lien reserve on home

mommyto4boysJanuary 14, 2008

Hoping some of you could give me a little info or even some professional knowledge. We are GC'ing our own home & all is going well. We are almost finished with the finish carpentry. The one and only sub we felt uneasy about hiring from the start is coming back to haunt us. To make a long story short we went against what we knew best & hired the stone/stucco/exterior guy who was by far the cheapest, sweetest talker and all. To make along story short we had MAJOR doubts, but were at the point of thinking we could deal with it to save $5g's.

So the exterior is for the most part "almost" finished. They have to stucco around one exterior door and stone around the other because they did the job before the perm. doors were in place. So, I'm sure the entire small porch area by the one door should be redone as to make it match. They also have to do some brick trim around some windows that they have not finished for some reason. They have not worked in about 6 weeks.

A little more info....he offerred to do my interior fireplace for "free" if I went with him. After my 3rd request he did have this wrote on his contract. YES, our cabinet maker has held up the interior portion of the project.

He has left me 2 voice mails in the last week asking for 90% of what we owe him. The contract states there are payments done in 3 phases.

phase 1: Scaffold and lathing

phase 2: Scratch coat brown

phase 3: finish coat, cleanup

I don't want to pay until the job is finished to our satisfaction. The exterior is NOT finished. If it was finished and looked fine I would be willing to subtract for the fireplace and hold just that part back. We are unhappy with the exterior and are very worried that he won't fix the issues. The stucco plainly looks like different colors on different areas of the house. Everyone we have asked agrees to such. Also, the grout areas between the stone are plainly different. The garage, porch and others have a brown grout. Then there is a large area on a room that sticks out in front of the home and the grout looks almost white. Keep in mind it has settled and dried for weeks.

Today he sent me an e-mail asking for 90% of the last draw payment and then "we will be in good standing, else it is time enough for a lien reserve to be issued." Personally, I think he is trying to scare me into paying him. Though, I do know there is such a thing he can place on the home. Any info on this...

Does the work have to be 100% done in order for him to ask for payment or is he allowed to ask for a % because so much time has past?

Do we have to pay until we are satisfied or until the work is considered by him completed?

How do I find out from my bank without scaring them if we can close with a lien?

The man has filed bankrupcty before with his business and rechanged names, etc. We have heard "through the grapevine" that his workers quit. Also, the day the stone was put on with the wrong grout is the last time any work was done. His workers thought my husband was their boss. They explaiend the werw hired out for the day!!!

Let's see, any more info....our home was broken into before Christmas and many tools, etc were stolen. This sub had a brick cutter in our garage and it was stolen too. Hence part of his reason for not having the work done. Even though he told us the day it happened he would rent a cutter to finish our job. His cement mixer has been in our yard for months, he is a small business; therefore, how can he work without his cement mixer? The man is a piece of work and we have caught him in so many lies. He now says if our insurance company gives him just 2,000 he'll be happy. I hope they make him use his own insurance company.

Anyways, sorry to be so longwinded. I'm frustrated! Any advice, opinions, etc would be grateful! Thank you!

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