UPDATE - Contractor Issues, otherwise known as The Patch Is Gone!
So it's been several months and I'm not sure if anyone remembers the awful GC issues we had. The thread seems to have diappeared which probably isn't a bad thing, but for those who remember and gave me such support, here is the update and a picture of the patch that started the whole problem : ):
I can now update that FINALLY that patch is completely gone!! A professional attacked it and you now can't tell it was ever there. Wahooooooooooooo!!!!!!! I am so happy because for months it was there as a big reminder of everything that happened.
Anyhow, here's a recap of what happened.
I think I updated you all up to the point where text messages were being exchanged and GC threatened us with legal action.
Well we eventually agreed to meet with him to discuss the issues. He came to our home 2 days before my due date and when he walked in the door and we asked him if we could show him the areas we weren't happy with he said no.
I knew then that the conversation was going to be bad, and it was. He yelled at us, threatened us, told us that the impending birth of our child (with regards to drywall dust, etc) was 'not his problem', that he was going to 'school us' and that he hadn't pulled permits and we were going to have to take down all our cabinets, and that he was going to sue us.
It was a bad, bad conversation and I know that many of you will disapprove, but when I heard him say that he wouldn't look at our concerns, I took out my cell phone and videoed the conversation.
I dissolved into a heap after the meeting - my husband had gone to work and all the stress just took over. I ended up sobbing at a neighbor's house and even though they barely knew me (new to the area) they looked after me amazingly. The neighbors here are just so, so amazing.
We didn't know what to do after the meeting - we were terrified by what he had said about the permits, but had no idea which of his stories was the right one. So on my due date I called to talk to the township inspector. As soon as I got on the phone with him I disolved into tears again as I tried to explain the situation. He asked for my address and I was too afraid to give it to him but asked if I could come in to the Township office and meet him. He said I could come right over, so I waddled to the car and drove straight there.
This township has a reputation for being super tough, but they were amazing. I explained what had happened and then told them about the recording. They listened to the portion about the permits (and caught the 'not my problem' comment) and that was it. I said I thought I hadn't handled it well, and the woman in the meeting said if he had talked to her like that in her home she would have had him against the wall by the neck. The inspector came out that same day to look at the house and go through everything with me.
2 days later we received a letter from GC's attorney claiming they had been unjustly fired and that we owed him the whole balance of the contract, but would accept $7500 if we paid within 10 days otherwise he would put a lien on our house and sue us.
It was the most stressful week of my life. I was several days overdue to give birth and we were about to be sued.
The inspector came to our rescue. He sent out the electrical inspector who took one look at the electric and failed it all (kitchen, bedrooms, hallway and great room).
We had pictures of all of their awful finish work and had documented everything - and kept the voicemail where the foreman told us he had been instructed to leave our house and not to return.
Two days after I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl, our first outing was to an attorney's office.
He wrote a 'screw you' letter back to GC's attorney outlining the facts, included the failed electric inspection report and saying it was clear he hadn't been fired but had walked off the job taking our money with him. Lastly it demanded that he immediately remove the dumpster he had left on our property which was delinquent in payment since early May and he had threatened the dumpster company with litigation if they removed it.
Our attorney wrote that despite the numerous violations we were willing to entertain a 'walk away' agreement.
The day after the letter went out the dumpster was removed from our property and GC agreed to our terms.
Unfortunately we had to sign a 'no fault' release which means that once again this guy will show no record of having screwed someone over. Basically he's off scott free apart from a couple of things. This is a small community and the neighbors talk. Also the inspector did not like what he saw on the video I took, and he really didn't like the work he saw in our home so he has black listed GC in all the surrounding areas. He has a look out for his vans and I know of several situations where he has knocked on people's doors to warn them of an unscrupulous contractor. He doesn't give names, but one of the people asked if it was our GC, so obviously he's done this before.
The upshot is that we have had to redo everything. We did not have to take down our cabinets (thanks to amazing inspector), but all electric had to be redone (we now have an amazing electrician).
They had not framed out the vent for the hood, nor run the electric for the hood or range. The electric for the fridge was in the wrong place and they hadn't run the plumbing (yes drywall was now up and cabinets installed).
We were able to get all that fixed eventually, but are still missing the heat/aircon vents which they didn't run before they laid the floors and is now cut off in the basement.
We had the great room drywall work all redone and the front of the house is painted.
The kitchen is now beautiful and fully functional (apart from the missing air con vents). We are literally just waiting on a small piece of butcher block and the back splash.
We still hsve a gaping hole which used to be the master bathroom and the master bedroom is torn apart.
We also have to get up in the attic and remove all the insulation he put up (it's all done wrong), and we still have a huge hole in the hallway ceiling where they didn't bother to cap the plumbing and it leaked into the ceiling.
Other than that, we're coming together. We just had the kitchen painted, awful drywall finish work corrected (including the awful patch!) and trim sorted out. Yesterday the chandeliers went up over the island. It's looking great.
It was an awful, awful experience, but it's over with. We are trying to find someone good to take over the bathroom. The quotes we get for everything are obscene, so we've been taking it slow, bidding out everything to multiple people and employing everyone separately (no GC).
We have our permits and are passing inspections!
I think it's all going to be ok. We'll probably be bankrupt, but we survived.
Some more 'finished' drywall work by ex GC for your viewing pleasure. I'm so glad it's all now gone!!!!