PDA

View Full Version : Contractor Problem


shania
09-01-2005, 09:23 AM
Advice needed I hired a contractor out of Meredith center on July 6th to have land cleared,driveway,waterlines run,septic etc.He was paid more than half of the $18,500.00 quote on July 6th.They have worked a total of 9 days from July 6th - Aug 12th.haven't seen them since placed a call on Aug 29th and was told to get off their back,my new home is scheduled to be delivered Sept.13th and they will not be able to deliver to property because land not cleared let alone the other things drivewy etc.If site not ready I'll have to pay storage and hire another company to bring in the boxes.Even if I find another contactor with the long holiday weekend approaching I'm afraid they will not have time to complete the job.Any advice???

Orion
09-01-2005, 12:44 PM
Other than the quote, did you have a signed contract with a completion date? If so, you would have a claim to get your money back. Even so, two weeks is pretty short notice to get someone new, but you could shop around with that constraint as a going-in starting point. Problem is contractors around the lake overbook for the non-winter seasons and are all usually behind. Plus, it's NH and things are done at a different pace up here.;)

shania
09-01-2005, 01:46 PM
orion expensive lesson learned,on quote was start date no completion date.But they knew beforehand the date and I assumed that 9 weeks was plenty of time to finish,what I didn't know was they they only come when they feel like it,for a total of 9 days,anyways time to move on. I contacted another company that believes they can come in and get enough done to get the home here,and will come back to do water,driveway,and septic after the home is set on foundation a minor setback considering my problems this am.Also had to take a trip to the attornys not to recover any money due to myself because that would take weeks,and time is not on my side, but so I won't be held liable for the remaining payment of $8500.00 which was due upon completion.Looking at a loss in excess of $6000.00 before attorny fees.Now that's an expensive lesson.I would like to thank Mr.Plummer of Belknap Mtn. Constuction for such quick action and to take on a mess.His description of the site was {It looks like a bomb went off}

Seaplane Pilot
09-01-2005, 02:48 PM
Any chance you can mention the contractor's name so others won't get burned?

shania
09-01-2005, 03:32 PM
W.H. Taggett Enterprise Meredith Center.Orion brought up a good point on completion date to be honest I would never have thought of that before now.Verbal agreements mean nothing but amazing how important it is for contractors to require so much money upfront.Rusty Flack did a nice job on the foundation and was paid in 3 stages.Also had Sean Brady build a walkout basement wall with a french door and big window and that was due on completion and they came back each day till finished.Quess the honest people collect when customer is satisfied.Hats off to Rusty and Sean for a job well done.Hope everyone one has a safe and wonderful Holiday weekend regardless of the fuel prices and the havoc in New Orleans.

ACutAbove
09-01-2005, 10:02 PM
I am sorry to hear about your bad experience with that particuler contractor. And I am also glad to hear that you have also had some good dealings with other contractors. Its good to know that there are reputable companys out there that will take care of the customer and give them the service they want at a decent price.
Good Luck with your build!!!

ladybug
09-02-2005, 07:03 AM
I am sorry to hear of your troubles. I also learned the hard way when it comes to hiring contractors. I have found that I can not hire local contractors because they are not reliable. They come and go when they want regardless of the job. If I do need to do more work I will consider Sean & Rusty.
I did do work this year and hired contractors from the Concord area. Not only did they show up each day until the job was complete but they were MUCH cheaper than the local companies I got quotes from. They gave me a start date and a completion date.
I hope you can get this resolved.
Good luck!

Hermit Cover
09-13-2005, 10:02 PM
Ladybug...what type of work did you hire the contactors from Concord to do?
would you give their names? Thanks

NightWing
09-14-2005, 12:43 PM
I don't know if a " half down, half at completion" contract is always required. I have always been leery of people who want money before anything is done, (including lawyers, LOL!) However, I see nothing wrong with progress payments with smaller "up front money". Anybody who needs a large sum at the onset might have some cash flow problems or is under capitalized for the business he is in. One danger is if the contractor is paid in full, but fails to pay his vendors or workers, you could end up with a mechanic's lien on your property. This is the kind of contract that your lawyer (pay in advance) should be involved in.

