Actually, I decided to use this guy because he was doing such a great
job for the people across the street. I guess I should have SPOKEN to
them first instead of just seeing what a good job he was doing and then
ASSuME-ing that it was safe to hire him.
It may be that most contrators require a downpayment, but I just don't
feel comfortable taking the chance anymore. Maybe it's not too bright
to walk away from this with THAT being the lesson learned, but I'm
certain that if I stick with this rule--never paying anyone up front--I
won't be so easily screwed. Since I bought this house I've used five
contractors. The ones that gave me trouble are the two whom I had to
pay up front. Two of the others were great and wouldn't take any money
up front. They both did excellent work and I use them still (for
heating, plumbing, electrical work, carpentry and drywalling). The
fifth one quoted me an exhorbitant price the first time out so I went
with one of the other guys who did great work for half the cost.
By the way, I did try to approach the situation non-confrontationally.
The whole time we were having our conversation about "mo money mo money
mo money" I was being very nice, reasonable, soft-spoken even.
However, he was the one who was getting really pissed off because I
wouldn't agree to pay him NOW. He ended up turning on his heels and
just walking away from me in the middle of the discussion. I wasn't
going to stand there in my driveway in the freezing cold, so I just
went in the house.