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Old 09-30-2010, 07:09 PM   #1
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Contractor Troubles


This should be Woe is me or why don't we ever learn.
We contracted the end of May for a 935 sq.ft basement finish in Littleton, CO. The company has been in business for 15 years, seemed very professional, plans and cost were right on, everything was a go.
You want to take a guess? It has been 24 weeks! With a good 2 more if they ever show up.
We have a contract which I assume we and locked in on, stating it would take Approx 7 to 11 weeks.
They started out ok, framing went fast as did duck work, engress cutting and then the work fell off. A sub would come over work a day or two and no one would show up for two weeks or so to do another day or to.
They have woes, saying they can't get good subs, clients are not paying etc.
We paid every payment when a phase was completed but it seems they are taking our payment and spreading it around among their other jobs. To top it off, the wall board company hasn't gotten paid and put a lein on our house.
We went with them because of their experience and "professionalism"
At this point it doesn't seem practical to hire an attorney and try and break the contract, with that cost and everything.
The work that the subs did, when they did it is well done and we are pleased but the management just sucks. I will certainly spread the word on this company.
Warning, Warning, try and get an end date clause in your contract with something like a $100 a day past finish deduction from the end amounts.

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Old 09-30-2010, 07:48 PM   #2
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if someone has put a lien on your home, you cant afford NOT to retain a lawyer.

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Old 09-30-2010, 10:42 PM   #3
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If you've made every payment, how did someone put a lein against you?
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:14 AM   #4
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We paid the contractor but he didn't pay the wall board company sub contractor.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:23 AM   #5
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If you know the identity of the other subs, I would contact them as well to determine their payment status.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman spif View Post
If you've made every payment, how did someone put a lein against you?
Mechanic's Lein: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanic%27s_lien

If the contractor is doing business as an LLC or Corp, and goes bankrupt, the homeowner often has no practical recourse against the contractor and is stuck paying the bill(s) twice.

Two possible ways to protect yourself are 1) to require the contractor obtain a completion bond (typically, the customer pays the cost), but many contractors won't do this at all, or don't want to be bothered on "small" jobs or 2) have the subs bill the homeowner directly.

It's also wise to require the contractor and all subs to supply a "waver of lein" upon payment.
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Last edited by Michael Thomas; 10-01-2010 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:34 AM   #7
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Sorry to hear of your troubles, it's bad for the enire industry. It sounds like the old "rob Peter to pay Paul" syndrome. Usually a bad sign about the financial future of the company, and subsequently you and your project.

I would at least speak with an attorney regarding the lien. If the sub doesn't get paid, that lien can be permanint, at least until you pay it a second time.

Don't let this contractor get away with thievery. Good luck.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:27 AM   #8
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I have no plans to hire a contractor for any type of work soon, but this is VERY good information to know in case I hire it out in the future.

Unfortunately Jinglebob had to go through a lot of pain for me (and others) to learn this...here's hoping things get squared away soon for ya!!!
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:48 PM   #9
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This is a bit of a long shot, but....

Check your state lien laws. In some states, such as FL, a notice to Owner is statutory. This notice tells the Owner that you are providing goods and/or services on the project and that way the Owner can ask for lien waivers from sub subcontractors and be confident that he received all of them. In the event that a sub didn't file a notice, he has no lien rights.

I'm not sure if the laws apply equally to big commercial/industrial as they would to small residential work. If you tell me (better yet pm, so that I don't miss it) what State you are in I can look it up in the info that I have.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:59 PM   #10
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Thanks for the head's up. I am in Littleton,CO just South of Denver.
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinglebob View Post
This should be Woe is me or why don't we ever learn.
We contracted the end of May for a 935 sq.ft basement finish in Littleton, CO. The company has been in business for 15 years, seemed very professional, plans and cost were right on, everything was a go.
You want to take a guess? It has been 24 weeks! With a good 2 more if they ever show up.
We have a contract which I assume we and locked in on, stating it would take Approx 7 to 11 weeks.
They started out ok, framing went fast as did duck work, engress cutting and then the work fell off. A sub would come over work a day or two and no one would show up for two weeks or so to do another day or to.
They have woes, saying they can't get good subs, clients are not paying etc.
We paid every payment when a phase was completed but it seems they are taking our payment and spreading it around among their other jobs. To top it off, the wall board company hasn't gotten paid and put a lein on our house.
We went with them because of their experience and "professionalism"
At this point it doesn't seem practical to hire an attorney and try and break the contract, with that cost and everything.
The work that the subs did, when they did it is well done and we are pleased but the management just sucks. I will certainly spread the word on this company.
Warning, Warning, try and get an end date clause in your contract with something like a $100 a day past finish deduction from the end amounts.
WOW I could never imagine running my business that way!
Did this contractor come in as the lowest bidder? Sometimes when people go with the lowest bid( to save money) they end up with less qualified workers, that cut corners, and use cheap materials or don't show up at all.
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:07 PM   #12
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U need to report them to the BBB so others can beaware
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:53 PM   #13
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Thanks, that what we plan on doing at the end of this bad dream. By the way their third Project Manger on our job called me today and told me he had quite.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinglebob View Post
Thanks for the head's up. I am in Littleton,CO just South of Denver.
I'll take a look at work next week. If you don;'t hear from me, send me a pm as I have a lot of irons in the fire and I may forget.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:09 PM   #15
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Thanks to all you on the DIY Chatroom.

My problem Contractor has gone under. We will be dealing with his attorney on settling claims and getting the work finished. Hope there is some money left over as he did a number on a group.

On lesson learned; Always get an end date on the contract, hold back enought money to have some type of leaverage, 25%? and sorry to say,
don't be so trusting, a handshake and two dollars will buy you a cup of coffee.

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