A better way might be to set up an escrow account with a bank where you have deposited the funds earmarked for the job, and only pay out as the work progresses on schedule. That way the contractor knows the funds are there and the bigger part of the carrot is still dangling. :)

ACutAbove
09-14-2005, 06:45 PM
I d just like to throw this out there. Not to this job that was being done, but concerning smaller companies that take on some jobs from people. Do you think it is wrong for a contractor to ask for enought money up front to cover the cost of material. That waythe contractor does not get stuck with the cost of the material if the client decides he or she cannnot pay for the whole project or tries to back out before it is done?????

shania
09-15-2005, 07:18 AM
I feel that contrators should get paid for materials that are needed to start the job and have no problem paying for them,but in my case over half was due upfront and no materials where required as it was clearing the trees and digging a foundation 10,000. is alot of money for gas and oil to run the equipment and I still trusted them and paid the money.Now I'm starting to deal with plumbers and electricians. 2 plumbers with the exact same job and both local and using the same boiler etc has come back with a 2 very different quotes one is 1500. higher.It makes you wonder....

Paugus Bay Resident
09-15-2005, 07:43 AM
Let me offer something from a contractor's (builder's) perspective in terms of deposits. I see deposits (and contracts) as evidence of two parties' committment to move forward (not to cover the costs of materials). Because of our unpredictable building seasons, we often have our work scheduled 6 months (if not more) in advance. If someone backs out of a contract close to the start date, we're left scrambling to get another job to fill in, which, based on timing isn't allways possible. Also, it usually has a cascading effect on the other subs that were scheduled (which we have contracts with). So, at least if a deposit is collected under a contract, there is some money to mitigate our loss. Sure, I can sue for non-performance (been there, done that), but that often leads to someone who is judgement proof.

Certainly the behavior Shania metioned is deplorable, but those of us that are honest and ethical need something to protect us as well. Trust me, we see similar behavior on the consumers' side ;)

One good thing to do, is to check with the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of New Hampshire (which is the local chapter of the National Association of Home Builders). HBRANH (http://www.hbranh.org/) The directory lists all types of contractors who are members. There are also mediation processes if problems arise.

NightWing
09-15-2005, 07:44 AM
I d just like to throw this out there. Not to this job that was being done, but concerning smaller companies that take on some jobs from people. Do you think it is wrong for a contractor to ask for enought money up front to cover the cost of material. That waythe contractor does not get stuck with the cost of the material if the client decides he or she cannnot pay for the whole project or tries to back out before it is done?????

No, it is not necessarily wrong to ask for a reasonable deposit in addition to a signed contract. However, most reliable companies have their own credit lines with established vendors and they do not pay cash for their materials. If you hire someone who requires money to buy materials, that generally means he is on a COD status with his suppliers, since he doesn't meet their credit requirements or he has been a late payer for too long and they shut him off.

One thing to always ask to see is a copy of his liability insurance policy and his Worker's Comp policy, if he has others working for him.

Finally, if he is not an established businessman, tell him you need his SS# for the 1099 you will file at the end of the year. Watch his reaction to that!:rolleye2:

ACutAbove
09-15-2005, 09:09 PM
I would just like to defend my reason for asking, for as deposit. Although I can see your point with the cod status or a "late payer". Thst is not slways the case. If a company is new they might not have the resources to be able to get a credit line or not enough equity in the buisness to aquire a credit line as of yet. Being a contractor I would not have any problem showing you my insurance documents or workmans comp policy. Which I pay a ton of money for, but i feel in my line of work is nesesary to be able to make clients feel confident in useing my service. This is my first year in buisness and I think with the type of work and the quality I show in my work , my customers have been quite pleased.
Sorry for hijacking the thread with my ramblings. I would just like to say that not all contractors are the same!
No, it is not necessarily wrong to ask for a reasonable deposit in addition to a signed contract. However, most reliable companies have their own credit lines with established vendors and they do not pay cash for their materials. If you hire someone who requires money to buy materials, that generally means he is on a COD status with his suppliers, since he doesn't meet their credit requirements or he has been a late payer for too long and they shut him off.

One thing to always ask to see is a copy of his liability insurance policy and his Worker's Comp policy, if he has others working for him.

Finally, if he is not an established businessman, tell him you need his SS# for the 1099 you will file at the end of the year. Watch his reaction to that!:rolleye2:

NightWing
09-16-2005, 03:48 AM
ACutAbove, I agree that not all contractors are alike and that some very reputable contractors may be undercapitalized, as I mentioned in a previous post. That, in itself, is no disgrace. Owning a new business is challenging and growth requires capital, and that can be difficult to keep up with.

