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-   -   I think I was stiffed by a Paint Contractor. Any advice? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f4/i-think-i-stiffed-paint-contractor-any-advice-27403/)

Shaun_in_NC 09-26-2008 09:26 PM

I think I was stiffed by a Paint Contractor. Any advice?
 
I hired a contractor to paint the bottom half of my house. He came in and gave me a quote. During the conversation he told me he was a Captain in the Army and in a unit I had previously been in. Told me his partner was also in the Army and in a unit I had just left so I felt very comfortable with the situation and like a jackass made mistake number one and paid the whole bill up front to get it out of the way. The job was to take one day, two tops. It had to because I had movers coming, furniture being delivered, etc the rest of the week. On Monday when the painters showed up I thought they were the plumbers coming to fix my hot water heater. I had already bought most of the paint and the contractor was to supply the paint for my foyer and upstairs hallway. They showed up with no ladders to paint my foyer or the paint itself. When I showed them what they had to paint and the paint I had I asked if I was going to need more. They said I needed a couple more gallons so when I was leaving to go get the paint, the Foreman gave me money because he needed me to get him some paint brushes and masking tape. Mistake two was not firing them off the job right then for showing up with no damn brushes. When I got back they had already started taping with what little tape they had. Both regular masking tape and some painters tape. They proceeded to tape off every bit of floor board, chair railing, window frame, and crown molding. All of which was painted white by the contractor. I always thought professional painters usually only tape off stained or unfinished wood. After a while I walked by to check on things and saw the rollers and roller covers they were using and recognized them as garbage. I asked what kind of rollers they use and the Foreman replied "the cheapest" I asked where he got them and he said "walmart." Mistake three was not firing them then. They were painting a satin finish and of course there are three softball size flash marks on the wall. When they knocked off for the day they peeled off the tape from what little they had painted and of course they didn't tape properly so the paint leaked behind the tape. Every piece of chair rail, window frame, floor board, and crown molding has to be touched up. They decided to leave the rest of the tape on until the next day. Counting the foyer and upstairs hallway each as a room there is a total of seven rooms to be painted. They finished one and a half in the 10 hours they were here.
I called the Contractor and told him I was done. Told him the work was substandard and he needed to come out and check it out. He came out the next day, I showed him the work, told him no self respecting painter that feeds his family through painting buys his equipment at walmart and I didn't need him. He told me by law I have to give him another chance. I said " so you're telling me by law I have to give you another chance or you won't give me my money back?" he said no I want another shot because I want to continue working in this neighborhood. So I told him ok to bring them out on Thursday. This was tuesday morning. After he left I told my wife about another crew coming out and she lost her mind. She said "hell no." The reason we hired him was because he could get it done before the movers, and they weren't getting near her hardwood floors again, stained mantle or cabinets. so I called him four hours later and said "by law" what do I have to do? He said he didn't know. The next day he didn't call. The day after that he didn't return my calls and I finally got hold of him on Friday. He told me he was waiting for his lawyer to get back with him to see what he should do. He told me I was in breach of contract two ways. First for firing his crew off the job, and second for verbally agreeing to let him bring another crew and then firing him off the job. Before all this I had told him I'd gladly pay for services rendered. just give me back the rest of my money. His lawyer sent me a letter saying his client had retained him and that he advised his client not to refund me any money because I wouldn't let him finish the job and thet he had used more money retaining the second crew. Am I wrong in my assesment that this guy has no clue as to what a professional paint job is? Any advice? If I'm wrong please let me know. I apologize for the novel.
Shaun

Matthewt1970 09-27-2008 02:36 AM

Once you have a piss poor job like that, you do not have to let them back on the job and no judge would even rule in thier favor once you have proved what sub-standard work they have done. The only thing a pro painter will tape off is maybe a baseboard so you don't get little specs on it from the roller. Rarely would a pro use tape for an edge uless it is something unusual. The contractor asking for the whole amount up front should have raised a flag. Most will either wait till the end of the job, or ask for a 20% deposit up front or will divide it up.

Take pictures of the work they did and plan to spend a day in court. $5000 is the max for small claims in most states. One day in court with that lawyer would cost him more than he got for the job so i doubt this guy will pay to have the lawyer represent him in court. He just paid a lawyer $200 to send you a letter to try and scare you off.

Shaun_in_NC 09-27-2008 08:56 AM

Thanks Matt.

AtlanticWBConst. 09-27-2008 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shaun_in_NC (Post 161526)
...Am I wrong in my assesment that this guy has no clue as to what a professional paint job is? Any advice? If I'm wrong please let me know. I apologize for the novel.
Shaun

Guy had no clue, he def was not a painting contractor. You knew more than they did :whistling2:.

The Novel was required to properly explain the situation.

I'd kicked him off too. (In fact, I've done that, in a similar situation with a subcontractor)

sirwired 09-28-2008 08:13 AM

Get thee to Small Claims, right the heck now. I wouldn't trust anybody this clown hires to come in through the door. The contract was to have the work done on a certain day. It wasn't. End of story. (You DO have a written contract? Don't you?)

Unless you have super-bizarre laws in your state, I imagine he is making up this "law" about you having to give him a second chance to destroy your house.

You could possibly be in something of a bind for telling him to bring in another crew and then telling him not to. However, I doubt that he actually spent money on that second crew since you told him only four hours later to forget it...

SirWired


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