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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
#23
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Can I assume you already have the door delivered to your house with the $2400 spent ?

If not, next time tell the contractor you prefer to pay for materials directly or COD - Then at least you have the materials needed for the job at your property

Who's the say your $2400 deposit has been spent on his person needs or problems !

Look into your options - Consumer Affairs and any other regulatory body. Maybe even a fraud / deception issue for police........Start now and reseach your worst case scenario.

Posted on: 2012/8/19 10:48
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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Quote:

Binky wrote:
Only if you post the name of your contractor.


I am not ready to do that (yet). How about the lesson on insisting on late penalties in contracts? Am I the only idiot that did not think about it?

Posted on: 2012/8/18 17:33
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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Only if you post the name of your contractor.

Posted on: 2012/8/18 17:29
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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Thanks for the comments, but not the snarky ones. The storm door was custom (included in the quote in the Original Post), hence the pricetag. I should have put some late penalties into the contract; maybe they would have given me some leverage. More likely, he would not agree to them, and I would be better off going with someone else. Anyway; some lines of communication have now opened between the contractor and myself, but it still looks like the door will be installed 2 months after the date in the contract. Ridiculous. Next time I will go to the contractor highly recommended on JClist, Basil. You live and learn. Hopefully this story will be of use for JCListers.

Posted on: 2012/8/18 15:11
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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Quote:

Asif wrote:
The most important thing is to have everything in writing. I can't stress that enough and make sure to have it dated and signed and also have a witness. Doing all this is not hard...but people just never get it done.


Have you ever actually hired a contractor? Many of them are barely literate. The "contract" you state, especially for a minor job like a storm door, usually consists of a piece of paper with something like "fix door = $4800" scrawled on it. Why stop at a witness? Why don't you suggest they notarize it, too? That's not going to stop a bad contractor, because part of the calculation is that you won't go through the time or energy to recover a relatively small sum. The reality is, hiring a contractor is a big leap of faith on both sides of the transaction. Every homeowner has gone through a costly lesson or two of hiring a bad contractor. And every homeowner has asked himself or herself: "Do I go after this guy for the x amount he's cost me, or do I eat the cost, find someone else to get the job done and move on?"

EDIT: Fwiw, I once went the crazy stalker chick route on a contractor to get the job done. It was the last bit of the job, and he just didn't seem to care about the final payment - he had already moved on to a new, big-paying project. After the third no-show, I started calling his cell every half hour and leaving a voicemail demanding to know where he was. I had taken the day off work and was royally pissed. I even showed up at the site of his new job, and told his guys I wasn't leaving until he spoke to me face-to-face. Next morning two of his guys showed up at 8 on the dot to finish the job.

Posted on: 2012/8/18 13:48
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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The most important thing is to have everything in writing. I can't stress that enough and make sure to have it dated and signed and also have a witness. Doing all this is not hard...but people just never get it done.

Posted on: 2012/8/18 0:02
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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Quote:

SRhia wrote:
Perhaps a little off topic, but I'm wondering what's the best way to pay a contractor throughout a major project but also protecting myself at the same time? We have a major bathroom restoration coming up, should I pay half up front, and half once it's done? Can I split the payment into more stages? If so, what are the reasonable "payment milestones"?

TIA.


I am giving away my knowledge for free (lol)
your first payment should be all your material...plus a small percentage for the contractor handling and delivering etc...
second payment should be upon rough-in
3rd payment can be upon inspection
4th upon final approval from bldg dept.
the owner is responsible to pay all permits. if you have no time to deal with the bldg dept then sometimes the contractor will raise the price a little to go deal with the building dept on your behalf..
again this is not a rule or this should not be taken as exactly what the contractor needs to do but i hope you get the idea....most contractors like several payments if its a larger job. Don't expect this if its a 2000 job.....that would be too small.

If you need more help PM ....

Posted on: 2012/8/17 20:11
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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WHAT!! $4800 for a storm door ? Total BS. The local door guy
Baker Doors can make beautiful Solid Mahogany historic doors
for 5k and thats for custom hand made doors.