I also mentioned that a deposit is a reasonable request because it shows good faith and also allows the contractor to cover some of his work at the beginning. The deposit amount can usually be agreed upon at the time of contract.

However, I think 50% down takes away some of the incentive for timely completion of the job, and that progress payments might be a better way, if the job is large and is going to take a while to do. That is the way most construction loans are handled.

Asking for insurance documents should not be an insult to a legitimate contractor and it is necessary to allow piece of mind for the customer. It also assures that the workers are covered if anyone is injured on the job and is required by state law.

I appreciate your position, since I was a business owner for many years and I can recall the growing pains when I started out. It sounds like you are on your way to a successful career.:)

SIKSUKR
09-16-2005, 06:58 AM
I hate to disagree with guys but I've never ever paid any money upfront for any work I've had done for me.I'm in the process of building a parking lot for many hundereds of thousands of dollars and I've not put up one cent.Maybe part of that is our reputation but at onepoint we did not have one.I'd be very carefulll about putting money up front unless you feel very comfortable with the contractor.

ACutAbove
09-16-2005, 06:36 PM
SIKSUKR, there is a difference in the type of projects we do. I can understand that a bigger project like yours would require a much bigger company with more capitol to do. Where they might be able to swing it, as a smaller company might need a little help to get the project off the ground.
I have a client right now that I am in the process of building something for, and yes I did ask for a deposit. Although he signed a contract and faxed it back and dropped a check in the mail for 1/2 of the project. I have not recieved it as of yet, but his material is already on site and the site work is 80% complete already. He is a regular customer of mine so I had no fear of starting the job and not getting paid to do it. But I did need to cover my material cost out of pocket so the 1/2 down will really help. And he can feel good about it when he shows up at his house this weekend and sees the amount of work already done. But that is just how I chose to operate.
My whole thing with running my buisness is treat people how I would want to be treated. I think if more companys looked at it that way it would be so much eaiser to do buisness and there would not have to be discussions like this one.
Shania, Sorry for hijacking your thread.
If anyone would like to contine with this topic lets start a new thread..ok?

RLW
09-17-2005, 06:56 PM
I'd be very carefulll about putting money up front unless you feel very comfortable with the contractor.

What about the customer. We've had several customers stick us and we have an excellent reputation. No advertising at all, just word of mouth advertising and we are scheduled out until next April. This all said, we request a % down and % after each major part of the job is completed in the building process. One should always ask for references and CHECK them out, also ask the reference person, how what is being discussed here in this thread was handled by the contractor they are inquiring about. :)

SIKSUKR
09-19-2005, 08:34 AM
After having posted what I did on money upfront,I do remember paying for materials for a deck and a reroof for my residence upfront.The contractor was a friend of mine and we made that arrangement before starting the job.I will say that 100% of my customers don't pay anything upfront but some are on COD.However I am not in the contracting business so I guess I could understand it's a totally different situation.

xomycatsxo
09-26-2005, 09:49 PM
Shania,

I am really sorry to hear about your troubles, every time I hear of this type of thing happening to someone, it makes me sick.

Doug is GREAT- you definitely made the right choice w/ him. I thought Peter bought the company and Doug was retiring- but they're both great guys and very respectable. When we first moved to Gilford, we found out we needed a new leachfield when we had the inspection done on the house we were buying. The real estate agent, Judy McShane, recommended Doug to us (we were new to the area). He was very good about getting here and getting the job done. He also trusted us to pay him the $4200 (I believe is what he charged) when we received it at closing (the sellers were paying it).

My husband is a contractor in Gilford and it is sickening the stories he comes home with. One customer he's about to do a fairly large garage for in Gilford told him a contractor out of Durham collected 50% upfront and never came back. His garage is a 30k+ garage- so that was a huge loss. He is going forward with my husband (and yes, my husband does collect some up front, to cover materials)- so I don't know if he ever got his money back. Just a note to others that mentioned it... My husband has PERFECT credit, that has nothing to do with why he collects up front. He would rather not have a line of credit w/ most things- he pays for everything up front, just as he has to pay up front for certain things (foundations, etc). Some people don't want to have a line of credit with every vendor out there, that brings their credit down. He also has great references, which I think anyone hiring a contractor should ask for.

Another quick story...

