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Old 07-19-2012, 08:38 AM   #1
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Need advice on things my contractor is charging back


Hello DIY forum,

I'm new to hiring a contractor and I was wondering if anyone could help with a few issues I'm having during the reno of our home.

We hired someone based on what I though was a fixed price to complete a reno of our house but i'm being asked to cover the following added costs on top of the amount being paid to the contractor.

1. We provided all the tile and hardwood flooring for the project but our contractor made me pay for the mortar, grout, scratch coat, etc. stating that that is typical and that he doesn't pay for any materials. It was made quite clear that we would be responsible for the hardwood and tile, but is it understood that we have to cover the required materials to install as well?

2. The contractor chose to tear up the ceiling of the basement in order to run wiring and plumbing and to avoid having to replace the sub-floor throughout the house. Am I on the hook to pay to replace ceiling panels since he made the judgement call?

3. The contractor has changed the design from the original plan along the way which we have asked him to correct but we're told that any changes are added cost to us. Is this the case, do I have to pay to have him re-do work that we don't feel is adequate based on the original design?

4. So far, I have paid for the dumpster removal and disposal several times which I strongly feel should not be my respoinsibility. Am I wrong? Is it reasonable if I withhold these costs from the contractor's final payment?

If any details are missing please advise and i'll try to clarify.

I appreciate any experienced feedback on this from the DIY community.

Thanks,
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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Need advice on things my contractor is charging back


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndShotCanada View Post
Hello DIY forum,

I'm new to hiring a contractor and I was wondering if anyone could help with a few issues I'm having during the reno of our home.

We hired someone based on what I though was a fixed price to complete a reno of our house but i'm being asked to cover the following added costs on top of the amount being paid to the contractor.

I'm not a contractor, but I will offer my opinion based on a consumer perspective.

1. We provided all the tile and hardwood flooring for the project but our contractor made me pay for the mortar, grout, scratch coat, etc. stating that that is typical and that he doesn't pay for any materials. It was made quite clear that we would be responsible for the hardwood and tile, but is it understood that we have to cover the required materials to install as well?

The person you hired is not a volunteer and has bills to pay. Therefore, when you provide the materials and rob himof the opportunity to make a little profit there, you must provide All materials


2. The contractor chose to tear up the ceiling of the basement in order to run wiring and plumbing and to avoid having to replace the sub-floor throughout the house. Am I on the hook to pay to replace ceiling panels since he made the judgement call?
Again, he's trying to make a living. Really, do you think he had a different choice. He had to get at the wires and plumbing somehow

3. The contractor has changed the design from the original plan along the way which we have asked him to correct but we're told that any changes are added cost to us. Is this the case, do I have to pay to have him re-do work that we don't feel is adequate based on the original design?

Info is missing. Why did he have to re-do work.

4. So far, I have paid for the dumpster removal and disposal several times which I strongly feel should not be my respoinsibility. Am I wrong? Is it reasonable if I withhold these costs from the contractor's final payment?
Not sure. Someone more qualified will chime in, but I think you've set a bad tone. He's not going to want to go the extra mile for you if you are nickel and diming him

If any details are missing please advise and i'll try to clarify.



I appreciate any experienced feedback on this from the DIY community.

Thanks,
Sorry if you don't care for my point of view, but thats the way I see it.

Last edited by creeper; 07-19-2012 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:02 AM   #3
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Need advice on things my contractor is charging back


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3. The contractor has changed the design from the original plan along the way which we have asked him to correct but we're told that any changes are added cost to us. Is this the case, do I have to pay to have him re-do work that we don't feel is adequate based on the original design?

Info is missing. Why did he have to re-do work.
We had agreed that the layout of the kitchen was going to be a certain way. We then went for a visit to check on progress and realized that the 220 for the oven and the exhaust for the range were not where they should be, and that as a result, the tile that had been laid would have to come up, wiring would have to be re-run to move the placement of the oven, and cabinets we bought would be wasted. I was told that any changes are extra cost, but I hadn't made any changes, I was merely pointing out that we agreed on a layout months ago and that layout wasn't followed.

