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Old 03-07-2010, 03:39 PM   #1
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How to fire a Class A contractor

We started a simple deck and basement remodle with a Class A contractor in August of 2009 in Virginia. We made all payments minus a change order that we agreed to pay in at final inspection. (we did it in an email so it is not even an official change order, but we will honor our word). Yes and todays date is March 7, 2010. He said this job was to take 3-4 weeks we had planned on 8 -10 weeks.

His contract does not have an end date - thus why we still are not complete. We had been trying to get out of the contract and part of the deal was that we had to take the permits out of his name. When we did this we found out that he had not permit an egress window.

County Code enforcement was called to verify that the window was put in correctly and much to our surprise we found out that it was not. He is currently now trying to abate the violation with the county. The problem we are finding is he underbid the job and I don't think he had any intention of ever finishing the job. He and his company have given contractors a bad name.

All we want to do is get out of this contract from hell and find a new contractor.

1) how do we get out of the contract?
2) how do we get another contractor to take on a job after a "bad" contractor.

And yes he is a licensed class A contractor and he was a referral from a friend and he is actually a neighbor (while not a close one his kids go to the neighorhood school)



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Old 03-07-2010, 04:40 PM   #2
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Moved to Off Topic since not a DIY issue


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Old 03-08-2010, 06:37 AM   #3
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Well, if his is a "class A contractor" you - at least - have the certifying board to complain to. I'd go to the city or to whoever issues Class A licenses and have a little chat with them about one of their members.

Look, he may be qualified in his domain but may not have business sense.

But tell him you plan to bring this matter up to the people who certified him and he'll not want to risk all that he's gained up to now. I wouldn't anyway.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:29 AM   #4
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Yes - you would think that. We have all ready said that to him. Thus, my problem we want out so we can have our basement back. He just keeps saying he does not have an end date in his contract.

Our attoney is contacting him today again to see if he will move forward once he abates all the county code violations. I guess I am looking for a reason why a contractor would not want out of a project that he has received 75% of the money and has not done all the work? These are the large items left on the contract, finish railings for deck, replace back slider, install bathroom in basement (dig up concrete), install 3/4 bathroom to include all fixtures, move washer and dryer, carpet floor, intall a stair rail, put in all doors. Electrical room, closet, bathroom, and doors for water heater and heat pump. He has all that left to do and we only only him less then $7,000. Based on other quotes we have received, just doing the bathroom and basic carpeting will cost more then $7,000 so why would he want to continue with a contract he obviously underbid?

We want to off set any of his reason so we can move forward. Also what would happen if we moved forward and just started paying someone else to do the job? My backyard is filled with trash and glass from his crew, I want to start cleaning that up now that the snow has melted but we have been told by the county and our attorney not to do it yet.


Last edited by purplecow; 03-08-2010 at 12:05 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:54 AM   #5
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"purplecow"--You have not stated where you are located. This could bring in specific answers. How do you go about stating that the contractor is a "Class A" contractor? Is this a regional thing? And--FWIW--in GA., an "e-mail" might be considered "an official change order" IF your attorney can prove that the recipient's mail address was opened and the message read. There is a way they can trace this. David
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:18 PM   #6
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Location in Virginia. Virginia has three classes of Licenses A, B, C. When we were investigating a contractor we checked to make sure he was licensed with the Virginia Contracting Board (DPOR). He was also a referral. Class A - the person is supposed to have the most experience and work on the largest of jobs.

In Virginia email are not considered official change orders - all change orders must be in writing and signed by both parties. However we he did do two changes order via email which we agree to pay at final inspection. The problem is that we do not have an end date in our contract, we understand that there will be delays due to weather and supplies and such, but the job was started in August of 2009. I have since learned that DPOR requires an end date in the contract, but legally we are still held to this contract based on contracting law in VA.

I am looking for some advice from the contractors perspective to help us give this guy what he wants so he will stop holding me and my house hostage.


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