When we met w/ Verizon to go over our Yellow Pages Advertising - our rep was telling us that there was/is a guy in the roofing business (big time advertiser in the roofing/contractor sections) that was being prosecuted for doing this exact thing. Stealing deposits and never coming back - he told us he personally had a conversation with the guy (he knew him fairly well because he did so much advertising)- supposedly he had a drug problem and used the money to support his habit. So, whether this is true or not, it is an unfortunate reality and is all the more reason to get references before you decide to go w/ any contractor.

Take care and good luck! :)

shania
09-27-2005, 06:41 AM
Yes Peter did buy the business when I posted Doug was the one who came to look at the job,I will tell you they are both great and Doug was is constant contact with me he would talk to me in the morning to let me know what he was going to do and ask if it was alright,they both set a great example.The house has been here a little over a week now and it coming together,now looking for any comments on hydro seeding,good or bad and if anyone has used a certain landscaper that they are willing to recommend. Thanks

xomycatsxo
09-27-2005, 07:31 AM
Shania,

I'm glad you posted that because we are having an acre cleared so I wanted to know about different options for seeding it, and this was one.

When Peter and Doug were here, it was funny because I thought they were so nice that I wrote them a long thank you letter and Peter told him that was the nicest thing anyone has ever done. I felt like telling him it's refreshing to have honest people (contractors) in this world. :) I'm glad your house is coming along as it should be! :)

As far as recommendations- I haven't personally worked w/ them (nor my husband) but Belknap Mountain Landscaping (I believe is their name) is ALL over the place here.

Are you in Gilford?

ACutAbove
09-27-2005, 07:56 PM
Hi Shania, hydroseeding is a good method to get grass quick and is probably the most cost effective, there is also SOD which is instant gratification, or the old fashion way of seeding and waiting. With hydroseeding its hit and miss as far as the type of mixture differnt companys use. I personally dont do hydroseeding. I sub that out to people that know what they are doing. I am in the landscaping buisness ,construction and maintenance if you are interested I can get some information to you, depending on what area you are in. Or I might be able to recommend someone in your area.
I am only offering this here because you are asking for recamendations. (sp) And would like the chance to help out a fellow member of this board. If you want I will give you my email just let me know.




Yes Peter did buy the business when I posted Doug was the one who came to look at the job,I will tell you they are both great and Doug was is constant contact with me he would talk to me in the morning to let me know what he was going to do and ask if it was alright,they both set a great example.The house has been here a little over a week now and it coming together,now looking for any comments on hydro seeding,good or bad and if anyone has used a certain landscaper that they are willing to recommend. Thanks

shania
09-28-2005, 07:44 AM
I'm in Belmont on Sargent Lake Rd where there is no grass to be found at any house down here,alot of rocks and dirt.One new house has some grass I believe that it was seeded the old fashion way back in the spring.I planted a small section a few years back and what a chore,and it never came in very good,thats why I thought hydro seed was the way to go but haven't heard either way.Note to acutabove I will try to e-mail you and depending on your location maybe you'd like to take a look at it. Thanks

Capt Bart
10-02-2005, 10:07 AM
For hydroseeding try Mike Dion . He is on the radio as hydroman . He does the Ridgewood golf coarse and many smaller situations here in Moultonboro !

SAMIAM
10-09-2005, 10:00 AM
I think a contractor should not lift a shovel without some up front money.My son is a local builder with a credit line with all regional lumber yards.Some of his subs don't have a credit line and he has to front them materials and labor and then collect from the owner.If he was to start a job without a down payment and the owner reneged on the deal....he'd be out many thousands of dollars.it happens more than you think...bankruptcies,divorce and other financial problems have caused many projects to come to a stop. True,he can file a lien on the property,but those often take years to resolve.

joe
10-10-2005, 02:40 PM
I think a contractor should not lift a shovel without some up front money.My son is a local builder with a credit line with all regional lumber yards.Some of his subs don't have a credit line and he has to front them materials and labor and then collect from the owner.If he was to start a job without a down payment and the owner reneged on the deal....he'd be out many thousands of dollars.it happens more than you think...bankruptcies,divorce and other financial problems have caused many projects to come to a stop. True,he can file a lien on the property,but those often take years to resolve.

