I Want OUT With My Builder!!!

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Phase I of my home remodel has demonstrated that the contractor is completely incompetant and difficult to work with. At this point, I'd like to somehow "nullify" the contract and get my money back, minus a fair amount to cover what's been done so far. Per the contract, we're still on the hook for weeks more and thousands of dollars worth of construction and labor.
Is there something I can do, or am I stuck??? I know that if I stay on with this contractor, one way or another, we're gonna have a lawsuit on our hands... But I can't afford to just fire him and walk away without getting most of our money back.... Help!!!
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Can you be more specific about the problems involved?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

'Pends... :)
First on what the terms of the contract say -- there will be terms in there that cover termination. For whatever is left over that isn't covered, the rules governing contract law in your state will prevail. If you're talking serious money, and you can't approach the guy w/ a reasonable approach to each mutually separate, you're best avenue will be to ask a lawyer to review the terms and provide alternatives.
The first thing is, of course, to understand what the contract itself says in toto, then decide what you would like and see if you can get somewhere close to that w/ the contractor. He may not be any more thrilled w/ you than you are w/ him... :)
--
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On Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:58:33 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote Re I Want OUT With My Builder!!!:

Send him a registered letter alleging that his performance is stub-standard vis-a-vis prevalent industry standards and that he is to stop work immediately.
Do not let him on the job-site from that point on. Offer to negotiate the problem with him. If he is uncooperative, bring the matter to a lawyer.
If he is cooperative, get it all in writing.
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How do you know his work is substandard and not up to standards? I don't think that is the way to start. Work can be fairly crappy and still meet the legal "standard of the trade". Then if you bar him from the site, he will be able to claim that he couldn't meet his obligations cause you wouldn't let him. I would call him and tell him you don't think it is working out and want to terminate the project after paying him for his completed work. If this doesn't work, see an attorney to advise you about your contractual obligations. A consult and maybe a letter from an attorney is not that expensive--it isn't like you're taking a case to the supreme court. You haven't pre-paid him, have you?
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marson wrote: ...

My $0.02 almost exactly.
Unfortunately, sounds as if he does already have a sizable outlay as he talks about getting money back.
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Nodody knows what has been done to your home, has he worked with plaster. I can, and I think drywall is for the untrained, no reason not to keep Plaster, even if now its Swiss Cheese, its the same cost unless its all loose and you say it aint.. Structolite for the holes, then your USG top coats..So why do you want to cancel and loose, id say get in a plasterer-Drywaller with brains, and start anew, post your results to us.
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wrote:

You are "speaking" to the wrong person. What the hell is wrong with google that so many of its users can't figure out who they are replying to? Is the interface that bad?
Oh...wait. I just looked. The interface is perfectly clear and easy to navigate.
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W.T.F are you talking about JoeSpareBedroom-Closet- , are you on Crack??? or am I lost, I responded
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Let me understand this. You gave this man money for work not done? And what does it mean when you say you want money back for what's been done so far?
I just did a 1,000 sf casita. The general charged $14k for the part he did. He did not ask for, nor did I give him a dime until he was done with his part and I was happy with the work. The plumber, electrician, insulator, hvac guy, gutter guy, sheetrocker and roofer were the same. Stucco is being done right now, and he wants half after browncoat is on. He's the ONLY one who's asked for money yet, and his request is reasonable.
If you paid for work not done yet, or materials not received, I don't know what to tell you. You dug the hole.
Check with the contractor's board in your state, as they have an arbitration process that will look at all aspects and give a decision on who is right and wrong. Still a sticky situation.
Good luck.
Steve
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On Dec 20, 6:58 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you part ways in the middle of a project it almost always get messy. Messy means money lost. Since you've stated that the contractor is difficult to work with, there's no reason to believe he'd be cooperative while you're taking work and money away from him. On the other hand, if he believes you are the pain in the ass, he might be glad to settle up and split. Only one way to find out, and it's not asking on a newsgroup.
Try this, "Listen, (insert contractor's first name here), I feel terrible about this, but I don't think this is working out. I want to settle up for the work you've done so far, okay?"
Be very very aware that finding another contractor to take over in the middle of a project will definitely cost you in a number of ways. Many contractors won't want to touch the job as it's already proven to be a headache. Others will take the job, knowing it's a headache, and will price the job accordingly.
Rock and a hard place. If you've given the contractor more money than work completed, you're going to have a tough time reaching into his pocket to get it back.
These lessons come at a high price.
R
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On Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:58:33 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