This guy is going to buy a door off the shelf and install it for $4800 ? I would demand delivery of the storm door with the receipt for
warranty purposes and have someone else install it for WAY less than $2400. Good luck

Posted on: 2012/8/17 18:41
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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Perhaps a little off topic, but I'm wondering what's the best way to pay a contractor throughout a major project but also protecting myself at the same time? We have a major bathroom restoration coming up, should I pay half up front, and half once it's done? Can I split the payment into more stages? If so, what are the reasonable "payment milestones"?

TIA.

Posted on: 2012/8/17 16:20
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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I don't think you really read the thread. It's not a criticism of contractors in general, especially good ones. This is criticism of what appears to be a bad apple, giving other contractors a bad name, and sympathy for the person who is being jerked around.

The OP did not go with a low-ball quote from Joe Blow. If anything, the quote was astronimically high.

We all need contractors, with the crumbling old houses we live in. It's an honorable business with a lot of professionals in it - but also a lot of dirtbags. Unless you know one personally, it can be hard to tell the difference.

Posted on: 2012/8/17 15:33
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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I disagree. There are also plenty of scammers who are homeowners. Who make it very difficult for a contractor to do his job and to be able to make a decent living. the good contractors are out there but they might not be the price your looking to pay. You get what you pay for. My family member does a lot of work and is a small business, pays Uncle Sam, pays Liablity, workers compensation and is licensed by the state yet homeowners tend to avoid wanting to pull a permit, and go with " Joe blow" the local handyman that doesn't have a legitimate business. People who run a decent honest business do not want bad publicity or a bad reputation.
Please let the contractors also know how to collect the money from homeowners who as soon as the brunt of the work is done get a handyman to finish up the last end to avoid paying the last fee. This happens all the time. It's an endless circle.
Furthermore a deposit is definitely needed since a contractor should not be expected to front load your job with material that is going into your property. What my family member does is tell the client to have a check cut directly to the place the materials is being bought and charges 10% for handling, picking it up etc. which is also hard to collect from clients.
I would love to find these nice clients who don't question good workmanship and don't penny pinch on life safety issues!
As for your 4800 dollar door I have no comment unless I see the proposal, contract you signed, what the door you chose is and where it's being installed and if this contractor is REALLY a contractor or someone you just picked off the street. Do your homework by abiding by state laws and hire legit contractors who abide by the laws and codes of the state instead of collecting ten bids and getting the lowest number. You only have yourself to blame if things don't go the way you planned. A bathroom installation in labor for TWO can cost 15,000 if your house is bad shape and the labor is intensive! The prices vary according to the work.

Posted on: 2012/8/17 15:19
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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I have a guy I use for small stuff like: Installing a new door, some trim work, tiling a common hallway, installing new stair treads, etc.

I wouldn't recommend him for doing fine finishing restoration of moulding in a high end brownstone, but I would for a storm door.

If you want his contact info, PM me.

Posted on: 2012/8/17 14:10
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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I agree the contractor gave an "F.U." price as Brewster put it. I've gotten those too (things like $15,000 each to remodel two small bathrooms, not including materials). You probably should have said FU right back and moved on, but it's no use beating that dead horse.

For $2,400 it might be worth pursuing legal action but you may basically be doing it just to make a point. The time and effort you put into it is probably going to exceed the $2,400 you plunked down already.

You may have to consider taking the haircut on this one and moving on. Go with a contractor recommended by a legitimate source you trust. If you don't have one, there's always the house contractors with Lowes or Home Despot. You may still have issues with them, but you'll at least get a more reasonable price and a company you can actually find and visit in person to talk to if you have problems.

Posted on: 2012/8/17 13:14
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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How to press a tardy contractor? I use a lot of starch and start with the arms and collar.

Posted on: 2012/8/16 23:40
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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Quote:

PathH8Tr wrote:
The great ones are so busy they often don't have time for smaller projects without saying to themselves "Hmmm, I'll quote them twice as much and if they say yes, then it's worth my time.".