well i didnt want to get involed in this topic but here goes
i have been self employed for 33 years automotive line i have never taken i dime up front from my customer and never will so you may have read my post (stone walls) the company J C MASONARY/ JOASH CROWDER took 1/3 down a month and a have before he ever started the job lets turn the tables what if he goes out of bussi, or somthing or he goes bankrupted what happen to the comsumer out of luck. also when he started and got so far a long he needed more money for more stone if you are a truly good co. you should be able to do the job and get paid when you are finished also for the record my other job is a genral contractor i built a 5 house sub division at home and i never had to pay not one of my subs a dime up front and that was a 2 millon dollar project so why do you here the same old thing up there money first.
also for the record he just walked of the job J C MASONARY JOASH CROWDER
jzs

wires1999
10-10-2005, 03:34 PM
Got to tell you Joe, I think maybe the contractor probably had a hard time communicating with you. I can barely understand what you're trying to say via these posts. I've been an electrical contractor for 20 some yrs. and I will get some money down if I don't have a good feeling about someone. We've got accounts at every supplier around and have excellent credit. Why should someone have to extend credit to a customer if they don't want to. This always seems to come up when some unreliable person stiffs a homeowner but the practice of getting money upfront should not be so taboo.

joe
10-10-2005, 04:03 PM
Got to tell you Joe, I think maybe the contractor probably had a hard time communicating with you. I can barely understand what you're trying to say via these posts. I've been an electrical contractor for 20 some yrs. and I will get some money down if I don't have a good feeling about someone. We've got accounts at every supplier around and have excellent credit. Why should someone have to extend credit to a customer if they don't want to. This always seems to come up when some unreliable person stiffs a homeowner but the practice of getting money upfront should not be so taboo.
well i guess same back to you, dont know what you dont understand about the post how simple is it. why is it allway money up front then begggggg to get what you are paying for

SIKSUKR
10-11-2005, 08:16 AM
I think he might be refering to your lack of punctuation.

joe
10-11-2005, 09:59 AM
I think he might be refering to your lack of punctuation.
Sorry for the punctuation errors . I'm just trying to get the information out to people for their own benefit.

Paugus Bay Resident
10-11-2005, 10:48 AM
Joe,

I think it really depends on what business you're in. I build custom log homes. Each home is milled to the customer's specifications. We typically get between 10 and 40% of the cost of the logs as a deposit, along with a signed contract, with the balance (logs only) due on delivery. The construction part follows normal draws. The company has been in business for 30 years, so it doesn't have anything to do with credit lines, etc. It does have to do with us getting stuck with something we may or may not be able to sell to someone else.

upthesaukee
10-11-2005, 03:48 PM
For what it's worth, I had some major work done at my house, and I had a local contractor do the work. Part of the job was taking down some trees, and doing some excavating.


Once I accepted the estimate which included a payment schedule, I was asked to pay 1/3 down (helped to pay the tree guy and get some of the materials, 1/3 at the time of inspection, and 1/3 when the total job was done.

I had no problem with this arrangement. I had faith in my contractor, he kept me informed as to the steps involved and when things would be progressing, and finished the job to my satisfaction, both in quality of work and in the time required to finish the job. He is a small town business man, and I doubt that he knows a Saturday or Sunday from a Monday or a Wednesday.

Bottom line, he was highly referred from friends when they found out what I was having done, and lived up to those expectations. Perhaps in my case, it was a little easier being a full time resident up here, and dealing with someone from my town. The references were also from local friends.

It's been an interesting thread!!!!!:)

codeman671
10-11-2005, 06:18 PM
After having to pay 50%+ up front for a gas fireplace/stonework job to a certain unnamed fireplace store in Laconia and ending up with absolutely terrible craftsmenship and $4500 worth of damage to my brand new floor due to lack of brains from "Mr." and crew I will never pay up front for anything again. I can understand paying towards materials when they are not a stock item and have to be procured but when they want part of the labor too you have to wonder...

Unfortunately we had a time constraint that forced us into dealing with this clown. Lawsuit soon to follow... Any recommendations for a good lawyer in the Gilford/Laconia area?

