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Old 07-19-2009, 08:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Aggie67 View Post
Just a quick note. Not every contractor is like this. The bad apples do cause a stink, though.
I will second ths post!!
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:36 PM   #17
 
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The balls of this guy right?

Well, we decided that we were going to pay the subcontractors directly, and then cut our losses. We have drafted a full receipt/statement that says Homeowners X & Y have paid us the amount of X and the General Contractor has informed us that we will collect any remaining balance from them, yadda yadda, and we'll have them sign it when they're all done. I also have written instructions (multiple times) from said GC asking us to pay the subs directly. I did have a chat with the subs this morning and do not get the impression that they would take any action against us. Of course you never know, but speaking to them makes me a little less worried.

We took a look at the progress so far and found a few places that needed to be fixed, pointed them out to the GC a couple days ago. They played the "oh why did they do that? we'll talk to them about it" game. After today's chat, the subs said they pointed out the same mistakes to the GC and apparently the GC just waved his hands and told them "who cares"! So really, I think the less interaction I can have with the GC at this point, the better. I just want him to drop off our materials and skedaddle.

Framer - you're kind of right - GC mentioned not wanting to drive down just to take money from me and hand it to the guys, but he's so full of crap that I don't buy it. If my suspicious are right in that they won't be providing us with a few items we've already paid for, we'll be out about $1k. I've weighed having to deal with lawsuits, potentially having him charge us with something ridiculous just because he's a jerk, etc., and I'd rather just... not... and forget all about this nightmare. Rest assured there will most definitely be a couple complaints to the licensing board and many a scathing review written!

Sorry, not in Michigan, but it's good to hear I'm not alone in this! I just figure -- it could be worse - way worse.
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Old 07-19-2009, 02:50 PM   #18
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I don't know how much $$$ is involved here --- (couple of thou?) -- but you might want to spend for one session with an attorney before making any payments to anyone other than the GC.

Many times, folks don't seem to have a problem going to attorneys after the fact, you might find this to be cheap insurance indeed!
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:48 PM   #19
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The balls of this guy right?

Well, we decided that we were going to pay the subcontractors directly, and then cut our losses. We have drafted a full receipt/statement that says Homeowners X & Y have paid us the amount of X and the General Contractor has informed us that we will collect any remaining balance from them, yadda yadda, and we'll have them sign it when they're all done. I also have written instructions (multiple times) from said GC asking us to pay the subs directly. I did have a chat with the subs this morning and do not get the impression that they would take any action against us. Of course you never know, but speaking to them makes me a little less worried.

We took a look at the progress so far and found a few places that needed to be fixed, pointed them out to the GC a couple days ago. They played the "oh why did they do that? we'll talk to them about it" game. After today's chat, the subs said they pointed out the same mistakes to the GC and apparently the GC just waved his hands and told them "who cares"! So really, I think the less interaction I can have with the GC at this point, the better. I just want him to drop off our materials and skedaddle.

Framer - you're kind of right - GC mentioned not wanting to drive down just to take money from me and hand it to the guys, but he's so full of crap that I don't buy it. If my suspicious are right in that they won't be providing us with a few items we've already paid for, we'll be out about $1k. I've weighed having to deal with lawsuits, potentially having him charge us with something ridiculous just because he's a jerk, etc., and I'd rather just... not... and forget all about this nightmare. Rest assured there will most definitely be a couple complaints to the licensing board and many a scathing review written!

Sorry, not in Michigan, but it's good to hear I'm not alone in this! I just figure -- it could be worse - way worse.

I probably would pay the subs after talking to the GC and letting him know that you are witholding the $1000 until the items are fixed. This would be best done in writing or email!!

I am sorry for your experience, I hope it works out in the end
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:59 PM   #20
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Issue of who to deal with. GC or Sub.


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Thanks guys. I think this is going to have to be one for small claims and a nice chat with our licensing bureau. I don't know if their subcontractors are licensed, as we have specific instructions not to talk to them. The GC has both asked me to not speak with the subcontractors and also pay them directly, in one fell swoop. What am I missing here?

