Where do we go from here?
The wife and I bought a 100 year old mill house with knob and tube wiring. Hired a pest control guy to kill powder puff beetles last September. He found extensive damage to the bathroom so bathroom was gutted and redone for 10,000. Then he gave the house a foundation for 17,000.00.Then he offered to have his crew re-side our house with certainteed siding and retrofit the electrical claiming his B contractor was licensed to do electrical. Estimated 6,000.00 for the electrical and 14,000 for the siding.
We are now seven months and 47,000 dollars into the project. The house is a 3 bedroom 1100 sq foot house.
The contractor works four hours a day four days a week. It has taken 3 months to side the house and it is still not done. He told me a week ago I only owed him 1000 plus change. Today he presented me with a bill for 4,300 more. He packed up all the siding I already paid for and split. Said he was afraid I would not pay him when he finished the job. Right now I only have electric in part of the house, the electrical inspection is not done, the siding is only on three sides of the house and I am screwed. He insisted I make the final payment right now today or he would not finish. I told him I would pay the final 4,300 when he was done- only problem he cannot decide if it will take him three weeks or ten days to finish. He said he would only finish the job if I paid him the 4300.00 first.
Is this common? To pay the contractor 47,000 dollars in advance on a 47,000.00 dollar job and then he refuses to finish the job unless I pay his 4,300 overage in advance?
What is the normal business practice for contractors? Payment upfront, or sizeable deposit with balance upon completion? Is it normal for contractors to be paid in full before they finish the job, especially when the job has taken ten weeks more than estimated?
It is not unusual to make the final payment AFTER the work is completed to the client's satisfaction. Sometimes, there may be delays caused by the homeowner/client. In such a situation, a contractor may ask for all the moneys to cover the costs up to the amount completed "thus far" (to cover the expenses up to the start of the delay).
In your case, you say that "he" has delayed the completion of the work.
Possible scenario no. 1: There are some contractors out there that are poor money managers. He may actually be out of money, and need your payment to finish paying the electrician to complete the work, and to purchase the balance of the siding. I am not saying this is right. (We personally pay for all our materials by the second payment of a three payment project schedule. If we need more material, then we have accounts with our suppliers to make purchases thru).
Possible scenario no. 2: A contractor might demand full payment if the client has repeatedly insinuated, or sent "messages" that they were not going to make the final payment. You don't make it sound like that is the situation.
Possible scenario no. 3: He's going to take your money, disconnect his phone, and never come back. It seems funny tho, for a guy to complete the majority of the work, and then abscond with what is essentially less than 10% of the overall project payout amount.
IMHO: I tend to lean with scenario number 1.
Please remember that any advice online, needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Only you know all the details, actual discussions with, and "character" - of the individual you are dealing with.
One way to look into your worries of them not completing the job is to check with any references of the contractor. Did you get references? (BTW: References can include the suppliers that the person purchases materials from)
Does the person have a reputation of poor money management, but finish all their work?
Does the person have a reputation of not paying their suppliers?
Does the person have a reputation of poor workmanship?
Does the person have a reputation of not completing jobs, after hving been paid?
There is much that can be said. The above is my 2 cents.
If you have the receipts to show you paid for the siding, then you have the right to file charges. If this guy is legitimate, a call to your lawyer should get a letter to him...I see no reason a siding job should take 3 months, even at 4 hours a day.....guys like this give contractors a bad name. And, another point....what this clown is doing is simple extortion. Were permits pulled? Do you actually have his license information? Insurance? WC certificates? You do not have to take this behavior lying down. Lawyer up or call the inspectors, license department, and the local news paper....creeps like this have no ethics, but like roaches, do not like to be exposed. Document everything.
Even though We are only hearing Your side of the story,.....
It Appears you're being taken for a Ride......
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