SOMEONEGOTCHA
10-11-2005, 06:53 PM
By what you said in your thread, it looks like a request and a good going over references would have helped you out of this situation. :confused:

RLW
10-11-2005, 07:01 PM
After having to pay 50%+ up front for a gas fireplace/stonework job to a certain unnamed fireplace store in Laconia and ending up with absolutely terrible craftsmenship and $4500 worth of damage to my brand new floor due to lack of brains
When I have any work done at any of the rental homes/apartments and I need to go to someone new that I haven't had work for me before, I ALWAYS GET REFERENCES and I ALWAYS CHECK ALL OF THEM OUT THOROUGHLY (At :) least 3 if not 4). Doing it that way I have had great luck and no complaints like yours.

joe
10-12-2005, 06:52 AM
After having to pay 50%+ up front for a gas fireplace/stonework job to a certain unnamed fireplace store in Laconia and ending up with absolutely terrible craftsmenship and $4500 worth of damage to my brand new floor due to lack of brains from "Mr." and crew I will never pay up front for anything again. I can understand paying towards materials when they are not a stock item and have to be procured but when they want part of the labor too you have to wonder...

Unfortunately we had a time constraint that forced us into dealing with this clown. Lawsuit soon to follow... Any recommendations for a good lawyer in the Gilford/Laconia area?
codeman, you said it perfectly. The issue of paying a deposit is not the big problem it is trying to get cetian contractors to come finish the job. In my case I did get good refrences and looked at his work. I have to get one of my connection down here to go up and finish the mess JC MASONARY/JOASH CROWDER left me .It is going to cost more money to finish the job than what was quoted.I also am lookig for a good lawyer to get some of my 5000.00 back

Sunbeam lodge
05-14-2012, 12:54 PM
I feel that contrators should get paid for materials that are needed to start the job and have no problem paying for them,but in my case over half was due upfront and no materials where required as it was clearing the trees and digging a foundation 10,000. is alot of money for gas and oil to run the equipment and I still trusted them and paid the money.Now I'm starting to deal with plumbers and electricians. 2 plumbers with the exact same job and both local and using the same boiler etc has come back with a 2 very different quotes one is 1500. higher.It makes you wonder....

Were u happy with the plumbers? How big was the job. I am looking for an experienced plumber?

Belmont Resident
05-14-2012, 06:12 PM
To say that there are no good contractors up here and that you had to go to Concord to find one shows you did not utilize the correct resources. There are MANY good quality contractors in the lakes region who have excellent references and perform excellent work.
I am a contractor and I work with/for some very reliable builders who have very high standards when it comes to their work.
Shania I’m sorry for your loss. Also I’m wondering where you found out about the contractor that took you for so much? That is who you should also be upset with.
I will only refer select contractors to people who are looking for a referral. I look at a referral as a direct reflection on my business and would never want to have someone come back dissatisfied with someone I referred to them.
May I suggest you call the Better Business bureau and fill a complaint about this company? Also contact as many supply places in your area and tell them of your experience so that they know of this company and their work ethics.

I do not ask for a deposit until work has started, then I only ask for money for materials.
I usually do not take money until work has progressed.
Last, good luck with your new project

TMI Guy
05-14-2012, 06:37 PM
To say that there are no good contractors up here and that you had to go to Concord to find one shows you did not utilize the correct resources. There are MANY good quality contractors in the lakes region who have excellent references and perform excellent work.
I am a contractor and I work with/for some very reliable builders who have very high standards when it comes to their work.
Shania I’m sorry for your loss. Also I’m wondering where you found out about the contractor that took you for so much? That is who you should also be upset with.
I will only refer select contractors to people who are looking for a referral. I look at a referral as a direct reflection on my business and would never want to have someone come back dissatisfied with someone I referred to them.
May I suggest you call the Better Business bureau and fill a complaint about this company? Also contact as many supply places in your area and tell them of your experience so that they know of this company and their work ethics.

I do not ask for a deposit until work has started, then I only ask for money for materials.
I usually do not take money until work has progressed.
Last, good luck with your new project

Maybe ladybug was applying the same type of stereotype to local contractors that you have applied to lawyers and politicians. You know, that they're all lower than low and not worth a darn.

But, hopefully ladybug has had time to overcome her stereotypes; after all, before today, there hadn't been a post in this thread in six and a half years.

Belmont Resident
05-14-2012, 07:39 PM
Maybe ladybug was applying the same type of stereotype to local contractors that you have applied to lawyers and politicians. You know, that they're all lower than low and not worth a darn.

But, hopefully ladybug has had time to overcome her stereotypes; after all, before today, there hadn't been a post in this thread in six and a half years.