Furthermore, we had a similar situation in the bathroom and were told the same thing. so my question stands.. if we had chosen a spcific design for functionality and changes were made without our approval, who is on the hook?

as for your comment about the contractor needing to make a living... i'm paying them a years' salary for work that would take me a full 2 months to complete. I know what the materials cost, I know what labour costs, but I have a full time career and am not able to get the work done myself within the time frame we need. Basically a would have saved 80% if I had hired the subcontractors myself so I just feel that his mark-up is beyond excessive if i'm to cover all these additional costs. but as I mentioned I typically do not hire contractors to do work so I just want to know if this is the typical treatment for a fixed price contract.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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Need advice on things my contractor is charging back


Dumpster is usually paid by the contractor, at least around here. They figure that into their bid. I would guess that he underbid and is now trying to cover it. If a ceiling had to be torn out to rewire, that should have been part of the bid. If he didn't realize it needed to come out, that is his problem. Sounds like he missed things on his bid. It doesn't sound like he is very competent.
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Last edited by rusty baker; 07-19-2012 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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Need advice on things my contractor is charging back


My laymans opinion.
Items 1, 2, & 4. Depends on what is written in your contract.
Item 3. I have not heard of a contractor being permitted to change the plans without a consultation or approval or written change order.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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Need advice on things my contractor is charging back


You are essentially asking members of an internet chat forum to interpret your contract and drawings. However, you have not posted your drawings or your contract. In general, the contractor is responsible for performing all work specified in the agreement (the contract) between you and him, in the manner specified in the contract. Most standard contracts include a section detailing the scope of work, a section addressing what permits will be pulled and who will pay to pull the permits, and a section describing what will be done in the event of unanticipated site conditions or delays caused by factors beyond contractor control.

All of the questions you asked should be addressed one way or the other in your contract document and your approved plans. If you do not have a written contract, or your written contract does not address the questions you posed, then interpretation of your contract as it applies to questions not addressed in the contract becomes a legal matter, which is not readily suitable for definitive discussion in a chat room.

As to the plan change issue, your contract should address the question of what constitutes a change of conditions, and how a contract change order will be negotiated. In general, if the contractor commits an error, they are obligated to fix it at their own expense, unless specified otherwise in your contract. However, differing site conditions (i.e. the plug is not where expected) are much harder to parse costs for. Your contract should address how the costs for a range of unexpected conditions will be handled.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:33 AM   #7
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Low bid ,Mr. Haney.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:57 AM   #8
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Its not what we think that counts. its what is in your signed contract that counts. read your contract again. All answers should be in it.

Anything you omitted in the contract is probably Gonna fall on you.

Since this is a DIY site. Its doubtfull you'll get answers to get the resolution you want.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:11 AM   #9
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Well said----

Every contractor works differently---

The easiest to work with include the cost of everything in their proposal---so no extra charges above and beyond the hidden and unknowable---

Some work on cost plus---

others do what this one did and whack you with lots of extras--

-post your contract with the name of the contractor removed and one of us will interpret it for you---
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndShotCanada View Post
Hello DIY forum,

I'm new to hiring a contractor and I was wondering if anyone could help with a few issues I'm having during the reno of our home.

We hired someone based on what I though was a fixed price to complete a reno of our house but i'm being asked to cover the following added costs on top of the amount being paid to the contractor.

1. We provided all the tile and hardwood flooring for the project but our contractor made me pay for the mortar, grout, scratch coat, etc. stating that that is typical and that he doesn't pay for any materials. It was made quite clear that we would be responsible for the hardwood and tile, but is it understood that we have to cover the required materials to install as well?

2. The contractor chose to tear up the ceiling of the basement in order to run wiring and plumbing and to avoid having to replace the sub-floor throughout the house. Am I on the hook to pay to replace ceiling panels since he made the judgement call?

3. The contractor has changed the design from the original plan along the way which we have asked him to correct but we're told that any changes are added cost to us. Is this the case, do I have to pay to have him re-do work that we don't feel is adequate based on the original design?

4. So far, I have paid for the dumpster removal and disposal several times which I strongly feel should not be my respoinsibility. Am I wrong? Is it reasonable if I withhold these costs from the contractor's final payment?

If any details are missing please advise and i'll try to clarify.

I appreciate any experienced feedback on this from the DIY community.

Thanks,
If you hired a contractor to do the labor but stipulated you would supply all the materials, then you are on the hook for all the materials required to do the job, from tile to garbage bags. If he is only providing labor, then you are on the hook for all his labor.

Are you sure your contractor changed the designs, or did you make a change to the original design somewhere along the way that resulted in the now incorrectly placed 220 outlet? If it's the latter, you're on the hook for correcting it too.

Like others have said - check your contract. It should all be in there.

And next time, hire someone who supplies his own material and includes things like disposal. They're more expensive but i'm sure you're starting to understand why
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:32 AM   #11
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Need advice on things my contractor is charging back


If the contractor didn't bid on tearing out the ceiling tho, he should have to eat that. If he is that inept, why should the H.O. pay for it.
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