fact that he only works 1-2 days a week and kept rushing things which results in poor quality work.

I would really like to cut his pay due to all these but I don't think I am legitimate to do that. Then what? What to do with this contractor at this phase? Just wait patiently for another month?

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Old 12-16-2011, 07:04 AM   #2
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What to do with this contractor?


As a contractor, I can understand his position, but i understand yours better. Either he bites the bullet and finishes things or he loses the balance. Write him a letter specifying what needs to be done, with a completion date. After that date, you will find someone else to finish the job.

Most of my work comes from referrals, so I would not jeopardize that status for anything. He may be different.

As a sidenote, I hate when I get those calls to finsih someone elses work. I would urge that you find a solution before I step in. If all else fails, I will do it.

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Old 12-16-2011, 07:24 AM   #3
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What to do with this contractor?


yes i agree with bill...make a punch list of what needs done according to your contract...come to terms on a date....if he can't finish get another to complete his work........as a contractor fo 30yrs we start we finish....
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:46 PM   #4
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What to do with this contractor?


Do cut the guy some slack if he has been good in the past.

Every client of his probably wants all finished in time for Santa to slide down the chimney. Sure he should have seen it coming but his workers are half on the job this time of year like anyone else's.

Tell him everything you want done before Christmas and then be honest about what you really need. I think you will notice a difference in attitude.

Otherwise in the spirit of all this? Nail his posterior to a cross and say you got a jump on Easter.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:47 PM   #5
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What to do with this contractor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Do cut the guy some slack if he has been good in the past.

Every client of his probably wants all finished in time for Santa to slide down the chimney. Sure he should have seen it coming but his workers are half on the job this time of year like anyone else's.

Tell him everything you want done before Christmas and then be honest about what you really need. I think you will notice a difference in attitude.

Otherwise in the spirit of all this? Nail his posterior to a cross and say you got a jump on Easter.
well this may work in your neck of the woods customers in pa would nail you to the wall ..if he can't manage his business to please people he should quit...... DON'T TAKE ON MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE.....
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:54 PM   #6
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What to do with this contractor?


To start with was there a completion date specified when the job started? If so when was it? If that's already passed you have a lot more leverage. As stated by others you definitely need to document what needs to be completed and when you expect it to be done. If it is past the original completion date there's certainly nothing wrong with withholding part of the final payment.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:51 AM   #7
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What to do with this contractor?


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Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
To start with was there a completion date specified when the job started? If so when was it? If that's already passed you have a lot more leverage. As stated by others you definitely need to document what needs to be completed and when you expect it to be done. If it is past the original completion date there's certainly nothing wrong with withholding part of the final payment.

The original completion date was 11/1/2011, one and a half months ago.

I was being nice in the month of November and didn't push him at all even though he slowed down significantly. He became extremely slow since Thanksgiving.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:17 PM   #8
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What to do with this contractor?


HT,
Like the others have said, I would come up with a punch list and sit down with him and make sure he is aware of everything on the list. Then ask him how much time he needs to complete the list. Set a completion date for the punchlist items based on that. Explain to him that after that date, you will get someone else to finish whatever items are left at his expense.
From a contractor's point of view, I would never want to leave little items undone at the end. In fact, I don't want any punchlist at all. I keep track of what I know needs to be done and try to get it before the job is called done. The longer you wait to finish the little things, the more the list will grow. It's human nature. I'm like George Constanza, I want to leave on a good note. Seeeee yaaaaaa!
Mike Hawkins
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by htabbas View Post
The original completion date was 11/1/2011, one and a half months ago.

I was being nice in the month of November and didn't push him at all even though he slowed down significantly. He became extremely slow since Thanksgiving.
Were there any major changes made to the scope of work? If not he certainly has some explaining to do and should probably be penalized ($) for not completing the work on time. You need to sit him down ASAP and tell them what you expect and when you expect it and to not take NO for an answer.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:38 PM   #10
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What to do with this contractor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
Were there any major changes made to the scope of work? If not he certainly has some explaining to do and should probably be penalized ($) for not completing the work on time. You need to sit him down ASAP and tell them what you expect and when you expect it and to not take NO for an answer.


If there isn't a written completion date with clearly defined penalties, signed by both parties, I doubt you would get very far trying to penalize someone by a dollar amount.

However sounds like he has gotten sloppy with his scheduling, and tried to rush the job which just made it worse. Time to sit down, explain that you are unhappy with the progress and the fact they are only working part time, and see if he is willing to make more of an effort. If yes, then hopefully you can work it out. If not, then tell him you cannot have them finishing the work part time, don't pay him his final and get someone else.

People can be their own worst enemy with this stuff, if your contractor behaves this way in all his business then he won't be around much longer. In fact he shouldn't be if he leaves people like you hanging like this, that's not fair.

Good luck.

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Last edited by chrisBC; 12-23-2011 at 09:41 PM.
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