I believe you will find that a vast majority of people feel the same way as I do.
As a matter of fact I don't believe I've met anyone that wasn't a lawyer or a politician that had anything good to say about them.
Go figure.

TheProfessor
05-21-2012, 06:26 AM
Neighbor of mine hired local contractor to constuct a single car garage. Asked for all money up front. Left town never to return. Elderly couple. Had to hire another contractor and pay again for new garage.

Different types of constructions are mentioned here. Log homes, large commercial parking areas, etc.

As a general rule for the homeowner, money is paid when materials are delivered. And a payment plan should be set up. A signed contract should be mandatory if this project is time sensitive. And a penalty should be added if time requirements are not met. Bad weather and machinery breakdowns should be considered. But for most equipment most contractors can borrow/pay from other contractors for down time of any large equipment. Never pay more than what is already done.

If this is a modular home then read the contract from the retail seller of such and make sure you know exactly what you are getting and what you are not getting.

tis
05-21-2012, 11:46 AM
Good luck getting a small contractor around here to agree to a penalty for work on time. There are lots of good contractors though.

crowsnest
05-21-2012, 12:23 PM
Dont give your money to no one till the job is complete or 1/2 when 1/2 is complete there are to many scum bags out there.
If the home owner burns the contractor he will know where they live.
If the Contracter burns the home owner the chase is on
Always use some one who you know that has been around

A good contractor will not need money to buy stock he should have good credit
Just my 2 cents

BroadHopper
05-21-2012, 12:31 PM
on my experience with contractors, sub-contrators, builders and carpenters. What it really boils down to is call your lawyer first to C.Y.A. :(

The only person who makes out on this whole ordeal are the lawyers!

RLW
05-21-2012, 12:37 PM
Dont give your money to no one till the job is complete or 1/2 when 1/2 is complete there are to many scum bags out there.
If the home owner burns the contractor he will know where they live.
If the Contracter burns the home owner the chase is on
Always use some one who you know that has been around

A good contractor will not need money to buy stock he should have good credit
Just my 2 cents

Question: Why should the contractor put your materials on his credit as there are just as many customers out there that do not like to pay also. Pay for the materials and then part when he completes to a predetermined spot of the job then the rest at completion.:)

tis
05-21-2012, 01:16 PM
on my experience with contractors, sub-contrators, builders and carpenters. What it really boils down to is call your lawyer first to C.Y.A. :(

The only person who makes out on this whole ordeal are the lawyers!

I could write a book too. RLW is right. There are bad contractors and there are bad homeowners. And amazingly a contractor can go on and on and on getting new jobs even though they do shoddy workmanship and /or don't pay their bills. Also, certain homeowners never want to pay so they find excuses to not pay for the work they have done. Eventually though, the bad ones lose.

RLW
05-21-2012, 01:41 PM
on my experience with contractors, sub-contrators, builders and carpenters. What it really boils down to is call your lawyer first to C.Y.A. :(

The only person who makes out on this whole ordeal are the lawyers!

You my friend appears you didn't do YOUR HOMEWORK before hiring (lots of investigation) or you would not have to call a lawyer. That is the very last person I would want to call. Maybe and just maybe small claims court, but no further than that unless your building in the million dollar or more range.:)

sky's
05-21-2012, 05:51 PM
I would just like to defend my reason for asking, for as deposit. Although I can see your point with the cod status or a "late payer". Thst is not slways the case. If a company is new they might not have the resources to be able to get a credit line or not enough equity in the buisness to aquire a credit line as of yet. Being a contractor I would not have any problem showing you my insurance documents or workmans comp policy. Which I pay a ton of money for, but i feel in my line of work is nesesary to be able to make clients feel confident in useing my service. This is my first year in buisness and I think with the type of work and the quality I show in my work , my customers have been quite pleased.
Sorry for hijacking the thread with my ramblings. I would just like to say that not all contractors are the same!

i'll second that on "not every contractors are the same" i have some of my regular customers pay me for the job before i even begin because i have a great realtionship with them or there leaving town or whatever. Also for myself and how i operate my business i come with insurance certificates and REFERENCES. sorry you got into this situation have you thought about the Attorney Generals Office?

