How would you handle these contractor issues?

albryantJune 11, 2012

We are having difficulty with the contractor we hired to redo our bathroom. The job was supposed to take 3 weeks and we're now on week 7 and it's still not done. What's worse is that what is being done now is completely unacceptable workmanship.

We were out of town last week and returned Saturday night to find sloppy paint jobs (paint on the new grout, on the new floor, on the new light fixture, etc), all surfaces needing a second coat of paint, exhaust fan and sconce not fitting entirely over the drywall hole, pitted mud job on the drywall, casing on the door not to spec and from unsanded wood stock, plumber grouted section where tub meets tile and the grout is already cracked, brickmold not installed on outside of new window (and not primed or painted), towel bars and rings not installed, door not primed or painted, etc. He sent an email that he's coming tomorrow to "do some touch ups and return the key". To me, all of those are much more than "touch up" issues. Not to mention there was paint on our hardwood floors, paint in the kitchen sink, drywall dust all over the floor - so he's also not cleaning up after working.

I don't feel that the workmanship reflects the price I'm paying and I feel I could do a better job myself. I actually originally asked for painting NOT be included in his bid but he convinced me to just let him handle it. Now I wish I wouldn't have caved.

So, we've never dealt with a contractor and I can't decide what my options are. We haven't paid the last third of the fee and he's repeatedly told me we don't pay until we're happy. However, the caulk/grout issues won't be addressed until the end of the month because the plumber is out of the country until then. And I'm not convinced this contractor is ever going to do this job like I think it should be done.

If I'm just going to go over his workmanship myself when he leaves, I'd rather just fire him and finish it on my own. But my DH thinks we should force him to get it done. I'm just so tired and want my bathroom back :(

So, how would you handle it?

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I don't know legally how the process works but I get a bit cheeky now and then I would take lots of pics of the mess he left then submit a counter bill for the clean up and deduct it from his final pay but not until after he fixes the problems.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:23AM
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I did take LOTS of photos.

I hate this because he actually is a nice guy and he had good references and good reviews on Angie's List. I think he basically started another job(s) before finishing ours and is now rushing and sloppily trying to get it done.

I think we're going to give him a chance to finish the job correctly, but I don't have high hopes that we'll get it resolved quickly.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:53AM
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I don't know what Angie's list is but it really sucks when you do your homework and still get burned. Good thing for lots of pics if it gets ugly then you have proof. Here's praying for a good resolve for you.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 12:31PM
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If he tries to squirm out of fixing things properly, don't forget to ask him if he would use pictures of your bathroom in his advertising brochures as a prime example of the excellent craftsmanship he purports to have so other prospective customers can see what they are getting when they hire him.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Show him your pics and say you're going to post them on Angie's list. He won't be busy anymore.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 6:25PM
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I would start off just mentioning the good things you heard about his work on AL and ask if one day is enough time to have similar results. Hopefully he will take the hint that you are aware of the problems and also intend to post on AL.

If that fails, I would make a specific list of what needs to be fixed before he gets the final payment.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 10:18PM
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He said don't pay him the last third until your satisfied so don't pay him and than do as mydreamhome suggests. The beauty of the internet can come back to bite a contractor in the ass just as well as help his business so a gentle reminder can do wonders.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 8:00AM
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Thanks everyone. We gave him a detailed list itemizing everything we feel should be corrected. He came this morning to meet with DH and said he agreed with the list and will fix all items (which I knew he would - he is a nice person). I guess I'm losing faith that it will ever really be done as well as I feel it should be given that I'm paying for it.

We'll see. We were really hoping it worked out because we need the other bathroom done, as well as several other projects around the house.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 9:35AM
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