As a longtime freelancer, I call this the "f**k you price". It's the price at which you'll gladly do a job you don't want to do otherwise, for reasons such as the one you cite, or maybe the client is a PITA. It's risky to give an FU rather than just saying you're' busy, as you might not want to get a reputation for being absurdly high priced. I have definitely gotten FU prices from local contractors.

Posted on: 2012/8/16 22:13
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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I'm very sorry for your situation. Before you start questioning yourself - the reality is that here in Jersey City there are more conmen, fraudsters and grifters that call themselves contractors or builders than there are decent ones. The great ones are so busy they often don't have time for smaller projects without saying to themselves "Hmmm, I'll quote them twice as much and if they say yes, then it's worth my time.".

I have intelligent friends, neighbors, peers who all have had a nightmare scam experience by contractors -- that all started by paying up 50% of the money upfront for jobs such as what you describe.

I highly recommend starting a file for yourself times, dates, concrete information on what has gone down - phone Consumer Affairs and discuss how to proceed. Do not doubt yourself any longer - regardless if this person has large projects or not - guaranteed they used your money for something else and now it's much less desirable to do your job. Good luck.

Posted on: 2012/8/16 22:03
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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You could have had the contractors that work for Lowes, Home Depot or Sears do it and for a whole lot less.

You need to get all your money back....start calling Consumer Affairs, or the Better Business Bureau ......or one of the local tv channels that help duped people like you get a decent outcome. Good luck.

Posted on: 2012/8/16 21:48
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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A really good storm door, like from Harvey Building Products costs about $300 (insulated door, removable glass, etc.)

Posted on: 2012/8/16 20:06
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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I'm very sorry for the troubles you're having with the contractor. Perhaps I can help? I'll put a door in for you tomorrow and I'll only charge you $4,200 - SIX HUNDRED dollars cheaper than my apparent competitor. If you are then satisfied with this transaction, would you perhaps be interested in purchasing some real estate? Maybe a nice bridge?

Posted on: 2012/8/15 21:06
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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I agree with the above posters. Your quote is considerably more than a quote we got to redo our entire front entry way (up to code and meeting historic district rules). Our quote included re-pouring the concrete slab, stripping and refinishing the wood surrounding the doorway, replacing the door, putting in tall but narrow windows on both sides of the door, etc. And it wasn't nearly as much as yours.

I may be off in my understanding of what a storm door is. Aren't they like a couple hundred dollars from Lowes or Home Depot?

Posted on: 2012/8/15 19:13
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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You are being charged more for a storm door than a solid hardwood door (installed) would cost.

Was there a lot of other work involved? Like rebuilding a decrepit wall that the door was being installed?

Posted on: 2012/8/15 17:57
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Re: How to press a tardy contractor
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Quote:

stillinjc wrote:
I signed a contract for a door replacement with a flaky contractor. I know, my fault, but he came recommended. I put down $2,400 (50% of the total) for the storm door purchase and install; balance payable on install.


OMG, $4,800 for a storm door?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did you get any other prices? Or is the hardware 14k gold?

Start small claims proceedings. That might get his attention.

Posted on: 2012/8/15 17:22
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How to press a tardy contractor
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I signed a contract for a door replacement with a flaky contractor. I know, my fault, but he came recommended. I put down $2,400 (50% of the total) for the storm door purchase and install; balance payable on install. On the contract, the install date was mid-July, one day labor, estimate only. No late penalties stipulated in the contract. Since then he has been delaying, giving me the usual BS that he is in a middle of a huge job, giving me dates in late September (to which I did not agree), then not responding to phone calls.

Today I asked him by email and voice mail to give me an install date ASAP, or give me my deposit back.

What are my other options? I think he is dissing me because mine is a very small job, but why should I be screwed and wait forever. I know, I should have put late penalties in the contract, but what is done is done. Thanks for constructive advice.

Posted on: 2012/8/15 14:09
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