inquiring one
05-22-2012, 07:27 AM
Not trying to start a war. Something to ponder:
I have swung a hammer for 30 yrs. and have been in business for several of them. I have been a consultant for a prominent lawyer against “bad contractors” Things aren’t always “fair”. I have used contracts and have skipped the process altogether, been paid in advance, stages, or upon completion. We have built 5 custom lakefront homes without contracts and they have been the most pleasant experiences to date. Being a “good contractor” I’ve Been stiffed for $26,000 on one job, $10,000 on another and had to wait 9 months for $22,000- Customers are responsible for the cost of materials now…I’m not a bank and don’t feel I should be financing their projects. . On the flip side, a job we framed recently is shut down because the homeowner hired a roofer that walked away with the $10,000 deposit. The police told him it was a civil matter and best of luck; he has to convince the attorney general that there is a pattern of behavior before they will help. Another had a Plumber referenced ….He walked away too!
I have been asked for references, no problem. One customer asked so many questions that I felt as though I was being interrogated. That conversation came to end when I told them I’d supply all the information with the estimate after running a credit check. The woman became offended and couldn’t understand why I would even consider such a thing.
There are good & bad tradesmen out there as well as good & bad people looking to hire them. I have found that contracts are similar to locks…..great for the honest folks. Those that know how to get around them are usually the ones that want ‘em. I’ve been told “my grandfather told me not to do anything until it is in writing and signed” to which I respond “my grandfather said to me: “Don’t trust anyone who can’t seal their word with a handshake” The bottom line is we all have to trust our gut. Doing the right thing isn’t always profitable, but I am able to call the folks I’ve done work for friends (‘cept the -$10,000 one!) and my conscience doesn’t keep me awake at night. Best of luck:)

jrc
05-22-2012, 10:41 AM
The number one problem with contractors, the best craftsmens are not the best businessmen. Too many great craftsmen make the mistake of thinking they can be great general contractors.

These guys will have great customer references, but poor trade references. Be really careful, if they can't fund a small job by themselves, treat them as hired help and not a contractor. If you're paying the material supplier or his sub-contractors, you are the GC.

SAMIAM
05-22-2012, 12:24 PM
Inquiring and JRC both make good points. Everyone is different. I prefer 3 payments, 1st when the materials arrive on the job, 2nd, half way till completion and the 3rd on completion which gives the contractor incentive to get the job done.

LIforrelaxin
05-22-2012, 02:24 PM
Since my fathers death, I have helped my mother with contractors many times. A the lake and at her home in Massachusetts. The one thing I can say, is that the biggest mistake people make is that they don't question the contractors enough. Take some time get to know the contractor, and then talk with their references. If a contractor will not give you references then immediately you know there is a problem.

Next before anything is signed, get an agreement on how quickly the work is to be done and when the contractor expect to start. I never use hard dates... As many contractors at times need to shift there work around... However I make them commit hard as to how long it will take.... and right in the contract, that from the date they start they have X time to finish.

Also If the work involves opening a dwelling up to the elements, I discuss and document what they will do in the event that weather interrupts their work.

Last the up front payment should be for materials only. If it is a short 1 or 2 week project, then the next payment should be at the completion of the job. If it is a longer term project one or two intermediate payments should be discussed.

Don't hire a contractor, because, they look like they know the part, get to know them and make sure they know the part, and if they really are a contractor, and really know the part, nothing I mention here will rattle them.

Belmont Resident
05-22-2012, 04:36 PM
Since my fathers death, I have helped my mother with contractors many times. A the lake and at her home in Massachusetts. The one thing I can say, is that the biggest mistake people make is that they don't question the contractors enough. Take some time get to know the contractor, and then talk with their references. If a contractor will not give you references then immediately you know there is a problem.

Next before anything is signed, get an agreement on how quickly the work is to be done and when the contractor expect to start. I never use hard dates... As many contractors at times need to shift there work around... However I make them commit hard as to how long it will take.... and right in the contract, that from the date they start they have X time to finish.

Also If the work involves opening a dwelling up to the elements, I discuss and document what they will do in the event that weather interrupts their work.

Last the up front payment should be for materials only. If it is a short 1 or 2 week project, then the next payment should be at the completion of the job. If it is a longer term project one or two intermediate payments should be discussed.

Don't hire a contractor, because, they look like they know the part, get to know them and make sure they know the part, and if they really are a contractor, and really know the part, nothing I mention here will rattle them.

But I’m on a job now that is a months worth of work and it’s been 2 months already and I still have 2 weeks worth of work to complete. A painters worst nightmare, rain!!! :emb: