Contractor Didn't Finish Work


I had a one-man company do repair work on my house. We have a contract saying what he will do and for how much. When his workers said they finished, he and I looked and agreed orally that they didn't finish. We also agreed orally that they broke something. He said he would finish and fix everything. I paid him all but $350. I didn't hear back for two weeks. I called once a week for the next three weeks and left voice mails. I still didn't hear back. The contract does not have a time limit. I can finish the work and fix the broken thing myself for a tenth of $350. What do you think I should do?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Call him and give him a time limit, if he wants the balance
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

whats 350 worth to you?
He's hoping you will go away, and not talk, is your time fixing it going to be shorter than chasing this loser down and getting him to do a half as$ job?
In a level voice and with compete honesty and sincerity, tell him what you honestly think of his character, tell him you'll finish it yourself, and that, anyone you ever talks to will know not to use his services. then forget about it.
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Finish the work yourself. If he calls, tell him you had to hire someone else to finish his work, paid the man the $350, and if he has a question with it, you would be happy to accompany him to the Contractor's board and discuss the issue (and the money due to you from his surety bond) with them. I guarantee if you don't call him, you'll never hear from him again, and if you do, and tell him you will do whatever the Contractor's Board tells you to do, you will never hear from him again.
He IS licensed, isn't he? In some states, contracting without a license is a FELONY, and even offering to do work and no work being done or no money changing hands constitutes contracting. (Nevada for one.)
Good luck. You've waited a "reasonable" amount of time, and made "reasonable" efforts to contact him.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

" I can finish the work and fix the broken thing myself for a tenth of $350."
So I guess we are talking about a 35 dollar fix....What exactly are you talking about ??? Touching up paint ?? What got broke ??? I doubt he would walk away from 350 bucks for such an easy fix without a reason...Perhaps you could enlighten us with just a few more details....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If the OP is satisfied with saving the $350 and doing the work himself, what's the difference? Lots of contractors walk away from as much as 10% retention held as final payment because there is just too much work left to be done, they're busy, they're idiots, lots of reasons. At that time, the person has several options. Finish the work themself. Pay someone to finish the work. Or pay someone to finish the work, and file a claim on the contractor's surety bond. Or, in the case the person is unlicensed and unbonded, sue them in small claims court, which sets low limits on the amount that can be sued for. Or send over a couple of friends to tune the guy up.
BTW, one tenth of $350 is $35, and if the OP is happy with that, why do you require a detailed explanation?
Sheesh.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
. Or send over a couple of friends to tune the

I like it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The concern (as expressed by others here) is that the contractor comes back later, says "look, see, it's all done!" and asks/sues for the full $350, or says "okay, you have receipts for for $35, so I'm entitled to $350-$35=$315".
I agree with others that say send a letter giving a deadline, after which the OP is willing to consider the job closed for the amounts already paid, with the $350 considered "liquidated damages". Giving the contractor one last chance to come back or at least object to this arrangement will be useful if he tries to collect laer.
Josh
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

BTW I already said it was 35 bucks but we will still try to act amazed at your math skills....The reason I asked for a FEW more details is because he seemed intentially vague , for whatever reason... But since he hasn't bothered to post back it doesn't really matter anyway.......
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not to me. I know this will keep me from falling asleep tonight for about five seconds.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload


Why lie about it when there are numerous honest alternatives?
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Why lie about it when there are numerous honest alternatives?
Joe
To get the flake not to bother you again?
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Call a lawyer or he will take you to court for the $350 AFTER YOU finish the work.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Calling a lawyer isn't going to do anything to prevent him from taking you to court if he decides to do so, which is unlikely.
I think after waiting 5 weeks and trying to contact him numerous times, he has breeched and you are justified in finishing the work yourself. The amount you are legally entitled to keep however, may not be the $350. It would be what it actually costs to complete the work. Make sure to take pics and keep all bills. Then, I would not worry that he is going to sue you. If he does, it will be in small claims and the most you could lose is the $350 plus maybe another $50 in court costs. The chance he will sue is small and the chance you would lose is even smaller.
If you want an additional measure of protection, send him a letter two ways, one with a return receipt proving delivery and one regular mail. The regular mail one is to cover the possibility that he will not sign for a letter. In the letter tell him he has one week to finish or your are keeping the $350. Also keep any phone records that you have showing the number of times you called his number.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

What work did he do? What did he break? You have a written contract? I would write a letter, certified mail, polite and business-like. State the work agreed to, the work not done, nature and value of the damage. State that you have agreed orally that the job was not finished and that you have tried to contact him again x number of times. Ask whether and when he intends to complete the work. A certified letter should get his attention and indicate that it is a serious matter.
There is a good deal of stuff that might explain his failure to complete the job - could be sick, family problems, got stiffed by other client(s) and can't afford to buy materials, and on and on. If he still fails to respond, you can always file a complaint against his license (assuming he has one, all required permits and code compliant, etc.)
Everything was satisfactory before he stopped work?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What idiot would sign a construction contract without a completion deadline?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.