Our contract specifically states that we are to pay the balance upon completion of drywall, but of course he is now saying that I'm going to have to be the one to provide all of the materials? How is that even legal? The contract is between me and the GC, he sent the subs over, I have no idea who they are.
It simply states in your contract, (as per your post) that your contract is with the General Contractor. You should keep him to his word (and what states in the Contract) You have NOTHING, absolutely nothing to do with the Subcontractor and his/her crew! You don't owe them anything, and if they do any damage to your property, you sue the GC.!!! It's as simple as that!(No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 07-19-2009, 04:12 PM   #21
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Correction of Terms;


ARIoo1 (Poster #11)Towards the end of your Second Paragraph, you state that (paraphrasing)..."You (the homeowner) will not be able to file a Mechanic's Lien" against the General Contractor...; A Mechanic's Lien is not filed by a property owner against a Contractor. The other way around. The term "Mechanic's Lien" is filed against the Property Owner when the work performed is complete and is not being paid for!!!(confusing, indeed) (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:55 PM   #22
 
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It simply states in your contract, (as per your post) that your contract is with the General Contractor. You should keep him to his word (and what states in the Contract) You have NOTHING, absolutely nothing to do with the Subcontractor and his/her crew! You don't owe them anything, and if they do any damage to your property, you sue the GC.!!! It's as simple as that!(No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive!!!
I TOTALLY get this, don't get me wrong. However, here's the dilemma: I truly think that if we give the $ directly to the GC, he will not give it to the subs, which would give them reason to pursue further action. If the GC says give it to the subs (over & over) and the subs are willing to sign a receipt, then that's the only way I can ensure that they get paid. They already told me they're missing some $ from the GC from a little while ago.

Also, the GC is literally holding things we've already paid for hostage. We have a pricey part ($600) that I fu#*ed up and paid for, and they refuse to install it until after we've paid the final bill. They also refuse to set up the final steps of priming the walls to paint that we've already paid for (accounting games) until we pay the subs. He told me this in ALL CAPS. So, we have to take a chance... do we pay the subs, and maybe recoup the $900 that we've already paid, or do we withhold the $800 (from people actually working hard and doing good work), and definitely don't see the $900. Screwed if we do, screwed if we don't. This would be our final payment, so I don't have anything else to withhold!

This GC is not a man of his word. I did a little digging after the last post and realized he has a checkered past, with a splash of violence, and I'd rather not turn into a player on his board if I can help it. So I may go through hell to get to safe ground but that's something I unfortunately have no chance but to do. We also have significant email documentation stating his breaking our contract and even my response emails pointing out our contract terms. Today, he told me I should be lucky for "receiving such a gift" of getting this work done at the cost we're getting at (30% of value, according to him)


OK - UPDATE
The subcontractors apparently had a conversation with the GC last night where they said they needed more $, but he never got back to them. Project is on hold. Also, confirmed that the GC and the sub had no contract, nor is the sub 'legal' - he said he's working on his green card with a smile.

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Old 07-19-2009, 08:18 PM   #23
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ARIoo1 (Poster #11)Towards the end of your Second Paragraph, you state that (paraphrasing)..."You (the homeowner) will not be able to file a Mechanic's Lien" against the General Contractor...; A Mechanic's Lien is not filed by a property owner against a Contractor. The other way around. The term "Mechanic's Lien" is filed against the Property Owner when the work performed is complete and is not being paid for!!!(confusing, indeed) (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive!!!
You need to go back and read what I said. It was actually in the fourth paragraph.

"As far as liens go, a lien is filed against your property for non-payment for goods and/or services. You will not be able to file a mechanics lien against him. However he or his subs and suppliers can file liens against your property for non-payment. Another reason to never pay in cash. Lien law is very complicated and should be left to an attourney specializing in lien and/or contract law. If you have paid him in full and he has not paid his subs/suppliers and they file liens you will have to sue him. The subs/suppliers are within thier legal right to place a lien on your property. That is the last resort they have to get payment."
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:21 PM   #24
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They can't place a lien if they are working illegally can they ?



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Old 07-19-2009, 08:25 PM   #25
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Not being an attorney (barely an Electrician and DIY'er) I can't give you official legal advice. But common sense tells me that as long as you have a signed contract with the GC, he can put a Mechanic's lien on your property. Unless he gives you a written, notarized Release, wherein he will relinquish all his rights under the Contract and turn them over Specifically to the Subcontractor. Then, it's a new ballgame (and a better one at that). Good Luck!

Last edited by spark plug; 07-19-2009 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Grammatical error
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:33 PM   #26
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My apologies. When you stated that "You will not be able to file a Mechanic's lien against him" You were saying it in a Rhetorical sense. The first time I read your comments they appeared to be erroneous. But in fact, they weren't. Perhaps I was "Quick on the Trigger" or in this case on the Keyboard!!! (It's a pity you can't import any smilies to the Quick reply. But. No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:37 PM   #27
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They can't place a lien if they are working illegally can they ?
Anyone who works on the property can file a lien for non-payment. Whether or not they are able to perfect the lien may be a hole different issue. I would doubt an illegal would attempt it as they would bring to light they are an illegal alien.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:42 PM   #28
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My apologies. When you stated that "You will not be able to file a Mechanic's lien against him" You were saying it in a Rhetorical sense. The first time I read your comments they appeared to be erroneous. But in fact, they weren't. Perhaps I was "Quick on the Trigger" or in this case on the Keyboard!!! (It's a pity you can't import any smilies to the Quick reply. But. No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive!!!
No big deal.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:01 PM   #29
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...Also, the GC is literally holding things we've already paid for hostage. We have a pricey part ($600) that I fu#*ed up and paid for, and they refuse to install it until after we've paid the final bill. They also refuse to set up the final steps of priming the walls to paint that we've already paid for (accounting games) until we pay the subs. He told me this in ALL CAPS. So, we have to take a chance... do we pay the subs, and maybe recoup the $900 that we've already paid, or do we withhold the $800 (from people actually working hard and doing good work), and definitely don't see the $900. Screwed if we do, screwed if we don't. This would be our final payment, so I don't have anything else to withhold!....
There are more red flags here than I can count!

I would offer to put all the remaining $$$ into an escrow account, and file a notice of non-performance of contract instead. You have paid too much already and are upside down on the job.

If you can legally get the contract nullified, then and only then should you deal directly with and pay those subs.

But, if you do choose to pay them directly, use a check jointly payable to both parties (Pay to the order of General Contractor and Sub-Contractor), showing that you are paying the contract amount, and ensuring that the subs also get paid. The subs will have to take the checks to the GC for endorsement and release.

Get a signed lien release from whomever you pay at this point, before forking over any $$$

Who did you pay for the "pricey part"?
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:28 AM   #30
 
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I had a nice long chat with an attorney who specializes in this type of law yesterday, and fired my contractor last night in an email to be followed up with via certified letter. We decided to eat our $1k loss, chalk it up to experience, and move on. Here's why we did what we did:

*The attorney informed us that here, you cannot file a mechanic's lien unless the value of the home has been improved at least a certain percentage. The work we had done adds nowhere near the required ~$50k to the value of our home. We are going to have an independent appraiser come and do a quick valuation, so we can have this documented if nessary.

*He also let us know that you can only have a judgement lien put on the home if the issue goes in front of a judge and they rule in your favor.

*The GC's documented actions indicate that he has essentially abandoned our project. Asking me to take over "making it happen". Making me go purchase materials. Making me figure out what was going on, all while refusing to speak with us and write more than a couple sentences at a time via email. His multiple documented requests for us to work outside of contract terms also show he has been unwilling from the get-go to follow the terms set forth.

*Last, he said that if these facts are how I am presenting them (and they are), that there is only a minute chance that he would be able to take any action, and that he'd be a fool to try and go after us for $1k for work that hasn't been done when he's the one who broke the contract, and that any attorney who took on his case would be a fool.

Clearly, this is not an easy situation for us to be in. It's literally had a pit in my stomach for the past couple weeks. However, the longer we let it ride, the worse off we will be. He's collected all of the profit he will be on us.


PS - we paid the GC for the part and it was to be installed after the drywall was finished. Needless to say, that will now not be happening.

PPS - In addition to the subs "working on their green card", they weren't licensed. They also let me know that the GC shorted them once before, and I asked why they didn't call an attorney. They said it wouldn't be worth their time for the amounts of money we are talking about. Plus, I think they'd only be digging themselves into a hole. I guess both they and I have learned a lesson on this one!

PPPS - You guys rock. Thank you so much! We'll be treating the rest of these projects as a real DIY, so I'm sure I'll have some questions there too.

Last edited by he1en; 07-21-2009 at 07:32 AM.
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