There are lots of Mafia guys who would be happy to "off" this guy for a fee. My friend guito said he'll do the job for 25 big ones. He's good at this job and never fails to produce the desired result. If you dont want guito, just go to your local Mafia headquarters and find your man.
Marco
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You already know this, I'm sure, but part of the problem is that you fronted him money before he finished the work. Another problem may be that the contract you signed wasn't a good one that protected you. It was probably prepared by the contractor. A good contract form to use in the future is one published by the AIA (American Institute of Architects, or something like that).
Depending on the State that you are in, you may have some options for protections that are provided by State law. New Jersey, for example, recently passed some strict contractor laws and many contractors don't meet those requirements and that allows you to get out of the deal.
I would first try talking with the contractor and just letting him know things are not working out and that you want to close out the deal. The problem is that the contractor probably already spent the money you gave him, so he is not going to want to refund money to you. If he won't work out a fair deal to end the arrangement amicably, then run (don't walk) to an attorney who can review the contract you do have and who can probably get the deal ended for you. A consumer law attorney may be one option, or an attorney familiar with construction contracts and who knows civil litigation would be another option.
Good luck.
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Thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses. At this point, I'm going to try to take the high road and calmly express to the contractor that it's not working out (which will come as no surprise for him) and see if he'll refund the money I've given him so far, minus a fair amount for the work he's performed to date. If I have to, I'll explain to him that I'll get the money back eventually...either the easy way (a refund), or the hard way (through legal action).
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Thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses. At this point, I'm going to try to take the high road and calmly express to the contractor that it's not working out (which will come as no surprise for him) and see if he'll refund the money I've given him so far, minus a fair amount for the work he's performed to date. If I have to, I'll explain to him that I'll get the money back eventually...either the easy way (a refund), or the hard way (through legal action).
PSSSSSSTTTT. YEAH, YOU. TIME OUT FOR A REALITY CHECK. GO GET A ROCK AND TRY TO GET CHOCOLATE MILK OUT OF IT. YOU'LL HAVE BETTER LUCK.
Steve
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On Fri, 21 Dec 2007 08:03:39 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Just so you dont go into this blind............. You wont get your money back per say.... You obviously havent been involved in a legal matter. By the time the lawyer/s get paid, and concessions are made, you'll wish you would have just bought that jar of vaseline and did it to yourself. Sorry, its just the cold hard facts. Lawyers arent out there to work for free. Bubba
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wrote:

He'd be better off paying my friend Guito the $25K and sending this son of a bitch to his grave. Lawyer fees will cost more than that, and you wont get the satisfaction of offing the fucker. In fact this guy sounds like such a slimeball. Guito might do it for $20 big ones just to get the satisfaction of killing this bastard. Now wouldn't you rather see this fucker die than give all the money to some slimeball lawyer? And just think of all the other people who wont get robbed by this asshole. $20 or $25K is a cheap price to protect your city from this crook, and just think of the satisfaction of revenge you'll feel.
Marco - Chicago Mafia Leader
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On Sun, 23 Dec 2007 19:05:25 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@Mafia.net wrote:

Tell me just what you really know! You wouldn't know a Gangster if you bumped into one, by accident.
Spew it somewhere else!
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wrote:

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It's G -U-I-D-O, blockhead. D, not T.
Keep trying. You'll graduate middle school one of these days.
Steve
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